Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award

After a long long time, I am back with another award post.
Roshni has nominated me for Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award. I am really thankful that she like my work and considered me worthy of mention on her blog. Means a lot.

Here is the link to the award post by Roshni: Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award

So here is rundown of the rules:

Rules
– Thank the person who nominated you with a link to their blog. (done)
– Make a post of the award (with a photo of the logo). (done)
– Post the rules (done)
– Ask 5-10 questions of your choice. (I won’t be posting any question as I won’t be nominating anyone)
– Nominate 10-30 other bloggers (or more) and notify them. (For last few award post I always skip this step of nominating people. Most of the people I follow don’t like to included in awards and stuff like that, so yeah. And it is too much work to filter out who do like it. So I have given up on the step of nominating.)

So here are the answers to the questions Roshni has posted:

What is the most interesting aspect of the place you belong to?
To be honest, I have never felt a sense of belonging to a specific place. The place that my family home is, the place I was born, the places I have lived are all different. We were on move so much, we never stayed at a place for more than 2-4 years. The place I am living currently living in, Bangalore, is the longest I have stayed somewhere. I do love the convenience of Bangalore, but again I do not have a sense of belonging to this place. All the places I have been I have fond memories of those places, they have contributed greatly to my childhood experiences. All these places, places I won’t ever belong to, places that will forever be in my memory nevertheless have taught me that people at their core are basically same. (It is one thing to read it and other to actually know it.)

Do you like quotes? If yes, which quote defines you? If no, ignore the question.
I love quotes. I love quotes because of the beauty with which they deliver a sentiment, a sentiment that can live without the context. I don’t necessarily think that quotes are the ultimate truth though. If there are 50 quotes in support a sentiment or a thought, there will 50 other quotes against that thought. It doesn’t necessarily prove anything but it is still beautiful.

I am not entirely sure if I can objectively describe myself in quotes. The quotes that I can relate to either make me sound more grand than I am or more pitiful that I am. So the quotes that you see below are just a compromise between how I see myself and how I guess the world sees me.

Quotes that define me:

They say it’s good to let your grudges go, but I don’t know, I’m quite fond of my grudge. I tend it like a little pet.” 
– Liane Moriarty 

I’m not sentimental—I’m as romantic as you are. The idea, you know, is that the sentimental person thinks things will last—the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won’t.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald

She knew that was not an honest prayer, and she did not linger over it. The right prayer would have been, Lord . . . I am miserable and bitter at heart, and old fears are rising up in me so that everything I do makes everything worse.” 
– Marilynne Robinson

Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald

For an accurate description of me, this is how my sister defines me :

infj (mbti) + cancer (zodiac) + sprinkle with some pixie dust & lots of love + lots of sarcastic humour

Following is a quote that defines my persona that I have as a poet (also, suggested by my sister):

Today, too, I go on living just enough
Keeping in step, wearing my feet out just enough
The sun makes me breathless
The world has stripped me of all I have
Without a choice, with no other alternative,
Under the moonlight I am picking up my scattered self.

-“4 O’Clock“, BTS RM &V

You wake up in the morning to find an alien(or Thanos) sitting on your chair reading your favorite book. How would you react? (No, I’m not mad; I do envision such scenarios ?? )
I think I would just go back to sleep. I am good at living in denial.
I don’t normally imagine such scenarios. I do daydream a lot, but my day dream would never fall into the category of fantasy, it is mostly about real life as it is. My daydreaming is mostly about what would happen 5-10 years from now, different scenarios of my future or of the people I love, or about a possible story that I am trying to flesh out.

What do you enjoy more- reading, writing or story-telling?
I like reading the most. Though I love writing and story telling as well, but I feel I have too many limitations in that. I feel I have a very narrow vision and hence very narrow range of what I write. I don’t really mind it, because this narrow view, is just me being me, being obsessed about something that I am interested in. But even though I like being confined to specific topic and specific style, I cannot negate the fact that they are redundant to some degree. I love reading most because I never know what I am in for. Every well-written book surprises me, moves me, makes me think in a way I never could have otherwise. So yeah, reading would be the most exciting thing.

What is the knowledgeable/wise thing you have learnt in your adulthood?
Wise things I learnt in adulthood, that have not necessarily eased my life, but anyway:

  • Importance of reputation
    I have to work for the reputation I want. It doesn’t mean I am trying to become someone I am not. But if I fool around all the time, obviously no one is going to take me seriously. So even if I don’t get my sleep, even if I am sick or in pain, I will complete my work, I will be on time, I will not let down people. My dedication and sincerity lies in my actions and not in the words I speak casually. It doesn’t mean pushing myself for the sake of my image. It means if I mess up, everyone would know that I have my reasons. My mistakes will be mistakes, not something that I do just because I can or want to. It also means I don’t expect people to believe me or take my side, if my previous behavior makes their disbelief in me justifiable.

