“Another Round of Wrong Guesses” – Nayana Nair

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In that room
seated along with my anxious heart,
my crumbling forevers, and my noisy pen,
was you.
You are now more colorful than ever-
more real, more present.
You are more you that before,
more of a person that I ever could be.
I envied you and loved you for that- that I remember.

I realize there other things that I don’t remember well,
as you put on the record
of “50 greatest pointless questions of all time”,
as you sharpen the edges of your weak hollow anger,
as you ask me to play a harmless game,
another try at the precious once-in-a-lifetime love,
another guess, another stab, another cut,
another laughter echoing and tearing
everything that almost made me human,
another try, another guess, another endearing laugh
at the sight of my tears.

I had decided that won’t flinch, that I won’t cry.
I looked at the paper again
that said that I am not actually hurt,
that everything I suffer from is a making of my mind,
that I am just too scared,
too lonely to think straight ever again.
I looked at it wanting to believe it
but also knowing I won’t allow this paper to fix this for me.

For even to this image- this violent beautiful ghost of you,
even to this- I felt I owed something.
I still waited for you to give up.
It still mattered to me – this confirmation-
that what I loved
also loved me back in some twisted way.
So I nodded yes to another rounds of wrong guess,
to this game I won’t ever win.

“Reduced” – Nayana Nair

One of these days
I might just stop loving you
and that might just break me.
But I feel
I might be less cold,
less reckless,
and less pathetic
in that sort of breaking.
I want to be reduced to myself for once.
For once I don’t want to carry around
the magnificence of undelivered love on my shoulder
and stand outside stores with doors too small.
I dream to become the whole of my skin
rather than just the wounds that hurt.
I think only this dream can save me,
make something peaceful out of me,
make me someone harmless.
One of these days I will look at you
and nothing in me would ache,
at least not because of you.

“harmless” – Nayana Nair

i slipped, fell, and cut my skin.
i didn’t want to care, but i did.
i couldn’t help but feel sorry for all the harmless things
that ended up being cursed at, blamed for
only because i ran towards them
with all that i had in me.
i recalled the formula of impact,
that never meant so much to me
till i realized that I also have a body
that follows every law ordained by nature.
that just because i can imagine and dream an eternity,
doesn’t make me or my feelings eternal.
i didn’t want to care about such things, but i did.
i cared so much that it hurt, even when it should’t.

“Under the Blue” – Nayana Nair

The button of self-destruct was never so glorious,
never so definite, never so absolute
until she uttered “end” and it sounded like “home” to me.

I feared looking at the mark of x on my maps
that she had found with great pains.
The blue under the mark looked so harmless even when it was not.

Only when I saw her tears disappear with along with her
in the waters that no one dares to drink,
did I realize that I also had been drowning all along.

“Bland” – Nayana Nair

I heard her again complain about warm hands.
A hand that remains warm, always warm,
so warm that it almost becomes a fault, a flaw.
That it turns into blame, into words that make no sense-
“I could have loved him if he was not so good.
Good is suspicious. Good is bland.
Good is you when you try to be something you are not.
He cannot know my heart, if he cannot be human enough to sin”, she said.
I wonder why I never met them – the bland people
who would be good for my heart, whom I seek in every hand I touch.
Maybe I confused grand gestures, big promises, passionate gaze
for goodness too many times.
I wonder if it is just my weakness, my weariness
that now wants someone harmless to live along with.

“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.

“Blue Rant” – Nayana Nair

I have heard many say
that blue is saddest color.
But what I find more sad is
how almost everyone I know
knows how to imagine/recall a sadness
at the mention of this color.

I imagine this-
all of us,
millions of us
standing in one huge room
and someone mentioning this color,
this harmless color.

I imagine our collective sadness,
our collective agony.
I imagine an innocent kid, among us,
trying to picture a clear blue sky,
but not knowing why
even the skies feel heavy on his heart today.

I feel sad for people like me,
for the child in us
who tries, puts effort
to take everything in stride,
to move forward, to see the world as it is,
while every other cell in our body wants to give up,
while every part of us is adamant to call this blue ‘sad’.

“Moments with a Cold Sun” – Nayana Nair

With each day crossed out.
With each dresses, each mask added to the my wardrobe.
With each hand that passed into mine,
with each hand that moved onto the next too easily,
I realized I knew how to dance to this tune
that used to frighten me once.

Another stranger,
another potential lover,
another sun that has already grown cold,
whispers in my ears – words I do understand.

I search for a harmless smile in my bag.
I hang it carefully on my face.
I turn myself into a gift,
into a substitute of love
for this person –
who is dying like me,
waiting like me,
for something, anything
to fill the time left.

“Laughing it off” – Nayana Nair

I jokingly said that I would hate it
to be someone else-
someone who would have to suffer me.
But before my face realizes what my heart meant,
where it becomes apparent in my eyes
that I am nowhere near recovery,
before I panic at being taken seriously,
someone cuts me off
with laughter,
with agreement,
with proofs supporting my observation,
with a list of my faults I may have missed,
with an funny anecdote about
about the time I was too broken to think straight.

-x-

I wish I had not broken into laughter when I put myself down.
I wish ‘laughing it away’ was a trick that worked in my life.
I was never mistaken that ‘tricks’
changes reality, builds back and heals
all that is in pieces and all that is in pain.
It’s just a way to turn blind to what I cannot change.
But walking blind is worse than I had thought.
I keep colliding with harmless words, bruise myself,
and recoil back in the fear of what I may find
if I took a step forward.

“More Boxes” – Nayana Nair

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Everyday I buy more boxes and more trunks,
to stow away the harmless opinions and stories of mine
that have never left my mouth,
and have never known
how the cold air of this world feels like.
They are better off not knowing
how they are going to be broken and crushed
till nothing of them is left.
Let them die in the voiceless trunks.
At least a corpse of what they were
and the soul of what they lost
shall be locked in the same walls.
That’s the only kindness I am capable of delievering-
to spare them the purity of meaning
and dignity of thought
that was never put to question
and never put to shame
by this world
that to everyone does the same.