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“Living some sort of life” – Nayana Nair

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His face lit up
with the death of every colorful explosion in the sky.
He hates this sky on other days
(among other things).
Today he loves it, this darkness,
this crowd, even me.
(Maybe not me,
but it doesn’t mean anything to me now.

But in moments like this
I am reminded of the “me” who would have wanted his love
or at least be part of the world that can be loved.
The ‘past me’ shakes off my hand
and stands there looking at him
as if he is her sky,

but only finds the signs of deaths
that have nothing spectacular about them.
I stand there
looking at my sadness, his sadness
breathing the air and living some sort of life
for once.)

He stands there looking at the sky
through my silence, through my awe,
awe at his simple happiness.
(How long has it been
since he has loved anything with his
breaking heart.)

He stands there looking at the sky
even when curtain of stars resurface,
even when the screams of children dissolve.
He stands there abandoned by the world
and yet happy.
(I stand there abandoned by him,
by myself
and yet happy)

“hope is a bird with nine lives and slow deaths” – Nayana Nair

Now that we are an year apart.
Now that everyone has been talking about
new beginnings and second chances,
I let myself be myself,
let myself be swayed
at the hope, at the thought of the ONE.

But being myself
also means to be keep my heart broken.
It means to leave every crowded room
to find the corridors where I can be finally alone
with the mistakes I am about to make.

I hold someone who could have been you but is not.
I cry the same tears that once made you pity me.
I jot down a name and a number
and a weakness, a need
where I could fit myself into.

And as I lay in bed
I feel something sad and beautiful in my heart-
an end that I am creating for myself.
This is how love has always been for me,
so I let it be and smile
as I kiss another stranger
who won’t be able to save me from anything.

“Now playing: the ominous names you are yet to know, yet to resent” – Nayana Nair

I board the train that I could
thinking,
only thinking about the one I couldn’t.
There are only tunnels, only darkness,
no network,
only cold metal that I rest my head
hoping for my fever to come down,
only windows that turn into mirror.

In those momentary mirrors
I always look like someone on life support.
In the crowd that no longer suffocates me
I cling to the wires that fill my ears
with the sound of past, with love that will never come back,
with the love that I will never be,
with everything I can’t bear to talk about nor forget.

Though it pains me to look at myself for more than 2 seconds,
I force myself to withstand my stare.
For if I take my eyes away from me
I end up looking into eyes of strangers
who twist and distort their faces
asking for a reason they can understand
or they end up looking away,
their heart as fragile as mine.

We all act as if we can know each other by a glance,
as if we would prefer to be the backdrop, the wallpaper
than to find eyes that can actually see us,
than to know one more human who is hell bent on proving
the brittleness of our species.
I understand their heart, their fear all too well.
My skin remembers what their heart has forgotten.
Though I don’t think anyone really forgets things like these.

“All your cold dark songs” – Nayana Nair

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as i get inside the crowded bus,
a phone rings.
a ringtone just like yours.

has the world shrunk to the size
of the tragedy we created,
that i find you like this?

i know it is not you,
but it could be.
so i do not turn back.
it could be you,
so i try not to cry.

this is not where
walking away or breaking clean
should lead to.
at least not back to you.
at least not like this.
not on the day i finally felt
that i could move toward a new happiness.

why did you come back?
to tell me how i am not worthy of anything good?
to tell me no one can love something like me?
to tell me how thinking is unhealthy for love like ours?
to check if my skin remembers your anger?
to tell me to speak softly, to submit to your wishes
if i wish to be forgiven for your mistakes?

why did you come back,
when you don’t even want me?

“Chase” – Nayana Nair

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I came here knowing that you would be here as well,
knowing that you won’t like to see me here
or anywhere.
But I have been always good at not seeing the truth.
So as I put on the dress I wore when I first met you
I told myself – if you hate me, resent me for showing up,
it is because you have not forgotten me yet;
if you avoid me it is because you know you would love me again.

The distance has dulled all the pain that I felt with you
and I prepare myself
to dive again into the turmoil, the feelings
that result from seeking you out again.

But as I enter this room
this crowd that knows our history
can’t decide whether to get us closer or to keep us apart.
No one says your name around me, even though you are in front of me
and I wonder, how long it has been since you have heard my name as well.

I have taken a step
and now
I have to wait for you to take the next.
Would it have been easier for me
if you could just utter the word ‘end’,
instead of avoiding me like this.
As the hour I have allowed myself to be shameless ends,
as I wonder how will I ever make my way out of this world of yours,
I feel the air beside me shift
I feel the old me waking up in myself again.
But it is not you.
You have already left.
I realize the end I could never imagined
exists,
that a ‘you’ without me exists.
That I must find a new way to exist now.

“Gray Crowd” – Nayana Nair

There is only this life,
that is made by imitation of stories.
Stories that told me
how to feel
and what to say,
told me to cry and ruin myself
if you turn away,
told me to leave my everything for your sake,
never told me how tedious all this could become
and how much frustrating it would be
to have a love that doesn’t give me back
all that I was guaranteed to get.
What to do if I am no gentle virtuous princess
or even a woman of strong heart and character
but a person not even worth a mention, let alone a heart.
What to do when I am indistinguishable from the gray crowd,
when I am not so special and not so deserving of all that I want.
What to do when my clocks have stopped in that one moment
that I let myself down
and every kind lover is separated from me
by this distance in time.

“My Character” – Nayana Nair

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The crowd, every crowd-
they exhaust me
and frighten me.
They take away air around me
and tell me to leave myself at the door,
if I want to come in.
They like to stare a lot,
they like to condition my mind, my eyes to look away when they stare.
Is this the point
where I am supposed to sit down with a sigh
and tell a sad story-
about how I was wronged (isn’t everyone?),
how they never apologized,
how there was nothing to apologize for,
how people find it easier to support the one in wrong,
how it is easier to hate myself that to hate so many people.
The most painful but convenient words that I can tell myself-
“maybe they were right” “i took it too personally”.
How the result of telling someone all this
are more words like these-
“you are not the only one, it happens, it is normal”
“don’t make a big deal of it”.
Is there any end to what one must hear and suffer
just to give an explanation that people want so badly to hear
and are more desperate to brush off as weakness of my own character.

“Keys” – Nayana Nair

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The keys beneath my finger
are tired of creating words and sounds,
that live too less and die too soon,
because they couldn’t breathe
in the air devoid of you.
Bigger waves of noises
drag them, drown them
and lose them to the place
where they lived before they were born.
They wait in the crowd of wannabe songs
only to become calluses of forsaken hands.

“Imagining Difficulties” – Nayana Nair

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The difficulty
of looking at empty roads
and imagining a crowd
in which I could
search for you.
Of looking at our life
imagining difficulties,
imagining hurdles to cross
to reach you.
But here you are
separated from me
by a sheet of decaying skin.
You are painfully near
and no guides have been written
to cross the gulf that separates us.

“River” – Nayana Nair

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Rivers of people
crowded the alleys of my mind.
Every thought of mine
had to go through them.
And they were relentless.
By the time it made through them,
it was not the same.
That beautiful new born thought
had turned into a old stranger.
I learned one thing
that I can never have a thought
or an action
that is truly my own.
And even when the building and the skies
of my mind decay,
the people in those alleys will live on.

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