Recently I went to an exhibition where I saw a painting showing four women , captioned Four Generations and the floodgates of thoughts opened in my mind about the way a world of women is made of. This painting had a pretty woman in her twenties, a prettier girl of about 5/6 years and two prettiest old women in their early sixties. What attracted me the most was these sexagenarians who had an aura about them and were depicting something like Been There and Seen That kind of expression. Thanks to them they reminded me of my mother, sister and, aunts and whole lot of feminine gender who keep alive and continue the chain of human species.
My dad's job was to just put an X or Y chromosome in the womb of my mother and then vanish from the scene. She had to nurture that seed there, take care, no bending, no running, no dancing, no twisting and turning and no foolhardy business lest she could abort me. Eat proteins and healthy food not because she liked it but for me to be born healthy and with all the limbs and organs intact and working. She was past prime of her youth when she conceived me and had a risk of unhealthy fetus.
I was sucking her bloodstream for all the food, oxygen and water, and in return was giving her all the waste back. I was growing like a monster day by day by being gluttonous like a maggot and was kicking her and punching her from inside, at my will, and making her puke, cramp, nauseate, but still she was an epitome of love. When I felt enough of that dark room and wanted to come out I literally tore her apart putting her in an excruciating pain, torment, agony, of labor, crushing her stomach and giving her back ache, and knocking the wind out of her. Wait, she was bent upon birthing me naturally and did not want to cut herself open to ease the pain. With no pain killers at her disposal she showed me the light of the day. Stupid as I was, I was sucking at her breasts like I never had food in my short span of nine months.
In spite of my ingratitude, she hugged me, smothered me with kisses as though I was her prized possession. And she took care of me from all angles till I was old enough to clean my own bum.
I don’t know who said Frailty, Thy Name Is Woman but I sure know he did not know how challenging it is to be a woman. Have you ever heard of something called Mother Nature? She is an aunt of a woman. She blesses woman with her arrival, every month. This aunt of her hits her and she yells. If you see her sleeping, crying, consuming sweetballs, you should know that her Aunt has arrived. Her name is Crimson Aunt. The niece is suffering from mood swings. One moment, she want to laugh but the very next moment, she wants to curl up into a ball and weep. This aunty is unwanted guests. She also appear at the most unexpected times like an exam, trip, airport, station, office, practically anywhere. Aunt was a taboo to discuss it in a puritanical society of which my mother belonged. It was just not permitted by the society to acknowledge her existence. A woman was considered impure, possessed, polluted and filthy in and was outcast for four five days. If she wanted me at her side, I had to do Full Monty and only then I could touch her.
From about age of ten or eleven, when menstruation starts, a girl’s life is profoundly affected by the activities of the ovaries. Menstrual cramps, breast tenderness, irritability, migraines and the worst thing of all …. bleeding, that lasts 5-6 days out of 30 days. But wait, there's more…. Let's add in PMS that starts a week before and the post menstrual fatigue that comes after and see how many days of the month a girl feels “good". And the worries the mother will go through of this tender girl.
Add ovulation to the fray… shooting pain for 1-3 days when the ovulation actually occurs as well as the message to the vaginal mucosa to make a lot of sticky, gooey mucus. And add the worries about pregnancy to her stress level and those pesky ovarian cysts randomly causing stabbing pain. Coming and going without any warning and sometimes making her have a surgery to get relief.
Do you think it has an end?. It has. Blissfully it will pause, calling itself menopause. Almost done with the horrors of menstruation, welcome menopause. Welcome sign? No…It comes with its own baggage. Hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness and again with the irritability. Now she gets to notice hair growing on the upper lip, where it shouldn’t. The bones are cracking from the lack of estrogen and she lives in the fear of getting osteoporosis, hip fractures and some have the horrible hunch back. Some men do not understand the pain a woman goes through her life. In spite of these emotional breakers, she keeps you happy, takes care of home and makes life of a man blissful and ecstatic. Isn’t she a fantastic gift from God to us?
Let us start respecting women for all that she is.
RK's Compilation of images from istock.com