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“Have a Good Day” – Nayana Nair

I was sat down and told repeatedly everyday
that though the world belongs to all of us,
sometimes it is better
to step back,
to only take up the space we need.
I misunderstood it to be a lesson in humility,
wanting less, and sacrifice,
but I realize now that it was not so.
I was told to stop before I anger someone,
before someone got jealous,
or before they saw the weakness of my gender.

As I stand on the balcony at midnight
and hear drunk shady men shouting, cursing, and stumbling,
as they make their way to their broken homes,
I remind myself
this is what I am supposed to fled,
a person who is allowed to loose their mind,
a person who will always have excuse to hurt.
This what everyone wanted me to become,
someone who is proficient at spotting dangers,
who can conjure up the worst possible scenarios
when they hear another’s footsteps on deserted streets,
and see the worst possible demons in the face of men.

These days I often hear people say
that the new meaning of a powerful woman is
the one who walks into misfortune willingly,
before she is stalked and defeated by it.
Is this the only alternative to what I am living?

I wish that when I walked past a stranger on streets
I could smile and wish them a good day,
without having to fear being misunderstood,
without the echoes of ‘she asked for it’ in my mind.

“What I Remember(9)”- Nayana Nair

I tell myself stories about
why I threw away all that I had,
or why everything was taken away from me.
How I was too weak, will always be too weak
to carry the weight of the gifts that I had.
Or how I was never quite convinced
that I had something to be proud of.
How I was always trying to gauge
how much deep my feelings ran
for everything that I could only sort-of-love.
I can list all similar attempts
where I sought a better quantitative understanding of my specialness
and used these unreliable results to decide how and when to give up.
But if I had to give one consolidated story of
why I was never a failure at anything,
why I never succeeded,
why I had nothing to show for the years I lived
or for the talents that people remember me for.
If I had to be concise and true
I would say
I never made those decisions,
I was never aware of how I felt about
all the things that bother me now.
I drifted away from what I was, from what I treasured,
the way dear friends lose touch, lose each others name,
lose a happiness they could have had.
Only to be reminded of this loss
when it no longer matters.

“Smile and Call it Love” – Nayana Nair

From the day that I resolved
to create a door in my life
for you to move out me,
to forget you,
to even hate you, if it becomes necessary.
I thought resolve was all I needed
to get rid of the poison that you had become,
to create space for myself to grow into,
if I had to grow without love or understanding anyway.

I sorted myself and my memories
keeping only the ones that would help me
convince myself that you were bad for me,
that your love could blossom only
in the season of your selfishness,
the season where I was expected to wilt for your sake
and smile when you called it love.

I tried to remember
everything that I read in your mannerisms everyday,
everything I had overlooked as visions caused by my paranoia,
everything that came true,
everything that would have been true, only if I had let you.

I know,
I know that you were not evil,
but only human.
I know that I may have made you bleed
more that I can admit.
But I am also only a human.
Maybe I could have accepted your human nature
if my weakness, my complexes, my cruel words
could have been understood by you as well.

At some point
there was nothing you could do for me
than to remind me of my monstrosity everyday,
than to wait for me to breakdown.
At some point
there was nothing that I could do
than to walk away
and try to hate you.

“Holding onto you” – Nayana Nair

As I use your ideals and words
as the dressing to the greens that I hate,
that I find hard to chew,
I try to make myself understand you,
convince myself that I am in wrong
and I just know it yet.
I remind myself
that this time I can’t get it wrong,
that this time I can’t run from all that I have chosen.
I have lost a lot just because I wanted to live as me,
I can’t loose you as well.
When I begin to hate myself
for losing my life in your eyes,
I tell myself that one day I would thank myself
for holding onto you in spite of all.
So when I break and when it hurts,
when I see that all this is not good for me,
I crawl into your embrace
silently asking you
to tie me to yourself,
to stop me from ruining all that we have.

“Looks Better on You” – Nayana Nair

You have left your reflection in my mirrors
and now I have no choice but to dispose them.
I do not want to see you
tainted by anything that is mine.

You may not know this
(and may you never know)
but I love you
because you are nothing like me,
I love you
because you cannot understand me.
You remind of what I could be
if life gave me better circumstances
or if I knew how to choose better.

On you this shine of happiness,
that life stole from me,
on you
they look better.
If that is how the world works,
if happiness is a fixed constant
I’ll gladly let you have my share.

Though you are always holding my world together,
I do not mind everything falling apart
if in all the breaking
you are the only one kept intact.

“Your News” – Nayana Nair

Another happy news
floats in the periphery of my vision.

-x-

Though it holds the love of those
who have found something to love,
something to live for-
it makes me restless.

I want to open these envelopes
and mean it
when i tell you
how happy I am for you,
but I am not.

-x-

I am sorry but I can’t be happy for you
because in your every word
that you have inked with excitement,
I am reminded that
I have never seen these same color in my own life.

When your letters find me,
they find me too broken.
I am sorry, I have lost too much of me already
and can no longer give you anything but empty words.

-x-

Live well dear.
Live your dream far away from me.
It will keep your happiness intact
and my bubble of ignorance unharmed.

-x-

One day
(if ever)
when I am no longer walking in my own darkness,
I will find you
and I will try to be the friend that you deserved to have.
But till then
I can only keep these letters unopened
and my happiness for you undelivered.

“My Possessions”- Nayana Nair

All objects that I possess
have stopped doing what they were meant to do.
The window doesn’t bring me new air.
The bed doesn’t give me rest.
The glass filled with water and handful of pills
promise me disconnection from reality, sleep, or even death
but never the rest that I so want.
The words on my books run around on pages, hating my gaze.
The music breaks itself into disjointed string on noises.

It is as if one night
while I lay trying to forget you,
they voted and decided to forget me unanimously.
They agreed and concluded
that if someone must be forgotten
it is me.
So now they rebel,
they serve only purpose-
to remind me
of all I lost simply by losing you.

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