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“Ready to Break” – Nayana Nair

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We are the mediocre television soap
that no one wants to see.
We have learned to gulp down bland food, bland life.
The books that get us jobs, get us friend, gets us love,
we have learned to pay for it without bitterness.

We adore the mania, the depression,
the moments when don’t want to think clear-
that makes us feel alive,
anything like that,
we are ready to call it love.

In our small hands we carry
whatever meaning we have left in us-
the offering that no gods want.
We are ready to break for anyone
who is ready to break for us.

“Another Birdless Cage” – Nayana Nair

please don’t ask me how my friend is doing.
we broke up.
we broke up the most decent way friends can break up.
without deceit, without betrayal,
without cruel words or bloody knife on our backs,
without stories to hurt each other with,
without attempts to patch up things,
without deleting each other’s number that we never bothered to memorize.
i do not remember her till someone says her name
and when the sound of her name finds me through a stranger’s lips,
i do not feel bitterness. i not miss her.
a part of my heart is glad that life didn’t turn her my enemy
but a part of me wonders how she turned out to be nothing in my life.
when i see facebook notifications with her name,
when i get a reminder of her birthday,
when she calls me up once in a blue moon
to ask a favor for “her friend”
without bothering to ask how i have been,
what is it that am i supposed to feel?
i think it should hurt in some way.
i am waiting for it to hurt.
i am waiting to realize the meaning of this loss.
i am waiting for the day I miss her.
i want to miss her so much.

“Whatever Blooms in Darkness” – Nayana Nair

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When all things that are not divine
found a home in me,
I realized they would probably
be the only friends I ever make.
I read up many books
and considered taking up some mildly destructive
and slightly disturbing hobbies,
so that I could know them better.
So I could become someone they could accept.
I looked for a teacher who could teach me
how to love back darkness,
how to become a wound itself
instead of nursing one forever.


I want to say I found happiness
in that one friend
with sad eyes and bitter lips.
But there still lived in me
that one girl made of light
who wanted to ruin me
by guiding me back to life.

“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.

“Weekend Friend” – Nayana Nair

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I tell my friends
that “i’ll probably die with loneliness.”
They smile and reply “me too”.
I wish I had told them “i love you” instead.

“We are stronger than we think” – Nayana Nair

“We are stronger than we think.”
I always avoid saying such nonsense.
I have always hated words
that have no meaning ,
no real sympathy,
words that almost sound like:
“shut up! stop crying! we have had enough.
don’t make the atmosphere so depressing.
we can’t help it.
you can’t either.
why bring up such topics.”
I never wanted to sound like that to anyone.
I don’t want to be one of those who
consider consoling someone
equal to convincing them
that what they considered precious,
what they considered life shattering
was nothing,
that what the grieving cares for is nothing.

But then, what are the right words?

“We are stronger than we think.”
To spew such nonsense.
Even when I said that to her,
I wondered why I said that.
Have I been surprised
by my strength ever in my life?
Probably not.

But I remember feeling
that my happiest days have walked past me,
when I realized the futility of life, of my life,
my insignificance.
And how I somehow made it to the days
where I found something to look forward to,
where I found myself between people whom I could love.
The fact
that I could wait for such days
in spite of the misery that was once unbearable
must mean something.
To wait for something that may never arrive
must require some kind of strength.
To loose every paradise we stumble on,
to bleed every time it is lost
and to still believe in the concept of paradise
must require something more
than the strength we think we have.

“Same Season” – Nayana Nair

The tree looked at his friend
through the net of blooming flowers
at his forlorn form,
at the new desert on his skin.
Recalling his own autumn
that is gone and will come again
and wondered what is this friendship,
that makes them smile at each other
even when the same season
decorates one with melting flowers of life
and robs other of all the colors it had.

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