    Another quote:
    I think both of you are going to have to take this to heart the way anyone who has ever changed anything about their lives has had to take it to heart: by making it not just a nice thing we say, but a hard thing we do.   
    It’s how the real work is done.
     “
    – Cheryl Strayed
  • Minding my own business
    I cannot save everyone, not everyone needs saving, I am probably not qualified to make such assessment on other people, and I don’t think anyone is qualified for that. My morals, my likes, my wants, my decisions are only my business and not something I should project on others.
    Exception – I will voice my views of people who don’t know how to mind their own business. The key here is reciprocity.
  • Being content
    Even though I might say that I don’t expect much in life. It is all a lie. I expect a lot. My standard are too high. My standards were higher when I was younger. I wanted a perfect family, perfect friend, perfect love, perfect job, and a perfect life. Not that I ever had it. At no point in my life I experienced perfection. Maybe that’s why I wanted it so much. But with time I realized, I didn’t need so much, I wanted only a little, I just wanted those little things to be true and permanent. I did’t want an adventurous or enviable life, I just wanted a peaceful life with things that I care about. I didn’t want a perfect person, but a person who is kind and understanding and on same page as me. I didn’t necessarily want that person to be my love or soulmate. I didn’t actually want a big dream or purpose. I tried to want all the grand things, because I was mistaken that what I have is my worth.
    But now more than anything I wanted only one thing – to wake up with hope, passion, and love for this world. I just wanted to be capable of loving and being gentle to this world. Once I would have once considered this as settling for bare minimum. But now I realize I actually need and want only this.

    Quote:
    Hodaka: “Dear God, if you exist, please don’t take anything more, and don’t give anything more.
    Weathering with You

Which blog post of yours is your favorite? (Kindly provide the link as we all can read and enjoy.)
I don’t have favorites among my work. Half of my work is just a bit better than the other half, that’s it.
So I am just listing here some poems that I had forgotten I had written and were sort of good:

My Night Sky” – Nayana Nair

What I Remember(4)” – Nayana Nair

Far from Ideal” – Nayana Nair

Suggest 3 books for the readers.
3 books. Soooo tough. That is a really small number. If I select one book, it seems I am being unfair to other books.
But I must select as I can’t list all the books I have read till now, even that is not possible.
So anyway, here are 3 books that I can suggest you. These are books that have taught me something or have moved me, made me see and feel the world in a different way. There are many other books who have done the same for me, but let’s just consider this a starting point.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Oyasumi Punpun by Inio Asano
In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman

Name a fear (if you have and if you’re comfortable in sharing) which you want to overcome.
I think all the fears that I have are there for a reason. I don’t mean to get rid of any of them because I know exactly why I fear what I fear. It is not an irrational fear but a rational one. (If you are vaguely interested in the sorts of ridiculous or nor so ridiculous fear I harbor, click here.)

So yeah that was all. Since we are at the end of the post I would like to thank Roshni again for the nomination and for liking my work.

“Black Pond” – Nayana Nair

As I climb,
my steps remembered the shoes I once had
the ones that didn’t hurt so much
and how hands of mine that hacked through them
just to become my own person,
some sort of grown-up.
I climbed over the yellow soft dress
and the light that it caught
just to get this, this body that looks held together
but is not
(this body knows only how to fall apart),
just to get few more shadows that ruin my beautiful wrist
with their persistent passion.
They claw through me, to see how I am made,
how I look and speak once I break.
A stranger once left me at the bottom of a black pond
and called it love just so that I won’t cry
and in return I called him my love
just for few breaths, just for my life.
I climbed over the right to mean the word “love” thereafter
and the dream of knowing a heart other than mine.
I breathe as if I have sinned
yet I walk like I am happiness and determination in flesh.
I cling to all the bitter bits of this world
as if they would ultimately save me.
I climb over, get over, and forget
so easily, so bitterly
that each feeling of mine is just a shade
of resentment.

“To the one who who couldn’t change me” – Nayana Nair

The answers I hear
are never the words you speak.

The answers I hear answers are
poorly dubbed clips of proven cruelties and truth
that only a stranger to my pain could utter,
that only you could utter.

It is the thoughtlessness
with which you try to pronounce hope with ease in front of me,
even when you know the names of all the dead ends and dead smiles
where hope has always led me to.

It is the thoughtlessness with which you try to replace
the glowing shards of sad words from my crown
that I have fallen in love with-
my eternal friends who are as unwanted as me.

My crown and its sharpness are just walls for you
and my claims of love for who I am is just an act.

My dark feelings take up more space
than me or you combined
and yet you like to call me small.

Your light
only gives me new shadows to play with
and yet you call me weak.

The color of my eyes and song in my heart
don’t change for your liking
and my love for you doesn’t change.
Yet you call my passions temporary.

While my answers are the ones
that you cannot accept or even see.

My answers exist in a place where I exist
not in a place where you or me would like to be.

I hold onto your hands as much as I try to let go
-that is my answer
Those are the words that you cannot speak.

“All the boxes are checked” – Nayana Nair

It hurts a bit more naturally
and less violently,
now that betrayal has a range,
has not one but many faces.
Now I need not figure what I did wrong.

