“How do I reach there?” – Nayana Nair

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I am 90% chaos.
I am also the protector of my chaos.
I am torn between the ideas of
freedom and perseverance.
I am still doubtful how I can save myself
if I hate the the thousand parts of me
that have a mind of their own,
if I try to silence the rising waves
to save this one piece of land that I can walk on
and if I wanted more, maybe even reclaim whatever now sits
in the windows of museum submerged and lost in past.
Past is a point far ahead and deep beneath.
How do I reach there?
When will I reach there?-
that is all I think.
How do I save myself from a mind like that?

In my mind, present is just seeing the lacks and absences
materialize into new shapes, into my new arms, into my new stomach,
into the new hole in my heart, into a lungs made of holes.
In another world I am maybe breathing in happiness with each smile,
but not here.
Here I hate myself for forgetting, I hate myself for remembering.
Here I hate myself for speaking too much,
here I hate myself for never speaking out and standing up.
Here I must still protect what I hate-
each living and dead molecule of me.
If only my hate was truly hate
and not just love waiting to happen.
There are easier answers for hate.

I wonder if I learned to look at sky
and learned to yearn for it,
maybe a point far ahead and up above- a future
might exist for me as well.
If only yearning and wanting could be assigned values.
If only looking up and finding a simple sky happened that easily.

“Breathing Cities and Statues” – Nayana Nair

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When I try to imagine,
to recall the face of another human being.

I always see them standing opposite me
with an expressionless face, holding out their hand.

When they are ghosts of pasts,
they are breathing cities of peculiarities and possibilities.
I feel they were waiting for my hand to touch theirs.
I feel as if they have saved up their last smile for that moment.
The steps I couldn’t take, can now never take,
they look so easy, so worth it, so worth keeping as regrets.

But I never learn
because
when they are reflections of present,
they are breathing statues
and frozen hearts that couldn’t possibly beat.
I know that this hand is not for me,
that I have extinguished the smile on that face
just by being myself, just by existing.

Only the warm breath of passing time
can make me miss the world that could have been.
Only on the streets I cannot walk
grow my trees of faith.

But even then, even for the past
I barely feel any love.
What I feel is something similar to
the relief in the things that won’t change.
The pull I feel is for the trust that can never be broken,
my heart that I never had to give out,
the hand of every stranger that remained innocent thereby.

“If I Keep Walking” – Nayana Nair

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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.

“Another Round of Wrong Guesses” – Nayana Nair

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In that room
seated along with my anxious heart,
my crumbling forevers, and my noisy pen,
was you.
You are now more colorful than ever-
more real, more present.
You are more you that before,
more of a person that I ever could be.
I envied you and loved you for that- that I remember.

I realize there other things that I don’t remember well,
as you put on the record
of “50 greatest pointless questions of all time”,
as you sharpen the edges of your weak hollow anger,
as you ask me to play a harmless game,
another try at the precious once-in-a-lifetime love,
another guess, another stab, another cut,
another laughter echoing and tearing
everything that almost made me human,
another try, another guess, another endearing laugh
at the sight of my tears.

I had decided that won’t flinch, that I won’t cry.
I looked at the paper again
that said that I am not actually hurt,
that everything I suffer from is a making of my mind,
that I am just too scared,
too lonely to think straight ever again.
I looked at it wanting to believe it
but also knowing I won’t allow this paper to fix this for me.

For even to this image- this violent beautiful ghost of you,
even to this- I felt I owed something.
I still waited for you to give up.
It still mattered to me – this confirmation-
that what I loved
also loved me back in some twisted way.
So I nodded yes to another rounds of wrong guess,
to this game I won’t ever win.

“Tell me it is not true” – Nayana Nair

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At the right turn
I faced another street
where someone I know once lived.
For all I know, their present
might still look like my ‘once ago’.
From where I stand and where I see
my present
is their “what a nightmare,
thank god it is not true/thank god it is not me.

Maybe with their shocked and sorrowful faces
they will ask me this
Tell me it is not true.
and I will probably tell them exactly that
because I do not want them to think
thank god is it not me
or “god has been kind to me. god loves me more.
Because maybe then, in that moment,
I may hate my lovely friend and my lovely god,
and the lovely lives that I am not part of.

