“Photographs of Unmade Bed” – Nayana Nair

#1
Today I am fixated on the the houses far ahead, the colors on those countless walls that are yet to be carried away by the winds. Today I am fixated on the wrong choice of shoes, the red sore blooming on the fingers of my feet. Today I am filling my eyes with all that I refuse to see otherwise. I like days like these. They give me the proof of life outside of me, proof that I am part of this world. Days like these let me know that even if there is nowhere I particularly have to go, my feet are sore from walking and the roads are bit weathered. So it must mean something. Slowly I am changing the world, just as the world is changing me. So it must mean something. These are the days I realize that I do not just look at the world, but kiss the world while hating it in my heart. That world doesn’t just disown me, but it keeps looking at my childhood photographs when no one is looking. It all must mean something.

#2
My bed sinks a bit more everyday. It feels as if every day I am carrying, dragging another new person into my uncomfortable sleep, to my messy life. There is no blood, or signs of resistance, so it must a deal of mutual benefit. I hope so. I wake with only my skin, with only my dry eyes. So again it must have been someone I mistook as you. Someone who knows how to keep their end of promise, someone who doesn’t look back at the weight they are leaving behind in my new scented sheets. With you there was warmth and suffocation and never-ending want to be something more. With you there were eyes that stared at me as if I am a road you are forced to walk on. With you there were things I couldn’t be and shouldn’t be. Without you, there is me and my imagination that draws you body full of life on the photographs taken of unmade med and undecided mind. What do I want really?

#3
The one love? The truest kind? The rarest kind? The kind that is made of eternities? The kind that is hellbent on making that big change? I sort of had that. “I had that love” would be my answer, only when I am asked to keep my answer short, which I am often asked.
In the answers of 500-1000 word limit, in the answer where 10 marks are at stake, in the answers only you would have asked – I wanted my only love to be true somehow, no matter what it took. Do you know what that means? It means there are hazy days, holding lies close to heart, illusion that I fed with my own blood that make appearance in this answer. The answer involves knowing everything that is wrong, knowing everything that shouldn’t be, knowing the end that I won’t have. The answer involves cutting short my words, even when there is no need to, even when you are here and you are listening. The answer is pretend that was true, the tears that I didn’t hate as much as I should, the person I liked a bit more than I should have. Always wondering if love would feel like love if it was not me and you standing on both of its end.

#4
There is soaring in the skies. There is running away to the ends of earth. There are, of course, moons, and sun, and stars for taking. There is a wish list for every age we failed to love properly. There are your past loves, there are my past pains to talk about till late night. There are things to eat and relish and complain and things we will never make the way we should, things we will throw away even though they turned out well. There are stories we will make up because we can, because they are fun. There are stories that will tell thousand times even though we won’t be believed. There are night we see only each other, there are nights we realize the pain of not being loved. There are permutations and combinations that I was always poor calculating, that you were never interested in. There is a day like this where we have nothing in our pockets to count on, no possibility, no scenario that could bring us and place us together in this life. This is the only day that I didn’t want to arrive at.

#5
You are only as dangerous as much as I let you be. If I let you be a mistake, you are just a humiliating past to be erased. If I let you be the friend that should have remained a friend, you are just a human among thousand others, a human I dealt with with immature idea of carpe diem, with a stupidity I once called honesty. If I let you be the reason of my happiness, you become the reason I should never smile again. If I let you be the incarnation of all that destroys, you become the plague in my heart that will not end till I die, till I give myself up. The more I let you be within the scope of my life, the more I regret letting you in. I never try to think of you as someone I associated the word love with. That word lets you become my breaking heart, my lungs devoid anything capable of giving life, my mind slowing down and stuck at the worst part of my life.
So when I think of you, I think of you as the result of taking the idea of selflessness, of selfishness, of wanting to be part of this world, of taking “it all must mean something” a bit too far.
Because irrespective of what you might have been for me. Now you are only as dangerous, as important as I let you be.

