“The door opens slowly” – Nayana Nair

I turned another corner
and walked into another house
that I knew nothing about.
The owner, the god of this land stood there
outside in the garden
telling a child how to create more beautiful loops,
how to somersault,
how to find more worms, more of everything.
An adult placed like a talisman
that couldn’t keep me
or what I bring with me away.
He didn’t even notice the grave that I carried in me,
the open pits in ground awaiting more bodies.

I walked to the front door and rang the bell
thinking, wondering what must I not be seeing
in the person I see as a fool.
I wonder if the graves in him didn’t love him back as well.
The door opens slowly and I wait.
I let my willingness to wait announce to her that it is me.
She makes me a wait a bit more-
that is the nature of game we are caught in.

Seconds and hours I spend on her couch,
waiting for the commotion outside to end,
for “the happy family on a sunday morning” to end.
She has four brother
and an almost sister that they never talk about.
She reminds me this a few more times
so that on the mental map of belonging and similarities
I find this unnamed sister closer to my role.

They rush in like a flood, like a rain gone wrong-
all these bodies that I am not supposed to see.
“They are perfect”, I thought to myself.
I thought of my mother, the anger in my home,
the counting of countless miseries,
the coarse harsh words that filled my eyes, then filled my mouth,
the gentle sunsets that drown only dreams.
“They are perfect”, I think, “for someone living in the same world as me”.

She tells them about my scholarships, about my fragile upbringing,
about the art that runs in me.
She tells them all about the things that they like.
For today she has made them into me.
I smile and say a little too less.
I smile as if I mean no harm.

But I know
I am here.
I am here and there is no escape
from the fact that eventually
I will sit in this room with my love
and with a glitter pen running out of ink.
I will draw, deepen the cracks that I already see.

Such is my nature.
Such are the songs that I live on repeat.

“make me a flower” – Nayana Nair

It snowed all night.
All night I created stars for your eyes.
I bore the weight of the roof
as you slept, cried, ate,
smiled, memorized dial tones,
stared at me like you stare at screens with static,
paused expectantly as you told me the story
about your friend who is filled to brim with sugar
and seems bit odd
when he tries to smile a little bit more always,
filled me with a momentary fear of
whether you saw the corners of my lips tearing up everyday.

I felt again the illusion of love breaking,
its crack trying to find my spine.
Again you ran to me, trying to hold me,
trying to look over all the parts of me
that you don’t understand.

I slept and felt the snow of years settling on me.
I felt your wings fluttering around in my head.
I held the hands of god in my tiny fingers and said with a smile,
“make me a flower, if you can”
“make me something that is beautiful in her eyes”
“give me another sorrow, something simple,
something that can be understood and loved by her”
“let me look at her, without feeling the breaking in my heart”.

“Creature of Claw” – Nayana Nair

How long should I bleed
for the one who holds the knife.

I pluck another flower of kindness
to appease the one who won’t even smile for me.
He looks at it and tells me the tested foolproof ways
to kill this useless plant that grows in me
and cracks his shield.

He tells me he will love me more
if I will cut his skin
instead of making him look as bad as he is,
if I struggle a bit to get back at him
rather than struggle to know him like this.

He says
“i would like us to be peas of the same pod,
i would like us to be the insects with same appetite,
i would like you so so much more,
if you would help me rule this world
that doesn’t listen to me. if you could speak
the same words as i do, words dipped in careless anger
rather than the ones served with pity.
don’t tell me the danger of my dagger
by slicing away your skin. you feel more like an enemy now.
the more you bleed to make me suffer,
to make me give up, the farther you get
from the person i could love.”

How long should I bleed
for the one who holds the knife
to stop him from cutting his own heart.
This will hurt him, he knows,
eventually if not now.
Yet he is becoming a creature of claw with a paper skin,
he is growing a dream
from the horrors he has only read.
The unnatural pauses on his lips,
the look of helplessness in his eyes
makes me wonder if he even knows how to stop.

“why am i hurt by your hopes?” – Nayana Nair

i thought…
i wanted…
i am always looking for…
i am nothing without…

must i fill these sentences?
is it compulsory
to tell you where it hurts and why?

the pencil bends and breaks
in my hand, but my voice won’t crack.
i think a bit of my cruelty shows
through everything that i do.

