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The Scale of 1 to 10 (part 2)” – Nayana Nair

#about the street where we won’t meet

There is a street in my mind, where an often underappreciated singer sings about a love that stands just across the street. Forever they stand there, one trying make up combinations of words, variations of beautiful verses – not to win her heart, but to beg the world to keep her beautiful memory alive. Forever her image hovers and floats above the ground, but he is too faraway to notice.

   Well the first time that I saw her
   Standing in the middle of the road
   Eyes as bright as Christmas lights
   Wearing someone else’s clothes
   I did my best to ignore her
   But ignoring my best pretty soon
    - "Words", Passenger
   I’m opening my eyes
   I see you
   I shake my hands
   So your image scatters
   No matter how much I do that
   How often I do that
   Still, in front of me
   You are smiling
    - "Opening My Eyes", Zitten

And this is where my mind is stuck. Not at the numerous meetings leading to heartbreak, not at the years that passed too slowly, not at the will to live and smile that grew weary too fast, not at the silent ending that is more serene than happy.
My mind is stuck at the point where I am stuck in my life.

   Even tomorrow I will see you
   Even tomorrow, I will hear you
   Even tomorrow, everything will be the same as today
   -"Time Spent Walking Through Memories", Nell
   I want to remain
   I want to dream more
   …
   I’m just walking and walking, among this darkness
   My happy times asked me this question
   You, are you really okay, it asked me
   Oh no
   -"Awake", Jin (BTS)

There are roads that I cannot cross and always at the other end stands someone or something too beautiful to be ignored. There stands a poem I wish I had written, there stands an alien undecipherable tear that I wish I could understand. There is a torn down building that feels like a home that I should yearn for. There is a pile of love letters that I never got to read. There is horde of faces I couldn’t trust, but I wished to. There is everything I could have been, if I only had the courage to be selfish.

   You were so precious
   Countless memories that you placed
   In all of those moments
   In all of those times
   You were always beautiful
   -"Opening My Eyes", Zitten
   Even within some stranger’s figure passing on the street
   Even above the leaves riding the wind with a lonely dance
   Even within the air brushing past my cheeks on some evening
   In everything I see, hear and feel
   You are there
   Yeah, and how are you?
   …
   Even on that big empty chair left on the side of the street
   Even in the glass I thoughtlessly filled to drink some water
   Even within the mirror I face to look at myself
   Even within the music secretly sitting in deeper from the edge of my ear
   You are there
   -"Time Spent Walking through Memories", Nell
   The last thing you taught me
   Is that there are types of happiness that don’t come back
   -"Lemon", Kenshi Yonezu
   And besides, you probably don’t know how much I was saved by you
   -"Melancholy Kitchen", Kenshi Yonezu

This is what my world is made of, this what this world is to me. Something I feel and love with all my heart, with every drop of my existence. Yet something that is too far away, only because my feet are glued to this piece of land. Because I want to stay here far enough to not ruin anything so good.

   Oh moon, My moon
   I’m not trying to embrace you
   I know that you are too immense
   To fit into my arms
   …
   Oh moon, My moon
   I’m not trying to own you
   The reason why you’re so dazzling to me
   Is because I am a pitch-black night
   -"Dear Moon", JeHwi 
   Letting it go
   Seeing your light
   Living my life away from you
   Being your light
   Far from you
   -"Aurora", Savina & Drones

There is a street in my mind where the lover and the loved are always separated. Here they stay forever in each other’s sight. On that street love never ends, love never ask for practicality, never gets hurt nor does it get tired of waiting. Here the love doesn’t ask for approval of this world. Here no one changes. My feelings, here, are not something to be hidden away, or to be lied about. Here my feelings, my attachment is not a nuisance, but the only meaning that I need to live.

