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“Growing Up” – Nayana Nair

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Growing up
we become closer to the person we are not.
How shallow the facade of maturity is.
How fragile the moments when we feel a human,
how quickly they are lost.
How we grapple at the loose ends of what’s left behind.
How we ask ourselves questions
and write about person in the mirror.
How everything we want
is already in past
and everything in future
is just a compromise.

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“Home” – Nayana Nair

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I will give you a list houses
that once used to be my home
and addresses that are the only memory
that has not been blurred
or manipulated by my mind.
If you ever want to find me,
go there.

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You will see the line of trees that
framed my sunrise
and almost dry riversbeds of
round white stones, where
I slipped once (or more).
You will see the duststorms,
and the heavy rains
I stood in.
You will see the the intersections,
I could never quite cross.
But all this you see,
is not me.

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If you want to find the ‘me’,
‘me’ that I do not know of,
that I cannot give you,
go there.
And look for windows I sat by.
Look for the cold floor I lied on.
Sit there and think of a girl
who never felt quite like a person,
who could look at what lay ahead
and know
that neither the path, nor the journey was hers.
Who only wanted a room flooded with
gentle light of drowning sun,
and songs that could make her sadness beautiful.

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“Knock” – Nayana Nair

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My life is divided into different rooms
as is my heart.
For as long as I remember,
from the time I used to care for decorations
to the time I am too lazy to clean up.
From the moments of sweet solitude by the window
to the clinking glasses and winking eyes.
The room belonged more to them
than to me.

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And I often found it unsettling,
as if on a night
when I would be hiding under covers
not knowing what to fear,
someone would knock at the door
and with that knock, would come a pair of shoes
and a set of clothes, holding a person
whose face, motive or aim
would soon be inconsequential.

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And slowly she would drag me
out of each room,
snatching away each memory that she touched,
knocking down my bookcases filled with my escape,
tearing away the wallpapers
behind which I hid my unvoiced cries.
The doors would be shut on my face,
leaving me out in a storm on a moonless night,
leaving me alone to face all that I didn’t know of
taking away all that I know.

“Screen” – Nayana Nair

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I read my words,
and could only see me, as person
walking on the crowded streets
after spending hours of attention
on a screen that blurred the
alphabets and left in my eyes
the only image of me
looking at this screen forever.
I saw someone
who could not bear life.
I wondered when I became a person
only concerned with knowing
this sadness that breathes with me.
I saw someone who I feared and knew
I would become
or I always was.
I became the living shadow
of the ‘me’ that never was.
I read what I write,
and decided never to read them again.
I see what I am,
and decide not see myself again.

“More or Less” – Nayana Nair

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It was more or less like waiting
Only there was no excuse of distance between them
Though they walked hand-in-hand,
they knew
this was not all they could be.
Just like noises of traffic merging in the call of birds.
They knew the love they want and the love they have
was not so much different.
It was more or less the same.
Or at least they soon will be.
It was not a question of which person.
It was a question of
how much,
how long.

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And they have not lived an eternal life
to believe in eternal love.
But they kept it in mind
played with this idea,
scrutinised it,
made fun of it,
wished for it.

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As they wait for their love to
become bigger than themselves,
they have no choice but to be who they are
and live the life they know.
Soon this love will numb their pain.
But it takes time for poison to work.
But it will.
It always has.
Poison, too, can be a medicine.
It is just a matter of
how much,
how long.

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