“Pendulums and Spirit Animals” – Nayana Nair

In my beautiful dreams
I run to you, as if you are my body,
as if I cannot press play without your hands,
as if the world won’t come into my grasp
without your skin.

When my eyes open,
I don’t mind losing the world
if it helps me get rid of you.

An animal in me cries out your name every hour
my panic filled voice shouts back – “shut up!!!”.
I must choose, I must give up on one thing,
if I want to be something more than a lifeless
pendulum.

In a room scented with disinfectant
as I wait for my turn
I wonder if the man in white coat
will sing me something beautiful
when he puts me down for good.

“one more person” – Nayana Nair

the one thing i can’t be
is honest.

though there are many other adjectives
that stare at me
from their balconies at midnight
as i walk and crawl through the dirt road,
through the pool of lights,
crying and shouting and breaking dreams
in every home that i pass by.
i hear them shaking their heads
with disapproval and hopelessness.
i look at their hazy shadows
and try to hate them in equal measures
but i don’t
because they are so easy to forget.

but this honesty,
this honesty that people expect
vexes me.
this expectation
makes me want to hide, run, run over their hearts
all because it is so simple.
all because the ones who ask me of this
through their tears
are not mere observers
but are the ones struggling to stay close to me
fighting the unnecessary sandstorm i create everyday.
they are the ones who deserve honesty.
they are the ones i don’t deserve.

but my dishonesty is not only for this world.
it is the only thing i can offer to myself as well.
so again, i wake up in their arms
with another lie ready on my lips.
i hug them with with my true love and my false heart.

i don’t try to make it right
when they are in shambles again
because there is no fancy way to put it,
there is no beauty in what i do,
there is no promise i would keep.
there are only people who i leave.
even when i can’t bear to miss one more person again.

“Have a Good Day” – Nayana Nair

I was sat down and told repeatedly everyday
that though the world belongs to all of us,
sometimes it is better
to step back,
to only take up the space we need.
I misunderstood it to be a lesson in humility,
wanting less, and sacrifice,
but I realize now that it was not so.
I was told to stop before I anger someone,
before someone got jealous,
or before they saw the weakness of my gender.

As I stand on the balcony at midnight
and hear drunk shady men shouting, cursing, and stumbling,
as they make their way to their broken homes,
I remind myself
this is what I am supposed to fled,
a person who is allowed to loose their mind,
a person who will always have excuse to hurt.
This what everyone wanted me to become,
someone who is proficient at spotting dangers,
who can conjure up the worst possible scenarios
when they hear another’s footsteps on deserted streets,
and see the worst possible demons in the face of men.

These days I often hear people say
that the new meaning of a powerful woman is
the one who walks into misfortune willingly,
before she is stalked and defeated by it.
Is this the only alternative to what I am living?

I wish that when I walked past a stranger on streets
I could smile and wish them a good day,
without having to fear being misunderstood,
without the echoes of ‘she asked for it’ in my mind.

“Weeds of our Garden” – Nayana Nair

We sit here all day, in our own corners.
The only corner that we could save from the world that we left.
The only piece of happiness we decided to carry on ourselves
because we didn’t wanted to be considered pitiful for clinging to something.
Because once we thought that feelings such as these are only hindrance.
Because we saw love as lint on our fine clothing,
something that should be removed like weeds from the garden of our ambition.
Believed that if we are enough, if we have enough
we can always find new friends and new love.

***

In the wind, there always used to be a rumor of someone
drunk on past, the one who used to shout and sing at midnight
songs about how nothing new he bought,
no one new he gave his heart to
could make him forget
about all those he had turned his back on.
My friend, I am afraid we have become that same person.
And we are pathetic not because we loved too much
but because we couldn’t love anyone,
not even ourselves.

“Unsettling” – Nayana Nair

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One day I was watching TV
or I thought I was
until it seemed that
the boy whose silence alone was unsettling to many,
the loud girl who dreams of becoming the nightmare she suffers,
even the clueless proud parent who try hard to be cool
were all angry, everyone was shouting
not at each other but at me,
for missing my cue to act,
for leaving it to others to sort my life.
I hate these times
when even entertainment
has to be so painfully self-reflective.
Or maybe it always was.

“Asking for More” – Nayana Nair

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The lost all gather
at the same door as I.
They shout, yell and cry.
Praise and tell lies.
To be taken in.
To be cared for.
To be chosen.
To be looked at, even once.

Do they also feel smaller
for standing here and waiting,
for asking things whose void eats you up.
This void
that has a fondness, an appetite
for the ones who can’t unlearn caring.
Which becomes bigger
feasting on the silent phone,
on unifinished conversations,
on the hollow rumours, on the dirt on your name,
smeared by people
who know better
but continue to do worse.

The void for things,
that even when attained,
outgrows the want that creates it.
Is there anyone
who has got what he asked
and stopped asking for more.
Who has found himself
by asking and pleading for acceptance,
by being nice and patient,
by cutting themselves up
to fit the template
of someone else’s ever growing void.

“Endless Screech” – Nayana Nair

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It has been long since
I saw your face for what it was.
Now the ends of your lips droops
and your words stings and
your action have become
the endless screech of a madman.
I didn’t want to spare my words
to remind you of your change.
I didn’t want to forgive you for the nights
there was nothing but your shout and your anger
bouncing around in my head
and in this house.
I want you to know how badly
you have ruined yourself.
But you are not there in that body
and I am playing pretend of a family
with the whatever has been left behind.

“Too late to care” – Nayana Nair

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There are moments of indifference
that once piled up
seems more than the years I have lived.
There are too many memories
where I cannot see anyone but myself
running around in a dark cave
afraid of everything I bump into.
Not knowing that even if I shout
if anyone would hear,
sometimes fearful of who might hear me.

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And even though
you are out of your cave
and I am out of mine.
Now when we can see all the things we couldn’t.
Now when we can really see each others scars.
Now when we have the luxury to know each others pain.
We feel
it is better to pretend we are still in our caves.
For too many things have been done,
too many words have been said.
And we do not remember answers to question
that we wanted each other to ask.

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“All the tones”- Nayana Nair

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If I memorized
all the tones that drifted in from
a world of happiness
we are no longer inhabitants of,
the tones that drip ever so slowly
filling our heart with love
and filling our life with pain,
the tone that ripples through
every word I weigh on my tongue.
all the tones
that resonates in me as the wind passes
through the places in my heart
where your laughter once lived,
all the tones
that separate bird cry and bird song.
I think I would find the song we lost,
the song we sought
that we could never hear
in the noise of our shouts.
And though our love is dead
I would like this song
to have a home to rest.
As for our love,
what is lost is probably
lost for best.

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“Stuck in my heart” – Nayana Nair

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I sat on the stairs
long after they stopped shouting.
As the shout and anger
made room for themselves
in our lives.
As muted cries
became muted sighs.
I would look at the sky
and see no stars,
but only the tears
that pooled my eyes.
For long, a portion of time
got stuck in my heart
to remind of how lonely a child could be
in spite of having all.

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