‘No, you will need this,’ Supriya refuses to take it back.
Supriya posses almost a forest of plastic bags but uses them only when any urgency arises. No, Ishika’s mother-in-law doesn’t support say NO to plastic movement. She is rather disappointed. The shops in their locality have stopped giving away plastic bags on every purchase. Supriya only knows how she manages buying groceries, collecting flowers for Puja and throwing garbage with such limited stock in her hand.
Hence, Ishika looks surprised at her mother-in-law’s generosity.
‘And take these too….I will tell you how and where to dispose them,’ Supriya places four rubber bands and an old newspaper on the dining table.
In her house, Ishika wrapped paper around the sanitary pads and kept it inside a packet near the trash. The Municipality cleaning staffs would visit the locality every alternate day and clear the trash. She never thought that dumping sanitary pads could be such an undercover mission after her first period in the in-laws’ house.
‘Where are the sanitary pads?’ Supriya asks.
Ishika points towards another plastic bag inside her bathroom in reply.
‘Squeeze that packet hard and wrap it with the newspaper. Use rubber bands to hold the newspaper in place. Then, put it inside this small packet, seal it tightly. Finally, place it into this black packet,’ Supriya instructs. And Ishika thought making perfectly round chapatis would be her most challenging job in this house.
‘Where should I dispose them?’ Ishika asks the vital unanswered question which has actually given birth to this mission.
‘Dump them in that Municipality garbage trash can. The green one on the other side of the main road.’
Ishika’s eyebrows rise immediately. She needs to cross an entire lane and the main road to dump these pads ! But there is a dustbin right inside the house. Why can’t Ishika dump there instead?
Supriya might have read Ishika’s mind. She smiles and says firmly, ‘One shouldn’t dispose such impure things inside the dustbin kept in the house.’
‘It’s okay. I will go and dump there.’
‘Fine. Wait until your father-in-law goes to sleep. I will accompany you,’ Supriya assures.
Ishika gives a slight nod. What else can she say?
Two hours later, when senior Mr. Batra is in deep sleep post lunch, two women silently come out of his house. One is clutching a black packet under her dupatta as if there is gold in it. Whereas the other one is looking around to ensure nobody is watching them.
‘Hide the packet inside your dupatta. Else people will understand,’ Supriya whispers.
Ishika holds the bag tightly she has packed under Supriya’s guidance. Even with an MBA degree, Ishika fails to figure out how can anyone come to know what is inside the packet? Do people here have X-ray machines fitted in their eyes? Moreover, what is there to hide? Is she carrying a bomb?
‘Throw it there,’ Supriya points to a big garbage can placed in one corner of the road. Ishika shoots the packet inside it like someone who immerses ashes in Holy Ganga.
‘Now you know how and where to dispose your sanitary pads,’ Supriya looks happy after the mission’s success.
Ishika smiles in reply. Marriage brings many beautiful changes in a girl’s life. However, her mind winces thinking about this new change in sanitary pads disposal process in her life.