Stories about periods

The 8-step guide to help you expertly navigate the crazy maze that is Eidul Fitr

It’s almost time to put your rozas away and bring out the charming ‘please eidi me’ smiles. However, in the woke-era of 2018, celebrating Eid is a much more complex and charged event than it ever has been in the past. And with the elections coming up, probably not the best time to have the entire khandaan (whole family) gathered under the same roof.  I realise not everyone possesses the same spontaneity and adaptability that I do, so I’ve put together a eight-step guide to help you expertly navigate through the maze of Eidul Fitr 2018: 1. Mom versus eidi Repeat after me: ...

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Dear Pakistani women, a menstrual cup will not make you “lose your virginity”

Menstruation – the one time of the month that most girls and women dread. The number of visits to the bathroom increases, while the prospect of wearing white has never seemed more frightening. Home remedies and the odd paracetamol sound like the ideal solution; if only we weren’t preoccupied with the agony of abdominal pain that comes along with the package. Also part of the package is making sure that our bathrooms, handbags and coat pockets are well stocked with sanitary pads. However, this is a privilege only afforded to women on one side of the world. On the other ...

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The silence of the taboo: Why must I put my sanitary pads in a brown bag?

I was one of the most excited women in the newsroom when I heard Bollywood was making a movie tackling the taboo around menstruation called PadMan. As someone who detests censorship to the core, I thought perhaps now that the pad will be up on the silver screen, I will no longer be shamed for talking about periods openly, or for refusing to use the brown bag. But excitement didn’t last very long. Lo and behold! The Central Board of Film Censors banned PadMan in Pakistan. The details in the news were mind-blowing, a lot like how it feels when the uterus explodes and ...

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The #PadManBan is another example of Pakistan making the country a “comfortable” place for men, not its women

One often goes to the cinema to escape from the harsh realities of the world. The two or three hours spent at the theatre either throw us into fits of laughter, push us to the edge of our seats, or put us right to sleep if the movie is a snoozefest. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to watch a movie and encourage others to watch it too just because of its intriguing and eye-opening content. Twinkle Khanna’s movie PadMan starring Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte, is one such movie that needs our attention. The movie talks about menstrual hygiene and normalising the most natural biological function ...

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Menstruation should be discussed without any shame, and Akshay Kumar’s heroic ‘Padman’ makes that possible

Filmmaker cum screenwriter R Balki has a reputation of covering atypical subjects in his movies, with all six of his movies, such as Cheeni Kum (2007), Paa (2009) and Shamitabh (2015), being regarded as breakthroughs that entertained both the masses as well as mature filmgoers with their peculiar themes. This year, Balki is back at it again, this time with a very unique idea in the form of Padman. As revealed by the trailer, Padman is based on the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social activist from Tamil Nadu, played by Akshay Kumar. Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte will ...

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We need to stop treating menstruation as a ‘fault’

“So what do you do when you… you know… have your monthly period?” I said to my domestic helper, after my mouth-gaping-open-in-shock reaction was over and I found my voice. For an urban woman, what she was telling me was unthinkable. I was truly scandalised that many women in Pakistan’s underprivileged parts walk around with no sanitary cloth or napkins when they have their menstrual period. Others do use folded pieces of cloth, she told me, but even then the hygiene conditions she was describing were hardly satisfactory. The year was 2010. Pakistan had been hit by one of the worst ...

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