In her debut podcast What the Hell Navya, Amitabh Bachchan’s grand daughter Navya Naveli Nanda recently quizzed grand mother Jaya Bachchan and mother Shweta Nanda on their first period experiences.
“At that time you like to lie on the bed, eat chocolates and carbs and be alone,” Shweta recollected, while Jaya recalled that in those days during film shoots, it was difficult to be on periods. “Had to go out on shoots and there was no van, so had to go behind the bushes and change. It used to be a very awkward situation and there was a lot of embarrassment too. We had to keep plastic bags with us so that we could throw them away when we got home,” said Jaya.
“Imagine sitting down when you have 4-5 sanitary towels,” added Jaya.
“Periods and reproductive health, in general, is the least talked about. So much so that we don’t even say the word ‘Period’ out loud. Listen to Navya ask her co-hosts what they’ve used instead of the word period,” read the caption to the post on IVM Podcast’s Instagram page which was re-shared by Navya.
The trio also spoke about the taboo that has long been associated with periods, and how terms like ‘chums’ and ‘P’ are used. “But now people say periods,” said Navya.
Taking a leaf out of the engaging conversation, we reached out to mental health experts on why talking about periods is essential, especially when a large part of society feels uncomfortable openly talking about menstruation.
Speaking and expressing about it openly helps because there is more information shared and girls who haven’t got their periods are also aware, said clinical psychologist Divya Ratan. “The fear goes down. Mentally they are prepared. They know what is to come and that it is normal. They have a more positive approach to it which tackles shame, break taboo,” Divya told indianexpress.com.
She also stressed that getting periods is, scientifically, a sign of good health. “Period education is important for girls and boys alike because it’s very natural. There should not be any more shame,” said Divya.