“Personal Sun. Personal Shadow.” – Nayana Nair

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the green pastures
the white fences
the perfect fake loving gaze
the debts of kindness
the half that never completes itself for once
the ornamental lackings of my being

the personal sun, the privilege to look away
and never know the heart of one who can’t
the greed such that I can’t stop receiving

the ideals that I can live without,
ideals that are already falling short
to accommodate
my monstrous growth, my falls from grace,

All these,
everything that I say I don’t need
is also
all that I cannot give back.

It is easier for me
to live,
to be kind,
to understand,
to love
with a life of hypocrisy,
with a guilt weighing down my heart,
with the smile that I can get only because
the world is unfair.

It is easier for me to smile
at the knife stuck in my back.
It is easier to forgive
when I cannot forget my own blood stained hands,
my own reckless selfish heart.

“Photographs of Unmade Bed” – Nayana Nair

#1
Today I am fixated on the the houses far ahead, the colors on those countless walls that are yet to be carried away by the winds. Today I am fixated on the wrong choice of shoes, the red sore blooming on the fingers of my feet. Today I am filling my eyes with all that I refuse to see otherwise. I like days like these. They give me the proof of life outside of me, proof that I am part of this world. Days like these let me know that even if there is nowhere I particularly have to go, my feet are sore from walking and the roads are bit weathered. So it must mean something. Slowly I am changing the world, just as the world is changing me. So it must mean something. These are the days I realize that I do not just look at the world, but kiss the world while hating it in my heart. That world doesn’t just disown me, but it keeps looking at my childhood photographs when no one is looking. It all must mean something.

#2
My bed sinks a bit more everyday. It feels as if every day I am carrying, dragging another new person into my uncomfortable sleep, to my messy life. There is no blood, or signs of resistance, so it must a deal of mutual benefit. I hope so. I wake with only my skin, with only my dry eyes. So again it must have been someone I mistook as you. Someone who knows how to keep their end of promise, someone who doesn’t look back at the weight they are leaving behind in my new scented sheets. With you there was warmth and suffocation and never-ending want to be something more. With you there were eyes that stared at me as if I am a road you are forced to walk on. With you there were things I couldn’t be and shouldn’t be. Without you, there is me and my imagination that draws you body full of life on the photographs taken of unmade med and undecided mind. What do I want really?

#3
The one love? The truest kind? The rarest kind? The kind that is made of eternities? The kind that is hellbent on making that big change? I sort of had that. “I had that love” would be my answer, only when I am asked to keep my answer short, which I am often asked.
In the answers of 500-1000 word limit, in the answer where 10 marks are at stake, in the answers only you would have asked – I wanted my only love to be true somehow, no matter what it took. Do you know what that means? It means there are hazy days, holding lies close to heart, illusion that I fed with my own blood that make appearance in this answer. The answer involves knowing everything that is wrong, knowing everything that shouldn’t be, knowing the end that I won’t have. The answer involves cutting short my words, even when there is no need to, even when you are here and you are listening. The answer is pretend that was true, the tears that I didn’t hate as much as I should, the person I liked a bit more than I should have. Always wondering if love would feel like love if it was not me and you standing on both of its end.

#4
There is soaring in the skies. There is running away to the ends of earth. There are, of course, moons, and sun, and stars for taking. There is a wish list for every age we failed to love properly. There are your past loves, there are my past pains to talk about till late night. There are things to eat and relish and complain and things we will never make the way we should, things we will throw away even though they turned out well. There are stories we will make up because we can, because they are fun. There are stories that will tell thousand times even though we won’t be believed. There are night we see only each other, there are nights we realize the pain of not being loved. There are permutations and combinations that I was always poor calculating, that you were never interested in. There is a day like this where we have nothing in our pockets to count on, no possibility, no scenario that could bring us and place us together in this life. This is the only day that I didn’t want to arrive at.

#5
You are only as dangerous as much as I let you be. If I let you be a mistake, you are just a humiliating past to be erased. If I let you be the friend that should have remained a friend, you are just a human among thousand others, a human I dealt with with immature idea of carpe diem, with a stupidity I once called honesty. If I let you be the reason of my happiness, you become the reason I should never smile again. If I let you be the incarnation of all that destroys, you become the plague in my heart that will not end till I die, till I give myself up. The more I let you be within the scope of my life, the more I regret letting you in. I never try to think of you as someone I associated the word love with. That word lets you become my breaking heart, my lungs devoid anything capable of giving life, my mind slowing down and stuck at the worst part of my life.
So when I think of you, I think of you as the result of taking the idea of selflessness, of selfishness, of wanting to be part of this world, of taking “it all must mean something” a bit too far.
Because irrespective of what you might have been for me. Now you are only as dangerous, as important as I let you be.

“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.

