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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.

“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.

“Childhood Photo” – Nayana Nair

i do not want to be a child
who thinks that the world is this window
where i wait for you to return.
but i am.

and you are also the one
who has promised to never return.
but you have made many promises
and you have broken so many of it.
i guess i am counting on you
to stay true to who you are
and break another one.

i have done well on all my exams.
i have cleaned my room.
i have eaten all the greens.
you will be able to love me now.

they say you found love late
and the ones in love never return
to the loveless families
they want to forget.
have we been forgotten?
are we your embarrassing childhood photo?

mother cries a lot these days
and so i can’t cry anymore.
i can’t cry anymore
and i hate you for taking away my tears.

“I didn’t mean it” – Nayana Nair

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I did mean it all,
I just didn’t want you to know.
My momentary courage-
the result of my long sleepless nights,
let’s agree to call it my foolishness.
For I won’t do anything as preposterous as that ever again.
I won’t expect much from you again,
not because I was at wrong.

Even though it was the only thing I could do,
I regret it so much.
I hate myself for trying to believe in you,
for pushing myself to do the right thing
for your sake.

As always you eat fast and cut me off.
As always you have somewhere to go.
There are too many people whom you must keep happy.
Today I won’t throw everything on my plate for you.
I won’t come to door to see your cold back.

I wish I could go back to the dreams
where I told you about my life, about my pain
and you held me as I cried,
where you took me to the doors of my new life.
But instead all I see in every face is your face.
In your face all I see is my pathetic self
who wanted to lean on someone like you.

“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.

“Holes” – Nayana Nair

I do not want to fill up your absence with anything.
I want them to become holes that move and eat
and behave in ways delusions cannot.
I want them to ruin this world for me.
Even when time eats away my brain,
I want to remember only you.
I want you to be my phantom heart.
I want you to be my only love.

“Erased” – Nayana Nair

I dreamt of a cold day,
of a gray sky,
of your warmth dissolving in air,
of your smile being erased.

I lay on your bed
surrounded by, covered in
all the clothes
you won’t ever wear.
I saw myself crying,
refusing to eat or sleep
waiting for a new world to be created
or to leave the world that I am in.

But eventually
I woke up,
I cleaned up my room,
I threw out everything
that mattered to me.
I went to shop
for a stomach that knows hunger
a heart that can forget,
a dream, a life without you.
I thought I loved you more than this.

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