“Painting Summer” – Nayana Nair

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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.

“Picturing You” – Nayana Nair

I am not lonely.

I am just fond of imagining you.

I prick my heart with the thought of you
and it bleeds ,
but only a bit.

Enough to show that it is alive.
Enough to tell me to go on.

It beats for you
and bleeds for me.

That is how fair my love is.
And this is why you’ll always win.

“but love…” – Nayana Nair

but love
the i cannot see you
without this night,
for you are not my sun
but only it’s reminder.

but love
i can be the person you love
only as long as you love be back,
as long as my heart wants to forget the past
and the owner of my heart.

but love
in your glory
i always fall short.
i yearn to love someone like me,
someone who plans the escape route
while uttering the words
of half-hearted embellished confession.

but love
i don’t want to be healed
my scars are my name
that i fear to lose
as much as i fear losing you

but love
as much as you want me
you should learn to hate me more
your benefit of doubt is wasted on me
as is your love.

but love
i have so many reasons
and so many feelings
that are at war with each other-
a war that i wish you’d win somehow.

but love
i do love you
in some conditional yet selfless way,
there is a sincerity in my love-
a sincerity that won’t do your heart any good.

“Make this one mistake” – Nayana Nair

I want to love you with the sincerity that I don’t have.
I want to want you desperately, even when I am fed up with you.
I want to look at you as if you are my everything
even when I know that you are not.

The only thing that stops me
from being the love that I dreamed of being
are my own shortcomings.
I am not patient.
I am not true to my words.
I do not hold an endless sea of love in me,
if anything
you might only find misdirected anger,
petty grudges and resentment in my heart.
I am too sensitive, not in a good or sweet way,
but in an irritating intolerant way.
I am someone who wants all sweet things
but have only bitterness to give back.
In my spare time
I make list of what I lack
not to improve
but so that I have ready excuses when I need them
and I only need them with you.
I need them so I can stay selfish,
so that I can continue to be by your side
and not fall apart with shame.

I know you deserve the world
but let my greed win for once,
for this life
close your eyes on everything I do wrong.
My love may not be great or even good enough
but I love you
even when my love for you and want for you
makes me the worst person in my own eyes.
That must count for something.
Make this one mistake for my sake,
let me have you for this life.

“Burn the Flowers” – Nayana Nair

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Your severe gaze
resounds and echoes
the meanness only humans have.
But your hands melt at anything you touch
so that nothing,
even water,
is disturbed by your presence
in this world.
How did you learn
make that face
that kept people at distance
and kept them on their toes.
How hard was it
roam in this world (that you loved too much)
knowing everything would hurt you,
and knowing the defeat at the face of the war
that you never wanted
and you can never win.
How hard is it,
to burn the flowers
born out of your soul
only so people would
avoid the impending disaster
that you are not.

“Spilling the Ink” – Nayana Nair

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You ask why I don’t stay and fight.
You ask if I realise that
I can win as much as others.
I tell you that everyone has a dream.
And what I get by staying and fighting,
are not my dream.
That I cannot live in this world
of regulated self-expression.
Always fearing when I would spill out of the lines.
So even if my broken is not as shabby and scattered.
Even if my madness is not the sort
that can get admiration.
Even if my hands struggle with holding myself where I am.
Just know that I leave,
not because of aversion to this world,
nor to find a better place.
I leave cause I cannot breathe in water
even if I want to.