“Eavesdrop” – Nayana Nair

From my empty room,
from the edge of my personal cliff,
I looked into the windows of strangers,
looked over their shoulder at texts they write,
looked at the pages where their bookmark rests,
silently waited at the edge of my chair
trying to overhear responses to the big questions.

And all I have known by prying so hard
is that there is nothing there.
Nothing in the text that could pass for shorthand.
The same book rests on the same table for years,
serving only the role of a carefully thought out accessory.
No question is big enough to be carefully considered.
No relationship is important enough to be held to heart.
That I was foolish to believe otherwise till now.
That I am putting myself on another path to heartbreak
if I do not believe in the night that I see.
I must unlearn the way I have lived
to find a place to belong.

In between the cold beginning and cruel ends
that are the parentheses of our lives,
there is nothing for me to hang on to.
But it helps to know
that there are plenty of empty rooms in this painful smaller eternity,
that I need not kill myself over an emptiness so common.
And it is really difficult to feel alone once I know that.

“The Noise of Empty Heart” – Nayana Nair

I close your heart.
I stitch you back
in a same haphazard way
I do almost everything in life.
The same way I knocked down
every clumsy fragile landmark
that could have actually helped me at the end.

From your mouth I have come to know
that my hopes are tied to the throats of my saviors.
That you are disgusted as you see me
sitting on top of sleepless nights
as I help myself with another serving of self-pity
that I won’t be able to digest.
That I laugh a little too long at the every joke
that the world plays on repeat,
all the while the cruel thread that I am
I cut the skin, I cut the voice, I cut the air.

“this what i am, change me in an easy way, see this is how i am hurting, why won’t you look at me when you said you wanted was the real me”

I say as I try to crawl back into the hide of your love.

“i will stitch you back, if i have hurt you. if you want to hear goodbye, i will say it a thousand times. please, please stop crying. please for once hesitate before you ask for the door out. ask for once if it was easy to take in your sorrows, your demons, your cold shoulder. ask for once how i have fared, how i have come this far, how am i letting you go, letting you be, after loving you so badly. “

“how storms fade” – Nayana Nair

twenty-six steps away from the cold end,
we stand together as if we are both looking
at a foe we must defeat together.
a child passes us by with a yellow balloon.
how misplaced it seems, this child
in this place made of storms.

this is something i don’t want to do.
our steps will fade into the deep end of this lake
while the mother in me would summon the face of this child
as a hope of what i could have had
if I could endure a little bit more.

an invisible small hand curls around my fingers
as your voice falters and you mess up our last song.
the ghost of your future, whatever face they may have, have also arrived.
so i put back the sweater on
and you check the calls you must return
as the ones who intend to live on only do.

“notes to myself/words i never follow” – Nayana Nair

travel light
and don’t get your heart broken
no matter what you are promised in return.

don’t try to make another’s skin yours.
the cold won’t kill you, but the search of warmth will.

you may cry, cry, and cry.
you may think you will cry for an eternity.
but sleep will still find your exhausted eyes
and you will learn to dream somehow.
but do not have the same dream again.

do not seek forgiveness
for what you have done to yourself.
seek a doctor, seek a friend,
seek a way to live,
seek a way to see yourself as victim also
even if it crushes your pride.

bury your heart
only in your own chest.

“What do you see?” – Nayana Nair

i sat on the cold melting ground,
my hand filled with what would soon be me.
“there is nothing to scavenge here,
there is no hope in such death”,
you said as you placed my hand
on this face that you no longer called yours.
what do you see?
(you asked this so often)
what would you like me to say?“,
were the only words i could say back.
disappointing isn’t it? we come all this way,
we almost became good enough to live in our dreams
but at the end the only words
we could say with sincerity was sorry

(it could have been worse, it could have been goodbye)
now that my hands were trapped between yours.
now that you are finally okay with giving up.
my black strands of hair learn to cry,
my shirt learns to turn transparent,
i learn to not love you for your sadness.

what do you see?
-a love that would be never returned.

what do you see?
-a love that needs nothing in return.

what do you see?
-a love who cannot not return back to me.

“A lie for every fear” – Nayana Nair

I walk past houses
that are too silent to be there.
Another drop of tear
lands on my hand.

I dare not stop and look.

I fear I might end up finding
my own home that I had left.

In my eyes I might end up holding
the face of the one
whose sorrow I can’t still bear.

