“Breathing Cities and Statues” – Nayana Nair

.

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.

“Photographs of Unmade Bed” – Nayana Nair

#1
Today I am fixated on the the houses far ahead, the colors on those countless walls that are yet to be carried away by the winds. Today I am fixated on the wrong choice of shoes, the red sore blooming on the fingers of my feet. Today I am filling my eyes with all that I refuse to see otherwise. I like days like these. They give me the proof of life outside of me, proof that I am part of this world. Days like these let me know that even if there is nowhere I particularly have to go, my feet are sore from walking and the roads are bit weathered. So it must mean something. Slowly I am changing the world, just as the world is changing me. So it must mean something. These are the days I realize that I do not just look at the world, but kiss the world while hating it in my heart. That world doesn’t just disown me, but it keeps looking at my childhood photographs when no one is looking. It all must mean something.

#2
My bed sinks a bit more everyday. It feels as if every day I am carrying, dragging another new person into my uncomfortable sleep, to my messy life. There is no blood, or signs of resistance, so it must a deal of mutual benefit. I hope so. I wake with only my skin, with only my dry eyes. So again it must have been someone I mistook as you. Someone who knows how to keep their end of promise, someone who doesn’t look back at the weight they are leaving behind in my new scented sheets. With you there was warmth and suffocation and never-ending want to be something more. With you there were eyes that stared at me as if I am a road you are forced to walk on. With you there were things I couldn’t be and shouldn’t be. Without you, there is me and my imagination that draws you body full of life on the photographs taken of unmade med and undecided mind. What do I want really?

#3
The one love? The truest kind? The rarest kind? The kind that is made of eternities? The kind that is hellbent on making that big change? I sort of had that. “I had that love” would be my answer, only when I am asked to keep my answer short, which I am often asked.
In the answers of 500-1000 word limit, in the answer where 10 marks are at stake, in the answers only you would have asked – I wanted my only love to be true somehow, no matter what it took. Do you know what that means? It means there are hazy days, holding lies close to heart, illusion that I fed with my own blood that make appearance in this answer. The answer involves knowing everything that is wrong, knowing everything that shouldn’t be, knowing the end that I won’t have. The answer involves cutting short my words, even when there is no need to, even when you are here and you are listening. The answer is pretend that was true, the tears that I didn’t hate as much as I should, the person I liked a bit more than I should have. Always wondering if love would feel like love if it was not me and you standing on both of its end.

#4
There is soaring in the skies. There is running away to the ends of earth. There are, of course, moons, and sun, and stars for taking. There is a wish list for every age we failed to love properly. There are your past loves, there are my past pains to talk about till late night. There are things to eat and relish and complain and things we will never make the way we should, things we will throw away even though they turned out well. There are stories we will make up because we can, because they are fun. There are stories that will tell thousand times even though we won’t be believed. There are night we see only each other, there are nights we realize the pain of not being loved. There are permutations and combinations that I was always poor calculating, that you were never interested in. There is a day like this where we have nothing in our pockets to count on, no possibility, no scenario that could bring us and place us together in this life. This is the only day that I didn’t want to arrive at.

#5
You are only as dangerous as much as I let you be. If I let you be a mistake, you are just a humiliating past to be erased. If I let you be the friend that should have remained a friend, you are just a human among thousand others, a human I dealt with with immature idea of carpe diem, with a stupidity I once called honesty. If I let you be the reason of my happiness, you become the reason I should never smile again. If I let you be the incarnation of all that destroys, you become the plague in my heart that will not end till I die, till I give myself up. The more I let you be within the scope of my life, the more I regret letting you in. I never try to think of you as someone I associated the word love with. That word lets you become my breaking heart, my lungs devoid anything capable of giving life, my mind slowing down and stuck at the worst part of my life.
So when I think of you, I think of you as the result of taking the idea of selflessness, of selfishness, of wanting to be part of this world, of taking “it all must mean something” a bit too far.
Because irrespective of what you might have been for me. Now you are only as dangerous, as important as I let you be.

