I am a woman
And by default I have a best friend.
I met ‘him’ at a tender age,
When I was 14
And for everyone I knew
I was already late.
When the first time I called my friend ‘him’
I was frowned upon.
“It is she, my dear! It is only your chance.”
But I didn’t want that chance, you know.
Who would want a friend
Who comes unannounced
At all the wrong times
When you plan to go for a swim
Or have a dance show
Or better yet
When you already have 10 different aches,
Who would want a friend that will just add another set of pains?
But there I was, at 14
And just because I ticked the box ‘Female’
I had a best friend,
Who would be with me till times inane.
And so I complied,
Now, if I have to have him inside my body every month
Why not make the best of it?
So, every month I would cry
When he would enter me
And I’d simply shy
Wouldn’t know how to walk-
Did he make everyone this uncomfortable?
Or was I the only one who would feel as a
So I would sit and complain,
I can’t go out
I am not well
And I just want to sit and read and eat and sleep and rest-
My excuses were never enough,
For I was a woman
And people were after equality
So it didn’t matter
And so I had to plaster a smile
Even when my cramps would let in no air.
As time went by,
My best friend became consistent,
Ever month, after almost 35 days
He’d visit me
And make me want to become a man.
“Why did he not have any pain?” I’d wonder.
But then if ‘he’ was the one giving me so much pain
How could he himself accustom to such cruel gain.
I call him
And every man, and woman would cringe-
But come on, it has to be a ‘him’
Who else would think of harassing a woman
The likes of this-
If it weren’t for a ‘him’?
It can only be a him
Who gives me such a headache,
Who makes me a throbbing backache?
Who makes my walking difficult,
With his unwanted intrusion,
Who makes my stomach bloat
Who takes away from my own body, my very own blood,
Who makes me consistently wet
And pains me with his very existence!
Of course it has to be a ‘him’-
Its name itself involves ‘Men-‘
Of course it has to be a him-
Ladies, at least must agree,
But then we live in a conventional society
Where talking about being wet is grimaced upon,
Let alone the talk of staining your pants,
You are making it very clear, woman
We are at the point where we fight for equality
And you saying these things
You are a woman
And you just have to live with your best friend.
And so I tell myself
I am a woman,
As if I didn’t know so far
And since I am a woman
I will just have to live with it.
As if I could literally do anything about it!
And so I make sure that I carry ‘things’ with myself
Carefully hiding it from the men’s stare.
God forbid they know
What we go through.
Let alone ‘him’ being the only reason we go through.
Then comes the choice of colors of my dresses
Where I will make sure to avoid
The white and lights
When I will somehow know
That ‘he’ is going to visit me.
And then suddenly I will have to cancel all the fun plans
Only because I am not up for it,
And my mood is so unreliable
That I will hate even myself
But I still go and work just as such
For I am a woman,
And that is just a part of me.
That ‘him’ is just a part of me.
And just suddenly, because I am the one inviting problems,
I will have the unknowing urge to visit a temple,
I am not even that religious
But just because I am not “allowed”
I want to go in-
And I will somehow land up at my relatives place
Where again I am not ‘allowed’ to
Sit on the sofa
On the bed
Or eat just as naturally.
For I am dirty on those days
And I just don’t love it.
But then again I am a woman,
And that is how I am ‘suppose’ to be.
My friend will come and visit
That is by default-
In my system-
And I will have to just live with it.
I don’t have a choice.
‘He’ is just a part of me.
And just like all other men
He is just another sour ache on my body,
Straining my life with his very existence.