I once lied,
“I will love you forever”.
I fear I might now find the love
that I didn’t have then.

I fear I will ask you
for everything that I do not deserve.

So I lie once again,
this time for your sake-
“though my heart is cold,
love is not the fire I need”.

“You’re right” – Nayana Nair

last night

*i do not like saying last night
because once i only used to speak of it as ‘yesterday night’
until someone told me that it’s wrong, even if it means the same

so last night
i thought how it is something you’d say
“it means the same, but you are wrong”

sample conversation
(based on reality, read too much into lines,
sounds more neutral that it was, maybe not much of reality then)

my heart feels so empty
can’t you love me bit more
while i try to fix myself
i promise you
one day you won’t have to try
but i need you today
i need you to try a bit for me
can you wait a bit for me

you will remain empty till you hold onto yourself only
contrary to your belief
you cannot fill yourself with you
you can only be full of yourself
which might be the case that you fall under
thought i am not professionally trained
to point out the wrong
in people’s heart
but there is so much wrong with you
that i can’t swallow the judgement i have passed on you
i cannot help you grow up
i have a life, i have a dream
i have a need for someone
who can be there for me
without asking such things from me…

and so went our conversation
and obviously you were right
you were right to such an extent
that i would be just making a fool of myself
if i tried to negate the facts

so being the emotional being that i am
i hated you
for being correct, for being so cruel,
for speaking coldly about me,
for letting me know more about-
self-indulgence, self-pity,
victim mentality, and emotional manipulation.
and if i cried now, you’d be proving your point.
if i complained, you’d be writing it down as a case study
to support your claims.

and because of my stupid unrealistic love
and my distorted sense of reality
i sat there in front of you
saying “i am sorry”.

you are right
i need to get rid of what i am
to get anywhere in life,
to get over you.

“this how i want to be frozen in you” – Nayana Nair

wave after wave of cold air,
of sad premonitions
reached us, tried to convince us
that this was a really bad idea.
that on a cold day like this
there were easier ways to find warmth,
ways that would take away no part of us.

and frankly i was afraid.
i stopped maybe a million times on my tracks.
i waited for someone to call me
to remind me of something really urgent
that needed my attention.
i almost prayed for you to give up.

but you kept walking.
you kept repeating that this would be fun.
so even when your hands were shaking
and even when your eyes were red,
i chose not to notice it.
i chose to believe that your heart is stronger,
that you would get us there.

you were always better at pretending for my sake.
you pretended to know all the answers
while i shamelessly hid behind you
when doubts barked at me on streets.
so when we walk on the river that could melt any day, any moment
i wanted you to lean on my heart for once.

my fearful weak heart was the only thing i could give.
i knew my love would last only moments and yours would last an eternity.
but selfishly i held onto you.
so when i kissed you and you smiled,
i want to say i felt sad and guilty,
but i did not.
i was just happy, probably the happiest on this planet
to have touched this sun, this spring, this filler of all voids,
to have become the reason you will break.
i really am the worst.

“the giants continue to live in my dreams” – Nayana Nair

Across the street
lived the giants.
The green giants-
who waited for rains to cry,
who waited for the night to speak.

Thankfully the windows
in my temporary home
were small and few.
Thankfully it was always cold,
that awful cold
that makes you want to sleep
for a long long time.

So I slept and slept.
I ate whatever my mother cooked.
I waited for her to tell me
what I am to do with my life.
While the kids I never spoke to,
went into the home of giants
to put them on fire,
I slept.
I slept and cried in my dreams.
Because tears on my real skin
would make this sadness more real.
Real sadness demands reasons and explanation.
Real sadness demands proofs.

I slept
to dream,
to stand among them-
the ones who have learnt
how to live and die quietly,
to forgive easily.
I waited for the day
I would grow roots,
the day when I could smile
at my falling leaves.
I waited for the day
I could become one of them
and not the cruel outsider that I am now.

“Moments with a Cold Sun” – Nayana Nair

With each day crossed out.
With each dresses, each mask added to the my wardrobe.
With each hand that passed into mine,
with each hand that moved onto the next too easily,
I realized I knew how to dance to this tune
that used to frighten me once.

Another stranger,
another potential lover,
another sun that has already grown cold,
whispers in my ears – words I do understand.

I search for a harmless smile in my bag.
I hang it carefully on my face.
I turn myself into a gift,
into a substitute of love
for this person –
who is dying like me,
waiting like me,
for something, anything
to fill the time left.