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“Part and Parcel” – Nayana Nair

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That day when it rained of
bruised and dying birds
of feathers marked with colors only
an arrogant and confident cruelty can cause,
everyone looked about for an umbrella
to protect themselves from this vision
that they didn’t want to witness.
This was not the historic moment
that they wanted to be part of.

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I could understand their willingness to believe
that the marks of fingers in the blood and bodies
that filled up the roads
can be called natural causes.
It was probably better
than knowing the names of people whom we may have laughed with
only to know they know how to fly,
how to clip wings and suspend the decaying bodies in air
for eternities,
while we asked them the directions for our life,
while we asked them to tie up our laces as a child,
while we asked them to love us, and build a new life.

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I guess even the innocent
got fed up of being looked at like a potential danger
or tired of looking for one.
It was probably more convenient to come to an understanding,
of agreeing on a made-up fact
that this all is part and parcel of being a bird in the sky,
that birds should know better than to fly,
and tempt innocent humans into life of crime.
Birds at their best should just chirp joyfully
and let everything slide.

“Aunt” – Nayana Nair

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“Yes, I do have plans for my future my dear aunt.”
I say, after I see her put her cup down and look at me
with sympathy and resentment.
“How can we not worry.
It is your future we are talking about.”

Actually, I never had these conversation,
at least not with my aunt.
I never had such an aunt to bother me.
But there are relatives and other faces
that I am hiding under the name of a non-existent aunt.
Sometimes it is me who is hiding under that name instead.

I am handed down spare maps
that I am supposed to study and follow.
Mark my route and choose someone
who could help me get up in the morning
even if it out of hatred.
I am sure it will be hatred
because I have seen no one one who has sorted their life
to wake up feeling that they have done it right.

My bitterness might make me seem like
a remainder of uneasy and uncomfortable families,
but it is not so.
There are just too many non-existent aunts in our house
who thinks we could have done better, chosen better,
lived better-
if only we could get our act together
and stopped acting like the world owes us some kind of happiness.

This constant re-evaluation of life
and its result coming out as failure every time
makes everything we live with
and everyone we choose as a mistake.
What is this “better” that doesn’t let us live?

“New Fact” – Nayana Nair

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All that you don’t know of,
all that I fear
stands behind the door,
waiting for the right time to ring the bell,
to call you out for a moment
so that it can tell you about
the mistake that has been made.
“All-that-you-do-not-know-of-yet”
has brought you someone with deeper love and better heart
and shows her off as they new discovery, the new fact,
discusses with you how to go on about correcting
all the text, all the promises, and all the future plans.
I look at her, looking at you
and I see what I must have looked like
when once I found your door
and was happy to find my rightful place.
While you nod your head along
thinking, considering
how to tell me that I need to get going
that there is not much space for misunderstandings
and no time for crying over what must be done.
Yesterday, I loved you.
Yesterday, you loved me back.
Today, my depth are the new shallow.
Today, you can only give me as much attention as
a passing cloud in the sky.

“Glossy Paper” – Nayana Nair

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I had too many magazines of glossy paper
with pictures of places better than where I live.
I always bought the one showing better lives.
(what can I possible do or dream with knowing the worse ones)
I would like to say that I remember each beach I saw,
that I remember the colors I never knew sand could take,
that I remember knowing exactly how my footsteps would look like
for they were already there on that foreign land
waiting for me to claim the prints that no one else could take.
But I do not remember all that.
I remember thinking all that, but not what I saw.
Now any picture that I scroll by in seconds
could replace the place that I wanted to see.
That’s probably why I do not bother
with spending my time on images of cheaper paradise
that I now know I cannot walk into just because they exist.

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I am a firm believer of words now.
There is a place I read of
and I create it in my mind
particle by particle.
Every place I read is my creation,
that cannot exist without me.
I have all kinds of better world in my mind
and they feel nothing like the ones
I have stopped dreaming about.

“Future You Saw” – Nayana Nair

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You say, “There are two of me and two of you
and if we are trying to be precise in the count of us
I think there are many me and many you.”
Does it even matter, to think about
all the people we were just for a day?
To complain about a love that didn’t fade
but changed from one thing to another.
To complain that it changed
even when it found a way to survive somehow.
When it is trying so hard,
when it has stayed so long
do you really want to sit here
and count the ways
in which it is not what you thought it would be,
that it is somehow lacking
and breaking your heart.
I cannot hear you count again
all future you saw in me,
to be reminded
of all the things I hoped from you.
I cannot stand here and look through the real us
that we have, that has sustained
all our disappointment,
that is better than what we want.

“Driving Towards Chaos” – Nayana Nair

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Now that we are past the point to be bothered
and entertained with petty things,
and have moved on to greater ambitions
or heavier slogans.
The more dense our propaganda become,
the more we argue over the future we envision
for people who we assume to be clueless
about the perils that live among them-
I start having doubts
and maybe this is where my unravelling starts.
At the face of doubts
that have nothing to do with what I do
or how world works,
but the suspicion that maybe I am as clueless
as anyone else.
And maybe our enthusiasm for a better world
is what is driving it towards chaos.
What if the our judgement is clouded by the same
but stronger demons
that we want to exorcise from this world.
What if we are driving around in dense fog
and not even realizing it.
Or have we decided to go for it anyway
and count the casualties only when our heads clears.

“Better Ways” – Nayana Nair

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So much of
what I have and what I like
becomes
a statement of who I am,
that now before liking anything new
I am looking only at my own collage
and where it fit in there.
There is too little space
and too many eyes.
I am too small to take in all this
and give home to all that I love.
There are better ways to exist
and better ways to love.
But not many ways to embrace life
while keeping myself and my image intact.

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