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“Have a Good Day” – Nayana Nair

I was sat down and told repeatedly everyday
that though the world belongs to all of us,
sometimes it is better
to step back,
to only take up the space we need.
I misunderstood it to be a lesson in humility,
wanting less, and sacrifice,
but I realize now that it was not so.
I was told to stop before I anger someone,
before someone got jealous,
or before they saw the weakness of my gender.

As I stand on the balcony at midnight
and hear drunk shady men shouting, cursing, and stumbling,
as they make their way to their broken homes,
I remind myself
this is what I am supposed to fled,
a person who is allowed to loose their mind,
a person who will always have excuse to hurt.
This what everyone wanted me to become,
someone who is proficient at spotting dangers,
who can conjure up the worst possible scenarios
when they hear another’s footsteps on deserted streets,
and see the worst possible demons in the face of men.

These days I often hear people say
that the new meaning of a powerful woman is
the one who walks into misfortune willingly,
before she is stalked and defeated by it.
Is this the only alternative to what I am living?

I wish that when I walked past a stranger on streets
I could smile and wish them a good day,
without having to fear being misunderstood,
without the echoes of ‘she asked for it’ in my mind.

“What I Remember(7)” – Nayana Nair

I have got something against
most words and most sentences
that proclaim that everything is achievable,
that dreams come true,
that life is perfect picture if you want it to,
that everything is in our hands,
and happiness is ours if we have to courage
to step out of the shadows of our fear.

Because I may have lived just over 20 years
but I have feel like I have lived a lot
and I think it is unfair
that I feel so old and weary already.
I feel I am disappointed in many things,
many small things,
things that I could have easily ignored,
things that I could have got used to
if I was aware of their existence
before reality crawled into my world without any warning.

So when I cross my path with these filtered picture of this world
the fun, the bright and the confident who deserve the world.
I am sad, because that is the world I have never seen,
that world doesn’t exist for me.
In the world I see not everything is achievable-
somethings are and somethings aren’t.
Dreams come true, but not always
mostly we end up changing, skipping and down-grading
till we reach the ones we can achieve.
Life is not perfect.
Yes, it is the biggest gift,
but it is not perfect and it all doesn’t depend all on me.
My life is more in the hands of others
than I would want it to be
and helplessness comes in all forms
dressed in the form of situations that no one else can see.
Helplessness is as real as our dreams.
That out of the shadows that we hide in
it is not all warm and sunny.
The rains, the storm,
the climate of life is not same for all.

So all these quotes meant to motivate
don’t mention the subtext
don’t mention the terms and conditions,
the cases where they don’t apply.

I would have coped better with these small hardships
if I expected them when I chose my dream.
I may have taken it as my grand adventure,
if I didn’t feel duped or betrayed half of the time.
Maybe then I would not feel obligated to always have an excuse
to give, for the times when I fell short of the default way of things.
It would have helped or perhaps consoled me to know
that everyone has to work hard, has to sacrifice a lot,
that many struggle for years and sometimes for their whole life
to get what to they want.

Or maybe I am just bitter cause someone else is living a better life.

“Empty Shells” – Nayana Nair

The list of all the words that I use and don’t know meaning of:

friend, understanding, dream, ethics,
distance, space, wait, promise,
family, kindness, virtue, trust,
love, love, love, love, love, love,
(I was told I need to be especially obsessed with love
if I want to be normal)

I, me,
memory (real or invented),
boundary between reality and fiction…

What a poor human I am
that I carry around these empty shells
pretending as if I know their worth.
All the flags that I carry
of the countries
to which I do not belong.
All the people who I live with,
only because I cannot live without them.
What an excuse to walk on this road
that will eventually to lead to a heartbreak.
Every heartbreak a drop on my window
and it has been monsoon for years altogether.
What a sloppy way to end all things
that I never wanted to begin.

“Make this one mistake” – Nayana Nair

I want to love you with the sincerity that I don’t have.
I want to want you desperately, even when I am fed up with you.
I want to look at you as if you are my everything
even when I know that you are not.

The only thing that stops me
from being the love that I dreamed of being
are my own shortcomings.
I am not patient.
I am not true to my words.
I do not hold an endless sea of love in me,
if anything
you might only find misdirected anger,
petty grudges and resentment in my heart.
I am too sensitive, not in a good or sweet way,
but in an irritating intolerant way.
I am someone who wants all sweet things
but have only bitterness to give back.
In my spare time
I make list of what I lack
not to improve
but so that I have ready excuses when I need them
and I only need them with you.
I need them so I can stay selfish,
so that I can continue to be by your side
and not fall apart with shame.

I know you deserve the world
but let my greed win for once,
for this life
close your eyes on everything I do wrong.
My love may not be great or even good enough
but I love you
even when my love for you and want for you
makes me the worst person in my own eyes.
That must count for something.
Make this one mistake for my sake,
let me have you for this life.

“I don’t want to be kind” – Nayana Nair

Excuses are futile, reasons unnecessary.
You may have sad story
but who doesn’t.
I don’t want to know what you went through.
I don’t want to melt my indifference and disregard
and become the only character who suffers for their understanding.
I don’t want to be that lone person
who considers even small actions
so that the ones who are already hurt,
don’t break on their watch,
don’t die on them.

*****

But it is difficult to be kind
to the ones who end up living for their pain,
who think their pain makes them special,
who would do anything to keep their status of
the ones needing protection.
It is tiring to continuously ache for others.
It is tiring to see everyone walking back to their mistake
in the name of love, in the name of passion.
Don’t tell me about your sadness and worries.
Don’t ask me for support and advice.
I cannot forgive those who return to the normality of their hell
leaving me as the only one
who should have known better than to help those
who can’t make up their mind.

“Given” – Nayana Nair

aesthetic-antique-globe-good-vibes-Favim.com-3176666

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.

“Stranded” – Nayana Nair

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The tissues I have cried into
are my excuses,
to hide the clutter of calls and love I forgot to return.
Sometimes it is too late to clear the mess I made.
It is more difficult to retain my will to clean it all up,
which sort of made me guilty
of creating another sad person.
But what is another tissue in another sea.
Everyone dreams of sailing into a brighter morning
leaving behind their darkness in another’s mind.
What if I am as selfish as them.
What is another ship, another selfish wish
amidst thousand such others-
all stranded on a water-less heart
all looking for a flood, instead of directions.

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