“Cursive” – Nayana Nair

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On most days
I desperately want to believe
that everyone else are humans,
just like me.

I write it down in cursive,
under the shadow of my incomprehensible muttering-
“they are not as bad as they seem.
you are not as bad as you think.”

I wrote it again and again
knowing I would never believe it anyway.

But I continued to write these lies
because I still wanted to make an effort.
Because I hated everything I could see, the reality that shouldn’t be,
things that needn’t be this bad,
this life where lies were the happiest part.

“Even when things are right” – Nayana Nair

“The sky is your canvas”,
the book to all ailments said,
“there is a joy in filling it up with life.”
But as I finished my 157th sketch,
as I finished my 300th one,
as I finished the one with no count attached
(the one I called “the limits that were stronger than me”),
as I write over all that I had drawn,
as the clouds dragged themselves painfully
crawling to some better place,
like everything else in my life
the sky remained unchanged.

And when I lost my hands to fate, to slow corrosion,
to the burden of creation,
to the lady in white who couldn’t even lie that “it won’t hurt”,
to the painful work of making up things that I want,
things that would want me back, or at least won’t walk out,
to the hunch that said something is seriously wrong
with the kind of life I have.

I wished for the man in the sky
to wake up and get to work,
to make me some rain,
to drop an ocean of crystal on this world,
to paint a heaven on this cheap sky of this miserable man.

Because trying on some days, on most days now,
feels like living against the wishes of the world.
I can’t help but break a bit, cry a bit
even when things are right,
because they right only because of my efforts.
Can you give me something that I don’t have to work hard for,
something that was made for me,
something that I can keep.
A thing, a person, a sign
that I can hold in my hand
that tells me that you want me to be happy,
that you want me to smile,
that I am not abandoned after all.

“On the Road to Spring” – Nayana Nair

The trees that flower
may extend their hands to the pitiful us
and ask us to walk with them,
learn a bit more about beginnings,
about the ends that we must eventually be.

Tell me, in those moments of hope
am I allowed to want?
What should I do with the people
I have abandoned, about the things
I can’t be forgiven for?

On the new roads,
am I allowed to keep the heart that I once had?
How do I grow up into someone
who doesn’t have to put effort to be kind,
who can smile without guilt?
Do I even deserve that?

“The only way to be complete” – Nayana Nair

I sit on the cold boulder
and film everything, just like I am told.
I am told, only for today,
I should stop sewing myself up haphazardly,
messing up the live-stream,
and talking about things that will never happen.
I have been told to put a hold
on the wonderful manipulation that does no good
to any effort my mind puts
in fixing things back.

My mind doesn’t like me much, understandably.
And I don’t like the idea of fixing anything- a harder concept.
Maybe that’s why I burn as my mind looks around me.
Maybe I should actually stop, when I am told to
but I don’t want a way out, I don’t want to look.

“i promise not to hurt anyone but me”
“i am fine like this. don’t take my tears seriously.”
“please don’t mind the doctor’s note.”
“please don’t mind the smoke in this room,
it is a temporary solution to my emptiness,
till something worse comes along.”

There is an exit sign that flies far away from me.
There appears a road
that it eats itself up .
There are bridges that I have cried over
and the fires that no longer burn.
Everything of beauty that I had in me
I have lost it here.
I have burnt my body, nerve by nerve,
for the sake of peace and love.
Let me live here
near the ashes of my past selves
near the life that cannot be,
around things that can’t be helped.

“Assignment” – Nayana Nair

There was that pile of paper
I could
never keep safe.
The crossed out, always crossed out words,
words always out of order,
words turned beautiful
only because they dissolved
in my frustration.
Only because now I cannot read them
without effort.
I must make something out of them
something that couldn’t possibly be mine.

The blue ink dripping,
forming planets on unexpected letters,
forming planets on my hands.
I would take them to class
and look at them as if now I meant something more,
now that I was suffering for something I want.

I raised my hands to answer a question
I have already answered hundred times.
I sat down and swallowed my teacher’s frown.
He didn’t have to teach me
that right answers matter
only when they come from right mouths.
(I once got an A only because I forgot to put my name.)
I knew there was nothing I could learn
by swallowing frowns everyday,
but still I dragged myself, my broken planets,
my half burnt poems in my half burnt hands
to the one who doesn’t think twice
before asking me

to hate myself better.

“Eventual Fall” – Nayana Nair

She just laughed and said
“you are not really intelligent,
you know that right?”
as she packed her bag,
making space for her only notebook, with difficulty.
I wonder if she really needs all those the things.
She is not a careful person,
I know that because her list of priorities is horizontal-
everything is important, everything is equally dispensable.
I hear a song breaking at the bottom of her lungs,
when she talks of the new thing that she will love forever
when I know she won’t.

