“Shifting places” – Nayana Nair

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Somewhere far away, in the early hours
a window cracks by the shrieks of a woman.

Let’s wait, let it end, it will be nothing,
it will end up like all the other things made up in my mind.

It will end, it will end –
I chant under my breath.

But it doesn’t end.
Wave after wave, it rushes towards me, to the doors of reality.

And in response something in me cries back, something in me knocks back hard.
Now all I can think is – “I must run. If I run I can reach there.

If I run fast enough there will be little blood lost,
a little mind saved. If I run, I can make it in time before the worse begins.”

But the roads keep disappearing, the houses shift places, everyone laughs a little louder
as I move forward only to be yanked back and pulled down.

There is someone far away waiting for my help
and her flesh is just as weak as mine. Her throat must be sore, her heart must ache.

I wait and cry for an eternity
before I hear everyone walk away. Before I hear hope approaching.

Hope sounds like
wheels of a bicycle and the broken whistle of a kid.

It sounds like “are you alright? aren’t you cold?”
It looks with puzzled eyes at my clothes that are somewhat not right.

It tells me universal facts like
“if you lie there either cold will kill you or a oncoming truck”

Hope tells me I am not dead yet.
I hope she is alive as well.

“In reaching you” – Nayana Nair

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If we were to meet somewhere not here.
If we are to be someone new, someone different,
for the chance of meeting
to finally happen.
I think
happiness, even then, won’t be of any consequence to us.

You and me – we – would find warmth
just in the vision of our open arms and tear-stained faces.
We would run into each others arms
and not utter any other useless promise.
We would tell each other without words
that we can be fine by just being together.

Yet, we – you and me – will find ourseleves filled
with disappointment and sadness
and a blooming bitterness filled with light.
For the ones who fought and cried and begged
and desperately clinged onto the promise of love-
this love can exist only without them.

In reaching you, in finding your heart on the other side of mine,
it feels that I have just been carrying on the wishes
of someone who loved you a bit more,
a lot more than me, a lot more than this.
The hand we hold as we sleep today,
they have held knives. I know the scent of my end on your being.
I move in closer to you,
trying to remember the me who smiled only for you
and you hold me closer trying to waiting for something similar.

The ones who wanted this love have been long been killed.
the ones we want are ourselves.
“Do you even remember where you have buried me?” I almost said
but instead I said soulless words about some love.
Hoping to find at least this answer without your help.

“Someday. I believed, someday you would…” – Nayana Nair

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Because I realized I had a bit more time
than what I had estimated,
I put down my newly purchased book
on “beautiful ends that have changed the color of sky
for a few minutes, if not more”.

I called back home
and told the stranger on phone my name,
so they would not mistake me for a hope that has come alive.
That is not how ends should be put in place.

But even then, even after taking such precautions
I couldn’t help but speak like their father who never looked them in eyes,
like their friend who walked away and never stopped, never returned,
like the silence of the night when they told me
I must make up for all the wrongs that still burns their heart.

I just wanted to tell them one true thing about me
one real thing they could hold in their mind, in the place of me.
But I held the phone tightly in my hands
and said the words that matter in this world- every word that is not about me.

For those who are always melting into themselves (unlike me)
that is probably the only right I could do.
Unlike me, who is just a ball of fur, all ‘I’s standing against the wind.
Unlike me, whose aches look like bubblegum and Sunday dress worn wrong.
I don’t like me. I wanted to say those words.
But they are already the first words in every chapter on ends.
They would end up knowing anyway.

I heard them utter a replacement of “love you”
and just nodded along as if they could see me.
They probably could, their love was unreasonable like that,
just like my love.
I ended the call and started at the last sentence I wanted to finish-
“Someday. I believed, someday you would…”
There were so many ways to end that sentence. Choose one ailment.
Choose one person to become and suffer as.
Give them one reason for the life suffering they are to begin.

I saw them sitting on an old sofa, watching the repeat telecast
of shows that make no sense. This time I felt they were waiting for me.
I felt they wanted my chaos. They wanted my hundred storms sitting beside them
to feel safe, to feel at ease.
I felt they would know I have come back for them
and maybe for a second would want to hold me as theirs, as a thanks.

“Someday. I believed, someday you would see me as a human who loved you too much.
I wanted to be much more than that. But the only answer that eases the knots in me
is your face untouched by tears of my name.”

Today it seems there would be no beautiful ends.
Only ugly continuation. Only you and me sitting and waiting
for this show to make sense.

