Life came back in waves of music

By Anshudha Garimella

There was a girl that lived in a sleeping forest. She had beautiful brown hair and delicate skin, she often wore white and she had the kind of eyes that you know have been through pain.
The kind of eyes that cried every drop of rain.
But she was very good at concealing her pain. She often did so by singing melodious refrains. It was the one friend she always had- the eternal music that is never silent. The kind of music that exists in thunder, in rivers, in crashing waves, and windy nights to send a shiver. Her music existed in the birdcalls and the crickets’ songs. She was never without them.
She aligned herself so strongly with the melody that even nature herself would respond to her melody with harmony.
One day her landscape changed everything was dark and grey the birds no longer built their nest on the trees, the rivers stood still and the crickets were nowhere to be found. There was no thunder, no cloud, no crashing wave, no dawn.

“This must be what hell is.”
“This is hell.”
“There are no pitchforks, no balls of fire, no sinners, no sign of flames, no anguish, no tears, no screams, nothing at all. Just silence. It’s all dead. How could this have happened? Is this really hell? Or is it my version of hell? Who can ever tell?”
She cried in hopes that her tears would water the dying plants, life was dying in spite of her existence. With each tear she cried, a blooming flower withered, another bird lost its wings, a new leaf turned black and fell to the ground, turning dust to ashes. Soon everything turned to ash even though there was no fire to be found. How could this have happened?

Well, she has left some things out that you need to know. Something happened in her life and her life changed overnight, her light extinguished in a blink. The girl who once ran around the woods, the optimistic vessel of the universe dressed in white and golden shining her heavenly light, singing happy songs. She was all of a sudden gone. Consumed by the disastrous venom of melancholy. She fell into the abyss of animosity, hatred, and suffering, as she suffered all lovely things and beings began to die around her. Then she turned into a version of herself that no mirror could dare recognize. Soon enough all the mirrors broke because they couldn’t find her light. They shattered in plain sight. They fell apart as she came undone. It was like she was possessed by the dark waves of melancholy and all the malicious beings that thrive in the dark, in the abyss of hell. A serpent wrapped around her creative hand and sucked out all the kind words she was meaning to write. Soon she was only left with the words unkind- of hate, death, pain, and many other words that I dare not write. All of those words contained the vibrations of the darkest cloud and saying those words would only bring down floods that will drown everything and destroy all life. But all the life was already destroyed.
She was the only one left- how long could she survive? She feared this would last an eternity- and there wasn’t even a fire from hell to keep her warm. Where did this angel go wrong?
“Which wrong turn did I take? Did I take the wrong road? Did I lose sight entirely? Or did someone put me here? How did I get here? How do I get out? There is no soul here? Should I even try to shout?”

One night all trees collapsed to the ground, the trees that had been standing proud for hundreds of years. All that pride came crashing down.

There was nothing to do until one day the silence started to consume her, the silence started choking her like a serpent was entwined around her beautiful neck, she couldn’t speak or sing, she was slowly dying, being poisoned by silence it was then she picked up anything she could find just to feel some sensation, something to touch she picked up pieces of wood and made strings from carcasses of death lying around.

She made a guitar so she could have something to hold, something to call her own. She started playing at random, notes that didn’t rhyme. But as the night turned darker she found some rhythm, some melodies, some chords she started playing them all night long. Suddenly the sky cracked open, perhaps the sky heard her sound, he rained down with water cascading down. Suddenly the winds started rustling, the rivers slowly found their waves. The rumbling of distant waves started to blend with the sound of thunder. The crickets found their voice and this went on until the sun found his way to these lonely children of the night, he threw his golden rays like one throws an object. The birds found their light and their path, then they found their notes and their wings. The trees that lay dead suddenly started to form themselves to stand mighty and proud. The winds that took the plants apart, remade them so they could stand with their delicacy.

The flowers found their colours and their petals and began to flourish once more. And it was at this moment – she looked up from her music that she played all night with passion, she looked up to see light in the world, beauty, and calmness, equilibrium and flowers at last.
With this resurrection of life she decided that she would never again revel in the darkness, she will never let the abyss grab her by the ankles, she won’t let the serpentine movements of melancholia find her again. She won’t let any darkness take away her light. For as long as she has the music those malicious forces have no chance to find her again. They won’t because she will never stop singing and if she does- even for a second her soul, her consciousness, her subconscious mind will never stop harmonizing anyway. The music will never go away.

Her light came back, her smile too, she’s dressed in golden now once again speaking to the universe.

Sprintime Mood

Spring Mood board made by me. All pics in this mood board were taken by me.

Here’s what I wanted to say to you

ever since my Spring has blossomed

I’m like the seasons I don’t need a reason

to be this way

You adore my sunshine, you despise my rain

you adore my laughter, and you avoid my tears

You find me when you’re in the abyss of pain

to come and take away your sadness and fears

You love me in the summer, you are comfortable in my autumn

but when the winter of my mind comes and freezes my warmth

and fades my light- you won’t stay

I won’t always stay the same I wasn’t designed that way

Now that summer is around the corner I’m slowly turning hot and bright

I don’t want to share my seasons with you

I’m done being your sunshine, your zephyr, your wave

Since you can’t stand the shivers my blues bring

I have nothing to share

I won’t shine my sunshine on you

I want to save my light for those who understand pain

For those who have tasted the rain

I want to save my warmth for those who have felt cold

I want to share my roses with the ones who have been scarred by the thorns

And since my Springtime is flourishing right now

I know you miss my colours

But I’m giving my colours to those who have only seen the blues

I want to give those lost souls some vibrant hues

And I don’t need your company for I’m too busy thriving under the spring sky

getting ready for summertime

I have no petals for you, no light, no feather, no purple twilight

I have saved all those lovely things for those who have cried through the night.

Like me during the winter of my life

-Anshudha Garimella

Featured Image from Canva

Springtime Mood board designed and photographed by me.

I’m sleeping at the heartbreak hotel….


I’ve been living at the heartbreak hotel for a while now
Going from room to room
Bed to bed
It’s the same hotel but not the same place
It’s the same mood but not the same space
I’ve been living at the heartbreak hotel
Taking down the drapes to see the same clouds
Still hovering above my head
As I lay alone on my bed
I’m a tourist at the heartbreak hotel
Or at least that’s what I tell myself
It feels like the same decor but I’ve taken the curtains down
The scenery changes from time to time
It’s changed once more tonight

I’ve been living at the heartbreak hotel for a while now
I’m just a tourist- that’s what I tell myself anyhow
This room feels comfortable
Because I can’t remember anything else
I don’t remember a heart full of love
I’ve been sleeping at the heartbreak hotel
For some time now
Maybe I could leave tomorrow
Before I start calling it home

I’ve been writing about the world outside these walls
I’ve been painting free birds on these walls
Too afraid to leave the sadness behind
In case I leave and end up collecting some more
I’ve filled up some jars with tears
That I keep on this nightstand
I don’t think I need anymore
I’ve turned this heartbreak hotel into one fine prison
And hid the keys in a safe somewhere
To keep my heart safe I locked it up at this heartbreak hotel

I’ve been living at the heartbreak hotel for a while now
I’m a tourist or that’s what I tell myself anyhow
The room feels comfortable
Because I don’t remember anything else
I’ve been sleeping at the heartbreak hotel for a while now
Maybe I can leave somehow
Before I call it home

I was never scared of the world outside
Because I never feared death
But I’m too tired carrying around my jar of tears
Wearing my heart on my sleeve
I came to this hotel to sleep for a while
And I’m still here sleeping at the heartbreak hotel tonight

By Anshudha Garimella

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