An auspicious start to an important day of Diwali, everyone got into gorgeous, traditional new outfits. 13 year old Prachi dashed out flashing her brand new dress to her Mom dad. But instead of being acknowledged, she was shooed away outside the main hall by her mom. Mumbling the shlokas, her dominating eyes signaled Prachi to leave, and she left, without a word, broken, without any complain, she knew.
A few minutes later, papa was moved to see his daughter looking like a princess that day sitting outside the house and sobbing instead. On interrogating about the matter, he got to know how poor Prachi was prohibited from entering the main hall.
Papa couldn’t take it, “Why are you forbidding my daughter like this on the auspicious day of Lakshmi pooja?” He enquired to mom. A typical Indian mother, being the master of code words for taboos used a simple term to justify papa for her decision, “Maheena chalu hai.”
Well in case of mom, the religious norms had won over a motherhood as she got back to her pooja and shlokas’ recitation.
Thankfully, the societal norms couldn’t trump the father in Prachi’s dad, he was not letting her day spoil by staying out any longer.
“Listen, how will this pooja help us?” He questioned Prachi’s mom.
She answered, – “Lakshmi Maa prassanna hongi, toh humare Ghar aayengi.”
Without delaying to reply, dad declared, – “Tumhari Lakshmi Maa toh aanese rahi!”
“I have recited all the mantras and shlokas, I have performed all the rituals, whats missing?” She clarified.
Clueless mom needed elaboration.
“Betiyaan gharki Lakshmi hoti hai nh, but here since you have thrown our Lakshmi out, how will she come in? All this pooja tantra, mantra fails.”
We need to understand the reason behind barring women on menses from entering the temples. In earlier days proper sanitation and napkins were not available, and since temples where one of the common and frequent public place visited by women, they were asked not to go there in order to avoid any embarrassment or discomfort. But thanks to some people who, reasoned some actually thoughtful decisions in the name of God. But since the invention of flow locking Sanitary napkins and other sanitary stuffs, the question of embarrassment is negligible. Then was the rule still necessary? Sometimes, it is necessary to try questioning beyond the blindfold of societal norms, sometimes the rule book needs an upgrade with time, because not all old is gold, some old is now strangling chains of society.