I composed thoughts im my head after every post I read on the subject. A lot has been said & I do not want to repeat them.
Of the top of my mind, my thoughts:
On Hinduism & its practices
I would not want to question the practices of Hinduism or any other religion as one can really not venture into this area with the hope of finding answers. Any given ritual could be actually logical or accidental or completely foolish or irrelevant in today’s world. Anyway, for argument’s sake- how many of us has seen God? Yet we pray, we believe, we have faith and adhere to practices.
And yes, feet are definitely a big deal here…
Therefore we regard books as Saraswati and Gold as Laxmi and mark our respect by not touching it with the foot. Where Knowledge & Wealth is concerned, I will rather err on the side of caution and not take my chances. While we were taught to mark our respect to elders by touching their feet or prostrating before them in some cultures, we were also told to ask forgiveness if our feet accidentally hit against elders.
Will I teach my children the same? Yes, but I would leave it to them to decide and form their own set of practices when the time comes. We all are talking about pro-choice here and that is the most heartening to note, despite arguments and difference of opinions.
And for the records, Hindus do worship all parts of the woman’s body- yes, even the part that shoots the babies out- check out Chinnamasta Devi or the Kamakhya temple in Assam.
And yes, the first time I visited Chinnamasta devi temple- I was – well I can’t tell right? There, I have talked about the M-word in the same vein as religion.
I did refrain from directly touching the puja stuff during those essential 5 days yet I went by my own convenience and no one need be the wiser until today when I have put it out in the open.
And touching pickles- well, we anyway don’t touch them with clean/ unclean/ wet hands/ spoon so what’s the big deal? And making pickles – I definitely don’t see it happening even on regular days so of no relevance to me.
We have time and again discussed among friends the strange ritual of celebrating the coming of age in some communities. Our usual responses were – how shameful, how uncomfortable, or how lucky to be gifted gold on the occasion and how sad that we got none. A school of thought also said that it is our right to celebrate this day because it is conclusive evidence that we women can make babies henceforth.
On my part, I have categorically refused to gift gold on such occasion the only time I have been asked. Pro-choice right!
So in a country that celebrates the coming of age, why is it such a shame to talk of it?
Why is considered dirty if one happens to stain herself or the seat she is on?
Yes, it is unhygienic and maybe offensive to some– as unhygienic(?) as anyone’s blood oozed of a minor cut is- but shameful?
A friend of mine (hostel roomate) carried a used napkin with her in the bag in our college trip because she was too ashamed to throw it in the hotel dustbin. But the same girl did not think twice before leaving it on the chair in our hostel room- because according to her what is so dirty about it- it’s wrapped up right?
Yet again, my double standards come into play- I wouldn’t touch that chair with a barge pole after that- until it has been washed.
But yes, I am finicky about certain things like nose booger and dirty feet on my bed and hand washing after leaving the toilet and yes, used napkins and try as much I cannot come off it. Yes, I have washed off stains left by others on my sofa- but definitely not with pleasure.
There was a time when we purchased sanitary napkins discretely and the shopkeeper would wrap it up in a newspaper and hand it over to us, equally discretely. I remember once desperately roaming the streets to find an empty pharmacy or some store with a woman at the counter to buy my supply of the napkin. And today (gasp), I buy it at the supermarket after spending hours comparing the brands and pack sizes and the –most important- discounts.
And I would take my chance to fight for our cause- why is this all so important product so expensive?
I end my disjointed thoughts here.
Since I am not lucky enough to have a daughter- I would leave behind a thought for my sons- to be kind and considerate to women at all times whether or not they are menstruating. If I have to tell them that women are Laxmi or Saraswati or Shakti to make them appreciate this fact- well I will do that, until they are old enough to fully appreciate what I mean. I will teach them to respect women for what they are rather than for what they wear or how they look or what size of the so called assets they have.