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“What I Remember (16)” – Nayana Nair

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you
and me

you
and the me that i was, that you hated once, but not as much what i am right now

you
and your rough sketch of me that looks like bits and pieces of your past lovers

you
and your ticking clock, both waiting for me to change

you
and you habit of making me wait, of walking out on me

you
and your empty seat that you have already forgotten

you
with your air of arrogance that i pretend not to see for the sake of loving you

you
and your smile that sometimes (most of the times) have nothing to do with me

you
and your calls out of blue, calling me love, calling me heartless, throwing me away and calling me back,

you
and your words, your voice always asking for more

you
and your insistence of loving in past and hating in present

you
and your love that wants never to be associated with me

you
and your cruelty of always forgetting (only) me, forgetting the hurt you cause

you
asking me to love you back in spite of all, asking me to speak only in sweet words, never asking me how i made it through the pain you gave me last time, never wondering what do i want out of this love, that has no place for me

“What I Remember (15)” – Nayana Nair

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I think of the clothes that are too tight or too loose for me,
of my skin that doesn’t like me the way it used to.
How the mirrors in my home are hidden
by the growing towers of books.
I wonder what this says about me?
I think of the fear that I feel when I am alone,
the fear that I feel when I walk into happiness.
I think of the kinds of fear that fill my heart.
I count them for a long time
but nothing happens when I finish counting.
I wonder if knowing myself
is really the first step to solving my life.
Do I want anything to be solved?
I count the people that who no longer speak to me
and half way through I remember
that it was me who had thrown them away first.
Silence is my weapon, not theirs.
I realize I need to always hold a grudge against someone
to live with strength.
I wonder when this strength became so important to me.
I wonder when this love that felt like a lemonade in summer
actually became a commercialized product
with an expiry date stamped on it
before it even reaches our hands.
I think of my skin by which I am stuck to a world like this.
I wonder why I pretend to be better than this world by saying such stuff?
Why am I so into acting all deep and philosophical?
I wonder why I love to call myself broken even though I hate to be seen so?
Don’t misunderstand me.
I do not want answers.
Answers are painful and pointless,
answers a tasteless end
to the struggle that otherwise makes my heart bleed colors.

“What I Remember (14)” – Nayana Nair

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LOVE IS …

hiding my smile when you walk towards me
talking your name, just because i can
(just to make sure that i can).
feeling like a child when you call my name back.
interrupting the meaningful silence
with pointless debates,
pretending to sulk, acting cute,
being happy to act like idiots for once.
wasting away time,
walking towards nowhere
because that is what we do.

painting each other again
till we get it right.
loving in every way possible.
trying to become the love
that cannot be forgotten.
sweet words, sad past,
family tree in red ink,
lost friends, lost innocence
fill our time.
reliving the past that we suffered alone
in each other’s presence.
finding meaning in destiny,
agreeing with god’s plan,
begging for a day more
of this, this happiness
that fills us with dread and hope
of being understood.

waking at midnight,
hiding my body that you have killed for the day.
waking at noon,
looking for you, giving you second chances.
getting back only one word reply-
‘hi’,’ok’, ‘hmmm’, ‘lol’,’k’, ‘bye’.
waking up again and again.
going to sleep again and again.
murmuring your bitter name in my sleep
with tears i won’t remember.

silence – avoiding uncomfortable topics
silence – avoiding fights
silence – nursing wounded ego
silence – planning revenge (or something of that sort)
silence – being handed the list of shortcomings
silence – being handed ultimatums
silence – having nothing to talk
silence – feeling lonely
silence – ‘love’ has left the chat

waiting at cafes
that sell drinks which taste
like the mass-produced dreams
that make your heart burn
and everything with chocolate
as a cheap therapy,
as they play breakup songs on repeat
to normalize the pain of every kind.

