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“On My Own” – Nayana Nair

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Once the shade of the shutters
are rolled down,
once I am left on my own,
reason and explanation rush in,
try to cling and climb up
the cracks of my heart,
and the folds of my brain,
trying desperately to stop me
to reach out, to find me
in the fog of fear.

But I am already far ahead,
my hands reach for everything it could hold,
everything it could break
and hurl them at the window
till it broke,
till I could cry
for the things that were robbed from me.
I couldn’t stop.
I couldn’t stop hurting myself
even when I lay half-broken under dangling paper curtains,
even when all that I broke pierced my skin and hurt me back.
If I stopped, I would again hear the steps
that always walks over my world and reduces me to dust.

“Wrong Way” – Nayana Nair

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They forgot to teach me
the most basic thing-
to know which side I should take
to keep a check on papers, to see sense
when someone tells me what is politically right
and to agree when they tell me that identity is everything
not only mine, but of all those who live on same piece of land as me.
They forgot to tell me to fight and argue
in the name of and for the sake of people
who didn’t care about the fight,
who were fine living the way they did.
I ended up believing
that I could just exist without belonging to any shore
and maybe make my own
and pray that no one joins me
and turn my life into something to live by.

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How could they have overlooked this ,
didn’t they foresee how I would sit awkwardly
midst strangers and have nothing to say
about how the world was run.
Would they consider me silly,
would they think that I am shallow
if I was thinking about the fictional character from a story
and his conflicts?
Would they judge me if the story in question was not about
wars, rivalry or mid-life crisis
but one of romantic ones with cheesy lines
that everyone seems to detest?
They should have told me to memorize lines from papers
and opinion columns
and pass it as my own,
when I was not interested to form opinions
on topics that seemed to be of grave importance to others.
I should know better than to write poems on love and sadness
when people are dying around me.
But I don’t.

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I think I may have been brought up the wrong way
and there is nothing I can do about it now.
But I am not even sure whether
I want to fix the things
that I asked to feel ashamed of.

“Small Cost” – Nayana Nair

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I remember nodding along to what you said.
It would have been similar to how I agreed with
everyone who were obviously wrong,
but with you I agreed not for peace
but for happiness-
that I realized can be bought for something
as small as silence.
It sounds less crude when called it consideration,
which is indeed a small cost to pay
when I know that there are many
who do not even get to make that choice.

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I could say that love has reduced me to a person
whom I would have pitied ages ago
and probably I was better when all that mattered to me was me
and what I thought and wanted.
I remember passing leaflets of “guide to how to treat me”
to people who reluctantly took it
and probably tossed it on streets
when they were out of my sight.
I should have been offended
but even I can’t remember
half of what was on those paper.

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With you,
I know
for what we are,
I probably won’t get what I want
and may accumulate a little more reasons to cry for
when we finally make up our minds.
But if we are here
and if this is how love works
then I should probably try being
hopelessly and blindly being in love
especially because it is you.

“Crack in my mind” – Nayana Nair

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I couldn’t look into the eyes of the people I knew all my life
or even people who never knew me.
Every morning I woke up
I felt I have left a part of me in the nightmare
of the last the day.
I was afraid that with every hello that I said
I will leave open a crack in my mind
for people to look into.
That all that I had written on paper
is printed on my skin.
I was afraid that if people knew of my condition
I would not have enough energy or excuses
to refute their point
if they put their suspicions in words.
I was afraid of lot of things
for a long time
and most of it was to be seen in a way
that I didn’t want to be seen.

“Substitute of Light” – Nayana Nair

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Here in this night glowing with memories
placed as substitute of light in the face of storm,
I sit with all the words my body clung to
in spite of its bare, aging and passing spring.
I scratch out all the definitions of what I am
from the paper that seemed to once shine
and reflect an image that could have been me,
if only I didn’t have to live till this day
to realize what a mirror really is
and how painful it is to look into one.
Now when I write down new rules and new directions for myself,
I envision another day in future
when again I will have to strip myself
of all I believe to be true.
And knowing that a day like that exists ahead of me
makes me look at myself with certain pride
for trying again and again.

“The Little Blood I Have” – Nayana Nair

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I looked up at the confused giants
and puzzled at their ugly voices
and deformed faces,
how they hold onto stones and branches
how they hold onto papers,
and threw each other off cliffs.
But what made me sadder was
that no one who was thrown off those cliffs ever died.
They just keep coming back
looking a bit different, speaking more funnier
and acting more mean
and throwing each others down again.
No one ever died here.
Everyone lived and everyone wanted all this to end
but no one wished it more than me.
I was made to believe that the little blood I have in me
is their doing, is their gift.
I wonder how much time it would take
to empty myself from the traces of this violence
and memories of people I grew up calling my family.

“Escaping My End” – Nayana Nair

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I try to take out this poison
of my thoughts
drop by drop from my blood.
My blood, that doesn’t want to be red.
My thoughts, that don’t want to be rational.
My pain, that doesn’t want to dull.
And the more papers I fill,
the more I am convinced
there is no other way I could live.
That I am surely escaping my end
by keeping my sobs on different lines,
on different pages.
By dividing the oceans, the sorrows
that were intent on drowning me.

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