“Forgetting” – Nayana Nair

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Is forgetting something like

descending down the the narrow white steps
and finding myself knee deep
in the coolest spring on the hottest day of year.
An year that I feel I am yet to live,
a temperature that feels a bit too familiar.

Is forgetting something like

looking back at the steps and trying to recall
where I am from, trying to recreate the horrors or happiness
that I am running from,
Wondering if I was actually running.
A part of me begging me to go back,
a part that keeps saying that where I came from
was the only place I ever wanted to belong to.

Is forgetting something like

being brought back to the year,
that I am trying to avoid looking at,
by the receding cold water,
to see my feet run
after the blue shadow, the floating leaves,
the place no summer can reach.

Is forgetting something like

reaching a place
far away from the narrow broken stairs to past,
but also a place where no springs, no summer exist.
In such a place without symbolisms and signs
I keep finding
another pitiful deity of broken and beautiful hope.

Is forgetting something like

finding faith, loving again, blindly believing.
To close my eyes, to the me that I am now,
just to hear myself running down the stairs,
just to feel the water find my feet again.

“The land of disasters” – Nayana Nair

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As my empty cup for tea
came crashing on the floor,
I heard another sigh escape me.
I turned back from the counter
and watched in resignation
as the winds mercilessly pushed through
the cushions, the magazines, the old discarded
phones that made no noise as they came
to find death second time.

The curtains and the window frames
came apart. The sad smiles, barely visible
through the annealed glass, cracked upon
and my ancestors fled away, rejoicing for first time
in the brokenness of this world.
I recalled all the videos I had seen
about the land of disasters and the restless hearts
that live there. I recalled the reasons
that cause such misfortunes, the incomplete
distracted television reports. But I didn’t have to think
of all that, to know what was happening to me.

The sky was clear
and I could hear people walking to festivals and carnivals
and towards to unbearable silence of funerals,
trying to laugh as much as they can before they get there.
I closed my eyes and waited with anxiousness,
waited without hopes
for love to appear again and make a mess of the life
I had spent years to put together.

“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.

“I never have to wonder, I never have to break” – Nayana Nair

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In the shade of a fruitless spring-less tree
as I tried to recall and write down
all the phone numbers I once knew by heart,
I looked at the sky
and laughed for thinking too highly
of myself and thinking too little about my heart.
That is the last thing I remember
before I was possessed.

Oddly I always remember this point of contrast
marked by the last tear I actually cried.
Whatever now had made home in me
convinced me
that I could be complete even if I stay as who I am,
that I could stand in this world
witnessing beauty, love, companionship, faith, life
and be happy
even if it could do nothing for me, even if they were not mine.

Someone, who couldn’t possibly have been me,
lived my life in my place from that moment,
and I never had to wonder again
if I am allowed to live like this.
I never picked up another paper I threw in the trash.
I now never tried to play the role of the one with bigger heart.
I was finally free of hope, of love, of being myself.
Now it was the work of whoever wanted this body,
whoever wanted my life.

“Earphones” – Nayana Nair

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I cannot paint

your silhouette moving through the rain toward me-
all the blue that lingered in the light rain, on my skin, in the wait for you.

The color that fills my mind when I recall
how your cold hands met mine, my frozen shivering love hungry hands,
and nothing was cold anymore,
nothing was insufferable,
as long as you and me stayed like this,
accepting the ache that comes with staying.

The song, the familiar and strange tune, that became beautiful
by the time it played for 35th time, by the time our cola lost its fizz,
by the time the untouched food looked comforting,
by the time I found that knowing you and your everything
was as painful and liberating as putting myself into words.

The tension
of the stretched earphones between our head and our aching necks,
a moment of sadness, of a great love, of a great end
played itself before us again and we promised ourselves- we won’t ever be there.
And yet as you mocked the world for its weakness
I cried for the same weakness you and me hid in ourselves.

The cold wind that went through me, as you walked past me,
my pride- ground and powdered, spilling out of me,
blinding and confusing people around me,
making me look desperate, pitiful, and empty
as I chased you through streets where we were never supposed to be.

I cannot draw them, so I write.
I write
how we stood together
in every room,
on every patch of earth
for the longest time
and saw within our reach
something that was beautiful and fragile
and no one’s to keep
as long as we saw each other only,
as long as we could smile at what we saw.

