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“What I Remember (28)” – Nayana Nair

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As I grew up, whom I hate changed constantly, it changed more frequently than my dream for future roles.

Maybe that’s why I was so particular about what I hate and I did it with fervor for the first few years.

But as time went on that hatred turned into just another silence – my refusal to speak with anyone who I wanted to hate.

And now it has transformed to hating people while I pretend to get along with them. Curling inside with anger at the same jokes that I feel compelled to laugh on.

It is not an easy thing to do but it is still easier than all the alternatives. (The alternatives are my nightmare.)

Because even though my hatred has grown over time, I also find it in me that space to accept people at their ugliest, not loving them, just accepting that they too can live here, be here and do what I hate, and telling myself that I have to be fine with that.

I have come to hate this side of me the most – this cowardice dressed as generosity and understanding, where I do nothing but smile as my blood, my ideals burn and collapse.

Maybe that’s why I have hated myself most, with constant determination, without doubt. This hatred is my only light – my anger at myself, for not doing enough, for taking up fearing my uncertain volatile feelings and views, my own voice, more than I fear this world.

“everything else” – Nayana Nair

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“warm”
this word has become cold
sitting at the base of my throat
my throat burns
and my everything else?
my everything else
-my pretty flesh and my ugly insides-
who want me to be there
and at the same want me gone.
i guess they want me to change.
this is my new low
where my organs are my imaginary friends
the only ones I can talk to,
the only ones who need me,
the only ones I can disappoint,
my new friends who are learning
the weariness of living for me.
I ask around for a lover who has a love for knives
and tolerance for madness of all kinds.
I hear a hundred thousand sighs in me
when the new replacement of romance appears,
asks me my name and digs his sharp canine teeth
on the last bits of my happiness as a hello.
The hundred folded cranes look more like ravens
and the one who promises me an end is now my only hope.
Now things are easy
now that I can’t hear myself breaking
now that I have this strange loud laugh to hide behind,
this person stranger than me,
taking up the blame of everything I have done,
helping me hide from everything that I have killed in my life.

“you are lovely” – Nayana Nair

“you are lovely”

“you make me forget the unpleasantness of my life.
so i will call this love.
calling you my love is the only way
that i can depend on you without feeling weak.”

“i dreamt of you
sitting and singing on the blue couch
of my childhood home.
home that my parent’s respective loves burnt long ago.
you remind me of hope now.”

“i hold your name more dearly than your hand,
because your hands are so human that i can’t seem to love them
the way i love you.
i stop myself from telling you
how my own humanness makes me hate myself.
have you heard of the heart that changes it’s mind too often
that abandons as easily as it takes up new obsession,
that makes us miserable even when we should be happy,
even when we have all we want.
i have that. you have that.
that’s what i hate. that’s what i fear.
i stop myself from telling you
how often i wonder
that even this love for you might be a grand way of looking
at the easy way out.”

“your desire would burn away” – Nayana Nair

i read this on a torn sheet of paper
that was lying, waiting (possibly for me?)
in that empty hall, that on a normal day has never known empty.
and being who i am, this again had to be an easy answer from a higher power.
being who i was i believed that the confusion in my mind
rocked every throne in heaven.
so again i assumed as i said i never would,
that these must be the words that could solve me.
never mind the context, never mind the book or it’s title.
there is so much missing and this paper still remains
it might mean something,
it must mean something,
everything had to mean something for me to somehow go on.
it said “your desire would burn away,
the moment you let it have your words”
so i uttered your name with the place you have in my heart.
i mustered up enough courage to speak of the place i wanted in you.
it sounded dubious and shallow.
it sounded so much like me
that i thanked myself for not saying it to you.
i made a clean tear through that piece of paper
for being too right and being too wrong
and walked away wanting now to become a better vessel,
the person on whose lips these words would really sound the way they felt
i walked away waiting for my mind and your heart
to become good enough for those feelings.

nothing burns away.

“Anomaly of the Art Class” – Nayana Nair

I row my heart
to the moon you drew,
the one you colored in green
ignoring every reality,
for which you got an D,
for which I lost a part of me.

I no longer hold onto the poems filled with dread-
dread of rejection, of future, of finding myself eventually broken.
I see something that you have left behind in me.
Something that still burns, still lives for a reason.
Something that is much more than an art class with disappointed teacher.
Something that helped me hug back the blue parts of me.

I row my heart
to the moon you drew,
to the world I traced
with my own brave hands.

“Summer Mood” – Nayana Nair

my feet relentlessly insist
on burning themselves
for the sake of summer mood.

i wear a shirt too big for me.
a wear a smile a bit too small.
i wear the worry of my parents on my neck.

i feel their fear
when i smile back at strangers.
i pretend to be the sand that no one can hurt.
i pretend to be the sea that doesn’t end.
i pretend no man in this beautiful scene
would hurt someone like me.

but my feet, they burn, they bleed.
my feet that only wanted freedom
from the moment i was born,
now they make me feel like the mermaid
who was not wise enough.

i feel like i am losing a part of myself
every time a stranger asks for my name,
every time they accidentally touch my skin
to fill me with shame and sin.
i pretend to be cool, to be understanding,
to be blind
as i feel like the monster
that brings out the worst in people.
as i erase my memories everyday
to put faith in people whom i find hard to trust.

“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.

“Sandstorm” – Nayana Nair

The sandstorm is just another setting
for this story to continue.
There are no trees in our desert
that could be broken.
There are only lights that learn to flicker,
there is only skin that knows what this wind carries,
there are only roads that will drown.

With half closed eyes you walk out
to search for what you have left behind.
With half closed door I wait for you to return.
I find another quote in another book
foretelling the loveless life that will continue henceforth.
Another book, another friend I must burn
for speaking the truth, for wanting my best.

I am destined to die on the night of a full moon
without a reason, without a witness,
with a piece of broken mirror becoming a new part of my body-
another prophesy that I wish you had not gifted me.

Three fairies sleep in our bed,
who do not yet know the violence of your broken heart.
I hope you get what you cry for,
I hope you forget our names,
I hope this storm saves us from every moon, every sky.
I hope this storm saves us from you.

“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.

“Surely, I will love you” – Nayana Nair

The memories I burnt away
have turned into spirits, into thoughts
that hold me back from naming and keeping this happiness
that sits at my doorstep, waiting for my love.
And though the shadows of my past are tied to my legs,
though they rattle on empty roads
and never let the the dust of my life settle.
But ‘it is not so bad’ is also a sentence
that I have learnt to say with ease
and I sometimes even mean those words as they leave my mouth.
For there is a doorstep where a heart like yours
waits for me to heal, your wait makes the plant of trust
grow in my heart again.
Every morning I find myself, my lips
a bit closer to the the words
that only you deserve to hear.

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