Sunday, 8 March 2015

TO THE MAN WHO BOUGHT A PAD...


There is nothing interesting that you will read in my blog today. There is nothing funny in here, nor anything thought provoking, just like all the other times. This is simply a gratitude post. A gratitude post to a minor section of men.

It seems like my grandfather did not know that he was married to a woman.  Actually, I think my grandmother thought it was her duty of never letting him find out about it. She also made sure that he did not know that there was a daughter among the three kids that they had together. Funny, but true! Ok, let me come clear and tell you that my grandfather lived in a house where the women pretended to never have periods.

It was fun to watch you know. My mother sneaking in sanitary napkins into the house as if it was a stash of cocaine, just because my grandfather was reading newspaper in the veranda. How one second I would be holding my stomach, whining to my grandmother about the first day of absolute pain (the kind of pain you get when your uterus squeezes out blood) and the next second I would be sweeping the house clean because grandfather spotted some dirt on the window sill. We made sure that he never knew about the monthly issue that came our way. We PMSed in private.

My brother too was kept in the dark. Every time he innocently pointed at the Whisper advertisement and asked what it was for, my mother and I became the most creative people on the face of earth. We just could not muster enough courage to tell him about womanhood. It’s like we were ashamed of what made us, us.

And then something magical happened. I heard my mother on the phone asking my father to buy pads on his way back from office. I looked at her and she simply said to me “He is not like your grandfather.”  And mind you, my father did get sanitary napkins on his way back, that too the right kind.

Last week I went to the medical shop to buy Crocin. Now, it was around 6 pm and the shop was crowded. I was waiting to be attended when a man standing nearby said “Bhaiyya, ek packet Stayfree deejiye”. It was amusing how every other man in the shop stared at him as if he had broken some code of masculinity. It was even more amusing to note that this man wasn’t a tad bit uncomfortable with the attention he was garnering. He spent a while choosing the correct sanitary napkin, paid for it and left the scene. I looked at the men around me, all smiling slyly. I wonder if they felt this uncomfortable while buying condoms.

I think I now know what my mother meant when she said that my father wasn’t like my grandfather. I also think I know how difficult it must be for a man to be different from the rest; to be someone who understands women. It’s embarrassing to be someone who acknowledges the strength that is required to be a woman. But yet, these few men continue to be different from the rest because they know their women matter much more.

Women are to be blamed. We keep menstruation a secret, as if it’s a sin instead of an inevitable biological process. Imagine discussing periods with your father or any male member in your life. Trust me, they would prefer you menstruating than being pregnant and not doing so. So why do we hush it up? Why not give them the opportunity to accept our reality?

So today I want to thank the men who are not like my grandfather. We need more men like you. We need more men like the guy I saw in the medical shop and lesser like the rest who were mocking him silently. Thank you for being real.

Dear men, this women’s day gift the women in your life, a better you.

P.S- Dear women, let us promise ourselves one thing today. That we would stop outsourcing our life. We must start making our own decisions instead of letting someone else do it for us. Promise yourself that you would never outsource your life.

101 comments:

  1. A wow post, Red :)
    Salute to such men for being such sweethearts :*

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    1. Indeed/ Thank you for being the first to read!

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  2. I think this indeed a thought provoking post. I really wish all those ignorant men would take time to read this. Yes, we need men who are not ashamed to accept that women bleed. Period.

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    1. haha true true true!!!! Thank you for reading!!

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  3. Great post! And I really wish I could meet that guy and thank him for busting stigmas. We don't hesitate to ask our partners to buy milk or bread or even shampoos...so why hesitate to ask them to buy sanitary napkins? And don't even get me started on the whole weird thing of hiding the fact that women get periods. Never understood that!

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    1. Inever understood the secrecy behind such a natural thing. I am glad to be surrounded by men who r different.

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  4. I fully empathize with what you wrote Red! Also, this nature's process has to be taught about at homes, as women have a special role in the process of human evolution:)

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  5. Possibly the best women's day post I've read so far. Such men deserve to be lauded for being who they are and doing what they do, especially in times such as now when they seem almost non-existent.

