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“Empty Shells” – Nayana Nair

The list of all the words that I use and don’t know meaning of:

friend, understanding, dream, ethics,
distance, space, wait, promise,
family, kindness, virtue, trust,
love, love, love, love, love, love,
(I was told I need to be especially obsessed with love
if I want to be normal)

I, me,
memory (real or invented),
boundary between reality and fiction…

What a poor human I am
that I carry around these empty shells
pretending as if I know their worth.
All the flags that I carry
of the countries
to which I do not belong.
All the people who I live with,
only because I cannot live without them.
What an excuse to walk on this road
that will eventually to lead to a heartbreak.
Every heartbreak a drop on my window
and it has been monsoon for years altogether.
What a sloppy way to end all things
that I never wanted to begin.

“god’s work” – Nayana Nair

i wanted to say
please don’t drag my god
into your selfish quest for power.
please don’t turn my god
into a tool to manipulate mind.
but i couldn’t say those things
for my god was no longer my god,
he/she belonged to people who were ready
to accept any lie, any cruelty
to propagate their beliefs and their way of life
to protect their gods (or so they say).
so i had no choice
but to cut myself from this doctrine
of power and numbers.
not to protect my god,
but to protect my mind and myself,
to protect my faith in the endangered humanity
when all i face are the proofs of its non-existence,
when all i find are people who think shaming people
and spilling blood is god’s work.
maybe it is selfish
but i want to remember my god as someone more kinder.

“For Now” – Nayana Nair

There is no “my type of person”,
“my one and only friend”, or “my only hope”.
There is too much of you
that is not for me,
that I won’t take
even if you gave it away for free.
Because for every word of yours
that I find beautiful,
there are thousand other words
that I have not heard yet
that would hurt my ears,
hurt my notion of what you are
if I knew the complete truth.

-x-

That’s why I hate complete truth.
I detest it, in fact.
I do not want any part of it.
The lies – they hurt ultimately, I know.
But till that suffering arrives
at least there is a brief moment where
we are no longer preoccupied
with this hopeless business of finding a place to belong.
Sometimes a brief moment is all we need
to make sense of this life.

-x-

This life where
there is no complete understanding,
there is no complete love,
only this nameless feeling
that this is all we have got
and nothing will get much better.
That it will be easier,
maybe painful down the road,
but surely easier for now
to find our happiness
in everything that we don’t want.
To pretend that we are not lost
and pretend the best we can.

“Collecting Meaning and Beauty” – Nayana Nair

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I am stacked with all that belongs to you
and nothing that you have feels yours.
It is as if you were busy finding things
that didn’t look like you
and hoped that if you surrounded yourself
with all kinds of right
then your fault that people talk about
could find a mirror to fix its face.
Or maybe
you just wanted to welcome everyone in this mess,
like you welcomed me,
and leave us in this ocean of objects and words
of overwhelming meaning and beauty.
So that after an absence of million years
that ticking clock forgot to register,
when you come back to find us
and ask us how we take our tea,
we could see your meaningless broken smile
as the only hand that can save us from
losing our sense of self,
losing the idea of what we are
that we had barely put together a downfall ago.

“Wrong Way” – Nayana Nair

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They forgot to teach me
the most basic thing-
to know which side I should take
to keep a check on papers, to see sense
when someone tells me what is politically right
and to agree when they tell me that identity is everything
not only mine, but of all those who live on same piece of land as me.
They forgot to tell me to fight and argue
in the name of and for the sake of people
who didn’t care about the fight,
who were fine living the way they did.
I ended up believing
that I could just exist without belonging to any shore
and maybe make my own
and pray that no one joins me
and turn my life into something to live by.

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How could they have overlooked this ,
didn’t they foresee how I would sit awkwardly
midst strangers and have nothing to say
about how the world was run.
Would they consider me silly,
would they think that I am shallow
if I was thinking about the fictional character from a story
and his conflicts?
Would they judge me if the story in question was not about
wars, rivalry or mid-life crisis
but one of romantic ones with cheesy lines
that everyone seems to detest?
They should have told me to memorize lines from papers
and opinion columns
and pass it as my own,
when I was not interested to form opinions
on topics that seemed to be of grave importance to others.
I should know better than to write poems on love and sadness
when people are dying around me.
But I don’t.

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I think I may have been brought up the wrong way
and there is nothing I can do about it now.
But I am not even sure whether
I want to fix the things
that I asked to feel ashamed of.

“Approaching Night” – Nayana Nair

Posted on

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The light that drips from your skin
feels like sunlight frozen.
As you float among the spirits
of far away desolate planets,
who have found home in you,
who like me have found you too full of life.
You walk to me,
hold me close and bury your fire
in my heart. The mountain and the sea
that belong to you,
have erased the life
that I’ve lived before.

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On the path lined with trees-
their shade and your joys
becoming just memories with approaching night.
You walk to me,
you hold me close and bury your face
your regrets, your tears in my skin
and give me a moment of the future I can never have.
And soon I see you dissolve in the sea foam,
in the waters where we were born.
I find my hands filled with your share of happiness
and sky filled with flowers that once grew in your hands.

“Adequate” – Nayana Nair

Posted on

worlds

We live in different fragments
of this broken world.
Soon we will forget each other,
like we are forgetting the worlds
where we don’t belong.
Soon we will only speak the language
that the other won’t understand.
Have you become acceptable in the eyes
of your neighbour?
Do you feel adequate?
I hope so, it would be a shame
to lose all this, and still not find a home.

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