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“The door opens slowly” – Nayana Nair

I turned another corner
and walked into another house
that I knew nothing about.
The owner, the god of this land stood there
outside in the garden
telling a child how to create more beautiful loops,
how to somersault,
how to find more worms, more of everything.
An adult placed like a talisman
that couldn’t keep me
or what I bring with me away.
He didn’t even notice the grave that I carried in me,
the open pits in ground awaiting more bodies.

I walked to the front door and rang the bell
thinking, wondering what must I not be seeing
in the person I see as a fool.
I wonder if the graves in him didn’t love him back as well.
The door opens slowly and I wait.
I let my willingness to wait announce to her that it is me.
She makes me a wait a bit more-
that is the nature of game we are caught in.

Seconds and hours I spend on her couch,
waiting for the commotion outside to end,
for “the happy family on a sunday morning” to end.
She has four brother
and an almost sister that they never talk about.
She reminds me this a few more times
so that on the mental map of belonging and similarities
I find this unnamed sister closer to my role.

They rush in like a flood, like a rain gone wrong-
all these bodies that I am not supposed to see.
“They are perfect”, I thought to myself.
I thought of my mother, the anger in my home,
the counting of countless miseries,
the coarse harsh words that filled my eyes, then filled my mouth,
the gentle sunsets that drown only dreams.
“They are perfect”, I think, “for someone living in the same world as me”.

She tells them about my scholarships, about my fragile upbringing,
about the art that runs in me.
She tells them all about the things that they like.
For today she has made them into me.
I smile and say a little too less.
I smile as if I mean no harm.

But I know
I am here.
I am here and there is no escape
from the fact that eventually
I will sit in this room with my love
and with a glitter pen running out of ink.
I will draw, deepen the cracks that I already see.

Such is my nature.
Such are the songs that I live on repeat.

“Wedding Photos” – Nayana Nair

It was like magic
running the highlighter, the bright crayon
over the sepia hands of her.
She didn’t complain or cry
as we ruined another photograph of hers,
as we tried to hide the evidence
of her failed love, our failing life.

We cut her out, moved her away
from the one who looked like us.
We placed her side of story, her half of heart
in the albums.
Albums that felt lighter
now that the responsibility
to remember only the good, its difficulty
was no longer our business.

We shredded few faces of his,
few others we drowned in ink.
His face was the reason we couldn’t look at ourselves,
the reasons of all the hurting words
we learned so fast.

After we ruined everything for good
we stared at each other,
and saw the tears we should’t be having in us.
This wasn’t how magic is supposed to feel.
Why?
Why was there no thrill, no relief in what we had done?
Isn’t it our turn to be free from the one who left?

“I want you to see the world” – Nayana Nair

i will read you another story
so that you may know
that faults and lacks of humans are common and in abundance,
how ordinary are expectations-not-met.

i will read till my eyes close
till you can see all there is to see,
till you see everyone around you
who are disappearing into silence,

till you see all the kind words you could have said to them,
till you see that these words, that make you cringe,
how important they are
how easy they are to say, how difficult to mean

till you learn to mean these words that save lives,
till you learn to listen to others,
till you grow the eyes
that can see the world before it is lost.

though there is another story for another day
about how to save yourself from all that you have saved.

“Undying” – Nayana Nair

The brightest star of my childhood dreams
sits on the set of a sitcom
and tells jokes about me.
He wins few hearts and breaks few guitars-
becomes an artist of some kind.
He fills the screens with the love he only spoke about.
I become a bit more irrational in his stories
sometimes so much, that I feel no wonder
when he forgets who I really am.
It feels natural when I don’t look at him
when I talk of love, or when I don’t talk about myself.
I trace the distance between the dreams that he had
and the person he has become
and find myself stuck between choosing and abandoning
the same person with different heart.
How helplessly we have drifted to a life
where our best doesn’t do much,
where my undying love only causes me pain,
where your eyes filled with dream only makes you blind,
where the death of our love and the tear from my eyes
are the only thing that gets you closer to what you want.