All the boxes are checked:

family, family, friends, not friends,
thank-god-we-were-never-friends friends,
i-am-sad-i-stood-up-for-you friends,
people who marked my skin with their name
to own me
while i slept in their arms
(another golden cup added to collection of people hard to get,
people who won’t die if thrown away or left alone)
loves whom i am tied to,
the ones who demand smile and sometimes a bit more,
always a bit more.

They know the feel of my hand and love how it heals.
They hold my hand in their sleep
in their nightmares, in the storms of passion
that they need a person to aim at.
They break my wrist
in my nighmares, in my awareness of my fruitless love.
When I am at verge of crying,
they tell me to not give them a hard time
and to act like the refuge that I am supposed to be.

So I tell them “I love you”
and this lie hurts a little less everyday
as my heart becomes the stone pedestal
all my loves stand on.

“What I Remember (20)” – Nayana Nair

I am told I am not wise,
that I do not have the intellect
that could make anyone swoon over me.
I try too hard, put too much effort
to be considered worth protecting.
I rank even lower on the stats of beauty.
I know that since I have found discarded papers
written by boys-who-will-always-be-boys
who document my plummeting desirability religiously.
But since I am not the type to conform
(tsk tsk…so many vices)
I cannot help but choose to take on the role
of the bitter girl
and judge in my mind everyone
who cruelly prosecutes me in jokes and harmless fun in my absence,
but are kind enough to leave behind enough clues
for me to figure out where I must stand in this world.

It has become my habit to consider them desperate,
manipulative and not worth my time or attention.
I know now, how to look down on everyone who looks down on me.
It’s a wonderful feeling really.
To feel like a flawed monster with some control.
To be free from the want to be understood by the “cool” people.
To stop expecting for things to change.
I have enough paranoia and enough stubbornness
to last this lifetime.
I have enough reasons to hate passionately all those who hate me.
I may know too less about life,
I may underestimate the phrase “but-tomorrow-you-might-need-them”
but I cannot turn my other cheek
and I cannot let myself want to be a friends/minion of theirs.
My heart may be dissolving in my own acidic hate for this world
But at least I know I took on my own side in all my fights.
I may not expect much from world, but expect a lot from myself.
This is the bare minimum I can do
to preserve myself in this world that changes everyone in the name of fun.

“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.

“I don’t want to be kind” – Nayana Nair

Excuses are futile, reasons unnecessary.
You may have sad story
but who doesn’t.
I don’t want to know what you went through.
I don’t want to melt my indifference and disregard
and become the only character who suffers for their understanding.
I don’t want to be that lone person
who considers even small actions
so that the ones who are already hurt,
don’t break on their watch,
don’t die on them.

*****

But it is difficult to be kind
to the ones who end up living for their pain,
who think their pain makes them special,
who would do anything to keep their status of
the ones needing protection.
It is tiring to continuously ache for others.
It is tiring to see everyone walking back to their mistake
in the name of love, in the name of passion.
Don’t tell me about your sadness and worries.
Don’t ask me for support and advice.
I cannot forgive those who return to the normality of their hell
leaving me as the only one
who should have known better than to help those
who can’t make up their mind.

“Closer to Me” – Nayana Nair

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Now the dark corners
are the only safe place remaining.
The loveless days
are the only memory where we can rest
where we can hide from
all the passion that we wished for,
all the feelings we couldn’t handle.

blue-lotus-flower-painting-for-home-decor-jurgita

You once wrote to me about the night
that hung as a curtain over your window,
about how you can’t gather the courage to see the light
until I came along and tore away those curtains,
broke your shields
so that you could see what lay beyond.
I once took pride in being the one
who destroyed all dark cells within you.

blue-lotus-flower-painting-for-home-decor-jurgita

But I realized too late that you were a flower
who could only bloom in dark,
that shields exist for a reason,
that each step you took towards your fear
thinking it would bring you closer to me
was just the beginning of sacrifices
you made to stay in my world.

blue-lotus-flower-painting-for-home-decor-jurgita

As I lay beside you
trying to undo my harm
trying to teach you how to forget me,
what I regret most is that
when you struggled with what you are
I was only proud of my love that could make you do all that
instead of being seeing your love
that could do what I couldn’t.

“Hiding” – Nayana Nair

images

The noise of the crumpled tissues walked upon
fills me up again.
Without the colors of reasons or pain
that once made it unbearable,
I envy that me who could be so passionately
sad for the someone else
or even for myself.
Now the the rivers of concern run beneath the surface of my heart
almost lost, in hiding.
(Or am I the one in hiding.)

And now I can finally be almost happy in life.

“Loose Words” – Nayana Nair

tumblr_m329r480dC1rp30e7o1_500

The words once written with passion

once written with anger,

sometimes filled with sweet drops of sadness

and sometimes with happiness that

made cracks in our masks.

All those words have broken down

have become loose and weak.

Those words are not our love.

Those words are our lives.

Our love is the ruled lines on paper

on which rested our broken lives,

on which rested our tested faith.