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“What I Remember (28)” – Nayana Nair

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As I grew up, whom I hate changed constantly, it changed more frequently than my dream for future roles.

Maybe that’s why I was so particular about what I hate and I did it with fervor for the first few years.

But as time went on that hatred turned into just another silence – my refusal to speak with anyone who I wanted to hate.

And now it has transformed to hating people while I pretend to get along with them. Curling inside with anger at the same jokes that I feel compelled to laugh on.

It is not an easy thing to do but it is still easier than all the alternatives. (The alternatives are my nightmare.)

Because even though my hatred has grown over time, I also find it in me that space to accept people at their ugliest, not loving them, just accepting that they too can live here, be here and do what I hate, and telling myself that I have to be fine with that.

I have come to hate this side of me the most – this cowardice dressed as generosity and understanding, where I do nothing but smile as my blood, my ideals burn and collapse.

Maybe that’s why I have hated myself most, with constant determination, without doubt. This hatred is my only light – my anger at myself, for not doing enough, for taking up fearing my uncertain volatile feelings and views, my own voice, more than I fear this world.

“Black Pond” – Nayana Nair

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As I climb,
my steps remembered the shoes I once had
the ones that didn’t hurt so much
and how hands of mine that hacked through them
just to become my own person,
some sort of grown-up.
I climbed over the yellow soft dress
and the light that it caught
just to get this, this body that looks held together
but is not
(this body knows only how to fall apart),
just to get few more shadows that ruin my beautiful wrist
with their persistent passion.
They claw through me, to see how I am made,
how I look and speak once I break.
A stranger once left me at the bottom of a black pond
and called it love just so that I won’t cry
and in return I called him my love
just for few breaths, just for my life.
I climbed over the right to mean the word “love” thereafter
and the dream of knowing a heart other than mine.
I breathe as if I have sinned
yet I walk like I am happiness and determination in flesh.
I cling to all the bitter bits of this world
as if they would ultimately save me.
I climb over, get over, and forget
so easily, so bitterly
that each feeling of mine is just a shade
of resentment.

“To the one who who couldn’t change me” – Nayana Nair

The answers I hear
are never the words you speak.

The answers I hear answers are
poorly dubbed clips of proven cruelties and truth
that only a stranger to my pain could utter,
that only you could utter.

It is the thoughtlessness
with which you try to pronounce hope with ease in front of me,
even when you know the names of all the dead ends and dead smiles
where hope has always led me to.

It is the thoughtlessness with which you try to replace
the glowing shards of sad words from my crown
that I have fallen in love with-
my eternal friends who are as unwanted as me.

My crown and its sharpness are just walls for you
and my claims of love for who I am is just an act.

My dark feelings take up more space
than me or you combined
and yet you like to call me small.

Your light
only gives me new shadows to play with
and yet you call me weak.

The color of my eyes and song in my heart
don’t change for your liking
and my love for you doesn’t change.
Yet you call my passions temporary.

While my answers are the ones
that you cannot accept or even see.

My answers exist in a place where I exist
not in a place where you or me would like to be.

I hold onto your hands as much as I try to let go
-that is my answer
Those are the words that you cannot speak.

"cold light"- Nayana Nair

the leftovers of last night
fill my fridge.
“never to be ruined”
is what i would want to believe.
but i do not have the patience
to wait and see.
i do not have many things in me-
lacking of sorts, but not as deep in feeling.
it is fine as long as it doesn’t reach me.
it is fine as long as it doesn’t reach me.
i step away and sit down
it the unnatural unnerving glow
of all that was delicious once.
on the floor beside the broken fridge door
i wait for my hunger or desperation to return.
i wait to see what i loved in the love
that is dying without me.

“appetite” – Nayana Nair

god, don’t give me the ideal.
i have lived here too long.
now i can’t seem to love
anyone who is not a bit mean,
who doesn’t bite back.

i seem to only have the appetite
for unsure feelings.
i can only tolerate to hug
something that is breaking,
a breaking that nothing can stop or change.

and on the nights when i became aware
of my own faults and the end it is leading to,
i could only stop crying
because i was hugged back
by a faulty product of your factory .

thank you for breaking this world,
for breaking me
so slowly and so beautifully.

