“love me all your life” – Nayana Nair

.

as his goodbye, he said to me,

“i don’t want to be yours.
but never stop being mine.
never forget me.
you promised to love me all your life.

be my happiness.
let your tears,
let my shadow reign over your heart.
be my happiness.
never chase away the rain that i am leaving in you
never look for another heart
.

be my value, be my worth,
be my pride.
you don’t have to be my love
to have a place in my life.
you can be nothing to me
and still be my treasure at the same time.

i don’t want to be yours
but it would heal my wounds, my ego
to know you will be broken without me
your brokenness will make me more complete
than your love could.”

“For this hell keeps me from breaking for bigger and worse questions” – Nayana Nair

.

“We must break our bones and lives
to create another spark –
this is what we owe to this world”
the voice on other side of my dear old wall
told me, told us all again.
And because we must do something about it,
we kept ordering another heart, another mindset,
another way, another “desperate somehow”
till our hands never felt comfortable with anything that is not new.
Would we stop, could we stop
if someone told us
that we are more than our failures?
I wonder even if I could believe those words
I wonder if such words mean much in this world.

Even if there was another place
to start a life that doesn’t run over me every morning
on the tracks that keep changing their shape and place,
tracks where I am just a new layer of metal, another layer of blood
that won’t give up, that cannot die yet,
saying hello to the ones who wake up beside me
as if death is another sleep for which they cannot lose time.
Even in that place, I feel I would suffer trying to define
and find my place even if no one asks me to.

“a piece of writing…that should have been me, but is not” – Nayana Nair

.

I look out of windows of places that I want to escape
and only after 24 hours, only after 12 years
in a poem about crows, in an essay about public school,
in a story, in a ruin not mine
do I find the space to figure out, to sketch
what I would have thought of, if I allowed myself to think.
If I allowed myself to feel, what I would have loved,
what I would have gladly run away from.
The lives that I couldn’t start, the roles I couldn’t end
they leave my skin and become the masks they always were.
I carefully place these masks
on the words that have nothing to do with me
My words
they only hold the mould
that were too painful for me to confirm to or accept.

“Hand-painted walls” – Nayana Nair

.

The answer to your question-
the truth you always ask and wonder about
is there
somewhere inside me.
But inside me are many other things
that I have not been able to find till now.
And I would have probably invited you in
and asked you to help me a bit
if you were not better than me in every sense.
Just saying this makes me feel so cheap.
It makes me the person I am always trying to hide
and inside me things are a bigger mess.
There is a river of hatred and an ocean of guilt,
the walls of past that I paint over and over
but things just keep looking worse.
And though you hope to find a sky of love there,
though you hope to find a true love or a true end,
I would rather not be loved for the possibility of who I can be,
I would rather not be looked at closely,
or loved a bit more than I deserve.
And what I deserve is a piece of cake
that keeps getting smaller and smaller every day;
a cake I dare not eat, or even want .
I am afraid in my shrinking world,
there is no place for you
or anything called truth.

“If I Keep Walking” – Nayana Nair

.

From wherever it may be,
if I keep walking straight
and try not to think of the destination,
eventually I feel the pavement turn to dust.
Slowly, stones dating to the oldest dates
in the recorded history of my life
start appearing one by one.

They sprout new mouths, they learn new words,
they grow into roads, into pillars,
into gateways, and into the walls of the places
where I am no longer welcome.
The fabric of present, my strange choice of words,
my skin that doesn’t belong to this time
all such things make me an alien, make me a pitiful stranger
in a place I know more than myself.

My laughter lives in those places,
with people who can’t find their way to me,
just like I can’t find my way to them.
I hold onto the walls when my tears start killing me,
I tell myself, it will be fine, if I just keep walking.
I tell myself, I will eventually remember my way out of this moment,
as I always have.

But now I can’t. I don’t want to. Maybe I am not meant to.
Maybe the answer lies in never forgetting,
maybe that’s the love I am meant to have.
Maybe waiting is the answer that will suit my weak heart,
since pretending can only get me this far.

I sit on the benches of deserted parks with with my bloodless heart,
and I imagine melting here in this imaginary sun.
I feel happiness might have been something like that,
but I can’t remember it, even though it was once mine.

“Hope and Wait” – Nayana Nair

.

I looked at you for a long time
and for a long time you pretended to sleep.

For a long time
you closed your eyes,
even when tears spilled,
even when laughter almost made out.

I placed my hand in yours and waited.

I hoped even when you pretended to be stone,
pretended to be wax, pretended to be mine,
pretended to want me gone.

I hoped, I waited to held in your arms.

I hope.
I wait.
I pretend to do all this with ease.

I pretend to be a shelter
as I hunger melts my stomach,
as words melt my mouth.
I do not know what you pretend to be.
Not yet.

I wonder
if I let my eyes close,
if I chose my weakness,
if I hide,
will you take my place, place your hands in mine
and pretend to wait?

I won’t mind such lies and such pretense.

*I wonder if our lives could change
if we didn’t feel burdened
by truth and lies all the same.

“Even when things are right” – Nayana Nair

“The sky is your canvas”,
the book to all ailments said,
“there is a joy in filling it up with life.”
But as I finished my 157th sketch,
as I finished my 300th one,
as I finished the one with no count attached
(the one I called “the limits that were stronger than me”),
as I write over all that I had drawn,
as the clouds dragged themselves painfully
crawling to some better place,
like everything else in my life
the sky remained unchanged.

And when I lost my hands to fate, to slow corrosion,
to the burden of creation,
to the lady in white who couldn’t even lie that “it won’t hurt”,
to the painful work of making up things that I want,
things that would want me back, or at least won’t walk out,
to the hunch that said something is seriously wrong
with the kind of life I have.

I wished for the man in the sky
to wake up and get to work,
to make me some rain,
to drop an ocean of crystal on this world,
to paint a heaven on this cheap sky of this miserable man.

Because trying on some days, on most days now,
feels like living against the wishes of the world.
I can’t help but break a bit, cry a bit
even when things are right,
because they right only because of my efforts.
Can you give me something that I don’t have to work hard for,
something that was made for me,
something that I can keep.
A thing, a person, a sign
that I can hold in my hand
that tells me that you want me to be happy,
that you want me to smile,
that I am not abandoned after all.

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.

“Eventual Fall” – Nayana Nair

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.

“my eyes miss everything” – Nayana Nair

i try not to think
about the places that are lost
and evaporated
only leaving clouds of colorless memories
floating on my not so blue sky

places that are lost
not only to me
but to this world
now no one will ever know the sweetness
of the light that was never beautiful enough
to be captured and framed
light that is only beautiful only in its death
beautiful only when it rises up without a reason
on the surface of our eyes

how my eyes miss seeing everything
that now cannot be seen
my eyes wake up from the dream of yesterday
into this new day that i must write
feeling that again i have lost something,
something meaningful in that dream
that will never return to me
a dream that i have no right to dream again

i try not to think about such losses
losses with name or reason or heartache
but no matter how much try
some days that is all i can think about