“I think I am” – Nayana Nair

.

The person I think I am,

this person with dreams and purpose,
this person with heartful of love
and tears as a proof of its painful blooming,
this person with a lot say and a lot to see
with an agreeable “to-do”
and hidden “what-if-I-never” list,
this person good enough to be included in your plans,
in your friendly banter, in your group chats,
in your betrayals, in your short-lived love,
in your museums of wax, in your corrupting memory,
in your unreliable heart

this person
– this image,
is merely an excuse I give to world,
an excuse I give to myself.
So that I can continue to exist
even when I don’t know why I must.

“Staying awake, staying alert” – Nayana Nair

.

The glass window creaks
under the weight of my head.
I wonder if I should sleep.
Not that it is in my hands. I wish it was .
But then I am afraid
of wishing for anything
that I might not be able to bear-

like her face alive in my dreams,

like seeing myself with a smile
that I can never wear again,

like wanting to smile again
even when I do not want to want such things.

Even when I stay awake, stay alert
to the turning and tossing of my heart
even when I stay glued to the place I had in her heart,
I feel that time is dragging me away
from everything that is painfully comfortable and familiar and lost.

I feel the world trying to rush back into me.
I feel I might lose her too soon, too easily.
I fear there is only so much that my heart can take.
I fear that I will find the peace that I do not want to feel
at the other end of this suffering.

“Things I probably shouldn’t say” – Nayana Nair

I realized that I was too young to fall in love. That my heart was too broken to know how to run away from an embrace. And your embrace was hurtful and genuine – almost beautiful. I didn’t know then that one could be gentle and genuine. Or that there were words other than authenticity and truth and love that are worth living for.

I attributed my doubts, my sad feelings, my loneliness to my paranoia, to my wounds hidden under my beautiful lakes, to all the dark days before you. Even when I saw your lips suffocating mine, I could breathe in just fine if I kissed you back.

If I took your hands and kissed them, it would all be my choice, it would all be a sacrifice for my dearest love. Rather than humiliation, rather than helplessness, rather than the feelings of being locked in with you in this life.

Even as I write, I feel the sting of these words, I feel my fakeness, I feel how it must have wronged you – my gentle, my virtuous, my forgiving image. All the things I wanted to be for you and for me. All the things I never really was.

I foolishly believed that for being worthy of love I would have to first give up myself. I never wondered how you could love the me that left my body when I came to you. I never wondered who you were actually seeing in me, who you held in your arms. I wonder if you had seen my real feelings, my fear of you, the efforts I put to like you – the ugly feelings that I can only see now.

I dreamt of you few days back. I saw you casually slipping back into my life by giving me a paper mache keychain and me being happy, me holding your hand in the glitter of unknown lights. The lights were yellow, you were a bit taller than I last saw you, I was a bit more happier than I last knew myself to be. I woke up hating myself a bit more.

And after my words of confusion, blame, and hurt, here are my kind words. They are few, they are frail, they are nothing in comparison to the wrong that we are but they are there in me just like the occasional dream I hate to be in:

You were sometimes beautiful. You were sometimes kind. On some days you almost meant your love. On those days you meant the most to me in this world. On those days I felt I was good enough to be loved. On those days I told myself that sometimes love is more than comfort, warmth, and understanding. On those days I found it worth it to swim to you through anything. On those days I planned and prepared myself for all the things I should leave for a life with you. I thought I could do it. I knew I could do it for you. There are days I don’t want to separate myself from. Even if I separate from you.

Also, leaving me was the most selfish and loveliest thing you have ever done.

And I hate you even when I say that. Even when I say that, I know that what you did is something people in love never do. Something you can never be forgiven for.

Now, I can only give your words of gratitude or blame. It won’t be words of love ever again.

“Melting a Rose” – Nayana Nair

In rooms like these
my hollowness becomes real.

It becomes an ant that won’t stop walking
with its tiny feet across the span of my hands,
a felling that won’t rest.

It feels like the rain
that falls and fills everything before me.
Leaving me alone. Alone to think of you.

And I.
again I find in you

a hope?
a reason to run away?

hope

I wrap your moonlight around me.
I melt this rose of tears.

I melt myself and my shields
so that you can see me as I see you.

In rooms like these,
with your hope in me

I can’t help but close my eyes

and dream of finding me in front of you
holding onto my heart

and you finally smiling back.

a reason to run away

I look at my bleeding hopes,
unlike you I have not yet learnt
how to not hurt.

So I bleed silently, fearing
I might be the wrong answer,

fearing the regrets that you might discover
the hurt you might know

due to the imperfections that I collect
and fill myself with.

Every time I dream of you
the rose in my heart melts a little more.

The melting drops burn my eyes.
There is only pain in the place where you used to be.

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 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.

