“All this for nothing” – Nayana Nair

.

And this is the sorry sorry state
in which I find myself
after everything is done.
The checklist can now be torn
and thrown away in this trash can
that sits like a queen in this empty street.
And I sit like an attendant beside it
filled with vomit and dread
and thoughts of “now what? now what?
now what?” circling my head
like vultures who prey on words born out of
insecurities. Insecurities that should have died long ago
if not for the people who love you
and who need you to have these flaws
to feel comfortable around you.

They are so convinced that they will drown
that the only thing they promise you is a death together
and it is actually very romantic…
to see them take a knife and peel of a layer of their skin
and hand it back to you so that you can do the same,
so you can smile at each other, convincing each other,
that this is what everyone does,
this is what goes on in everyone’s life,
that this is somehow normal,
that this is love.
Because it was still better than every other hollow feeling
that you get from this world
that would only leave you wanting for god-knows-what.

This is the road of betterment though.
So things have changed a lot. I don’t handle knives anymore.
I don’t leave my body unattended in hands of strangers.
I don’t curse at people who tell me that I need help
(though I still feel that I should give them an earful).
I have forced my way out of that life.
I have quit my demons. I have quit lOvE.
I have quit things that hurt me with the promise of life.
It is almost the end.

It was supposed to be fine now. But now,
no matter how much I ring the door of better life,
no one answers.
It is night and I hear voices calling me back.
There are people out there that I have promised to die with
and they will be here for me anytime.
And if I see them, I will probably walk into their arms
and all this will be for nothing.
I know I shouldn’t be crying over this.
If anything the world of sanity
seems to be as unreliable and as irresponsible
as my friends who fill their head with smoke
and drive into the nearest wall.

“The Remaining Beautiful Sculpture” – Nayana Nair

.

The houses are all empty, the roads deserted,
the remaining beautiful sculptures,
in the overgrown lawns of this plastic world,
have no eyes and no intent to save anyone.

Someone tells me my new lines
and I nod and wait for my voice to arrive.
Someone else opens my cage and you are also
somewhat released from your prison.
We walk the small distance of this model road,
revising the conditions of our freedom in our head.

You hold my hand and it feels like nothing.
How perfect. How hollow.
But soon the sun will rise and fill us with light.
Soon it would all be beautiful.
I almost wanted tell you,
“this emptiness is such a beautiful catalyst
for reckless beginnings”. But I guess you already knew.

As we all wait for the sun,
you tell me you have a name and I nodded.
I realized I could not say the same about myself anymore.
I realized much later that you never told what it is, your name.
A name is such a hollow thing, to be filled up by the person only later.
I don’t know the order of importance of things in this world.
So I guess this must be normal.

As the sun came out of hiding, I was filled with words again
and the words that I wrote in that first light was,
we both could write poems that can break worlds.
we could be so much more than this. and maybe we are.
maybe we want to be something less. something simple.
something harmless. but is that even possible?

As I wondered what your real words looked like,
I uttered the words I was told to,

the houses are all empty, the roads deserted,
the remaining beautiful sculptures ,
in the overgrown lawns of this plastic world,
have no eyes and no intent to save anyone.
i won’t save you. i will be just like others.
i will look at you and wonder. i will smile and forget.
i will love and forget.
but i will remember you in your crudest form.
you will exist in my vocabulary like waves and perfumes
and home and roads. but you will remain.
i will make sure of it.

And with all the conviction and gratitude you replied,

that is enough. i can be saved just by that.

I believed you so much in that moment
that I wanted to mean every word I spoke
and maybe that was the moment my love was born
for you.

“But more than love” – Nayana Nair

But more than love
I needed to feel that I am human,
that my heart and its pieces
and its tentacles struggling to get a grip on me
are a story everyone’s bored of.

I needed to know that I am fine.
As fine,
as normal
as the person who doesn’t meet my eyes.
That I could look up from the sinking ground.

I needed someone to place me in the sun,
to water me, try hard to keep alive,
to make this
small me
the center of world
for few seconds.
Someone who could grow and bloom beside me,
because of me.

But more than love
I wanted you to be the one
who does that for me.

