I raised my hand in class,
Didi *! How do we write hope?
Smiling, she spelled on the blackboard in block letters-
Only, it didn’t feel right.

Some hopes,
Are like
Short lived.

Some hopes
Are like

Some hopes
Are like

I practiced writing hope on a wall
With mud-
Stains washed away in rain
Had it been really hope,
Wouldn’t it stay?

I think hope is like a Saturdays
When she comes
To teach us
To read and write,
Till then I’ll work in the local tea stall.

* Didi – Elder sister.

Tonight on Dversepoets, Mary has us write about invisibility – taking cue from her suggestions, I worked on an old piece – in memory of countless children I see in my city, Kolkata – living in slums, bearing the curse of child labor and many people who work in NGOs to help them as best they can. The least I can do is raise a voice for them. Please read the wonderful entries of tonight here.

Photo Credits : Reetam Banerjee

22 thoughts on “H-o-p-e

  1. I feel for those children living in the slums ~ I have seen them myself and often wondered how can live & get out of the situation ~ It can be hopeless and short-lived dreams, but we can all hope ~

  2. hope is def the teaching the read & write because it prepares for tomorrow and opens doors…it doesnt feed you today but can all your tomorrows…yes there are plenty of children never given the chance to be…


  3. I love it that you have given such children a voice…yes, what is hope indeed, to a child laborer, or one living in the streets? I loved the directness and immediacy of this poem. You took me there. I can see her.

  4. Abhra, what a powerful write this is. You have given voice to the hope of these invisible children. I do hope that some of their dreams ARE fulfilled. Without hope there is little to live for.

  5. Hope… it is a word that teases those who can’t touch it and also those who touch it but can never have it.
    Thoughtful writing. Life is a hard prospect for many… and education could be a light, even if a dim one, for these kids.

  6. Hope is something that gives you the will to survive even if it may not seem realistic ..it is sad that children suffer such a life but, learning to read and write will help in some small way..I am glad you used your voice to tell their story and it is my hope that better days come…

  7. hope maybe like bubbles and dreams and promises (short lived, unfulfilled, unkept), but that doesn’t really stop us from continuing to hope…

    really, whether big of small, hope gives us something to reach for…to hold on to…to believe in when all we wish to do is give up.

    this is a really nice piece.

  8. Abhra, THis is beautiful. Can’t tell you how have you touched the chords of my heart with this poem…the words unfulfilled, unkept are so well endorsed and expressed here. beautiful expressions, in few words. Bravo!

  9. I believe hope can be the most powerful of human feelings. I like the way you have grounded hope in the actions of teaching and learning…without actions to fulfill its promise hope is an empty shell.

  10. aah beautifully written. I can’t even begin to tell you how much this poem has struck a chord in my heart.

  11. Powerful write Abhra.

    The world is full of invisible people – so sad when it is the children.
    Anna :o]

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