She also said there’s this new invention called the menstrual cup. This too you have to insert this in your vagina and wash off every few hours.
I thanked Swetha Akka for all the new words she taught me and marched home, my head buzzing with questions.
Amma was waiting at the door. “Where have you been, young woman?” she asked. Perfect!
“Amma, Poo said she’d become a woman. What does that mean?” I asked fluttering my eyelashes at her innocently. Amma sighed. “Time for the talk”.
Then she gave some detailed scientific explanation about ovaries and how menstruation prepares you for pregnancy. I didn’t get most of it and I told her so. “It’s ok, Nila. You’ll understand it by and by,” she said patting my head.
I asked her about tampons and menstrual cups. She was shocked that I knew about it but also relieved, I think, because that was one lesson less for her to give.
Najju Paati came home for dinner. She’s the coolest 72-year-old I know. I told her about Pooja becoming a woman. Amma asked me not to discuss all this over dinner.
Najju Paati turned to Amma and said, “It’s ok, Sumathi. There’s nothing taboo about this.”
(Taboo. Another word added to the dictionary.)
She told me about how in those days they used to lock up the girls in a hut when they got their first period. And then after one week they would conduct a big function in the village and call all the villagers for lunch and do some pooja stuff for the girl. (Must ask Pooja if they did pooja for her :D)