I watched.
As the orange flames,
purged, a part of myself.
They first cracked
the protective sheet of paper,
the paper slowly turned black
crumbling away into ashes.
Then, they got to the pores
of the sanitary napkin,
which carried this part of me,
'locked', as quoted in commercials.

It is hard for me to picturise
the orange of the fire 
winning over the deep red of blood.
In the world of colours, I believe,
it happens the other way around.
But here? In our world? 
Anything is victorious over this blood.
Microscopic beings called spermatozoa:
shutting it off for months together.
The marvels of modern medicine:
capable of delaying its arrival.
The belief systems of even those,
brimming with education and
wisdom from infinity worth of books.
And of course, 'God Almighty',
who is supposed to be living inside
each of us, men and women alike,
but ironically has his abode 
in structures of human planning
that judge this blood outcast.

Grandma dropped a piece of the delicacy
that she had prepared
with a lot of coconut and even more love,
onto my palms, because I wasn't touch-worthy.
I protested. In one word. "Grandma!"
She realized in a moment 
and though half-heartedly,
laughed, as she bent down
and placed her palm on my knee-the untouchable knee.
with an accompanying, "Fine?"

I had a voice, I could protest.
She, of my age, would have stayed
shut away in the farthest corner of this home,
which she had nurtured and administered
all her life.

The smoke still emanates.
Elements of my womanhood
waft through the air now.
I imagine the blood inside my womb,
as it continues to flow, complacent, remark-
"Burn me, delay me, tag me 'impure',
I shall return the next month, 
and the month after.
Even in that far future when,
medicine, religion and conservatives
have faded off the face of the earth,
if life remains, I shall remain."

The featured image is an independent work of:
Smeet Soni (https://instagram.com/inthemoment0106)

Smeet’s idea for this photograph is:

“Fire is the best master: the purest stay in the game and the rest go up in the flame”

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A twenty something feeling her way through life.

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