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“Zooming In” – Nayana Nair

When I sit still
I am not waiting.
I am thinking of what is not
and why it should never have been.
I zoom into every empty space
and practice how to look away when it hurts me.
I remove my watch from my wrist
and place it next to plate for a better view
and a ruined palate.
I start from the names I know,
I start from the what they used to be
and what they have become.
All the while not addressing
the forest in the middle of my home
and the animal cries in my chest.
The fog in your mind
now spreads into mine.
Now I sometimes forget your name
as you forgot mine.
I dream of making you cry
to forget my own tears.
I wait and sometimes dream
that you would never arrive,
that I would forget whom I was waiting for
and I would smile not knowing why.

“Cheap Literature” – Nayana Nair

Don’t ask which part of me
are easier to love.

I have tried so hard
to become someone who cannot be be loved
without effort or tears.

My faith in love,
my faith in those who love
or it’s absence
is not so difficult to explain.

Clue: Every pop song that leaves you in shambles.
Clue: The books that you call cheap literature.
Clue: The lovers who want to get to the happy ending fast, so they can think about and focus on more important stuff.
Clue: The sappy feelings that you are not interested in.

Those who first talk of my skin and my volume when they talk of love.
(I mean you.)
Those who think that my view of the world, and how the world views me
is just a phase that won’t hopefully be their burden for life.
(I mean you.)
Those who tell me about my selfishness, my unreasonable fears, my unstable suspicious tiring mind over lunch as they run their blade over every bit of exposed skin of mine. Those who are satisfied when I don’t even wince as I bleed, just the way I have been trained.
(I mean you.)
You have made this whole process
more difficult than it should be.

Don’t ask me the easy way.
I might just begin to hate you for that question.

“How people live” – Nayana Nair

I sat there crying.

It hurt to know,
how people live,
how they smile,
how they could look at each other,
how they felt welcome wherever they went,
how they could sing along
and not be reminded of all the sadness
that song carried in itself.
How my desolate riverside
was their ‘beautiful view’,
their ‘venue for celebration’.

I saw it and cried
for I realized
that this life could never be mine.
I cried because I realized
something must be wrong with me
to not want this life.
I cried because I couldn’t understand
how to set things right.

“Just Poems” – Nayana Nair

My mind that understands
is chained and crippled by its understanding.
It only tries to understand new words
by comparing it to
what has already written or read.
It only understands feelings in terms of
the pain it has given
or all it has suffered.

-o-

So when I stand in front of the doors of a poem
feeling the sting of December winds on my back.
When I ring the doorbell
and hear from other side “May I come inside?”
I immediately know that this not something
that I understand,
that there is a difference
in reading as if
sitting on the couch in a stranger’s house
waiting to be entertained
and reading as if
I have let the stranger in my own mind
and allowed him to change
the view I have of this world.

-o-

Some poems are not just poems.
They are voices that never die
because they have never been born.
They are ghosts that we have always wanted to haunt.
They are names we give to our own suffering,
a closure that only we can give to ourselves.

“Kinder” – Nayana Nair

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Would people have been more kinder
and affectionate,
if only the world didn’t misunderstand
niceness on a daily basis?
How come we live with such a distorted view
that we are afraid of being good to each other?
From the fear of being judged.
From the fear of being ridiculed.
From the fear of being burdened forever.
From the fear of being taken advantage of.
From the fear of being looked down on.

“Softer Light” – Nayana Nair

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I like days like these
when the clouds cover up my view of sky
and make the light from sun
lighter and softer
for it hurts my eyes less,
hurts my heart less.
These days reveal to me a happier me,
who has shared my life silently.
In the song I hum
there are sprinkles of your love
but never quite enough
to call this songs yours.
The songs I sing
on days like these
are always about myself.

“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.

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