Updated: Dec 26, 2020
Buying pads on my own at the age of 13.... oh what a horror!!
Life was so simple and easy when my mother could buy it for me. I mean it's so embarrassing to talk about pads and periods with anyone. I have been told since childhood that it's not a topic which can be discussed in public or even in front of males. Then how do I go and buy a pad from a shop where there will be few more customers and the shopkeeper will mostly be a male. So I avoided buying pads on my own, for as long as I could!
One day, my parents were out of town and I was alone at home. And guess what?? My periods decided to show up 3 days earlier than the schedule. There were no pads at home and I had no other choice but to go and buy a pack.
First, I headed to the toilet to wrap a cloth on my underwear so that the blood flow doesn't ruin my clothes.
Next, I went to the nearest market. There were a couple of shops here which had pads in their showcase, thankfully! I decided to go to the chemist and buy the napkin but the shopkeeper was a man and I felt uncomfortable asking him for the napkin. So, I moved to the next shop which was over crowded with customers. This wasn't my shop either. I went ahead to another shop where there was an aunty sitting. Aunty - kya chahiye beta?
Me- Vo aunty, apke pass notebook he kya hindi ka?
Aunty - han beta, 30 rupees wala de du? Me- Hanji aunty
Aunty - Aur kuch beta? Me - Aunty stayfree he kya?
Aunty - han beta, kaunsa wala chahiye? (Aunty was considerate enough to make me feel comfortable)
Me- Aunty normal wala de do.
Aunty then gave me a notebook and pads. She pulled out a newspaper and carefully wrapped the pads in it and then kept both the notebook and the wrapped pads in a black polythene bag. I paid the money and took the bag.
Walking back home, I was wondering that why did aunty pack it so tight?? Is it such a shameful thing to carry a napkin?? Is it wrong to use them? What if others see what I am carrying, will they judge me?? It felt like doing something sinful or illegal.
Thankfully now the scenarios have changed. You can walk into a hypermart and pick your product and get it billed or simply just order it online. But god forbid, if you need to buy this in a small village, you will still need to go through this taboo and stigma.
Wish we could look at PADS as just basic NECESSITY!!