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“Hello?” – Nayana Nair

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hello?
can you help me?
can you tell me which way to go,
which part of me to burn
to reach the dumping ground
where lay all the skins
that humans have ever shed?

i have been living in my dreams
for quite some time,
where i am the old-me
surrounded by my old-family,
old-friends, old-strangers.

dreams that i can no longer have,
now that i have been led back to reality,
now that i am almost sane.
i realize i am missing the life that never was.
medicated consciousness is not enough
to make me forget
all that i should not remember.

i have heard that here i would find
the lifeless skin of mine-
the ‘me’ who never knew what lacking is.
want to join me?
never mind.
i was not looking for company anyway.
thank you for not helping,
for telling me to grow up.
thank you for making reality
more disturbing than it already is for me.

“Permanent” – Nayana Nair

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my sad winter sunshine
i am here for you.
we can stay sad for however long you want.
don’t worry,
i don’t remember the happy you.
i am not hanging around to see your other face.
i have no affection
for what you are trying to become again.

i loved rain once.
now snowfall is my new thing,
you are my new thing-
my old love in a new skin.
the sky is endless, the time infinite
we have long way to go
before we become anything permanent.

“We are here” – Nayana Nair

Do you remember the day
when we sat on the edge
of our own growing hills of delusions
and reached out our hands
to feel something real.
But even when you dissolved as I dissolved,
for a minute my hands were not empty.
So even if we can’t offer anything real to each other
remember that you are here in this same world as me.
I see you, even when you think no one does.
You are here, don’t forget.

“Another Birdless Cage” – Nayana Nair

please don’t ask me how my friend is doing.
we broke up.
we broke up the most decent way friends can break up.
without deceit, without betrayal,
without cruel words or bloody knife on our backs,
without stories to hurt each other with,
without attempts to patch up things,
without deleting each other’s number that we never bothered to memorize.
i do not remember her till someone says her name
and when the sound of her name finds me through a stranger’s lips,
i do not feel bitterness. i not miss her.
a part of my heart is glad that life didn’t turn her my enemy
but a part of me wonders how she turned out to be nothing in my life.
when i see facebook notifications with her name,
when i get a reminder of her birthday,
when she calls me up once in a blue moon
to ask a favor for “her friend”
without bothering to ask how i have been,
what is it that am i supposed to feel?
i think it should hurt in some way.
i am waiting for it to hurt.
i am waiting to realize the meaning of this loss.
i am waiting for the day I miss her.
i want to miss her so much.

“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.

“What I Remember (11)” – Nayana Nair

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beauty may be only skin deep
but lack of it goes deeper than that.
so deeper
that you end up learning to want things
that you wouldn’t otherwise even think about.
i wish i could remember every face
that was surprised to know
that i am okay with looking older than i am,
surprised that i do not want to exorcise fats
especially when i have got so much of it.
every morning i wake up
they hover over me like faceless shadows
with black markers, drawing over my body
showing me all that is wrong,
giving me tips so that i can become easy to look at,
hiding their superficiality under the wraps of concern,
whispering how thick-skinned i am when i don’t listen
and wondering what is wrong with the ones who love me.
it made me wonder
that maybe going under the knife
wouldn’t be as bad as being smeared black by markers.
that maybe i am supposed to love myself
only after the world approves of the ‘me’ that i want to love.
i would have understood if they cared,
if they actually meant good,
but they don’t
because they know nothing more than my name
and they say my name only with heart-breaking adjectives and assumptions.
i want to say they are wrong,
but i have suffered their gaze for so long
that sometimes i end up sharing their hatred of me, of what they see.
there are days that i obsess over a passing comment.
there are days i beat up myself for being like this.
i starve and fail,
i try to get over their words and fail,
i try to hate myself and fail.
i want to say it doesn’t matter
but it does
because i am tiring myself out
by trying to see something good in me,
by apologizing to myself,
by trying to save my heart
while they burn my body in the woods.

“Meet me on a sunless day” – Nayana Nair

the sun is so much brighter than it used to be
it makes me wonder if i remembers my days correctly.

has it always been like this,
when did my eyes start creating its own darkness.

(is there a word for it?
like there is a word for plants creating food from the drops of sun)

were you always this beautiful?
were you always looking at me with those kind eyes?

my broken mind only remembers cruel gazes.
why did it never take your image in?

how is it so easy to not see?
why is it so easy to believe the worst?

what if i walk over to you, try to smile with you
and call what i feel love

how long will my new vision stay with me?
do you know how to love a blind bitter person?

i am asking since i am always not like this
i asking because i want to meet you again on a dark cloudy day

i want you to know of my blindness
before you love me back.

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