    Good job as always, Red. :)

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    1. Thank you sooooooooooo much for reading and appreciating.

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  6. *Standing ovation* :)
    Need I say more? As always, great job. And thank you!

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    1. I am glad you are different. Thank you!

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  7. Absolutely right! Thank god my dad's been like yours and yes my hubby too gets me the right pads!! :)

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  8. Yes ! There should be nothing to be ashamed of ! And this line "Trust me, they would prefer you menstruating than being pregnant and not doing so." cracked me up !!! LOL !

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    1. hehe you always find the humour in me. I am thankful

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  9. A post about period??? And I see a man commenting before me. Aah! Men are changing these and I m lucky to be born in a decade where people are more open about it. I am happy that my boyfriend has willfully taken the charge of keeping track of my dates! I feel really relaxed and more secure this way. I feel loved and cares as he worries about my PMS.
    And that promise in PS section, thanks Red. Every women needed a bit of it. Thanks for the kick.
    Happy women's day. :)

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    1. Your boyfriend is a gem . He is also lucky to have a wonderful person like you.
      Thank you for reading!

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  10. Errr really!!!... lol honestly this seems pretty weird to have read, Cz atleast the men I know are pretty 'okay' with the idea of a woman having her periods/chums /menstruating . We had sex ed in the 7th grade where we had a detailed session on chums with boys in the room.. and as far as I can remember my dad used to buy sanitary napkins and still does. So this is really surprising.. I'm actually thrown off, thinking than men being unaware choosing to do so exist...weird ...

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    1. I am glad it is like that for you. Stories differ from family to family. :)

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  11. Forget sanitary napkins, I know of friends who hide bras and undies on the clothesline. Why did we do this?
    Loved your take, spot on.

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    1. hahaha now that never crossed my mind!

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    2. Alka pointed out a very important thing. Everyone wears chaddis..why hide them on the clothesline! My Mom bugs me sooo much about it! Ughh!

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  12. Oh how I wish there were more such men.

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  13. Yes there are good men around and thank god for that !! loved your post !!

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  14. This is the best women's day post I have ever read. I have had the privilege to see a few of such good men. May there me more such people!

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    1. We truly need more such men! I am so glad you read this one.

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  15. Kitna pyara message!!! well done. :*

    I also have seen this trend in my house, my father getting sanitary napkins for my mother, although it always happens discreetly.. the packet would be wrapped in a newspaper and then again in a black polythene. Why such a deadly way of hiding something which is so obvious!!!

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    1. Your dad seems to be just like my dad.
      hehe!!!

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  16. hehe i still have to sneak the stuff around! I totally understand that feeling!

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  17. Kudos to you for writing this post!

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  18. how more special you want to write than this ?
    Seriously a nice post But you know even education is unable to change the mindset of people :(

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    1. hehe you are kind.
      I wonder what would if education cant :(

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  19. read every word of the post.quite true.

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  20. Yea... My dad used to bring home Whisper every month - huge pkts along with the ration :D
    My husband brings it home too, every time I ask :)

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  21. Awesome post!

    I hated shopping for sanitary pads earlier, but once my world started filling with some good male friends and once I started understanding that there are men who actually don't shy away from the word PMS than that itself changed my attitude. And there should be more men like your father.

    Happy Women's Day Girl! :)

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    1. Thank you so much for reading babe!!

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  22. True...my sad used to buy pads for mom and then us...And when I went to college I used to buy for the rest of my roommates, for some reason they were ashamed! So yes we need to raise a toast to a section of men who try to be and are different from the rest :)

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    1. hehe...I wonder why they are ashamed of it. Its a natural process!

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  23. Wow! The thing about your posts. is all of us can relate to them! :)

    I think times are changing and men are accepting women and their mensuration openly. :)

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    1. I m glad you could relate to this.
      I am glad times are changing

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  24. Hi red...loved the post...have been lucky to have men in my life to be able to discuss menstruation and such other forbidden topics....love your writing and your take on most topics... Pls do continue to write

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    1. I am happy you have such men in your life. Your comments means a lot to me. I swear!
      Thank you!

