“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 tsk…so 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.

“Don’t tell me” – Nayana Nair

Unlike your descriptions,
the green doesn’t wait for the sun.
It doesn’t know what waiting is,
what the word ‘sun’ is, it doesn’t even know
that you are the its spokesperson.

I am not coming at your throat dear,
it’s just that
I feel, as time passes
that you see me more as that green
than your woman.

You cut my sentences
and give me used bottles of perfumes, of love
that I must wear.
The only thing you tell me about your day
is how women dote on you
and place you first in the list of men to seduce.

I remember I once said,
“please don’t tell me, i don’t want to know”
and you glared back,
lectured me on openness and honesty and strength of love.

“i don’t want to know”
I said it only once,
because my I was afraid to say it ever again.
And in my unreasonable fear, I understood
that in this life of pretend, I had also begun
to see you as another sun,
even when you are not.

So, I am not coming at your throat dear.
I am try to free myself from your hold,
from your twisted idea of love,
that is messing with my mind now.
I am someone without you as well,
and I don’t want to be convinced that I am not.

“Tiptoe” – Nayana Nair

the ones we sign our valentine cards to,
the ones we tie ourselves to for life
wait for us to die (or some form of death) to become free.
their heart is full of love – only not for us.

they tiptoe at night to bury their crimes
and demand honesty only when it suits
what they have in their mind.

so even when we ask,
“why did you break me like this
when I loved you so?”

they say, “there are no proofs in stories like these,
where everyone claims to be wronged.
there are no daggers, only words,
which are conveniently easy to forget
or edit if enough years pass.
anyway no one remembers that well,
one can always hear things wrong.”

so we go back to sleep,
get fine with living blind.
tell our self it is fine
as long as we are together,
when “together” is not what we want.

“Change Me” – Nayana Nair

the doors, the light falling on us,
the grass that grew by the roads that we walked,
the flowers in our backyard,
everything.
you changed everything.
you filled everything with so much light
and drew every object around you
with such intense colors
that I had to love you.

but you could not change me.

my heart stirred in its sleep
but never wanted to wake up and decide.
i am not dragging you down for what happened.
i am not saying that you were enough.

i am saying that it was your benevolence-

how you never tried to take this fabric of my skin
and sew it something that would fit you,

how you remained the wide blue sky
and how i remained a small disappearing brook,

how my heart felt small to even hold an essence of you,
how i feared to lose you,

how i wanted to lose you for once,
to be free from this fear

that is what drove us apart.

some days i wished for you to fall into me,
to make me something more than i am.
some days i wished i never met you,
never became aware with how small i am.

“I keep looking for you” – Nayana Nair

I am floating towards you
against my own will.
I struggle and loose
against my fate,
against what my heart loves.
I am floating in your eyes
in spite of all my flaws.
I am happy
that you love me.

I am floating again,
floating away from you
and my heart has forgotten
the love I had for you.
But I fear
somewhere in me your are still there,
hiding at places where I won’t look.
So I keep looking you,
so that I can be free from you.
I keep looking you,
even when I don’t want you.

In my sleep,
I open a door to another dream
where I drift in the endless ocean
wearing the clothes I once wore on a school trip,
on a boat that capsized on a show that I saw long ago.
As I lay blinded by sun, by hunger, by life
I uttered your name again and again,
as if you are somewhere near,
as if you would answer.
Your name was the only happiness in that world.
Your name was my only sorrow.

“For Now” – Nayana Nair

There is no “my type of person”,
“my one and only friend”, or “my only hope”.
There is too much of you
that is not for me,
that I won’t take
even if you gave it away for free.
Because for every word of yours
that I find beautiful,
there are thousand other words
that I have not heard yet
that would hurt my ears,
hurt my notion of what you are
if I knew the complete truth.

-x-

That’s why I hate complete truth.
I detest it, in fact.
I do not want any part of it.
The lies – they hurt ultimately, I know.
But till that suffering arrives
at least there is a brief moment where
we are no longer preoccupied
with this hopeless business of finding a place to belong.
Sometimes a brief moment is all we need
to make sense of this life.

-x-

This life where
there is no complete understanding,
there is no complete love,
only this nameless feeling
that this is all we have got
and nothing will get much better.
That it will be easier,
maybe painful down the road,
but surely easier for now
to find our happiness
in everything that we don’t want.
To pretend that we are not lost
and pretend the best we can.

“Root” – Nayana Nair

11

Everything that reminds me of what I was
leaves me helpless.
Everything that tells me of what I could be
leaves me expecting,
makes my skin weak,
makes the wound stay.
All the right word you utter
is like the air carrying scents
of a distant garden.
The garden that I will never see,
for I am a person who lives with roots
deep into disappointment.
And though I try to cut myself free
from what hurts me most,
but they are still my roots
so my freedom almost feels like a death.

“Your Weakness” – Nayana Nair

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The sun that shrivels up in your eyes every morning,
the dry tear that never leaves your eyes,
the soft bend in your words when make excuses for other’s fault,
the hint of self-berating in your mellowed down tales of woe.
This weakness that is similar to mine.
This weakness that I love.
I wish I could free you from this,
if only I knew how.

“Same World” – Nayana Nair

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From where I sit
I see the beauty that moves my heart
and makes me realize
why I am alive till now.
And though I love you
and wish to see the world with you,
I could never gather enough courage
so as to tug your sleeve
and ask you to follow my gaze.

I fear you will look at what I see
and mock my eyes, my mind
to be fascinated by the things
that for you are trivial.
Worse, if you take me away from the beauty I found
for you know better things.
Worse, if you refuse to look back
for you have better things to do.

I wish I could tell you my heart,
tell you my fears, tell you about the minutes
of my life where sometimes I feel I am trapped,
and sometimes set free in a world I cannot share with anyone.
It is enough, I guess, that I can hear your steps beside me
and believe that we are in the same world,
even when we are not.