“This ground that we stand upon” – Nayana Nair

.

Dear &^%$,

Have you found a way
to leave everything
that you call your ground-
your ground of anger,
of rusting armour of indifference,
of the trauma the heartless giants planted in your heart,
the compass that shows all the wrong directions
and always takes you to the nearest cliff, again and again.
Have you found a way to be better, to live better?
I haven’t yet.

Yesterday I listened to a stranger talk for hours
about how it can be done,
how it will end when we want it to.
It made me wonder if maybe we are not yet ready
for this groundless life.
Maybe that is our only issue.

All that can save us is so temporary, so transient.
Yet the thing that ruins us, is ours to keep-
not like the sun, but like the demon that needs our skin to live.
I wonder if we just need to be needed that badly.
Is that why we choose to cry than to change?
Is that why we choose to hold onto the wave that is drowning us-
just because it is here, because it is ours till it kills us.
Among many other things I also wonder what made us like this.
To be honest I am afraid to know.

What are you afraid of today?
Do let me know.

Yours,
$%^&

“Photographs of Unmade Bed” – Nayana Nair

#1
Today I am fixated on the the houses far ahead, the colors on those countless walls that are yet to be carried away by the winds. Today I am fixated on the wrong choice of shoes, the red sore blooming on the fingers of my feet. Today I am filling my eyes with all that I refuse to see otherwise. I like days like these. They give me the proof of life outside of me, proof that I am part of this world. Days like these let me know that even if there is nowhere I particularly have to go, my feet are sore from walking and the roads are bit weathered. So it must mean something. Slowly I am changing the world, just as the world is changing me. So it must mean something. These are the days I realize that I do not just look at the world, but kiss the world while hating it in my heart. That world doesn’t just disown me, but it keeps looking at my childhood photographs when no one is looking. It all must mean something.

#2
My bed sinks a bit more everyday. It feels as if every day I am carrying, dragging another new person into my uncomfortable sleep, to my messy life. There is no blood, or signs of resistance, so it must a deal of mutual benefit. I hope so. I wake with only my skin, with only my dry eyes. So again it must have been someone I mistook as you. Someone who knows how to keep their end of promise, someone who doesn’t look back at the weight they are leaving behind in my new scented sheets. With you there was warmth and suffocation and never-ending want to be something more. With you there were eyes that stared at me as if I am a road you are forced to walk on. With you there were things I couldn’t be and shouldn’t be. Without you, there is me and my imagination that draws you body full of life on the photographs taken of unmade med and undecided mind. What do I want really?

#3
The one love? The truest kind? The rarest kind? The kind that is made of eternities? The kind that is hellbent on making that big change? I sort of had that. “I had that love” would be my answer, only when I am asked to keep my answer short, which I am often asked.
In the answers of 500-1000 word limit, in the answer where 10 marks are at stake, in the answers only you would have asked – I wanted my only love to be true somehow, no matter what it took. Do you know what that means? It means there are hazy days, holding lies close to heart, illusion that I fed with my own blood that make appearance in this answer. The answer involves knowing everything that is wrong, knowing everything that shouldn’t be, knowing the end that I won’t have. The answer involves cutting short my words, even when there is no need to, even when you are here and you are listening. The answer is pretend that was true, the tears that I didn’t hate as much as I should, the person I liked a bit more than I should have. Always wondering if love would feel like love if it was not me and you standing on both of its end.

#4
There is soaring in the skies. There is running away to the ends of earth. There are, of course, moons, and sun, and stars for taking. There is a wish list for every age we failed to love properly. There are your past loves, there are my past pains to talk about till late night. There are things to eat and relish and complain and things we will never make the way we should, things we will throw away even though they turned out well. There are stories we will make up because we can, because they are fun. There are stories that will tell thousand times even though we won’t be believed. There are night we see only each other, there are nights we realize the pain of not being loved. There are permutations and combinations that I was always poor calculating, that you were never interested in. There is a day like this where we have nothing in our pockets to count on, no possibility, no scenario that could bring us and place us together in this life. This is the only day that I didn’t want to arrive at.

