“Breathing Cities and Statues” – Nayana Nair

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When I try to imagine,
to recall the face of another human being.

I always see them standing opposite me
with an expressionless face, holding out their hand.

When they are ghosts of pasts,
they are breathing cities of peculiarities and possibilities.
I feel they were waiting for my hand to touch theirs.
I feel as if they have saved up their last smile for that moment.
The steps I couldn’t take, can now never take,
they look so easy, so worth it, so worth keeping as regrets.

But I never learn
because
when they are reflections of present,
they are breathing statues
and frozen hearts that couldn’t possibly beat.
I know that this hand is not for me,
that I have extinguished the smile on that face
just by being myself, just by existing.

Only the warm breath of passing time
can make me miss the world that could have been.
Only on the streets I cannot walk
grow my trees of faith.

But even then, even for the past
I barely feel any love.
What I feel is something similar to
the relief in the things that won’t change.
The pull I feel is for the trust that can never be broken,
my heart that I never had to give out,
the hand of every stranger that remained innocent thereby.

“The hatred that I counted upon” – Nayana Nair

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When I have gathered enough courage
the only piece of metal in me
that can still cause harm
are only the frustrations I have at my own cowardice.
What do I have to lose today,
that I couldn’t lose yesterday
when I was busy resenting you.
After seeing and accepting the wrong that you are,
after uncovering every wound, every decaying part of me
that I didn’t want to face,
after deciding on an end
that would still be fair and gentle to your heart,
why do I only hold you tighter?
Why do I make up lies that only make it easier
to make up more lies, make up a world
where my hate is just a delusion,
where you are the only one worth saving,
worth love, worth my misery.
And even in that world, why does our love
won’t feel like love?
Why don’t you feel like mine?
Why does my heart feel abandoned
when I have chosen to walk into your hands
even after knowing my fate.

“Anything is better than this” – Nayana Nair

There is another in your heart.
In your mind there is always a new another-
someone you could have had.
“Anything is better than this”, as you so often say.
I wonder if the hell of your imagination has my face.
For long my hell has been – you, keeping your options open.
My hell has been – wondering if it is all in my head.
To smile and love you better, every time you treat me bad.
To measure the worth of love in tears,
only my tears.
My hell has been going towards you.
You, who has always been going away.

“Rainbows and Reflection” – Nayana Nair

I always thought
that I could be happy,
really happy,
forever happy,
if only I could make myself love happiness.

Though I approached this strange kid,
though I pretended to be good
and as holy as humans can be,
I had nothing to say this ever smiling child.
All the standard stories
I had prepared for this heavy chore
of presenting myself to this world,
were not for her ears.

I could never make myself fill her head with such darkness.
Why should she know of the categories of suffering and where I fit,
about the worth that every person has to earn.
This kid looked at rainbow and reflections with marvel,
prayed before every meal, believed in every story told.
There was nothing I could say to her.
I could not make her see me, befriend me, understand me
without changing her into me.

Only my love for this happiness
stands in my way
of the heaven I have dreamt in futile.

“Wish List” – Nayana Nair

what do i want?

snapshots of food i can’t eat?
GIFs and videos to forward?
people to gossip about? people to gossip to?
friends?
false sense of confidence?
a filter for my mouth?
a switch to put my heart to death?
a reality check (altered to suit my expectation)?
amnesia?
counselling sessions?
one more fun quiz to test my mental stability?
therapy?
a diary for my lies,
so that I can keep my mess together,
to continue making mess efficiently?
pills?
a makeover that suits your eyes?
a surgery that can make me look good, make me worth introducing?
someone to stop me?
someone who won’t leave?

“ugliness of my words” – Nayana Nair

As they casually made a remark
about my incompetence,
I found I hated them more than I should.
Even if all their words were true,
even though I was lacking.
I wanted them to speak well of me.
Not only speak well of me
but to think well of me.

I never realized
that they loved everything I pretended to be
and mocked everything I truly was.
I thought they would
see past the ugliness of my words
and understand how much I struggled to be myself.
Did I want too much?

As they leave for the day, I smile.
Try my best to be the fake that they love so much,
try my best to never be myself.
As they leave,
as my heart tries not to break,
I ask myself,
how long?
How long can I love someone
who never saw anything in me worth loving?

“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.

“Reflections in Failure” – Nayana Nair

I realized in my failures
that I was not nearly as good as I thought I was
and whatever I am was not worth that much
at least not in my own eyes.

And nothing I did could change anything
unless I could see the significance
of what I am and what I do.

I worked hard.
I lost sleep.
But my efforts to become worthy of my dream
turned out to be too less.
I turned out to be too less.

But somehow I was relieved to see
that even when I was empty-handed
I knew how to find my way to the beginnings
and start again.
So I couldn’t pity myself in that moment
but feel almost an admiration for this person
who didn’t know how to give up.

“The More I Hear” – Nayana Nair

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The songs buzz in my head.
It’s only your voice in that song this time
that stops me from moving away.
This noise again
that feels like love.
For I have already been acquainted with it
in another sweet disaster,
when someone told me
I was worth more than what I think of.
And many have said the same to me
when their actions told me otherwise.
And the more I hear it
the more cheaper these words become.
I can probably buy them from the same shop
that sold me self-hatred,
that sold me shame.
If I earned enough good points in your eyes
maybe then I can finally afford everything
that others have and I don’t.
Then maybe I will no longer have to live my life
ignoring the contempt in everyone’s eyes
that silently tells me that
it is my fault to be someone they do not like.

“What I Remember (3)” – Nayana Nair

 

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somehow that is where i always found myself.
crushed between the expectation that i had from myself,
even if these expectation in no way could be ever called achievement,
even if i could fulfill them.
maybe that is precisely why i felt
so crushed when my plans didn’t work out.
it was not because i asked for something small
and didn’t get it.
but because even though i had set such
an easy goal to achieve
i was not able to reach it.
the problem with those small goals were
that they didn’t exist because i was humble
or because i didn’t need much in life, or was satisfied easily.
i set them up within reason.
i set them up within my reach.
i found them as something that could be a stepping stone for me,
as something small that i can hold in my hand
wherever i went
to remind myself
that i am capable of something,
even if it is not something great.
and that’s why i used to be frustrated with myself
that i was not even capable of the minimum.
i could say it is almost in past though.
this calculation of what i could do,
finding something smaller than my assumption of my capability,
failing at it in epic way,
and reducing my own worth in my eyes.
i can say it is in my past
because now the circle of what i can do
is so small
that it has only space for me to stand.
that would explain by blues.
that would explain a lot of feelings
whose origin i can’t seem to trace these days.
that would explain why i am no longer afraid of dreaming
but incapable of doing so.
because all my efforts are spent on keeping my feet firm on this ground
which i now know is too easy to loose.