I remember you as you stayed still,
breathing carefully
as we let fate make something out of us.
I remember your eyes
asking me with a smile to confirm the reality of what we had,
of what we are.

I wonder how you remember me now.
Now that we are living our lives trying only to prove
that we have lost nothing of ourselves in losing each other.

“Even if you don’t want me back” – Nayana Nair

From the corner of my eye
I see you smile,
I see it fade.
I see you fade.

From the corner of my eye
falls a tear,
as I run into my mistakes,
run into my cruel words,
as I try to find you,
in this place where you once lead me by my hand.

In every space, in every memory,
in every version of our past
where you promised
you would always stay even if we part.
You look a bit more tired.
I look a bit more impatient.
This is not the reality I lived.
This is not the love I had.

Tell me,
even if it changes nothing,
tell me
that I once had your heart,
that there are moments you want to return to
even when you don’t want me back.

“Inversion” – Nayana Nair

When I stand near you,
I want to believe that we are standing together.
That our hearts being mirror images
means something more.
Mirror images…
‘Lateral inversion’ they called it, I recall.
We feel similar only when facing each other.
But when we talk of this world,
when we eat from our own broken plates,
when we tell each others directions,
when we see each other from afar
we are nothing but strangers.
We are nothing but proofs against each other’s belief.
But still I want to believe
that there is something I cannot see,
some argument in favor of “us”.
I want to believe you are my medicine
even as my skin cuts and bleeds in your embrace.

“What have my eyes lost sight of ?” – Nayana Nair

As I sing your praise
I end up recalling
how I used to look at you
as if you could save me.
But now we stare at each other
while my life remains what it is.
I don’t call it a mess now,
to get some sympathy out of you,
to get a miracle out of you.
I don’t call it a blessing
just so that you would know
that I appreciate what you gave me
and hope to get a little bit more.

One song, one hymn after another.
I play at the seams of my skirt.
I pick at the skin that I once was.
“is this how we lose ourselves?”,
I want to ask you.
“is this we become who we are,
by cracking and crumbling invisibly,
the moment to mourn-lost forever,
the innumerable funerals no one grieved at,
is this why growing up is painful for all?”.

Instead of prayers
I come to you with only questions.
Instead of your forgiveness
I end up asking your understanding
for what I have done and what I have become.

“Blue Rant” – Nayana Nair

I have heard many say
that blue is saddest color.
But what I find more sad is
how almost everyone I know
knows how to imagine/recall a sadness
at the mention of this color.

I imagine this-
all of us,
millions of us
standing in one huge room
and someone mentioning this color,
this harmless color.

I imagine our collective sadness,
our collective agony.
I imagine an innocent kid, among us,
trying to picture a clear blue sky,
but not knowing why
even the skies feel heavy on his heart today.

I feel sad for people like me,
for the child in us
who tries, puts effort
to take everything in stride,
to move forward, to see the world as it is,
while every other cell in our body wants to give up,
while every part of us is adamant to call this blue ‘sad’.

“Backseat” – Nayana Nair

we get onto the car
that we wish was stolen
i look at her (not my lover, yet),
at him (my friend – we share the same passion
of finding new things to be disappointed about),
i look at the the small bags we have packed
and realize that this is far too less to start a life
i count them as i get in
i realize one of us probably
has nothing worth carrying around in life.

she keeps telling me that unlike us
she has to take care of things
so she is bound to be late
she says this while she texts the food preferences
of her beloved pet
to someone who owes her one
(i feel something similar to jealousy seeing this).

and he keeps changing the radio station
as if he knows what he is looking for,
as if he has grown up on radio songs and commercials,
but he hasn’t.
he says that is what makes it more romantic,
the unknown that was always in front of you
to finally acknowledge something
that shouldn’t have been invisible from the start.

i just look at them, making mental notes,
calculating the chances that we might come to our senses
(that would be pretty sad, if that happens).
i keep looking back
as if i was being abducted,
dragged out of heaven against my wishes.
but it is no heaven
(not anymore).

so i sleep in the backseat
hiding my tears under the blanket of darkness-
since i do not want to recall every thing
that made this place and my body unholy, unbearable;
since i don’t want ask these two
about what they are running away from.
i wonder if i will ever know a home
that won’t drive me away.