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“why am i hurt by your hopes?” – Nayana Nair

i thought…
i wanted…
i am always looking for…
i am nothing without…

must i fill these sentences?
is it compulsory
to tell you where it hurts and why?

the pencil bends and breaks
in my hand, but my voice won’t crack.
i think a bit of my cruelty shows
through everything that i do.

“have you ever wanted to be a person like me?”
when i ask you this, you avoid my eyes.
the often-spoken-and-never-meant words
surface on your lips,
“i love you for who you are, i want nothing more”
sadly followed by
“it is not too late to change”

“i hope i forget this life” – Nayana Nair

matter, substance, meaning…
as my vocabulary expanded with such words,
i knew,
i had an inkling
that this is how
i would be disillusioned,
with such small words
i would be driven to despair.

i would find there is another face behind every smile,
and that some of those upturned lips are just empty coffins.
a smile so sad, a wordless lie
so easily becomes the most normal thing.

but do i even want to know
who lives behind such elaborate masks?
do i care to know how they breathe?
do i want to know who breathes in me?
or whether anyone really care about me?

i knew that now,
given that i have learnt to ask
all the questions whose answers can’t be verified,
living and trusting was bound to become harder.
now that i knew
that i am not capable of knowing myself,
seeing my reflection
was bound to get painful and confusing.
confusion is such a small word
for what life does to us.
all the small words
that are easily said than meant-
i hope i forget them
before i forget myself.

“What I Remember (18)” – Nayana Nair

today’s sadness is brought upon
by the increasing count of the words
that i have forbidden myself to speak.

today’s sadness is brought upon
by the particularly sad song
that i have chosen to listen.

today’s sadness is partially due to the strangers with sweet eyes,
partially due to my angels with weak hearts,
and also the fact that i must love (and have loved) everything wrong
without causing pain to anyone but myself.

i must write without baring myself.
i must write to never let myself forget what i can’t speak.

do not write this, do not be mean, do not be ungrateful
do not blame, no names, no dates, do not put anyone’s weakness on show

all such favors that i must do
for the sake of my perpetrators and my protectors.

i must act like a better person, even when i am not
in my fingers i am told to hold
everyone’s shame and everyone’s guilt,
and find my freedom in that.

today’s sadness is a breather,
the rare moment i allow myself to see
how messed up all this is,
before i turn off the light
only to stumble through life again.

“Better Clone” – Nayana Nair

If you were to find a love
that could make you complete,
I hope you find it with me.
I hope I become better
before you start looking for this love.
So that being myself won’t mean
being cruel and uncaring.
So that loving me won’t be a sacrifice.

I want to have you
without breaking you
and without breaking me.
But how often does life work out like that.

When you became the question of my life,
all I could do was hope
because what I had was not enough for myself.
What if you were to ask me something
that would remind me of my poverty?

I am afraid that this
is what you are meant to do in my life-
remind me again and again
that I am lacking in so many ways.

But all I can do is try
try to become someone who has lesser faults.
Because giving you up
is not something that I would ever want.
But some nights I wonder how long will I last
before I collapse under the weight
of your wants and mine.

“Morning Song” – Nayana Nair

The morning told me that
there are times when we loose a grasp of what we are,
when we feel inadequate for all we have
and slowly all that we have seems to abandon us
even if they are beside us.
I knew what it was saying, I knew what it meant
But I didn’t want to hear it being said.
I wanted lies that could keep me going,
not an echo of reality.
I wish I could go back to sleep,
go back to being myself
(whatever that meant).
“But there is no going back”, the morning said.
“There is only effort, there is only wait.
There would be a morning that won’t be as cruel as me.
But till that morning comes,
there is only effort, there is only wait.”

“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.

“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.

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