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  25. I know what you mean... but thankfully my father bought the pads home and my husband also does that, not as a routine but whenever it is required he does that without a hint of discomfort :)

    thank god for such changed mindsets, right?

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    1. THANK GOD INDEED!
      Thank you for reading!!

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  26. I loved this post! Cheers to standing up for ourselves and men who could be sensitive to us!

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  27. "Dear men, this women’s day gift the women in your life, a better you." killer lines..
    Loved the post and respect to men who are sensitive to women :)

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    1. You have always been supportive of my writeups. Thank you so much!!

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  28. Yay to more such men. My husband does not mind buying sanitary napkins. I don't mind buying condoms. No one in the supermarket gives us a second glance.

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  29. Even i feel a bit uncomfortable sharing this with my dad! But i made sure i didn't had this comfortless with my partner! I make sure he knows everything! Not just because i want him to be sensitive to me, but i feel this something he should know about me, which is an important part of me...
    Like always! Great post, Red :)

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and relating!

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  30. I was raised by my mom, parents were divorced. So i bought my own pads from a small shop in India, And I remember the shop keeper's expressions always changed when he wrapped it up in a newspaper.
    ONE unfortunate day I was wearing a white uniform skirt and was not prepared for my early periods and got few stains on it. It felt like I had done a big crime, the teacher scolded me for hours for not being careful.
    I also remember how my male friends reacted when I said the P word for the first time. Anways I can keep writting on and on abt this topic right now let me end in saying
    Hats off for writing this amazing post.. I love ur content, thoughts and writing style.


    AnanyaTales

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    1. The stain thing has happened with me too. I think a lot of girls can relate to it.
      Why did the teacher scold? huh!!!!!
      Thank you soooooooooo much for reading this!

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  31. Completely agree! And about time chemists stopped selling sanitary napkins wrapped in black opaque plastic bags, like its something to hide, no?

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  32. Respect for that man _/\_ ! loved reading your post ! :)

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  33. Congratulations! Your blog post has been featured in this week's Tangy Tuesday Picks on BlogAdda! Check it out here- http://adda.at/tangy1003

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  34. this is a very sensitive and mature topic to write a post upon but I really admire the way you have achieved that! Being sensitive to love, shame and pain of a woman is the sign of a true man, sadly most men do not understand the depth of this concept. I loved this post Red!

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  35. Even at the risk of repeating whats already been said: Great post! And kudos to that young man in the store. I guess the people and attitudes are improving - very slowly but on the right track...

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  36. I have never understood the secrecy and embarrassment surrounding periods, as they are such a natural thing! A great post though :)

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  37. I have a friend's husband who talks about periods, PCOD, eggs and all that related to pregnancy with his mother. It actually gets a little embarrassing at times!!! But then, I think it is so much better than never acknowledging that we are women who bleed.

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  38. Glad you are dad is not one of those men. I would definitely educate my son to be different and feel ashamed to buy pads for his sister or gf/wife when he grows up. A very sensitive and mature post. You spoke for all of us, women.

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  39. nicely written :).Sensitive subject handled well

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  40. It's great when men and women have such a high level of comfort and understanding, specially in a marriage relationship. That's what makes life so beautiful :-)

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  41. I am proud to say I have two men in my life who do this without flinching: my dad and my husband :) More power to them indeed, Red. Liked this different tone from you :)

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  42. Loved the post girl ! I, too, am grateful to be living with a man who thinks differently - my hubby. :) Cheers to changing times and men :) Keep writing !

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  43. I promised myself that a long time ago but it's easier said than done.

    /Avy

    http://mymotherfuckedmickjagger.blogspot.com

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  44. So true! Stares & attitude make people uncomfortable.
    "log kya kahengey?"... Relevant message. May no one outsource!

