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“Born Like This” – Nayana Nair

“i was born like this”, I lie,
when I really want to say

“the normal ones, the sane ones
are surprisingly excellent at
breaking anyone without any guilt whatsoever.

i no longer have strength
to leave them, or beg them,
or handle the repercussion of wanting them.

i fear them only when i cry
though i am not exactly sure why it should be so.

the positivity, the kindness, the unity, the charity, the world peace
that they talk about
looks so beautiful when put in action
for example,
there are holes in me though i have never seen a bullet in my life
and i am not allowed to say it is their doing
“it is a result of my negative thinking and bad karma” i parrot
like i have been taught to.

this burnt skin, this distrustful heart,
the layers of clothes that are prerequisite of proving my modesty
if god-forbid i let loose an animal in someone just because i exist,
the logs of missed calls and blocked calls and blocked memories
that are the only things protecting me now.
this is how i was born.

Though absurd, it sounds like truth the more I say it.
This is how I hurt whatever is left of my heart.

“I always fall behind” – Nayana Nair

All the lights that were meant to light the way,
end up looking like spotlights fragmenting the world.
Fragments so beautiful
that I never bothered with moving
towards the place I was meant to go;
that I sit here, saying goodbye to people
who hope to see me wherever they will end up at.

But we won’t be seeing each other.
I let them hope anyway.
That hope makes them smile brighter.
that’s the way I want to remember them,
that’s the way I want to remember this world.

It is not easy though – to love all who love to keep walking
and to love my small place and my small heart
at the same time.
It is easier for everyone – for the one who must stay
and the one who must walk
to think of empty hands as freedom
however hollow it might feel.

“The Scale of 1 to 10 (part 4)” – Nayana Nair

I have been collecting books on building sandcastles from the the remains of things humans leave behind. This is all I have ever read – how and where to find the stones called history, how to grind them so fine that they can forget themselves.
In my hands they become another extra leg of the ever wobbling chair that already looks like a monster, the miniature castle no one can live in, the gigantic dinosaur that won’t get the chance to destroy this world, the skyless blue that will keep dripping from the ceilings as long as people want to see the rain that won’t ruin the glow of their skin.

 "People burn lamps of clarified butter
  I've ignited the lamp of my heart.
  People swear on their faithfulness
  I've eaten the poison of separation.
  People lose their heart in love.
  People lose their heart in love.
  I've also lost myself.
  But still me getting extinguished
  Was liked by my beloved"
  -"Luttna", Cocktail
 "Giving and receiving scars is part of being human
  And I don’t think I was really scared of that.
  I clashed against things like I was going to break
  And I don’t think I was really scared of that."
  -"Green Nocturne", Nell
 "sometimes the roof of feeling leaks,
  we remember old thirst,
  but new clouds dance and rain,
  they kiss the forehead with chains of drops..
  it's the time to get soaked,
  a new weather is standing nearby,
  it's a small, but big thing.."
  -"Dhoop Ke Makaan Sa", Break Ke Baad
 "I guess that I
  I just thought maybe we could find new ways to fall apart"
  -"We are young", Fun.

I love to hold exhibitions where people can look at something beautiful enough to make them cry and not even realizing that they are looking at something they never wanted to see again, that they are looking at themselves the way they never wanted to.
They might not understand this, but I do.
The “unnecessary” that is so easy to cast away is the only thing that their heart wants. That is the only happiness that feels like happiness.

 "We imagined the future we saw together 
  on top of that high hill where a blue wind was blowing.
  We launched a big paper airplane which flew anywhere, 
  carried by the wind.
  You laughed loudly as you saw my distant look.
  Your hat was blown off by a gust of wind, so I ran to catch it"
  -"Control Tower", Galileo Galilei
 "The headlight that shines into my heart
  has become completely clean.
  All of your memories fade out.
  Inside the storm, my heart is green light"
  -"Eraser", Taeyeon
 "Cuz I taste you in every shot that I take down
  But I feel so hollow"
  -"Here Come The Regrets", Epik High

No one is innocent, no one is blameless.
Helpless they may be, ignorant more so.
But all who seek reality and stability have killed someone or something that was too weak to protect itself. That is how we become good enough, deserving, suitable to live in this world.
The ones who suffer grow up eventually. But they grow less and less each day.
So knowing this, how I am I supposed to hate these murderers? How can I not save all they burn as they cry?

