Bras & Shhh…

At 21, I married an Indian Army Captain. The Captain was then posted in Uri, J&K and the second phase of my bras started, the unhygienic journey of my undergarments. The first one was related to being starved of bras. Reason of course “Shhh…”

Phase 1

When I was a teen, I found it very difficult to get my first bra. While the nuns in my school found me big enough for bras, my mother never noticed. Maybe she was tired of raising my three elder siblings. At 48, she was searching for her soul and I was desperately looking for my first bra.

Yes, my father was also there and so were my two elder brothers. But they were certainly not raised to even talk about bras. That is how we raise our kids – eager to push our boys to hold the content and shy away from the container.

My mousy effort to get a bra continued. And then we were given farewell from school in our tenth grade. The dress code was Saree. That was the time when someone at home realised that I needed a bra. My saviour was my sister who happened to be nine years elder to me but never realised I am entering adolescence. “Shhh…”

My elder sister shared her bra so that I could put on a blouse for the school farewell. At twenty-eight, I was happy with size thirty-four. Fortunately, after my tenth grade I was on my own! Starved of bras, I got into this habit of overstuffing my closet. I took advantage of being in a girls’ hostel of a girls’ college to overcome inhibitions attached to bras.

But oh well – little did I know that after marriage, my bras will seldom see sunlight. Uri was all boys station. Only few ladies were permitted for short durations. The problem was drying of undies. I didn’t want to scandalise women deprived men with my bras. So again. “Shhh…”

Phase 2

My husband’s clothes went to the washerman. My clothes also went to the washerman, but minus my undies. But all wasn’t lost, I received undies drying suggestions:

“Put them out and cover them with towel.”

“Put them in washroom towel rack.”

And the most conservative being:

“Put them on washroom towel rack and cover them with towel.”

I followed none. As it is my undies were feeling lonely without my husband’s. My first few days at my in-law’s place had pleasantly seen my new man contributing to all the daily chores. When I was struggling with our breakfast, he was taking care of our clothes. First day, just as he started to put undies under the sun, my mother-in-law rushed to shut the main gate. She came back and unhappily rattled off, “It’s fine that you wash your wife’s undies but at least close the door when you’re spreading them!” And again. “Shhh…”

With heavy heart, bidding adieu to my beautiful memories of the Sun, I dried my bras in front of fan room heater and tried to be happy. If only all the sons like my husband had helped their mothers in their daily chores, my undies would have seen the light of the day instead of the threat of the bacteria.

Phase 3

After ten long years of wait, finally my undies found a friend. One fine morning, I saw his briefs coming back from clothes washing area. Men in uniform had suddenly discovered that for personal health, briefs should be washed at home. Empathetically, I raised my two children.

Once, while unpacking my daughter’s bag I shouted “Gudiya I am not able to find your bras” and she…….

Published by mudsmit

An Educator with experience of teaching in various Army and Public Schools. A Tree-Hugger & A New Naive Blogger

131 thoughts on “Bras & Shhh…

  1. Breaking the taboo ..
    Brave,extremely relatable and amusing piece…Mrs. Prakash ❤️❤️
    a wonderful read to decipher those unsaid rules of Indian culture and examine why the weight of it is borne by women’s undergarments.
    Every women and in every strata struggles with this issue.. where to dry the ssshhhh….. 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Unabashedly refreshing!
    This needed to be written a few decades ago!
    Well done Smita Ma’am for bringing the conversation to the foreground.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very eloquently put across, a thought provoking viewpoint, with a right dosage of humour, that is hesitantly discussed otherwise. Looking forward to your next compilation. Thank you, Mrs Prakash for sharing such a good read.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts. This conversation was our DABANG effort to bring out issues related to underwear. In my private messages friends wanted me to address UGs’ hygiene. In spite of WMs both of us have always washed our UGs with our own hands disinfecting them in our own ways. Few were concerned about men being shy of their UGs as well. We should strictly follow one thing “Our shyness should never lead us to UNHEALTHY LIVING ”.

    Like

  5. Very beautifully written article Smita.It reminds me of my teenage days when it was quite demeaning and shameful to talk about this.But now the mindset has changed and people express and communicate overtly on topics such as
    these !

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I should appreciate your boldness Mrs. Prakash. Very well written. Enjoyed reading too.Yes whatever you have mentioned is absolutely agreed. We even shy to ask in the shop if there is a male salesman. Its very easy to ask , buy or stitch a blouse but not so easy for a BRA. The most hidden things in life is always been valued the most . That’s why we hardly spell them too 😂😂😂😂. I define BRA AS (B)E CASUAL WITH THIS HIGH (R)ANGE HIDDEN (A)CCESSORY.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well versed “B & Shhhh” Smita and i think its everyone’s story of our gen.
    My first experience with B was in hostel along with roommates, now it feels funny. A very good move to undo our shyness over our most personal and loveable clothes.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Very interesting read Mrs Prakash ..Your words quoted with wit and sense of humour has conveyed a strong message.
    And your style of narration is something we all can relate to.A big thumbs up
    Great writing style

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 😄😄 A very amusing, witty, hilarious piece of writing Smita. Reminded me of all similar experiences, I am sure faced not only by me but all of us. I’m still doing it🥴🥴 when I visit my husband in field. Wash at night and dry in washroom 🤪🤪 Excellent read. Well done 👍👍

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Your article very bold, relevant
    And thought provoking,
    Description is so beautiful,
    Hope people understand the message,
    Respect what is being conveyed
    More important
    Article reflects on you
    Your strong personality
    You are what you are
    So happy to see
    What you are

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Bold,relevant and realistic article.Hillarious script covered well in phases which practically brings out the issues coming in day to day life in the existing environment. Very well and clearly expressed which brings out one of the additional struggles faced by the better halves.Kudos to U maam for expressing on this as self faced such problems but nobody mentioned this in form of such a thought provoking article.Should be known to All ,a must .

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Very well written…..i’ve bin sunning our UG’s (hubby’s self n d gals’)…absolutely bindass hokke…since day one of marriage….u said it rt….. *HEALTH* takes priority to *SHYNESS*

    Liked by 1 person

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