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“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.

“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.

“A Dying Storm” – Nayana Nair

i close all the doors
as if a storm in coming,
as if closed doors can protect me from something so huge,
as if hiding is a better option than fleeing.
‘i wish i had created more places to hide in my life’
i thought this as tried to burn all my best clothes
as if i will freeze to death otherwise
and nothing i wear, no new face i paint on myself
will deflect or reduce the hate in the eyes that look at me.
soon i had nothing to burn,
nothing to destroy.
only resentment against myself,
only a feeling of failure
continued to live in this body
growing each second, trying to push me out.

“Same Mirror” – Nayana Nair

Even though we know
we will end up being disappointed in ourselves
we still want find that same mirror
again and again,
expecting to see something different.
Hoping that it will work out one day.
Hoping one day our faults
would be too insignificant to matter.
Relying on the surety
of the forgetfulness of the world
than the forgiveness that we couldn’t dare to ask.

-oOo-

But even if the world forgets,
even if our skin grows anew,
even if our sins become untraceable,
these eyes of ours
remain the same,
always lingering on the spot
where we have buried our past.
Passing of time does nothing to reduce our fear
of being seen for what we are.
Even when that image of what we were
exists nowhere in this world,
it is the only way we can ever see ourselves.

“What I Remember (3)” – Nayana Nair

 

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somehow that is where i always found myself.
crushed between the expectation that i had from myself,
even if these expectation in no way could be ever called achievement,
even if i could fulfill them.
maybe that is precisely why i felt
so crushed when my plans didn’t work out.
it was not because i asked for something small
and didn’t get it.
but because even though i had set such
an easy goal to achieve
i was not able to reach it.
the problem with those small goals were
that they didn’t exist because i was humble
or because i didn’t need much in life, or was satisfied easily.
i set them up within reason.
i set them up within my reach.
i found them as something that could be a stepping stone for me,
as something small that i can hold in my hand
wherever i went
to remind myself
that i am capable of something,
even if it is not something great.
and that’s why i used to be frustrated with myself
that i was not even capable of the minimum.
i could say it is almost in past though.
this calculation of what i could do,
finding something smaller than my assumption of my capability,
failing at it in epic way,
and reducing my own worth in my eyes.
i can say it is in my past
because now the circle of what i can do
is so small
that it has only space for me to stand.
that would explain by blues.
that would explain a lot of feelings
whose origin i can’t seem to trace these days.
that would explain why i am no longer afraid of dreaming
but incapable of doing so.
because all my efforts are spent on keeping my feet firm on this ground
which i now know is too easy to loose.

“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.

leaves-line-drawing-23
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.

leaves-line-drawing-23
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.

“Neighbour” – Nayana Nair

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You were almost like that neighbour
who listened to sad songs at 2 am
walking me up, shaking me up to my own sadness
and as I cried I never knew if you also cried
or was I crying your share of tears as well.
Have you finally gone to back to sleep
taking my blanket of sleep with you?
And I sat up all night
staring at the moonless sky.
I consoled myself by believing that
reliving my pain
would somehow reduce yours.

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