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“storm of kindness” – Nayana Nair

i refuse to go out into
the storm of kindness
where well-meaning people
drunk on the idea of charity
are running amok on streets.

they don’t know themselves
but they know my kind,
they know all the kinds of people
i might turn into
if i don’t give up and let them in.

they want to know the name of person
who broke me so well.
they want me to cry a bit
and to try saying hello first.

the seat they sit on, still has my warmth.
i still know the name of strangers i prayed for.
how easily things change.
every life had hope,
every pain could be overcome
as long as they were not mine.

“The Saving Business” – Nayana Nair

Ages ago, I did a course of 48 hours on saving people
(as if saving was that easy).
There were lots of questions, none that I could answer truthfully.
I sat through confessions, lot of confessions.
I sat there distancing myself from everything I had the potential to be-
the one who clutched her handkerchief too tight,
the one whose gaze seems like a hammer, itching to crush and break.
And like the pathetic person I am,
I only thought “Where should I run to now?”

I would return to a sad room to sleep (thank god it was never to be my home),
I would wake up and find myself staring
at slideshows that I tried hard not to see
or find myself cooking up stories of life
that won’t put me on that stage, won’t sound like a cry.

“Is this how this saving business would continue to be?”, I wondered
as I left those 48 hours behind.
“Is this all I can do?”, I asked myself as I finally wept for hours.

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

#the feelings that I can’t own

The nature of regrets that I have in my heart, the flowers that grow at the end of this knife, the watches that have run out of battery but pretend to have stopped time. I have so much space in me for things like these. I have so many curiosities that I can put up a shop with no intention to sell.

     I don't like my mind right now
     Stacking up problems that are so unnecessary
     Wish that I could slow things down
     I wanna let go but there's comfort in the panic
     - "Heavy", Linkin Park
     Distant lies - shallow dreams, confused ideas 
     Once our hopes - now they anchor all our fears 
     -"Lie", Arco
     Just by being next to you
     I was happy
     Don’t take even that truth
     And make it into a bad memory
     -"Last Goodbye", Akdong Musician

I have sketches of you, a face for every day that you have shared with me. I wonder if you would walk into this shop with another beloved of yours. Would she buy them all? Would you let me sell it to her?

     I loved you a lot
     Even if you say otherwise
     I didn’t want things to end this easily
     -"Go Away", Yong Jun Hyung
     But the thing that we all learned at some point was how
     To step on someone, to catch them, to erase them, to hate them
     -"Life", RM

This is not a post-you fear and post-abandonment feelings. I think I have felt that with you all along. Something about us, the way everything about us was a secret of sorts – you only told stories that I could never repeat.

     And I cried for you
     Like a widow cries at her lover’s grave
     You haunted me through my stinging nights
     And aching days
     - "Divers & Submarines", Passenger

I knew this all along.
I knew all your lacks, and I knew how you would give up on me rather than give up on all parts of you that stand between us.
I knew it, but I wanted to be wrong, just this once.

     Well I clung to you
     Like cat hair clings to a woollen shirt
     You needed me, like a wedding dress needs dirt
     -"Divers & Submarines", Passenger
     I bet you know just what you're doing
     You're not the type that's used to losing
     First, you build me up, then with just a touch
     Leave me here in ruins
     -"Dazed and Confused", Ruel

I hid from you all the parts of me, that could suffocate you – my love, my possessiveness, my confusion, my fear, my irrational suspicions created by most rational observations, my objections, my complaints, my hurt.

     We wanna be right
     But always wrong
     Were we born to be wrong?
     Is life something like that?
     …
     We tryna be bright
     But always dark
     We still don’t know if we’ve lived to the extent that we can
     -"Life", RM

But now, when I no longer have the obligation to hide anymore.
I end up lying, trying to protect you from the harsh words of this world, making everyone believe that you were lovable even when you were not. It would break my remaining heart for you to be hated, even when you deserve to be hated.

     What happens if I open my eyes, my eyes?
     Will I ever get my head right, head right?
     -"Dazed and Confused", Ruel
     I keep dragging around what's bringing me down
     If I just let go, I'd be set free
     -"Heavy", Linkin Park 
     Until the time that we die perfectly we can’t protect everything
     -"Life", RM
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“Precious” – Nayana Nair

A pane breaks
somewhere far away.
Everyone precious to me
stays there-
this place called ‘far away’.
So these things I must record,
these things I must remember

“it could have been a stranger”,
I try to reason.
But it is of no avail.
I am afraid that the life broken just now,
must be too close to me
for my heart to bleed so,
for my hands to go limp.

The nights I read every book
on ‘how to hide this incurable pain from my family’,
they flash in front of my eyes.
That is all I see
when I dial their number and they don’t pick up.
That is all I see
when they pick the call
and tell me that they can never be ‘not fine’.
That is all I see
when I see holes in their stories,
when I see a new hole in their smile every morning.

“When they get to know” – Nayana Nair

There was this one girl
who was too bright.
I liked her a lot.
She was a little more loud, little more caring,
laughed a little more longer.
As if that ‘little more’ was her essence,
was a rule she couldn’t break.
I liked how I could see
what she was without that ‘little more’,
that all of them would never know her like me.
I wonder at what point they will get to know,
that she is drifting away.
Would they would find her too plain,
once she stopped trying?
Would they also feel betrayed?
By then, would they have learnt
all the cruel words
that can break her,
words that she already knows.
I hope not.
I hope they are too young
to recognize the masks they see
or the masks they wear.

“Redefining my Happiness” – Nayana Nair

Posted on

so as the last effort to rescue me
they came in,
dressed in the ultimate cool lifestyle.

they handed me all the tools that i might need
to break away from the ‘sad’ in me.
they filled me up with clocks that told the wrong time,
told me that i would get used to the thrill of it.

told me to scrape down
whatever stands in my way to happiness.
told me my happiness should now be
keeping an eye on the better guy, the better job,
better photos on social media to highlight the same,
weekends in lightless room with strangers.

when i became nauseous from too much change,
when i ran into the fire
to save the idea i had of myself,
they held me back,
told me i would develop a taste for such things
i just needed some help, some influence,
some liquid courage, some castles of smoke,
guts to throw away everything that doesn’t serve a purpose.
they told me to talk like the ones who hurt me
and to call it empowerment.

“What I Remember (17)” – Nayana Nair

Posted on

those who spent their lives
wrecking their hands to mould me into something better,
tried fruitlessly
to break me without pain,
to break me and make me into something
that would be accepted by this world.
they showered me with love
so i won’t know, won’t remember
how much it pained me or how much it hurt them
to have gifted me
this painful self-critical view of myself and this world.

while they are growing old, weak and distant
my love for them looks like a failed seed
that never grew nor flowered.
the years that i spent with them
has made me ungrateful.
i have become the fish that never thanked the water
that kept it alive,
thinking that is what water is meant to do.

with time
as a fail to become what i thought i am,
as i realize that doing or even knowing the right thing to do
becomes more impossible as you get to know this world,
i begin to understand the enormous love they must have had for me
to hold my hand and walk with me in a world
that they had never seen
only for my sake,
knowing that their courage and their tears
are destined to be forgotten (or worse- questioned).

and my love?
my love,
it grows in opposite direction of sun,
my love for them grows into the soil my heart
in a world where they won’t see and won’t know.
i will remain cruel and indifferent even in my own eyes.
so i hide my muddled feelings
and walk around those
who have made me what i am
whatever that may be.

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