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Women deal with PMS for more than half their lives. Learn how our loved ones can make those ‘bloody’ days better for us.
The moment I woke up, I could feel it. I just don’t know why, but I hated this morning.
I stumble to the kitchen to get my fix of coffee. As I am making it, my husband saunters in casually, looking all chirpy with a big smile on his face. I get irked seeing that smile on his face, again I don’t know why? As he wishes me a loud good morning, I wonder grumpily, what is so good about this morning? “Aahaa!” he comments, someone is up early today. That’s it, the Manjulika in me came alive!
Fortunately I didn’t lapse into any Bengali. But all my drowsiness had vanished, I was livid and my eyes were gleaming wildly. I snapped at him with a ferocity that was unnecessary, Oh ho! Is it so? And how do you think your coffee appears magically every morning, some people are just so ungrateful.
My husband’s smile vanishes instantly. His antenna has caught on to the tone of my voice. His mind screamed Danger! Danger with red lights blinking crazily. He looks at me and says, “I didn’t mean it that way darling, I was just kidding.”
But there was no stopping me now. I tried blinking back the tears that had welled up in my eyes threatening to spill over if he said one more word. The effort made my throat hurt. Then he says are your periods about to start? The moment those words are uttered, my tears just overrule my thoughts and stream down my face.
I tell him, we know each other for so many years and yet you still don’t know my dates. Why don’t you put a reminder on your phone? What sort of a husband are you? As I continue with my rant, my husband looks at me helplessly, mutters something under his breath and then rushes off to get ready, saying he is getting late. Now I am pissed off big time.
The tears are now streaming down my face with full vengeance and I think why did I even get married? This man does not even try to console me and make me feel better. The whole day I revel in self-pity and tears. My husband tries calling me while at work which I don’t bother to answer. In the evening I decide to treat myself. After a long hot water shower, I make some French fries topped with loads of cheese and gobble it all up.
When my husband returns from work I feel more favorably inclined towards him. I welcome him with a hug and a wet kiss on his forehead. He looks at me surprised and then tousles my hair and asks, “Are you OK now?” I say yes and proceed to fix dinner. My husband changes and settles down in front of the TV to watch his favorite show. As I am making dinner I feel irritated again. I think in my mind, “why can’t he come and talk to me instead of watching TV? After all he was so mean to me in the morning and yet I was so nice to him when he came back!” I feel tears spring back in my eyes again.
As my husband sits at the table, I place the plate in front of him with a thud. He looks a bit startled and on seeing my teary eyed face he looks at me baffled? He says, I thought we were fine, then why are you crying again? I sniff and say nothing and walk off in a huff. He follows me and speaks to me in a soft loving voice which melts me a little. He says, “Gussa mat ho baby” and hugs me.
I sniffle and cuddle up against him. We both then have dinner and engage in small talk. I observe my husband being cautious while talking, not breaching any topic that can activate the Manjulika in me. While he is on tenterhooks for the next three days, I struggle with my mood swings and cramps.
The above mentioned scene is a classic example of how most of us are during our periods, in varied degrees, of course. While I have an extremely supportive husband, I know of several people who are not as lucky as me. Many Indian men have an extremely twisted and regressive approach to the menstrual cycle of a woman. In several households even now, a woman is considered impure and not allowed to step into the kitchen during her periods.
The time has come now to change that. Enough of talking about it in hushed voices and hiding our sanitary napkins in black polythene covers. After all having periods is a sign of fertility and womanhood. Most women experience some form of discomfort during these few days. It can range from mild to severe abdominal cramps to fatigue to mood swings.
I know of several women who are unable to even get up from their beds due to the excruciating pain they experience during their periods. While we spend the entire month trying to make things comfortable for our family, I think the least that can be done by any husband is to put in a little extra effort during those 3-4 days every month. They don’t have to do anything spectacular.
Things like giving a hand with the daily chores, getting food that she craves for (chocolates, ice creams, fried food etc), a hot water bag, painkillers or just a nice back massage are some of the small gestures that every husband can do. A bit of pampering and attention never does any harm and can make a lady feel so much better.
So ladies, if your husbands refuse to do so, just take a break and pamper yourselves. You deserve it!
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