“could-have-beens” – Nayana Nair

when saw my skin, i saw only cracks
cracks that would have looked worse
if i could see better.
i wanted to look away
but all i could do was think-
age is creeping up on me
slowly and cruelly
and you are not here.

i think of all the things
i can never have now.
things i meant to do everyday
things i put off, delayed
because you needed time.
all the things i denied myself
because i wanted to wait for you.

but the weight of things i have given up
seems to have increased exponentially
since you learnt to change your mind.

so me and my could-have-beens
we sit at different tables in the same world,
looking at each other with disappointment.
how ridiculous is this
that i am waiting,
even when there is no one to wait for,
even when i know that running away
was the only thing you could be relied upon for.

“Red Valley” – Nayana Nair

every red flower
that couldn’t bloom,
that was denied a spring,
now grows inside us.

we breathe to keep them alive
so their sky remains blue
and they might know
what tomorrow means.

there is a weight on our tiny shoulders
to carry voices that were once locked in vacuum,
to do everything right,
to build greenhouses by our words and intention.

but we don’t need broad strong shoulders
to carry this weight, to keep this valley alive.
we only need to unlearn
every cruelty we have ever been taught.

“Better Clone” – Nayana Nair

If you were to find a love
that could make you complete,
I hope you find it with me.
I hope I become better
before you start looking for this love.
So that being myself won’t mean
being cruel and uncaring.
So that loving me won’t be a sacrifice.

I want to have you
without breaking you
and without breaking me.
But how often does life work out like that.

When you became the question of my life,
all I could do was hope
because what I had was not enough for myself.
What if you were to ask me something
that would remind me of my poverty?

I am afraid that this
is what you are meant to do in my life-
remind me again and again
that I am lacking in so many ways.

But all I can do is try
try to become someone who has lesser faults.
Because giving you up
is not something that I would ever want.
But some nights I wonder how long will I last
before I collapse under the weight
of your wants and mine.

“What I Remember(9)”- Nayana Nair

I tell myself stories about
why I threw away all that I had,
or why everything was taken away from me.
How I was too weak, will always be too weak
to carry the weight of the gifts that I had.
Or how I was never quite convinced
that I had something to be proud of.
How I was always trying to gauge
how much deep my feelings ran
for everything that I could only sort-of-love.
I can list all similar attempts
where I sought a better quantitative understanding of my specialness
and used these unreliable results to decide how and when to give up.
But if I had to give one consolidated story of
why I was never a failure at anything,
why I never succeeded,
why I had nothing to show for the years I lived
or for the talents that people remember me for.
If I had to be concise and true
I would say
I never made those decisions,
I was never aware of how I felt about
all the things that bother me now.
I drifted away from what I was, from what I treasured,
the way dear friends lose touch, lose each others name,
lose a happiness they could have had.
Only to be reminded of this loss
when it no longer matters.

“Argument” – Nayana Nair

The essays I have written
on the wretchedness of this world,
they are merely an argument,
a poor argument,
the only argument I can give
when I am confronted
by the wretchedness of my own soul,
the blood on my own hands,
the weight of shame on my conscience,
and my inability to change.

(Quote from manga Oyasumi Punpun)

“Questions on Eternity” – Nayana Nair

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The winter rains
have found me again
but only without you.
They ask me of I still believe in eternity
and I choose not to answer
because I am living in one,
even if it not the one I wanted.
Your sweet face and words,
that are no longer yours,
is the only analgesic sleep
I get in this tiring and painful existence.
I am promised
that there is only one who will look after me,
there is only one who is mine.
But can I actually believe in one love.
Isn’t it too tragic?
For there are many that will never stick around
in spite of their love or mine.
There are many for whom all this is nothing more
than the time they have spent on strangers,
to run from themselves.
And if I find myself
alone at the end,
am I supposed to wait for all those who live to leave?
Am I the only one who is supposed to wait and suffer?

***

While the whole world scratches out their own words
realizing it as idiotic and impractical,
but still wanting the weight of this ideal
to be carried by others.

***

They want to roam the world
and come back home to find food and bed made with love,
not minding the responsibility of waiting
that they have put on someone else.

“Book that I can’t read” – Nayana Nair

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The book
that I can’t read
is not abandoned on the shelves
has not been moved to the lowest rack
because it is bad.
But because so much of me
is filled in it.
So many words from my heart reside on those pages,
that I am bound to question
if this is the reason I felt so empty for years.
Someone sat up all night
looking into me,
taking away my pain and shame
to relieve me of this weight.
But ended up taking more than they should
and didn’t know any other way
than to send it back to me in a book.
I wish I could go out
and burn every copy of this book
in every bookstore on earth-
this book that I can’t read myself.
But I must keep it with me always
so that if I am silenced forever
even after I leave
someone
at least someone
would see that I tried
when they open this book
and see the crossed out names
replaced with mine.