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“Hello?” – Nayana Nair

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hello?
can you help me?
can you tell me which way to go,
which part of me to burn
to reach the dumping ground
where lay all the skins
that humans have ever shed?

i have been living in my dreams
for quite some time,
where i am the old-me
surrounded by my old-family,
old-friends, old-strangers.

dreams that i can no longer have,
now that i have been led back to reality,
now that i am almost sane.
i realize i am missing the life that never was.
medicated consciousness is not enough
to make me forget
all that i should not remember.

i have heard that here i would find
the lifeless skin of mine-
the ‘me’ who never knew what lacking is.
want to join me?
never mind.
i was not looking for company anyway.
thank you for not helping,
for telling me to grow up.
thank you for making reality
more disturbing than it already is for me.

“Chase” – Nayana Nair

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I came here knowing that you would be here as well,
knowing that you won’t like to see me here
or anywhere.
But I have been always good at not seeing the truth.
So as I put on the dress I wore when I first met you
I told myself – if you hate me, resent me for showing up,
it is because you have not forgotten me yet;
if you avoid me it is because you know you would love me again.

The distance has dulled all the pain that I felt with you
and I prepare myself
to dive again into the turmoil, the feelings
that result from seeking you out again.

But as I enter this room
this crowd that knows our history
can’t decide whether to get us closer or to keep us apart.
No one says your name around me, even though you are in front of me
and I wonder, how long it has been since you have heard my name as well.

I have taken a step
and now
I have to wait for you to take the next.
Would it have been easier for me
if you could just utter the word ‘end’,
instead of avoiding me like this.
As the hour I have allowed myself to be shameless ends,
as I wonder how will I ever make my way out of this world of yours,
I feel the air beside me shift
I feel the old me waking up in myself again.
But it is not you.
You have already left.
I realize the end I could never imagined
exists,
that a ‘you’ without me exists.
That I must find a new way to exist now.

“Fictional Friends” – Nayana Nair

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i break another glass today,
the girl with blue highlights in her hair
walks over it without bleeding
but tells me
not to try such things at home on my own,
that it took her years of invisibility
to even try such tricks.
but she has no suggestions for what else i should do
instead of breaking my smooth skin
and wrecking my good name.
so she tells me a story about a girl and wolf,
another about a girl and her impossible dream,
about a girl and her sad prince,
a girl and the dark world,
a girl and whatever wants to break her down.
she tells me i don’t have to be that girl.
that i just have to be person who happens to be a girl
and not hate herself for it.


it is night already.
i find myself in strange blue rooms.
i hold hands with another new stranger
who promises to sing me to sleep.
he walks like heartache that knows how to smile.
he pretends to be the real deal.
he is too drunk on his own sad story like me
to even see anyone else.
so no we are not in love.
i just want to borrow his songs,
his voice, his awareness of all that is wrong.
i look out of his window, at my own home
at my friends, at my love, at broken frame of my family,
at myself who is trying too hard
to be indifferent to it all.


the battery of my phone dies
and i am alone again in this life
that i can’t find my way around.
i am somewhat lost, tired,
and yet somehow happy
to have lived through this despair,
through another dark night.

“What I Remember (14)” – Nayana Nair

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LOVE IS …

hiding my smile when you walk towards me
talking your name, just because i can
(just to make sure that i can).
feeling like a child when you call my name back.
interrupting the meaningful silence
with pointless debates,
pretending to sulk, acting cute,
being happy to act like idiots for once.
wasting away time,
walking towards nowhere
because that is what we do.

painting each other again
till we get it right.
loving in every way possible.
trying to become the love
that cannot be forgotten.
sweet words, sad past,
family tree in red ink,
lost friends, lost innocence
fill our time.
reliving the past that we suffered alone
in each other’s presence.
finding meaning in destiny,
agreeing with god’s plan,
begging for a day more
of this, this happiness
that fills us with dread and hope
of being understood.

waking at midnight,
hiding my body that you have killed for the day.
waking at noon,
looking for you, giving you second chances.
getting back only one word reply-
‘hi’,’ok’, ‘hmmm’, ‘lol’,’k’, ‘bye’.
waking up again and again.
going to sleep again and again.
murmuring your bitter name in my sleep
with tears i won’t remember.

silence – avoiding uncomfortable topics
silence – avoiding fights
silence – nursing wounded ego
silence – planning revenge (or something of that sort)
silence – being handed the list of shortcomings
silence – being handed ultimatums
silence – having nothing to talk
silence – feeling lonely
silence – ‘love’ has left the chat

waiting at cafes
that sell drinks which taste
like the mass-produced dreams
that make your heart burn
and everything with chocolate
as a cheap therapy,
as they play breakup songs on repeat
to normalize the pain of every kind.

“My place in this cruel landscape” – Nayana Nair

when i stood

in front of the respected uncaring adults
who could never see me,

beside the fickle-minded fun-seeking friends
who smoked ‘idgaf attitude’ every night,

holding the hands
of the demanding demeaning frightening voice
of the one i wanted to love,
the one i almost loved,

i knew how to smile.
i knew how to let them off the hook.
i knew how to care for all those
who don’t have to care for such things.

and so i make it through another day,
another month, another year,
trying not to break anyone anymore,
trying not to abandon anyone,

making a list of all things that were once beautiful about them,
convinced that this imperfect me deserves only suffocating relationships,
careful not to see hope in any short-lived moment of affection.

“We are here” – Nayana Nair

Do you remember the day
when we sat on the edge
of our own growing hills of delusions
and reached out our hands
to feel something real.
But even when you dissolved as I dissolved,
for a minute my hands were not empty.
So even if we can’t offer anything real to each other
remember that you are here in this same world as me.
I see you, even when you think no one does.
You are here, don’t forget.

“Friends Again” – Nayana Nair

I want to see you before I forget you.
I want to see if I can live without forgetting you.
If I can avoid running away,
if I can see you and not feel anything.

*

My love, my dependence on you,
my feelings-
you slept through all of it
and now you do not know
why I have changed,
do not know how to be with me.

*

Let us be friends again.
I can do that for your sake.
Now it is probably my turn to sleep,
to close my eyes on all that I feel,
all that you are to me.

*

So when I tell you how my love has ruined me
be kind to me and ask me to give up.
Teach me how to give up.
Teach me how to give you up.
And I will be kind enough
not to ever let you know
that you were the cause
of all my confusion and all my suffering.

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