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“What are we doing now?” – Nayana Nair

Another chance
to get our high
from the powdered dust of dreams,
from digging desperately, getting closer to the voice
of the demons we buried just yesterday,
breaking nails and curfews to
save the skins we can’t live without.

Another chance
at making a home,
choosing colors for our ceilings,
choosing the sides we will sleep on,
choosing not to be the ones we have always been.
Another chance, another precious child to be broken,
another angel dress to be painted red
waiting for our hands, for our tasteless kiss.
Choosing everything that leads us to lives
that couldn’t possibly have been ours,
couldn’t have been so wrong.

I know we are the only ones
who can give each other chances.
Chances – that we are so fond of.
But do we need to call it love?

Though we have tried and tried
and have run out of things that can be fixed.
Do we have to call this happiness
just because we have been told we must?

Do we have to ruin every word, every feeling
that we have not felt yet,
just because we fear we may never feel them otherwise.

“What I Remember (29)” – Nayana Nair

At a bus stand in front of mall (that I have never been to)
I learnt how to wait and how to live with disappointments
without making a big deal of it.

In the bracket of an hour, I grew smaller than I ever thought I could be.
“this is what love does to you, this is what love does to all of us”, all the voices in me lied.
I was again weary of the love that I had chosen and the person I had trusted
(“again” – the word that showed me the real reason why it would never work out).

I stood beside strangers on the crowded bus stand, awkwardly crying.
I counted these not-so-scary strangers who were trying to become one skin.
I pretended that I hated to be rained on as much as they did.
I pretended that I didn’t mind their warmth, that my suspicious mind was not at work again.

Hours went by, empty roads faithfully stayed empty.
I became more aware of the boundaries of my body
I became aware of the person who would never come looking for me,
who would look at the three hour long rain and still won’t wonder what happened to me.

We all stood there,
pretending to be the only human
in the group of zombies who had taken over a bus stand out of boredom,
who stared at the wide road, the darkness beyond, and the emptiness behind
as if their eyes were made to witness only this moment.
I closed my eyes and hummed something, anything
that could drown the presence of everyone
who knew the sound of my breaking heart now.

At a bus stand, that could protect no one,
we all dreamt of the worst- of the submerged road,
a rain that will never stop, the cold that would take us down for days,
children forever waiting, of the lightning we could hear but not see

of a love painlessly ending and a heart that shamelessly survived.

“What I Remember (28)” – Nayana Nair

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As I grew up, whom I hate changed constantly, it changed more frequently than my dream for future roles.

Maybe that’s why I was so particular about what I hate and I did it with fervor for the first few years.

But as time went on that hatred turned into just another silence – my refusal to speak with anyone who I wanted to hate.

And now it has transformed to hating people while I pretend to get along with them. Curling inside with anger at the same jokes that I feel compelled to laugh on.

It is not an easy thing to do but it is still easier than all the alternatives. (The alternatives are my nightmare.)

Because even though my hatred has grown over time, I also find it in me that space to accept people at their ugliest, not loving them, just accepting that they too can live here, be here and do what I hate, and telling myself that I have to be fine with that.

I have come to hate this side of me the most – this cowardice dressed as generosity and understanding, where I do nothing but smile as my blood, my ideals burn and collapse.

Maybe that’s why I have hated myself most, with constant determination, without doubt. This hatred is my only light – my anger at myself, for not doing enough, for taking up fearing my uncertain volatile feelings and views, my own voice, more than I fear this world.

“We are not made for any season” – Nayana Nair

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The cold that we depended on
to hide our hearts
didn’t last long.
First our warmth, then our fire,
then our wild will-
one by one they convinced us
why we need them, that without them
we’ll never actually live.
One by one
everything we didn’t want to be
stood facing us, climbing higher and faster
on our ladders out of our hell.
I kept repeating my lies
and you kept repeating them back
and tried to call it love.