The Scale of 1 to 10 (part 5)” – Nayana Nair

#enemy_of_hope

On my way to you, there is a world that I must walk through. In the dense fog, through the things truer than us, the steps that I take are the heaviest, the decisions I make the most difficult.

“Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons every where
Looked at clouds that way
But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all”
“Both Sides Now”, Joni Mitchell

“I embrace the world and take a quick, deep breath
The stinging air that fills my lungs says it all
Yeah, I who wanted to escape countless times
The long times I suffered through, becoming numb
Right underneath those times
Everyday I pray
that I can be a little better grownup
And everyday I stay
Because all humans and all the pains eventually die
We have to face the wind to become numb”
“Everything Goes”, RM

“As much as my heart flutters, I’m just as afraid”
“Serendipity”, Jimin

There is a sky that sometimes waves at me, sometimes sings to me in rain, sometimes reminds me why I must stop. I have followed rivers as blue as this view to find a feeling resembling love in me, I have created a version of myself softer than these clouds so that it is only me who is hurt in the stories that I tell you when you find it difficult to find sleep in this world. Stories that you recite back to me, on the days my heart refuses to beat for anyone, even for you, even for me.

“Just when I thought a day
As beautiful as everyone else’s
Was about to start
Clouds out of nowhere
Gather to pour down their rain”
“October Rain”, 10 cm

“If I was only by myself
If I didn’t know you
Maybe I’d have given up
Lost at sea”
“Heartbeat”, BTS

There are steps made of stone, a corner store selling smoke to kill or to cloud my heart when it gets unbearable, a house falling apart with a kid gone lost, a kid falling apart in the reckless pursuit of something better than the safe shadow of easy peace. I pass by them to the next road, pretending that I do not know the possibilities of great failure awaiting us all, especially them – those who wait for change with a heart of hope.
I walk a bit faster, just as you told me. I do not let my shadow, the sound of my restless steps reach them. I think of you and keep my pace. I think of you who will make me forget this unpleasant afternoon, this misfortune of seeing myself before I was wrecked.

“I see Pinocchio wearing a poncho
That’s me some time ago.”
“Tokyo”, RM

“Maybe I got stronger
Maybe I got indifferent
I used to cry only once or twice a year
But now tears are coming
On this hidden path”
“Nosedive”, Dynamic Duo ft. Chen

“If I keep walking around reality, impotently
Sometimes, I feel like a ghost
Loneliness is like a grave
But you always take me out of it
You’re like the chorus of this song”
“Nosedive”, Dynamic Duo ft. Chen

“You’re my painkiller
When my brain gets bitter
You keep me close
You keep me close”
“Painkiller”, Ruel

“You seem like the whole of this world to me
Harder and more painfully embrace me”
Best of Me, BTS

My heart is an enemy of hope.
My hate for hope rises more and more everyday. It rises like a child filled with helium and happiness, it flutters like a flag of a nation I do not recognize and can no longer love. My hate for hope, runs through the carnivals, through the fields of futile dreams that my feet trample and waste away. It runs into your arms of firework filled with love. And you, you smile, confused if it is okay to have such a stubborn single-minded love born out of hatred for the world, wondering if you are bad for me.
My heart is an enemy of hope that never wanted you, never dreamed of you.
My hopes still sits beside me, telling me about the things I could have had and loved instead. Sadly, my hope never dies.

“I began to change,
began to fall, and be steady..
since I have known you,
I have started to move toward you..”
“Hasi Ban Gaye”, Humari Adhuri Kahani

“I can’t sleep, homesick, babe.
I just wanna stay right next to you
If I could choose my dream
I just wanna stay right next to you.”
“Tokyo”, RM

“What kind of soul do you possess
to have something that ties me to you like this?
Even though I don’t even have old nostalgic memories of you?”
“Seoul”, RM

“Yeah, even if I want to fly, I don’t have any wings.
But your hands become my wings.
I want to try forgetting the things that are dark and lonely
together with you.
Even though these wings sprouted from pain,
they’re wings that face the light.
Even if it’s hard and it hurts
if I can fly, I’m going to fly.
Can you hold my hand
so that I won’t be afraid anymore?
Because if you and I are together
I can smile”
“You Never Walk Alone”, BTS

I force myself up the uphill road. I cling onto railings and walls decorated with moss. I am never alone on such roads, I become everyone I face. I almost become someone you could never love. I am army of possibilities, an army raging against your reign. I become the person who, even under your closed eyes and soft breath, cries for all that ended up dead just for me to love. I become the person who placed his ears on the ground above your ribs, searching for a way out. I again become the faceless heartless entity enchanted by the the glitter of masks that demand a sacrifice, of you and me.

