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“Aftermath” – Nayana Nair

Like me, probably many have tried their best
to set their limits,
have learned how to stop before learning how to move.
We recite story of forgiveness,
of patience, of eternal undying love
to our children at night.
and when they fall asleep
we recite these stories to ourselves,
so that we may not forget them.
I remember all the proofs, every news that told me
how wanting more, wanting somewhere’s share of happiness,
wanting too much- can result in catastrophes.
that is how I learnt that some wants can destroy lives,
can create demons out of people.
The one who wrongs and the one who is wronged
just move around this world
trying outrun the aftermath of careless actions.

“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 deep
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.

“Let Me Wait” – Nayana Nair

As you smile
and tell me all the words
that make you look happy,
I can only wait for you.
I can only wait till you decide to
you let me know your tears,
your worries,
like you have let me know your love.

But meanwhile, I won’t knock incessantly
on the doors of your heart,
I won’t try to knock down your walls
because there are things that I am struggling
to share with you as well.
I know the pain of hiding.
and I won’t add to this pain
that is wearing you out.

So dear,
do not feel guilty,
do not try too hard.
I will follow you for this life,
even if you give me only half of your heart.

“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.

“Having All” – Nayana Nair

Since the broken have got their share of songs,
now let us grieve for the ones who are complete.
who have got more than they wanted,
and have too much in their hands.
Who walk with a loneliness similar to the ones who were deprived
just without the right to complain or take pity on themselves.

. . .

Maybe it is this ‘having all’
that would become the reason of their cracks.
For in the pauses of the ones who I thought were happy,
I have often seen a wait for another life.
They find themselves wanting this struggle
that has been romanticized and exaggerated
so much that, it becomes a yearning.

. . .

They find themselves hating
this infinite stretch of perfect utopian dream
that cannot last
only because the mind that creates and wants the perfect
in trapped in a body that by nature are attracted towards disorder,
towards its own undoing.

“Keep Peace” – Nayana Nair

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I could be anything I wanted
but not her.
She thinks too less about wanting the right things,
about wanting things that are lying around in
the debris of Lego buildings broken by
hands of a small gods who gets bored easily.

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If she really wanted to feel
what fulfillment feels like
she could have walked through the gardens
that were made for soul like hers
(or should I say gender like hers).
It is better, I can vouch,
better than wanting to go to places
where she is not wanted,
where they would ask-
“why can’t she read the situation?”,
“why can’t she keep peace?”,
“what are these demands that she must have
when she has lived without it all her life?”,
“how is she any different from others
who know how to take the equality that we are offering
without wanting a share of ours
wanting to be a bit more like us?”.

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I can understand all that
but she doesn’t
and there is no way that
I can make her see the pain she is walking towards,
make her hear the names she will be called
just for asking what everyone else wants to ask
but fear being in wrong terms
with the people who run this world.

“Keeping Distance” – Nayana Nair

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All my sketches of you
are living in a hopeless state of
growing hunger, growing questions.
I hear them talking to each other,
asking your whereabouts.
I have grown to become
a mother of many children
abandoned by her man.
Children who are forced to share a life with me
while struggling to keep a distance from my breaking heart.
Asking each other questions that they want to ask me.
I wish they would just ask me
“where is he?” “did he forget his way to us?”
“did he forget you? us?”

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A saner me could have told them
“he probably forgot the person he was
people tend to do that life
but he cannot forget himself without erasing us
maybe we were no better that the life
that he had forgotten before us
or maybe it became worse with us
whatever he was suffering from.”

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But the saner me
is also fading into the sea of past.
I fear for these innocent memories
that do not get to choose,
that do not have any say,
staring in silence at me
hoping I continue to love them
knowing that I probably won’t.

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