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"Not So Bad" – Nayana Nair

he sings the most beautiful song.
so beautiful
that the sky becomes a reflection of the heart
that he can barely carry in himself.
the words on his lips
they break, they sound different,
feel different,
they sound like the first cry of a baby-
the violent coming to life.
they run and collide and shatter
against the rough indifferent surface
of this dying world, a not-so-bad world.
he becomes a not-so-bad singer.
as he runs out of breath and love
someone places a coin of gold in his hands.
he means to feel grateful for this compensation,
but all he can do is hold his tongue, hold his tears.
hold his bitterness in himself
and sing another song dreaming, waiting
for an honest reply, a genuine care,
an understanding gaze in return for laying bare his humanness.

"Now playing: the ominous names you are yet to know, yet to resent" – Nayana Nair

I board the train that I could
thinking,
only thinking about the one I couldn’t.
There are only tunnels, only darkness,
no network,
only cold metal that I rest my head
hoping for my fever to come down,
only windows that turn into mirror.

In those momentary mirrors
I always look like someone on life support.
In the crowd that no longer suffocates me
I cling to the wires that fill my ears
with the sound of past, with love that will never come back,
with the love that I will never be,
with everything I can’t bear to talk about nor forget.

Though it pains me to look at myself for more than 2 seconds,
I force myself to withstand my stare.
For if I take my eyes away from me
I end up looking into eyes of strangers
who twist and distort their faces
asking for a reason they can understand
or they end up looking away,
their heart as fragile as mine.

We all act as if we can know each other by a glance,
as if we would prefer to be the backdrop, the wallpaper
than to find eyes that can actually see us,
than to know one more human who is hell bent on proving
the brittleness of our species.
I understand their heart, their fear all too well.
My skin remembers what their heart has forgotten.
Though I don’t think anyone really forgets things like these.

“incoherent” – Nayana Nair

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i looked best dressed in incoherent words.
everyone assumed that i am drunk on something.
everyone assumed me to be an artist for that.

any word that left my mouth
was just another way to pronounce self-doubt.
the only way to stay and run away at the same time.

the way i speak,
“you are beautiful” and “i hate you”
sounds the same.
the way i speak
“i want to die” sounds same as “i love you”.
my name sounds same as any other name.

what is the use of having this name
that no one calls.
so i sign the heart of my temporary admirer
with “tear”, “snow”, “goodbye”, “sleep”….
with other sad beautiful words
that cause less hurt than my name.

“A Silent Machinery” – Nayana Nair

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I put on my favorite show
(that I have seen for umpteenth time),
increase the volume,
fill my plate.
My eyes glued to TV
notices too late all that I have spilled,
fill my plate with things I won’t eat.

The same beautiful scene.
Under the yellow light
stand two actors,
pretending to be in love,
doing a better job at it
that we ever could,
saying words
we could never say.

My heart breaks to see this love,
it pops like a bubble wrap,
bursts like a bubble of daydreams.
No, it doesn’t hurt.
I just hear a sound
from the otherwise silent machinery
that keeps me running.

I am glad you meant enough to me
to have become
a familiar bump on the familiar road
that my heart always takes.

“Unlocked” – Nayana Nair

You can come near.
I look different, don’t I?
All my words sounds unconvincing, don’t they?
A bit shabby, almost a contrast to my past,
I know.
But would you believe me if I tell you
that there is something in all of us
that never changes.
The one thing that we chose to be
in spite of all
we have to loose for its sake.
For me that was being your friend.
Even when my skin became paper-like,
even when my heart hardened,
I put all my will and all my effort
in keeping that one door unharmed and unlocked
through which you an come back
and see the me who has not changed.

***

Dear,
I was never good at waiting
but still I have learned.
Your absence has taught me
what nothing else could.
Though it doesn’t make me better or worse,
at least it makes me better suited for you.
I believe we can change
and stay the same
at the same time.

“Dull Decorations” – Nayana Nair

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Today
as I ate,
as I looked around
at the woodwork,
at the dull decorations on the wall,
at the TV show without sound,
as I made way from lifting spoon again and again
swallowing my way through the alieniating conversation,
through the one chunk of time filled with boredom
to the next changing into sadness.
I felt I missed you both.
I am not certain if that’s what it was,
but I recall all the thoughts in my mind,
all their frayed edges,
ending with conclusion
that, “Food tastes better with them.”

“Far Enough to be Fine” – Nayana Nair

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I could probably have called it a blue morning
waiting through each hour for the day to gift it back its colors.
Or a white one where our eyes and the air are filled with
a whiteness that is never stained,
for it leaves as soon as it comes,
for it never comes in touch with the world,
just moves around it.
Is that the way we should have lived our life?
If we existed together, moving around each other,
maybe we wouldn’t have to look at each others brokeness like this.
You tell me it is a dirty gray morning that we are never going to forget.
And I almost curse myself
for not getting that right color on my lips before you did.
But I stop myself by reminding
that goodbyes like these should not be filled with the same mistakes
as the ones that filled our time together.
We wait for the beams of light and for the screech of tyres on road,
that takes you away, masking your last words to me
in the jarring sound of honks.
I make my way back to the gray life
that was always waiting for me.

If you looked back at me through that moving car,
through your healing heart,
when we are far enough to be fine,
would you see me as the defeated person I always was?

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