You wake up in the morning to the sounds of your mother yelling at your brother to finish his breakfast before it gets cold. You smile to yourself, still tucked in bed, semiconscious, contemplating whether you should go back to sleep. Slowly, you become aware of the pain shooting through your body. Perplexed, you wonder what’s wrong. Suddenly, it dawns upon you. Doing a ninja, you bounce off the bed and rush to the bathroom. It’s that time of the month again.
You thank the heavens that it is the weekend and you don’t have to go to work and just when you are about to crawl back under the sheets and hopefully die, considering the mood you have been in for the last week, your dad walks in to give a hug before he heads to work. You squeal, “Don’t touch me!” He takes the hint, pats you on your head, and walks away; suppressing his ‘you are just like your mother’ smile. You make a face at his retrieving back and get into bed assuring yourself that you are nothing like your mother. And then you are crying, because he smiled his ‘you are just like your mother’ smile, and you are nothing like your mother.
Your mum walks in and finds you in tears, sniffing; crying like your dog died. She leaves a cup of tea on the table and places a bar of chocolate next to it. You give her a weak smile and she returns it with a fulsome one. She leaves you alone because she knows that is exactly what you want, and watching her being so sweet makes you tear up again.
You spend the entire afternoon crying, eating chocolate; crying some more, polishing off another bar of chocolate, and then weeping till you get distracted by the funky ringtone of your phone. You stare at the name flashing on it; wondering if you should really answer it. Then you force yourself to press the little green button. He asks you random questions; you give monosyllabic replies. He points that out and you snap back. He seems to realise the deal and makes an excuse to hang up and you say good-bye relieved that the ordeal of trying to be polite is over. You can picture him murmuring ‘PMS’ and shaking his head. You remember how they all joke about it being ‘Pissed at Men Syndrome’; it usually cracks you up. But today the mere thought of it upsets you. You aren’t pissed at men; you are not pissed at anyone. You are just pissed. Simply pissed and you don’t even know why. And now you are crying again, because you are not pissed at men, you are not pissed at anyone.
All you really want is a bowl of chicken soup, a cup of ice cream, and maybe some cake. But, all of a sudden the thought of all that food makes you nauseous and you are suddenly aware of the uncomfortable burning sensation in your stomach and you are telling yourself, “I don’t want food.”
Eventually you talk yourself into eating and everything is either too salty, or spicy, or sweet, and nothing tastes like it is supposed to. And then you are crying, because nothing tastes like it is supposed to.
You want to be left alone, do not want anyone near you. You feel bloated and ugly and it feels like an out-of-control rock concert is taking place in your pants. You wish people would stop talking to you, looking at you, or even acknowledging your existence and you could stay in the safe confines of your warm blanket all your life. But, what you really keep hoping for is a big, warm, bear hug to make it all better in your head! And then you are crying because all you really want is a big, warm bear hug.
Every sensation seems magnified. The slightest breeze coming in through the window sends shivers down your spine. The slightest lack of a breeze makes you feel clammy and sweaty. You start a constant chant. Eww. Gross. Ewwwww. Gross. Ew. Gross. Eww. Gross. And then you are crying again because you are cold, clammy, and sweaty all at once.
You are pissed, confused, upset, tired, and disgusted. You want to stay in bed, and you want to take walk. The muscle cramps make it impossible to move. The backache makes the headache bearable and the urge to throw up is not as uncontrollable as the urge to cry. And then, you are crying again because the urge to throw up is not as uncontrollable as the urge to cry.
The weekend crawls by and by the end of it you feel exhaustion taking over you. You are tired. As tired as you would have been if you ran a marathon, cooked a meal for a hundred homeless people, and planted a dozen trees all in one day. As you are drifting off to sleep, thanking the gods that it is over and waiting for the next day when you’ll be able to think, taste, and laugh again. You hear a soft murmur, almost like a caress wrapping itself around your body, ‘I’ll see you again next month, darling.’
The dream of every writer is to be read. And to be read and appreciated by as many people as possible. BWW makes that dream a reality.
BWW Star is a writer who has worked with us at BWW and whose work amused, moved, inspired, and/or made a difference in our lives. We are sure you will enjoy and be encouraging too. 🙂
BWW is proud to present our first ever Star – Neha R Khandelwal. Neha participated in our City Writes workshop in October, 2011
Neha in her own words
Well, in short; I’m a crackpot! No, I’m not off in the head, okay, who am I kidding? I’m wired all wrong up there; the red wires attached to the blue terminals and the blues to the reds. But, what I really mean to do is to compare myself to a clay pot. My family moulded me a certain way. Just how their ideal ‘matka’ (earthen pot) should have been. Satisfied with their craftsmanship they threw me into the kiln. When I got baked to perfection and they pulled me out, I came out with a few cracks. Not their ideal matka anymore. I hate the mould I am in, hate those things that come to me because of a structured upbringing, but absolutely love the cracks and the lopsided awkward individuality that life generously bestowed upon me.
It’s been 21 years of living an ordinary life with the standard storyline of a typical, middle-class Rajasthani upbringing, and the world’s most common name. I’m known for being entertaining, my extreme mood swings, and random quirks. Coffee and books are the reason I live. To be famous is pretty much the only constant ambition I have had since I was little [read crackpot]. I have a double bachelor’s degree – BSc. Interior design and B.com. I love reading, designing, cooking, and accounts. I have a fetish for shoes, masala dosa, stationery, and British accents. If all my prayers were to be answered, I would be married to John Mayer, live underwater in SpongeBob square pants pineapple house, eat rajma chawal every single day, and look like a Victoria’s secret model!
Encourage our BWW Star
Liked what you read? How do you feel about PMS (Pre Menstrual Syndrome)?
Men – especially men as partners, brothers, fathers, and sons – feel the impact of PMS and that time of the month more acutely than perhaps women do as their women, driven by hormones, morph into unrecognizable, unfriendly beings. What do you think? What’s your story?
Do you have a similar tragically hilarious story? As a woman, what do you think? Is it liberating to be able to share an experience like this one that used to be considered taboo even until a few years back?
Encourage Neha. Leave a comment. 🙂