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“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.

“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.

“Version” – Nayana Nair

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Sometimes the hatred, the bias that
people around him smoked
sticks to his clothes, his skin, his tongue
when I come near him.
He can wash it from himself with a sleep.
He can leave it at the door, when he steps in.
But I can’t wash it out of my mind.

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In my mind
I mix up the person he is and the person he has to be.
But I realise that I do not know the person he is,
I only know the person he has to be for me,
I only resent the person he has to be for others.

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The person he is, looks at me from his corner of eyes
and this stranger looks at me
not across oceans, not across roads of fate,
but across the versions of us filling up the space between us,
the versions we can never throw away.

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This stranger looks at me and gives me the smile
that he has to wear for me.
For me to realise the love I have for the the days
I share with this person who spends his days with me,
loses his ways with me and grows old with me.
I smile back becoming the person I have to be for him,
becoming the version I love the most.

“Same World” – Nayana Nair

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From where I sit
I see the beauty that moves my heart
and makes me realize
why I am alive till now.
And though I love you
and wish to see the world with you,
I could never gather enough courage
so as to tug your sleeve
and ask you to follow my gaze.

I fear you will look at what I see
and mock my eyes, my mind
to be fascinated by the things
that for you are trivial.
Worse, if you take me away from the beauty I found
for you know better things.
Worse, if you refuse to look back
for you have better things to do.

I wish I could tell you my heart,
tell you my fears, tell you about the minutes
of my life where sometimes I feel I am trapped,
and sometimes set free in a world I cannot share with anyone.
It is enough, I guess, that I can hear your steps beside me
and believe that we are in the same world,
even when we are not.

“Approaching Night” – Nayana Nair

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The light that drips from your skin
feels like sunlight frozen.
As you float among the spirits
of far away desolate planets,
who have found home in you,
who like me have found you too full of life.
You walk to me,
hold me close and bury your fire
in my heart. The mountain and the sea
that belong to you,
have erased the life
that I’ve lived before.

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On the path lined with trees-
their shade and your joys
becoming just memories with approaching night.
You walk to me,
you hold me close and bury your face
your regrets, your tears in my skin
and give me a moment of the future I can never have.
And soon I see you dissolve in the sea foam,
in the waters where we were born.
I find my hands filled with your share of happiness
and sky filled with flowers that once grew in your hands.

“Show You Around” – Nayana Nair

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Let me show you around.
This place that you think as mine
will soon be yours one day.
Especially because you will want to own this mess
more than you want to own my heart.
And though my eyes might roll
at the sound of the word “own”
but that’s just how things are.

One day we might yearn for each other’s glance.
And slowly with unsure lips we pray for more-
for some sweet words, for a secret to keep
for happiness of a day, for hands that don’t let go.
And soon with love drunk lips we demand more-
for reasons, for time we never seem to have,
for guarantees, for becoming better than what we are.

And that day when you will have all that you demand
and still feel like I have not given it all.
Come to this room, and see this mess.
These old clothes, old words;
these unwashed plates with leftover moldy attention.
And realize why I don’t want you here-
in this museum of what I was.
This is not the world I want to share with you.
Can’t we build a better one.

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