“Do you feel the same?” – Nayana Nair

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It is not that I love the cold doors of strangers
nor do I want answers to the obvious, uncomfortable questions.
I am restless because everyone else is calm.
If only they would fret a bit, look puzzled,
cry for unknown reasons once in a while,
if only they also had the same questions that I do
or at least admitted feeling the same way
just to keep my heart,
then probably I wouldn’t feel so shabby and so incompetent
when I stood cluelessly in my life,
trying to act as if I know what I am doing.
When all I am doing is
watching things crumble and break.
When all I am doing is holding in my tears
waiting for someone to cry first.

“Is it now?” – Nayana Nair

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I have seen snails and snakes
from a distance of two feet.
They were scary and I was scared.
Even when they vanished, I remained scared.
I remained scared
of everything that stood two feet away from me,
asking me, “Now what?”,
“Is it now, that you run and not look back?”

I have seen friendship
from the distance of words
I could never type.
I sent them new year,
friendship day, diwali,
doomsday celebration greetings
but I never sent them my heart.
They too figured with time
that they could live without me,
without this heart of mine
they have only heard about.

When I see them smile for me
across the street
that we both won’t cross
I wonder if I should smile back
and extend this period of pain, this pretense

or should I see through them,
to set them free

or should I walk closer, to fill their heart
with the horrid images of the real me,
to let them see the dying me,
to let them see the things they can’t do anything about.
Would they love me for real if I did that
or would they look me from the distance of two feet
as I ask “Now what?”
“Is it now, that you run and not look back?”

“Windows that cannot be closed” – Nayana Nair

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Slowly I plucked each tooth of mine,
I tore my tongue out
and he called me beautiful.

He called me beautiful
so I left my clothes roll down.
I let my skin, my guards, my skeleton
touch his floor.
I sat there watching him
build a fire out of it all.
The fire was too cold for me
so I didn’t smile.

He told me he only speaks the language of rough,
that his heart beats and falls slower than the rest.
I told him I have known many like him.
I told him I didn’t mind.
He seemed to mind that a bit
but he also seemed to be a bit relieved.

As I sat under the the waterfall
of his blue curtains,
I felt thousands of eyes
at my back, behind windows that couldn’t be closed.
There were always windows behind my back
anywhere I sat from the day I was first told
that I was the type of beautiful
not worth keeping and staying around.

Those eyes
filled with lust, question, resentment
filled with hatred, filled with violence,
filled with sweet words for my ailing heart,
filled with knives for soft skin, for the right time,
were my burden
so I knew
at least this was not his fault.

I asked him
what he could give, what he could make me forget.
He didn’t answer and seemed a bit lost.
I wondered if he also couldn’t think or speak clearly,
if there were eyes on his back
that he never spoke about.

“On a morning long gone” – Nayana Nair

On the tapered ends of my lips
when I found your lips nestled near mine,
I asked
“Is this love? Is this your love?”
and you answered “Obviously not.”
So I told my heart to grow up.
Growing up was the only way
not to hurt.

On the spring infested roads,
I found your hand
on my melting waist.

On a nameless cold rainy day,
I found the joy of walking
towards you.

On a morning long gone,
in my graceless fall into the mess of my mind,
I came to knew the strength of your hands.

On the narrow pavements made for one
as I walked behind you
I realized how impossible it is to forget you.

On all such days that I made a point
never to mark on any calendar,
on all the days I tried to forget,
I found the question again and again
“Is this love?”
Again I looked away from you
to avoid hearing the answer
that would hurt a lot more now.

I guess I never grew up
or growing up only deepens my heart,
only makes it worse.

“My grief has my face” – Nayana Nair

My grief has my face.
My grief has only questions in her eyes-
questions that require me to cry
and accept the cruel face of the love I have got.
My grief instead gets my silent embrace,
my refusal to choose better, for her sake or mine.
My grief has my face
and my heart that only knows defeat
and only in defeat has found comfort of love that cannot live in me.

“Assignment” – Nayana Nair

There was that pile of paper
I could
never keep safe.
The crossed out, always crossed out words,
words always out of order,
words turned beautiful
only because they dissolved
in my frustration.
Only because now I cannot read them
without effort.
I must make something out of them
something that couldn’t possibly be mine.

The blue ink dripping,
forming planets on unexpected letters,
forming planets on my hands.
I would take them to class
and look at them as if now I meant something more,
now that I was suffering for something I want.

I raised my hands to answer a question
I have already answered hundred times.
I sat down and swallowed my teacher’s frown.
He didn’t have to teach me
that right answers matter
only when they come from right mouths.
(I once got an A only because I forgot to put my name.)
I knew there was nothing I could learn
by swallowing frowns everyday,
but still I dragged myself, my broken planets,
my half burnt poems in my half burnt hands
to the one who doesn’t think twice
before asking me

to hate myself better.

“Nothing to do with love” – Nayana Nair

I want this sadness that dissolves in me,
that never goes away,
never stands apart from me,
never looks me in the face with questions
or even answers.
I am ready to take vow with this heartbreak
as long as it feels like you,
promises eventually to replace you,
as long as my love is greater than you.
I do nor have to miss you,
call you, beg you,
force myself to forgive you,
hate you silently,
or practice breaking with grace.
I do not have to do things
that have nothing to with love
as long my sadness is mine alone.
I can bear this and more
as long as I remember my genuine heart
and not you.

“your hesitations haunt me” – Nayana Nair

there was a gap of few seconds
that felt like hours

which you took to give the answer
that i expected for us – the answer that maybe only i would love.

but the seconds, that you cannot answer for,
have gone away with our comfortable warmth.

why it is that the smallest thing
that makes me question your heart?

why must i find my limit of love
so simply and so soon?

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.

“Cheap Literature” – Nayana Nair

Don’t ask which part of me
are easier to love.

I have tried so hard
to become someone who cannot be be loved
without effort or tears.

My faith in love,
my faith in those who love
or it’s absence
is not so difficult to explain.

Clue: Every pop song that leaves you in shambles.
Clue: The books that you call cheap literature.
Clue: The lovers who want to get to the happy ending fast, so they can think about and focus on more important stuff.
Clue: The sappy feelings that you are not interested in.

Those who first talk of my skin and my volume when they talk of love.
(I mean you.)
Those who think that my view of the world, and how the world views me
is just a phase that won’t hopefully be their burden for life.
(I mean you.)
Those who tell me about my selfishness, my unreasonable fears, my unstable suspicious tiring mind over lunch as they run their blade over every bit of exposed skin of mine. Those who are satisfied when I don’t even wince as I bleed, just the way I have been trained.
(I mean you.)
You have made this whole process
more difficult than it should be.

Don’t ask me the easy way.
I might just begin to hate you for that question.