#5
You are only as dangerous as much as I let you be. If I let you be a mistake, you are just a humiliating past to be erased. If I let you be the friend that should have remained a friend, you are just a human among thousand others, a human I dealt with with immature idea of carpe diem, with a stupidity I once called honesty. If I let you be the reason of my happiness, you become the reason I should never smile again. If I let you be the incarnation of all that destroys, you become the plague in my heart that will not end till I die, till I give myself up. The more I let you be within the scope of my life, the more I regret letting you in. I never try to think of you as someone I associated the word love with. That word lets you become my breaking heart, my lungs devoid anything capable of giving life, my mind slowing down and stuck at the worst part of my life.
So when I think of you, I think of you as the result of taking the idea of selflessness, of selfishness, of wanting to be part of this world, of taking “it all must mean something” a bit too far.
Because irrespective of what you might have been for me. Now you are only as dangerous, as important as I let you be.

“Things I probably shouldn’t say” – Nayana Nair

I realized that I was too young to fall in love. That my heart was too broken to know how to run away from an embrace. And your embrace was hurtful and genuine – almost beautiful. I didn’t know then that one could be gentle and genuine. Or that there were words other than authenticity and truth and love that are worth living for.

I attributed my doubts, my sad feelings, my loneliness to my paranoia, to my wounds hidden under my beautiful lakes, to all the dark days before you. Even when I saw your lips suffocating mine, I could breathe in just fine if I kissed you back.

If I took your hands and kissed them, it would all be my choice, it would all be a sacrifice for my dearest love. Rather than humiliation, rather than helplessness, rather than the feelings of being locked in with you in this life.

Even as I write, I feel the sting of these words, I feel my fakeness, I feel how it must have wronged you – my gentle, my virtuous, my forgiving image. All the things I wanted to be for you and for me. All the things I never really was.

I foolishly believed that for being worthy of love I would have to first give up myself. I never wondered how you could love the me that left my body when I came to you. I never wondered who you were actually seeing in me, who you held in your arms. I wonder if you had seen my real feelings, my fear of you, the efforts I put to like you – the ugly feelings that I can only see now.

I dreamt of you few days back. I saw you casually slipping back into my life by giving me a paper mache keychain and me being happy, me holding your hand in the glitter of unknown lights. The lights were yellow, you were a bit taller than I last saw you, I was a bit more happier than I last knew myself to be. I woke up hating myself a bit more.

And after my words of confusion, blame, and hurt, here are my kind words. They are few, they are frail, they are nothing in comparison to the wrong that we are but they are there in me just like the occasional dream I hate to be in:

You were sometimes beautiful. You were sometimes kind. On some days you almost meant your love. On those days you meant the most to me in this world. On those days I felt I was good enough to be loved. On those days I told myself that sometimes love is more than comfort, warmth, and understanding. On those days I found it worth it to swim to you through anything. On those days I planned and prepared myself for all the things I should leave for a life with you. I thought I could do it. I knew I could do it for you. There are days I don’t want to separate myself from. Even if I separate from you.

Also, leaving me was the most selfish and loveliest thing you have ever done.

And I hate you even when I say that. Even when I say that, I know that what you did is something people in love never do. Something you can never be forgiven for.

Now, I can only give your words of gratitude or blame. It won’t be words of love ever again.

“Variant of Love” – Nayana Nair

You held me as I broke again and again.
Your warm chest tried to hold me, to keep me alive.
I couldn’t cry anymore
I felt indebted to you I loved you.

You left me again
in the crowd that you promised to protect me from.
I called you, your number and you name-
becoming useless to me with each passing day.
I cried because
I felt cheated I loved you.

As my heart filled again, as it emptied itself out
you stayed in front of my eyes
in flesh or in glowing illusions,
telling me, nothing is wrong with me.
So I slept peacefully
because you made me forget my incompleteness I loved you.

You told me love is supposed to be a pain anyway.
That this smile of mine that shined in spite of your mistakes,
in spite of your cruelty on my weary hopeful heart
was the only thing that made you believe in my love.
And again I smiled back
so that you continue to believe me
because I loved you.

There were moments, glorious ones,
when you were the most the beautiful human,
when you cried for me,
when you cried for the world,
when you tried to do something right.
I wanted to stand beside you
so that I could protect you somehow
because I loved you more for it.

