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“Only Me” – Nayana Nair

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Stay here with me.
Everyone else has forgotten you dear.
Only me,
it is only me that carries you everywhere it rains,
everywhere the Sunday morning starts with empty table and aching heart,
everywhere the number blinking in my phone is not yours.
It’s only me
that wakes up in this nightmare of life
clutching what should have been your hand,
that walks into every shops that would have caught your eye.
It isn’t easy to walk into stores
and think of your absent giggles
as my only future that would never arrive.
It isn’t easy
but I can do it.
I can keep a space for you
everywhere I go,
I can keep aside an extra plate for you.
I can live as if you are here
if only you’d stay hidden with me.
They have forgotten you dear,
their thoughts are scared to linger around graves.
It is only me that calls out your name.

“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?

“Glossy Paper” – Nayana Nair

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I had too many magazines of glossy paper
with pictures of places better than where I live.
I always bought the one showing better lives.
(what can I possible do or dream with knowing the worse ones)
I would like to say that I remember each beach I saw,
that I remember the colors I never knew sand could take,
that I remember knowing exactly how my footsteps would look like
for they were already there on that foreign land
waiting for me to claim the prints that no one else could take.
But I do not remember all that.
I remember thinking all that, but not what I saw.
Now any picture that I scroll by in seconds
could replace the place that I wanted to see.
That’s probably why I do not bother
with spending my time on images of cheaper paradise
that I now know I cannot walk into just because they exist.

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I am a firm believer of words now.
There is a place I read of
and I create it in my mind
particle by particle.
Every place I read is my creation,
that cannot exist without me.
I have all kinds of better world in my mind
and they feel nothing like the ones
I have stopped dreaming about.

“Keep Peace” – Nayana Nair

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I could be anything I wanted
but not her.
She thinks too less about wanting the right things,
about wanting things that are lying around in
the debris of Lego buildings broken by
hands of a small gods who gets bored easily.

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If she really wanted to feel
what fulfillment feels like
she could have walked through the gardens
that were made for soul like hers
(or should I say gender like hers).
It is better, I can vouch,
better than wanting to go to places
where she is not wanted,
where they would ask-
“why can’t she read the situation?”,
“why can’t she keep peace?”,
“what are these demands that she must have
when she has lived without it all her life?”,
“how is she any different from others
who know how to take the equality that we are offering
without wanting a share of ours
wanting to be a bit more like us?”.

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I can understand all that
but she doesn’t
and there is no way that
I can make her see the pain she is walking towards,
make her hear the names she will be called
just for asking what everyone else wants to ask
but fear being in wrong terms
with the people who run this world.

“Easy” – Nayana Nair

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I am an easy person
for if you really care for me
and do something for me
that my distrusting mind cannot make sense of
for even once in your life
and I would end up thinking
that I somehow need to look out for you forever.
So, you surely understand
why I need to look unbothered and hostile.
You also must have had your share
of playing friends with all those
who are really nothing like how friends should be.
You must also have blamed yourself
for not being satisfied
with what everyone considers normal
or waited for that moment
when you would grow up to see the bigger picture.
Though my life is nowhere near its end
(sometimes I sadly wish it was)
all I have learned is to either ask for less
and apologize to the world for being so needy and small
or cut off the world with rudeness
so I at least become deserving of the loneliness
that I have to live with.

“Burnt Dreams” – Nayana Nair

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My night melts into dreams of you
and even when I loose my dream
I loose my sleep,
the night stays with me.
The broken strand of hair on my shoulder
could have been your tear
if it had not passed through this night
I live with,
if it was not born in the fragile dream
that you are.

“Driving Towards Chaos” – Nayana Nair

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Now that we are past the point to be bothered
and entertained with petty things,
and have moved on to greater ambitions
or heavier slogans.
The more dense our propaganda become,
the more we argue over the future we envision
for people who we assume to be clueless
about the perils that live among them-
I start having doubts
and maybe this is where my unravelling starts.
At the face of doubts
that have nothing to do with what I do
or how world works,
but the suspicion that maybe I am as clueless
as anyone else.
And maybe our enthusiasm for a better world
is what is driving it towards chaos.
What if the our judgement is clouded by the same
but stronger demons
that we want to exorcise from this world.
What if we are driving around in dense fog
and not even realizing it.
Or have we decided to go for it anyway
and count the casualties only when our heads clears.

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