“Here I Am” – Nayana Nair

Just for sake of missing you,
here I am again,
at the ill-lit spaces where you used to belong.
I know all the strangers in there
the ones who used to make your heart race.
Here I am again,
trying to test myself, pushing my luck,
waiting to witness the record time
in which I will break again.
Here I am again,
wearing all the faces of me
that you never liked.
There was something about the way you hated me,
that made me become worse.
There was something about the way you loved me,
that made me become the worst.
Here I am again
to become the monster
that I have been since
I realized what it means to love you.

“Words that I must not forget, but I will” – Nayana Nair

A stranger told me
that I am capable of living better,
if only I throw away my thoughts and assumptions
about what I deserve and what I should not want.

The sun tiptoed around me
stealing a bit of my shadow for every minute
that I stood at the door created by these words.
But I didn’t have the courage to go inside.

So I went back to living my life in the worst ways.
But, for some time I was happy just by thinking
that there exists a door that one day I can open,
that I probably looked more human that I thought.

That in itself was a happiness, a relief
I never thought I could feel-
knowing that the what I had lost was not myself,
but the only heart to face myself, to comfort myself.

“incoherent” – Nayana Nair

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.

“Moments with a Cold Sun” – Nayana Nair

With each day crossed out.
With each dresses, each mask added to the my wardrobe.
With each hand that passed into mine,
with each hand that moved onto the next too easily,
I realized I knew how to dance to this tune
that used to frighten me once.

Another stranger,
another potential lover,
another sun that has already grown cold,
whispers in my ears – words I do understand.

I search for a harmless smile in my bag.
I hang it carefully on my face.
I turn myself into a gift,
into a substitute of love
for this person –
who is dying like me,
waiting like me,
for something, anything
to fill the time left.

“Stack of Books from Strangers” – Nayana Nair

Now everything tastes like my oft-repeated past.
This bitter turn of events
has brought new meaning to my pain that I didn’t ask for.
This morning I even look like someone who needs help.

I guess I may have looked that way for a long time
in everyone’s eyes but mine.
In my eyes, I was doing better,
good enough to be not noticed and singled out.

I smiled enough to keep people from seeing
all the mess I carried in me.
But lately, strangers hand me books
to keep my sad mind busy.

Books that tell me
that it is not too late, that one at a time
I can make something out of the soil that won’t leave my skin,
the soil that I am buried under.

I want to believe in this nonsense more than anyone can imagine.
But my heart is not the same now
as it was years ago.
It no longer believes the words that feel good and hurt later.

“Hello?” – Nayana Nair

hello?
can you help me?
can you tell me which way to go,
which part of me to burn
to reach the dumping ground
where lay all the skins
that humans have ever shed?

i have been living in my dreams
for quite some time,
where i am the old-me
surrounded by my old-family,
old-friends, old-strangers.

dreams that i can no longer have,
now that i have been led back to reality,
now that i am almost sane.
i realize i am missing the life that never was.
medicated consciousness is not enough
to make me forget
all that i should not remember.

i have heard that here i would find
the lifeless skin of mine-
the ‘me’ who never knew what lacking is.
want to join me?
never mind.
i was not looking for company anyway.
thank you for not helping,
for telling me to grow up.
thank you for making reality
more disturbing than it already is for me.

“Fictional Friends” – Nayana Nair

i break another glass today,
the girl with blue highlights in her hair
walks over it without bleeding
but tells me
not to try such things at home on my own,
that it took her years of invisibility
to even try such tricks.
but she has no suggestions for what else i should do
instead of breaking my smooth skin
and wrecking my good name.
so she tells me a story about a girl and wolf,
another about a girl and her impossible dream,
about a girl and her sad prince,
a girl and the dark world,
a girl and whatever wants to break her down.
she tells me i don’t have to be that girl.
that i just have to be person who happens to be a girl
and not hate herself for it.


it is night already.
i find myself in strange blue rooms.
i hold hands with another new stranger
who promises to sing me to sleep.
he walks like heartache that knows how to smile.
he pretends to be the real deal.
he is too drunk on his own sad story like me
to even see anyone else.
so no we are not in love.
i just want to borrow his songs,
his voice, his awareness of all that is wrong.
i look out of his window, at my own home
at my friends, at my love, at broken frame of my family,
at myself who is trying too hard
to be indifferent to it all.


the battery of my phone dies
and i am alone again in this life
that i can’t find my way around.
i am somewhat lost, tired,
and yet somehow happy
to have lived through this despair,
through another dark night.

“Shopping in the HATE section” – Nayana Nair

should i thank you
for becoming the faceless stranger
that i dread the most?

you are the new voice inside my head.
less of a voice, more of a threat.

how should i make you happy?
how can i shut you up?-
is all i think about.
i want to grow up
and grow out of this mind
that can’t take even this shallow critique.
but i can’t.
how can I confront you
when you may actually be correct about me?

what should i do?
remain a nothing till your attention shifts?
learn to cry without being bashed for my weakness?

but at least I am glad I am not your type,
that I am not the excuse
you would use to pull someone else down.

so goodbye “the embodiment of my self-doubt”
thank you giving me another grief to write about,
for speaking your mind and taking away my voice.

“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.

“Just Poems” – Nayana Nair

My mind that understands
is chained and crippled by its understanding.
It only tries to understand new words
by comparing it to
what has already written or read.
It only understands feelings in terms of
the pain it has given
or all it has suffered.

-o-

So when I stand in front of the doors of a poem
feeling the sting of December winds on my back.
When I ring the doorbell
and hear from other side “May I come inside?”
I immediately know that this not something
that I understand,
that there is a difference
in reading as if
sitting on the couch in a stranger’s house
waiting to be entertained
and reading as if
I have let the stranger in my own mind
and allowed him to change
the view I have of this world.

-o-

Some poems are not just poems.
They are voices that never die
because they have never been born.
They are ghosts that we have always wanted to haunt.
They are names we give to our own suffering,
a closure that only we can give to ourselves.