'Let's talk periods': Taapsee Pannu addresses 'the elephant in the room'
Taapsee Pannu has always been vocal about social issues and causes and most recently the Thappad actor decided to address the 'elephant in the room'. On Monday, the Rashmi Rocket star hopped on to her Instagram and shared a ruminative video that sees her addressing the taboo surrounding menstruation, which she referred to as 'the elephant in the room'. In the caption of the video, she wrote, "A sense of gratitude. A sense of giving back to nature and to her ..... Something new coming up... Something I have been longing to share with you all... But first .... 'Let's talk periods', let's talk about what is #GoodForHer and #GoodForEarth." The 33-year-old actor is reportedly looking forward to using her celeb power to talk about the taboo surrounding menstruation.
As per sources, she will soon be joining a Mumbai-based NGO that works in this space. The NGO is anticipated to be the one that earlier had the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle working with it. In a 2019 interaction with TOI, Taapse had uestioned, “Why can’t you talk about periods like it’s a normal thing? Why are women made to feel so awkward to talk about something as basic as their periods?” She shared personal experiences laced with humour. She revealed, “We give this weird terminology to periods. ‘Down ho gayi hu, I am chumming’. The funniest one was when this girl in my school said, ‘Aunty aa gayi hai. Aarti ka samaan ready hain kya’? Aarti ka samaan is sanitary napkin and aunty is periods! This terminology was coined so that we could speak openly about the issue. It was amusing at that point, but you follow it because you are told it’s supposed to be a secret. I played along. We were told things like, ‘ aachar ko haath nahi lagana, aachar kharab ho jayega’. Girls are told not to touch pickles during their periods!”
She had also observed that the colour of blood on sanitary napkin ads is always blue instead of red, and that the packets are wrapped in black plastic bags or newspapers. She said, “As a child, I would wonder if a sanitary pad was something so expensive that it can’t be shown to people. Why do you hide it in one corner of your house? In my house, we are three women (my mother, sister and me) and we still followed these taboos. For instance, things like, not getting out of your room if you get period cramps. My dad would understand, but he was told that we are having headache or food poisoning... and these were all excuses to cover up period cramps. I wondered why one needed to hide it like it was some crime. We are educated, live in metros and yet, we look at it as an embarrassment? It’s ironic how people in certain parts of the country celebrate puberty and then, don’t allow you to enter temples. Also, parents celebrate when their daughter gets pregnant, but how does she get pregnant? How come this embarrassment then turns into celebration during pregnancy? People even call it a girl’s ‘problem’. Why is it a problem?”
She also went on to talk about the ignorance of men about periods, saying, “Sometimes you see boyfriends and husbands, who are more or less aware in life, who wouldn’t mind talking about your pregnancy, but they are disgusted by periods. They don’t want to hear ‘that’. And I think to myself... We are going through it and you are disgusted by the talk of it? A lot of women feel psychologically down during their periods. For me, it happens right before it starts. I feel everything bad is going to happen to me. There seems to be no hope, but the mood is back and spirits are high once the periods are done, so women are always on a roller-coaster ride. How many women even talk about this?”
Before the 'Pink' star, many celebrities from the industry including Akshay Kumar, Parineeti Chopra, Manushi Chillar have actively taken part in connection with the safe and healthy management of periods.
Meanwhile, on the work front, Taapsee is currently shooting for her upcoming sci-fi movie 'Dobaaraa'. Being helmed by Anurag Kashyap, the movie marks the duo's third collaboration after 2018's hit 'Manmarziyaan' and biographical drama 'Saand Ki Aankh', which had Anurag on board as a producer. The movie will be produced by Cult Movies - a division under Ekta Kapoor's Balaji Telefilms, along with Sunir Kheterpal's ATHENA and Gaurav Bose's The Vermillion World Production. Besides that, Taapsee Pannu has a flurry of films in her kitty including 'Shabaash Mithu', 'Haseen Dillruba', 'Rashmi Rocket', and 'Looop Lapeta'.