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

Old and Enchanted…

I love walking down the woody trails of old and enchanted forests. The sound of twigs cracking under your feet, leaves rustling to the dance of lost winds, thick fragrances of mosses hanging in the air, a river flowing afar, and the way everything falls into symphony- a symphony to drown into- a symphony to rise from!

When the night falls supon, and the wolves begin to tread the hearth- wise men settle, hermits sift, and the brave wander- the alchemist though; she does neither!

She smiles to the moon, sings to the fie, weeps to nurture her garden and dances to the roaring clouds. She yearns for the day yet celebrates the night; she puts her mind to sleep and awakens her soul. She is the long eloped princess, the new found mystic; she pauses in peace and flows with intent.

She was the woman who was once shunned for who she was- she is the woman who prays who are still caged away from themselves- “Break old man, break away; the night has come to seek!”

– 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

You will love…

Four walls, a number of bricks, and here you sit in the middle of this room finding solace IMG_20200515_194556_227in your own flesh and love in the mirrors. Mirrors, though, seldom lie. They may lie about a few harsh truths, though ‘lack of love’ stands high on the list.

You stand in front of this silvered piece of carefully cut glass, staring at every part of your scarred silhouette, yet the light shining on those marks somehow sells them as beauty spots.
In that moment, you smile, promptly looking at the delicate curve that your rose tainted lips have arched into; a careful moment of comfort, though you may only find it meandering away from your glistening eyes.

Why, you ask?
Because mirrors seldom lie; eyes, though, don’t!

Those two gleaming curves of crystal, sitting on your face, are windows to the truth-
You know it.
I know it.
We know it.
So, we shy away from glances!

We shy away from the mere idea of taking a look down those merciless voids, because we know, that the glance, if made, will hurl our entire existence into this gigantic spiral of a never-ending truth trail;
and you, being nothing but a mere speck of consciousness, will have to learn, not most, but all that this infinity loop has to offer.

You will have to learn why you desperately try finding hearts to love you because you deny believing how loveable you are, unless someone sweeps you off your feet.

You will have to learn how you deny yourself your own embrace because you are a little too scared of the thorns you planted in your own skin.

You will have to learn that you love your mirror because it is the sweetest of all the liars and the most innocent of all the sinners.

And lastly, you will have to accept how your scars are yet not dead and they still need love, regardless of how that silvered glass makes you believe otherwise.
——
You fretted and you still fear that moment of truth, so much so that it has been an eternity since you last stared down your own eyes. 

Now, you have forgotten their mystical shape, and it takes you a minute before you can remember the hue that danced in them.

You feel estranged; you feel endangered, from the very own treasure of your heart.

But, my love, I can’t sing it enough;
I can’t sing it enough…how direly you need to step forth on this path of serene oblivion.
Beyond the doom, has forever lain, a rose drenched dawn; the day you begin to love again… waiting for you, to dance under its skies!

– 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

Hiraeth

Water flows through creeks and crevices of withered mountains when it rains over their pride ridden heads.
Heads, as they say, are meant to be held high; necks, as we have seen, break under the curse of ego sometimes.

In the end, if you don’t step over this grandeur and pay courtesy to love, a weak neck will make you fall into it someday.

Such are the tales of love gone rogue.
Such are the tales of life.


In life, we wander; we walk through the fields, we smile through the hearts, we fly through the skies and we swim through the waters; regardless, we wander.

Our skin hides behind rags; we sleep on dirt, under the dirt. We wash faces with the stream of our own tears, we feed on abandoned hearts and we gather memories; hand-picking charms and feathers on our way to nowhere.


Nowhere… is a place. An empty void, hanging somewhere in the middle of the air. It has walls, they are dark; so dark that they surpass the physical possibilities of darkness; so dark that they are mere shadows.

Nowhere… is a halt. A refuge away from the dank fluidity into the deserted narrow lanes of random oil strokes; the strokes are sharp; they stab sometimes and you may fall, but you will fall into nothing but comfort.


Journeys are like stories, and your footprints are like splattered ink, left behind by a broken nib. The writer, though, is fate; and it’s no less of a clown who knows magic.

You are the reader, more of a dazed one. You follow the plot, and by each passing metaphor, you age.
But… it is not before the evening that you begin to see your clown’s folly.

It is not before the evening that you have read these metaphors well enough to spot when they repeat.

By the night, though, all of it makes sense to you-
You were going around in circles.

You were running around like a lost child, looking for her mother.
Alas, you would only find yourself at the same place at the end of each hour.

Why?
Because… that place, in the middle of this huge endless crowd, was the last place where this world felt safe to you.

That was the last time when you held your mother’s hand, and each time you get closer to this tiny piece of land, the feeling of ‘being home’ washes all your exhaustion away.

But… Do you ever reach home?
No!

Hiraeth brings along a sense of unquenchable insanity, and you have no choice but to drown!

“Hiraeth- a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past”

– Gauri Walecha

clichés.

It is a fresh sunny day. You are strolling on this narrow street beside a park, listening to children giggling, riding high on their summer spirits.
The grass is tender. It is like a newborn baby that just made its way out of its mother’s womb; too scared to face the world, but too pure to feel the fear.
It is the peak of June. You are at the noon of your life, and if you were to paint this scene on a vacant white canvas, you would call your painting nothing but ‘Nostalgia’.

I am a poet, and I have been writing for as long as I can remember. Through my rendezvous with the tunes of Mozart and the legends of Shakespeare, I have found art, but not so much so as I have found ‘homes’.

Homes of all kinds and virtues. Some were simple; naked bricks on the outside and stained whites in their hearts. Others, though, were grand; they poured charm with their stature only to lure people into the shenanigans of their discomfort.

Regardless of what I say, these were ‘homes’. More so, these were the voids that were ‘once homes’. They were the clichés which we often find scattered like loose glitter; metaphors that decorate our poems.
Their residents left them to mother sentiments in the due course of history; what happened was just that!

Humans, of all things, have always been fascinated by clichés.
Why?
Because clichés make us feel safe. They take us back to a world that was once our concrete paradise a few heartaches ago.

People often denounce poetry to sing lore for the clichés; they call out poets to be lazy and frugal.
But there’s a lot that the world fails to understand about poetry.
There is no poem half as beautiful as the one woven by our memories. There is no metaphor half as endearing as nostalgia.
Clichés don’t need a poet’s pen to flow through a poem; they are exquisite poems all by themselves.

– Gauri Walecha