I see faces…

People leave homes behind. They move away. I wonder if their stories ever do.

I wonder if, as much as we believe, have we ever been powerful enough to rip memories off the walls that boast them.

Or, is it just an illusion, yet another desperate attempt at gaining power over time?

Will we ever know? Do we even care?

I believe when homes are abandoned, they aren’t really left alone. They are left behind with tales, hiding underneath the faces that dwell in the random patterns of their marble floors.

They are left behind with faces, with eyes full of questions, and mouths too numb to answer.

And, each time you feel like someone’s following you, it’s often just an old memory, trapped in a plain white wall somewhere, waiting to be lived again.

Rare. Rarer

It’s rare to find people who smile when roses wilt, not because they despise its beauty, but because they can’t wait for it to rise from the neath again. If you have the eye of a sorcerer, everything has the soul of a phoenix.

Why do endings hurt as much as they do? Why do beginnings scare us? Why is it that the roads bring us peace but not the place it is taking us to? Do places mean us more harm than journeys can?

It is rare to ask more questions when all your life you have only learned to answer the ones that already exist. Rarer to knit flags that boast your curiosity instead of weaving drapes that cloak it away from the world.

Why do we rush to put an end to contrast as soon as we encounter it? What is this obsession we have for symmetry? Where does it come from? When did we fall in love with indifference?

Aren’t warriors born under the storm-stirred skies? Doesn’t the revolution begin when the heart feels a need to end what exists? Then why fear chaos when it’s nothing but the birthing ground for the new? Or, do we fear what is yet to come more than what has long fallen?

It is rare to love falling. Rarer to love rising again, because it’s difficult to fall in love with the pain of building a new home away every time the former collapses… and if you can, then did you ever fall in love with the last one?

Travelers are conflicted. Lost. They run to lose their identity away in the crowds and then find a deranged new face from the paradoxes of life.

Every evening when they camp on the side of the road, their new face pricks against their skin and all the tears that they kept locked away in a casket come running to them at the dawn of their pause.

Why would they like pausing then? Why won’t they run forever and pray that the Sun never sets on their day? But, in the hind of their futile wishes, they know they can’t control fate. Sun sets; they pause, and they yearn to run again.

But, it is rare for a traveler to choose to pause for a forever one day and so it is rarer to find peace in the silence of the now.

-Gauri Walecha

The Leap

The Sun is shining down upon your brow, making it gleam until it shines enough to deserve your glory. 

The grass under your feet is tender- as tender as this newborn beginning of your life-long journey. Tender enough to be cradled to the glee of their greens. 

The path ahead is unbiased, unforked- leading you to your paradise, to the sweet victory, to sweeter smiles. 

The path lies unbiased, across the edges of deep darkness. 

Should the need of leaping across a deep dark abyss hold you back from reaching out for your dreams?

Should your disbelief in the power of keeping faith hold you back from believing in the strength your heart carries?

If you crowned your fear and chose to never take that first step, would you have given your destiny a fair chance?

The One about Rains and Hearts

I spilled colors on a rather blank canvas. They dripped off the edges, down in a puddle of water, giving colors to a rather blank sky… An illusion some people so need.

Rains mark my favorite time of the year. Those few minutes of Earthen fragrances sent afloat by the happy soils… The beauty of the greens hanging in the air and rustling every now and then to sing songs of merriment. Dancing hearts, joyous smiles… I don’t know what could possibly make one hate such raw charm. But then, some people do.

Some hearts who had to let another go in one sad monsoon don’t find their bliss in the rains anymore. All they can think of is the way their heart burnt like a forgotten lamp waiting to die before someone remembers it. All they can hear is the sound of their tears falling into puddles that the rain must have filled. All they can find is the melancholy trapped behind the blue hues of water ridden clouds. All they see, all they smell, all they feel… is bereavement.

Bereavement of the rain washing away the last few marks of the last walk they had with their beloved; of new life growing from the old flowers they had buried underneath; of trees falling and withering away, taking along the marks of their journey; of a traveler traveling farther away from her childhood home.

Separation leaves hollows where once life was, and just like an abandoned crevice, these hollows fill with memories when rains fall, but the water dries away- memories don’t.

They stay behind, adding shades of sepia to the neons of joy. Adding rust to the sheen of gleaming metal. Adding gore to glory and pride to prudence.

