Black bag? Why?

How does it feel when you start observing that all of a sudden, some routine things have become problematic in an ‘I-dare-you-to-change-me’ way?

I feel amazed that my eyes have not yet ascended into my head, despite the extensive eye-rolling I have been doing lately.

Black
is undeniably a very charming colour, if you can actually see its beauty. But there is something about it that pricks my eyes everytime I go out to buy a pack of sanitary napkins. Or is it something else?
I remember this one time I went for this act of indecency, to a nearby general store because I had to get some kitchen stuff too. I got all the purchases together, paid the bill and asked the shopkeeper to pack everything in a polybag. (I would have asked for a paperbag if I didn’t know the shop well enough to know that there wouldn’t be one).
“Chhotu andar se ek-do kaali wali polythene le aa”, commanded the shopkeeper to his helper, while packing the other things in a white polybag and I guess I might have stared the shopkeeper long enough for him to think me as crazy. I do that very often. Why go through the extra trouble of getting a black polybag for an innocent pack of sanitary napkins?
It is not the colour ‘black’, nor it is the negativity we assume to have been associated with the colour, but it is the strict distinction we observe and the stigma associated with the simple biological process of menstruation. This is just one of the imageries of that, of meagre importance perhaps.

Women are expected to keep quiet and be reserved when it comes to menstruation, as if it is something to be ashamed of, while it is a process as natural as breathing or eating, the only difference being that it is absent in men and perhaps that is why, someone thought it to be appropriate to not talk about it and keep women from talking about it. Because, quoting Aristotle, “Women are deformed men”.

21st century and high time that we start perceiving women as ‘women’ and not ‘non-men’. Shall we?

 – Deepti Nair

“The Lead Trinkets”

This has been on my mind for quite a long time. The feeling is even more pronounced when I am in the moment, watching little fingers fiddling with utensils at roadside eateries, or the tiny, clumsy bodies performing dangerous acts in the middle of nowhere, just for a two square meal. So basically, child labour.

It’s heart- wrenching, especially when I feel that I am helpless at the current moment. So, I penned down a few lines: 

Behold, behold the tiny troubled hands,
Trinkets of love or boulders of toil?
Behold, behold the circles beneath the eyes,
Rings of fulfillment or clouds of ignorance?
Behold, behold the plain pale faces,
Sheath of serenity or shadows of hunger?
Let them read, let them learn, let them grow,
For they are the strongest seeds you can ever sow.
– Deepti Nair