Tell me, what does hope look like to you?
I’ve forgotten what shade of blue
I had assigned to it.
What does hope look like in a country
that punishes its poor?
What does hope look like
where in your capital city
people are burnt with the aide of khaki?
where regions are buried from light
when an encounter is the answer
while unsolved rape cases collect dust in every corner
where humanity has chosen a colour,
where empathy knows its social class.
What does hope look like
as dead bodies are left unidentified?
tests are unavailable, but
empty actions, empty words
empty morality are lauded.
where the whistleblowers are maimed,
journalists killed,
truth obstructed
but banging plates and lighting diyas
are the PR tag-lines.
where dissent is the first
to be erased in a lockdown but
answers to financial plight
is the ongoing mystery.
where Shaheen Bagh is forcibly torn down
but Ayodhya pooja is surmount.
Do we still not see it?
the blatant dance of facism and hypocrisy.
what remains unsolved
is the blatant apathy.
this ruthless, selective system,
of ignorance we cling onto
and call it collective humanity.


This poem was written in April as part of the NaPoWriMo 2020.