“Painting Summer” – Nayana Nair

.

As my teacher with broken voice
dictated another question on radius and heights
and the mountains where no snow, no season, no name sticks;
I turned another page and wrote the name of an emperor
who died even though he believed he won’t.
I smiled and tried to correct the very very wrong spelling
of a national political party that my friend wrote. It doesn’t matter she said,
when I couldn’t figure out what was exactly wrong with it.
At lunch, she leaned against the wrong window,
the one with fresh coat of blue paint,
and told me a joke which she memorized
only to remember it wrong.
I again gave her the laugh that meant nothing in particular.
But I knew she loved it when I reacted like this-
as if she is forcing a laughter out of my silent sombre heart,
as if she is wining over me all my resistance.
But I was nothing like that.
I was nothing like she thought me to be.
My heart was already open. She was already inside me-
writing melodies with her soft steps beside me,
painting summer sun over every window I looked out of.
But these are things that need no telling,
there are my treasures I won’t allow her to take back,
these are the answer she will never realize.
I hand in another assignment, another answer sheet
that looks too little like me, that raises the eyebrows of people
who realize they couldn’t teach me a thing right.
I walk back to my seat wondering
if my shirt is tainted red with my love
like her back is filled with butterflies of blue.

“All the Time” – Nayana Nair

The-best-room

Some part of me is lighted up today
in the light that is most probably your doing.
And when the light hits the less cared for parts of me
contrary to the expectations and images of
decay that ate me away and the dust that filled me up,
what I see is an empty expanse.
I see you ready with the tools to build me
something more prettier, something more comfortable,
something more me.
You wait for that picture to reach my lips.
But I don’t have a picture yet.
I don’t know what to build here.
I am in love with this sweet emptiness,
this fresh start that I thought I would never get.
Can we just sit here for a while in this innocence
that would be soon tainted by us.
You say, “We have all the time in the world.”
No, we don’t.