Its that time of the month!Menstrual cramps according to me are worst of the worst punishment a woman has to endure! ( Sorry the exaggeration is a by product of the current cramps). These cramps and me go back a long way since I was 13 years old and got it for the first time. For no particular reason I started getting this mind numbing pain and it was 5 days before my mom and me could find out the real reason. Little did I know then that a monster had taken birth inside me. Since then every period has been dreaded like a three headed green monster that sleeps for 22 days and raises its head for the next 7! I remember school days spent in the sick room writhing in pain and throwing up every now and then. There is even a funny incident related to this. One month as usual I got my chums and headed to the sick room after the first hour. Unusually the beds had gone and there were dirty black ultra thick mattresses instead. Being in no position to think too much, i went straight to one mattress and lay down. After a few hours of writhing and throwing up ( routine ritual) I dozed off. I dont know how long it had been when I was woken up by some chatter and laughing. I opened my eyes to see about 15 to 20 LKG std boys jumping over me !Now I was quite chubby in school and had laid down on my side! It dint take me to long to realise that these little monkeys were using me as a hurdle and practising their jumps! in a few minutes an ayah lady came and gently told me " Pappa this has been changed to the Judo Room!Sick room is in the other block!!"I quietly got up and left smiling to myself!! At this juncture have to mention the loving school ayahs who always took care of us during this period . Giving us their much needed attention and sometimes even preparing hot rice porridge for us.In college, as hostelites ,during this dreaded time you only have friends to lean on. When I was new to college, I saw a classmate of mine a big tall girl quietly sobbing . I went up to her and she disclosed the reason . No she was not home sick she was cramps sick! Her periods trademark was severe back pain. We got permission and went to the hostel and in my first act of kindness to a stranger I got hot water from the mess and gave her an amateur hot water massage. The sister hood blossomed and she is my best friend today! When I was a little girl oblivious to the world of periods, I remember a menstruating elder cousin telling me ' girl can you please kill me its better than these pains!!Little did i know then that I was also to be soon inducted into this Hall of Pain!