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“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.

“Aunt” – Nayana Nair

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“Yes, I do have plans for my future my dear aunt.”
I say, after I see her put her cup down and look at me
with sympathy and resentment.
“How can we not worry.
It is your future we are talking about.”

Actually, I never had these conversation,
at least not with my aunt.
I never had such an aunt to bother me.
But there are relatives and other faces
that I am hiding under the name of a non-existent aunt.
Sometimes it is me who is hiding under that name instead.

I am handed down spare maps
that I am supposed to study and follow.
Mark my route and choose someone
who could help me get up in the morning
even if it out of hatred.
I am sure it will be hatred
because I have seen no one one who has sorted their life
to wake up feeling that they have done it right.

My bitterness might make me seem like
a remainder of uneasy and uncomfortable families,
but it is not so.
There are just too many non-existent aunts in our house
who thinks we could have done better, chosen better,
lived better-
if only we could get our act together
and stopped acting like the world owes us some kind of happiness.

This constant re-evaluation of life
and its result coming out as failure every time
makes everything we live with
and everyone we choose as a mistake.
What is this “better” that doesn’t let us live?

“Stranded” – Nayana Nair

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The tissues I have cried into
are my excuses,
to hide the clutter of calls and love I forgot to return.
Sometimes it is too late to clear the mess I made.
It is more difficult to retain my will to clean it all up,
which sort of made me guilty
of creating another sad person.
But what is another tissue in another sea.
Everyone dreams of sailing into a brighter morning
leaving behind their darkness in another’s mind.
What if I am as selfish as them.
What is another ship, another selfish wish
amidst thousand such others-
all stranded on a water-less heart
all looking for a flood, instead of directions.

“Unsettling” – Nayana Nair

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One day I was watching TV
or I thought I was
until it seemed that
the boy whose silence alone was unsettling to many,
the loud girl who dreams of becoming the nightmare she suffers,
even the clueless proud parent who try hard to be cool
were all angry, everyone was shouting
not at each other but at me,
for missing my cue to act,
for leaving it to others to sort my life.
I hate these times
when even entertainment
has to be so painfully self-reflective.
Or maybe it always was.

“Vacant Sky” – Nayana Nair

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There was a melancholy in
looking up at the endless vacant sky
and looking for the invisible presence
of someone to depend on.
To wear these ideas
that were guaranteed
to sort my life and mind.
Except it felt like clothes borrowed.
I had to either return them
or throw them away.

“Spilling the Ink” – Nayana Nair

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You ask why I don’t stay and fight.
You ask if I realise that
I can win as much as others.
I tell you that everyone has a dream.
And what I get by staying and fighting,
are not my dream.
That I cannot live in this world
of regulated self-expression.
Always fearing when I would spill out of the lines.
So even if my broken is not as shabby and scattered.
Even if my madness is not the sort
that can get admiration.
Even if my hands struggle with holding myself where I am.
Just know that I leave,
not because of aversion to this world,
nor to find a better place.
I leave cause I cannot breathe in water
even if I want to.

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