“Folds” – Nayana Nair

You are gone
and I try to hold the spoon like you used to.
I chew my food with my left molars as you did.
The ghosts that I have wronged, that I have forgotten
now include half of my teeth, teeth you would have never used.

You are gone
and you are happy (probably).
So I memorize name and phone number
of your every friend,
I recall the fondness you had for them.
I wear your feelings when I meet them,
I wear your feelings even when they won’t fit me.
I wonder if they noticed how I was spilling at some places,
how I was non existent in other folds-
folds that used to hold you so well.

You are gone
and I am gone (or that’s what I think).
I am my work, I am my songs,
I am the adjectives you made for me,
I am the report cards, I am the dust that settles on it,
I am the afternoon TV shows, I am the language I don’t understand.
I am what I am fond of.
I am mostly just you.

You are gone
and I fear
there is no one that can
stop me from growing
into you.

“The Scale of 1 to 10 (part 4)” – Nayana Nair

I have been collecting books on building sandcastles from the the remains of things humans leave behind. This is all I have ever read – how and where to find the stones called history, how to grind them so fine that they can forget themselves.
In my hands they become another extra leg of the ever wobbling chair that already looks like a monster, the miniature castle no one can live in, the gigantic dinosaur that won’t get the chance to destroy this world, the skyless blue that will keep dripping from the ceilings as long as people want to see the rain that won’t ruin the glow of their skin.

 "People burn lamps of clarified butter
  I've ignited the lamp of my heart.
  People swear on their faithfulness
  I've eaten the poison of separation.
  People lose their heart in love.
  People lose their heart in love.
  I've also lost myself.
  But still me getting extinguished
  Was liked by my beloved"
  -"Luttna", Cocktail
 "Giving and receiving scars is part of being human
  And I don’t think I was really scared of that.
  I clashed against things like I was going to break
  And I don’t think I was really scared of that."
  -"Green Nocturne", Nell
 "sometimes the roof of feeling leaks,
  we remember old thirst,
  but new clouds dance and rain,
  they kiss the forehead with chains of drops..
  it's the time to get soaked,
  a new weather is standing nearby,
  it's a small, but big thing.."
  -"Dhoop Ke Makaan Sa", Break Ke Baad
 "I guess that I
  I just thought maybe we could find new ways to fall apart"
  -"We are young", Fun.

I love to hold exhibitions where people can look at something beautiful enough to make them cry and not even realizing that they are looking at something they never wanted to see again, that they are looking at themselves the way they never wanted to.
They might not understand this, but I do.
The “unnecessary” that is so easy to cast away is the only thing that their heart wants. That is the only happiness that feels like happiness.

 "We imagined the future we saw together 
  on top of that high hill where a blue wind was blowing.
  We launched a big paper airplane which flew anywhere, 
  carried by the wind.
  You laughed loudly as you saw my distant look.
  Your hat was blown off by a gust of wind, so I ran to catch it"
  -"Control Tower", Galileo Galilei
 "The headlight that shines into my heart
  has become completely clean.
  All of your memories fade out.
  Inside the storm, my heart is green light"
  -"Eraser", Taeyeon
 "Cuz I taste you in every shot that I take down
  But I feel so hollow"
  -"Here Come The Regrets", Epik High

No one is innocent, no one is blameless.
Helpless they may be, ignorant more so.
But all who seek reality and stability have killed someone or something that was too weak to protect itself. That is how we become good enough, deserving, suitable to live in this world.
The ones who suffer grow up eventually. But they grow less and less each day.
So knowing this, how I am I supposed to hate these murderers? How can I not save all they burn as they cry?

