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“How people live” – Nayana Nair

I sat there crying.

It hurt to know,
how people live,
how they smile,
how they could look at each other,
how they felt welcome wherever they went,
how they could sing along
and not be reminded of all the sadness
that song carried in itself.
How my desolate riverside
was their ‘beautiful view’,
their ‘venue for celebration’.

I saw it and cried
for I realized
that this life could never be mine.
I cried because I realized
something must be wrong with me
to not want this life.
I cried because I couldn’t understand
how to set things right.

“Keep me inside” – Nayana Nair

I can help you count everything you have.
These objects have no meaning to me
but I know something about life
even if I don’t know everything.
I know that your hands
will stop shaking
only if they keep counting,
only when you have confirmed
that you have not become poorer
that you were a minute ago.
I know that you don’t enjoy being like this,
even though people say you are weird on purpose.
I know that you have stars on your ceiling,
only because the ones in the sky
have abandoned you too many times.

***

So I will not tell you
how to live your life.
I will not force
the disease of my heart
into yours, in the name of cure.
Build walls all you want,
but keep me inside them with you.

“Connecting Flight” – Nayana Nair

I hold my fist close to my heart,
I hold your hand tighter than ever.
How long has it been since we last saw each other?
How long before we meet again?
These few hours that separates
our periods of separation,
these hours have become minutes,
have become question marks
that we pretend we can’t see,
have become the silhouette
of the better women of your stories,
have become the words I never got to hear.
They remind me of your skin that bloomed and withered
without knowing my skin.
I have told myself numerous times
that it doesn’t matter.
I have tried my best not to be bothered,
but it is becoming more difficult
to feel that I am still loved by you.
And again you kiss me with caution,
hold me close, only to let go.
Again all I see is you
moving towards something I cannot understand,
leaving me in a life that I cannot accept.

“Smile and Call it Love” – Nayana Nair

From the day that I resolved
to create a door in my life
for you to move out me,
to forget you,
to even hate you, if it becomes necessary.
I thought resolve was all I needed
to get rid of the poison that you had become,
to create space for myself to grow into,
if I had to grow without love or understanding anyway.

I sorted myself and my memories
keeping only the ones that would help me
convince myself that you were bad for me,
that your love could blossom only
in the season of your selfishness,
the season where I was expected to wilt for your sake
and smile when you called it love.

I tried to remember
everything that I read in your mannerisms everyday,
everything I had overlooked as visions caused by my paranoia,
everything that came true,
everything that would have been true, only if I had let you.

I know,
I know that you were not evil,
but only human.
I know that I may have made you bleed
more that I can admit.
But I am also only a human.
Maybe I could have accepted your human nature
if my weakness, my complexes, my cruel words
could have been understood by you as well.

At some point
there was nothing you could do for me
than to remind me of my monstrosity everyday,
than to wait for me to breakdown.
At some point
there was nothing that I could do
than to walk away
and try to hate you.

“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.

“Empty Shells” – Nayana Nair

The list of all the words that I use and don’t know meaning of:

friend, understanding, dream, ethics,
distance, space, wait, promise,
family, kindness, virtue, trust,
love, love, love, love, love, love,
(I was told I need to be especially obsessed with love
if I want to be normal)

I, me,
memory (real or invented),
boundary between reality and fiction…

What a poor human I am
that I carry around these empty shells
pretending as if I know their worth.
All the flags that I carry
of the countries
to which I do not belong.
All the people who I live with,
only because I cannot live without them.
What an excuse to walk on this road
that will eventually to lead to a heartbreak.
Every heartbreak a drop on my window
and it has been monsoon for years altogether.
What a sloppy way to end all things
that I never wanted to begin.

“Holding onto you” – Nayana Nair

As I use your ideals and words
as the dressing to the greens that I hate,
that I find hard to chew,
I try to make myself understand you,
convince myself that I am in wrong
and I just know it yet.
I remind myself
that this time I can’t get it wrong,
that this time I can’t run from all that I have chosen.
I have lost a lot just because I wanted to live as me,
I can’t loose you as well.
When I begin to hate myself
for losing my life in your eyes,
I tell myself that one day I would thank myself
for holding onto you in spite of all.
So when I break and when it hurts,
when I see that all this is not good for me,
I crawl into your embrace
silently asking you
to tie me to yourself,
to stop me from ruining all that we have.

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