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“how storms fade” – Nayana Nair

twenty-six steps away from the cold end,
we stand together as if we are both looking
at a foe we must defeat together.
a child passes us by with a yellow balloon.
how misplaced it seems, this child
in this place made of storms.

this is something i don’t want to do.
our steps will fade into the deep end of this lake
while the mother in me would summon the face of this child
as a hope of what i could have had
if I could endure a little bit more.

an invisible small hand curls around my fingers
as your voice falters and you mess up our last song.
the ghost of your future, whatever face they may have, have also arrived.
so i put back the sweater on
and you check the calls you must return
as the ones who intend to live on only do.

“you know where you have hidden your light” – Nayana Nair

have you come to find the life, the hand
that lit every eye that you have come across?

you can sit here and look at me for your whole life
but you won’t forget the one whom you cannot face.

she had a sweeter heart than mine, i can guess.
every lover in their best moment were as lovely as this mother earth.

i won’t compete, i won’t love you better.
tell me the parts of you that she lit, i will let them burn you away.

i won’t talk like her, i won’t tell you i understand.
so hold my hand and miss her as much as you can.

in my lacking, see her face.
take the name you have been dreading to approach.

confess your love to the one you have lost.
make peace with the part of you that won’t let her memory rest.

divinity only takes away things that you treasure.
so, remembering is the only easy way to forget.

“The Saving Business” – Nayana Nair

Ages ago, I did a course of 48 hours on saving people
(as if saving was that easy).
There were lots of questions, none that I could answer truthfully.
I sat through confessions, lot of confessions.
I sat there distancing myself from everything I had the potential to be-
the one who clutched her handkerchief too tight,
the one whose gaze seems like a hammer, itching to crush and break.
And like the pathetic person I am,
I only thought “Where should I run to now?”

I would return to a sad room to sleep (thank god it was never to be my home),
I would wake up and find myself staring
at slideshows that I tried hard not to see
or find myself cooking up stories of life
that won’t put me on that stage, won’t sound like a cry.

“Is this how this saving business would continue to be?”, I wondered
as I left those 48 hours behind.
“Is this all I can do?”, I asked myself as I finally wept for hours.

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

#the feelings that I can’t own

The nature of regrets that I have in my heart, the flowers that grow at the end of this knife, the watches that have run out of battery but pretend to have stopped time. I have so much space in me for things like these. I have so many curiosities that I can put up a shop with no intention to sell.

     I don't like my mind right now
     Stacking up problems that are so unnecessary
     Wish that I could slow things down
     I wanna let go but there's comfort in the panic
     - "Heavy", Linkin Park
     Distant lies - shallow dreams, confused ideas 
     Once our hopes - now they anchor all our fears 
     -"Lie", Arco
     Just by being next to you
     I was happy
     Don’t take even that truth
     And make it into a bad memory
     -"Last Goodbye", Akdong Musician

I have sketches of you, a face for every day that you have shared with me. I wonder if you would walk into this shop with another beloved of yours. Would she buy them all? Would you let me sell it to her?

     I loved you a lot
     Even if you say otherwise
     I didn’t want things to end this easily
     -"Go Away", Yong Jun Hyung
     But the thing that we all learned at some point was how
     To step on someone, to catch them, to erase them, to hate them
     -"Life", RM

This is not a post-you fear and post-abandonment feelings. I think I have felt that with you all along. Something about us, the way everything about us was a secret of sorts – you only told stories that I could never repeat.

     And I cried for you
     Like a widow cries at her lover’s grave
     You haunted me through my stinging nights
     And aching days
     - "Divers & Submarines", Passenger

I knew this all along.
I knew all your lacks, and I knew how you would give up on me rather than give up on all parts of you that stand between us.
I knew it, but I wanted to be wrong, just this once.

     Well I clung to you
     Like cat hair clings to a woollen shirt
     You needed me, like a wedding dress needs dirt
     -"Divers & Submarines", Passenger
     I bet you know just what you're doing
     You're not the type that's used to losing
     First, you build me up, then with just a touch
     Leave me here in ruins
     -"Dazed and Confused", Ruel

I hid from you all the parts of me, that could suffocate you – my love, my possessiveness, my confusion, my fear, my irrational suspicions created by most rational observations, my objections, my complaints, my hurt.

     We wanna be right
     But always wrong
     Were we born to be wrong?
     Is life something like that?
     …
     We tryna be bright
     But always dark
     We still don’t know if we’ve lived to the extent that we can
     -"Life", RM

But now, when I no longer have the obligation to hide anymore.
I end up lying, trying to protect you from the harsh words of this world, making everyone believe that you were lovable even when you were not. It would break my remaining heart for you to be hated, even when you deserve to be hated.

     What happens if I open my eyes, my eyes?
     Will I ever get my head right, head right?
     -"Dazed and Confused", Ruel
     I keep dragging around what's bringing me down
     If I just let go, I'd be set free
     -"Heavy", Linkin Park 
     Until the time that we die perfectly we can’t protect everything
     -"Life", RM
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“What I Remember (18)” – Nayana Nair

today’s sadness is brought upon
by the increasing count of the words
that i have forbidden myself to speak.

today’s sadness is brought upon
by the particularly sad song
that i have chosen to listen.

today’s sadness is partially due to the strangers with sweet eyes,
partially due to my angels with weak hearts,
and also the fact that i must love (and have loved) everything wrong
without causing pain to anyone but myself.

i must write without baring myself.
i must write to never let myself forget what i can’t speak.

do not write this, do not be mean, do not be ungrateful
do not blame, no names, no dates, do not put anyone’s weakness on show

all such favors that i must do
for the sake of my perpetrators and my protectors.

i must act like a better person, even when i am not
in my fingers i am told to hold
everyone’s shame and everyone’s guilt,
and find my freedom in that.

today’s sadness is a breather,
the rare moment i allow myself to see
how messed up all this is,
before i turn off the light
only to stumble through life again.

“When they get to know” – Nayana Nair

There was this one girl
who was too bright.
I liked her a lot.
She was a little more loud, little more caring,
laughed a little more longer.
As if that ‘little more’ was her essence,
was a rule she couldn’t break.
I liked how I could see
what she was without that ‘little more’,
that all of them would never know her like me.
I wonder at what point they will get to know,
that she is drifting away.
Would they would find her too plain,
once she stopped trying?
Would they also feel betrayed?
By then, would they have learnt
all the cruel words
that can break her,
words that she already knows.
I hope not.
I hope they are too young
to recognize the masks they see
or the masks they wear.

“What have my eyes lost sight of ?” – Nayana Nair

As I sing your praise
I end up recalling
how I used to look at you
as if you could save me.
But now we stare at each other
while my life remains what it is.
I don’t call it a mess now,
to get some sympathy out of you,
to get a miracle out of you.
I don’t call it a blessing
just so that you would know
that I appreciate what you gave me
and hope to get a little bit more.

One song, one hymn after another.
I play at the seams of my skirt.
I pick at the skin that I once was.
“is this how we lose ourselves?”,
I want to ask you.
“is this we become who we are,
by cracking and crumbling invisibly,
the moment to mourn-lost forever,
the innumerable funerals no one grieved at,
is this why growing up is painful for all?”.

Instead of prayers
I come to you with only questions.
Instead of your forgiveness
I end up asking your understanding
for what I have done and what I have become.

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