Sunday, August 30, 2009

Aife hi foch foch ke pareshani fi thi. . .

It’s a cool Sunday afternoon and I’m feeling too sleepy to make sense here. It’s just the love of writing stuff and the fact that I’m not able to recall events for my field work reports that has kept me alive and awake right now!

This one thought just comes into my head that in the last two and a half months of this new life at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, which are the events that have had the potential to shake the cells in my brain that compel me for action? If I just 'try' and stress myself, the first one would be watching 'India Untouched', a documentary on the abhorrent caste system of, for and by our country. It moved me to the extent that I realized how hollow and directionless life I’ve led till now. And that there are more dimensions to my ignorance. There are things that I have turned a blind face to. I came to know that what I see and what people in my social circle have tried to present in front of me is exactly what the makers of these abhorrent systems wanted. the happiness and the change we think has arrived is only amongst a certain number of people; the only thing I was glad about is that miraculously, the human inside me has managed to stay alive and keep those 'anaesthetists' away who wanted to kill him with an overdose!

The second would be the interactive lecture by Dr. Ashish on social work and its objectives. It told me how easy and how difficult it is to change things. And also the fact that you shouldn't always try to change them. He asked us to really try and work into our own homes and places and change things if we wanted to change them at all. He called us one of the most powerful people in the country. He said that everybody is powerful. But not all of them know about the fact. This reminds me of a ramanek (my roommate) joke about himself in which he says that, hum hanuman ki tarah hain, apni shakti ka hume andazaa nahin hai!

While writing this note I’m feeling that I should stay away from numbers and mentioning my preferences as much as possible. Numbers help people to develop, to know about how good or bad things are. Our state does the same; it hides all the numbers it fears.

Recently we came to know about an incident when one of our faculty members, Shamim Modi, a tribal activist was brutally attacked at her place by the building's watchman. We had the privilege to listen to her when the college organised a public meeting and a press conference to demand justice for her. She had 118 stitches on her body but her head and heart demonstrated turbulent life as she spoke to us. She spoke about the activism she is involved in and what it demands. I find myself fortunate that I can at least dream of reaching out to people she is reaching because of the course I have chosen.

Though there's a lot of emotion and motivation out here, it raises inside me a fear of getting used to it like I do to everything else.

But I still hope that some of the things will fall in place and this spark will stay alive . . . and there's one thing that I very strongly hope for. That I would get more of such moments to reflect this bit . . . :)


  1. I loved Ashish's talk. It was one of those uncomfortable talks which disturb you, make you think and leave you restless. The most significant thing for me was not about him calling us powerful but about him telling us to forget our power. How he said we as 'social workers' may not even be needed anywhere!

  2. actually! That thought took a while to settle down inside me but it's true. . . :)