“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.

“Wedding Photos” – Nayana Nair

It was like magic
running the highlighter, the bright crayon
over the sepia hands of her.
She didn’t complain or cry
as we ruined another photograph of hers,
as we tried to hide the evidence
of her failed love, our failing life.

We cut her out, moved her away
from the one who looked like us.
We placed her side of story, her half of heart
in the albums.
Albums that felt lighter
now that the responsibility
to remember only the good, its difficulty
was no longer our business.

We shredded few faces of his,
few others we drowned in ink.
His face was the reason we couldn’t look at ourselves,
the reasons of all the hurting words
we learned so fast.

After we ruined everything for good
we stared at each other,
and saw the tears we should’t be having in us.
This wasn’t how magic is supposed to feel.
Why?
Why was there no thrill, no relief in what we had done?
Isn’t it our turn to be free from the one who left?

“50 goodbyes a day” – Nayana Nair

There are no dances waiting for us,
no innocent moments of sunlight,
no darkness or headlights striking our windows,
nothing worth the wait.
We are stranded here in this life.
We are stranded on a planet
far away from our home-
a home that becomes more and more beautiful,
the more we are convinced there is no way back.

Here the days are longer than our lifespan combined.
Here we record 50 goodbyes to ourselves a day.
The air, the hurricanes,
the rain, the smile,
this peace of mind
are all just luminescent chemicals
that delivers more than its promise
of a near death exhilaration.

The rainbow of lies is our constant sky
the friend we cannot live without.
It is the only thing
that helps us live with the dust of betrayal
that settles on the clothes left out to dry-
another thing we much dust away and forget,
another thing we must do to be called a “good sport”.

I sit here knitting another version
of my beautiful glorious past,
another tribute to the world filled with rare ordinary
and you sit across me
complaining about what the world has come to
as you paint my brain to match the new you-
one less insecurity in this perfect world.

“Lost Coin” – Nayana Nair

I wanted to tell him
that I went back to the fountain
the one made of moon marble
in the neighborhood made of coal
,
and I fished for his wishes,
the forgotten cold coins
,

that once I believed I could find him
in the things he left behind

and I was wrong.
I could only see the lingering complains
and the eventual hate
in the fact that he left.

But the romantic in me
just couldn’t stop
till I did the impossible,
The romantic in me has no eyes, no ears
only a tongue to ask for more.
The work of running, begging, searching
for a lost coin was left to me.

So I picked a random coin and lied
that
it was his,
just like I picked him in this world of millions
and I told myself he is mine.

I wanted to to tell him
that even I was tired of my
“shows of love”
which played one lie after another
till someone broke.
But I guess he knows already.

“Bland” – Nayana Nair

I heard her again complain about warm hands.
A hand that remains warm, always warm,
so warm that it almost becomes a fault, a flaw.
That it turns into blame, into words that make no sense-
“I could have loved him if he was not so good.
Good is suspicious. Good is bland.
Good is you when you try to be something you are not.
He cannot know my heart, if he cannot be human enough to sin”, she said.
I wonder why I never met them – the bland people
who would be good for my heart, whom I seek in every hand I touch.
Maybe I confused grand gestures, big promises, passionate gaze
for goodness too many times.
I wonder if it is just my weakness, my weariness
that now wants someone harmless to live along with.

“my dying love for lemonades and other similar things” – Nayana Nair

In my wardrobe
I have hidden skeletons of you and me
from last year, from the year before,
even the year that never was (as per your memory).

When my head aches from the mention of all the light
I am supposed to see in life

(according to the countless articles on positive thinking),

when I have had enough, but can’t mention it
on the face of well-meaning people

(the handbook of gratitude tells me I should forgive
everything that is done by well meaning folks-
I mean EVERYTHING, have you heard anything more preposterous)

when all the scenarios I used to complain about
become my best case scenario

(it feels like every inch in my home
is occupied with people that I am told not to hate
phew! - you know how forgiveness is not exactly my thing)

when I fail at acting fine, as you taught me to-

I sit among those skeletons
have no care about being with the clothes
that they will never get to wear,
who don’t have a heart to be ruined by.

I try to find comfort
in the thought, in the fact
that an year from now
I will be here,
that I will be the part
that dies by the next spring.

I won’t have to live on to become the part of me
that would hate lemonades, love and laughs.

“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.

“A Beautiful Bird” – Nayana Nair

From my broken heart
comes out another bird.
Ignoring me, abandoning me
it flies beautifully, cruelly
into another world
away from me
and something feels a little less in me.
I am not complaining.
I always wanted to feel a little less.
I was glad that in some way a part of me
is finally free from me,
that some part of me could finally breathe.

“Your Cactus” – Nayana Nair

i never learnt about gardening, nor about patience, nor about caring,
nor about looking after anything that doesn’t speak, doesn’t complain,
doesn’t tell me in plain words how i am terrible, how i mistakes make me
even if those mistakes are not mine.

i wish i was blind, i wish i was mute,
i wish i was the cactus in your bedroom.
i wish i was the books you didn’t read but can’t throw away.
i wish i could stop wanting to be a decoration in your life.
i wish i could stay human and stay in love at the same time.

in my room
i close my eyes, and find myself with you.
it must be dream, i wish it was.
for here you don’t cry because of me,
don’t have to tear yourself up just to be nice to me.
i wish it was a dream
because here i have forgotten to tell you
that i can’t love anything that loves me back.
i wish you stop making my heart ache with your sincerity.
i wish i woke up
before you sacrifice anything more than you already have.

“Having All” – Nayana Nair

Since the broken have got their share of songs,
now let us grieve for the ones who are complete.
who have got more than they wanted,
and have too much in their hands.
Who walk with a loneliness similar to the ones who were deprived
just without the right to complain or take pity on themselves.

. . .

Maybe it is this ‘having all’
that would become the reason of their cracks.
For in the pauses of the ones who I thought were happy,
I have often seen a wait for another life.
They find themselves wanting this struggle
that has been romanticized and exaggerated
so much that, it becomes a yearning.

. . .

They find themselves hating
this infinite stretch of perfect utopian dream
that cannot last
only because the mind that creates and wants the perfect
in trapped in a body that by nature are attracted towards disorder,
towards its own undoing.