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“What I Remember(8)”- Nayana Nair

when i see my past pain in your tears

now come here,
come inside
and cry how much ever you want.
we don’t want the neighbors to know
how much worse we are doing than them.
trust me dear,
it does no one good
if you go around with these puffed eyes
and cracking voice.

you know, these days
it is not wise to act out frustrations
you never know who is idle enough to observe us
and label us as another example
of a failed generation,
a disappointment,
write an article on
how luxury has spoiled these children,
that we are just a bunch of aimless attention seeking
humans who refuse to grow up,
that we are weak to indulge in something so petty.
they will hand you the list of people who are doing worse
(i have plenty of those stuffed in drawers,
just in case if you are curious to know what it says)

i know nothing is right
but it will be.
we will make it right
but till then
do not wait for kindness,
do not expect understanding.
if you get them be grateful,
but don’t wait for someone to come and pick you up.
we will make through this
not because we are strong enough to face all this
but because this is not the first time
our lives are wrecked by these unacknowledged pains.
like always we will break ourselves
and grow smaller in our attempts to grow up.

“Too Good and Too Sweet” – Nayana Nair

love?
no,
i suffer from no such thing.
even if i do,
that is an easy illness.
there are delusions that i can buy
that can ease all these pains of affection.
if nothing else,
my lover and my heart
knows all the lies, that can put me to sleep
even when my world burns.

loneliness?
maybe,
it could be one of the things that i do not know
how to get around.

self-doubt?
yeah, probably that’s the reason
why i feel lonely even when i am not.
no there are no bad people in my life.
all of them are too good and too sweet.
though there are loud voices of arguments
in the middle of night
and things i wish had never seen or heard,
there are threats of abandonment,
there are days when we end up playing this game
where no can hear what i say-
it is not much fun for me, but i hope they enjoy it.
i need to be a bit fun, to keep everyone around.
but it is nothing serious,
nothing I cannot ignore.

i need to leave though.
uncomfortable?
no,
not at all.
just things that i must get back to,
life that i must live,
people i should bow to,
who never ask me how i’ve been.
so i’ll get going if you don’t mind.
don’t be sorry that you couldn’t help.

“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.

“Dripping Doubts” – Nayana Nair

This loud and constant dripping of doubts
is this all I need to mute, to mask,
the voices of people who have known me too less,
who have loved me more than they needed to.

. . .

I am filled with fear, tempted to run away
when they make sacrifices for my happiness,
to stay by my side.
I know what I feel should be love,
but all I feel is burden-
a knife
that pierces my skin and feelings
testing how thick is my concern,
seeing how far it can go
before it finds the cold bone hidden in me.
I bleed to little
and give up too soon.
It all ends before it even begins.
This all was a bad idea to begin with.

“Another Failure” – Nayana Nair

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If only yearning
was the correct word
for what I feel for you now.

There is a voice in me
that has taken over my throat
and it speaks what I never wanted to say.

It admits all weakness that you never knew I had.
What is the use of confessing
what no one even suspected?

I ask myself that
even as I continue to speak,
even if you are not here to listen.

Maybe your absence
has given me the courage
to do the right thing.

Now that you are gone,
now that you have changed
I have no reason to hide where I hid.

There is no love keeping me away from
the life that I always wanted,
that I could always have.

But the reason
of this freedom
also leaves me paralyzed.

Though there are many failures in my life
that I made you reason for,
now when I can do better without you, I see myself giving up.

How unfair it is to you, if I give up now.
How unfair it is to me, if I cant even taste the only fruits
whose sweetness you have not taken away.

Love was not that hard
and I do not want to add another line
to the poems and essays who blame love for everything.

That would be another lie, another failure for me,
if even when I am losing I seek someone
who is ready to sink with me.

“What I Remember(4)” – Nayana Nair

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I tell myself that I have nothing worth saying and that no one wants to listen.
I know this because I have tried to speak my mind
and in best cases I have been told that my mind is not that right,
that the experience that I speak from doesn’t exist for them,
so they will unanimously refuse to acknowledge my narrative.
Or they will smile at me and look down at me.
But I am not their adorable kid who had got her alphabets mixed up.
I am a person equal to them,
and my level of ignorance is equal to them
even if it is not about same things.

***

I am a person equal to them.
I am a person equal to them
I am a person equal to them…
I have to keep repeating it
or else I might just forget.
Maybe I have already started to forget
because these days I speak in small sentences, waiting for affirmative nods.
I find myself reading everything that they will approve of.
I find myself voicing what they want to hear.
I see myself calling myself stupid before they call me one.
I see myself nod understandingly at everything I disagree with.
I hear the arguments inside me against the favorite opinions of everyone
and they stay inside me,
and everyone is happy.

***

“You are too young to know better, to know reality.
You are too girlish to see the world for what it is.
You are too sentimental to speak logically.”
I know the wall of judgement I will run into
if I let myself speak.

***

So you may actually want to listen
and you might not be like others.
But I can’t bring myself to speak about what matters to me.
Cause either I will be wounded at my weakest spot
or I will end up hating you just for being like everyone else
when you ridicule me, interrupt me to correct me
and try to tell me what I should be feeling instead.
I won’t give you a chance
because I can’t take chances with our friendship.
I won’t speak up
because I don’t want to feel more inferior than I already do.

***

“The More I Hear” – Nayana Nair

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The songs buzz in my head.
It’s only your voice in that song this time
that stops me from moving away.
This noise again
that feels like love.
For I have already been acquainted with it
in another sweet disaster,
when someone told me
I was worth more than what I think of.
And many have said the same to me
when their actions told me otherwise.
And the more I hear it
the more cheaper these words become.
I can probably buy them from the same shop
that sold me self-hatred,
that sold me shame.
If I earned enough good points in your eyes
maybe then I can finally afford everything
that others have and I don’t.
Then maybe I will no longer have to live my life
ignoring the contempt in everyone’s eyes
that silently tells me that
it is my fault to be someone they do not like.

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