Hope Guides the Way

I was browsing through the old files on Google Docs when I came across this article. It was written on 12th June 2007 for Thalforum, a website for patients of Thalassemia and their caretakers. That was the time when I was working on the first draft of my novel. I fully remember how proud I had felt after completing this article. Though today, I can see several places in it where I would use my editing scissors now.

But I won’t. Here, I’m posting it exactly as it was posted on Thalforum so many years ago. Why? Because I still love it 🙂 After all, it fetched me my first fanmail! And oh, I’d be posting those fan messages too, because they are more dear to me than even the article!

So here is the article…

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HOPE GUIDES THE WAY

It’s early morning, very pleasant, cool and promising of a cheerful day. A young man is walking down a tree-lined road with his two daughters. One of them is ambling at his side, trying to match her steps with his while her hand clutches at his fingers for support. The younger one though is riding proudly on his shoulders, feeling tall and privileged, extending her hand upwards and finding the yellow flowers within an easy reach.
‘Hold properly Jyoti or you’ll fall.’ the man says and the little girl immediately tightens her hold and lets go of the flowers she was reaching out for. ‘But I’ll surely get them tomorrow.’ she promises herself.
Almost three decades have passed since. Years that should have walked through the childhood to adolescence and youth and filled my lap with at least some of the flowers that lay along the way.
My sister has travelled on and now has her own young ones to hold her hand. Yet there I am still, sitting on my father’s aging shoulders, holding on for dear life and watching life’s blossoms pass by. Of course, there’s sill the promise of tomorrow, the promise that’s renewed day after day. The promise that, fuelled as it is by unending hope, spurs the heart forward, makes the feet take one step after another, even through the darkest ways.
However, life no longer is as a pleasant morning walk. But then, it scarcely is that for anybody. In fact, the only certitude that life boasts of is its universal unfairness. And for sure, there’s no poetic justice in life.
Yet, hard and treacherous though this road is, it’s still marvellous enough to entice the aching heart to keep on throbbing, to encourage the bloody feet to keep on walking and to inspire the soul to keep on looking ahead, building dreams and weaving hopes of a brighter future.
It is just this indefatigable hope that pulls many a miserable souls out of the depths of gloom and shows them the road to better life. Just as it did to me.
I was in class seventh. My serum ferritin way too high and Desferal still out of our reach. Life had become too unpredictable and hospital visits too frequent. I could no longer manage to go to school and was forced to quit. Everything seemed to be swirling out of my grasp. Every road seemed to be going downhill.
But hope, fuelled by a childish instinct of invincibility I guess, held me up and soon my prayers were answered by the introduction of Kelfer, a real blessing, that managed to sustain my existence till we could get the injections.
Those were the years when I could have easily left studies and let myself slip into ease of despondency. But in my heart was throbbing a desire to see myself self-dependent and the hope that one day I shall be so. Thankfully, the option of correspondence courses was available. I completed my ‘schooling’ through Pattrachar Vidyalaya and enrolled myself in DelhiUniversity’s English (Hons.) course. After that I did my Post Graduation in English literature and later in Applied Psychology, all through correspondence. Today, I have two postgraduate degrees, and I’m proud of myself and thankful too because I know that without this education I would have had nothing to look forward to except a life of dependence and misery.
Although I am still unemployed, I do not despair. I’m trying and know that one day I will too find a job that I deserve. Till then, I’m concentrating on my writing and trying to fulfil a long cherished dream. I want to become a writer, a novelist rather. Big dream, I know, but then, many a bigger dreams have turned out to be a reality. Why not mine? Why should I quell my hopes without giving them an opportunity of trial? My book may never find a publisher, but I’ll write it nevertheless. Just as I know that my hopes may never reach their culmination, yet I’ll dream them still.
Hope, again the word rises up. What a beautiful word it is, my favourite in fact in the entire vocabulary. It’s definitely the sweetest and yet the most resilient. Because while life continues, so does hope, and while there’s hope, there’s reason enough to live. As long as the hope is alive, the heart would conjure up dreams, and so long shall continue the arduous fight, the struggle to exist, the struggle to move on, and the struggle to achieve. And it’s good too and I’m forever thankful to feel it still beating in my heart. Even if it’s nothing but a delusion, a mere chimera. I’m glad of it. At least it keeps me happy. At least it gives me courage to dream and aspire. To keep on smiling, to keep on trying, and, with courage and determination, to keep on fighting for my existence.
Life without hope would be nothing better then death. And why should one die before the order is dispatched from above? So I’m holding on to my hopes with every little morsel of my being, It’s not always easy, God knows it’s not, but I’m holding on.
So, I pray, should all of you. Just cleave on to your hopes, maintain a tenacious grasp on your dreams and be happy. Because…

