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“Not So Bad” – Nayana Nair

he sings the most beautiful song.
so beautiful
that the sky becomes a reflection of the heart
that he can barely carry in himself.
the words on his lips
they break, they sound different,
feel different,
they sound like the first cry of a baby-
the violent coming to life.
they run and collide and shatter
against the rough indifferent surface
of this dying world, a not-so-bad world.
he becomes a not-so-bad singer.
as he runs out of breath and love
someone places a coin of gold in his hands.
he means to feel grateful for this compensation,
but all he can do is hold his tongue, hold his tears.
hold his bitterness in himself
and sing another song dreaming, waiting
for an honest reply, a genuine care,
an understanding gaze in return for laying bare his humanness.

“Fossil” – Nayana Nair

Drop by drop the wax fills
the bucket of broken butterflies.

I am falling into another sleep,
into another death that is warm,
that embraces me like no lover ever has.

I feel the pain in my wings, and unlike other days
I try to think that this will never pass.
That I will remain like this, with a bit of pain always there
in my shoulder blades, under my ribs, aching for a memory that floats
above my body, above my existence.

Someone holds my hand and I let them.
I was always afraid of living and dying alone.
I guess there are many like me.

Years from now they will find us
and probably write stories
about how we loved each other even in death.
As they look at our almost ruined and almost saved faces
they won’t know how we died heartbroken,
how we held onto each other
but never dared to look at each other
or ask the names we had started to hate.
How our skins melted into each other only because
we had nowhere else to be.
That even as light broke free from our eyes
we didn’t want to look like failure.

“As the fire dies out” – Nayana Nair

After a long time, I feel like walking
towards the calm unknown.
The wildness in me that I had thrown away,
is waiting for me.
They were always waiting
to tell me all the gossips of stars and fishes,
how lost and alone they both felt
to know that blue they had in common
were totally different worlds.

The clothes that made me look somewhat beautiful
I fold them with care,
leave it somewhere you won’t miss.
Their newness would be the new metaphor for sadness,
sadness – yours and mine.

There must be a magic to undo this curse of our feelings.
There must be an answer, a life
that doesn’t necessarily need us to be together.
I will ask the cruel fairies that live in dying breaths
to make you forget me at sunrise,
to make me feel something for you again,
as my life with you ends.

“Greater Good” – Nayana Nair

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The trees are alive today.
They ask me to sing them to sleep for the last time.
I sing for hours
but they refuse to close their eyes.

They ask me how I have been,
not waiting for my answer,
in one breath they ask
about the words they don’t understand,
ask me about the days I do not remember anything about
(there are so many days I have no memory of
while I can’t forget the days I really want to forget),
about the rain that has left us long ago.

Their love for this world that they do not understand-
makes me jealous,
makes me wonder,
if I could love also this world as much as I want to
if I knew a little less,
if I gave up this human heart
that knows nothing but to steal and plead,
to take away and bleed.
But if I knew how to give up myself
for my greater good,
I would have done so long ago.

I can only stay selfish,
act better than what I am,
sing songs to the trees
that will soon be killed for my sake.

“Wrong Way” – Nayana Nair

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They forgot to teach me
the most basic thing-
to know which side I should take
to keep a check on papers, to see sense
when someone tells me what is politically right
and to agree when they tell me that identity is everything
not only mine, but of all those who live on same piece of land as me.
They forgot to tell me to fight and argue
in the name of and for the sake of people
who didn’t care about the fight,
who were fine living the way they did.
I ended up believing
that I could just exist without belonging to any shore
and maybe make my own
and pray that no one joins me
and turn my life into something to live by.

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How could they have overlooked this ,
didn’t they foresee how I would sit awkwardly
midst strangers and have nothing to say
about how the world was run.
Would they consider me silly,
would they think that I am shallow
if I was thinking about the fictional character from a story
and his conflicts?
Would they judge me if the story in question was not about
wars, rivalry or mid-life crisis
but one of romantic ones with cheesy lines
that everyone seems to detest?
They should have told me to memorize lines from papers
and opinion columns
and pass it as my own,
when I was not interested to form opinions
on topics that seemed to be of grave importance to others.
I should know better than to write poems on love and sadness
when people are dying around me.
But I don’t.

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I think I may have been brought up the wrong way
and there is nothing I can do about it now.
But I am not even sure whether
I want to fix the things
that I asked to feel ashamed of.

“Adjust to Red” – Nayana Nair

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It was gruesome
because everyone kept walking,
thinking they can move on and grow up,
only if they stepped over
whatever was left of themselves
to become friends with the faces
that are still drunk and happy
with the taste of their weakness.
It was scary
because it was normal
to be cruel,
not only in hatred, but also in love.
It was unbearable,
till it was not.
Till my eyes adjusted to the red,
till my hand became familiar
with touching all that is dying
or touching only to kill.
Till I learnt to close my eyes
to everthing
I knew
I couldn’t save.

“My promise to you” – Nayana Nair

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I will place the promise of tomorrow

on your lips.

They will first taste of cyclones in my breath.

Then they will taste of desperate dying breath.

The will taste of light and of blindness.

They will taste of the dreams that slip from your eyes.

They will taste of the skin that

we are yet to grow.

They taste of things

that we are yet to lose.

I will place the promise of tomorrow

on your lips,

that will soon be your yesterday.

My promise will be memory of

passing trains and fading love.

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