So I take another turn,
seeking other roads-
roads where the ones I knows,
the ones with question
do not have to look at me.
And I do not have to see my tragedy, my loneliness
paint them as villain
when they are not,
when maybe they are the only ones that care.

“What I Remember (16)” – Nayana Nair

you
and me

you
and the me that i was, that you hated once, but not as much what i am right now

you
and your rough sketch of me that looks like bits and pieces of your past lovers

you
and your ticking clock, both waiting for me to change

you
and you habit of making me wait, of walking out on me

you
and your empty seat that you have already forgotten

you
with your air of arrogance that i pretend not to see for the sake of loving you

you
and your smile that sometimes (most of the times) have nothing to do with me

you
and your calls out of blue, calling me love, calling me heartless, throwing me away and calling me back,

you
and your words, your voice always asking for more

you
and your insistence of loving in past and hating in present

you
and your love that wants never to be associated with me

you
and your cruelty of always forgetting (only) me, forgetting the hurt you cause

you
asking me to love you back in spite of all, asking me to speak only in sweet words, never asking me how i made it through the pain you gave me last time, never wondering what do i want out of this love, that has no place for me

“Rainbows and Reflection” – Nayana Nair

I always thought
that I could be happy,
really happy,
forever happy,
if only I could make myself love happiness.

Though I approached this strange kid,
though I pretended to be good
and as holy as humans can be,
I had nothing to say this ever smiling child.
All the standard stories
I had prepared for this heavy chore
of presenting myself to this world,
were not for her ears.

I could never make myself fill her head with such darkness.
Why should she know of the categories of suffering and where I fit,
about the worth that every person has to earn.
This kid looked at rainbow and reflections with marvel,
prayed before every meal, believed in every story told.
There was nothing I could say to her.
I could not make her see me, befriend me, understand me
without changing her into me.

Only my love for this happiness
stands in my way
of the heaven I have dreamt in futile.

“Counting Losses” – Nayana Nair

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I can only go as far as my muscle memory takes me.
Since my mind is not here
and I can’t leave this body
that I have never been able to accept as mine.
There is a road that lies in front of me
and there is nothing for me to do
but to walk.
You bring me back to present
and ask me where I have been.
There is a place that I left lifetimes ago,
where I am searching for the reason of my grief.
There is a sun that rises only in the heart of the lost,
there is a mist I live in that you cannot see.
I can stand at any edge and be sure I won’t fall.
I can reach out for any happiness that I am sure I can’t have
and nothing will hurt me more than that.
There are losses that I am counting,
there are bruises I must count as gain only because of love.
Every hope I find
becomes a reminder of something I have already lost.
Can you teach me-
how to go about this life,
how to get rid of this part of me
that can only love the past?

“Thorn” – Nayana Nair

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You are a thorn in my heart
that only hurts, that only digs deeper
when in rare moments
I find my way to doors in my life
that can’t be opened now
and I stand helplessly in front of you
whom I no longer love.
When you utter the same words
but they sound different
and I realize that I have never been around
to notice this change.
We may walk in a present
disconnected from our feelings in past.
We are nothing to each other now.
Your sorrows are no longer due to my mistakes
and I feel nothing but relief for that.
But sometimes,
only sometimes
an unfulfilled dream breathes in me
refusing to die,
for it is happy to have you around.

“Surrounded by Chatter” – Nayana Nair

love-yourself

With marker I scribble on the mirror
the list of complains I have from you,
not caring if they mess up my own reflection.
Sometimes thankful that under that I can hide my own
obsession with what people will think of me,
how much will they value based on the value you give me.
An obsession I cannot really admit I have.
After all I am supposed to just ask for what I want
and not what everyone tells me I should want and I should have.
But are my wants really immune from the template of dreams
that world sets apart for people like us.

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When I sit surrounded by chatter
I remember how I had to seal my lips,
had to come up with stories more acceptable than
the vague transitions of my life and my heart
from one state to another.
Even if I put on songs of love and think of you
I am just presented with all that I am waiting to receive from you.
(Does that make me greedy or calculating?)
But somehow I always bring myself around to the life I must live
that would be easy to live
if I didn’t compare myself to others,
if it was easy to turn your back to the the judging eyes
especially the one being judged is not only you
but also the object of your affection.