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“Away from the City of Saints” – Nayana Nair

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so the saint i read about
walked this land,
looked at this river, looked at this sky,
and stood where I stand.

in the cases of glass there are letters,
there are feelings i cannot understand.
they say he made this place with love
here his everything ends, where his nothing began.

but the glass turned into mirrors
his writing became face of mine.
i was pricked by the bitterness
that were not supposed to be in his words.

how can he say the things we say?
how can his cruelty be pardoned for his principle?
why can i not call him hero
like i used to, like everyone still does?
why his truth makes me shrink away from every other truth?
why does his life disappoint me so much?

i came here seeking nothing
but i left losing a lot
and doubting a lot.
on my way back
i left the what he once gave me
and finally picked up what i should have.

“Keep me inside” – Nayana Nair

I can help you count everything you have.
These objects have no meaning to me
but I know something about life
even if I don’t know everything.
I know that your hands
will stop shaking
only if they keep counting,
only when you have confirmed
that you have not become poorer
that you were a minute ago.
I know that you don’t enjoy being like this,
even though people say you are weird on purpose.
I know that you have stars on your ceiling,
only because the ones in the sky
have abandoned you too many times.

***

So I will not tell you
how to live your life.
I will not force
the disease of my heart
into yours, in the name of cure.
Build walls all you want,
but keep me inside them with you.

“What I Remember(9)”- Nayana Nair

I tell myself stories about
why I threw away all that I had,
or why everything was taken away from me.
How I was too weak, will always be too weak
to carry the weight of the gifts that I had.
Or how I was never quite convinced
that I had something to be proud of.
How I was always trying to gauge
how much deep my feelings ran
for everything that I could only sort-of-love.
I can list all similar attempts
where I sought a better quantitative understanding of my specialness
and used these unreliable results to decide how and when to give up.
But if I had to give one consolidated story of
why I was never a failure at anything,
why I never succeeded,
why I had nothing to show for the years I lived
or for the talents that people remember me for.
If I had to be concise and true
I would say
I never made those decisions,
I was never aware of how I felt about
all the things that bother me now.
I drifted away from what I was, from what I treasured,
the way dear friends lose touch, lose each others name,
lose a happiness they could have had.
Only to be reminded of this loss
when it no longer matters.

“Flower Everyday” – Nayana Nair

Walk towards me
with no hidden agendas,
only openly declared intention to use me
for gaining whatever you want.
Call it love, if only it makes you feel better.
Not for my sake.
For me, it only makes it worse.

x

Walk away
with apparent contempt
at what is left of me,
when everything in me wilted.
I know you can only love the spring and its freshness;
the gentle and the forgiving.
I understand, so leave with a light heart.
It was too much trouble anyway
to flower everyday,
to hide my sorrow every time you looked at me.
My real skin is now almost colored in the darkness
that it was hidden in.

x

Thank you for always holding my sleeve
and not my hands.
Thank you for not staying too long.
Thank you for being forgettable

“I won’t be fine” – Nayana Nair

Why does your lie hurt me so
when I know it is a lie?
Why are we ready to act as if
things have gone wrong between us,
when you still love me like you used to,
when I still feel like it was only yesterday
that you changed my life merely by existing.


I want to love you and protect you all my life.
Why are you giving up this life we have together.
I am not so strong that I will tell you-
“don’t worry, i’ll be fine”.
I don’t want to say that.
I will break down if you are not here.
For it’s not only my heart that you have
you have everything of me.
If you turn away from me in spite of loving me,
how do you expect me to carry on living with ease?
I do not want ease.
I am ready to loose my sleep over you.
I know what I am promising
believe me as you have done till now,
I have never given you a reason not to.


Stay with me
even if our love becomes my ruin.
Stay with me
even if it pains you to see me like this.
Stay with me
for all the pains I take for you
and for all the care you have for me-
we can only have so many seconds to be happy
and every portion of my happiness
I want to give it to you.
Stay with me
and let me the only one
who has to carry the burdens of tomorrow.


The one who hold my hand
it has to be you,
no one else.

“Another Failure” – Nayana Nair

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If only yearning
was the correct word
for what I feel for you now.

There is a voice in me
that has taken over my throat
and it speaks what I never wanted to say.

It admits all weakness that you never knew I had.
What is the use of confessing
what no one even suspected?

I ask myself that
even as I continue to speak,
even if you are not here to listen.

Maybe your absence
has given me the courage
to do the right thing.

Now that you are gone,
now that you have changed
I have no reason to hide where I hid.

There is no love keeping me away from
the life that I always wanted,
that I could always have.

But the reason
of this freedom
also leaves me paralyzed.

Though there are many failures in my life
that I made you reason for,
now when I can do better without you, I see myself giving up.

How unfair it is to you, if I give up now.
How unfair it is to me, if I cant even taste the only fruits
whose sweetness you have not taken away.

Love was not that hard
and I do not want to add another line
to the poems and essays who blame love for everything.

That would be another lie, another failure for me,
if even when I am losing I seek someone
who is ready to sink with me.

“Notifications” – Nayana Nair

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It seems I have another friendship to celebrate today
even though
you-who is supposed to be my friend
is nowhere to be seen in the recent calls or messages,
nowhere in the list of people who wish me luck
and bless me on my birthday they don’t remember.
But isn’t friendship more than just
remembering certain dates.
I know that, so it doesn’t matter to me,
so I can let go of such minor details
and not be offended by what you don’t do.
Frankly I also have forgotten so much about you
that even when I am reminded of you
I do not feel much for what we are and how we have ended up.
And I think just like me
you also became aware of my existence
only because of this automated message.
But this is a world where we don’t have to cut ties
to keep distance,
a world where such distance doesn’t necessarily imply
negative feelings or history.
And this grayness of everything that doesn’t go away
even if I am ready look over it.
This grayness that we are prompted to maintain and celebrate
is what is ridiculous to me
and is what makes me sad.

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