Press

Money Control News

Aug-2022

Women’s bodies and procreative capacity are considered to be ritually polluting in many cultures. What is the genesis of such a belief in India Sources point to different origins. The cultural meanings of menstruation as contaminating can be traced back to Brahmanical Hindu mythology from the Vedic times. In the Rig Veda, the slaying of Vritra (withholder of the waters, demon of droughts) by Indra is said to have manifested ‘guilt caused by the murder of a learned Brahmana’, following which he ‘ran to the women to protect him[self ]’ who took upon themselves a part of his guilt. That guilt of the Brahmin murder is believed to appear every month in women as the menstrual flow and is considered a mark of a woman’s innate impurity as well as sexuality.

Deccan Herald

Jul-2022

There were no sanitary pads then. If there were, people who lived in small towns did not know about them and most could not afford them. And therefore, my mother sat at her Singer sewing machine and stitched protective pads out of old, soft cotton sarees. These ‘pads’ had to be washed every day. By me, of course. I hated this part of my five-day ordeal as much as I hated what had happened to me. A mixture of anger and resentment overwhelmed me as I scrubbed at the pads. And helplessness. This would now happen every month, and I would be burdened with the awfulness of it forever and ever. So it seemed to me.

The Print

Aug-2022

“He demonstrated, with jerking movements, how the girls wrapped each brick in a rag and used it to absorb the blood that dripped down their legs every month. Repulsed, we called Yunnus a pervert. But even as we joked, we’d never been more aware that the girls were no longer children, but young women. We noticed their budding breasts, the swagger of their hips and a new listlessness about them. And by and by, we came to realize that if one of them was on her cycle, all of the girls would disappear because they were forbidden from entering the shrine, begging at the steps, or eating free food from the langar. This was a relief, for the very idea of female blood was repugnant to us.”

The Chakkar

Aug-2022

The most interesting essays, I felt, were those placed in different settings or unique customs. One of the most striking pieces is “Bleeding Behind Bars”, an interview Ahamed conducted with Erum, a woman who spent six years in prison in Pakistan. It gave an eye-opening account of what it’s like to menstruate in jail. The piece also spoke about one of my favourite topics related to periods: female solidarity. “It was the friendships that I made with other women that helped me through that difficult time. Who am I? Just another poor woman. But the solidarity with other women helped me, without which, I would not have survived,” says Erum.

Open Magazine

Aug-2022

Period Matters provides a wide-angle view of the narrow means with which menstruators in South Asian countries are forced to deal with an involuntary body function. In addition to the interviews and essays, fiction, poetry, and art in the anthology capture the discourse on the gendered compulsions and problems faced by young girls and women, highlighting the immediacy of the issues.

The Estd

Aug-2022

The news spread like a swollen river flowing rapidly. A river with its own destiny through every village. From far away, people came in cars, buses, on motorbikes and on foot to pay homage to Lajja Gauri. After 1500 years, the 10cm tall, almost forgotten stone statue of the lotus-headed goddess had suddenly started leaking. Initially a drop, but then quickly a steady river of red liquid trickled from between her thighs. No one was in any doubt that the statue of the goddess was menstruating.

The Platform

Jul-2022

In the summer of 2019, I was working on an essay on how menstruation had been portrayed in fiction, by female and male authors and the differences in their approach. It occurred to me that the diversity of menstruation experiences could best be reflected in a book which included both fiction and non-fiction. When I started writing the proposal, in my mind it felt like the book was already fully formed. I decided the anthology would move away from the conventional to a deeper and more honest cultivation of stories about menstruation.

Scroll

Jul-2022

Period Matters is a well-planned and a well-thought out book. Ahamed leaves no gaps. If there’s anything that you are curious about menstruation experiences in South Asia, rest assured, the book has an answer to it. Period Matters an inclusive representation of menstruators in the truest sense of the word.

Mint Lounge

Jul-2022

Nobody can question the “breadth of perspectives” Ahamed compiles, bringing together varied experiences in a laudable and much needed endeavour.

eShe

Jul-2022

The anthology is backed with diligent research, including painstaking interviews of those at the margins. Wrapped in the folds of her silken words, Ahamed expresses the raw emotions of a woman – any woman, from a convict to a nun, a sweeper to a corporate honcho – wondering What if? as her poem of the same title questions.

The Tribune

Jul-2022

Human rights lawyer Farah Ahamed’s anthology is a grim reminder of the steps not taken further. It gives a peek into menstruation related practices across South Asia and the plight of women.