“What I Remember (24)” – Nayana Nair

It is time to go out into the world.

It is time that I try hard to get my heart broken
and pretend that it is happening for the first time,

to claim that I trusted blindly
knowing it is not something I am capable of,

to fit my body awkwardly
in the kind of life that people call ‘life’

to find words, to practice the new lingo
that can make something about me relatable,
so that my skin soaked in a tiring tale of sadness
doesn’t make me an alien,

to fill me up again with pictures
of parks, cafes, malls, and roads filled with people
who supposedly like each other,
if not a lot,
then at least enough to not let their ailing self
ruin the perfect moment, the perfect teamwork, the perfect promise.
(Perfection that relies on someone else
doesn’t sit well with me.)

It is time I find something new
that I cannot be or cannot have
before I lock myself up again
for next hundred heart years.

So while I am out to find something to write about and hurt about
miss me my cell,
pray for me.
I am afraid that once I am surrounded by all
that I have learned not to want,
I might start to hope again.
I might slip again.
I might forget to see the distance that I carry in me
and get disappointed by the doors that I can’t reach.

“The last brick is in my heart” – Nayana Nair

In every country, in every city,
on every street
stands a home that could have been ours.
I am a daydreamer like that
As I passed the house with an always crying child,
as I passed the house with the overwhelming smell of incense,
as I passed the house with singing reality shows played on repeat
I only thought of the life we could have there.
In my mind, we fit every house, we fit every role.
Even if our body was stripped of every muscles and every bone
even if we put back together the wrong way,
even if we our heart were to be rearranged,
in my mind we would still fall in love.
That is how we had molded the spirit of our love-
to be stubborn (if not right or just).
But now there are years when I don’t remember you,
and yet there is no sadness in me that is capable of ruining me.
You are gone
and I am trying to grieve for something I don’t particularly miss.
As I pass the houses where our stories used to be staged
I realize they are again the buildings of strangers
that I am supposed to keep my mind away from.
My sadness selfishly keeps uttering,
“I need to love someone, someone who won’t do this to me.
I need to love someone, to believe in love again.”
I reach home with bloody nails and bruised fingers
leaving behind bricks with our names scratched out.

“i hope i forget this life” – Nayana Nair

matter, substance, meaning…
as my vocabulary expanded with such words,
i knew,
i had an inkling
that this is how
i would be disillusioned,
with such small words
i would be driven to despair.

i would find there is another face behind every smile,
and that some of those upturned lips are just empty coffins.
a smile so sad, a wordless lie
so easily becomes the most normal thing.

but do i even want to know
who lives behind such elaborate masks?
do i care to know how they breathe?
do i want to know who breathes in me?
or whether anyone really care about me?

i knew that now,
given that i have learnt to ask
all the questions whose answers can’t be verified,
living and trusting was bound to become harder.
now that i knew
that i am not capable of knowing myself,
seeing my reflection
was bound to get painful and confusing.
confusion is such a small word
for what life does to us.
all the small words
that are easily said than meant-
i hope i forget them
before i forget myself.

“replacing your name with bruises” – Nayana Nair

My love for you is nothing special.
We are not the only ones
whose life is turned upside down
by the sheer force of our heart.
But would we have known
what our hearts are capable of
if we didn’t see it for ourselves.
If we didn’t fail, would we have known,
that the ending we took for granted
was not the default setting for this game.
“I am your nothing and you my nothing”
Is it too late to admit this (to lie)?
Walking towards you, into your arms
I want to forget this feeling, can I?

“Words that I must not forget, but I will” – Nayana Nair

A stranger told me
that I am capable of living better,
if only I throw away my thoughts and assumptions
about what I deserve and what I should not want.

The sun tiptoed around me
stealing a bit of my shadow for every minute
that I stood at the door created by these words.
But I didn’t have the courage to go inside.