But now
I must face the world and myself alone,
without having to become something right in your eyes.
Now I don’t have to round up my every feeling
to a variant of love.
Now I can care for you, hate you
and see it as care and hate and a frustration without an end.
Now I can see you as the miracle and as the failure that you are.
Now I can be a failure myself.

I am not good at loving in the past.
I can only be honest.
Now I cannot look back at you
and call you my heart.
You were so much to me
that I badly wanted to be something that you want.
I kept on sleeping to keep your dream intact
and calling this love, when it clearly was not.
Even though it was probably something better than that.

“one more person” – Nayana Nair

the one thing i can’t be
is honest.

though there are many other adjectives
that stare at me
from their balconies at midnight
as i walk and crawl through the dirt road,
through the pool of lights,
crying and shouting and breaking dreams
in every home that i pass by.
i hear them shaking their heads
with disapproval and hopelessness.
i look at their hazy shadows
and try to hate them in equal measures
but i don’t
because they are so easy to forget.

but this honesty,
this honesty that people expect
vexes me.
this expectation
makes me want to hide, run, run over their hearts
all because it is so simple.
all because the ones who ask me of this
through their tears
are not mere observers
but are the ones struggling to stay close to me
fighting the unnecessary sandstorm i create everyday.
they are the ones who deserve honesty.
they are the ones i don’t deserve.

but my dishonesty is not only for this world.
it is the only thing i can offer to myself as well.
so again, i wake up in their arms
with another lie ready on my lips.
i hug them with with my true love and my false heart.

i don’t try to make it right
when they are in shambles again
because there is no fancy way to put it,
there is no beauty in what i do,
there is no promise i would keep.
there are only people who i leave.
even when i can’t bear to miss one more person again.

“Picnic” – Nayana Nair

On a spread of fake smiling suns
and the unreasonably happy flowers in pink,
I kissed your smile
without wondering
what it meant for me in the long run.
Without knowing if you would want me back
the way I do.

And when you held on to me
I didn’t know how to stop my violent tears
or how to let you know
how your embrace
is the only thing that feels honest
to my worn out heart
or how precious this honest touch, this simple love
is to a person like me.

“Easy Girl” – Nayana Nair

in my cramped world
you find a place for yourself.

you become one with all the bright things
that i collect at the cost of breaking myself.

as you smile, i wonder
whether you have a thing for girls
who have forgotten the taste of truth.

i wish you do.
i would like to love you once,
before you learn to hate girls like me.

this room was gift from my ex
whose hobby was to be loved
by the one he wrongs.

but it is a story for another day.
my story with you is not that deep.
you don’t need to know
that my corners of my lips are ripped
from smiling while being hurt,
that they still hurt when we kiss.

it kills the mood.
it kills me a bit, to be honest.
all your words, the beautiful things
you want me to have, want me to be
they are enough
for me to love you for a while.
it is enough for me to forget
the demon i see in you.

aren’t i an easy girl?
one day you would hold that against me as well.
i fall for you knowing that.

“Not So Bad” – Nayana Nair

he sings the most beautiful song.
so beautiful
that the sky becomes a reflection of the heart
that he can barely carry in himself.
the words on his lips
they break, they sound different,
feel different,
they sound like the first cry of a baby-
the violent coming to life.
they run and collide and shatter
against the rough indifferent surface
of this dying world, a not-so-bad world.
he becomes a not-so-bad singer.
as he runs out of breath and love
someone places a coin of gold in his hands.
he means to feel grateful for this compensation,
but all he can do is hold his tongue, hold his tears.
hold his bitterness in himself
and sing another song dreaming, waiting
for an honest reply, a genuine care,
an understanding gaze in return for laying bare his humanness.

The Scale of 1 to 10 (part 3)” – Nayana Nair

#the right time to answer the door

The doorbell has been ringing for hours.
I wish I could say it was annoying. But it is not.
A part of me is happy to know that you are out there. That you know that sooner or later I would answer this door.
It has been long since anyone has deemed me good enough to take trouble for, to wait for.
Is that good enough reason to say yes. Does that mean that I love you back?

