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“Not Cool” – Nayana Nair

Yesterday I sat myself through a video of jokes
then another and then another,
till I found nothing funny,
till I had to stop
because I was almost at the verge
of taking things too seriously,
at the risk of being offended
on behalf of someone else.
And no, being offended is not cool anymore.

-x-

I don’t want to be disliked
even a bit more that I already am
or of proving their list of stereotype correct.
So now I must find something else to waste my time on,
something milder
that doesn’t hit me so hard, that doesn’t make my headache.
That doesn’t force me to to be a better person
to people who expect the world to tolerate them
while they mock the misery and blame the victims.

-x-

But I guess it is just a matter of time
before my feelings fade forever
before a bit more numbness sets in my heart
before I see myself laugh at all that is wrong.

“god’s work” – Nayana Nair

i wanted to say
please don’t drag my god
into your selfish quest for power.
please don’t turn my god
into a tool to manipulate mind.
but i couldn’t say those things
for my god was no longer my god,
he/she belonged to people who were ready
to accept any lie, any cruelty
to propagate their beliefs and their way of life
to protect their gods (or so they say).
so i had no choice
but to cut myself from this doctrine
of power and numbers.
not to protect my god,
but to protect my mind and myself,
to protect my faith in the endangered humanity
when all i face are the proofs of its non-existence,
when all i find are people who think shaming people
and spilling blood is god’s work.
maybe it is selfish
but i want to remember my god as someone more kinder.

“How I Make Excuses (Why I Never Change)” – Nayana Nair

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I am <so> and <so> because
I am <all innocent qualities which I don’t really have>
and people are <all words that can paint a thorough villainous caricature for my convenience>,
people treat me like <unpleasant words that are at least half-true>
just because I let them.
After all these years, is it any wonder that I act like
<everything I hated in the people who supposedly made me suffer>.
So you must accept me as I am.
I have suffered enough.
I have reason for acting like what I do.
I was once <completely opposite of what I am today> and that is what I still am deep inside.
So you must wait and support and love me even I am unbearable.

“Notifications” – Nayana Nair

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It seems I have another friendship to celebrate today
even though
you-who is supposed to be my friend
is nowhere to be seen in the recent calls or messages,
nowhere in the list of people who wish me luck
and bless me on my birthday they don’t remember.
But isn’t friendship more than just
remembering certain dates.
I know that, so it doesn’t matter to me,
so I can let go of such minor details
and not be offended by what you don’t do.
Frankly I also have forgotten so much about you
that even when I am reminded of you
I do not feel much for what we are and how we have ended up.
And I think just like me
you also became aware of my existence
only because of this automated message.
But this is a world where we don’t have to cut ties
to keep distance,
a world where such distance doesn’t necessarily imply
negative feelings or history.
And this grayness of everything that doesn’t go away
even if I am ready look over it.
This grayness that we are prompted to maintain and celebrate
is what is ridiculous to me
and is what makes me sad.

“Scarier Element” – Nayana Nair

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Someone told me that is how love works out for people like us
who approach love as if it is an animal that can kill us at any time
and who only move towards it
when they become aware of the other monsters that are eating up
all that they could rely on.
We only find the strength to move to a riskier spot
when chased by a scarier element.
We move only when our hope turns into our source of fear.
That is how we find all the things that we keep in our heart
and that is how we lose everything we call ours.

“Collecting Meaning and Beauty” – Nayana Nair

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I am stacked with all that belongs to you
and nothing that you have feels yours.
It is as if you were busy finding things
that didn’t look like you
and hoped that if you surrounded yourself
with all kinds of right
then your fault that people talk about
could find a mirror to fix its face.
Or maybe
you just wanted to welcome everyone in this mess,
like you welcomed me,
and leave us in this ocean of objects and words
of overwhelming meaning and beauty.
So that after an absence of million years
that ticking clock forgot to register,
when you come back to find us
and ask us how we take our tea,
we could see your meaningless broken smile
as the only hand that can save us from
losing our sense of self,
losing the idea of what we are
that we had barely put together a downfall ago.

“Less Than Half” – Nayana Nair

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The moment I pass any door
a part of my brain whispers-
too many people,
watch you step and watch your tongue,
lest you want to be branded as one of those women
that you are are and aren’t at the same time.
For if you are not careful enough
you will soon believe everything that people say about you
as you are doing right now.
Right now only half of you exist in this body.
I know this because that is what I was calculating
in the class of areas and volumes,
as teacher taught how we determine
the volume the water left at in a cylinder of flesh
once it starts leaking from all the words that have pierced it.
Or that’s what I heard at least.
I got had good score for that class
and I got called many more names.
A little more of me seeped out
and now I am less than half of what I was.
I know this because I have lost my friends
(maybe they see I am no longer me).
I know this because my heart no longer protests
when I hear people calling me by wrong names.

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