“Sitting in dark” – Nayana Nair

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I come in the dark hours of my mood
and switch on the lights of empty cubicles.
49 switches
and yet nothing works on me.

I walk past
the empty seats
seats that belong to people
I see everyday,
I smile to everyday,
who have never seen my smile in reality.

For few hours
I can be happy again.
I am free
to be alone,
to be miserable,
to be able to curse myself
but not being confused by the presence
of these people,
who are there for me
but not only for me,
but for everyone.
And not always,
but only when it suits them.

It is better that I am alone
because I don’t know
how to be thankful to them
without being bitter,

how to voice out the emptiness that flows into me
every moment I spend with them
and not feel hatred for the kind of person my words paint me to be,

how to wait for them with eager heart
when their kind words only remind me of monsters

that force their way into my life.

It is better that I am alone
It would have been better
if I could wear these feelings with ease,
without waiting for something to change.

“No Plans” – Nayana Nair

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She looks at the clock.
The time tells
in 4 hours her husband has to leave,
she woke up too soon.
She wakes up and looks at the clock again.
In 20 minutes he will need his daily tea,
he sounds bitter all day
if it is not the first thing he sees.
She will have minutes to cook what he likes,
to check his ironed clothes and polished shoes.
Few more seconds till the door closes
leaving her in his house,
surrounded by his belongings,
and with the clock that has no plans for her.
She sighs
and sits till she can’t feel this sting.
She looks at clock once again.
9 hours more for him to come back.

“Your Place” – Nayana Nair

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I am not walking over
your footprints.
I am walking into the space you used
to occupy in this world.
I am walking into your absence.
I am taking your place.
I am taking your voice.
I am taking in the laughter
that escaped your lips
and never found their way back.
I am walking towards the fate
that took you from me, from this world.
But I do not seem to reach the place
where you are.
I have become one with the doorbell that never rings,
with the appointments on calendar
you will never be able to keep.
I can’t curse you for leaving me.
Some journeys are made without choice
and some distances are granted for our own peace.
The place you made for me in this life
is the only thing that feels right without you.
Only thing I can do
is to stop waiting,
and live your life
in your place.

“Fade” – Nayana Nair

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Slowly you scribble
one last goodbye
on a piece of paper,
that I will spend my life holding .
Slowly you will fade
as you walk away from me
into a future
that blooms in my absence.
Slowly I fade
waiting for you
into a past
that never left me.

“Too many poems” – Nayana Nair

impending rain

I may write too many poems about rain.
Impending rain.
No rain.
But isn’t it how we categorize moments in our life.
Happy.
Not happy.
Waiting for happiness.
Struggling for happiness.
Only difference:
struggling for rain
won’t bring you rain.

“More or Less” – Nayana Nair

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It was more or less like waiting
Only there was no excuse of distance between them
Though they walked hand-in-hand,
they knew
this was not all they could be.
Just like noises of traffic merging in the call of birds.
They knew the love they want and the love they have
was not so much different.
It was more or less the same.
Or at least they soon will be.
It was not a question of which person.
It was a question of
how much,
how long.

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And they have not lived an eternal life
to believe in eternal love.
But they kept it in mind
played with this idea,
scrutinised it,
made fun of it,
wished for it.

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As they wait for their love to
become bigger than themselves,
they have no choice but to be who they are
and live the life they know.
Soon this love will numb their pain.
But it takes time for poison to work.
But it will.
It always has.
Poison, too, can be a medicine.
It is just a matter of
how much,
how long.

“Name It” -Nayana Nair

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Though you have bought me happiness

that I was not looking for.

While I felt that all the world was too cold

and I would soon be part of this ice.

That my heart will freeze into

this space my life has trapped me in.

How warm was your presence

You could never know.

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Though I have gone out of my way

to ensure your happiness.

And sat waiting for you.

Waiting, and not knowing , whether you’d come.

Cause there have been too many days, that you don’t.

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I had to remind myself time and again

not to forget,

how to find my way back home on my own.

And when I looked at you

as if my life revolved around you.

How I hated myself for it.

Cause there is still a part of me

that is cold.

And with you, I have come to know worse things

than being cold.

Is that why I can’t name it?

Name what we have between us.

Afraid that if I utter the word ‘love’

our heart would pain a little more,

knowing what we are losing.

Afraid that this is the best life can offer us,

best what we can offer each other

And knowing each second

that this is not good enough for both of us.