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“Eventual Fall” – Nayana Nair

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She just laughed and said
“you are not really intelligent,
you know that right?”
as she packed her bag,
making space for her only notebook, with difficulty.
I wonder if she really needs all those the things.
She is not a careful person,
I know that because her list of priorities is horizontal-
everything is important, everything is equally dispensable.
I hear a song breaking at the bottom of her lungs,
when she talks of the new thing that she will love forever
when I know she won’t.

She lets me know for my own good “geniuses are not made by effort,
love doesn’t happen by hard work,
quit swimming and struggling when you are on land.”
She takes me by hand, teaching me how to walk,
teaching me her pace.
Her pace unsettles me. She gives cruel names
to my innocent actions as she smiles.
She smiles at me while I wait for my forever to end.
And only because I hate myself
for not wanting to love her sometimes
I smile back.

I wonder how far my determination can take us.
As she finally boards the train home, after missing out on a few,
she says “stop struggling, when i am with you,
i know your heart, even when you don’t.
it hurts to see you like this,
things will eventually fall in their place.”
I wonder if she is pushing herself, within the limits of who she is,
to save something of us, to save something of me.
I wonder how she can love me, if she knows how petty my heart is.
And because I do not know the answers to her,
I wait for us to fall into the places.
I think of her and find it easier, this wait.

“On Erasing Roads” – Nayana Nair

The dead world lives through her.
Her escape is a door left open
for the violence to spread,
or so she always believed.
When she saw someone who reminded her of love,
saw that the fragile bird of happiness
would choose sit by her window and wait for her to sing back,
when all that could make her feel safe and somehow better
smiled at her and asked her name.
She would remember how from her skin and her mind
grew trees of fear every night.
The flood that has left her land
loomed above this forest.
Anytime the cloud would burst,
the past would burst through her smile,
and all would be lost.
Today, tomorrow, day after,
on an afternoon when she would forget about it all,
on a beautiful day like that
she knows she will find sorrow again.
So she stays quiet and writes a softer tragedy
of a girl who could never tell her name
to anyone who chose her hoping for happiness.

“Luminous” – Nayana Nair

The night doesn’t quite reach my land.
There are columns and mountains of light
that my people have given themselves to.

I never roll down my windows.
There is a scent of death in the air.
I don’t want to remember
how burning is painful.

In my mind I run towards the memories
of my perspective correction classes.
I pick out a card, a line that works the most
“burning is luminous”.

Yes, burning is lumious.
Burning is magic, burning is beautiful.
It is beautiful as long as I don’t hear the cries
of one being burnt. It is magic
as long as I don’t ask
for confirmation of my worst fears being true
from the others who never open their windows.

There is red in the news no one talks about,
there is red in the names that disappear over night,
there is red splattered inside the world in my head
but the world is suspiciously clean even when all I smell is death.

When I close my eyes, it is never dark.
Something burns before me, I am always aware of it.
I wonder if I would ever know sleep again.

“A lie for every fear” – Nayana Nair

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I walk past houses
that are too silent to be there.
Another drop of tear
lands on my hand.

I dare not stop and look.

I fear I might end up finding
my own home that I had left.

In my eyes I might end up holding
the face of the one
whose sorrow I can’t still bear.

I once lied,
“I will love you forever”.
I fear I might now find the love
that I didn’t have then.

I fear I will ask you
for everything that I do not deserve.

So I lie once again,
this time for your sake-
“though my heart is cold,
love is not the fire I need”.

“On the saddest cloud” – Nayana Nair

Even when I insisted
that I am fine
without relying on you.
Even when I tried to keep
only my best version in your eyes.
When I said I can solve my problems
and if I can’t, I will learn to live with them;
to never trouble yourself
with what I suffer or how I suffer.

You told me I no longer have to live like this,
to not fear dependence in love.
You lied that I am no longer alone.
You liked to be a promise
and nothing more.
You wanted to be believed
as much as I wanted to be never hurt.

So this wingless me
left my land to fly with you,
to go to a place where you can breathe better.
And you realized the effort it takes
to carry another person pretty late.
Now I am stuck in a cloud
and you are somewhere in this vast sky.
You can give me only few hours of your day.
There is a life that is meant for you
and I shouldn’t come in your way.

