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“A Dull Reflection of Hope” – Nayana Nair

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In a dull handheld mirror
that had yet to be broken,
I looked at myself
and realized
that someone is dying inside me.

I didn’t know how to accept this,
so I solved every question in my math textbook.
I learned to eat more and sleep late.
Stared at my wrist for hours.
Pretended to sleep fearing questions.
Tried a bit of every sin
and waited around to be damned.

I felt a constant urge to break someone
so this world could be little less happier.
But death claimed my heart
before I could do that.
So now I write “love” on your tongue
without knowing what it means.

“Remaining Me” – Nayana Nair

I often see myself
not as someone who is searching for my half in this world,
but someone whose every constant effort
is directed to stop the remaining me from splitting in half again .

“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?

“Given” – Nayana Nair

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Even if I moved
there were lot of things that
remained a constant in my life.
All that mattered to me
was always with me,
so I don’t think I ever had to cope with downside
of being move all the time.
I have not built up towers of defenses against others
and even if I have,
it is not something new or peculiar.
Everyone I met,
everyone who lived like me
carried their fear,
the indifference to their own fear,
and their refusal to feel all that should hurt
as the most normal thing ever.
I think we all grew up to be not so broken
as people would have expected.
If nothing else
we maybe suffered as much as any child
but learnt how to separate what we feel from what we are.
When suffering is the norm,
when loneliness is a given condition of life
then they can no longer be excuse
for what we do or what we become.

“Lookout” – Nayana Nair

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The clouds that promised
the dripping rain, the desparate run
to avoid being drenched, water clogged roads
and dripping roofs of buses and houses
-in spite of all their promises,
all it could do
was remind me of places that they will pour on,
the places I don’t live in.
And how I will wish for all the inconvenience
that I wish would befall me
rather than this life of looking out of windows,
rather than the constant lookout for a reason, a trouble
that could validate,
that can serve excuse
of my breaking heart
and my everyday sadness that refuses to blend
and hide in the background of routine.

“Everything he was” – Nayana Nair

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Everything he was,
everything he did-
was a constant effort
to be true to the image
he had of himself.

He reminds me of struggle
to be someone else
while believing that he is
struggling to be himself.

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