“Honk honk…!” Sundari’s dad rushed to open the door when he heard the honk of the school bus.
Sundari alighted from the bus. With a crestfallen face, she walked into her house.
“Hello, darling! Are you okay?” asked her dad.
“Where is Amma?” questioned Sundari.
“She has gone to Delhi to attend a conference. She will be back only on Saturday.”
“What is bothering you dear?”
“It’s a secret. I can only tell Amma,” said Sundari with tears trickling down her face. She then rushed towards her room.
Sundari’s dad was quite confused.
Sundari tells me everything. Even the silliest thing that happened in school. I wonder what the secret is!
Sundari stayed in her room the whole evening. She preferred to have dinner in her room.
She also slept before her dad could kiss her goodnight. Her dad presumed that things would settle soon.
The next day, around 9 a.m. she came out from her room. She was still in her pajamas.
“Sundari, are you feeling sick? Why did you bunk school today?” questioned her dad.
“Please stop questioning me, Appa. I can’t tell you,” she said as she was rummaging through her mom’s cupboard.
“Do you want me to call Amma?”
“No, I will wait for her to come home.”
Her dad had a feeling something terrible had happened but didn’t want to force Sundari to divulge her secret.
He then held her hand and pleaded;
“Sundari! We both are friends, aren’t we? And friends don’t hide things from one another. Please tell me, what’s wrong?”
“Appa!” Sundari’s face broke into tears and she hugged him.
“What is it, dear?”
“Appa…! I got my period for the first time yesterday. I took pads from Amma’s cupboard. It’s a girl thing. How can I talk to you about it?”
“Oh Gosh! You can talk to me too. So, that was the secret, you silly!” He let out a big sigh of relief.
“Appa! None of my friends have got it yet. Besides, I cannot play sports now. I will lose my friends. My dreams and childhood–it’s over.”
“Whoa! It’s all part of growing up. Some girls get it sooner than others. And who said you can’t play sports? Your life has just begun, princess.”
“Yes, dumbo! Chill and be normal.”
“But how can I be normal?”
“Don’t worry. I will explain.”
Sundari’s dad then explained the process of menstruation in a way that she could understand and cleared all her concerns. He also demonstrated to her the correct way to use pads.
“Appa, you are a super cool dad,” exclaimed Sundari.
“Phew! Glad I was of help.”
“Appa, do you think I should call Amma now and tell her?”
“Hmm! Let’s hold the secret until she’s back,” said her dad with a wink.
It was quite an eventful day for Sundari and her dad but everything ended on a happy note.
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