A letter to everyone- A message of hope

To everyone worrying about COVID-19 right now, here is just one thing I want to say.

Waves come but they also go…. So hold on.

I’m writing this from New Delhi, India. In the middle of the pandemic. Where a terrifying wave is sweeping the nation. A fear and pain that we are all feeling right now no matter where you are reading this from. It’s the same fear. It’s the same anxiety. We are all on the same boat. I have been thinking of this tumultuous situation all week (I say this as if I wasn’t already thinking of this for the past year. I was.)

I have been thinking about this every waking minute. I’m too afraid to turn on the news because I’m shaking watching the pain and fear that has contaminated our world.

I sit here, trying to hold back tears because this is beyond anything we can fathom. Every time I watch the news I go into an existential crisis. Because in this pain all I see is myself and those who I love. Just like you.

The people this planet has lost in this year alone and of course last year as well- I keep thinking that these people are all just like me with dreams, families, hopes, favourite movies… Their life is no less important than mine or yours. They won’t be forgotten. And I pray that they rest in peace.

I know there isn’t much I can do. I can’t change this I can’t bring them back. But I can stay safe. So I help myself and I focus on the responsibility that I have to take care of myself and as a result those around me. And I hope everyone in the world knows that, for now, this is enough. Just staying safe and wearing a mask. Taking precautions.

Fear isn’t going to stop this but time will.

I understand that everyone doesn’t have the privilege to stay at home and that people have misplaced their lives, their jobs, their sanity too. I am deeply upset and saddened by this. But all I can do is take care of myself and my family. All any of us can do is take care of ourselves and each other.

We have one responsibility to keep ourselves safe. And we can do it.

Here is a message of hope:

We may feel right now that this is the end, but it is not. We share this experience and pain with everyone in history who has also been swept and overwhelmed by the uncertainty and disaster of pandemics and epidemics. Be it influenza, black death, bubonic plague …..

the thing these malicious forces have in common is that just like a wave of the ocean they passed and this wave will too. We share this fear with people who have lived through this- time and time again over the course of history. For now please find some solace in the fact that, that is what waves do- they come and they go. They do go.

My heart goes out to everyone in my country and in my world who have lost loved ones this year. I’m truly saddened by this loss just like I’m sure you are too.

As Emily Dickinson said Hope is a thing with feathers.

I have hope and I hope you do too. So please stay safe, wear a mask, take care of yourself .I hope you find one thing about today that wasn’t so bad. You are not alone.

And if the bare minimum you can do today is to look after yourself and stay safe then you have done something great today.

I send you lots of love wherever you are.

Thanks for reading.


I Never Forget Anything- Poem

I never forget anything

I never forget a thing
And that’s what broke me
I never forgot a thing
I thought time would take care of memories
But It didn’t
So I filled my head with lyrics and melodies
I filled my mind up to the brim
With rhymes and words
Until it started overflowing with poems of my own

I never forgot a thing
I thought I could just sit back and let time run its essential course
time just kept following that same linear movement
That we are so used to
But No part of my mind actually forgot anything I was hoping to forget
If anything I might have forgotten some things I was meaning to remember

I forgot things worth holding on to
And that broke me further
My head was full of negative adjectives, feelings of disdain, sensations of pain
The thoughts kept on raining
On my tired mind
Creating havoc on my fragile nerves
So I filled my head with lyrics and poems
Melodies and refrains
I wanted to curate my mind
Collecting beautiful memories, beautiful melodies, beautiful landscapes and people

So I’d play the music
And sit woolgathering
I thought I could fill up my head with ballads and words
And that maybe one day it will be full
Of beautiful things no more pain
No more things to add
No more things to remove
But there’s just too much capacity in the Mind
More space for many more thoughts
Many more words
Maybe even more pain

I was trying to fill up an endless void

How was I ever going to fill up infinity?
Never mind

I kept adding more and more things
Trying to replace things I wished to forget
With phrases in foreign languages
Lyrics and idioms
Adjectives and refrains

I thought I could focus on a different language
So I could forget the terrible words said to me
I tried to fill my head with songs of love
So I’d forget pain
But now I have more words in more tongues to say the same things





I never forget anything
So I filled my head up with melodies
I never forgot anything
So I tried to stop
I told myself stop trying to forget
Stop trying to forgive
I just learnt more
Many more things
So much more
I still haven’t forgotten a word
And the thoughts they haven’t stopped
They probably never will
But it doesn’t hurt me anymore
Because I have much more
To think about
So many other things

Overthinking drowned me in the sea of thoughts
But thinking was also an anchor that pulled me out 

by Anshudha Garimella

Happy Earth Day!