They tell stories like a charm and make you forget others like magic. Before you know, that void is like the Sun shining upon your midnight fog. The one you can’t resist following, not once in seven moons.

The one about Butterflies and Hope

Have you ever seen a butterfly grow out of her cocoon? Her wings are the first to greet the first Sun of her new life. 

Do you know why?

It’s a victory ritual. A token to celebrate everything she survived. To celebrate all that made her into who she is now.

The last of the thins of her cocoon break soon. Her struggle to break free ends sooner. The light at the end of the tunnel flows out of her daydreams to bring charms to her reality… A reality she once wanted to run away from. She eventually did… She ran, but only to get closer to who she was. 

Have you ever noticed how often writers sell hope wrapped in this exact same tale?

Have you ever wondered why? 

It’s a peacemaker’s chant. One meant to make you believe in the power of fallen joy. Meant to make you believe that one day you will wake up to realize how you had never fallen prey to the dark but had only been pulled into its embrace till you got stronger to face the world again.

It’s a poet’s favorite metaphor; her favorite choice of weapon to spill beauty in a world that is threatened by it. 

It’s an intricate piece of abstract art, with love spilled all over- a little to see and a lot to feel. 

But mostly, it’s a reminder, a letter speaking about all our lost smiles and addressing them back to us, exactly where we had lost them. 

Have you found yours yet?

To the one who is yet to bloom

To the one who is yet to bloom, 

I see you…You have waited! You stood your ground when the Earth began to shake, you swam through the roughest of waters, you held your home when a storm took everything away… you waited through all yet never yelled a single curse!

I see you… and you are the strongest I have ever seen!

Now you have begun to run out of patience. Little things don’t dawn smiles over you anymore but leave you behind with risen haste. 
You have lost faith. 
You have lost strength. 
You have lost hope. 

The thick skin that you once grew, is now into ruins and you… you know you can’t take the pain anymore. 

So, what do you choose now? Defeat?
I don’t blame you… Neither do I blame the darkness. 

But I do blame something…
I blame those mouths who kept telling you how you must have achieved glory by a certain age. 
I blame those minds who came up with a structure to confine people’s lives. 
I blame those hands that had the audacity to strangle you into these chains.

But you? No, I don’t blame you!

Instead, 
I am standing by your side and cheering for you, making sure that my voice is louder than the taunts yelled at you.
I am waiting for you, on the other side of the finishing line with my arms wide stretched, ready to pull you in an embrace the moment you reach.

Who am I, you ask? 

I am the one meant to show you the right path.
I am here to hold your hand and guide you as you walk.
… and, as long as you follow me, I promise everything will be alright.

Just don’t stop! For me… don’t stop!

With love,
Your heart.

– Gauri Walecha

The Tale of a Hundred Roses

The sweetest things in life fall from the sky-

They rain over the draught of your distraught heart and before you know there is new life growing on a rather barren land.

Have you ever touched the soft tender new leaves growing out of an old tree? You should because you won’t find a better metaphor to capture the spirit of life. 

For, what is life if not a never-ending tale of young taking birth in the safe embrace of age-old wisdom? 

A bird once died in an old man’s garden. It was a beautiful cuckoo with songs of a hundred months dying in its craw. 

What must the man have done if not mourn for the sad demise? How must have he mourned if not by laying the small bird and its sweet voice to rest forever? 

But, how do you expect to sleep in peace after having witnessed the world as it lost a part of its beauty? How can you not stay up at nights, thinking of ways to bring that bliss back to the world? 

What do you do if not risk being called a fool? But then, why must the world question a mourning person’s folly? 

The old man was wise but since when has wisdom been kin to apathy? He chose to let his emotions consume him. After having lost sleep for a painfully long week, his heart rebelled against his mind one night. 

He was quick to take hold of the same spade that had dug a grave for the sad little bird. He was quicker to pluck stems from his favorite rose shrub, one that he had nurtured for years; and before he knew, he had planted the seed to new life exactly where he had buried the remains of what was once living. 

And so he did, for the next hundred nights, allowing his tears to water what was yet to grow. 

One fine day, it did. The hundred stems he had planted beside his little friend had torn the chest of Earth to stand anew. Their tenders spoke of each lost story that the bird had carried with itself to the other side. The tales were alive and so was their sweet nectar. The old man had won, but had he really? 

