“Temperaments and Thoughts” – Nayana Nair

We once loved this world
more than ourselves.
Now we just like everything
only as much as our own temperaments and thoughts permit.

The oranges reminds him of view from his broken home,
the sour taste of everything that should have been beautiful.

The glowing beads fill my mind with the images of meaningless gifts,
the faces of men and friends that always fall short
even in the face if my plummeting expectations.

Going out of our way to hide
is the measure of our love somehow.
We sit across each other for every meal
and talk about things that make sense,
everything and anything that can’t cause more harm
than the things close to our heart have already done.

I feel the rustle of a world buried deep in me,
he must feel the same.
But the world that is lost and the hope that is no longer mine
can only do so little.
There is a happiness that doesn’t look enchanting.
There is a kindness that isn’t grand.
There are things only we can be for each others
even if there are thousand things we can’t.

I would have told him “I love you”
if I didn’t know how hearing these words
have only made him cry.
He lets me love within the boundary
of my temperament and thoughts,
he stands by these walls and knows why they are for.

“moodboard” – Nayana Nair

here.
the buildings and their makeshift purpose,
the liquid tar evaporating and raining down,
the birds that resurrect only for a day,
the menu written, re-written
with tastes i find strange,
the ceremonies of 3 meals and 1000 snacks
and casual friends,
the wishlist, the moodboards
that I have no heart in.
here
this all there is.
here
everything is overwhelming
and still not enough.

“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.

“the shadow at the foot of my bed” – Nayana Nair

today is the birthday of one another oddity of mine.
on a day like this,
few calendars ago
i learnt how to turn my helplessness into my charm.
i learnt to fill the glasses, the throats of everyone i know
with something sweet, with a taste they can’t name.
i learnt to become something that can’t be known or hurt.
in my bedroom i sit at the foot of my bed
trying to block out the presence, the weight
of the other half of my body
clinging, clawing, crying, dissociating.
i again forget where i am.
i again forget how to stop shaking.
if i walk a bit more into the darkness
i feel i won’t have to pretend to be the one
who has a say in what happens to her.
a hand slips into mine.
sometimes it rests on my waist,
and i force myself not to feel nauseated.
love him. love her. i tell myself repeatedly.
love. love. love. love till i can make up for all my lacks.
my love is my penance, my apology
to anyone who chooses me as their destiny.

“Digestible” – Nayana Nair

to be human is to float like a single cell life
devouring pieces of digestible meaning,
splitting and cutting oneself without blood loss
into something more manageable.
to be human is to lose your legs
to the ideas of nation, families, and lovers.
to be a human like me is to look at
herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, scavengers…
and wonder what hunger feels like.
it is to order love at every other restaurant
waiting for the taste of pain to grow on me,
while i mimic strangers stranded on far away tables
and hope what i am learning is not another dead language.

“Redefining my Happiness” – Nayana Nair

so as the last effort to rescue me
they came in,
dressed in the ultimate cool lifestyle.

they handed me all the tools that i might need
to break away from the ‘sad’ in me.
they filled me up with clocks that told the wrong time,
told me that i would get used to the thrill of it.

told me to scrape down
whatever stands in my way to happiness.
told me my happiness should now be
keeping an eye on the better guy, the better job,
better photos on social media to highlight the same,
weekends in lightless room with strangers.

when i became nauseous from too much change,
when i ran into the fire
to save the idea i had of myself,
they held me back,
told me i would develop a taste for such things
i just needed some help, some influence,
some liquid courage, some castles of smoke,
guts to throw away everything that doesn’t serve a purpose.
they told me to talk like the ones who hurt me
and to call it empowerment.

“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.

“What I Remember (14)” – Nayana Nair

LOVE IS …

hiding my smile when you walk towards me
talking your name, just because i can
(just to make sure that i can).
feeling like a child when you call my name back.
interrupting the meaningful silence
with pointless debates,
pretending to sulk, acting cute,
being happy to act like idiots for once.
wasting away time,
walking towards nowhere
because that is what we do.

painting each other again
till we get it right.
loving in every way possible.
trying to become the love
that cannot be forgotten.
sweet words, sad past,
family tree in red ink,
lost friends, lost innocence
fill our time.
reliving the past that we suffered alone
in each other’s presence.
finding meaning in destiny,
agreeing with god’s plan,
begging for a day more
of this, this happiness
that fills us with dread and hope
of being understood.

waking at midnight,
hiding my body that you have killed for the day.
waking at noon,
looking for you, giving you second chances.
getting back only one word reply-
‘hi’,’ok’, ‘hmmm’, ‘lol’,’k’, ‘bye’.
waking up again and again.
going to sleep again and again.
murmuring your bitter name in my sleep
with tears i won’t remember.

silence – avoiding uncomfortable topics
silence – avoiding fights
silence – nursing wounded ego
silence – planning revenge (or something of that sort)
silence – being handed the list of shortcomings
silence – being handed ultimatums
silence – having nothing to talk
silence – feeling lonely
silence – ‘love’ has left the chat

waiting at cafes
that sell drinks which taste
like the mass-produced dreams
that make your heart burn
and everything with chocolate
as a cheap therapy,
as they play breakup songs on repeat
to normalize the pain of every kind.

“A Somewhat Lilac Sky” – Nayana Nair

Now that I am made of evening skies,
if I move into that night,
I can’t ever return.
The one who tastes the morning sun,
the one who kisses your lips,
the one who somehow lives on
won’t be me.
So let me remain this beautiful.
Let us stop here.
The snow would be here soon
and time would bring us
small doses of the soothing forgetfulness.
See how you start to love me again
when your heaven and your heart
give up on all their rules.

“December Moon” – Nayana Nair

I could no longer taste
the nameless fruit
that I held in my hand,
that I hid in my mouth a moment ago.
I fled from one home to another.
I sewed my heart to another
even when it pained.
I tried to find myself back,
pry out my heart from the cage of love
even when I was happy.
I wanted to miss someone.
I wanted to call out a name,
so that my life may not feel empty.
Since I had many names on my lips,
I came to know that the emptiness of my life
came not from the lack of people I loved
but by the lack of people who treasured me back.
So I let the fruit fall to ground.
I let my hunger gnaw at the my own skin.
I forced myself to think of myself,
by hurting myself,
by asking myself to forget.