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“What I Remember (13)” – Nayana Nair

i did all that i must do
and now no one asks me what’s next.
thankfully,
no one burdens me with with their dreams anymore.
i am no longer a possible candidate for the worst,
for taking over the misfortune of my mother’s life.
i no longer have to worry about hurting my parents by
being like them or living like them.
thankfully,
what bothers me, what eats me up
is nothing that would keep anyone else awake
and that is important.

in spite of this emptiness i write about
and this loneliness that seems bigger than this world,
all this do not stop me
from laughing at jokes, craving for food that i shouldn’t eat,
dreaming of another broken love with my only lover,
from having a good time – that i will conveniently forget.
nothing i cry about, no ailing that lives in me
is too large to stop me from living.

i guess i carry an instability in my genes.
if my eyes are in the color of sadness,
i guess i got it from my parents.
and they are lovely people who somehow raised me right
in spite of having a tendency to mess up things
and their sadness with life.

tomorrow i will probably hate them frequently again
but they will nag at me when i reach home drenched in rain,
will tell me sit straight and force me to eat what will keep me alive,
will ask me to keep my phone down,
and sleep a little bit more.

they will not ask what’s wrong and that will disappoint me,
but they will let me do what i want to do (sometimes)
and they will try their best not to wrong me.
they will wish for my happiness,
even if they have no idea what makes me happy
and that is important.

because though i lived my extended teenage
believing that i had no one,
but it was not true.
i saw no one
and it is my fault.
even when i thought i was not loved
they have loved me silently.
though it was a tiring love,
it knew no end.

“Another Birdless Cage” – Nayana Nair

please don’t ask me how my friend is doing.
we broke up.
we broke up the most decent way friends can break up.
without deceit, without betrayal,
without cruel words or bloody knife on our backs,
without stories to hurt each other with,
without attempts to patch up things,
without deleting each other’s number that we never bothered to memorize.
i do not remember her till someone says her name
and when the sound of her name finds me through a stranger’s lips,
i do not feel bitterness. i not miss her.
a part of my heart is glad that life didn’t turn her my enemy
but a part of me wonders how she turned out to be nothing in my life.
when i see facebook notifications with her name,
when i get a reminder of her birthday,
when she calls me up once in a blue moon
to ask a favor for “her friend”
without bothering to ask how i have been,
what is it that am i supposed to feel?
i think it should hurt in some way.
i am waiting for it to hurt.
i am waiting to realize the meaning of this loss.
i am waiting for the day I miss her.
i want to miss her so much.

“What I Remember (10)” – Nayana Nair

I want to write about the boring,
about all that is insignificant,
about the trust that lasts,
about the promises that are kept,
about the things we don’t have to beg from god.

I belive there must be some things in life that goes as we wanted to,
that didn’t take our effort, our prayers to go right,
that fell into place so naturally
that we didn’t even notice the ease they gave us.
The boring that is neglected, that is mocked
must be a dream for a person I don’t know of.
The days of charity and donation,
the realization of the lack that we don’t experience
hits us only briefly,
gives us only short lived sadness or gratitude
and a bit of pride (that has a little longer life)
in ourselves for venturing out of our boredom
to witness the lacking of others,
to distribute a bit of what we have in abundance.

But I am not that changed,
I am not that affected.
Tomorrow when I wake up
I will forget
about the stomachs that are never filled,
about the dry glass and throats,
about the darkness that night brings,
about little curious eyes that will never see a book.
Tomorrow, again I will shamelessly
write about my need for love and acceptance.

But that is how I am
and with time I have learned
not to feel guilty for being like this,
for that is the kind of human I was made to be.
I will only be bothered
by the small bruise on my face,
the small cuts on my hand,
even if I know the existence of greater pain,
for that knowledge is not an anesthetic .
I am a petty creature like that
and I can only really feel my own loss.

“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.

“Connecting Flight” – Nayana Nair

I hold my fist close to my heart,
I hold your hand tighter than ever.
How long has it been since we last saw each other?
How long before we meet again?
These few hours that separates
our periods of separation,
these hours have become minutes,
have become question marks
that we pretend we can’t see,
have become the silhouette
of the better women of your stories,
have become the words I never got to hear.
They remind me of your skin that bloomed and withered
without knowing my skin.
I have told myself numerous times
that it doesn’t matter.
I have tried my best not to be bothered,
but it is becoming more difficult
to feel that I am still loved by you.
And again you kiss me with caution,
hold me close, only to let go.
Again all I see is you
moving towards something I cannot understand,
leaving me in a life that I cannot accept.

“Break for Your Sake” – Nayana Nair

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As I say that I am ready to break for you,
I wonder what is this breaking that leaves my mouth every time
I am asked to show what my love is.
My breaking?
Is that all I can do?
Is it what you are to me?
A reason to destroy myself?
I wonder if you ever said that to me
would it sound as poetic as it does to me
when I am the one gets to stand above the everyday trials
and promise to prove my love on a dooms day that might never come.
It is not the distance in time or uncertainty of this promise
that would bother me .
If you ever said what I do,
it would pain me more
to see that your love for me
is a time bomb for your own life.
How do you bear this pain,
that I can’t accept even hypothetically.

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“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?

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