Homecoming…

I build. I break. I love. I berate. 

When birds build a home, they travel far… far away to distant lands. They fly to the highest branch of their favorite tree, only to find a void left unhealed, just for them. 

How do you know if you weren’t shying away from healing that one last wound in your heart in the wait for your person to come back home and caress it?

Someone once called love the greatest healer of all times. Years later, poets began writing verses about how love broke them. So, is love a beautiful irony that breaks you and heals you in the same moment, or do we admire our scars so much that breaking away from them is the kind of bereavement we can’t take?

Four walls, two windows, and a heart. That is all it takes to build a home. Then why does it feel a little less complete in the absence of someone to share it with?

People are lonely. Their hearts are lonelier. Smiles, sadness, storms, or suns; they need someone to share them all with. But then, they fear- what if that one hand that they want to hold for the rest of their lives chose to part ways one day?

Well, there is nothing scarier than fear itself. It can make you fight demons that weren’t even at war with you in the first place. It can make you lock the door that could have taken you to your bliss. It makes you believe that every person who has your back will stab you one day. It can make you change paths right before you were about to catch the road back home. 

Why would you want to make friends with something that keeps you away from home? Why leave hands only because you fear they won’t keep their promises?

Why not love fearlessly…. like a wanderer would? The one who knows he is to part ways one day, no matter how far that day is?

No matter how scared you are, bring comfort to your heart, and make it feel safe to love again. No matter how many times you had to leave hands you didn’t want to, find the courage to hold another, just for one more time. 

No matter how many times your nest was broken down to shambles, build again, only because you deserve its warmth. 

And lastly, no matter how many times fear made you turn the wrong corners, take the road back home. Embrace your homecoming. 

– Gauri Walecha

To the one who is afraid to heal…

You know, our ego does this strange thing. It tries to build an identity around our traumas. It wears scars as badges of honor and flaunts them in front of carefree smiles. We define our worth from the tears we shed each day. Pain validates us, we go around collecting it just like a kid with a newfound interest in collecting pebbles. Except, for us, the jar never fills. Our heart is like a deep well where we keep throwing stones just to check if it has run out of water yet. Sadly, it never does. No matter how many years we spend trying to empty it out, each thrown stone makes it weep a little.

Such identities are scary though. Not only because they are too fragile when built on loamy grounds but also because they are afraid of losing themselves in the web of their own lies. Lies about how our beloved trauma is our ultimate story, about how what was once broken can never be healed, about how the grudge we pamper each day is the lesson our trauma left us, and also about how letting go is a crime against our heart.

But the question is, do you really want to spend the rest of your life hurting yourself like that? Isn’t it an act of self-harm to be clinging to pain longer than how much we can endure?

Don’t get me wrong! I am not asking you to stop feeling what you feel. Rather, I am asking you to drown deep into your emotions once and for all.

Reach for the deepest parts of your heart. Take hold of every string that connects you back to your pain. Hold it with love, kiss its broken ends, knit it back where necessary, and break it off where not; do that and a lot more but once and for all.

I know stories of pain are strangely celebrated. Scars are decorations in our strange strange world, but you don’t have to follow suit.

I don’t want you to live a life full of agony. I don’t want your trauma to define you. Instead, I want your smile to be your sigil in this world of royal battle flags; I want your smile to shine not only because it speaks of a prettier story, but also because it celebrates the spirit with which you overcame everything that fell your way.

Yes, life is a war and you are a warrior, but even the most ruthless of fighters are allowed to return home once in a while.

Then, why do you feel the need to build your home on the battlefield of a war long dead?

– Gauri Walecha

The Truth

Memories have a strange habit. They fade away… and they do so faster when you don’t want them to. Maybe that is why people came into the habit of writing whatever happened around them. Writing was their helpless attempt at trying to hold quicksand.

Words lose meaning once they stop carrying stories around… but if they truly wanted to tell those tales, they would have. Why didn’t they? 

Every heart in this world speaks in the tongue of an artist, and yet you don’t have many to celebrate; mostly because they are afraid to scream and a world that is full of noise fails to hear their whispers. 

Why whisper the truth, you ask? What would you do if you were standing in a crowd full of thieves who prey on secrets?

Truth is not lost, it has simply been silent. 

– Gauri Walecha