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“Before I Forget You”- Nayana Nair

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I wanted to write something about you,
before I start forgetting-
who you were,
who i was with you,
how we lived,
and how we learned how to not live,
how we felt the extremes of helplessness,
with each other.

But I do not want to be the only voice actor
in this otherwise silent movie.
I could never read your lips.
I never moved mine.
But it should have been enough.
You convinced me that I would be enough for you.

But as I suspected you knew too little of yourself.
As I knew, my love also had limitations.
We hated what we saw in each other.
So you covered your eyes with anger,
I covered mine with fear.
And all we did for years is to sing to each other
about the loneliness that we had gifted each other.

If only we could give up on ourselves earlier,
we may not have suffered so bad,
we might not have hated each other so much.

I wish what we had was something shallow.
But it was not, our wounds are proof of that.

Lets just say that we would live on just fine
and try to believe in that as long as we can.

“I can be your helpless angel” – Nayana Nair

I place broken glass of every color at your feet.
I know how you loved the way they looked.
I will re-create every beauty that you asked for,
I will make them incapable of the danger that you fear.
So that you can walk in this unsettling world,
walk over every broken glass.
I can draw a faceless person to walk by your side,
so you don’t have to feel sorry
when you forget their names
or when they forget you.
It is a world you can never be in
but I will draw it anyway,
because this world that I don’t want for you
is the only world that can make you happy.

“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.

“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.

“What I Remember(6)” – Nayana Nair

I am writing this poem
because for an hour my mind is butchering
every beautiful thing in the world
to get that one line that can finish the thirst of this page.
And nothing beautiful remains beautiful
when such desperate hands
hack at it, cut it into grotesque chunks
and then fail terribly when trying to stuff them
into these mascots figures, these alphabets.
I call this a poem
because I can call it nothing else.
I call this a poem
because years ago a naive me
reached the conclusion
that the only way
a moment can live on,
a feeling can be recorded,
without the burden of the reason of its existence
is if it becomes a poem
and because the current me
doesn’t know how to deal with myself,
the current me knows nothing but to write,
and has nothing of substance that moves it’s heart.
And I fear myself
for the ease with which I refer to myself as ‘it’,
only because I became useless for few minutes.
I end up documenting my fear
of becoming empty,
of becoming blind,
and calling it a poem.
I end up felling helpless in newer ways
and I am forced to call it a new beginning
because giving every sorrow a beautiful name
is all that I capable of.

“Root” – Nayana Nair

11

Everything that reminds me of what I was
leaves me helpless.
Everything that tells me of what I could be
leaves me expecting,
makes my skin weak,
makes the wound stay.
All the right word you utter
is like the air carrying scents
of a distant garden.
The garden that I will never see,
for I am a person who lives with roots
deep into disappointment.
And though I try to cut myself free
from what hurts me most,
but they are still my roots
so my freedom almost feels like a death.

“Thorn” – Nayana Nair

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You are a thorn in my heart
that only hurts, that only digs deeper
when in rare moments
I find my way to doors in my life
that can’t be opened now
and I stand helplessly in front of you
whom I no longer love.
When you utter the same words
but they sound different
and I realize that I have never been around
to notice this change.
We may walk in a present
disconnected from our feelings in past.
We are nothing to each other now.
Your sorrows are no longer due to my mistakes
and I feel nothing but relief for that.
But sometimes,
only sometimes
an unfulfilled dream breathes in me
refusing to die,
for it is happy to have you around.

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