“your desire would burn away” – Nayana Nair

i read this on a torn sheet of paper
that was lying, waiting (possibly for me?)
in that empty hall, that on a normal day has never known empty.
and being who i am, this again had to be an easy answer from a higher power.
being who i was i believed that the confusion in my mind
rocked every throne in heaven.
so again i assumed as i said i never would,
that these must be the words that could solve me.
never mind the context, never mind the book or it’s title.
there is so much missing and this paper still remains
it might mean something,
it must mean something,
everything had to mean something for me to somehow go on.
it said “your desire would burn away,
the moment you let it have your words”
so i uttered your name with the place you have in my heart.
i mustered up enough courage to speak of the place i wanted in you.
it sounded dubious and shallow.
it sounded so much like me
that i thanked myself for not saying it to you.
i made a clean tear through that piece of paper
for being too right and being too wrong
and walked away wanting now to become a better vessel,
the person on whose lips these words would really sound the way they felt
i walked away waiting for my mind and your heart
to become good enough for those feelings.

nothing burns away.

who taught you to be normal

universe fireflie has written a really nice post who taught you to be normal when you are one of a kind? on her blog with some deep personal questions. She had tagged me to answer the same question. So here I am, writing this post. Not sure, how well I can answer them but anyway will try my best.

Warning: It is a pretty lengthy post. And it is not so fun.

Who taught you to be normal when you are one of a kind?
Honestly, in the first half of my life I didn’t even know that being “one of a kind” was a thing. I was just too happy to be with everyone I guess. But then life happened and I got to know things, learnt lessons that broke me. And at that time all I cared for was “I don’t want to be like them”. I think not wanting to associate with insincere people made me want to choose a specific type of lifestyle in which I cannot be affected easily by others. With time I have come to realize that through all my such efforts, I have made myself “the odd one”. Not sure if it is the same thing as “one of a kind”. But anyway, in short, to live by the ideals that I prized and to not get carried away by the plans and feelings of those around me, I put in a lot of effort to become someone better. Though in no way I was aiming to be “one of a kind” but I have turned out to be that somehow. Though I am still not sure if it is a good thing or not.
So in short, I went from being normal to being some “odd/one of a kind”. I taught myself to be to not go along with what people think/say/believe and in that I ended up deviating from being normal.

What is the worst thing that could happen to you?
I have such a long long list for that. I am a person who is afraid of lot of things. I work and plan on worst case scenarios always. So I cannot exactly pinpoint a specific worst thing. But I think I am better at handling emotional worst cases than physical ones. So yeah, I know it is a vague answer but to actually answer it would take probably 7-8 posts. My collection of fear is that huge.
One thing that I do notice about myself is that. When I do face my emotional worst case scenario, I do cope better than I thought it would. They only hurt when I look back. But when I am caught in that situation all I think is that I have been through worse. After trying my best for all this while, I can’t let anything to break my mind. I would say emotional crisis break my heart but I try really hard to preserve my mind. I try my best to not get changed because of some emotional setback.

You finally got an appointment with God. It took some time but it happened. What is the first personal and un-personal question you ask Him?
If I was asked this question some years ago, I would have had lots of question. Most of them would have been variation of “why me?”. For a long time, I used to think that even though I try my best to be good and true to everyone, why am I facing so many issues in life. It seemed that God was only cruel to me and everyone who I was morally against (not that they are evil) continued to live somewhat fulfilled life (or that’s what it looked like). So most of my questions would have been “why me?”.
But now I do not need an answer for that. It is something I have tried to make sense of this for a long time and have found a somewhat satisfying answer. (1) I am not as good and pure as I think I am. It is not necessarily a bad thing. Just a fact that I can or have acted cruelly when I am pushed to my limits. (2) I have become a better person because of suffering. I have ended up finding a more meaningful life because of the crisis in my life. (3) Though we all have unfair suffering, but we also receive an unfair share of happiness. There are so many good things we have got, not because we deserved it, but by pure chance. (4) When I say “why me?” I wonder do I want someone else to suffer in my place. It seems cruel in itself that I would want someone else to suffer what I can’t bear.
You might think I am far from answering the question, but what I want to say is – In my case, every question I wanted God to answer, my life and my heart finds those answer sooner or later. Answers do arrive, even if late.

If you could change something about you at the switch of a button, what would it be?
I would want to become more confident in myself. My self-confidence would probably negative score. It makes living a bit hard sometimes, especially living with other people. I always have this feeling in me that no one likes me (even strangers), that I am not good at anything, that everyone will leave, that my way of life may turn to be the wrong answer in the end, etc. Even if I am wronged, I can’t bring myself to complain or ask for an explanation. I end up feeling quite pathetic to be honest. Confidence is something I need desperately.

If somehow, someway, all the responsibility on your shoulders disappeared, what would be the first thing that you do?
I am not sure of this answers. I am so used to the responsibilities, that I might not even know how to live my life, if they disappeared. Because it has all become sort of habit, the point where I my roles and my identity are indistinguishable to me. I won’t know how to function, let alone have a bucket list for such a scenario.
I forced myself to think what I would do, and all I could think of is to cry. Maybe cry for days and let myself be consoled and not fear how truth of my heart and my pain would affect the ones whom I love and who care about me.

