I was like it’s all over for me now, and my life’s finished now. Because all my friends had their first periods by 6th or 7th standard. By the time my periods started in 9th standard, I was pretty experienced and I knew what was to be done. I woke up one morning, and went to the washroom and felt something disgusting, so much so that I started crying. I cried alot in front of my mother as I was not able to understand what was happening. I was the last one in my class to have periods, and I had already told all my friends that even my periods have started. In winters, I used to tie two sweaters, one on the front and one behind when I went out to play. I wasn’t able to control my tears because I was not able to understand what was happening with me. My mother sat with me and gave me that “Talk” – that now you are a grown up, and have become a woman, and all. I had no idea what it was, why was it happening and how to handle this. I used to try the things shown in the ads for sanitary napkins. I was not at all prepared, and I didn’t know what will happen. Even the dog is having periods and you still don’t have them. The shopkeeper wrapped it properly in newspaper, so that no one could see what’s inside, and wrapped it again in a black polythene. It gets really embarrassing when the shopkeeper asks for the brand and stuff. Wrapping it properly in some cloth bag, or newspaper, or a polythene. It is possible that there were some restrictions earlier on women, that has led to it being a taboo even now. Don’t go near the pickle, it will go bad. It is not allowed to go in the kitchen. Don’t touch the flowers. Don’t sit in the puja.