Here’s a poem I wrote for this beautiful planet we call home.

To this beautiful planet that I call home

I don’t have enough words or enough languages to express how much I love you

The planet that cloaks us with its green blanket, supports us with its solid carpet, the planet that covers us with perfect blue skies

you give me the ephemeral sunsets and sunrises which keep their promise each day when they come to greet me everyday

you give us the perfect summer sky, the perfect stormy weather, the perfect snow, the perfect rain

each time I feel I have no reason to carry on

You take away my pain

With a birdcall, or a perfect sunshine.

You give us the perfect aquamarine seas and the grandiose ocean and the sandy beach

You give us the divine mountains and valleys

every creature unique

just like you and me.

Happy Earth Day!

-Anshudha Garimella

Poem- The Photograph

Why am I enamoured with the past?

Even though I always think of the future

The past in objects, pictures, melodies and words

Fly through my imagination like birds

It’s strange that I find myself so enchanted with eras gone by

And it’s a shame that I have not been able to let go my history

There is a look in her eyes, the fading woman in the vintage photograph

I’m holding

Her eyes are like mine, full of expressions

So much emotion, that her extravagance can’t hide her disdain

They are lined with the blackest liner

Just like my eyes

She is wearing a smile like a jewel

And even that can’t hide her pain

Her dress flows with the tassels

Of the new found freedom in fashion

The newest piece of haute couture

But her disillusionment is clear as day

perhaps she was a debutante like Daisy

Or a flapper maybe

Or someone else real

But that world is a fairy-tale to me

She doesn’t exist in her sadness, does she?

Only in her glamour

It’s funny how that’s all we capture

The faint beauty of the rapture

I’m sure her heart broke like a million little stars

I’m sure she felt lonely

I’m certain she broke apart

time and time again

But as I look at her picture

She is just a mirage

And me I’m looking at her sepia toned photograph

Thinking to myself

I wish I was there

Because I feel out of place here

And once more I will tell myself

She probably felt the same way

Each and every day

I have the freedom to say this today

Because of the tears she cried yesterday.

And yet I’m enamoured with her past

And haunted by mine

Maybe now is the time

to fade the past like her photograph

And finally erase it from my mind.

-Anshudha Garimella

Sleepless Nights

Days and days of insomnia
They come and go like the clouds
I’ve tried to stop my mind but it’s a universe of its own kind
I think and I think about days gone by
Days to come
I think of the present too but only as a result of the past or an impression of the future
Counting sheep is futile
Counting stars too
The moon is almost never on my side
Sleep is something I dream comes from the sky
From anywhere outside my mind
When I sleep my dreams are waking me up
Either with excitement or horror
I trained my mind to tame its instability
I’m taming my sleep and its fragility
with soft melodies
Ethereal sounds
Of rain
Songs of love And of pain

The perfect slumber has kind of become a fairy tale now
Once I was cloaked in perfume
I can’t  remember which one
I remember it was like a bed of lavender

A little bit of wine
And the strong inebriating fragrance of neroli
And heady jasmine too
Carrying me to childhood carefree naps on balmy afternoons

Now the midnight interludes are spent waiting for sleep to take over

If I could drift Into a peaceful siesta
I would have more to give
More zest for life

The shadows emerge at night
And I wish they would go anywhere
Anywhere but here
For now I just breathe in the perfume and hope it gets to my head. 

