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“Version” – Nayana Nair

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Sometimes the hatred, the bias that
people around him smoked
sticks to his clothes, his skin, his tongue
when I come near him.
He can wash it from himself with a sleep.
He can leave it at the door, when he steps in.
But I can’t wash it out of my mind.

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In my mind
I mix up the person he is and the person he has to be.
But I realise that I do not know the person he is,
I only know the person he has to be for me,
I only resent the person he has to be for others.

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The person he is, looks at me from his corner of eyes
and this stranger looks at me
not across oceans, not across roads of fate,
but across the versions of us filling up the space between us,
the versions we can never throw away.

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This stranger looks at me and gives me the smile
that he has to wear for me.
For me to realise the love I have for the the days
I share with this person who spends his days with me,
loses his ways with me and grows old with me.
I smile back becoming the person I have to be for him,
becoming the version I love the most.

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“Mess” – Nayana Nair

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A shadow moves in the clearing ahead
avoiding the columns of lighted air.
It steps on the green
now splattered with red
and looks for a hand that can help,
to get rid of this blood.
It finds my face and looks away
seeing probably I am in a bigger mess.

“What I Remember (1)” – Nayana Nair

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the floors of the uni i went to were too slippery, too shiny, crowded with too many people whom i couldn’t look at nor understand.
i see people print the words of fond memories in the air when they are reminded of days when they had friends.
but i do not remember anyone having friends. i remember people who knew how to be friendly when it suited them.
i remember the world being as bitter as i was.
i remember the callousness in their voices that surfaced only at the mention of someone’s misfortune or someone’s flaw.
and sure they must have been entertaining to many.
maybe I should have enjoyed a gossip or two.
but i couldn’t bring myself to listen to all that was said about people i had avoided looking at.
i always thought no one wanted to looked at, no one wanted to be talked about, just like i how i didn’t want these things to happen to me.
but maybe what people expect and what people do are not exactly the same thing.
i was no lover of the social drama that entertained many.
i always felt this whole scheme of forced amusement and required bonding reeked of fakeness and pending betrayals.

“Ones Who Broke Us” – Nayana Nair

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The fear that leaves our heart,
at some point,
does it make its way back to us?
Does it still look like our nightmare when it returns?
Do we still look away when it moves closer to us?
Do we close our eyes again on the horrid memories,
the alienation and the helplessness?
And let it erase all the instructions
of avoidance, of the hints of bitterness that must be remembered
for us to live well and choose better,
and all such advices we had written on our heart
on the gravestone of the memories that refused to stay still,
that refused to be silent
till we felt it’s last breath pass into the same pillows
we buried our complains.
Do we let ourselves believe in goodness of hearts ,
in the excuses of the ones who broke us?
I hope not.

“Asking for More” – Nayana Nair

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The lost all gather
at the same door as I.
They shout, yell and cry.
Praise and tell lies.
To be taken in.
To be cared for.
To be chosen.
To be looked at, even once.

Do they also feel smaller
for standing here and waiting,
for asking things whose void eats you up.
This void
that has a fondness, an appetite
for the ones who can’t unlearn caring.
Which becomes bigger
feasting on the silent phone,
on unifinished conversations,
on the hollow rumours, on the dirt on your name,
smeared by people
who know better
but continue to do worse.

The void for things,
that even when attained,
outgrows the want that creates it.
Is there anyone
who has got what he asked
and stopped asking for more.
Who has found himself
by asking and pleading for acceptance,
by being nice and patient,
by cutting themselves up
to fit the template
of someone else’s ever growing void.

“Same World” – Nayana Nair

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From where I sit
I see the beauty that moves my heart
and makes me realize
why I am alive till now.
And though I love you
and wish to see the world with you,
I could never gather enough courage
so as to tug your sleeve
and ask you to follow my gaze.

I fear you will look at what I see
and mock my eyes, my mind
to be fascinated by the things
that for you are trivial.
Worse, if you take me away from the beauty I found
for you know better things.
Worse, if you refuse to look back
for you have better things to do.

I wish I could tell you my heart,
tell you my fears, tell you about the minutes
of my life where sometimes I feel I am trapped,
and sometimes set free in a world I cannot share with anyone.
It is enough, I guess, that I can hear your steps beside me
and believe that we are in the same world,
even when we are not.

“Turn the Page” – Nayana Nair

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“So much has been lost”
she said as she turned the page.
I looked at her
and then resumed my efforts of escape
as she did.
I couldn’t ask her what she meant
for this question exists
between us like a distance
that connects us.
I feared that
I could never
recount my losses to myself every night,
if I came to know hers.
I could never pity myself
if I witnessed her breaking.

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