So I went back to living my life in the worst ways.
But, for some time I was happy just by thinking
that there exists a door that one day I can open,
that I probably looked more human that I thought.

That in itself was a happiness, a relief
I never thought I could feel-
knowing that the what I had lost was not myself,
but the only heart to face myself, to comfort myself.

“What do you know?” – Nayana Nair

why is it so
that i can only choose love if i let myself look weak.
it should have been easy to look weak and crumbling,
when that is what i feel all the time.
but it isn’t easy.
maybe because the weakness of my heart has never made me look incompetent,
it just made me look cold and aloof.
being good for nothing is more tragic than being broken or being hated.

how hard i have tried all my life to be good at something.
so that i am not useless, so that people don’t leave me behind on purpose,
so that i can at least look like someone capable and not be embarrassed of myself.

after all the years of running around
and making myself believe
that soon, soon i will become someone i can be proud of;
instead of finding myself, i find you.
i find the in myself the want
to let go of this control, that hurts my hands,
but letting go hurts my pride.

somehow i can’t stop blaming you for asking me to live as me,
for asking me to stop hurting myself.
what do you know about the life i have lived?
what do you know about the things i have sacrificed for living like this?
how can you ask me to break what i have built for years?

i cry, i push you away, i cling to the what i am supposed to be,
asking you why you can’t just be what i supposed you would be.
again i am asked to choose between me and this world.
again i know i will choose myself.
(by choosing to please the world rather than choosing myself?)
but you have some nerve to declare that i won’t.
i hate you for your stupid confidence
and your disregard for all that i will lose.

“Wilted dreams of our heart” – Nayana Nair

we keep walking through these roads
lined with trees of wilted dreams,
laden with fruits
of all the happiness that we do not want.

our hearts are narrow cells
capable of far less than we think of,
but always wanting more than what it can hold.
our greed is not a monster,
but a pitiful child who has lost too much,
who refuses to give up anything anymore.

we wait for this child
to stop wanting,
to stop crying,
to stop hiding,
to stop hoping.
we wait for this road to end.
we wait to be abandoned by this child
whom we have let down too many times.

“Small Human” – Nayana Nair

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Our now
and forever
will be just like
our today.
Though I am a small human
who can never jump across the divisions of time
and reach to the you in the sadder future,
to comfort you and assure you of my love.
I know I am helpless like that.
I know there are many things that I am not capable of,
there are many things that my love cannot solve.
But I will keep you in my thoughts always.
I will keep it in my mind
that how easily you are hurt
and how it is not your fault.
I will become someone
who can love you without giving you pain
so that your sadder future never arrives.

“What I Remember (3)” – Nayana Nair

 

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somehow that is where i always found myself.
crushed between the expectation that i had from myself,
even if these expectation in no way could be ever called achievement,
even if i could fulfill them.
maybe that is precisely why i felt
so crushed when my plans didn’t work out.
it was not because i asked for something small
and didn’t get it.
but because even though i had set such
an easy goal to achieve
i was not able to reach it.
the problem with those small goals were
that they didn’t exist because i was humble
or because i didn’t need much in life, or was satisfied easily.
i set them up within reason.
i set them up within my reach.
i found them as something that could be a stepping stone for me,
as something small that i can hold in my hand
wherever i went
to remind myself
that i am capable of something,
even if it is not something great.
and that’s why i used to be frustrated with myself
that i was not even capable of the minimum.
i could say it is almost in past though.
this calculation of what i could do,
finding something smaller than my assumption of my capability,
failing at it in epic way,
and reducing my own worth in my eyes.
i can say it is in my past
because now the circle of what i can do
is so small
that it has only space for me to stand.
that would explain by blues.
that would explain a lot of feelings
whose origin i can’t seem to trace these days.
that would explain why i am no longer afraid of dreaming
but incapable of doing so.
because all my efforts are spent on keeping my feet firm on this ground
which i now know is too easy to loose.