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“Half-Hearted” – Nayana Nair

And every morning I hear wind, I hear birds,
I hear children play around in me.
I am filling myself
with everything that reminds me of what I really am.
I let my heart do what it wants,
my heart wants no part in this remaking of me.
It starts it’s days praying for your return
and goes to sleep, thankful that you won’t.

“Precious” – Nayana Nair

A pane breaks
somewhere far away.
Everyone precious to me
stays there-
this place called ‘far away’.
So these things I must record,
these things I must remember

“it could have been a stranger”,
I try to reason.
But it is of no avail.
I am afraid that the life broken just now,
must be too close to me
for my heart to bleed so,
for my hands to go limp.

The nights I read every book
on ‘how to hide this incurable pain from my family’,
they flash in front of my eyes.
That is all I see
when I dial their number and they don’t pick up.
That is all I see
when they pick the call
and tell me that they can never be ‘not fine’.
That is all I see
when I see holes in their stories,
when I see a new hole in their smile every morning.

“Rainbows and Reflection” – Nayana Nair

Posted on

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.

“What I Remember (12)” – Nayana Nair

hailstones.
that’s what i remember.
when the stones fell
onto the already breaking roofs of our class,
the girl who sat three rows ahead
stopped reading.
everyone who was busy day dreaming,
who had shut their ears to every useless fact that we come to learn,
knew how to listen to this,
to this violence that could hurt but won’t.

i sat there listening,
wondering if my skin would also be able bear
what this tin sheet roof can,
if my classmates would look at me
understand their violence that could break me but hasn’t yet.

maybe it was our silence,
maybe it was the teachers glare
that made it stop,
made the loud shrieking rain to end.
and when she left
the stones had already turned into dripping water.
the kids wanting to forget
the trauma of being silenced,
of having their dreams interrupted,
of being reminded of their helplessness
recited incidents that didn’t happen,
tried to laugh a little louder than usual,
made another joke at the expense of someone like me
and so my only memory of hailstone
was also reduced to the din of students (who never liked me).

i closed my books and pretended to be asleep
while everyone ate and talked to their friends.
i waited for everyone to leave
so I could eat alone
without being ashamed for being left alone.
“hailstones”.
i said the word aloud in that empty classroom.
i had one more words now
to describe these kids who scared me by their meanness,
who made me like the prospect of loneliness.

“Estranged” – Nayana Nair

when you slipped into my arms
and tried to tell me stories
in your broken language,
when you got all your numbers wrong,
when you touched my face
with your tiny hands,
i almost forgot
that you are not mine.

i shouldn’t have.

“What I Remember(8)”- Nayana Nair

when i see my past pain in your tears

now come here,
come inside
and cry how much ever you want.
we don’t want the neighbors to know
how much worse we are doing than them.
trust me dear,
it does no one good
if you go around with these puffed eyes
and cracking voice.

you know, these days
it is not wise to act out frustrations
you never know who is idle enough to observe us
and label us as another example
of a failed generation,
a disappointment,
write an article on
how luxury has spoiled these children,
that we are just a bunch of aimless attention seeking
humans who refuse to grow up,
that we are weak to indulge in something so petty.
they will hand you the list of people who are doing worse
(i have plenty of those stuffed in drawers,
just in case if you are curious to know what it says)

i know nothing is right
but it will be.
we will make it right
but till then
do not wait for kindness,
do not expect understanding.
if you get them be grateful,
but don’t wait for someone to come and pick you up.
we will make through this
not because we are strong enough to face all this
but because this is not the first time
our lives are wrecked by these unacknowledged pains.
like always we will break ourselves
and grow smaller in our attempts to grow up.

“Keeping Distance” – Nayana Nair

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All my sketches of you
are living in a hopeless state of
growing hunger, growing questions.
I hear them talking to each other,
asking your whereabouts.
I have grown to become
a mother of many children
abandoned by her man.
Children who are forced to share a life with me
while struggling to keep a distance from my breaking heart.
Asking each other questions that they want to ask me.
I wish they would just ask me
“where is he?” “did he forget his way to us?”
“did he forget you? us?”

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A saner me could have told them
“he probably forgot the person he was
people tend to do that life
but he cannot forget himself without erasing us
maybe we were no better that the life
that he had forgotten before us
or maybe it became worse with us
whatever he was suffering from.”

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But the saner me
is also fading into the sea of past.
I fear for these innocent memories
that do not get to choose,
that do not have any say,
staring in silence at me
hoping I continue to love them
knowing that I probably won’t.

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