“make me a flower” – Nayana Nair

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It snowed all night.
All night I created stars for your eyes.
I bore the weight of the roof
as you slept, cried, ate,
smiled, memorized dial tones,
stared at me like you stare at screens with static,
paused expectantly as you told me the story
about your friend who is filled to brim with sugar
and seems bit odd
when he tries to smile a little bit more always,
filled me with a momentary fear of
whether you saw the corners of my lips tearing up everyday.

I felt again the illusion of love breaking,
its crack trying to find my spine.
Again you ran to me, trying to hold me,
trying to look over all the parts of me
that you don’t understand.

I slept and felt the snow of years settling on me.
I felt your wings fluttering around in my head.
I held the hands of god in my tiny fingers and said with a smile,
“make me a flower, if you can”
“make me something that is beautiful in her eyes”
“give me another sorrow, something simple,
something that can be understood and loved by her”
“let me look at her, without feeling the breaking in my heart”.

Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award

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After a long long time, I am back with another award post.
Roshni has nominated me for Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award. I am really thankful that she like my work and considered me worthy of mention on her blog. Means a lot.

Here is the link to the award post by Roshni: Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award

So here is rundown of the rules:

Rules
– Thank the person who nominated you with a link to their blog. (done)
– Make a post of the award (with a photo of the logo). (done)
– Post the rules (done)
– Ask 5-10 questions of your choice. (I won’t be posting any question as I won’t be nominating anyone)
– Nominate 10-30 other bloggers (or more) and notify them. (For last few award post I always skip this step of nominating people. Most of the people I follow don’t like to included in awards and stuff like that, so yeah. And it is too much work to filter out who do like it. So I have given up on the step of nominating.)

So here are the answers to the questions Roshni has posted:

What is the most interesting aspect of the place you belong to?
To be honest, I have never felt a sense of belonging to a specific place. The place that my family home is, the place I was born, the places I have lived are all different. We were on move so much, we never stayed at a place for more than 2-4 years. The place I am living currently living in, Bangalore, is the longest I have stayed somewhere. I do love the convenience of Bangalore, but again I do not have a sense of belonging to this place. All the places I have been I have fond memories of those places, they have contributed greatly to my childhood experiences. All these places, places I won’t ever belong to, places that will forever be in my memory nevertheless have taught me that people at their core are basically same. (It is one thing to read it and other to actually know it.)

Do you like quotes? If yes, which quote defines you? If no, ignore the question.
I love quotes. I love quotes because of the beauty with which they deliver a sentiment, a sentiment that can live without the context. I don’t necessarily think that quotes are the ultimate truth though. If there are 50 quotes in support a sentiment or a thought, there will 50 other quotes against that thought. It doesn’t necessarily prove anything but it is still beautiful.

I am not entirely sure if I can objectively describe myself in quotes. The quotes that I can relate to either make me sound more grand than I am or more pitiful that I am. So the quotes that you see below are just a compromise between how I see myself and how I guess the world sees me.

Quotes that define me:

They say it’s good to let your grudges go, but I don’t know, I’m quite fond of my grudge. I tend it like a little pet.” 
– Liane Moriarty 

I’m not sentimental—I’m as romantic as you are. The idea, you know, is that the sentimental person thinks things will last—the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won’t.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald

She knew that was not an honest prayer, and she did not linger over it. The right prayer would have been, Lord . . . I am miserable and bitter at heart, and old fears are rising up in me so that everything I do makes everything worse.” 
– Marilynne Robinson

Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person.
– F. Scott Fitzgerald

For an accurate description of me, this is how my sister defines me :

infj (mbti) + cancer (zodiac) + sprinkle with some pixie dust & lots of love + lots of sarcastic humour

Following is a quote that defines my persona that I have as a poet (also, suggested by my sister):

Today, too, I go on living just enough
Keeping in step, wearing my feet out just enough
The sun makes me breathless
The world has stripped me of all I have
Without a choice, with no other alternative,
Under the moonlight I am picking up my scattered self.