If your heart could be reflected in anything, what would it be? It could be a place, an object, anything.
A mountain.
A music box that plays a beautiful sad song.
A cloudy yet pleasant day.
A warm hug.
Internal bleeding.
A shield.

If you really really didn’t care about people and their opinions, what would be the one thing that would drastically change about u? your clothing? what you say? your behavior? your actions? and if so what actions?
I would like to answer this question with a quote:

“Yes, my consuming desire is to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, barroom regulars—to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording—all this is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always supposedly in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yes, God, I want to talk to everybody as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night…”
― Sylvia Plath

If your mind could be reflected in anything, what would it be?
No clue. Probably a black box.

What would you do if somebody told you you would die tomorrow?
Me: Finally. <Sigh of relief.>
Also me: Oh my god. I thought I had eternity. I want to see the future of the people I love (not interested in my future), read thousand more book, listen to many more songs. One day is not enough.

I have not yet figured out what I feel about death as of now. I have pretty much mixed feeling about it.

“Normal Love” – Nayana Nair

I love
and wait to be loved
only to feel “Maybe I am not that bad”.
I wonder what that says
about who I am as a person.
In love
I can’t help but put my all,
put up the act of selflessness,
of fierceness.
Be the creature of passion
that I rarely am by myself.
How terribly normal I look
in the arms of my shape-shifting beloved.
How terrible it makes me feel-
this normal love,
that I can never get by being myself.

“Born Like This” – Nayana Nair

“i was born like this”, I lie,
when I really want to say

“the normal ones, the sane ones
are surprisingly excellent at
breaking anyone without any guilt whatsoever.

i no longer have strength
to leave them, or beg them,
or handle the repercussion of wanting them.

i fear them only when i cry
though i am not exactly sure why it should be so.

the positivity, the kindness, the unity, the charity, the world peace
that they talk about
looks so beautiful when put in action
for example,
there are holes in me though i have never seen a bullet in my life
and i am not allowed to say it is their doing
“it is a result of my negative thinking and bad karma” i parrot
like i have been taught to.

this burnt skin, this distrustful heart,
the layers of clothes that are prerequisite of proving my modesty
if god-forbid i let loose an animal in someone just because i exist,
the logs of missed calls and blocked calls and blocked memories
that are the only things protecting me now.
this is how i was born.

Though absurd, it sounds like truth the more I say it.
This is how I hurt whatever is left of my heart.

“Till I become half of what I was” – Nayana Nair

The soap slips through my fingers
and falls onto the floor
(a floor that in my mind is never clean enough).
I wash the soap vigorously,
till it becomes half of what it was.
My teachers would be proud
to know that I take germs somewhat seriously even now.
Even now, when I am sure of only of my loneliness*,
such ghosts of primary school science don’t leave me alone.

*My hands are too small, I have been told many a times. Maybe that’s why this happens so often. But still I guess it happens to all. I can never know for sure though. No one I have ever met talks of the soaps that slip. Maybe that shows the state of my friendships, how I end up feeling weird, feeling alone about the things, in experiences that are supposed to be normal and common.

“i hope i forget this life” – Nayana Nair

matter, substance, meaning…
as my vocabulary expanded with such words,
i knew,
i had an inkling
that this is how
i would be disillusioned,
with such small words
i would be driven to despair.

i would find there is another face behind every smile,
and that some of those upturned lips are just empty coffins.
a smile so sad, a wordless lie
so easily becomes the most normal thing.

but do i even want to know
who lives behind such elaborate masks?
do i care to know how they breathe?
do i want to know who breathes in me?
or whether anyone really care about me?

i knew that now,
given that i have learnt to ask
all the questions whose answers can’t be verified,
living and trusting was bound to become harder.
now that i knew
that i am not capable of knowing myself,
seeing my reflection
was bound to get painful and confusing.
confusion is such a small word
for what life does to us.
all the small words
that are easily said than meant-
i hope i forget them
before i forget myself.

“Carve a Chaos” – Nayana Nair

Let’s move closer
into each other’s pores,
move into each others mind,
where we are bound to lose our way.
Let’s blame each other
when we miss the chaos of our own mind.

Don’t ask me how to return to normal.
Normal never existed for us.
Our life together has no place for normalcy.
How to put a knife on an already bleeding wound,
and smile when the pain seeps into and cries out my heart-
I learnt that from you.
Like I learnt to confuse anger and possessiveness with passion.
Like I learnt to bear your frequent silence
and occasional disappearance.

Let’s move closer
into each other’s absence,
carve a space for our needs in each other’s heart.
It is not love, I know.
But dear, we both are not good enough
for this thing called love anyway.