    "Each and every one of your actions
     Puts me up and down
     I’m not someone who smiles this much
     Looking back
     I suffered a lot because of you too
     But each and every one of those things
     I don’t hate it"
     - "I love You", Akdong Musician

On days like these, I put on the music at the highest volume. To get rid of this awareness of another heart counting on mine.
But today I am afraid to do something like that. I am afraid to disappoint you. I don’t want you to think I am avoiding you. Even though I probably am.
I want to hear your every knock, I want to see how my heart beats as I sit here afraid of the moment you give up and stop.
I feel guilty of what they call “playing games”? But you know that is not who I am.

    "I hate to make it obvious to you
     I am more accustomed to endure this alone
     please understand me"
     -"Lonely", Jonghyun
    "Oh they say love is for the loving
     Without love maybe nothing is real
     So am I loveless or do I just love less"
     -"Home", Passenger
    "Even when I stare at something
     Even as I blink like the windscreen wipers
     I wanted to continue holding on"
     -"Rain Bird", Code Kunst

You want answers that I do not have.
And I have never let you leave empty-handed. Even when you came to me on rainy days with only sorrow, I have held onto you, I have tried my best to keep you together.
But this, this love, this is something too difficult for me.
It is a question that I cannot answer honestly. No matter how hard I try.

    "Stories of ours of our closeness,
     aren't any less.
     So many times I have turned
     my mornings into evenings sitting in your presence."
     -"Channa Mereya", Arjit Singh
    "If I told you with a crying face that I am having a difficult time
     would it be better?
     So who's going to have a harder time? If I whine about being in pain
     will everything be okay?"
     -"Lonely", Jonghyun
    "Right now the time is wrong
     I've been writing these songs 'bout how I can't be with you"
     -"Monster", Henry

I want to hang on to a future, any future with you. But should I say things I do not mean to keep you here with me.
Should I keep bringing you flowers that I cannot keep alive?
I may have helped you live for a while.
But I am not the one who heals. I am not the one who understands. I am the one who eventually fails at being the person I am loved for.

    "I don't believe in shootin' stars
     But made a wish and here we are
     But what if we're not meant to be?
     What if dreams aren't meant for dreams?"
     -"be", Gnash
    "You’ll hate me, you’ll go crazy
     You’ll regret, saying you shouldn’t have met me"
     -"Be Well", Sechskies
    "At times I'm disappointed with myself
     Honestly, I trample myself (trample myself)
     "Do you only amount to this?""
     -"uhgood", RM

I am at loss for words, not because I don’t need your love. But because I never expected it.
I am hiding not because I am afraid of opening my heart. I am hiding, because my love is and has always been about thinking for you. To think what is best for you.
Love sometimes becomes a synonym for giving up. I am not stupid enough to think that we are a better than that fate.
I am afraid as I am not sure what you’d have to give up for choosing me.

    "Yesterday, I was awkward
     Today, I’m lost
     It wasn’t an easy day
     The world I used to live in
     And the temperature of today are so different"
     -"I Pray", Motte
    "There’s no such thing as beautiful goodbyes"
     -"Outro:Tear", BTS

My past has become my brokenness. Your past lives on as your vulnerability. I want an answer that doesn’t break us anymore.
But I am reluctant to ask around for the answers I don’t know.
I am reluctant to learn the causes of the ship that sank down in the best promising weather. I do not want to find your reasons or my answers in the words of friends or strangers who only talk of giving up or settle down.
I do want the answer that our fear of loneliness dictates.

    "In this love abandoned Autumn
     We'll go raking up the leaves, yeah
     The leaves that leaves that have fallen
     From these cold and dying trees
     In our hearts"
     -"Bloodstains", Passenger
    "You’re like a flower petal, waiting to fall
     You’re like a numb person
     Walking towards the edge of a cliff
     The longing image of you
     Smears over me"
     -"Almost there", VIXX
    "I don't know what I should do.
     My heart is crashing down."
     -"Wa-r-r", Colde

I am waiting for the right time and right heart to answer your feelings with the sincerity it deserves.
I am sorry that my sincerity comes with wait, hurt, and misunderstandings.

    "When I see you so tired, 
     to you
     am I a burden perhaps? Am I too much for you?"
     -"Lonely", Jonghyun
    "My eyes were shimmering with tears, 
     however, in my heart, I remained warm
     Firmly you told me, again and again you told me,
     how much you loved me."
     -"The moment", Aaron Yan