“What I Remember (27)” – Nayana Nair

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i think this suits me most-
to lose myself
and yet look okay.
god gave me a face that always looks okay
even when i don’t want it to.
(there have been only handful of days
when i want to look as miserable i am.)

i wonder how it feels
to say
“do i look broken today yet?
“i cried all night”.
i have never cried at nights.
i have never skipped a meal for my sorrow.
i feed my heart too much fats
and instant unhealthy happiness.
i cut down my green trees
and kill few birds, make a fresh trap
that smiles through my gaping wound.

i live life the only way i can.
look okay cause all parts of me are
still working fine.
god gave me a heart that doesn’t break
the conventional way.
i walk this world fearing this heart
the most.

“Talks of flowers” – Nayana Nair

She told me I feel like frozen tulips
and I do not know what she meant by that.
She never talks of flowers or future
or what I might be in this world
by myself or by her side.
So we pretend such words were never said.
We pretend that the meaning we give
to each other’s words
are true and real
and the only meaning we need.

“What I Remember (24)” – Nayana Nair

It is time to go out into the world.

It is time that I try hard to get my heart broken
and pretend that it is happening for the first time,

to claim that I trusted blindly
knowing it is not something I am capable of,

to fit my body awkwardly
in the kind of life that people call ‘life’

to find words, to practice the new lingo
that can make something about me relatable,
so that my skin soaked in a tiring tale of sadness
doesn’t make me an alien,

to fill me up again with pictures
of parks, cafes, malls, and roads filled with people
who supposedly like each other,
if not a lot,
then at least enough to not let their ailing self
ruin the perfect moment, the perfect teamwork, the perfect promise.
(Perfection that relies on someone else
doesn’t sit well with me.)

It is time I find something new
that I cannot be or cannot have
before I lock myself up again
for next hundred heart years.

So while I am out to find something to write about and hurt about
miss me my cell,
pray for me.
I am afraid that once I am surrounded by all
that I have learned not to want,
I might start to hope again.
I might slip again.
I might forget to see the distance that I carry in me
and get disappointed by the doors that I can’t reach.

“the broken-hearted” – Nayana Nair

the broken-hearted know no love
for anything or anyone
that is not the one breaking their heart.
they see through you.
even when they say hello
they almost get your name wrong,
you can tell it from the look in their eyes.
they drink and fill every room with songs
that were not so hard to bear
when they were just noises that radio made.
they tell you in their drunken stupor that no one cares.

they say no one cares
even when you call the cab, drag them home,
hurt your hand in the struggle,
scrape more than skin, lose more than patience,
leave them on a bed not made
for weeks probably, you don’t want to guess or know.
so you close the door, climb down the stairs
shut down the part of mind reserved for them,
but remember how they have been liking and sharing
too many dark poems, how those poems
speak in their voice in your mind.
so you climb back, remove every blade and knife
and realize it is just the beginning.
you feel exhausted by the inexhaustible list of things
that can help end a life,
that can serve as a full stop.

so you sleep on the couch
or pretend to,
till your head hurts from pretending.
now that you want something true
you call your love
and tell him that you don’t know
how to handle this,
how to sleep and yet keep an eye
on the one whom you suspect is waiting,
waiting for you to close your eyes for a second
to make an exit that doesn’t exist.
he tells you that they are beyond hope
at the same time
he forwards articles that could give you hope.
he tells you to sleep tight knowing you won’t.

when you wake up at the sound of tears
being microwaved for breakfast,
you see another day that won’t be right.
you see them trying not to break
yet breaking and abandoning everything around them
so that their hurt can be felt by the world.
they look at you and smile
while they pour another glass
toasting “another drink for the world that doesn’t care,
another drink for the loveless me.”

the broken-hearted know no love
for anything or anyone
that is not the one breaking their heart.

“Our Game” – Nayana Nair

if i could understand you somehow
i am sure my feelings would make sense

something in you is at odds with you
something in you makes me hate you

but as you pretend that you are stronger than your monster
i pretend that my love is bigger than any wrong that you can do to me

that’s our game
that’s our love

i pretend even when i hold you through your nightmares
i pretend even when i realize i am weaker than my love

for when you take my name in between the storm of your sobs
i realize i can keep walking to you

through my own breakdown
through everything

i can keep walking towards you
as long as you take my name

“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.

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