-Anshudha Garimella

The Artists and The Rain

Oh! How I would like the stars, the lovers of passion, the creators of art
I sit and I read the words of the poets and the writers who never found happiness
Those miserable men with disenchanted wives, those promising women competing with each other all their lives
I think of those men who find happiness in a whiskey
All those women who no matter what they do
Are not taken seriously
I read the lyrical prose of the disillusioned man
The painful words of a sad, misunderstood woman
And all I can say is I hope that’s not me
The fear of being beautiful and damned haunts me
I try to do something else, something mundane, something less meaningful to me
I sit in crowded bars and I feel The silence, the silence screaming so loud
I’m surrounded by people
Yet I feel alone
It’s like I’m a bird singing some other song
People often tell me my notes are wrong
I keep thinking of those who were never found never heard, never seen, it’s almost like they didn’t exist
But they do to me
I don’t want to be
Like all those beautiful people, with beautiful words, singing about their beautiful world who were never heard
They are like shooting stars
They are here and now they have vanished
Just as easily as we breathe
The stories of disenchantment and glamour always enamour me
But just a story that’s what I want it to be
I could do something else with my life you see
But there’s nothing in conformity for me
I wanted to break away
And break away I did
I also broke apart for a little bit
That’s the price you have to pay to be a free bird
But now that all the melancholy is gone
I sit and I watch the rain
I feel a sense of renaissance
Its the damp leaves, no it’s the fresh air, maybe it’s the soft wind in my hair
Or it’s the petrichor
On the ground
So lucky I am to have found
Such a love, from the trees that surround me
The people around me
Yet I imagine myself like those beautiful and the damned
What will it take for me to feel
This is not all there is, this is not all there will be
I can be happy I can be free
I can be Like those birds
A soaring sparrow I’m meant to be
They were born free but so was I
So what is it that keeps me here tonight
In this grey state of mind? 

By Anshudha Garimella

Listen to this audio poem 😀

Poem-Sea, Sun and Freedom

It’s just If I could sit on the beach and watch the day turn to night
Maybe everything will be alright
If I could spend an eternity listening to the crashing waves
Maybe I could drown out the noise
And if I could sail the ocean till the ends of the earth
Maybe I would forget all that, that hurts
Maybe I need to get away from everything mostly myself

I wanna be where the rivers meet
Where the sky changes hues
And the waters are the most beautiful shade of blue
The sun will be so orange, blinding bright and then warm and soft diving into the sea
The shade of pink and violet, dripping in the sky like watercolours painting a twilight
I can’t hold this feeling tight
Like everything that shines it must fade
Nothing bright can last
Then again if it did it wouldn’t mean as much would it?
There’s the beauty in its fleeting moment

I’ve been singing the same old song
The melody is getting so irrelevant
But the words still hurt
Every time the darkness takes over my mind
I go back in time
Mostly to places I no longer like
I’m tired and jaded
I need a boat, that probably won’t make it to shore
I want to be a part of those drifting waves
They are reborn again and again and again
Always getting a chance to redefine their movement
They get to be who they want
Never the same as the last

Corals, seaweed take me there
Under the burning sun of August
Or a fresh morning under the sky of May
I feel so free when I’m surrounded by the sources
I’m one of them and they show me the electric touch of the forces
They get to be who they want
Never caring about the past

I want real happiness, real love
Where there is no fear of the storm
No worries about the end of the world

I can no longer hide my disdain
Hide my tears or my pain
I want to be everywhere
I want to be Everything
Who I want
Never again care about what’s past. 

-Anshudha Garimella

Focus on some good things today!

Everything these days is very unnerving, scary and anxious. And while it is important to be aware of these feelings and important to feel them. It can get so overwhelming to read everything that is going on and find yourself in a downward spiral of fear and sadness.

Our fear isn’t going to help to make the situation better. Precaution and safety will.

But at the same time it is important to re-shift the focus and give yourself a little break, give yourself a little calmness, laughter and joy. You deserve it.

Obviously this is not to say that ignore everything but maybe press a snooze for a little while to re-focus on other things for the sake of your mental health and wellbeing.

The anxiety and fear isn’t going anywhere but happiness does go away with fear.

So here are a few things you can do today to just be- calm and still.

  1. Meditate- Meditate anywhere, anytime, anyway you’d like. Just for 5 minutes.
  2. If possible leave your phone alone for an hour and do something else, anything, reading, singing, painting, gardening.
  3. Watch something hilarious- a comedy movie or anything that will bring a smile to your face.
  4. Tell yourself that you are not alone in this.
  5. Do one thing today that brings you the most joy in life.

Along with your physical wellbeing take care of your mind too.

Be safe, Wear a mask, Take precautions, Take care and Try to remain calm.