“Melting a Rose” – Nayana Nair

In rooms like these
my hollowness becomes real.

It becomes an ant that won’t stop walking
with its tiny feet across the span of my hands,
a felling that won’t rest.

It feels like the rain
that falls and fills everything before me.
Leaving me alone. Alone to think of you.

And I.
again I find in you

a hope?
a reason to run away?

hope

I wrap your moonlight around me.
I melt this rose of tears.

I melt myself and my shields
so that you can see me as I see you.

In rooms like these,
with your hope in me

I can’t help but close my eyes

and dream of finding me in front of you
holding onto my heart

and you finally smiling back.

a reason to run away

I look at my bleeding hopes,
unlike you I have not yet learnt
how to not hurt.

So I bleed silently, fearing
I might be the wrong answer,

fearing the regrets that you might discover
the hurt you might know

due to the imperfections that I collect
and fill myself with.

Every time I dream of you
the rose in my heart melts a little more.

The melting drops burn my eyes.
There is only pain in the place where you used to be.

“Last to know” – Nayana Nair

I regret to tell you this
that the blue sky that you died for
is not longer blue.
It is painting its face with remains
of our greed, with the colors of our wars.
But it is still sort of fair.
It is trying hard not to choose sides,
not to become the flags that unites
only those whose favorite words are
‘future’, ‘safety’,’money’, ‘greatness’,
while they clutch in their hands the fate of people
they don’t identify with-
‘burden’ they call them.
‘Fear’ is another favorite word of theirs.
They don’t speak much of it, but it is most useful
or at least that’s what I have heard
from the ones we are no longer allowed to call out or even mock.
I have lost every bit of my passive aggressiveness.
Life has become more bearable
now that my skin is not broken for making too much noise,
now that we have learnt to hold each other’s tongue
so that we may not lose more friends than we already have.
I regret to tell you
that your dreams will remains dreams
and you might be one of the last to know
how dreams felt in your eyes,
how tomorrow used to change by effort.

“Unlike me” – Nayana Nair

Sometimes I fear you –
the way you can make me want to change,
the way you make me act unlike myself.
I doubt that maybe I am too easily convinced
and too easily affected by your existence.

I wonder
my effort to become someone you deserve
how is it different from the insincerity
that I have always shown to this world.

When I grow tired of this act
I might end up making you the excuse,
might call you the liquor that I regret giving control to.
I am already finding it easy to resent you
for everything I do wrong.

“You have changed my life”-
is the sweetest sad thing that I never want to say.

“in this castle of forever” – Nayana Nair

i held on,
only because i feared
i might regret giving up on someone
whom i could have probably loved again with time.

i held on even when
this scenario of finding love in you again
didn’t give me any happiness.

love only taught me fear.
fear of hurting you.
fear of being hurt.

in this castle of forever
i haunted the one who haunted me back.
we have hidden our bodies, our heart
somewhere no one can find.

we wait for the other
to give up or grow up.
we wait for someone else
to pull us apart.

“i don’t react well to kindness” – Nayana Nair

the river behind me
is filled with regret
of swallowing the sun
that she once claimed to love.
she is like me,
so i thought she’d understand.

but she holds my hands,
refuses to give me up
when i try to find out
how much I can be filled.
she fears my temperament
and the dangerous things
i incessantly wish for.

i want to tell her
that my heart is too heavy,
that her kindness is only causing me pain,
that bleeding a bit won’t kill me,
that words won’t save me.
that her embrace would only become
my next hope, my next wound.

“The Scale of 1 to 10 (part 1)” – Nayana Nair

#the feelings that I can’t own

The nature of regrets that I have in my heart, the flowers that grow at the end of this knife, the watches that have run out of battery but pretend to have stopped time. I have so much space in me for things like these. I have so many curiosities that I can put up a shop with no intention to sell.

