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“What I Remember (11)” – Nayana Nair

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beauty may be only skin deep
but lack of it goes deeper than that.
so deep
that you end up learning to want things
that you wouldn’t otherwise even think about.
i wish i could remember every face
that was surprised to know
that i am okay with looking older than i am,
surprised that i do not want to exorcise fats
especially when i have got so much of it.
every morning i wake up
they hover over me like faceless shadows
with black markers, drawing over my body
showing me all that is wrong,
giving me tips so that i can become easy to look at,
hiding their superficiality under the wraps of concern,
whispering how thick-skinned i am when i don’t listen
and wondering what is wrong with the ones who love me.
it made me wonder
that maybe going under the knife
wouldn’t be as bad as being smeared black by markers.
that maybe i am supposed to love myself
only after the world approves of the ‘me’ that i want to love.
i would have understood if they cared,
if they actually meant good,
but they don’t
because they know nothing more than my name
and they say my name only with heart-breaking adjectives and assumptions.
i want to say they are wrong,
but i have suffered their gaze for so long
that sometimes i end up sharing their hatred of me, of what they see.
there are days that i obsess over a passing comment.
there are days i beat up myself for being like this.
i starve and fail,
i try to get over their words and fail,
i try to hate myself and fail.
i want to say it doesn’t matter
but it does
because i am tiring myself out
by trying to see something good in me,
by apologizing to myself,
by trying to save my heart
while they burn my body in the woods.

“What I Remember(4)” – Nayana Nair

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I tell myself that I have nothing worth saying and that no one wants to listen.
I know this because I have tried to speak my mind
and in best cases I have been told that my mind is not that right,
that the experience that I speak from doesn’t exist for them,
so they will unanimously refuse to acknowledge my narrative.
Or they will smile at me and look down at me.
But I am not their adorable kid who had got her alphabets mixed up.
I am a person equal to them,
and my level of ignorance is equal to them
even if it is not about same things.

***

I am a person equal to them.
I am a person equal to them
I am a person equal to them…
I have to keep repeating it
or else I might just forget.
Maybe I have already started to forget
because these days I speak in small sentences, waiting for affirmative nods.
I find myself reading everything that they will approve of.
I find myself voicing what they want to hear.
I see myself calling myself stupid before they call me one.
I see myself nod understandingly at everything I disagree with.
I hear the arguments inside me against the favorite opinions of everyone
and they stay inside me,
and everyone is happy.

***

“You are too young to know better, to know reality.
You are too girlish to see the world for what it is.
You are too sentimental to speak logically.”
I know the wall of judgement I will run into
if I let myself speak.

***

So you may actually want to listen
and you might not be like others.
But I can’t bring myself to speak about what matters to me.
Cause either I will be wounded at my weakest spot
or I will end up hating you just for being like everyone else
when you ridicule me, interrupt me to correct me
and try to tell me what I should be feeling instead.
I won’t give you a chance
because I can’t take chances with our friendship.
I won’t speak up
because I don’t want to feel more inferior than I already do.

***

“Lovable Beings” – Nayana Nair

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The familiar images of a girl with strength
and a guy with heart
and feelings that can be reasoned.
I found them everywhere in stories
but not in life.
Mostly they were just weak people
who learnt how to live with their heart.
And loved and let themselves be loved
with the faults that they had.
Here
people who were – what they were.
No love or devotion
promising to change them into lovable beings.
Especially when ‘lovable’ was defined
by people who didn’t approve certain lives
and certain love.
And the perfect image of love
and notion of the perfect people who deserved it
made me think of the emotions we cut from our heart.
Leaving us little more empty,
taking us a little more far
from the perfect life that we were told to have.

“Eroding Structures” – Nayana Nair

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I checked my diaries
for the hints of regrets,
for the eroding structures of demands
I once made from life.
I checked my skin for the trace of scars-
the remains of the unreasonable
yet necessary decisions.
The sharp bleeding memory
of the blade,
of the hatred I inflicted on myself.
I checked the outline of my mother’s lips
do they finally approve of what I am.
While I eat all three meals
that were supposed to keep me full,
I wait for the forgiveness that never comes.
The pardon
that my heart
(half eaten by my self loathing)
can never grant.

“Friends?!” – Nayana Nair

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Let me give you company on your afternoons
and let me think of things I would rather listen to, while you talk.
Let me open my mouth to keep you close with a secret
and I will watch as you cut my string of words
and remind me of who you are.
Let me forge a new myself that you can approve of,
one less thing for you to complain about.
It’s no trouble for me.
I have lived like this throughout my life.
I do not see you.
You do not see me.
And we need not been seen, to be what we are.

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