   Since then, when I think of you
   —Someone I loved
   More than I ever thought—
   My breath stops
   -"Lemon", Kenshi Yonezu
   But if i could
   I would love
   To be the light
   Just the light
   That shines upon you
   -"End Roll", Androp
   Memories that spill down
   Words that endlessly come up
   How can I hold you back?
   I’ll be here
   I’ll be here
   -"Opening My Eyes", Zitten
   All the angels who know pain
   Flying on damaged wings through the night
   Every time I'm thinking about love
   Every time I'm thinking about love
   I don't wanna listen to just happy songs
   I'll face my loneliness, color my life
   -"Lights", BTS
   Inside my blue dream
   I want to hold you
   -"Blue Side", J-Hope (BTS)
   Maybe I'm a dreamer
   Or maybe I'm just fallen' apart
   I put it all on the table for you to see
   That you and I, that's what we are
   -"Waiting For You", Grizfolk

“storm of kindness” – Nayana Nair

i refuse to go out into
the storm of kindness
where well-meaning people
drunk on the idea of charity
are running amok on streets.

they don’t know themselves
but they know my kind,
they know all the kinds of people
i might turn into
if i don’t give up and let them in.

they want to know the name of person
who broke me so well.
they want me to cry a bit
and to try saying hello first.

the seat they sit on, still has my warmth.
i still know the name of strangers i prayed for.
how easily things change.
every life had hope,
every pain could be overcome
as long as they were not mine.

“the giants continue to live in my dreams” – Nayana Nair

Posted on

Across the street
lived the giants.
The green giants-
who waited for rains to cry,
who waited for the night to speak.

Thankfully the windows
in my temporary home
were small and few.
Thankfully it was always cold,
that awful cold
that makes you want to sleep
for a long long time.

So I slept and slept.
I ate whatever my mother cooked.
I waited for her to tell me
what I am to do with my life.
While the kids I never spoke to,
went into the home of giants
to put them on fire,
I slept.
I slept and cried in my dreams.
Because tears on my real skin
would make this sadness more real.
Real sadness demands reasons and explanation.
Real sadness demands proofs.

I slept
to dream,
to stand among them-
the ones who have learnt
how to live and die quietly,
to forgive easily.
I waited for the day
I would grow roots,
the day when I could smile
at my falling leaves.
I waited for the day
I could become one of them
and not the cruel outsider that I am now.

“I Close Another Window” – Nayana Nair

Posted on

i close the window that must be closed
a hope that must be dropped.
the flame of love, the hand that holds me,
scalds me, takes me to new places,
makes me sit under a trees
with another unusual bright fruits,
asks me to cry like i did before,
paints me, calls me beautiful,
feeds me compliments, but just enough
that my tears won’t dry.
leaves me in lonely rooms of a rundown hotels
with the promises of tomorrow,
another town, another tear to paint.
as he disappears at the end of the street,
i close the window that must be closed,
a hope that must be dropped.

“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.

“Small Cost” – Nayana Nair

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I remember nodding along to what you said.
It would have been similar to how I agreed with
everyone who were obviously wrong,
but with you I agreed not for peace
but for happiness-
that I realized can be bought for something
as small as silence.
It sounds less crude when called it consideration,
which is indeed a small cost to pay
when I know that there are many
who do not even get to make that choice.

leaves-line-drawing-23
I could say that love has reduced me to a person
whom I would have pitied ages ago
and probably I was better when all that mattered to me was me
and what I thought and wanted.
I remember passing leaflets of “guide to how to treat me”
to people who reluctantly took it
and probably tossed it on streets
when they were out of my sight.
I should have been offended
but even I can’t remember
half of what was on those paper.

leaves-line-drawing-23
With you,
I know
for what we are,
I probably won’t get what I want
and may accumulate a little more reasons to cry for
when we finally make up our minds.
But if we are here
and if this is how love works
then I should probably try being
hopelessly and blindly being in love
especially because it is you.

“Fake” – Nayana Nair

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The morning drips from the hands of clock.
Soon there will arise a sky that tries its best not to look empty.
Soon people will walk about the streets
forgetting the sun that they had been waiting for,
forgetting the night they struggled to survive.
I almost collide with a person like that, like me,
who try their best
that their forgetfulness seems as genuine as possible
and rely on their faith that no one will be unkind enough
to give voice to what they see and know.
The longer I live, the aversion
I once had for all fakeness
is replaced with some kind of pity.

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