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“Shopping in the HATE section” – Nayana Nair

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should i thank you
for becoming the faceless stranger
that i dread the most?

you are the new voice inside my head.
less of a voice, more of a threat.

how should i make you happy?
how can i shut you up?-
is all i think about.
i want to grow up
and grow out of this mind
that can’t take even this shallow critique.
but i can’t.
how can I confront you
when you may actually be correct about me?

what should i do?
remain a nothing till your attention shifts?
learn to cry without being bashed for my weakness?

but at least I am glad I am not your type,
that I am not the excuse
you would use to pull someone else down.

so goodbye “the embodiment of my self-doubt”
thank you giving me another grief to write about,
for speaking your mind and taking away my voice.

“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.

“Shallow Hearts” – Nayana Nair

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While the world can preach
of greater pain
and complain of shallow hearts
that never look out of themselves.
They never see the the windows of their heart
that were nailed shut
from outside.

“Knock” – Nayana Nair

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My life is divided into different rooms
as is my heart.
For as long as I remember,
from the time I used to care for decorations
to the time I am too lazy to clean up.
From the moments of sweet solitude by the window
to the clinking glasses and winking eyes.
The room belonged more to them
than to me.

blueflower
And I often found it unsettling,
as if on a night
when I would be hiding under covers
not knowing what to fear,
someone would knock at the door
and with that knock, would come a pair of shoes
and a set of clothes, holding a person
whose face, motive or aim
would soon be inconsequential.

blueflower
And slowly she would drag me
out of each room,
snatching away each memory that she touched,
knocking down my bookcases filled with my escape,
tearing away the wallpapers
behind which I hid my unvoiced cries.
The doors would be shut on my face,
leaving me out in a storm on a moonless night,
leaving me alone to face all that I didn’t know of
taking away all that I know.

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