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“Virtual Image” – Nayana Nair

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the image in mirror is never formed

I copied this slowly
from my friend’s notes,
reading too much into it.

I moved my hands
over the new definition of real.

I traced the lines, the dull path of light
as faithfully as I could
but the solid blue lines of ink touch the glass
and are broken cleanly by the laws of reflection, every time.

Only I am left in this world of real stuff
tracing back the path
that only their changed selves could have taken.

But what difference does that make?
People who have changed
do they even want those old dreams?

Probably not, for all I see are points abandoned,
in the world of unpublished fiction
surrounded by crosses of dotted lines,
like the ones that are meant to be torn slowly.

the image in mirror is never formed

But it is there, in front of me.
By some miracle they exist
even when they don’t.

Doesn’t that count as real?

The emptiness in me
and in it your face.

Doesn’t that count as real?

Things that make me happy

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universe fireflie has tagged me in this really sweet post about ten things that make me happy.
I will try to answer them to the best of my ability, but it is going to be tough. If you are aware of my writing, you would have noticed that I am more than capable of writing about sad depressing stuff. So writing about things that makes me happy is a bit weird for me. So before I make this more awkward…let’s start!!!
WARNING: This is a really really long post.

In no particular order…

My Sister
When I think of happiness, my sister is the first person that comes to my mind. It would be an understatement if I say that I am extremely fond of my sister. She is my favorite person in this world. I love how sweet she is, how much curiosity she has for the world, the genuine interests that we both share. Any day, anytime spent with her is bound to be filled with happiness- may it be the serene calm type of happiness or laughing out hearts out type happiness. She is crucial to my happiness.
I am lucky that I happen to be the sister of my best friend. 🙂
Afterthoughts: My sister draws really well. I am so proud of her that I can’t help but promote her work here. She will probably kill me for this though.
Here are the links to my sister’s work, if you are interested : WordPress, Instagram, and Youtube.

Books
I love to read. I am not sure if what I read is intellectual or refined enough. But I like what I like – mostly fiction and poetry. I think reading is what led me to have love for words and even for this world. Books make me believe that there is a meaning in everything, that life is meaningful. It is the kind of assurance that life by itself has never been able to give me. I wouldn’t categorize books into a means to escape from life, but rather a new layer to life that makes me more tolerant of people and world. I love buying books, reading them, finding more books to read. Even the sight of my bookshelf, the thought of all the books that I am yet to read, even adding a new book into my “to read” list makes me feel excited.
Afterthought: On that note, here is a quote from the book I am reading currently:
“Running might take her forward, it could even take her home; but it couldn’t take her back–not ten minutes, ten hours, not ten years or days. And that was tough, as Hely would say. Tough: since back was the way she wanted to go, since the past was the only place she wanted to be.”
― Donna Tartt, The Little Friend

BTS
I will try not to make this too long (because I know I am fully capable of turning this into a 8 hour presentation on BTS).
I love BTS. I love their music, their performances, their passion, their ethics, their character, etc. I cannot possibly explain what effect they have had on my life. I would say they have deepened my passions, made me believe in the goodness in world, and made me believe in the goodness that I am capable of. My life is thousand times better with them in it. They have touched and changes millions of lives through their music, through their existence. I wish they also find the happiness that they want.
I low-key love ARMY – BTS fans who have showered them with all the love they deserve and who try to protect them as much as they can.
Afterthoughts: I think almost every person has one artist whose works resonates with them. BTS just happens to be that artist whose work has most effect on me. I think we should treasure that, always remember that feeling of looking at life with a person who just happens to think about life the same way we do. It is not about supremacy of one artist over other, about loving the artist that made you understand and love ourselves.

Music
My love for music is equivalent to my love of books. Maybe I love music a bit more than books. Each song that I love or like is an experience in itself, those few minutes makes me forget myself and sometimes remind who I am and who I was. I can listen to the same song many many times and only to love it more. I do not have a favorite genre or anything. I think it solely depends on the song.
Afterthoughts:
-Even though I try to explore as many songs as possible in as many language as possible, but most of the time I am not aware of the “popular” stuff. You might even think I am living under a rock. Now, I do not believe that popular songs are bad or good. I am not a person who is against mainstream music. It is just that I am so caught up in the things that I like that I do not get time to even look at other stuff. I sort of live in my own bubble.
– BTS gets its own separate point here, because my love for them is on a whole new level. Their music is awesome. But they are so much more than their music. Stanning BTS is a way of life.

