Of Dreamworlds and Catastrophe (Part 3)

The social worker is a figure of pride, sacrifice and moral turgidity. He brings to the fore of the moment, its hidden discontents. A hurt pride of a community, a nostalgia of forgotten glory, a fear of new combinations of being, a distaste for the rhythm of the moment as it merges with a larger, contemporary time – mirror themselves in the social worker. He speaks of losing connection with values of heroes, the need for fashioning new heroes, the importance of being resistant to the tide of time, to align with accumulated time, to make place and being while merging with distant and forgotten places and beings. It is the 150th year of Vivekananda’s birth.It was the 150th year of Tagore’s birth. It is also the year of someone’s birth, death, travel, marriage, winnings and losses. These incidents built time for the social worker. Time that he struggles to keep stringing moments on to, in order not to disturb its weave.

Community is harked back at. Time is sacralised. Space too. It is this space that important things of history happened on. We stand on this space and remember our battles and our heroes. He says. We raise statues on these crossroads. We mark out the outsiders and call out to them to accept our invitation. Be like us, we say. It’s the noblest way to be. And we love you. We give out clothes, food and medicines with our hands. We work tirelessly to alleviate the lives of those who are weaker than us. We come to be their protective and magnanimous neighbors. We generate sovereignty of our own. We sit by the sovereign, as though royal courtiers. Deeply immersed in matters of statecraft. We speak of time and space, as though spiritual gurus. Standing by the messengers of god, as if deeply in discussion about the ills of this time. We ignore the cracks and crevices around us, the muck pouring out from everywhere, the decrepitude that makes our world. We point at a crack and call it sacred. And all is well.

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