 "Fear takes a hold of me and my heart grows heavy.
  And a sigh comes out of my mouth again.
  Time made me into an adult,
  but I don’t think it made me strong.
  Time made me into an adult
  but it made me that much more of a fool"
  -"Green nocturne", Nell
 "I am still the same person I was before
  I am here, the same person I was from before, but
  An overgrown lie is trying to swallow me whole"
  -"Lie", Jimin (BTS)
 "Here comes the rain
  So many scars never fade
  This is the price of war
  And we've paid with time"
  -"Fight the Night", One Ok Rock
 "Today is a winding road that's taking me to places 
  that I didn't want to go
  Today in the blink of an eye
  I'm holding on to something and I do not know why.
  I tried"
  -"Thunder", Boys like Girls

So when they start hearing voices, when they feel that none of their masks fit their faces filled with fear- they come to me.
As they wait reading magazines filled with faces, bodies, lives, circumstances that are better than theirs, I sculpt a lie for them.
I call it a lie, because that is easy to accept, easy to display in their living room. Unlike truth, seeing it or showing it does not involve damage estimation.
This is how I make a scratch on the face of reality even when my hands are tied. This is the only happy ending I can give them, the only happy ending they can accept.

 "This field is lined with the brave
  Souls in relief
  We'll fight fight till there's nothing left to say
  (Whatever it takes)
  Fight fight till your fears, they go away"
  -"Fight the Night", One Ok Rock
 "Yeah I'm walking on a tightrope
  I'm wrapped up in vines
  I think we'll make it out
  But you just gotta give me time
  Strike me down with lightning
  Let me feel you in my veins
  I wanna let you know how much I feel your pain"
  -"Thunder", Boys like Girls
 "So if by the time the bar closes
  And you feel like falling down
  I'll carry you home"
  -"We are young", Fun.

No one is innocent, no one is blameless.
But they are weak. We are weak.
I need to save them. So they can save me somehow.
In their tears, I see the tears that I have not learnt to shed.

 "Just give me a reason, just a little bit's enough
  Just a second we're not broken just bent, 
  and we can learn to love again"
  -"Just Give me a Reason", Pink
 "We fight, fight till we see another day.
  Whatever it takes."
  -"Fight the Night", One Ok Rock
 "Carry me home tonight"
  -"We are young", Fun.

“Sense of Urgency” – Nayana Nair

Today I realized
what to call all that I have been reading for so long.
A person I didn’t mean to overhear called it ‘a sense of urgency’-
the desire to save this world as soon as possible.

It seems the enemies are too many.
I saw many names in the list of these enemies
that I silently agreed with-
pollution, dictatorship, bullying,
monetization of education, competing in a rigged world,
oppression of lives and loves of minority, hate crimes,…

I scoffed at some:
the collapse of society in the hands of socially withdrawn,
collapse of economy in the hands of those who want and do less,
the unfeeling and unapologetic generation that seems to love depression,
women whose learning and thinking too much only breaks families,…

“this is the cause worth dying for”-
I suddenly became afraid of that feeling.

As I read all the absurd causes I couldn’t agree with.
As I read and became exasperated at the words of those
who were convinced that they knew better
even as they killed and killed and killed
and got addicted to seeing blood dissolving in oceans.
I realized
how dangerous this feeling could be.

“this is what to means to change the world.
to change the world
is to walk over everything I don’t want to see”
My sense of urgency hated me for thinking this.
It recited every quote about silence of good men.
But all I could now see was the line that I must not cross,
the words I must not say, the knife that I must never hold-
no matter the cause.

The Scale of 1 to 10 (part 2)” – Nayana Nair

#about the street where we won’t meet

There is a street in my mind, where an often underappreciated singer sings about a love that stands just across the street. Forever they stand there, one trying make up combinations of words, variations of beautiful verses – not to win her heart, but to beg the world to keep her beautiful memory alive. Forever her image hovers and floats above the ground, but he is too faraway to notice.