 "Fear takes a hold of me and my heart grows heavy.
  And a sigh comes out of my mouth again.
  Time made me into an adult,
  but I don’t think it made me strong.
  Time made me into an adult
  but it made me that much more of a fool"
  -"Green nocturne", Nell
 "I am still the same person I was before
  I am here, the same person I was from before, but
  An overgrown lie is trying to swallow me whole"
  -"Lie", Jimin (BTS)
 "Here comes the rain
  So many scars never fade
  This is the price of war
  And we've paid with time"
  -"Fight the Night", One Ok Rock
 "Today is a winding road that's taking me to places 
  that I didn't want to go
  Today in the blink of an eye
  I'm holding on to something and I do not know why.
  I tried"
  -"Thunder", Boys like Girls

So when they start hearing voices, when they feel that none of their masks fit their faces filled with fear- they come to me.
As they wait reading magazines filled with faces, bodies, lives, circumstances that are better than theirs, I sculpt a lie for them.
I call it a lie, because that is easy to accept, easy to display in their living room. Unlike truth, seeing it or showing it does not involve damage estimation.
This is how I make a scratch on the face of reality even when my hands are tied. This is the only happy ending I can give them, the only happy ending they can accept.

 "This field is lined with the brave
  Souls in relief
  We'll fight fight till there's nothing left to say
  (Whatever it takes)
  Fight fight till your fears, they go away"
  -"Fight the Night", One Ok Rock
 "Yeah I'm walking on a tightrope
  I'm wrapped up in vines
  I think we'll make it out
  But you just gotta give me time
  Strike me down with lightning
  Let me feel you in my veins
  I wanna let you know how much I feel your pain"
  -"Thunder", Boys like Girls
 "So if by the time the bar closes
  And you feel like falling down
  I'll carry you home"
  -"We are young", Fun.

No one is innocent, no one is blameless.
But they are weak. We are weak.
I need to save them. So they can save me somehow.
In their tears, I see the tears that I have not learnt to shed.

 "Just give me a reason, just a little bit's enough
  Just a second we're not broken just bent, 
  and we can learn to love again"
  -"Just Give me a Reason", Pink
 "We fight, fight till we see another day.
  Whatever it takes."
  -"Fight the Night", One Ok Rock
 "Carry me home tonight"
  -"We are young", Fun.

“The city that won’t decompose” – Nayana Nair

Some days I am thankful to the walls
that never broke down when I did,
that looms up to the heights
that seem more beautiful than sad
(on certain days at least).

The tiny tiles,
the cemented words in me-
they were supposed to be who I am,
they were meant to decompose
when I chose to change my ways,
when I chose to change my heart.
But this ‘me that I have made’
is more magnificent,
more important than me now.

My mask is more than a mask.
It is my life, it is my M.O.,
it is the replies and answers
planned out for every worst case.
It is a solution that works somehow.
It is a city where I live helplessly
not because I am helpless.
It is just difficult
to throw away something I thought I was me.
As my nature melts and takes new forms everyday
this artificial me remains as my only point of reference.
My pretense is the best I can ever be.

“A Sadness to Replace You” – Nayana Nair

The lines are drawn.
The teams have been split.
Now I must show loyalty only to “my kind”.
Now I must learn by heart
the roads that I am not allowed to take.
Your heart probably lies on one of those roads.
That’s probably the reason, why my feet won’t walk in your direction.

What is it like to live in the better half of the world?
My limited imagination sees you as only you
and that’s why I know that I am going to be hurt badly.
A friend tells me with sadness, “staying away would be kinder love”.
He plays me a beautiful tune, a melody to replace you,
a consolation of sorts, a very poor (though thoughtful) consolation.

The sun is a quadrant setting only on my half of world,
although no one has yet tried to split this moon.
How fortunate are we to share at least this sorrow, at least the night.
On every night sky you are my hope written in neon.
Every morning, you are a dream that I force myself to forget.
But no words, no consolation can make me forget you.

“All that I am” – Nayana Nair

The sun in your eyes sets so slowly. I need to remind myself that this is not the end. This is not the end. This is not the end. This is but a chasm left open for the love to see. For the love to see and for this love to grow into the darkness we hide from each other, from this world, from our own eyes. She loves me, she loves me not, she loves me today, tomorrow she may not, she will love me as long as she can. These are the words I got to say and suffer over, again and again. These are the words that made me walk a little bit more. Is there anything more beautiful than this? That you were the light, the wind, the silence, the flickering hope in my heart. How can I lose you, when you are all that I am.