-“4 O’Clock“, BTS RM &V

You wake up in the morning to find an alien(or Thanos) sitting on your chair reading your favorite book. How would you react? (No, I’m not mad; I do envision such scenarios ?? )
I think I would just go back to sleep. I am good at living in denial.
I don’t normally imagine such scenarios. I do daydream a lot, but my day dream would never fall into the category of fantasy, it is mostly about real life as it is. My daydreaming is mostly about what would happen 5-10 years from now, different scenarios of my future or of the people I love, or about a possible story that I am trying to flesh out.

What do you enjoy more- reading, writing or story-telling?
I like reading the most. Though I love writing and story telling as well, but I feel I have too many limitations in that. I feel I have a very narrow vision and hence very narrow range of what I write. I don’t really mind it, because this narrow view, is just me being me, being obsessed about something that I am interested in. But even though I like being confined to specific topic and specific style, I cannot negate the fact that they are redundant to some degree. I love reading most because I never know what I am in for. Every well-written book surprises me, moves me, makes me think in a way I never could have otherwise. So yeah, reading would be the most exciting thing.

What is the knowledgeable/wise thing you have learnt in your adulthood?
Wise things I learnt in adulthood, that have not necessarily eased my life, but anyway:

  • Importance of reputation
    I have to work for the reputation I want. It doesn’t mean I am trying to become someone I am not. But if I fool around all the time, obviously no one is going to take me seriously. So even if I don’t get my sleep, even if I am sick or in pain, I will complete my work, I will be on time, I will not let down people. My dedication and sincerity lies in my actions and not in the words I speak casually. It doesn’t mean pushing myself for the sake of my image. It means if I mess up, everyone would know that I have my reasons. My mistakes will be mistakes, not something that I do just because I can or want to. It also means I don’t expect people to believe me or take my side, if my previous behavior makes their disbelief in me justifiable.

    Another quote:
    I think both of you are going to have to take this to heart the way anyone who has ever changed anything about their lives has had to take it to heart: by making it not just a nice thing we say, but a hard thing we do.   
    It’s how the real work is done.
     “
    – Cheryl Strayed
  • Minding my own business
    I cannot save everyone, not everyone needs saving, I am probably not qualified to make such assessment on other people, and I don’t think anyone is qualified for that. My morals, my likes, my wants, my decisions are only my business and not something I should project on others.
    Exception – I will voice my views of people who don’t know how to mind their own business. The key here is reciprocity.
  • Being content
    Even though I might say that I don’t expect much in life. It is all a lie. I expect a lot. My standard are too high. My standards were higher when I was younger. I wanted a perfect family, perfect friend, perfect love, perfect job, and a perfect life. Not that I ever had it. At no point in my life I experienced perfection. Maybe that’s why I wanted it so much. But with time I realized, I didn’t need so much, I wanted only a little, I just wanted those little things to be true and permanent. I did’t want an adventurous or enviable life, I just wanted a peaceful life with things that I care about. I didn’t want a perfect person, but a person who is kind and understanding and on same page as me. I didn’t necessarily want that person to be my love or soulmate. I didn’t actually want a big dream or purpose. I tried to want all the grand things, because I was mistaken that what I have is my worth.
    But now more than anything I wanted only one thing – to wake up with hope, passion, and love for this world. I just wanted to be capable of loving and being gentle to this world. Once I would have once considered this as settling for bare minimum. But now I realize I actually need and want only this.

    Quote:
    Hodaka: “Dear God, if you exist, please don’t take anything more, and don’t give anything more.
    Weathering with You

Which blog post of yours is your favorite? (Kindly provide the link as we all can read and enjoy.)
I don’t have favorites among my work. Half of my work is just a bit better than the other half, that’s it.
So I am just listing here some poems that I had forgotten I had written and were sort of good:

