Adopting an epistolary mode, this brief intervention on the modalities, ethics and creative possibilities of failure focuses on the challenges and traps involved in engaging with the dynamics of grassroots cultural practices. Highlighting the tenacious legacies of family, caste and community within a global cultural hegemony, it questions how failure can be measured and determined at professional, political and personal levels. Is failure to be equated with the endurance of problems at a macro level which persist despite the dents made through cultural interventions at a micro level on poverty, caste, and livelihood? In developing a more reflexive awareness of the limits of the possible, we may be able to engage more effectively with aporias relating to positive failure and the robust necessity of failing persistently in realizing long-term, processual, social transformation.
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