Dark Side of the Moon

When I walk, I walk alone;

The tenders of my feet caress these rough barren lands each night,
and from what I know
my tears, sometimes, water them;

I doubt if they are fond of me,
if they appreciate my presence,
or, if they can’t stand me, can they?

Do they despise watching me invade their previously unwavering abandonment?
Do loners ever grow admiration for their suitors?

When I walk, I walk until the edge of the light,
I transcend its boundaries
and reach the dark side of the moon;

I make friends with the ringing silences,
and find comrades in the blank black skies;
I find sparkles, tossed around the unconquered lands,
and use them to adorn my nakedness;

When I walk, I walk in purpose;
In the purpose of finding what is lost,
and losing what was never mine;

In the purpose of illuminating what’s hidden,
and then bringing it to the world,
for, the world deserves all the knowledge it has been denied;

I walk to bring the wanderers back home,
and to send the caged away on their own journeys;

When I walk, I walk to serve,
and not just to savor;
I walk to ignite evolution,
and to bring down the old walls that stood guard;
For, I can see what lies beyond them,
for, I know that the world has to see it;

They are being denied their own freedom…

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?

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

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

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

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

You will heal…

Glass boxes don’t sing lore to the warriors of freedom when the skies fall and the watersPSX_20200424_213616 rise. But, skies don’t fall and waters don’t rise in vain; they sob in vile.

There are a number of things that may conjure disdain into this world, but no other blade yearns to be struck with thunder as much as the one sitting on the hilt of heartbreaks.

Sword hilts, I believe, are haunted; rather cursed.

They hold power, enough to crown a head; they hold sin, enough to behead a crown. The hands which happen to hold these swords may either bring freedom or threaten it; regardless, blood is shed and scars are left to taint hearts for ages to come.

Ages; since ages, men have been driven to worship their own strength in the name of blind pride;
and pride, though may seem like a forbidden ally to the sung masters, is nothing but a thirst;

A deep unquenchable thirst sitting at the edge of our tongues, making us blurt rage and breathe revenge.
Pride is nothing but a cry for help; a veil hiding our scars ever so elegantly.

But veils fall and masks rot in due time; what is hidden can’t be hidden forever.

One day, you will see, you will see for yourself.
When the skin on your bones will feel too plastic to be alive and the heart in your chest will feel too alive to have gone dead.
When what’s whole will seem broken and what’s broken will feel safe.

Then.. you will hear, you will hear for yourself.

You will hear how beautifully you may have chanted the prayers of freedom if you wouldn’t have dug graves for your own tongue.
You will smile at your flaws and you will kiss your own scars.
You will sing in the chorus of joy and pray for peace in the choir of blatant hatred.

And when that day arrives… You will heal!

– Gauri Walecha

Dear Anxiety,

I am drowning.

There is a fire in my head and it’s stinging at the back of my throat. My feet weigh a hundred pounds and I am scared to take another step. My heart is dancing to its own rhythm, but, the beats are heavy metal now; I killed the symphony for a few cheap tears. 

Air feels like poisoned water and the world feels like a bedless ocean. 

I am struggling.

Stretching my hands out. Hitting them against nothing. Trying to fetch a grip of the unknown.

I can’t see.
I can’t breathe.
I can’t feel.

But I… I can hear… I can hear you. Standing in a corner of this dingy dark room, smirking at my pale shivering body and laughing at the void in my eyes. 

There is only so much a heart can take.
You stab it once. It weeps.
Once again and it screams.
Thrice and it falls silent.

Silent. Too silent for silence to hear itself hum.
Humming to the choir of truths and lies.
Humming to the cords of your broken guitar.
Humming to you.

Do you know what follows dead silence?
A roaring storm.

And before you know it, you find yourself running.
Around the room.
Pulling curtains down.
Breaking windows.

You rage up. You let the flames out. You begin to count. You begin to sing.
You begin to hug yourself, feeling hopeless out of sheer pain and then harm yourself to cause more of it.

Dear Anxiety,
You are funny!

You heal, You lie; You tear me up and you fly… away… until next time when my peace begins to threaten you and my giggles sound like war cries.

You are a demon. You are my demon. You are the devil I love to play with. You meet me behind the fallen curtains of well-lit stages. You denounce shame on my courage and take pride in my anger. 

You are a champion. So far, in the past few years, you have never lost a battle against me.
You win.

And I… I let you. I let you walk away with victory as if I never aimed at it.
And the worst part? That is the truth!
It is!

Because, dear anxiety,

I am drowning… and it comes with a strange delusional peace.

With fear,
G.

– Gauri Walecha