My Night Sky” – Nayana Nair

What I Remember(4)” – Nayana Nair

Far from Ideal” – Nayana Nair

Suggest 3 books for the readers.
3 books. Soooo tough. That is a really small number. If I select one book, it seems I am being unfair to other books.
But I must select as I can’t list all the books I have read till now, even that is not possible.
So anyway, here are 3 books that I can suggest you. These are books that have taught me something or have moved me, made me see and feel the world in a different way. There are many other books who have done the same for me, but let’s just consider this a starting point.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Oyasumi Punpun by Inio Asano
In the Light of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman

Name a fear (if you have and if you’re comfortable in sharing) which you want to overcome.
I think all the fears that I have are there for a reason. I don’t mean to get rid of any of them because I know exactly why I fear what I fear. It is not an irrational fear but a rational one. (If you are vaguely interested in the sorts of ridiculous or nor so ridiculous fear I harbor, click here.)

So yeah that was all. Since we are at the end of the post I would like to thank Roshni again for the nomination and for liking my work.

Things that make me happy

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universe fireflie has tagged me in this really sweet post about ten things that make me happy.
I will try to answer them to the best of my ability, but it is going to be tough. If you are aware of my writing, you would have noticed that I am more than capable of writing about sad depressing stuff. So writing about things that makes me happy is a bit weird for me. So before I make this more awkward…let’s start!!!
WARNING: This is a really really long post.

In no particular order…

My Sister
When I think of happiness, my sister is the first person that comes to my mind. It would be an understatement if I say that I am extremely fond of my sister. She is my favorite person in this world. I love how sweet she is, how much curiosity she has for the world, the genuine interests that we both share. Any day, anytime spent with her is bound to be filled with happiness- may it be the serene calm type of happiness or laughing out hearts out type happiness. She is crucial to my happiness.
I am lucky that I happen to be the sister of my best friend. 🙂
Afterthoughts: My sister draws really well. I am so proud of her that I can’t help but promote her work here. She will probably kill me for this though.
Here are the links to my sister’s work, if you are interested : WordPress, Instagram, and Youtube.

Books
I love to read. I am not sure if what I read is intellectual or refined enough. But I like what I like – mostly fiction and poetry. I think reading is what led me to have love for words and even for this world. Books make me believe that there is a meaning in everything, that life is meaningful. It is the kind of assurance that life by itself has never been able to give me. I wouldn’t categorize books into a means to escape from life, but rather a new layer to life that makes me more tolerant of people and world. I love buying books, reading them, finding more books to read. Even the sight of my bookshelf, the thought of all the books that I am yet to read, even adding a new book into my “to read” list makes me feel excited.
Afterthought: On that note, here is a quote from the book I am reading currently:
“Running might take her forward, it could even take her home; but it couldn’t take her back–not ten minutes, ten hours, not ten years or days. And that was tough, as Hely would say. Tough: since back was the way she wanted to go, since the past was the only place she wanted to be.”
― Donna Tartt, The Little Friend

BTS
I will try not to make this too long (because I know I am fully capable of turning this into a 8 hour presentation on BTS).
I love BTS. I love their music, their performances, their passion, their ethics, their character, etc. I cannot possibly explain what effect they have had on my life. I would say they have deepened my passions, made me believe in the goodness in world, and made me believe in the goodness that I am capable of. My life is thousand times better with them in it. They have touched and changes millions of lives through their music, through their existence. I wish they also find the happiness that they want.
I low-key love ARMY – BTS fans who have showered them with all the love they deserve and who try to protect them as much as they can.
Afterthoughts: I think almost every person has one artist whose works resonates with them. BTS just happens to be that artist whose work has most effect on me. I think we should treasure that, always remember that feeling of looking at life with a person who just happens to think about life the same way we do. It is not about supremacy of one artist over other, about loving the artist that made you understand and love ourselves.

