“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?”

“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.

“I am afraid of the ones who still see hope in me” – Nayana Nair

They are beautiful people
with beautiful heart
and they really want to mend me
and that’s scary.

It is scary
because I can’t seem to feel
love or gratitude
for anyone who affirms
that I am as bad as I imagined myself to be.

It is scary
because my disease knows me
and my cure doesn’t.
And the better life sounds like hell
to my broken hearing.

It is scary
because when you hold me from breaking
I can barely stop myself from saying,
“leave me alone,
before i learn how to break you too”.

“songs of red feather” – Nayana Nair

i know there is a sky-
a beautiful and scary sky.

inside me
a ball of fiery red feathers,
a concentrated point of all commotion
sings and shrieks about that sky.

it is so irritating
that i know those songs by heart now.
it is irritating
because it is all so pointless.

i know there is a sky-
the only thing i can think about.
but i am a cage.
the sky has nothing to do with me.

“Scarier Element” – Nayana Nair

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Someone told me that is how love works out for people like us
who approach love as if it is an animal that can kill us at any time
and who only move towards it
when they become aware of the other monsters that are eating up
all that they could rely on.
We only find the strength to move to a riskier spot
when chased by a scarier element.
We move only when our hope turns into our source of fear.
That is how we find all the things that we keep in our heart
and that is how we lose everything we call ours.

“Adjust to Red” – Nayana Nair

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It was gruesome
because everyone kept walking,
thinking they can move on and grow up,
only if they stepped over
whatever was left of themselves
to become friends with the faces
that are still drunk and happy
with the taste of their weakness.
It was scary
because it was normal
to be cruel,
not only in hatred, but also in love.
It was unbearable,
till it was not.
Till my eyes adjusted to the red,
till my hand became familiar
with touching all that is dying
or touching only to kill.
Till I learnt to close my eyes
to everthing
I knew
I couldn’t save.

“Indifferent Green” – Nayana Nair

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The indifferent green around me
soothes my heart.
It has nothing against me
and I do not have to be wary
of all that it can do,
and all that it can say
to shift the levels
of what is tolerable and
what I should put up with.
I can already hear them saying
that I am hiding.
I can hear them saying worse things.
Do you know what I find scary
that even in hiding, I know what they will say
and I care for what they will think,
even if I don’t care about them,
even if they don’t care about me.