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“Chase” – Nayana Nair

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I came here knowing that you would be here as well,
knowing that you won’t like to see me here
or anywhere.
But I have been always good at not seeing the truth.
So as I put on the dress I wore when I first met you
I told myself – if you hate me, resent me for showing up,
it is because you have not forgotten me yet;
if you avoid me it is because you know you would love me again.

The distance has dulled all the pain that I felt with you
and I prepare myself
to dive again into the turmoil, the feelings
that result from seeking you out again.

But as I enter this room
this crowd that knows our history
can’t decide whether to get us closer or to keep us apart.
No one says your name around me, even though you are in front of me
and I wonder, how long it has been since you have heard my name as well.

I have taken a step
and now
I have to wait for you to take the next.
Would it have been easier for me
if you could just utter the word ‘end’,
instead of avoiding me like this.
As the hour I have allowed myself to be shameless ends,
as I wonder how will I ever make my way out of this world of yours,
I feel the air beside me shift
I feel the old me waking up in myself again.
But it is not you.
You have already left.
I realize the end I could never imagined
exists,
that a ‘you’ without me exists.
That I must find a new way to exist now.

“Gray Crowd” – Nayana Nair

There is only this life,
that is made by imitation of stories.
Stories that told me
how to feel
and what to say,
told me to cry and ruin myself
if you turn away,
told me to leave my everything for your sake,
never told me how tedious all this could become
and how much frustrating it would be
to have a love that doesn’t give me back
all that I was guaranteed to get.
What to do if I am no gentle virtuous princess
or even a woman of strong heart and character
but a person not even worth a mention, let alone a heart.
What to do when I am indistinguishable from the gray crowd,
when I am not so special and not so deserving of all that I want.
What to do when my clocks have stopped in that one moment
that I let myself down
and every kind lover is separated from me
by this distance in time.

“My Character” – Nayana Nair

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The crowd, every crowd-
they exhaust me
and frighten me.
They take away air around me
and tell me to leave myself at the door,
if I want to come in.
They like to stare a lot,
they like to condition my mind, my eyes to look away when they stare.
Is this the point
where I am supposed to sit down with a sigh
and tell a sad story-
about how I was wronged (isn’t everyone?),
how they never apologized,
how there was nothing to apologize for,
how people find it easier to support the one in wrong,
how it is easier to hate myself that to hate so many people.
The most painful but convenient words that I can tell myself-
“maybe they were right” “i took it too personally”.
How the result of telling someone all this
are more words like these-
“you are not the only one, it happens, it is normal”
“don’t make a big deal of it”.
Is there any end to what one must hear and suffer
just to give an explanation that people want so badly to hear
and are more desperate to brush off as weakness of my own character.

“Keys” – Nayana Nair

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The keys beneath my finger
are tired of creating words and sounds,
that live too less and die too soon,
because they couldn’t breathe
in the air devoid of you.
Bigger waves of noises
drag them, drown them
and lose them to the place
where they lived before they were born.
They wait in the crowd of wannabe songs
only to become calluses of forsaken hands.

“Imagining Difficulties” – Nayana Nair

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The difficulty
of looking at empty roads
and imagining a crowd
in which I could
search for you.
Of looking at our life
imagining difficulties,
imagining hurdles to cross
to reach you.
But here you are
separated from me
by a sheet of decaying skin.
You are painfully near
and no guides have been written
to cross the gulf that separates us.

“River” – Nayana Nair

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Rivers of people
crowded the alleys of my mind.
Every thought of mine
had to go through them.
And they were relentless.
By the time it made through them,
it was not the same.
That beautiful new born thought
had turned into a old stranger.
I learned one thing
that I can never have a thought
or an action
that is truly my own.
And even when the building and the skies
of my mind decay,
the people in those alleys will live on.

“Screen” – Nayana Nair

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I read my words,
and could only see me, as person
walking on the crowded streets
after spending hours of attention
on a screen that blurred the
alphabets and left in my eyes
the only image of me
looking at this screen forever.
I saw someone
who could not bear life.
I wondered when I became a person
only concerned with knowing
this sadness that breathes with me.
I saw someone who I feared and knew
I would become
or I always was.
I became the living shadow
of the ‘me’ that never was.
I read what I write,
and decided never to read them again.
I see what I am,
and decide not see myself again.

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