The Scale of 1 to 10 (part 2)” – Nayana Nair

#about the street where we won’t meet

There is a street in my mind, where an often underappreciated singer sings about a love that stands just across the street. Forever they stand there, one trying make up combinations of words, variations of beautiful verses – not to win her heart, but to beg the world to keep her beautiful memory alive. Forever her image hovers and floats above the ground, but he is too faraway to notice.

   Well the first time that I saw her
   Standing in the middle of the road
   Eyes as bright as Christmas lights
   Wearing someone else’s clothes
   I did my best to ignore her
   But ignoring my best pretty soon
    - "Words", Passenger
   I’m opening my eyes
   I see you
   I shake my hands
   So your image scatters
   No matter how much I do that
   How often I do that
   Still, in front of me
   You are smiling
    - "Opening My Eyes", Zitten

And this is where my mind is stuck. Not at the numerous meetings leading to heartbreak, not at the years that passed too slowly, not at the will to live and smile that grew weary too fast, not at the silent ending that is more serene than happy.
My mind is stuck at the point where I am stuck in my life.

   Even tomorrow I will see you
   Even tomorrow, I will hear you
   Even tomorrow, everything will be the same as today
   -"Time Spent Walking Through Memories", Nell
   I want to remain
   I want to dream more
   …
   I’m just walking and walking, among this darkness
   My happy times asked me this question
   You, are you really okay, it asked me
   Oh no
   -"Awake", Jin (BTS)

There are roads that I cannot cross and always at the other end stands someone or something too beautiful to be ignored. There stands a poem I wish I had written, there stands an alien undecipherable tear that I wish I could understand. There is a torn down building that feels like a home that I should yearn for. There is a pile of love letters that I never got to read. There is horde of faces I couldn’t trust, but I wished to. There is everything I could have been, if I only had the courage to be selfish.

   You were so precious
   Countless memories that you placed
   In all of those moments
   In all of those times
   You were always beautiful
   -"Opening My Eyes", Zitten
   Even within some stranger’s figure passing on the street
   Even above the leaves riding the wind with a lonely dance
   Even within the air brushing past my cheeks on some evening
   In everything I see, hear and feel
   You are there
   Yeah, and how are you?
   …
   Even on that big empty chair left on the side of the street
   Even in the glass I thoughtlessly filled to drink some water
   Even within the mirror I face to look at myself
   Even within the music secretly sitting in deeper from the edge of my ear
   You are there
   -"Time Spent Walking through Memories", Nell
   The last thing you taught me
   Is that there are types of happiness that don’t come back
   -"Lemon", Kenshi Yonezu
   And besides, you probably don’t know how much I was saved by you
   -"Melancholy Kitchen", Kenshi Yonezu

This is what my world is made of, this what this world is to me. Something I feel and love with all my heart, with every drop of my existence. Yet something that is too far away, only because my feet are glued to this piece of land. Because I want to stay here far enough to not ruin anything so good.

   Oh moon, My moon
   I’m not trying to embrace you
   I know that you are too immense
   To fit into my arms
   …
   Oh moon, My moon
   I’m not trying to own you
   The reason why you’re so dazzling to me
   Is because I am a pitch-black night
   -"Dear Moon", JeHwi 
   Letting it go
   Seeing your light
   Living my life away from you
   Being your light
   Far from you
   -"Aurora", Savina & Drones

There is a street in my mind where the lover and the loved are always separated. Here they stay forever in each other’s sight. On that street love never ends, love never ask for practicality, never gets hurt nor does it get tired of waiting. Here the love doesn’t ask for approval of this world. Here no one changes. My feelings, here, are not something to be hidden away, or to be lied about. Here my feelings, my attachment is not a nuisance, but the only meaning that I need to live.

   Since then, when I think of you
   —Someone I loved
   More than I ever thought—
   My breath stops
   -"Lemon", Kenshi Yonezu
   But if i could
   I would love
   To be the light
   Just the light
   That shines upon you
   -"End Roll", Androp
   Memories that spill down
   Words that endlessly come up
   How can I hold you back?
   I’ll be here
   I’ll be here
   -"Opening My Eyes", Zitten
   All the angels who know pain
   Flying on damaged wings through the night
   Every time I'm thinking about love
   Every time I'm thinking about love
   I don't wanna listen to just happy songs
   I'll face my loneliness, color my life
   -"Lights", BTS
   Inside my blue dream
   I want to hold you
   -"Blue Side", J-Hope (BTS)
   Maybe I'm a dreamer
   Or maybe I'm just fallen' apart
   I put it all on the table for you to see
   That you and I, that's what we are
   -"Waiting For You", Grizfolk
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