Writing
I think I am a person who has zero confidence in herself. I do not think I am especially gifted in anything. I am not particularly intelligent or beautiful or funny or creative. And I take writing in the same spirit. I do not think I am exceptional at writing, but I love writing. I love the fact that I can write average good stuff some days. I love the 2000 lines of drafts that will never make to a post. When I write, I love how much clearer and focused my head is. I love my writing more when someone else find comfort in my words. I agree that writing with a regular job is difficult and bit pressurizing but writing gives me such joy, that I don’t think I can possibly quit writing.
Afterthoughts: I once heard about a rule that one cannot estimate themselves correctly. So I am probably worse or better than what I think I am. I hope my writing is better than what I think it is.

Internet
There were so many things to list here, so I collectively grouped them as “internet”. But then who doesn’t love internet. It is sort of basic thing that a lot of us take for granted. Having access to so much content, so much information makes me happy. I love the hour that I uselessly spend on looking at memes, the hours I spend playing and upgrading stuff on games that will take me nowhere in life, the hour I spend on watching videos, all the silly hilarious stuff that I retweet at 2 am, binge reading everything about MBTI on Quora, reading random articles that I will end up forgetting anyways. Though it is just a stream of easy to consume media, but still it does make us happy in some ways. And that happiness is significant in itself.
Afterthoughts: I am aware everything is not picture perfect on internet. Internet depresses us also. But with I have learnt to leave online spaces that make me feel bad about myself uselessly.
I am not good with interacting with people online, that is one thing that I cannot enjoy. It is not about whether these people are friends or strangers. I just have a feeling that I have nothing to say that the other person would be interested to know about. (That’s the reason that I silently like your posts rather than leaving the comment you deserve.)
I don’t like to stay online for long also. The moment I finish doing what I had in my mind, I switch off my data. Because I just can’t handle all the notifications. I like the dear old SMS to communicate rather than the new efficient apps with awesome features.

Series/Movies/Stories
Watching series and movies is another joy to me, something that I spend a lot of my time on. Every thing I have watched, every character that I have watched is equivalent to a life that I have lived briefly. I don’t do binge watch though. I like some time to think over everything. That is the pace I am comfortable – to watch something and reflect on it, think about it, to anticipate what is yet to come for the whole day. I think that feeling the story grow in you as you go about your everyday life is an essential part of the whole experience, a part that adds more importance to what I am watching.
Afterthoughts: Again as with music, I have no idea of the popular stuff. I just see what I end up finding. I do have list of stuff to see but that is based on word-of-mouth suggestion from people who like the same things as me.
I do not have a favorite movie or series or book. Naming favorites is too tough for me. For each story, each actor, each director etc. has their own charm. That would be like comparing apples to oranges.

Everything emotional/sentimental/sort of spiritual
I do not look like an emotional person, but I am. I am an INFJ with Cancer zodiac, what else can you expect but an over-sentimental person. I like anything that seeks to explore or talk about these sentiment, anything that values human emotions and shows how complicated and simple it can be. Similarly, I have same feeling about works related to spirituality. I enjoy the company of people who genuinely have something to talk on these topics. I am not into talking about people but talking about ideas. Not the ideas that change the world, but ideas that helps me understand why we feel the way we feel, ideas that give me insight into the tiny limited world.
Afterthought: I think I am not one of those people who can or want to change the world. My mind never wanders into that direction. All I think about is my understanding of world and how to perfect that understanding. Sometimes I think I am a narcissist and self-absorbed person because of that.

Lazing around/Sleeping
I don’t react well to stress. So I am always looking forward to a good sleep or a day without schedules or deadline. A day that I can waste away makes me happy. Even though lazing around for me again means books/music/series etc. Even when it is not busy it is still a busy life.

Being Busy
As much as I like lazing around, I like being busy more. Because of my sense of being less than average and constant feeling of not being good enough. I don’t handle free time well. I feel that no one needs me, the world will work without me also. That I have nothing to offer to world. It is a very sad feeling. So I try to do my work properly, try to do by best in everything. I like the days that I have work myself to point of losing all my energy. So that I can enjoy all the things I love (everything mentioned above) without guilt.
Afterthought: It is not that I cannot sit still or introspect without driving myself to the point of sadness. I like introspection a lot. But having days and weeks of time for just introspection makes me feel like a useless person.