“If I could make sense of it all
All the hours I don’t understand,
the time we can’t go back to,
the moment filled with nothing but regret –
it seems like all those times will go flying
I don’t know how to cope with the feelings
that I’m feeling without you now”
“Insomnia”, DA₩N feat. YAYYOUNG

“Sometimes I’m disappointed in myself
I willingly trample on myself
“Is this all you are?
Have to do much better.
You have to be much cooler.
If you’re gonna lose, might as well die
You have to win, you you you.
You.”
“Uhgood”, RM

“I’m now so tired of you
Your constant ash-grey expression
No, no, I’m afraid of myself
Because I’ve already become a part of you.”
“Seoul”, RM

“But I can’t give up the “me” that you know of.
I can’t let go of the “me” that I know of.”
“Uhgood”, RM

When tomorrow comes,
How different it’s gonna be?
Why do love and hate sound just the same to me?
“Tokyo”, RM

My way to you is a world always in turmoil. It is also filled with glowing breadcrumbs of your love. I could never lose my way even within myself.

“But I believe, even though it’s unbelievable
Losing way
Is a way of finding way”
“Lost”, BTS

Even if it is the path I chose,
and everything is a fate that I created
Even if it is a sin that I committed,
and this whole life is only about paying for my sin.
Walk with me.
Fly with me”
“You Never Walk Alone”, BTS

“I have not seen “the end” for me yet either
But if that [end] existed, wouldn’t it be you?”
“Best of Me”, BTS

“What can I do? I speak with your words
And I breathe your breaths
I’ll be you
You, who are holding me,
I kiss your sword”
“Best of Me”, BTS

“On rainy days
Lying down, not a single word
Gazing with our eyes closed, everything becomes ours”
“Everything”, The Black Skirts

“What are we doing now?” – Nayana Nair

Another chance
to get our high
from the powdered dust of dreams,
from digging desperately, getting closer to the voice
of the demons we buried just yesterday,
breaking nails and curfews to
save the skins we can’t live without.

Another chance
at making a home,
choosing colors for our ceilings,
choosing the sides we will sleep on,
choosing not to be the ones we have always been.
Another chance, another precious child to be broken,
another angel dress to be painted red
waiting for our hands, for our tasteless kiss.
Choosing everything that leads us to lives
that couldn’t possibly have been ours,
couldn’t have been so wrong.

I know we are the only ones
who can give each other chances.
Chances – that we are so fond of.
But do we need to call it love?

Though we have tried and tried
and have run out of things that can be fixed.
Do we have to call this happiness
just because we have been told we must?

Do we have to ruin every word, every feeling
that we have not felt yet,
just because we fear we may never feel them otherwise.

“What I Remember (29)” – Nayana Nair

At a bus stand in front of mall (that I have never been to)
I learnt how to wait and how to live with disappointments
without making a big deal of it.

In the bracket of an hour, I grew smaller than I ever thought I could be.
“this is what love does to you, this is what love does to all of us”, all the voices in me lied.
I was again weary of the love that I had chosen and the person I had trusted
(“again” – the word that showed me the real reason why it would never work out).

I stood beside strangers on the crowded bus stand, awkwardly crying.
I counted these not-so-scary strangers who were trying to become one skin.
I pretended that I hated to be rained on as much as they did.
I pretended that I didn’t mind their warmth, that my suspicious mind was not at work again.

Hours went by, empty roads faithfully stayed empty.
I became more aware of the boundaries of my body
I became aware of the person who would never come looking for me,
who would look at the three hour long rain and still won’t wonder what happened to me.

We all stood there,
pretending to be the only human
in the group of zombies who had taken over a bus stand out of boredom,
who stared at the wide road, the darkness beyond, and the emptiness behind
as if their eyes were made to witness only this moment.
I closed my eyes and hummed something, anything
that could drown the presence of everyone
who knew the sound of my breaking heart now.

At a bus stand, that could protect no one,
we all dreamt of the worst- of the submerged road,
a rain that will never stop, the cold that would take us down for days,
children forever waiting, of the lightning we could hear but not see

of a love painlessly ending and a heart that shamelessly survived.

“Undying” – Nayana Nair

The brightest star of my childhood dreams
sits on the set of a sitcom
and tells jokes about me.
He wins few hearts and breaks few guitars-
becomes an artist of some kind.
He fills the screens with the love he only spoke about.
I become a bit more irrational in his stories
sometimes so much, that I feel no wonder
when he forgets who I really am.
It feels natural when I don’t look at him
when I talk of love, or when I don’t talk about myself.
I trace the distance between the dreams that he had
and the person he has become
and find myself stuck between choosing and abandoning
the same person with different heart.
How helplessly we have drifted to a life
where our best doesn’t do much,
where my undying love only causes me pain,
where your eyes filled with dream only makes you blind,
where the death of our love and the tear from my eyes
are the only thing that gets you closer to what you want.