She lets me know for my own good “geniuses are not made by effort,
love doesn’t happen by hard work,
quit swimming and struggling when you are on land.”
She takes me by hand, teaching me how to walk,
teaching me her pace.
Her pace unsettles me. She gives cruel names
to my innocent actions as she smiles.
She smiles at me while I wait for my forever to end.
And only because I hate myself
for not wanting to love her sometimes
I smile back.

I wonder how far my determination can take us.
As she finally boards the train home, after missing out on a few,
she says “stop struggling, when i am with you,
i know your heart, even when you don’t.
it hurts to see you like this,
things will eventually fall in their place.”
I wonder if she is pushing herself, within the limits of who she is,
to save something of us, to save something of me.
I wonder how she can love me, if she knows how petty my heart is.
And because I do not know the answers to her,
I wait for us to fall into the places.
I think of her and find it easier, this wait.

“Small Impossible Dream” – Nayana Nair

Her floor had always been the color of the season
I remember this, only when I step into the mess of her life.
The spring issues lay scattered like the flowers
The pink, red, yellows, and greens,
women who only know youth,
women who only grow younger
the kind of woman she wanted to be
(what a small impossible dream)
and she almost is.
And now that she can never change
would she be happy?
When/if she comes across her own lifeless eyes in the missing posters
would she be glad to be one of the “sad popular”?
I shatter the home of her missing goldfish
in my haste efforts to pick them up
and put them out of sight- the bundles of glossy paper
that my eyes can’t handle.
I try to put them away,
wanting to throw them away
now that she wouldn’t mind, now that she won’t yell at me
or anyone for taking away too much of her.
I want to try it.
i want to try, so she has no option but to stop me.
“let’s leave her in peace” tells me my moral compass and my grief.
“i don’t want to show her the kind of respect that only dead deserve”
shouts back my anger and my love.
I drop the heaviest bag in this world on her rain soaked bed.
Her last dress, her last chocolate wrapper, her last bus ticket,
her last mistake, her last breath
everything spilling out,
everything ruining the spring that I dreamed for her along with her.

“Cheap Literature” – Nayana Nair

Don’t ask which part of me
are easier to love.

I have tried so hard
to become someone who cannot be be loved
without effort or tears.

My faith in love,
my faith in those who love
or it’s absence
is not so difficult to explain.

Clue: Every pop song that leaves you in shambles.
Clue: The books that you call cheap literature.
Clue: The lovers who want to get to the happy ending fast, so they can think about and focus on more important stuff.
Clue: The sappy feelings that you are not interested in.

Those who first talk of my skin and my volume when they talk of love.
(I mean you.)
Those who think that my view of the world, and how the world views me
is just a phase that won’t hopefully be their burden for life.
(I mean you.)
Those who tell me about my selfishness, my unreasonable fears, my unstable suspicious tiring mind over lunch as they run their blade over every bit of exposed skin of mine. Those who are satisfied when I don’t even wince as I bleed, just the way I have been trained.
(I mean you.)
You have made this whole process
more difficult than it should be.

Don’t ask me the easy way.
I might just begin to hate you for that question.

“Unlike me” – Nayana Nair

Sometimes I fear you –
the way you can make me want to change,
the way you make me act unlike myself.
I doubt that maybe I am too easily convinced
and too easily affected by your existence.

I wonder
my effort to become someone you deserve
how is it different from the insincerity
that I have always shown to this world.

When I grow tired of this act
I might end up making you the excuse,
might call you the liquor that I regret giving control to.
I am already finding it easy to resent you
for everything I do wrong.

“You have changed my life”-
is the sweetest sad thing that I never want to say.

“What I Remember (20)” – Nayana Nair

I am told I am not wise,
that I do not have the intellect
that could make anyone swoon over me.
I try too hard, put too much effort
to be considered worth protecting.
I rank even lower on the stats of beauty.
I know that since I have found discarded papers
written by boys-who-will-always-be-boys
who document my plummeting desirability religiously.
But since I am not the type to conform
(tsk tskÔÇŽso many vices)
I cannot help but choose to take on the role
of the bitter girl
and judge in my mind everyone
who cruelly prosecutes me in jokes and harmless fun in my absence,
but are kind enough to leave behind enough clues
for me to figure out where I must stand in this world.

It has become my habit to consider them desperate,
manipulative and not worth my time or attention.
I know now, how to look down on everyone who looks down on me.
It’s a wonderful feeling really.
To feel like a flawed monster with some control.
To be free from the want to be understood by the “cool” people.
To stop expecting for things to change.
I have enough paranoia and enough stubbornness
to last this lifetime.
I have enough reasons to hate passionately all those who hate me.
I may know too less about life,
I may underestimate the phrase “but-tomorrow-you-might-need-them”
but I cannot turn my other cheek
and I cannot let myself want to be a friends/minion of theirs.
My heart may be dissolving in my own acidic hate for this world
But at least I know I took on my own side in all my fights.
I may not expect much from world, but expect a lot from myself.
This is the bare minimum I can do
to preserve myself in this world that changes everyone in the name of fun.