“Our knowing of faith” – Nayana Nair

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“What do you know of prayers?” she asked,
as she held my hands together within her own.
I asked her “Don’t you anything about me?”
and there appeared another crack on her hands,
there bloomed another rose in her hair
there was another smile – the “looking down” smile,
“you don’t know any better” smile,
“you will soon thank me” smile,
“I know you hate my smile” smile.
I tried to imitate it, to drape it on my own face.
Cause even if it didn’t seem like that, I loved her smile.

I stared at her smile
wanting to save it somewhere in me. I stared
at her small beautiful parts
wanting to un-see the person she is in this moment.
I am always trying
to forget how suffocated these moments with her are.
I am always trying to forget
that with her words of love there was always a plea,
a suggestion, a manipulation – to make me something like her.

Would it make me seem pathetic, petty, or romantic?
if i called her a poison. Though everyone here is a poison,
even me, but she is a poison for me, the only poison
that works on me. The only one I didn’t want a death from.
She tells me about another deity I will never believe in.
She tells me a bit more about saving, about faith, about her own self
that can never be broken, how even breaking can’t end her now.
I wished she was right, I wished there would be never an end to her.

I wished for all kinds of ends for myself,
even the ones without her. But in no version
did I invent an agreeable version of her that will better for me.
She has to be herself. Whatever that might mean for me.
I wonder if there would come a day like that, a day when
she would love me like that. Do I even want a day like that?
Can I even tolerate a change in her?
Wouldn’t that break me more than anything?

I get up and say something about “better things to do”
and she says something about “the dangers to the faithless”
and I can only smile for now
at this weird, beautiful, messed up part of our life
at our of differences, knowing of love,
at our knowing of faith in different things that save us in their own ways.

“Yellow kills happiness” – Nayana Nair

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And across this street is my old home,
the one I won’t ever visit.
This year they have painted it yellow.
How sad is that, isn’t it?
My mother hated that color.
She said that yellow kills happiness.
She said such colors convinced even a happy person,
that their smile is not enough.
Her smile, as a rule, was mostly not enough for anyone
and it made sense to me that she would hate
to compete with her wallpapers, her furniture,
her mirror, her curtains – for the sake of validating
her existence and importance.

The woman who stole our lives years later – I heard her
telling my mother
that “she was an insecure woman, that she was bound to lose”.
As if she, who paints this house now
with horrible colors every year, knew what loss is.
My mother – she liked browns and greys and greens.
She grew life out of her blood.
She loved dearly and irrationally-
whenever she sat still
and saw at us smiling and playing,
she would break into tears.
We loved her more dearly for that.

She loved that house
and the man that owns it.
She hated herself a bit too much.
She tried not to
but saving her was a work she had to do by herself
-a tiring chore, no one wanted to be part of.
She brought us the most beautiful yellow frocks one day
and looked at us, trying to love something impossible through us.
She looked at us hoping that her love for one thing
could make her bear her hate for another.
Like a fool, she believed
that her trying would mean something to this world.

“How do I reach there?” – Nayana Nair

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I am 90% chaos.
I am also the protector of my chaos.
I am torn between the ideas of
freedom and perseverance.
I am still doubtful how I can save myself
if I hate the the thousand parts of me
that have a mind of their own,
if I try to silence the rising waves
to save this one piece of land that I can walk on
and if I wanted more, maybe even reclaim whatever now sits
in the windows of museum submerged and lost in past.
Past is a point far ahead and deep beneath.
How do I reach there?
When will I reach there?-
that is all I think.
How do I save myself from a mind like that?

In my mind, present is just seeing the lacks and absences
materialize into new shapes, into my new arms, into my new stomach,
into the new hole in my heart, into a lungs made of holes.
In another world I am maybe breathing in happiness with each smile,
but not here.
Here I hate myself for forgetting, I hate myself for remembering.
Here I hate myself for speaking too much,
here I hate myself for never speaking out and standing up.
Here I must still protect what I hate-
each living and dead molecule of me.
If only my hate was truly hate
and not just love waiting to happen.
There are easier answers for hate.

I wonder if I learned to look at sky
and learned to yearn for it,
maybe a point far ahead and up above- a future
might exist for me as well.
If only yearning and wanting could be assigned values.
If only looking up and finding a simple sky happened that easily.

“no colors, no flowers for me” – Nayana Nair

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“he left me”
this is where I would have wanted everything to end,
at “he left me”…simple and clean
and yet carrying a sadness that can be forgotten
or remembered as something that just exists.
Exists not like floods but like rain.
Exists not like a story of love
but a story that had a possibility of some meaning.
“he left me” could have existed in me, in this world,
how words of no significance and no power exist.

But it didn’t end there.
What he did was simple,
but what he didn’t do
those are the things that exists like flood, like pain
that can exist without him.
He left me a leaf
and not a flower.
And knowing this, even if I forget him,
it won’t end
the pain I feel at the sight of flowers,
the anger the green fill me with,
the feeling of being wronged
at seeing everyone who gets both, while suffering less than me.

