Disclaimer: Thought-provoking, uncomfortable, sensitive, "shiva-shiva" or "haaawww"-kinda-reaction topic
Early this year, the sanitary napkin brand 'Whisper' launched an initiative to bust the myths of periods - Touch the pickle. First, hats off to the company for thinking out-of-the-box and coming up with something meaningful. I mean seriously, who wants to see a blue color liquid poured into the napkin to indicate that it can 'absorb' heavy flow ! Anyways, I must say that they not only picked a good point, they made sure the point was getting across by strategically adding "old maamis" in the commercial indicating an indirect approval of change from the elderly! Applause!
This got me thinking, is touching the pickle jar a worthwhile taboo to bust? To me it is the least of the "taboos" to be worried about, I am so short that I can never reach the pickle bottle on the top shelf and my man always gets it for me! The harder one for me is restricting you from having a formal chat with God!
From the time you come-of-age, you are restricted to touch the Quran or pray namaaz. I am not a big religious person, but I have my way of connecting with God, sometimes it's just closing my eyes and meditate and sometimes it's reading a page from the holy book. Till date, I have never really understood the logic behind this restriction. In fact, of all the days, we feel low and moody during periods, why take away the connection with God? May be if allowed to pray, the pain in the abdomen might just lessen.
Well, this disconnect is mandated across many religions. Not allowed into the temple/church, Not allowed inside the pooja room, Not allowed to touch/clean the idols, not allowed to participate in prasadam preperation either (Thank God, we can atleast eat it!) If you are born or married into a Brahmin family, you're in for a treat - 5 days of the month chutti from pooja room, kitchen, dining room, hall - basically every place except your own room! I have also seen restrictions like, wash your own clothes, sleep in a secluded room, do not share bed with spouse etc.,
What boggles me is not that these beliefs have been passed on to us, the fact that we are religiously following it - like a habit, like a routine, like an unspoken rule. If this is a rule, I would like to see it broken! Am pretty glad that 'Whisper' has actually taken the first step, but I will not be impressed until I actually see the same set of maami's from the Ad allowing the girl to not only touch the pickle jar but to also walk into the temple and touch the idol or open the book shelf and touch the Quran or even get into the church and take the communion.
Like my better half just said - "Why wait for a maami? Just do it yourself!" I guess I will!
Oh BTW- Don't risk your life just to prove a point though ;)