“Come and Kneel and Dream” – Nayana Nair

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Come and kneel here my child.
This is our new lord, our new god.

Come here and learn his face,
learn all things he doesn’t like to see in us.

Promise me that you will never try
to be a reflection of him, never hold him in your heart.

Even as you bow to him, to powers of cruelty
repeat to yourself again and again,

that no god ever killed freedom; no savior,
no beacon of light, no provider of grain owns your soul.

This is all that I have managed to do so far-
silently witnessing and persevering.

Cowardly, I have survived without giving in, without opposing,
without saving, without killing anyone, protecting just you and me.

To bow my head with tears in my eyes
is the only thing I could do with the strength the new gods left in me.

I do not know what to ask from you, what to teach you
but somehow you must outlive all those who prey on all things good.

My crimes of silence and tolerance leaves me no right
to speak of peace or love or future

but I feel fear and hope thinking of you.
You – who has never seen the world with open sky and kinder hearts

will either dream of a strength drawn out of blood of others
or you might just realize the value of everything that people call weak now.

Come and kneel here my child, in front of all those who teach us
to build our own prisons and build them bigger thrones.

All those who hold our lives hostage binding us with our own fear-
look at them and imagine a world where they don’t exist; not even within you.

“What I Remember (29)” – Nayana Nair

At a bus stand in front of mall (that I have never been to)
I learnt how to wait and how to live with disappointments
without making a big deal of it.

In the bracket of an hour, I grew smaller than I ever thought I could be.
“this is what love does to you, this is what love does to all of us”, all the voices in me lied.
I was again weary of the love that I had chosen and the person I had trusted
(“again” – the word that showed me the real reason why it would never work out).

I stood beside strangers on the crowded bus stand, awkwardly crying.
I counted these not-so-scary strangers who were trying to become one skin.
I pretended that I hated to be rained on as much as they did.
I pretended that I didn’t mind their warmth, that my suspicious mind was not at work again.

Hours went by, empty roads faithfully stayed empty.
I became more aware of the boundaries of my body
I became aware of the person who would never come looking for me,
who would look at the three hour long rain and still won’t wonder what happened to me.

We all stood there,
pretending to be the only human
in the group of zombies who had taken over a bus stand out of boredom,
who stared at the wide road, the darkness beyond, and the emptiness behind
as if their eyes were made to witness only this moment.
I closed my eyes and hummed something, anything
that could drown the presence of everyone
who knew the sound of my breaking heart now.

At a bus stand, that could protect no one,
we all dreamt of the worst- of the submerged road,
a rain that will never stop, the cold that would take us down for days,
children forever waiting, of the lightning we could hear but not see

of a love painlessly ending and a heart that shamelessly survived.

“Stay Awake” – Nayana Nair

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You loved well.
I loved well.
The saddest days we have made it though
are proof that.
We have survived through the worst,
it is just that we don’t know
how to love each other in peace.
How to keep our love alive
when there are no enemies threatening it.
The calendars change, the furniture change
and we find ourselves always sitting at opposite end of this room,
suspecting each other of sneaking this distance between us
finding a new worse to fear
and fearing even trying to move towards each other
even when we want to get rid of this silence more than anything.
While you sleep, I stay awake
knowing (guessing) you are as awake as I am.
I stay awake looking into the night
trying to create a monster
that might bring us back together.

“Future You Saw” – Nayana Nair

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You say, “There are two of me and two of you
and if we are trying to be precise in the count of us
I think there are many me and many you.”
Does it even matter, to think about
all the people we were just for a day?
To complain about a love that didn’t fade
but changed from one thing to another.
To complain that it changed
even when it found a way to survive somehow.
When it is trying so hard,
when it has stayed so long
do you really want to sit here
and count the ways
in which it is not what you thought it would be,
that it is somehow lacking
and breaking your heart.
I cannot hear you count again
all future you saw in me,
to be reminded
of all the things I hoped from you.
I cannot stand here and look through the real us
that we have, that has sustained
all our disappointment,
that is better than what we want.

“Lose its color” – Nayana Nair

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The tears in my hands
slowly loose the tint of sorrow.
The sorrow that I thought
would live longer than me.
It loses its color,
it loses its pain.
It becomes water-
pure, simple, and necessary.
It becomes
a cause,
an aide
for a new and better life
to exist and survive.

“My Dear” – Nayana Nair

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My dear,

Our hands muddied with smaller crimes
and greater guilts,
are the only hands that we have
to hold each other.
Our faults make up this love
is the only love that
can survive the deaths
of our hope and trust in each other.

“Guide to living in cage” – Nayana Nair

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Feign innocence.
Indulge in their views.
Do not make you life
a contradiction to theirs.
Utter false words of underdstanding.
And they will let you be.
They do not have much ambition.
They simply want to rule
your words and action.
Your thoughts at least belong to you.
and they will continue to
till you manage to survive.
Give in to their ways.
Live your life in that cage.
So that you may be free in your thoughts.

“Apples” – Nayana Nair

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As she hands me a slice of peeled apples,
I wonder how many people
she has fed.
How many felt the gratitude for it,
only for the time its taste
lasted on their tongue.
What it must feel like,
peeling apples for your daughter
while she is slowly peeling you away
from her life.
Unknowingly and ruthlessly,
looking for something
better out there.
While she hurls words like
“You won’t ever understand”.
But she must be used to it now
getting used to this hurt
is maybe the only way to survive love.

“STORY” – Nayana Nair

Violence

How proud we should be to be human.

How proud indeed.

How civilized we are, to kill each other when given a chance.

How learned we are, to destroy anything that is different from us.

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These pages of history that we have left mark on.

and these pages of today that we read each morning.

They tell a story.

Story of the terrors that we put in each other’s heart.

Of the power we feel at the helplessness of others.

Of how we beat humanity out of ourselves and others.

Of how people survive the crimes, that were once not seen as crimes.

Of being drunk on power and false idea of invincibility.

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It is not  a story of prejudices and hatred

fueled by differences; promoted personal gains.

They are not isolated incidents of few insane people.

This is a repeated history of everywhere,

Of people who don’t allow other’s to live a life of dignity.

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It is  a story of what we are.

Of how quickly we forget.

How calmly we live,

Knowing, but not caring

About hundreds of lives like ours,

being trampled by someone like us.

We humans. How proud indeed we should be.

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