“Come and Kneel and Dream” – Nayana Nair

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Come and kneel here my child.
This is our new lord, our new god.

Come here and learn his face,
learn all things he doesn’t like to see in us.

Promise me that you will never try
to be a reflection of him, never hold him in your heart.

Even as you bow to him, to powers of cruelty
repeat to yourself again and again,

that no god ever killed freedom; no savior,
no beacon of light, no provider of grain owns your soul.

This is all that I have managed to do so far-
silently witnessing and persevering.

Cowardly, I have survived without giving in, without opposing,
without saving, without killing anyone, protecting just you and me.

To bow my head with tears in my eyes
is the only thing I could do with the strength the new gods left in me.

I do not know what to ask from you, what to teach you
but somehow you must outlive all those who prey on all things good.

My crimes of silence and tolerance leaves me no right
to speak of peace or love or future

but I feel fear and hope thinking of you.
You – who has never seen the world with open sky and kinder hearts

will either dream of a strength drawn out of blood of others
or you might just realize the value of everything that people call weak now.

Come and kneel here my child, in front of all those who teach us
to build our own prisons and build them bigger thrones.

All those who hold our lives hostage binding us with our own fear-
look at them and imagine a world where they don’t exist; not even within you.

“no colors, no flowers for me” – Nayana Nair

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“he left me”
this is where I would have wanted everything to end,
at “he left me”…simple and clean
and yet carrying a sadness that can be forgotten
or remembered as something that just exists.
Exists not like floods but like rain.
Exists not like a story of love
but a story that had a possibility of some meaning.
“he left me” could have existed in me, in this world,
how words of no significance and no power exist.

But it didn’t end there.
What he did was simple,
but what he didn’t do
those are the things that exists like flood, like pain
that can exist without him.
He left me a leaf
and not a flower.
And knowing this, even if I forget him,
it won’t end
the pain I feel at the sight of flowers,
the anger the green fill me with,
the feeling of being wronged
at seeing everyone who gets both, while suffering less than me.

He left me a life that I am capable of living well
but a heart that won’t ever feel at ease
as long as I live wanting love for myself.

“Are those supposed to be words of comfort?” – Nayana Nair

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I wish I could hug back the stars with a smile
even if it burns,
even if I suffer in that light.

But it is a light that I have now learnt to fear.
Now I know the power of reality,
of wounds, and the unbearable noise of past.

Now my every step towards my fear,
towards you
can never be love,
it can only be a sacrifice.
It can only mean my acceptance of my end
at the cost of this love
that promises to live on without me.
Should I find comfort in that,
now that I won’t find a life with you?

“green carol” – Nayana Nair

it takes only a second for
the children singing carols on my porch in green mufflers
to run around and burn the beach,
burying their favorite flavor of ice cream
in the sandcastle meant to be some sort of time capsule.
when i was young i didn’t have such powers.
like them
i could neither summon the seasons
nor walk towards them.
being the uninvited guest
i could neither put faith in those saw me
nor could i walk myself out.

“maintain my world” – Nayana Nair

and this sad premise is not a commentary
on how rotten the world is
but an observation
that we have a pattern that is hard to break.

that people often misinterpret the habit of one thing
as a proof of its superiority over everything else in world.

that words can move your heart,
sometimes for worse.
it can move you towards hatred, towards fear
towards anger that is not your own.

that the wish to be right
makes us forget how to wear someone else’s shoes
or their color or their nationality or their body.
a body that is no longer their own – now that
they are just a sack of blood, a sacrifice
to please our personal gods – our thirst of power
and the “better world” that no one else wants.

this sad premise is not a commentary
on how rotten the world is
for i do not have the courage to write the worst
or to imagine how i am right now walking
over faceless nameless beings to maintain my world
just like you.

“your desire would burn away” – Nayana Nair

i read this on a torn sheet of paper
that was lying, waiting (possibly for me?)
in that empty hall, that on a normal day has never known empty.
and being who i am, this again had to be an easy answer from a higher power.
being who i was i believed that the confusion in my mind
rocked every throne in heaven.
so again i assumed as i said i never would,
that these must be the words that could solve me.
never mind the context, never mind the book or it’s title.
there is so much missing and this paper still remains
it might mean something,
it must mean something,
everything had to mean something for me to somehow go on.
it said “your desire would burn away,
the moment you let it have your words”
so i uttered your name with the place you have in my heart.
i mustered up enough courage to speak of the place i wanted in you.
it sounded dubious and shallow.
it sounded so much like me
that i thanked myself for not saying it to you.
i made a clean tear through that piece of paper
for being too right and being too wrong
and walked away wanting now to become a better vessel,
the person on whose lips these words would really sound the way they felt
i walked away waiting for my mind and your heart
to become good enough for those feelings.

nothing burns away.

“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.

“The Better That We Want”- Nayana Nair

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Once we are done with the ritual of tea,
as I leave the room with his cup and mine,
I leave behind my shadow with him.
That is his favorite part of his evening
and he is all too happy to talk to a quieter me.
He feels my shadow is somehow better than me.
He finds it more understanding
and more similar to the feminine company
he always wanted in his life.
Someone who knows how to listen,
and who knows when not to think.
Someone who would look up to his words
with the certainty of truth
and would be the first one to realize his specialness.
I can understand where he comes from,
it is tiring to impress everyone all the time
fearing when we will falter, when we will fall in their eyes.
I can understand, even when I don’t want to,
for even I have wished for the same things
that only an imbalance of power or naivety of a lover
can give me.

Day 3- Quote Challenge

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“You’ve become an accomplice in your own annihilation and there is nothing you can do about it. Everything you do closes a door somewhere ahead of you. And finally there is only one door left.”
― Cormac McCarthy

Now I am not sure what this quote exactly makes me feel. But every time I read this, I see in front of me that one door left. It fills me up with a kind of relief and fear at the same time. It is as if every small action of mine will change my life in a drastic ways. It is like choosing a destiny that I cannot see. Irreversible nature of my decision, the narrowing of the world to fewer door, fewer dreams, fewer options is frightening. But it also fills me with a sense of responsibility and control. It feels like a power that I do not know how to put to use, but it is still a power. Like a blind person walking on a minefield, where even having eyes may not be of much help considering the chaos that surrounds me. Even if a portion of choice is in my hand, I do have a say, but not much. I cannot turn back and look at all the doors I can’t go back through. I am just left with that one line I am travelling (many that I can’t), the line my decisions create to that last door, the line we call fate.

“Out all night”- Nayana Nair

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Every night
I saw that girl
who roamed the dark streets
with eyes filled with smoke
and feet swaying with confusion and power.
With clothes that reminded me of night sky.
She was out all night
to paint the world
in the color
of her black beautiful broken heart.
The many masks of her
hung by her wrist.
They smile, sneer and look down
at the faceless shadows
that are bound to disappear.
And though it always puzzled me
how she could smile,
after breaking so many people.
I finally understood
how it could be so hollow
and so fulfilling at same time.
I finally understood all this
the morning when I woke up as her.

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