‘Though it might be a dungeon
of suffering and pain full,
yet this life is worth living
and this world is beautiful!’
Copyright Jyoti Arora
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And here come the fan messages. Okay, all these comments are by patients of Thalassemia or their caretakes, doctors etc. So they are all geared towards encouraging me, rather than giving a critical analysis. But I still cherish them dearly 🙂
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Narendra:

Wow Jyoti,Excellent writing. And you are so right, HOPE is the word which is NOT only for thal but for millions of people living for a Cure or a better way of life.And like that little girl on her father’s shoulder, who has held through 3 decades(and I pray for many more), there are thousands whose story have NOT been heard, so I encourage writers like you to help outGood Writing and I hope i can read few more of your writings!!

Also, I would salute those shoulders who have helped through those years. I think young parents should be stronger reading the post and the parents who need to look forward in this day of medical science.

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Jyoti beta It’s poetry in the form of prose,keep it up.
Hope u will post your thoughts for others inspiration.
with regards
rajesh popli
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well jyoti,
you write great , really . go jyoti go write more seriously , you have power of words and writing.regards
pankaj sethi
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v goood job jyotikeep it up.regards
vikas kapoor
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Dear Jyoti,
You are Magician of Words. I hope we will be getting such more from you.
By: Deependra Solanky
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Jyoti, that was an outstanding essay!
You have captured not only your own sentiments but those of ours as well.. and we can relate. I can relate.Where are you in terms of book writing? Did you finish your book?
By: Vik
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hey dear……u r an awesum writer n more than that an honest prsn
coz ur honesty is depictd in ur words
keep up the gud wrk
Jst reach out n sky is no limit
cheerz
-Isha Adlakha
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hey jyoti,
just read your essay on this thread and although its a little late just wanted to say its absolutely fantastic!!i loved reading it, your use of description and language made it perfect. its true what isha said your honesty totally comes through in your writing. it seems so genuine and original.
best of luck for your novel and writing career.
cant wait to see your novel at the top of the bestsellers list. (inshallah)
take care.
Mez XxX
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Hey Jyoti,Well written, and what you say there is something we adult Thals relate to. Growing up with Thal is a challenge and each one of us dream a future, and we do get there overcoming each and every hurdle, reaching the destination is not the big thing, the process of going thru life to reach our goal is the “growing” part which makes it quite interesting and also makes us mature to face the World. For sure “Hope” plays a big part in that. Well Done once again, keep writing and all the best to you.Le Pidzaman!
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Hey Jyoti…Your piece of writing is absolutely outstanding!!!!! Even Eliot must have only dreamt that kind of a prose-verse combination and ****ens himslef must have failed to capture that brand of realism…all i vann say is that you are EXCELLENCE REDIFINED and you must be the world’s only author for whose first piece, scores are already waiting…way to go dearest! Your wait has been worth it and you will surely make it veryyyy big. My heartfelt good wishes lie at your doorstep…pick them up…
When you talk about the conventional things that you think you have missed, you must remember that God has married you to literature and made you the mother of words…Loads of love
Anubha A. Taneja
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To jyotireally, Hope guides the way.impressive writing!
your words are magical and inspiring.keep up the good work,cheers to life!
-Gaurav
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Now, that my book is finally published, I hope and pray it would receive the same appreciation that this short article did. I hope it would manage to touch the hearts of the readers in the same way. I hope…

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2 thoughts on “Hope Guides the Way”

    1. Hi,
      Thanks. yeah, I like it too, now, more than ever as it reminds me of time gone by. Seems like a whole age has passed since the time of its writing and now.
      so much has been lost,
      so much has been gained.
      but like at that time so long past
      the hope still remains 🙂

Share your thoughts, please!