Pooja finally came to school today. After 8 whole days. She’s the only one in our class who has had 100% attendance since 2nd standard. I knew she hadn’t gone on a vacation so what could it have been? After I kept nagging her for the entire day, she finally looked at me with a ‘You Won’t Understand This’ face and said, “I have become a woman.” She was right, I didn’t understand this.
I came back home and asked Amma about it. She also conveniently diverted the topic by scolding me for not finishing my lunch dabba. Bitter gourd! She should be scolding HERSELF for having packed bitter gourd in my lunch dabba. She always does this to me. And to top it, she makes special sabjis only for Shanky, the Cranky. That spoilt little ass.
Anyway, I went to Swetha Akka’s house in the evening to solve this big mystery. When she explained it to me, I went “Ewwwww, gross!” Imagine! Blood coming out from there. And THAT makes you a woman!
Then Swetha Akka told me the whole story. Apparently, it’s called menstruation. I asked her why it’s called MENstruation when it happens to women. She asked me to shut up. She said menstruation is the biological term. Usually people called it periods. I don’t see any relation between the two words but periods is easier to remember. All these biological words are so long and unpoetic.
(It seems when Swetha Akka was in school, they used to refer to periods as chums. That makes absolutely no sense! Chums means friends, no?)
So three days in a month, every woman bleeds from her vagina (another new word in my dictionary). And often in this process, suffers from stomach ache and backache. They call it period cramps.
After your first period, you start growing breasts. I guess Poo will go bra-shopping soon. I’ll ask her to take me along. Amma never lets me near the lingerie section at Lifestyle. (Lingerie is another recent addition in the dictionary. I heard it on Fashion TV last night. Henceforth, it shall not be referred to as jatti and banian.)
Akka said you’ll have to wear pads in your underwear to soak up all that blood. And when you grow up, you can start wearing tampons. She showed me the ones she uses. They look like big white bullets. You have to put them inside your vagina, it seems. Scary! What if it doesn’t come out!