He left me a life that I am capable of living well
but a heart that won’t ever feel at ease
as long as I live wanting love for myself.

“The ground I won’t find” – Nayana Nair

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Even when I run away from you.
Even when I hate you from the depth of my heart-
the same depth where only you can breathe,
where I can allow no one but you.
Even then
you sit there, in front of me,
reminding me
how difficult it is
to destroy this love,
whose truth and strength
outlives
each sad, tragic moment that comes our way,
each moment of separation
that we are capable of creating from our ugly wants.
Once I couldn’t have imagined
the joy and frustration
of having a love like that.
A love that has no end
when end is all I want.
A love that tells me again and again
that I do not really know anything
and takes away the key of choice every time from my hands.
A love that will not even spare me to stay alive.
What a blessing! What a curse!
To have this bottomless hope.

“But it also means…” – Nayana Nair

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I guess now I am the cruel one-
the one people fear to love.
This scenario was meant to be sad,
but it isn’t somehow.
(Why do the worst cases taste so bland to me
when finally they arrive?)

I guess it makes me relieved, if not happy,
to feel loneliness more often than feeling distance.
No one knocks at my door,
and I can’t help but smile
knowing it also means no would leave me.
No one would leave me in love, leave me in pieces,
leave me hating myself again.
(Why do my hopes sound like running away
even if I am facing life in every way I can,
the only way I am allowed to,
the only way forward that doesn’t require
sacrificing myself again?)

“The hatred that I counted upon” – Nayana Nair

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When I have gathered enough courage
the only piece of metal in me
that can still cause harm
are only the frustrations I have at my own cowardice.
What do I have to lose today,
that I couldn’t lose yesterday
when I was busy resenting you.
After seeing and accepting the wrong that you are,
after uncovering every wound, every decaying part of me
that I didn’t want to face,
after deciding on an end
that would still be fair and gentle to your heart,
why do I only hold you tighter?
Why do I make up lies that only make it easier
to make up more lies, make up a world
where my hate is just a delusion,
where you are the only one worth saving,
worth love, worth my misery.
And even in that world, why does our love
won’t feel like love?
Why don’t you feel like mine?
Why does my heart feel abandoned
when I have chosen to walk into your hands
even after knowing my fate.

“The last song at karaoke” – Nayana Nair

In the pool of lights,
the green and yellow glitter swam in the air
and you said – “This is what our life would be like.
This is what our happiness would look like.
This is the forever, this is the everyday love
that I can offer you my love, in return for your heart.
This grace is ours to keep,
if you choose to revolve around me,
just as I have chosen to see only you.”

As you held my hand and waited
I realized all I needed was
a word of affection,
a promise of love, of any love I was capable of.
That was all I needed to make you mine.
But the easy lies, the half-meant overused words
were nowhere to be found in me.
I wanted only you and yet I couldn’t utter a ‘yes’.
Of all the things I could do, I stupidly chose to cry.
I knew my place in this world too well
to admit wanting anything as lovely as you.

As you smiled and wiped my tears
and picked the another happy song, I wished you would have
said “If you cannot love me, better get ready for a lifetime of hating yourself”
instead of saying “It is fine.”

“A New Hate” – Nayana Nair

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Surely, I love you.
Why else would I need to find a new me?
Why else, after all these years, would my jagged ends
and my fearful heart
bother me, when I have finally learned to look at them
with the kindness I was not born with?
But do you have to necessarily know of this-
these messy feelings of mine?
You are making me change.
You are making me learn
a new hate towards myself , just by existing.
Just the possibility that I might be in your heart
kills me, makes me come alive, makes me want to
undo the ties that I have held me safe,
made me safe for the world.
As long as you are here, I can never go back
to the life where I exist with ease.
It is ridiculous how I am convinced
that I will be never myself if I am apart from you,
even when I know it is a lie.
Today, I carve another need in my heart,
that I once could live without.
Today I hate you a bit more.
But you don’t have to know that.

“Knowing is also a sort of poison” – Nayana Nair

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There are too many thought on my mind today
there is too little love in my heart
but my eyes are focused only on you dear
my ears hear only your voice.
But it doesn’t matter,
I know that too.

Knowing is also a sort of poison.
It only makes me angry at
your smile and your assurances.
It doesn’t change the fact
that today you live in hurt
and tomorrow you may not be with me to get better.
It doesn’t change the fact
that you won’t let me come close,
that you say I have no right
to know that part of you.

All that I am allowed to do now
is to smile as if I do not see,
is to talk of a tomorrow that will never be,
think of names we would never get to use,
plan a journey we will never begin.
This is all we ever did, when we had so much time.
This is all we ever did. This is what we will never do.
That’s all there is left to it.

You will say that you are fine.
I will say “I know”, when I don’t.
And I will hate the sight of your pain
and I will hate myself for it, as will you.
Maybe I will burn this place down
if you don’t let me in.
Maybe there is no place left to burn,
Maybe that’s what you’re hiding.
Maybe that’s what you mean.