From Ma, With Love is a campaign celebrating recollections of feminist tales and lessons, passed down to us by our mothers, this Mother’s Day. The first edition of this compilation has 16 heartwarming stories. ‘Bleeding Goddess’ is the second story in this series. You can download the entire publication here.
We have a beautiful temple at home, decorated and designed by my mother. When we first got our own home, she had reserved a large chunk of space for this temple. She begins her day at the temple and also ends it, there. At first, the purity and beauty of this temple to me, was contingent on my refrained entry on days that I was menstruating. Although I do not subscribe to the view that women are “dirty” or “impure” during menstruation, somehow my respect for my mother meant that I would avoid the temple.
I was 15 when we travelled to Vaishno Devi to worship the Goddess that is believed to reside atop a hill. It so happened that my period coincided with the occasion of our visit. As we set afoot the hill, I wondered whether my presence would offend my fellow pilgrims. Before this thought could linger on for too long, my mother sensed my discomfort. She reassured me that there was no reason to feel that I was unwelcome. She didn’t say anything further and that was enough for me to know that my mother was as feminist as she was religious. That day, I felt empowered, pure and beautiful, just like our temple.
I want to be free, but patriarchy and capitalism tether me!
Pride with OFC, 2022
Who decides what queerness looks like?