By Chandni Shah
I know something awesome is going to come out every time The Ladies Finger decides to partner with The Sandbox Collective. This time, they have partnered up with Radio Active CR 90.4 MHz as well to come up with this amazing new podcast about gender and the various elements of it, called Gender Jalebi. The podcast in the run-up to Gender Bender, which is the first festival in India of its kind that looks at art around the concept of gender.
The podcast is hosted by RJ Shruti Sharada and has new episodes coming out every Friday. There are stories of artists, professionals and thinkers who have been doing something to make sense of gender in the society. They might just be ordinary folks who have discovered something that makes sense of the gender dynamics. Whether you’re an activist, a bystander, a working professional or a student wondering about gender, then this podcast might help you in understanding the spoken and unspoken subtleties of gender that are all around us.
The first episode, with Neha Singh, who talks about her play Dohri Zindagi. The musical, which came out in Gender Bender in 2016, was based on a story by a Rajasthani writer in the 1960s. Neha talks about how the play, and the writer, whose main source of inspiration were the folk stories that came from Dalit women in Rajasthan.
In a conversation with Lekha Naidu, the episode talked about Body Shaming and learning to live with the body that we have. Lekha, a theatre artist, says, “Body shaming comes in all forms. We are inundated with these questions day in and day out.”
Taking the idea of body shaming forward, the third episode talks about the body shaming that men often face. Talking to Shreyas Nambiar, a placement professional in Pune, the episode looks at how gender changes the concept of body and how most people are shamed on their body based on their gender. He talks about his experiences as someone who wouldn’t necessarily be considered acceptable by his friends in school. “In my childhood, in school, I was considered the healthy kid,” he says when talking about his body.
With new episodes coming out every Friday, it’s a great way to introspect on the issue of gender and the problems that arise because of gender in society around us.