Shadows

What is hiding in the shadows?
Who is this demon? How have I not crossed paths with it yet?

I have been lurking around in this darkness since the dawn of this moonless night.
Who is this ghoul that managed to save itself from my quest? Has my search been hasty? Have I missed some corners?

I met a monk yesterday evening;
I met a monk on my way back home, as I returned from another day of running behind lost causes;

He told me I was naive;
that I didn’t know who I was,
that I didn’t know what I was made of,
that I haven’t found my light yet because I never embraced my darkness.

I paid heed to what he said;
I paid heed and began my pilgrimage in the wake of this moonless night.

I went through alleyways lined with the momoirs of my past;
some pulled me into a deep embrace,
others hissed back.

I traveled past the relics that commemorated my wins,
and past the broken records that were stuck- stuck at the songs of some bitter defeats.

I ran through the corridors,
walked through several old rusty doors.
crawled across floors,
searched rooms-
desperate to find the key.

The key to my heart;
the key that would take to my light, my love.

All of this seems like a trap now!

Each time I feel like I am done, another fragment of my darkness falls in front of me;
I have been picking up battles I never intended to.

These shadows don’t seem to end;
do they ever?

Don’t tear the wall down!

You keep a brick at its place, and you stare at it. You stare at it long enough for it to lose its identity for you, for it to simply become a mass of nothing, 
kept on nothing, 
for nothing;

In that moment, you almost want to smash the whole wall down; the wall that took you days to erect, the wall that made you feel proud of yourself each time you walked by, the wall that made you feel like yourself for the first time in years- that wall suddenly begins to mean nothing for you… and you… you want to tear it down!

Just like you tore yourself down,
when the storm approached; 
the storm that you thought you won’t be able to take,
or, was it for the shame that the possible failure could have brought along?

Regardless,
you tore yourself down before you could have tried,
you refused to fight because somehow you thought loath tastes sweeter than defeat;
you never gave yourself a chance.

This time around, don’t back away,
give yourself a chance;
don’t tear the wall down!

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 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

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

Every Other Night…

Every other night, she sits on a forgotten field, under a lost sky- as full of stars as it shall be. With an old brook, far away, flowing through the creek and crevice with some mountains, standing still in the stillness of the night- she feels small, as small as she must.

What good shall it serve to be brimming with pride in a world so surreal?

Every other night, the moon shines, just as it has shone since the fall of the very first night- It is amusing how, each day, we mock its beauty with our old oil lamps!

Every other night, she lets the grass grace her bare skin, as the wind flows through her unkempt tresses. She lets the insects crawl on the hind of her hands as the crickets sing in a forlorn sweet chorus.

Every other night, she finds herself in all that is lost!

– Gauri Walecha

Sometimes I wonder…

Sometimes I wonder if the leaves have stopped rustling with you not being around. Did you take the wind away or is it just the silence you left behind? Flowers have wilted down, and those standing have lost their charm. Did you crush them under your spiteful steps or is it just the love you took away?

When people pass away, they inherit their life down to those who stood the closest to them. You chose to abandon, and my life has since been a staircase spiraling down to the hollows; an unending funeral in my heart since your feelings died. Is it the void that they bequeath me of?

Sometimes I wonder if the music has lost all its melody since you chose to take that step away. Have my ears deafened down, or are they just not brave enough to hear any lies anymore? I wonder if it is about the lies or just the ones that you spoke.

Sometimes I wonder if it was just the more of you or less of me, or simply not enough of everything- that made you- that made me- lose the fight?

– Gauri Walecha

Should You?

Have you ever paused just for the sake of it? You know, standing still on an old path, in the midst of a swarm… rushing through life just like you.
You find yourself greeting a strange kind of silence in that one moment. A silence, almost too magnetic for you to ever wish for a breakthrough. 


There are voices all around you.


Behind you, is a woman in her mid-twenties, shouting at someone on her phone. On one side, there’s a young man, with a baby in his arms. The baby chuckles as he speaks to it; his eyes though, are too worn to smile a full smile.
On the other side, there is an old woman, with a tired hunched back, passing glances to her frail hand hanging in the air. Is she trying to recollect how her lover’s arm used to feel around it?


In front of you, is a bright white light; around you, are people, as good as moths, rushing towards it. Yet you are not… should you?

– Gauri Walecha

To the one who is yet to bloom

To the one who is yet to bloom, 

Sketch Credit: Gauri Walecha

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