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“Give Up” – Nayana Nair

You’ve taught me
that I need not be only one thing
and suffer because of it.
That my identity need not be something that traps me
and stops me from doing what I want
or change my mind about what I want.
That I could melt in love
and still be as strong as I wanted to be
if not for myself, then at least
for the sake of the ones that I love.
That I can choose even failures
if that’s what I really wanted
that I could give up,
and by giving up,
by stopping to tend to my wounds
I was not letting anyone down,
especially not myself.

“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?

“Not Worthless” – Nayana Nair

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A morning creeps up in my heart
and I think this is your doing.
But you do not know
and probably you never will
that any window that you open for me
will be another measure of my failure for me.
This beautiful world
can only keep me entertained for so long.
The positive attitude that everyone
keeps talking about
and eyes that I have heard
can put beauty onto everything it sees-
are not something that I have.
I think I had that once,
but that was so long ago
that I do not remember whether I liked it-
living that uncomplicated life,
not having to run away from people who do good.
When was it that a good person
started to seem the most dangerous person in my mind.
When was it that I learned
to break trust of others and still not feel regret.
When was it that I learned to silence my conscience so well.
I am not asking you all these
you obviously won’t have answers
but just because you do not have answer
to questions that I have watered all my life,
doesn’t mean that I will mock your vision.
Even if I cannot do what you do,
even if I cannot be what you are
it is not because they are worthless pursuits.
It is only because I do not have the strength to paint
sunrise on the ceilings of hearts made of starless night,
like you do.

“Finally…the warmth” – Nayana Nair

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When I saw myself
in the light of kindness,
that I only used for looking at other.
I finally felt the warmth
of being wrapped in my own arms.
That day
I let myself sew the sun
back in my eyes.
I let myself hang the portraits
of my failures and weakness
on the walls my life.
For that one day,
I was more loved than I ever will be.
For that one day
I was more strong than I ever was.

“Justify” – Nayana Nair

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The doors that I look for
are just excuses to wander.
Are lies that give meaning to meaningless.
Everyone needs to know “why”.
The reason to put us on their map
of the sanity and dependability.
And if we are stripped of these reasons,
the lies we tell each other,
I do not know
how we would understand each other.
These reasons that we invent
and prepare and practice.
So as not to falter
in front of strangers,
in middle of a performance.
If we loose these,
how will we justify
our worth.
Justify:
Why we deserve to live well,
Why we deserved to be loved well?
Why our existence is not a failure?

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