Things that almost made to this list but didn’t (and why):

Food
I used to enjoy eating a lot. I still love god food. But I can’t each or enjoy it as I used to. Something has changed in me, maybe I am growing old. Now I don’t have that much craze for it.

Friends
I don’t think I am good at friendship. I loved my friends while I was with them. But then apart from the brief time of companionship, there nothing much left of those time now. My expectation from friendship I think is a bit too much. I think in the long run friendships don’t give me happiness.

“I love you (probably)” – Nayana Nair

I wish falling for you was easier
but it isn’t, it could never be
that is not how you like it-
easy love goes only as far as that
and maybe that is why I loved you.
Or maybe that’s what I tell myself.
Everything I tell myself is a whisper,
a secret from you.
I tell myself stories of a ‘you’
that probably never existed.
I hope you never get to hear them,
for now even my sacrifices feel like betrayals.
I am afraid, till the end
my heart would only be able to love the fiction of you.
I am afraid, till the end
you would remain unloved.
Even when you don’t deserve to be.
That hurts me more than knowing that
even I cannot be truly loved by you.

“Something made up” – Nayana Nair

now that we both are standing lost
at this market to sell our heart.
now when you are just a silent mural,
i feel like pretending to miss you.
in fact, that is the only thing i do.

every day, i write something
that could make a better monster of you.
every night, i get better at shedding fake tears.
our love looks like a lost cause even now,
but it looks more beautiful
since there is nothing real about it anymore.

“it is all fiction”, i tell them.
“i am a liar”, i shout.
but they love me anyway.
they love me the way you should have,
you could have, it was the easiest thing to do.
there were so many easy things,
things that will never be easy again.
since, i have chosen the most ridiculous way to live
and the most difficult the way to die,
the only non-pathetic way to die in our love.

“Experiment” – Nayana Nair

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The unopened letters,
the calls never picked,
the feelings cut as a bud,
the door knocks I chose to ignore-
cover my ground in color of hope.
Hope?
Yes, hope.

Like the messed up experiment
of Schrodinger’s fictional pet,
I continue to see hope
till I keep my heart closed.
Are you still there inside me?
Or are you long gone?

I do not need to know.

The replica of this world,
that exists inside my head-
it will stand, it can endure
as long as I do not know
the answers to such question.

“Who I am” – Nayana Nair

I will spend some nights
listening to why I am not the one you can love.
I will keep you awake and keep myself in pain
till I get this list down,
till I memorize it all,
till “who I am” just means “what you can’t love”.

I daydream about how I will leave you.
In this fiction
I know how to stop,
there I have given up on you,
there you are seek my acceptance for a change.

But I stop dreaming just before devising,
drawing a bright future without you,
without your rejection.
I stop because I have calls to answer,
mistakes to regret, trips to plan,
friends to cut off, paint my room black,…
I stop because there is so much suffering
I have to live through
before I am allowed to forget you.

To some extent

“…we must never forget that though the author can to some extent choose his disguises, he can never choose to disappear.”

Wayne C. Booth

“Crystal” – Nayana Nair

the crystals
where our future
was supposed to be hidden in,
turned out to be just stones.

we didn’t have enough magic
to make a stone speak.
we turned out be just as human
as we always suspected we were.

and now we have no one to ask
no one to give us false hope
no fiction, no roles,
no ghosts to fear.

we are back to fearing ourselves.

“Empty Shells” – Nayana Nair

The list of all the words that I use and don’t know meaning of:

friend, understanding, dream, ethics,
distance, space, wait, promise,
family, kindness, virtue, trust,
love, love, love, love, love, love,
(I was told I need to be especially obsessed with love
if I want to be normal)

I, me,
memory (real or invented),
boundary between reality and fiction…

What a poor human I am
that I carry around these empty shells
pretending as if I know their worth.
All the flags that I carry
of the countries
to which I do not belong.
All the people who I live with,
only because I cannot live without them.
What an excuse to walk on this road
that will eventually to lead to a heartbreak.
Every heartbreak a drop on my window
and it has been monsoon for years altogether.
What a sloppy way to end all things
that I never wanted to begin.

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