About Her

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Little Moments Of Bliss is a silhouette of a feeling that resides in my heart. A software engineer by degree, a writer at heart, and a teacher by profession, I'm all that I never thought I would be. Pretty pictures,a poem that blatantly refuses to rhyme, a text from a deranged friend, a sudden gesture of love, its these little things in life, that matter and sprinkle bliss. Grace the couch and share a cuppa!

July 31, 2013

Menstruate. With Pride.

"Amma, my frock is stained again" she said with a little unknown fear in her heart.
"Whatt !!?? Why can't you be more careful ? Bibiji gave me this frock for you last week only. and from where should I bring more cotton ?" Amma shouted. "Go and wash that green rag that you used yesterday, put it out in the sun to dry and then use it"
"But amma, I'm not feeling well, it itches and my stomach hurts" she cried.
"Then what do you expect me to do ? Wash your period stains ?" Amma replied with little emotion.
She held her tears and turned away.


I am writing this post for the Idea Caravan Initiative by Franklin Templeton India and IndiBlogger. They have partnered with TedXGateway Mumbai in December 2012 and have provided us with inspiring videos of young minds struggling and succeeding in making and being the change that they want to see. Menstruation still is considered as a taboo in many urban and rural parts of our country, I would like to contribute my bit to the right to sanitary "mind and body" for every woman by this post.


Menstruation or Periods is one such topic which is rarely been talked about. Let alone been talked about on a world-wide platform like Blogger. When I was a kid, we only had one TV at home, and as soon as the StayFree or Whisper commercial came on, Dad would hurriedly look for the remote and change the channel. I never asked any questions until the day all the girls in my class were told to stay in the classroom during the lunch break. Some of us looked curious, some knew what was going to happen. We were given proper knowledge by a counsellor about a phenomenon that was going to happen to us every month for a significant numbers of years to come. To be true, I was in shock. I wondered how would I bleed for 4 days a month and still be okay ? She also brought a sanitary pad with her and showed it to us.

It was then that I knew why mom didn't go to the temple for those 4 days a month and why she would feel sick in her stomach.

A colleague of mine shared her first experience with me and I was shocked to learn the ways of our society in that age. She's in her fifties. She woke up one day and found out that her clothes were stained red and that something was definitely wrong with her. She ran to her mother and her mother's reaction was "Achaa, ho gaye ?" She gave her some cotton from the cupboard and hushed her to the bathroom. Nobody taught her how to use one, for how many days would it last or how badly the cramps would hurt.


If men could menstruate, they'd either associate with power justification or luxury, never with hygiene. Wish women could do that. Factually, I am sure that a hundred percent of women reading this article have never used anything except sanitary pads during their periods. But do you ever give a thought to that 75% of our country's female population who use saw dust or rag materials to cover their pubic area during their cycle ?

It is still seen as a luxury in their lives. AN UNNECESSARY LUXURY ITEM. Money still poses a problem. Can you imagine a life where you're denied the right to healthy clean sanitary pads and are forced to use cloth ? Among many other reasons, I respect my mother for giving a pack to our domestic help every month for herself and her daughter. She gives her a pack of Stayfree- 20 napkins for Rs. 60. That brings the average cost of one napkin to be around Rs. 3, and still Mr. Babbar claims he can provide that same woman in the same country with a balanced meal in Rs. 12.

I will not venture into facts and figures, I will tell you a true story that happened in the school that I teach in. I teach computers to classes VI-VII. This is the exact age group of girls reaching puberty and having their first period. One of them came to me last month and said "Mam, I think I am suffering from periods. Can I go to the medical room ?" The irony of the statement was that she thought it was some kind of an abnormality and she was unfortunate enough to suffer from it. I sat her down after she came back, and listened to what knowledge was given to her. She was confused and I had to tell her that she wasn't suffering from anything, that it isn't a disease and she is a healthy lovely girl.

Mr. Muruganantham has made an unusual brave effort on his part and I applaud him for it.


The Four A's - Availability, Affordability, Accessibility, Awareness.

