We are turning an inward eye to look at our mental experiences, and how they intersect with societal structures.
In an attempt to move away from pathological and clinical readings and move towards lived experiences, our podcast series Mann Ke Mukhaute interweaves fictional stories and experiential voice notes. We have tried hard and not been able to find the English word for ‘mann’ – the Hindi word that brings together brain, mind and heart, and hints at an intuitive inner truth.
In the third episode of this podcast series, we address Care Work.
Care Work is finally being recognised as emotional and physical labour, and its deep connection with gender are being investigated academically and socially. But what do caregivers themselves think of their work? We talked to Meena, Parmeshwar, Anna, Neelima and Bindu about their role as caregivers, and they looked around and said:
“Yeh sab saaf rakhna, yaha se hum shuru karte hai par safai dikhti kahan hai!” [It starts with keeping everything clean, but the cleanliness never shows.]
Who is expected to take care and what happens to their mental health? What is the language of their mann as they take on this work? Does a gendered and caste-ist lens prescribe the role of care-giving to some people and not to others?
We explore these questions with the story Maine Saaf Kiya Tumhara…– a transliteration of the original story I Cleaned the – by Kanya D’Almeida, published in Granta. This story received the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
Artwork by Ambika Karandikar – @girlwithgreenmind