“Dry Rivers” – Nayana Nair

.

The river is finally running dry.
I heard someone rejoicing to hear this.
What is a river without it’s water?
I am told it is money, it is development,
it is more money.

Another colony, dozens of businesses springs up.
There is nothing to be sad anymore.
I walk on the roads trying to trace
the skeleton of what is lost.

Now, I know the names of few more rivers
that are nowhere to be seen on maps.

The numbers of such ghost keep increasing.

There is a language that no one cares for.
There is a city that forces everyone to leave.
There are words that don’t sound fancy anymore.
There is an accent that needs to be exorcised from tongues-
the identity of what we are is a secret,
something we can be killed for.

But it is the season, the world
where rivers dry out beautifully,
where aches turn into anger, into revenge,
into art, into denials,
into search for something new.
But rarely does it turns into tears.

How is it we have so much to lose,
so much that is already lost
and yet have so little to grieve about.

You stand beside the fire” – Nayana Nair

In the rubble with nerves hiding sparks,
in the nest of sleeping explosives,
again it is you.
Again you are here to prove something
by doing something unasked for.

You build a place for warm tea,
for all our shivering ghosts to haunt.
You place the chairs that are not chairs
but buckets that cannot hold anything now.
There are chairs that are lying around just fine
but you want don’t them.
You don’t want the old purposes eating away
the beauty of all that is left behind.

You console the ones holding onto what is no longer there
but you don’t want the ones who want way back to what it was.
You ask us questions with your bleeding lips
you want us to answer with something real,
not just words.
“You are cruel”,
you laugh when we say that.
You make us leave everything we are
just so that we can finally sit on empty buckets
thinking about the hands we cannot hold,
thinking about hands that are no longer hands.

“The city is no longer burning”, you tell us
as you place our empty glasses in front of our empty eyes
and tell us it is fine if we don’t believe it now.
“Sleep. Dream and stay for a while with the molten and bombed,
the lost and the dead that still have your heart.
Take your time.”

As we lay awake in our heart-wrenching grief,
as we lose ourselves to your favorite world of sleep,
you stand beside the fire
that keeps us alive.
You stand beside the fire
that is not actually fire
but your heart
that burns like sun.

We wanted to tell you, “You are kind.
You are too beautiful for this world.
Have our heart and burn it instead.”
But we couldn’t .
We knew these things were easy only in words,
that these were things we couldn’t do, yet.
That we have not smiled and laughed with bleeding lips,
helping while being hated.
That we were too selfish to be you.

“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.

“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.

“creation” – Nayana Nair

strangely
even there,
even on the canvas of my imagination
where I get to act the god,
even in that world
where you are nothing but my creation,
even there I can’t imagine
a happier end for us.

-o-

because i can edit our photos
on the cities we never got to visit
and i can write you some words, give you some hints
on how to make me want you want you back.
but even when your puppet hugs mine back
i know it’s only me, my hands,
my heart, my body, my hopes hanging onto something
that would never be you.

-o-

so let it go“, i tell myself.
let’s stop calling every ache by the name of love.
let’s put our ego to rest.

“I have nothing of you” – Nayana Nair

I walked into troubles, into fogged minds,
into friend circles that cultivated their alter egos
on every meager piece of earth
that they otherwise couldn’t plant their feet upon.

I walked into crumbling cities, into impossible dreams,
into the lifeless replicas of your heart-
hoping you would come after me.
But as time ate me up
I just hoped that you’d remember name at the least.

I wish that you had stepped a little closer to me,
given me false hope, and broken my heart.
but I have nothing of you,
nothing to hate you for,
nothing to remember your love by,
except the empty place I made for you to stay in me
– the only part of me that makes living difficult for me.

“Find Your Door” – Nayana Nair

As I walked around the city all night,
as I put my tears on display on empty roads,
I realized nothing has changed.
Standing there
I knew that I am okay if the world sees me like this.
Even if the streets gets lighted
I can continue to cry, I can be pathetic.
I was fine being pitiful in every eye but yours.
I feared how you might not like all this.
And that’s why I had to show you
what I looked like
when you are not there.
I knew I had to find your door
and wake you up from this dream
that could surely not be love.
But as you finally opened up the door
I found myself smiling again.
Confused
whether I am trying to hide myself again
or you are all I need to forget my sorrow.

“Keeping alive the happy me” – Nayana Nair

My day to day wanderings
take me to places and people
(and websites)
who have never known a happy me.
I ask them “am i fine today?”
and they answer “yes”.
So I search the map
for a river in a distant city to cry by.
So that they continue answering ‘yes’.
So I can continue calling this hiding a “fresh start”.

“Unending” – Nayana Nair

tumblr_p2bn7aRVXh1w6w84oo1_500

The city of her dreams is always colored in brown,
always covered with drops of unending rain.
The kind of rain that makes the air cold
only to make her aware of the warmth of love within her.
The kind of rain that makes her want to sleep with a smile.
Whatever it looked like to others,
there was comfort in the owning a dream that was only hers,
in the sky that was never empty,
in the heart that is never parched.
It doesn’t matter how sad the onlookers feel.
It doesn’t matter of they can’t see, can’t understand
why she loves what she loves.

“Not Love” – Nayana Nair

tumblr_o413zqIv841v8rayeo1_500

The mountains I must scale
and the currents I must swim against
are all in you.
Love has nothing to do with
me wanting to know the storm you have become.
I find myself the reason
of your flooded cities of hope,
the chaotic streets of your mind.
I refuse to leave you alone in this disaster,
even after knowing
that my departure is the only way to
quieten the commotion in your life.
Love has nothing to do with my selfish wish
to stay by your side.