Artwork by Prof. Arun Inamdar
The “Tribe of Hope Whisperers” grew from several roots but primarily from a beautifully recontextualized folklore (source of the above quote) by Sherline Pimenta, a Kathanika or professional teller of tales, that we published in our first issue of 2020. The phrase the “Tribe of Hope Whisperers” had such a lovely ring to it that we decided to put together an entire issue around the theme.
Now, after living a year when reality has often seemed stranger than fiction, an issue about “hope” cannot but embrace the whole of humanity. Hoping is, after all, an inherent part of being human. But how can one find hope amid uncertainty, conflict, or loss? How does one keep hope alive? To answer these questions, we set out on a quest that took us beyond the tribe of storytellers. The outcome is this issue in which hope takes many forms and voices, which we have divided into three themes.
Representing our original vision for this issue, we have the tribe of “storytellers,” “artists,” and “doers” who spread the myriad colors of hope through their actions, words, and deeds. There are stories about storytellers, and stories about men and women whose innovations and initiatives have changed the world (or a small corner of it) for the better, in whatever fashion, to whatever degree.
Living with Hope
We also hear the voices of those who live with hope for the situation to right itself; those caught between the ‘now’ and the ‘not yet’ who have been patiently holding up a candle to darkness. These are tales of sheer determination, tenacity and resilience.
And, then we have stories of ordinary people finding hope and solace in the smallest things of life such as dandelions that push their way up toward the sunlight.
The dandelion that features in the cover illustration of this issue, in fact, beautifully embodies the elusive yet all-pervasiveness nature of hope — unnoticeable and gentle at first sight but with an amazing determination to self-propagate. Like a dandelion seed that sets sail on the back of winds in search of renewed life in unknown lands, we hope that you can ride on the back of this issue into a land of light and promise. And, reawaken, even if it is for a fleeting instant, the “instinct of hope” within you.
To end with a much-loved quote from Ruskin Bond: Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. The same can be said about hope. This issue of Fundamatics is all about finding hope, living with hope, and spreading hope even in the bleakest of times when it is indeed most needed.
Tomorrow will be beautiful.
All artwork by the author
Illustration by the author
And help you forget all your sorrows
It can give you the strength and the courage to stand
And face all your troubles tomorrow.
For there’s wisdom and wit, beauty and charm
There’s laughter and sometimes there’s tears
But when the story is over and the spell it is broken
You’ll find that there’s nothing to fear.
~~Mike Jones, The Storyteller
The -ism’s are creating schisms
Between him and me and you
Is there any remedy for this?
What is the best thing to do?
Try and get stung by Kindness
And we may well be able to cope
Open the box again quickly
And let out poor, trapped, Hope.
Evolution has favoured organisms on the basis of their ability to respond to threats and utilise opportunities to survive and procreate. However, this equation is not evenly balanced between opportunities and threats! If you survive to live another day, you can hope to get another opportunity tomorrow even if you miss one today! But if you miss warding off that threat to your existence today, you won’t live to see another day.