“Dry Rivers” – Nayana Nair

.

The river is finally running dry.
I heard someone rejoicing to hear this.
What is a river without it’s water?
I am told it is money, it is development,
it is more money.

Another colony, dozens of businesses springs up.
There is nothing to be sad anymore.
I walk on the roads trying to trace
the skeleton of what is lost.

Now, I know the names of few more rivers
that are nowhere to be seen on maps.

The numbers of such ghost keep increasing.

There is a language that no one cares for.
There is a city that forces everyone to leave.
There are words that don’t sound fancy anymore.
There is an accent that needs to be exorcised from tongues-
the identity of what we are is a secret,
something we can be killed for.

But it is the season, the world
where rivers dry out beautifully,
where aches turn into anger, into revenge,
into art, into denials,
into search for something new.
But rarely does it turns into tears.

How is it we have so much to lose,
so much that is already lost
and yet have so little to grieve about.

“A beautiful day to finally write your name” – Nayana Nair

.

On the broken lines of bold white,
on the burning roads far away from home
I knelt down
in the heap of my skirt made of fairy dust
and disappointments of all kinds.

I found a pretty crack
with space enough to be something of its own
and with a style that you’d agree with.
With my fingertips already crying red
I wrote you name
in the best writing I could.

Your name that couldn’t fit
beside mine, or the scorecards with better marks,
or a business card that was not a part of scam,
or with a number that could for once be reached,
or the nameplate that you kept losing
in the sleepy playgrounds of our eyes.

We missed you.

We missed you.
in the conversations
where we thought only of you
and yet couldn’t speak of you.
We thought of you
always with an ache,
always with a heart that wanted more of you
while wanting to forget the little that we had.

I wrote your name
and ran my fingers over them again.
A kid knelt down beside me
offering me a smile as he took in
a pain he couldn’t understand.
Today, of all days, I was not allowed to smile.

I walked away wondering
if he knew you,
if he now lives in your name,
if he knows someone who wrote like me,
who wrote words that will fit nowhere but here.
Your name could be anybody else’s.
You could have lived like everyone else
and yet…

“Fumbling for better words, better me ” – Nayana Nair

I find myself trapped
between forgiveness and frustration.

How often have I said
that I want to be your strength.
How easy it was to say it
when I didn’t really know you or me.

But now
when your breaking and my sadness
is of your making
I am fumbling for better words-

words that can show my heart
that aches for you and because of you,

words that don’t forget or diminish your own hurt
while talking about the parts of me that are finally dying
after loving you for so long,

words that show my hatred for my brittle self,
for my heart that is not big enough
for real pain or real forgiveness.

Now I don’t know to talk about saving you,
about loving you in spite of the demon you warned me about,
the part of you that is stronger than me and you,
together or apart.

As I kiss you
I hear the other part of you
digging playgrounds in rain, erasing you furiously from
your skin, coloring each bruise with paint of happiness,
clawing me, scaring me, making me scared for you.

As I kiss you
I want to stand with you in your nightmare
I want you to have someone beside you for once.
As I kiss you
I want to run far away from your world
and forget this love.

“Reduced” – Nayana Nair

One of these days
I might just stop loving you
and that might just break me.
But I feel
I might be less cold,
less reckless,
and less pathetic
in that sort of breaking.
I want to be reduced to myself for once.
For once I don’t want to carry around
the magnificence of undelivered love on my shoulder
and stand outside stores with doors too small.
I dream to become the whole of my skin
rather than just the wounds that hurt.
I think only this dream can save me,
make something peaceful out of me,
make me someone harmless.
One of these days I will look at you
and nothing in me would ache,
at least not because of you.

“i am so fond of you” – Nayana Nair

as you melt your heart into oceans
i fear my arms betray me sometimes,
sometimes they go numb,
they surrender at the thought of your warmth.
when you tell me of your love
as i ache for another,
i want a part of me to ache for you as well.
when you settle for being my comfort rather than my love,
i wish i had loved you instead.
but we are selfish dear
i cannot give up
just as you can’t.
we wait to be seen by the one we can’t seem to reach.
we wait because that’s the only answer we have.
we try to forget the love that we can have but don’t want.
i am fond of you,
so forget me if you can.
i can’t bear to see my pitiful self
in you, i can’t bear to drag you down to my hell
only to leave you alone.