   Well the first time that I saw her
   Standing in the middle of the road
   Eyes as bright as Christmas lights
   Wearing someone else’s clothes
   I did my best to ignore her
   But ignoring my best pretty soon
    - "Words", Passenger
   I’m opening my eyes
   I see you
   I shake my hands
   So your image scatters
   No matter how much I do that
   How often I do that
   Still, in front of me
   You are smiling
    - "Opening My Eyes", Zitten

And this is where my mind is stuck. Not at the numerous meetings leading to heartbreak, not at the years that passed too slowly, not at the will to live and smile that grew weary too fast, not at the silent ending that is more serene than happy.
My mind is stuck at the point where I am stuck in my life.

   Even tomorrow I will see you
   Even tomorrow, I will hear you
   Even tomorrow, everything will be the same as today
   -"Time Spent Walking Through Memories", Nell
   I want to remain
   I want to dream more
   …
   I’m just walking and walking, among this darkness
   My happy times asked me this question
   You, are you really okay, it asked me
   Oh no
   -"Awake", Jin (BTS)

There are roads that I cannot cross and always at the other end stands someone or something too beautiful to be ignored. There stands a poem I wish I had written, there stands an alien undecipherable tear that I wish I could understand. There is a torn down building that feels like a home that I should yearn for. There is a pile of love letters that I never got to read. There is horde of faces I couldn’t trust, but I wished to. There is everything I could have been, if I only had the courage to be selfish.

   You were so precious
   Countless memories that you placed
   In all of those moments
   In all of those times
   You were always beautiful
   -"Opening My Eyes", Zitten
   Even within some stranger’s figure passing on the street
   Even above the leaves riding the wind with a lonely dance
   Even within the air brushing past my cheeks on some evening
   In everything I see, hear and feel
   You are there
   Yeah, and how are you?
   …
   Even on that big empty chair left on the side of the street
   Even in the glass I thoughtlessly filled to drink some water
   Even within the mirror I face to look at myself
   Even within the music secretly sitting in deeper from the edge of my ear
   You are there
   -"Time Spent Walking through Memories", Nell
   The last thing you taught me
   Is that there are types of happiness that don’t come back
   -"Lemon", Kenshi Yonezu
   And besides, you probably don’t know how much I was saved by you
   -"Melancholy Kitchen", Kenshi Yonezu

This is what my world is made of, this what this world is to me. Something I feel and love with all my heart, with every drop of my existence. Yet something that is too far away, only because my feet are glued to this piece of land. Because I want to stay here far enough to not ruin anything so good.

   Oh moon, My moon
   I’m not trying to embrace you
   I know that you are too immense
   To fit into my arms
   …
   Oh moon, My moon
   I’m not trying to own you
   The reason why you’re so dazzling to me
   Is because I am a pitch-black night
   -"Dear Moon", JeHwi 
   Letting it go
   Seeing your light
   Living my life away from you
   Being your light
   Far from you
   -"Aurora", Savina & Drones

There is a street in my mind where the lover and the loved are always separated. Here they stay forever in each other’s sight. On that street love never ends, love never ask for practicality, never gets hurt nor does it get tired of waiting. Here the love doesn’t ask for approval of this world. Here no one changes. My feelings, here, are not something to be hidden away, or to be lied about. Here my feelings, my attachment is not a nuisance, but the only meaning that I need to live.

   Since then, when I think of you
   —Someone I loved
   More than I ever thought—
   My breath stops
   -"Lemon", Kenshi Yonezu
   But if i could
   I would love
   To be the light
   Just the light
   That shines upon you
   -"End Roll", Androp
   Memories that spill down
   Words that endlessly come up
   How can I hold you back?
   I’ll be here
   I’ll be here
   -"Opening My Eyes", Zitten
   All the angels who know pain
   Flying on damaged wings through the night
   Every time I'm thinking about love
   Every time I'm thinking about love
   I don't wanna listen to just happy songs
   I'll face my loneliness, color my life
   -"Lights", BTS
   Inside my blue dream
   I want to hold you
   -"Blue Side", J-Hope (BTS)
   Maybe I'm a dreamer
   Or maybe I'm just fallen' apart
   I put it all on the table for you to see
   That you and I, that's what we are
   -"Waiting For You", Grizfolk

“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.

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