Illustration by Nilapratim Sengupta
“Peace in the universe rests on the shoulders of the tellers of good tales, the tellers of tales that give hope. They are the hope whisperers.“
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.
The Race to the Vaccine!
Big changes can only come when one is only willing to take that leap of faith; a first-person account of the Moderna Vaccine trials to illustrate that maxim.
It’s All About Telling Stories
The life journey of a master storyteller who has taken his love of stories to all forms of art.
Driven by Hope: Engineering, Economics and Strategy
An inspiring account of how sound engineering, economics and strategy, driven by hope enabled a struggling Indian company to survive the international competition and emerge triumphant in the post-liberalization era.
Finding Silver Lining in a Cloud
One of the positive changes that 2020 wrought – an increased consciousness about good health and a willingness to do something about it. The authors’ journey to better health, and his efforts to share what he’d learnt with a wider audience in 2020.
The Love of Reading
About an 18-year old vibrant book club in Pune who continued to meet virtually in 2020 and expanded their reach too!
Caterpillars Can Fly
A start-up travel company’s journey of metamorphosis during the pandemic. A story not just of challenges but the overcoming of them too.
Learning at Dawn
A thought-provoking piece by the creator of the Indian Rupee symbol that takes you through a teacher’s quest for perfection and diligence in his students.
The Same Yet Different World
Do folktales have a higher purpose? Read two folklores from two apparently disparate cultures that open our eyes to “other” worlds that lie beyond ours.
The Entrepreneurial Roller Coaster: IndianRaga
In the third installment of the Entrepreneurial Roller Coaster column, we introduce you to Sriram Emani, who has set up the largest Indian arts platform in the world.
The Pandemic: A World of Opportunities
In a year in which social distancing has been the norm, here’s an article on how music can connect people spread across geographies.
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.
The Master’s Mantra
A story set in Venetian lagoons that looks deep into the question of what constitutes true inspiration in art.
The Stranger In Your Mind
Our zany illustrator takes to poetry this time, to explore themes of truth, identity and attitude.
On mobile phones, hi-speed Internet and why we need the occasional Internet Sabbath to reclaim our lives.
A COVID Tale from Melbourne
Glimpses of 2020 from a land down under; the changes in daily life and in one’s emotional landscape, the habits cultivated in order to keep going on.
The Bytes We Snack On
Uses an analogy of the snacks that we binge on to explore (online) content consumption habits and the impact on us.
A bittersweet tale of a friendship between a man and a dog; the story unfolds slowly and is rich in detail, one to be savoured, not skimmed through.
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.
The Toast Doesn’t Always Have to Fall Buttered Side Down!
The essential survival tool, therefore, has been pessimism, and do we love it! Even when its “use by date” is long gone.
A Game of Stones
Sometimes the inspiration for creative work comes from the most unlikely places; in this case a casual chat with a stranger on a bus heading to Hampi.
A poem for those who work with words, who know tears and tear-jerkers, and for those who understand what it is to weave aspirations with temptations.
Birding Beats the (Lockdown) Blues
Tales of bird watching that read like a travelogue, taking you on an unplugged, no Apps journey of Mumbai.
Whisperings of Hope
About hope and promise found in the smallest and everyday things of life.
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.
The cover illustration is superb. It is beautiful as well as conveys the message so well.