“have you ever wanted to be a person like me?”
when i ask you this, you avoid my eyes.
the often-spoken-and-never-meant words
surface on your lips,
“i love you for who you are, i want nothing more”
sadly followed by
“it is not too late to change”

“What have my eyes lost sight of ?” – Nayana Nair

As I sing your praise
I end up recalling
how I used to look at you
as if you could save me.
But now we stare at each other
while my life remains what it is.
I don’t call it a mess now,
to get some sympathy out of you,
to get a miracle out of you.
I don’t call it a blessing
just so that you would know
that I appreciate what you gave me
and hope to get a little bit more.

One song, one hymn after another.
I play at the seams of my skirt.
I pick at the skin that I once was.
“is this how we lose ourselves?”,
I want to ask you.
“is this we become who we are,
by cracking and crumbling invisibly,
the moment to mourn-lost forever,
the innumerable funerals no one grieved at,
is this why growing up is painful for all?”.

Instead of prayers
I come to you with only questions.
Instead of your forgiveness
I end up asking your understanding
for what I have done and what I have become.

“bedtime stories of what you used to be” – Nayana Nair

Even as I want to cut out your stories from my skin,
even as I want to walk away from what you will always be,
I end up recalling all the time
you tried to be better than what you are.
When without any calculations,
without the thought of consequences,
without even knowing it yourself
you placed my broken body in your heart
and tried to do anything,
say anything that could make me feel better.
How sincere your words felt to me,
you’d never know.
And that’s why I stay
so that you may know
how you have held me together with your love.

Now that you are breaking,
now that your cracks are the only things I see,
now when I feel nothing like love for you,
I want to be better than what I am.
So even though I feel like crying every time I see you like this
and feel wronged by this life from time to time.
But it seems you are the one thing in my life
that I cannot run away from, even when I want to.

“On My Own” – Nayana Nair

Once the shade of the shutters
are rolled down,
once I am left on my own,
reason and explanation rush in,
try to cling and climb up
the cracks of my heart,
and the folds of my brain,
trying desperately to stop me
to reach out, to find me
in the fog of fear.

But I am already far ahead,
my hands reach for everything it could hold,
everything it could break
and hurl them at the window
till it broke,
till I could cry
for the things that were robbed from me.
I couldn’t stop.
I couldn’t stop hurting myself
even when I lay half-broken under dangling paper curtains,
even when all that I broke pierced my skin and hurt me back.
If I stopped, I would again hear the steps
that always walks over my world and reduces me to dust.

“What I Remember(8)”- Nayana Nair

when i see my past pain in your tears

now come here,
come inside
and cry how much ever you want.
we don’t want the neighbors to know
how much worse we are doing than them.
trust me dear,
it does no one good
if you go around with these puffed eyes
and cracking voice.

you know, these days
it is not wise to act out frustrations
you never know who is idle enough to observe us
and label us as another example
of a failed generation,
a disappointment,
write an article on
how luxury has spoiled these children,
that we are just a bunch of aimless attention seeking
humans who refuse to grow up,
that we are weak to indulge in something so petty.
they will hand you the list of people who are doing worse
(i have plenty of those stuffed in drawers,
just in case if you are curious to know what it says)

i know nothing is right
but it will be.
we will make it right
but till then
do not wait for kindness,
do not expect understanding.
if you get them be grateful,
but don’t wait for someone to come and pick you up.
we will make through this
not because we are strong enough to face all this
but because this is not the first time
our lives are wrecked by these unacknowledged pains.
like always we will break ourselves
and grow smaller in our attempts to grow up.

“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.

“Work Hard” – Nayana Nair

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We could never see each other properly
because we busy working hard,
trying day and night
to become something the other wants.
Or at least something that can’t be rejected on face
or fall short of this friendship
that we could never be sure of.
We worked equally hard
to ignore when we saw a crack in each other’s mask,
to ignore the words spoken out of character.
Somewhere we were too hollow, too materialistic, too demanding.
And we knew it was wrong.
We knew we had no right to demand.
We knew we were cruel and we knew we would be forgiven.
If not now, then someday.
Is it possible to love someone in spite of being so wrong?
Is it possible to use such pure words for a transaction gone wrong?