Music
My love for music is equivalent to my love of books. Maybe I love music a bit more than books. Each song that I love or like is an experience in itself, those few minutes makes me forget myself and sometimes remind who I am and who I was. I can listen to the same song many many times and only to love it more. I do not have a favorite genre or anything. I think it solely depends on the song.
Afterthoughts:
-Even though I try to explore as many songs as possible in as many language as possible, but most of the time I am not aware of the “popular” stuff. You might even think I am living under a rock. Now, I do not believe that popular songs are bad or good. I am not a person who is against mainstream music. It is just that I am so caught up in the things that I like that I do not get time to even look at other stuff. I sort of live in my own bubble.
– BTS gets its own separate point here, because my love for them is on a whole new level. Their music is awesome. But they are so much more than their music. Stanning BTS is a way of life.

Writing
I think I am a person who has zero confidence in herself. I do not think I am especially gifted in anything. I am not particularly intelligent or beautiful or funny or creative. And I take writing in the same spirit. I do not think I am exceptional at writing, but I love writing. I love the fact that I can write average good stuff some days. I love the 2000 lines of drafts that will never make to a post. When I write, I love how much clearer and focused my head is. I love my writing more when someone else find comfort in my words. I agree that writing with a regular job is difficult and bit pressurizing but writing gives me such joy, that I don’t think I can possibly quit writing.
Afterthoughts: I once heard about a rule that one cannot estimate themselves correctly. So I am probably worse or better than what I think I am. I hope my writing is better than what I think it is.

Internet
There were so many things to list here, so I collectively grouped them as “internet”. But then who doesn’t love internet. It is sort of basic thing that a lot of us take for granted. Having access to so much content, so much information makes me happy. I love the hour that I uselessly spend on looking at memes, the hours I spend playing and upgrading stuff on games that will take me nowhere in life, the hour I spend on watching videos, all the silly hilarious stuff that I retweet at 2 am, binge reading everything about MBTI on Quora, reading random articles that I will end up forgetting anyways. Though it is just a stream of easy to consume media, but still it does make us happy in some ways. And that happiness is significant in itself.
Afterthoughts: I am aware everything is not picture perfect on internet. Internet depresses us also. But with I have learnt to leave online spaces that make me feel bad about myself uselessly.
I am not good with interacting with people online, that is one thing that I cannot enjoy. It is not about whether these people are friends or strangers. I just have a feeling that I have nothing to say that the other person would be interested to know about. (That’s the reason that I silently like your posts rather than leaving the comment you deserve.)
I don’t like to stay online for long also. The moment I finish doing what I had in my mind, I switch off my data. Because I just can’t handle all the notifications. I like the dear old SMS to communicate rather than the new efficient apps with awesome features.

Series/Movies/Stories
Watching series and movies is another joy to me, something that I spend a lot of my time on. Every thing I have watched, every character that I have watched is equivalent to a life that I have lived briefly. I don’t do binge watch though. I like some time to think over everything. That is the pace I am comfortable – to watch something and reflect on it, think about it, to anticipate what is yet to come for the whole day. I think that feeling the story grow in you as you go about your everyday life is an essential part of the whole experience, a part that adds more importance to what I am watching.
Afterthoughts: Again as with music, I have no idea of the popular stuff. I just see what I end up finding. I do have list of stuff to see but that is based on word-of-mouth suggestion from people who like the same things as me.
I do not have a favorite movie or series or book. Naming favorites is too tough for me. For each story, each actor, each director etc. has their own charm. That would be like comparing apples to oranges.

Everything emotional/sentimental/sort of spiritual
I do not look like an emotional person, but I am. I am an INFJ with Cancer zodiac, what else can you expect but an over-sentimental person. I like anything that seeks to explore or talk about these sentiment, anything that values human emotions and shows how complicated and simple it can be. Similarly, I have same feeling about works related to spirituality. I enjoy the company of people who genuinely have something to talk on these topics. I am not into talking about people but talking about ideas. Not the ideas that change the world, but ideas that helps me understand why we feel the way we feel, ideas that give me insight into the tiny limited world.
Afterthought: I think I am not one of those people who can or want to change the world. My mind never wanders into that direction. All I think about is my understanding of world and how to perfect that understanding. Sometimes I think I am a narcissist and self-absorbed person because of that.

