“How to guard the doors and fail miserably” – Nayana Nair

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It is not the night that brings in the monsters.
They are just creatures, just nature-
that exist outside the door that you are guarding.

They come in because this world is theirs as well.
They come in because they can,
just like how you can go out.
This is the fair deal you don’t want to exist.

At least they do not look for you,
they do not mark your picture
and throw darts at it.
I love them for that,
for the lack of vicious premeditation,
the lack of fun in their delivery of hurt.

The river of pills that flows into my window
has nothing to do with them.
The hurt that keeps you awake,
the nails that slowly make marks
on the surface of your eyes

this ruined place, this brokenness
are always the gifts of the ones
who look like us.
This has nothing to do with the monsters.
This has nothing to do with nights.

But has knowing such things ever helped.
The days are just as frightful as nights.
Now anything that looks like me,
and everything that doesn’t –
they are possible ends of me.

Now I must either run away from everything
or must end up loving them all, forgiving them all –
this broken temple of knowledge, this fake shallow sacred unions,
these glorious wretched feelings that won’t let me remain me.
How far should I run. How foolishly should I love.
How do I decide.

“I never have to wonder, I never have to break” – Nayana Nair

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In the shade of a fruitless spring-less tree
as I tried to recall and write down
all the phone numbers I once knew by heart,
I looked at the sky
and laughed for thinking too highly
of myself and thinking too little about my heart.
That is the last thing I remember
before I was possessed.

Oddly I always remember this point of contrast
marked by the last tear I actually cried.
Whatever now had made home in me
convinced me
that I could be complete even if I stay as who I am,
that I could stand in this world
witnessing beauty, love, companionship, faith, life
and be happy
even if it could do nothing for me, even if they were not mine.

Someone, who couldn’t possibly have been me,
lived my life in my place from that moment,
and I never had to wonder again
if I am allowed to live like this.
I never picked up another paper I threw in the trash.
I now never tried to play the role of the one with bigger heart.
I was finally free of hope, of love, of being myself.
Now it was the work of whoever wanted this body,
whoever wanted my life.

“On a morning long gone” – Nayana Nair

On the tapered ends of my lips
when I found your lips nestled near mine,
I asked
“Is this love? Is this your love?”
and you answered “Obviously not.”
So I told my heart to grow up.
Growing up was the only way
not to hurt.

On the spring infested roads,
I found your hand
on my melting waist.

On a nameless cold rainy day,
I found the joy of walking
towards you.

On a morning long gone,
in my graceless fall into the mess of my mind,
I came to knew the strength of your hands.

On the narrow pavements made for one
as I walked behind you
I realized how impossible it is to forget you.

On all such days that I made a point
never to mark on any calendar,
on all the days I tried to forget,
I found the question again and again
“Is this love?”
Again I looked away from you
to avoid hearing the answer
that would hurt a lot more now.

I guess I never grew up
or growing up only deepens my heart,
only makes it worse.

“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.

“Evergreen” – Nayana Nair

The nights are not that painful anymore
whatever grows in me
is evergreen.
It has no care for lack of light in this world,
no care for years filled with question marks.
Unlike me,
it has no fear to be eaten up or extinguished.
Unlike me. It is so unlike me,
that I can rely on it to keep me floating
even my hands refuse to help me live.
I used to believe that it is love,
it is hope that keeps me afloat.
But I no longer have a name for it,
since love and hope have abandoned me
and yet I float.
And yet I float.

“Another Dream” – Nayana Nair

The world is still blue,
but blue looks so beautiful today.
Today there is no better you or better me
that haunts us in our happy moments.
So you can plan your solo journey on your old map
while I get ready for my work.
Let’s mark date on calendar, a place on earth
where we can return if the life and dreams get tough.
Let’s see the world for what it is.
Let’s become what we are meant to be.
I do not want to be your anchor dear,
I want to be your sail, your another dream.

“Part and Parcel” – Nayana Nair

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That day when it rained of
bruised and dying birds
of feathers marked with colors only
an arrogant and confident cruelty can cause,
everyone looked about for an umbrella
to protect themselves from this vision
that they didn’t want to witness.
This was not the historic moment
that they wanted to be part of.

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I could understand their willingness to believe
that the marks of fingers in the blood and bodies
that filled up the roads
can be called natural causes.
It was probably better
than knowing the names of people whom we may have laughed with
only to know they know how to fly,
how to clip wings and suspend the decaying bodies in air
for eternities,
while we asked them the directions for our life,
while we asked them to tie up our laces as a child,
while we asked them to love us, and build a new life.

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I guess even the innocent
got fed up of being looked at like a potential danger
or tired of looking for one.
It was probably more convenient to come to an understanding,
of agreeing on a made-up fact
that this all is part and parcel of being a bird in the sky,
that birds should know better than to fly,
and tempt innocent humans into life of crime.
Birds at their best should just chirp joyfully
and let everything slide.

“Aunt” – Nayana Nair

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“Yes, I do have plans for my future my dear aunt.”
I say, after I see her put her cup down and look at me
with sympathy and resentment.
“How can we not worry.
It is your future we are talking about.”

Actually, I never had these conversation,
at least not with my aunt.
I never had such an aunt to bother me.
But there are relatives and other faces
that I am hiding under the name of a non-existent aunt.
Sometimes it is me who is hiding under that name instead.

I am handed down spare maps
that I am supposed to study and follow.
Mark my route and choose someone
who could help me get up in the morning
even if it out of hatred.
I am sure it will be hatred
because I have seen no one one who has sorted their life
to wake up feeling that they have done it right.

My bitterness might make me seem like
a remainder of uneasy and uncomfortable families,
but it is not so.
There are just too many non-existent aunts in our house
who thinks we could have done better, chosen better,
lived better-
if only we could get our act together
and stopped acting like the world owes us some kind of happiness.

This constant re-evaluation of life
and its result coming out as failure every time
makes everything we live with
and everyone we choose as a mistake.
What is this “better” that doesn’t let us live?

“Aimless Insects” – Nayana Nair

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A last chance again brushes past me
and a list gathers in me like aimless insects
gathering around their last light.
They talk to each other
about all the things that they had hoped
they would find by now.
One by one tears fill up in the eyes
of every wish,
when one of them says that
it spends its days
marking a good day on calendar
to end everything.
That every star it joins
on the worksheet of night sky
spells out the name of the one
that could have been its answer.
It feels sad because
everytime it is a new name
and sometimes a name that it doesn’t remember.
It hurts that the name it can cry for
is not one but many.
It hurts more that to think
that in that one forgotten name
maybe lies the memory of a day
that should never have been forgotten.

“Assumption” – Nayana Nair

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We assumed that this fire that melts and hurts
was safe in our hearts
and no one would have to know,
no one has to get burned, bear marks of
this uncertain change that leaves us strangers
to the ones we love.
That makes it difficult to act
like what we used to be,
when we are forgetting memories
we are supposed to enact.