A country where politicians claim they can get a complete balanced meal for Rs. 12 in a city like Mumbai, what can a rural woman's expectations be ? Awareness is next to nothing, and it is no more than a man asking for a condom. They'd rather have babies than use protection. We say we're evolving, I beg to differ. Advertisements are flashed, hoardings are put up but asking for a sanitary napkin or a condom is still considered as a taboo.

Arunachalam Sir pointed out the fact that almost all women of our rural population would rather buy milk for their family from the money rather than spend that same money on sanitary napkins, I'd agree with him. Although Menstrual Cups can be used. They can be washed and re-used which takes care of affordability. People like Mr. Muruganantham and more young minds like them can make then available at low cost. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menstrual_cup can be visited for more.

Women Empowerment is a topic that is more written about and less done about. Every woman has a right to sanitation and she must be provided with one. A healthy country is not the one with wealthy politicians claiming to do their best, it is one where a common man is confident enough to get his basic needs fulfilled.

If you want to think over a task, give it to a man, If you want it done, give it to a woman.

If we start looking for issues to fix in this country, we would never decide upon one. Every other issue is more appalling than the previous one. But if you want change, you have to make it happen. Contribute your bit. Women should step up, do their little bit and it shall spread on its own. Provide you domestic help with proper education and sanitary napkins, ask them to talk about it to their daughters and other women in their locality.

If I ever have a daughter, I will celebrate her first period.

The red gold.

"Your boss is surely going to fire you one of these days" Kalpana predicted.
He chuckled, enveloped her from behind,
and said "And to what will I owe that pleasure Miss ?"
"You're late, almost everyday, If I were your boss, I'd fire you" she said, and kissed him while fixing his crooked tie.
"Is Gian ready ? I'll leave him at the crutch on my way"
"Yes he is, don't drive too fast. Love you."
A half an hour later, Kalpana received a call from the local hospital. Her husband had died, due to lack of availability of his rare blood group AB-, in the same fatal accident that had left her 3 year old crippled for life.


"Papa, do we really need the needle this time also ?" She pleaded with her pale eyes and her limp hand reached for her father's.
"Yes dear, but I promise it will hurt less" he reassured her firmly.
The nurse struggled a little to find a vein and then pierced her tiny hand with a needle that would give her one more month to live. She was suffering from an inherited single gene disorder, Thalassemia. 

This little girl needs 30 units of blood
every month.
What would have happened if Kalpana's husband would have received the blood that he needed in time ? What would happen if this little girl's father had some way of knowing that he didn't have to worry about arranging blood for his daughter every month ? Things would be different. Their lives would be different. To have someone you love, die in a bed because the hospital ran out of their blood type is the kind of feeling that follows you to your grave. 

A special mention to applaud Franklin Templeton Investments in their brilliant initiative to bring about a change. I've seen all the videos that were provided at the Idea Caravan Site. I can't say I wasn't moved by the others, but I chose this particular one because I could actually, practically join the cause and make a difference, rather than just voicing my views about it on my blog.

We tweet all day long, visit our friend's profiles on Facebook, like pictures, pitch in witty comments. I would like to thank Karthik Naralasetty for thinking outside the box and creating a platform for emergency blood needs that saves lives. He has created a Facebook group where people can post their emergency blood needs with the required blood group and interested donors can reply to the requests as they please. I haven't seen a much better use of social media till date. 

Visit http://www.socialblood.org/ now and save a life.

July 4, 2013

HandMade by Carousel

A very dear friend of mine, Twisha of OneLife.ManyMoments has dared to live her dream. And I want to help her realize how great it is.
Its the first step.
And all great things start with that one little step.
Visit her Facebook Page and have a look at all the quaint little things she hand picks.
Its like weaving magic into your home decor.

She is simply looking for beauty - the kind that can't be explained - only felt.

I got this box customized for my sunglasses :) Can you spot mine and my blog's name in the doodle ? ;) Quirky, ain't it :)

By now, I'm sure you're dying to know from where to shop.
there you go :)

Thank me later :)
You know where to find me.