Lazing around/Sleeping
I don’t react well to stress. So I am always looking forward to a good sleep or a day without schedules or deadline. A day that I can waste away makes me happy. Even though lazing around for me again means books/music/series etc. Even when it is not busy it is still a busy life.

Being Busy
As much as I like lazing around, I like being busy more. Because of my sense of being less than average and constant feeling of not being good enough. I don’t handle free time well. I feel that no one needs me, the world will work without me also. That I have nothing to offer to world. It is a very sad feeling. So I try to do my work properly, try to do by best in everything. I like the days that I have work myself to point of losing all my energy. So that I can enjoy all the things I love (everything mentioned above) without guilt.
Afterthought: It is not that I cannot sit still or introspect without driving myself to the point of sadness. I like introspection a lot. But having days and weeks of time for just introspection makes me feel like a useless person.

Things that almost made to this list but didn’t (and why):

Food
I used to enjoy eating a lot. I still love good food. But I can’t eat or enjoy it as I used to. Something has changed in me, maybe I am growing old. Now I don’t have that much craze for it.

Friends
I don’t think I am good at friendship. I loved my friends while I was with them. But then apart from the brief time of companionship, there nothing much left of those time now. My expectation from friendship I think is a bit too much. I think in the long run friendships don’t give me happiness.

“fairy tales” – Nayana Nair

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a broken end
with a light
(a lighter duller than me)
touches me.
someone
says the magic words,
the loathsome words
that make me the old alice.
i am made to leave
the seat, the home,
the dream, the rights
that are too big for me.
they leave me a tiny suitcases
filled with fancy dresses
made of used socks and handkerchiefs.
they are cute,
they are kind,
they have read their fairy tales right.
i have never read the right books,
so i find myself unable to thank them
or kiss their hands.
thumblina says my new belongings in glitter
i do not know what this name means
or the fate that the owner of this name is meant to find
but i have heard it is better than being an alice.
(i liked being alice more
i liked a story written for my sake.)
as i walk into the new forest,
towards hopefully my last story
or at least a story i can make my own for once,
i can’t help but think of
all the laughing men, now laughing giants
fixing my home to their liking.
i can’t help but be a bit bitter
looking at my hands that can only build for people like them.

“Easy Girl” – Nayana Nair

in my cramped world
you find a place for yourself.

you become one with all the bright things
that i collect at the cost of breaking myself.

as you smile, i wonder
whether you have a thing for girls
who have forgotten the taste of truth.

i wish you do.
i would like to love you once,
before you learn to hate girls like me.

this room was gift from my ex
whose hobby was to be loved
by the one he wrongs.

but it is a story for another day.
my story with you is not that deep.
you don’t need to know
that my corners of my lips are ripped
from smiling while being hurt,
that they still hurt when we kiss.

it kills the mood.
it kills me a bit, to be honest.
all your words, the beautiful things
you want me to have, want me to be
they are enough
for me to love you for a while.
it is enough for me to forget
the demon i see in you.

aren’t i an easy girl?
one day you would hold that against me as well.
i fall for you knowing that.

“Fossil” – Nayana Nair

Drop by drop the wax fills
the bucket of broken butterflies.

I am falling into another sleep,
into another death that is warm,
that embraces me like no lover ever has.

I feel the pain in my wings, and unlike other days
I try to think that this will never pass.
That I will remain like this, with a bit of pain always there
in my shoulder blades, under my ribs, aching for a memory that floats
above my body, above my existence.

Someone holds my hand and I let them.
I was always afraid of living and dying alone.
I guess there are many like me.

Years from now they will find us
and probably write stories
about how we loved each other even in death.
As they look at our almost ruined and almost saved faces
they won’t know how we died heartbroken,
how we held onto each other
but never dared to look at each other
or ask the names we had started to hate.
How our skins melted into each other only because
we had nowhere else to be.
That even as light broke free from our eyes
we didn’t want to look like failure.

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L'oreille du taureau à la fenêtre De la maison sauvage où le soleil blessé Un soleil intérieur de terre Tentures du réveil les parois de la chambre Ont vaincu le sommeil Paul Eluard