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“Backseat” – Nayana Nair

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we get onto the car
that we wish was stolen
i look at her (not my lover, yet),
at him (my friend – we share the same passion
of finding new things to be disappointed about),
i look at the the small bags we have packed
and realize that this is far too less to start a life
i count them as i get in
i realize one of us probably
has nothing worth carrying around in life.

she keeps telling me that unlike us
she has to take care of things
so she is bound to be late
she says this while she texts the food preferences
of her beloved pet
to someone who owes her one
(i feel something similar to jealousy seeing this).

and he keeps changing the radio station
as if he knows what he is looking for,
as if he has grown up on radio songs and commercials,
but he hasn’t.
he says that is what makes it more romantic,
the unknown that was always in front of you
to finally acknowledge something
that shouldn’t have been invisible from the start.

i just look at them, making mental notes,
calculating the chances that we might come to our senses
(that would be pretty sad, if that happens).
i keep looking back
as if i was being abducted,
dragged out of heaven against my wishes.
but it is no heaven
(not anymore).

so i sleep in the backseat
hiding my tears under the blanket of darkness-
since i do not want to recall every thing
that made this place and my body unholy, unbearable;
since i don’t want ask these two
about what they are running away from.
i wonder if i will ever know a home
that won’t drive me away.

“Wrong Way” – Nayana Nair

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They forgot to teach me
the most basic thing-
to know which side I should take
to keep a check on papers, to see sense
when someone tells me what is politically right
and to agree when they tell me that identity is everything
not only mine, but of all those who live on same piece of land as me.
They forgot to tell me to fight and argue
in the name of and for the sake of people
who didn’t care about the fight,
who were fine living the way they did.
I ended up believing
that I could just exist without belonging to any shore
and maybe make my own
and pray that no one joins me
and turn my life into something to live by.

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How could they have overlooked this ,
didn’t they foresee how I would sit awkwardly
midst strangers and have nothing to say
about how the world was run.
Would they consider me silly,
would they think that I am shallow
if I was thinking about the fictional character from a story
and his conflicts?
Would they judge me if the story in question was not about
wars, rivalry or mid-life crisis
but one of romantic ones with cheesy lines
that everyone seems to detest?
They should have told me to memorize lines from papers
and opinion columns
and pass it as my own,
when I was not interested to form opinions
on topics that seemed to be of grave importance to others.
I should know better than to write poems on love and sadness
when people are dying around me.
But I don’t.

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I think I may have been brought up the wrong way
and there is nothing I can do about it now.
But I am not even sure whether
I want to fix the things
that I asked to feel ashamed of.

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