The makers of the February 9 release Pad Man have attempted to generate a dialogue on menstruation by openly discussing the delicate issue at publicity events and getting celebrities to pose with sanitary napkins through the promotional event Pad Man Challenge.
Ahead of the release of R Balki’s film, which stars Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor, Apte said in a recent interview that fathers needed to discuss menstruation with their daughters. In 2015, a short film released on the Terribly Tiny Talkies web platform did just that.
Directed by Surya Balakrishnan, the five-minute film powerfully makes its point without mentioning the words “menstrual cycle” or “period”. Devika (Gauri Deshpande) is in a grumpy mood when her doting widowed father (Girish Kulkarni) is late to pick her up from school. After much probing, she reveals that she has a stomach ache. “Never mind, you will not understand,” she tells her father. He asks her, do you miss your mother?
Little is said, and yet a lot is achieved.