“What I Remember (22)” – Nayana Nair

Was it 5 years ago, or 6
that we all sat together
looking at the bright beginning
of another series of setbacks
that we were becoming.
The coldness of the wood,
the ruffle of papers, the moment before
we learned to truly hate ourselves.

I miss that.

As we stood waiting in line
for something to take away
everything we were just beginning to see,
I remember thinking,
“I wish I could spend my youth here.
In this moment, with these people.
I am nothing to them, they are nothing to me.
But we are good for each other.
This can never be made again.”
At that moment I knew
they will make my heart ache
for a long time.

In the years that followed
I saw them,
the people who carried the faces
of the ones
I liked enough not to love.
“What’s wrong?” I wanted to ask them
but all I could do was smile
and let my smile tell them
“I will see you for what you were.
At least that I can do for you.
The beauty of your innocence and hope
I will remember it forever.”

“creation” – Nayana Nair

strangely
even there,
even on the canvas of my imagination
where I get to act the god,
even in that world
where you are nothing but my creation,
even there I can’t imagine
a happier end for us.

-o-

because i can edit our photos
on the cities we never got to visit
and i can write you some words, give you some hints
on how to make me want you want you back.
but even when your puppet hugs mine back
i know it’s only me, my hands,
my heart, my body, my hopes hanging onto something
that would never be you.

-o-

so let it go“, i tell myself.
let’s stop calling every ache by the name of love.
let’s put our ego to rest.

“my dying love for lemonades and other similar things” – Nayana Nair

In my wardrobe
I have hidden skeletons of you and me
from last year, from the year before,
even the year that never was (as per your memory).

When my head aches from the mention of all the light
I am supposed to see in life

(according to the countless articles on positive thinking),

when I have had enough, but can’t mention it
on the face of well-meaning people

(the handbook of gratitude tells me I should forgive
everything that is done by well meaning folks-
I mean EVERYTHING, have you heard anything more preposterous)

when all the scenarios I used to complain about
become my best case scenario

(it feels like every inch in my home
is occupied with people that I am told not to hate
phew! - you know how forgiveness is not exactly my thing)

when I fail at acting fine, as you taught me to-

I sit among those skeletons
have no care about being with the clothes
that they will never get to wear,
who don’t have a heart to be ruined by.

I try to find comfort
in the thought, in the fact
that an year from now
I will be here,
that I will be the part
that dies by the next spring.

I won’t have to live on to become the part of me
that would hate lemonades, love and laughs.

“Selfish till the end” – Nayana Nair

i stumble,
fall,
bruise my face,
find your lips
break my ribs,
kiss your hate
and pray
for the noise of my heart
for your sad voice
to be silenced.
pray that i don’t wake up
for a long long time
is ‘long long time’ enough to be forgotten?
pray that the ones i love
who don’t want to love me, but they do
do not walk into this scene
where i plead in incomprehensible words
for mercy,
for death of my senses
for a sleep without your face,
without your ruined heart
pray that they do not see
how easily i break.
pray they don’t force my last words
to be the words that have always made my heart ache
i love you?

“I don’t want to be kind” – Nayana Nair

Excuses are futile, reasons unnecessary.
You may have sad story
but who doesn’t.
I don’t want to know what you went through.
I don’t want to melt my indifference and disregard
and become the only character who suffers for their understanding.
I don’t want to be that lone person
who considers even small actions
so that the ones who are already hurt,
don’t break on their watch,
don’t die on them.

*****

But it is difficult to be kind
to the ones who end up living for their pain,
who think their pain makes them special,
who would do anything to keep their status of
the ones needing protection.
It is tiring to continuously ache for others.
It is tiring to see everyone walking back to their mistake
in the name of love, in the name of passion.
Don’t tell me about your sadness and worries.
Don’t ask me for support and advice.
I cannot forgive those who return to the normality of their hell
leaving me as the only one
who should have known better than to help those
who can’t make up their mind.