It was a gorgeous September morning. The golden fingers of sunlight illuminated my room. This sleepyhead was sidetracked by a lovely chaos, a turmoil that appeared to be quite interesting. With fuzzy eyes, I strolled downstairs, finding the setting to be unique and different from the rest of the day. It was an auspicious day, the day I had been waiting since a year, the greatest festival, DASHAIN.  


In Dashain, we have a culture where elder family members give blessings to the youngsters by putting a RED mixture of rice grains and abirAbhir called Tika on their foreheads. The RED COLOUR of the tika represents blood as a symbol of strong family ties. Red is considered to be pure as I caught myself wearing a red kurta. My hands got beautiful messy red stains while preparing that tika. Oh! What a beautiful day. All of a sudden, I felt stiffness in my panties. Locking myself inside the washroom, I lowered my panties to check what was wrong. A RED STAIN was visible there. It was “THAT TIME” of my month. I got periods. I stood there staring at the red stain. The very red colour that gave me happiness a few minutes ago now started to frighten me. I quietly left the room and headed towards my room. 


Aama saw me searching for a pad. She interrupted me uttering, " नछुने भइछे बिचारी, टीका लगाउन पाइन। परै बस् है टीका छोइएला" This particular remark pierced my heart. I sat in, observing, and on top of that, I was made to stay away from others just because I was bleeding. While everyone was enjoying themselves, I was suffering from cramps, body ache and frustrations. Having no answer, I questioned this society, "If the red tika on the forehead is considered to be a blessing, then why is red blood that every woman bleeds is thought to be a curse?"