     I don't like my mind right now
     Stacking up problems that are so unnecessary
     Wish that I could slow things down
     I wanna let go but there's comfort in the panic
     - "Heavy", Linkin Park
     Distant lies - shallow dreams, confused ideas 
     Once our hopes - now they anchor all our fears 
     -"Lie", Arco
     Just by being next to you
     I was happy
     Don’t take even that truth
     And make it into a bad memory
     -"Last Goodbye", Akdong Musician

I have sketches of you, a face for every day that you have shared with me. I wonder if you would walk into this shop with another beloved of yours. Would she buy them all? Would you let me sell it to her?

     I loved you a lot
     Even if you say otherwise
     I didn’t want things to end this easily
     -"Go Away", Yong Jun Hyung
     But the thing that we all learned at some point was how
     To step on someone, to catch them, to erase them, to hate them
     -"Life", RM

This is not a post-you fear and post-abandonment feelings. I think I have felt that with you all along. Something about us, the way everything about us was a secret of sorts – you only told stories that I could never repeat.

     And I cried for you
     Like a widow cries at her lover’s grave
     You haunted me through my stinging nights
     And aching days
     - "Divers & Submarines", Passenger

I knew this all along.
I knew all your lacks, and I knew how you would give up on me rather than give up on all parts of you that stand between us.
I knew it, but I wanted to be wrong, just this once.

     Well I clung to you
     Like cat hair clings to a woollen shirt
     You needed me, like a wedding dress needs dirt
     -"Divers & Submarines", Passenger
     I bet you know just what you're doing
     You're not the type that's used to losing
     First, you build me up, then with just a touch
     Leave me here in ruins
     -"Dazed and Confused", Ruel

I hid from you all the parts of me, that could suffocate you – my love, my possessiveness, my confusion, my fear, my irrational suspicions created by most rational observations, my objections, my complaints, my hurt.

     We wanna be right
     But always wrong
     Were we born to be wrong?
     Is life something like that?
     …
     We tryna be bright
     But always dark
     We still don’t know if we’ve lived to the extent that we can
     -"Life", RM

But now, when I no longer have the obligation to hide anymore.
I end up lying, trying to protect you from the harsh words of this world, making everyone believe that you were lovable even when you were not. It would break my remaining heart for you to be hated, even when you deserve to be hated.

     What happens if I open my eyes, my eyes?
     Will I ever get my head right, head right?
     -"Dazed and Confused", Ruel
     I keep dragging around what's bringing me down
     If I just let go, I'd be set free
     -"Heavy", Linkin Park 
     Until the time that we die perfectly we can’t protect everything
     -"Life", RM
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“I didn’t mean it” – Nayana Nair

I did mean it all,
I just didn’t want you to know.
My momentary courage-
the result of my long sleepless nights,
let’s agree to call it my foolishness.
For I won’t do anything as preposterous as that ever again.
I won’t expect much from you again,
not because I was at wrong.

Even though it was the only thing I could do,
I regret it so much.
I hate myself for trying to believe in you,
for pushing myself to do the right thing
for your sake.

As always you eat fast and cut me off.
As always you have somewhere to go.
There are too many people whom you must keep happy.
Today I won’t throw everything on my plate for you.
I won’t come to door to see your cold back.

I wish I could go back to the dreams
where I told you about my life, about my pain
and you held me as I cried,
where you took me to the doors of my new life.
But instead all I see in every face is your face.
In your face all I see is my pathetic self
who wanted to lean on someone like you.

“I dream of an end” – Nayana Nair

there is a land of promise
that only promises an end.
end to everything.
a painless but a sure end.

i wondered if i should dream to be there.
if i would be able to say this aloud
if i can say,”i dream of an end”.
if you ask “end to what?”
what shall i say? what i should i answer?
how does one begin to answer such questions?
the questions that do not mean anything
till they have an answer.
then those questions become regrets,
become point of no return.

an end surely is better
than the unbearable stretch of time,
the long life
that lies after the such questions.

how can you look at me the same way
when you know that my monstrosity and my weakness are the same?
how will i be able to pretend or play dumb?
surely an end is better
the endless days of pretend.
an end is better
than carrying the burden of this life,
this life that i don’t want,
than loving you and loving myself
with closed eyes and closed heart.