I live on such crumbs of you
that my heart wilts one petal,
one dream at a time.
Love can now no longer live
in a heart like mine.

“Away from the City of Saints” – Nayana Nair

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so the saint i read about
walked this land,
looked at this river, looked at this sky,
and stood where I stand.

in the cases of glass there are letters,
there are feelings i cannot understand.
they say he made this place with love
here his everything ends, where his nothing began.

but the glass turned into mirrors
his writing became face of mine.
i was pricked by the bitterness
that were not supposed to be in his words.

how can he say the things we say?
how can his cruelty be pardoned for his principle?
why can i not call him hero
like i used to, like everyone still does?
why his truth makes me shrink away from every other truth?
why does his life disappoint me so much?

i came here seeking nothing
but i left losing a lot
and doubting a lot.
on my way back
i left the what he once gave me
and finally picked up what i should have.

“I dream of an end” – Nayana Nair

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there is a land of promise
that only promises an end.
end to everything.
a painless but a sure end.

i wondered if i should dream to be there.
if i would be able to say this aloud
if i can say,”i dream of an end”.
if you ask “end to what?”
what shall i say? what i should i answer?
how does one begin to answer such questions?
the questions that do not mean anything
till they have an answer.
then those questions become regrets,
become point of no return.

an end surely is better
than the unbearable stretch of time,
the long life
that lies after the such questions.

how can you look at me the same way
when you know that my monstrosity and my weakness are the same?
how will i be able to pretend or play dumb?
surely an end is better
the endless days of pretend.
an end is better
than carrying the burden of this life,
this life that i don’t want,
than loving you and loving myself
with closed eyes and closed heart.

“Black and Blue” – Nayana Nair

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The land turns blue,
turns black everywhere I touch.
It bruises itself as much as it bruises me
at my every fall.
And the soon the sky was where I lay.
Soon the stars were nothing but my own tears
that shone only because
they didn’t want to be forgotten.

“Glossy Paper” – Nayana Nair

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I had too many magazines of glossy paper
with pictures of places better than where I live.
I always bought the one showing better lives.
(what can I possible do or dream with knowing the worse ones)
I would like to say that I remember each beach I saw,
that I remember the colors I never knew sand could take,
that I remember knowing exactly how my footsteps would look like
for they were already there on that foreign land
waiting for me to claim the prints that no one else could take.
But I do not remember all that.
I remember thinking all that, but not what I saw.
Now any picture that I scroll by in seconds
could replace the place that I wanted to see.
That’s probably why I do not bother
with spending my time on images of cheaper paradise
that I now know I cannot walk into just because they exist.

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I am a firm believer of words now.
There is a place I read of
and I create it in my mind
particle by particle.
Every place I read is my creation,
that cannot exist without me.
I have all kinds of better world in my mind
and they feel nothing like the ones
I have stopped dreaming about.

“Wrong Way” – Nayana Nair

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They forgot to teach me
the most basic thing-
to know which side I should take
to keep a check on papers, to see sense
when someone tells me what is politically right
and to agree when they tell me that identity is everything
not only mine, but of all those who live on same piece of land as me.
They forgot to tell me to fight and argue
in the name of and for the sake of people
who didn’t care about the fight,
who were fine living the way they did.
I ended up believing
that I could just exist without belonging to any shore
and maybe make my own
and pray that no one joins me
and turn my life into something to live by.

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How could they have overlooked this ,
didn’t they foresee how I would sit awkwardly
midst strangers and have nothing to say
about how the world was run.
Would they consider me silly,
would they think that I am shallow
if I was thinking about the fictional character from a story
and his conflicts?
Would they judge me if the story in question was not about
wars, rivalry or mid-life crisis
but one of romantic ones with cheesy lines
that everyone seems to detest?
They should have told me to memorize lines from papers
and opinion columns
and pass it as my own,
when I was not interested to form opinions
on topics that seemed to be of grave importance to others.
I should know better than to write poems on love and sadness
when people are dying around me.
But I don’t.

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I think I may have been brought up the wrong way
and there is nothing I can do about it now.
But I am not even sure whether
I want to fix the things
that I asked to feel ashamed of.

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