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  45. I would love to know the English translation so I can better understand what the man faced in the store. Also, I am curious what you mean by asking women to stop "outsourcing" our lives. I would love to hear more about that! Other than that, it felt like an endearing post to men. So kudos to those who stand up FOR women! :) <3

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  46. Hats off to you Red for writing so frankly about men whe feel embarrased if someboy talks about 'periods' in their presence.It is so ridiculous.I know one such family where this word is taboo.The other day,a teen aged boy from the same family sneaked out a sanitary pad from his sister's purse.While travelling in a bus, he was seen wiping his face with it.All because of the secrecy maintained about this topic in the house.

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  47. Red, as always your post touches a chord. If only we all could be so honest in our writing.
    My father and brother are cool about it so I was quite liberated about the whole thing but whenever we went visiting grandparents, it was back to the dark ages!
    It was as if I was reading my story!
    Bravo!

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  48. Not only my husband has done this for me, but my father also did that too in the past. And I believe I am much older than you Red, so my father must belong to your grandfather's generation :) And reading so many others' comments I am happy to see that there are many more men who are just as comfortable. The point I am trying to make is that we have always had all kinds of men in every generation. We just have fallen into the habit of generalising about all men, and all women :)

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  49. I suppose the older generation was more shy about bodily functions and I don't recall my father ever making such purchases, but my husband had no qualms about it. It is, after all, a natural part of life. ☺

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  50. Such a wonderful post! You are right, first we should be open to talking about it so that men dont feel uncomfortable to help us out (like buying pads). I really respect the guy who did not feel uncomfortable asking for a stayfree despite others giving him a weird smile. We need more people like that!

    Very well said :-)

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  51. LOL! The dark secret of all Indian households.

    It was a superb post, just like all the other times. :)

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  52. The line that started with DEAR MEn almost made me laugh out i thought i was going to read

    Dear men, this women’s day gift the women in your life, a better you.

    as
    Dear men, this women’s day gift the women in your life, a PAD..


    anyway jokes apart what you say is right , why dont we all TALK about it all I wonder..

    Bikram's

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  53. We need to break the conservative rules established by a very wrong notion of culture and tradition. High time for men to be comfortable and I wanna see the day where a man goes to buy stay free for the wife. Even, condom for that matter, we need to be comfortable to break this gender bender.
    Brilliant post, Red Handed.

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  54. My Baba used to buy sanitary napkins for me and my sister. My husband, too, occasionally buys it. And, I wonder why some women find it a shameful act to buy napkins even from shopping malls (where they don't have to utter the "impure" words), let alone medical shops.

    An honest post...thanks for coming up with such an issue.... :-)

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  55. I wish this blog post was made some 7 years back when I almost got kicked out of college because of a sanitary napkin! Thankfully, I grew up in a household where it wasn't a taboo and discussions on such topics weren't hushed up. The perks of growing up surrounded by a bunch of sisters!

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  56. Great post Red ! Agree completely. My dad used to buy napkins too..in fact to my mom's embarrassment, I had first told my dad about my first period.. quite thrilled that I had got some dreadful disease :)

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  57. A very strong and poignant post Red. As you said time for a change in the mindset of both men and women...

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  58. The first two sentences are a lie...

    Salute to your father and salute to those men.

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  59. :) well, I am 50 and almost menopausal I have a confession to make, I never bought sanitary towels, first it was my brother who bought them, then it was my husband. To be more precise, I avoid going into shop for anything.

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  60. So relatable! I sometimes discuss this topic in front of ppl.. Just to creep out the non-understanding guys and gals. I see it as a way of education and fun.

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  61. A strong point put across with such ease. This is why I like reading your posts :)

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  62. My grandma feels that it's awkward to ask a man to buy it. First I was hesitant to even buy it in a supermarket n esply during the billing but then time has changed. However, I still hide that in my native.
    Superb post, Red :)

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  63. I have recently only started reading blogs and guess what? Your blogs inspired me a lot. They are witty, sensible and much more.
    About the above one- U just nailed it dear!! I am currently in the last semester of my Btech Programme and I am the Ripe Mango of my Granny. I really don not know how to escape her arranged marriage proposals for me. I am waiting for the right guy to come and I think I'm not matured enough to find someone right at this age.

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  64. I really enjoy the blog.Much thanks again. Really Great.

    Condoms Online India

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