“What I Remember (13)” – Nayana Nair

i did all that i must do
and now no one asks me what’s next.
thankfully,
no one burdens me with with their dreams anymore.
i am no longer a possible candidate for the worst,
for taking over the misfortune of my mother’s life.
i no longer have to worry about hurting my parents by
being like them or living like them.
thankfully,
what bothers me, what eats me up
is nothing that would keep anyone else awake
and that is important.

in spite of this emptiness i write about
and this loneliness that seems bigger than this world,
all this do not stop me
from laughing at jokes, craving for food that i shouldn’t eat,
dreaming of another broken love with my only lover,
from having a good time – that i will conveniently forget.
nothing i cry about, no ailing that lives in me
is too large to stop me from living.

i guess i carry an instability in my genes.
if my eyes are in the color of sadness,
i guess i got it from my parents.
and they are lovely people who somehow raised me right
in spite of having a tendency to mess up things
and their sadness with life.

tomorrow i will probably hate them frequently again
but they will nag at me when i reach home drenched in rain,
will tell me sit straight and force me to eat what will keep me alive,
will ask me to keep my phone down,
and sleep a little bit more.

they will not ask what’s wrong and that will disappoint me,
but they will let me do what i want to do (sometimes)
and they will try their best not to wrong me.
they will wish for my happiness,
even if they have no idea what makes me happy
and that is important.

because though i lived my extended teenage
believing that i had no one,
but it was not true.
i saw no one
and it is my fault.
even when i thought i was not loved
they have loved me silently.
though it was a tiring love,
it knew no end.

“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.

“What I Remember (11)” – Nayana Nair

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beauty may be only skin deep
but lack of it goes deeper than that.
so deep
that you end up learning to want things
that you wouldn’t otherwise even think about.
i wish i could remember every face
that was surprised to know
that i am okay with looking older than i am,
surprised that i do not want to exorcise fats
especially when i have got so much of it.
every morning i wake up
they hover over me like faceless shadows
with black markers, drawing over my body
showing me all that is wrong,
giving me tips so that i can become easy to look at,
hiding their superficiality under the wraps of concern,
whispering how thick-skinned i am when i don’t listen
and wondering what is wrong with the ones who love me.
it made me wonder
that maybe going under the knife
wouldn’t be as bad as being smeared black by markers.
that maybe i am supposed to love myself
only after the world approves of the ‘me’ that i want to love.
i would have understood if they cared,
if they actually meant good,
but they don’t
because they know nothing more than my name
and they say my name only with heart-breaking adjectives and assumptions.
i want to say they are wrong,
but i have suffered their gaze for so long
that sometimes i end up sharing their hatred of me, of what they see.
there are days that i obsess over a passing comment.
there are days i beat up myself for being like this.
i starve and fail,
i try to get over their words and fail,
i try to hate myself and fail.
i want to say it doesn’t matter
but it does
because i am tiring myself out
by trying to see something good in me,
by apologizing to myself,
by trying to save my heart
while they burn my body in the woods.

“What I Remember (10)” – Nayana Nair

I want to write about the boring,
about all that is insignificant,
about the trust that lasts,
about the promises that are kept,
about the things we don’t have to beg from god.

I belive there must be some things in life that goes as we wanted to,
that didn’t take our effort, our prayers to go right,
that fell into place so naturally
that we didn’t even notice the ease they gave us.
The boring that is neglected, that is mocked
must be a dream for a person I don’t know of.
The days of charity and donation,
the realization of the lack that we don’t experience
hits us only briefly,
gives us only short lived sadness or gratitude
and a bit of pride (that has a little longer life)
in ourselves for venturing out of our boredom
to witness the lacking of others,
to distribute a bit of what we have in abundance.

But I am not that changed,
I am not that affected.
Tomorrow when I wake up
I will forget
about the stomachs that are never filled,
about the dry glass and throats,
about the darkness that night brings,
about little curious eyes that will never see a book.
Tomorrow, again I will shamelessly
write about my need for love and acceptance.

But that is how I am
and with time I have learned
not to feel guilty for being like this,
for that is the kind of human I was made to be.
I will only be bothered
by the small bruise on my face,
the small cuts on my hand,
even if I know the existence of greater pain,
for that knowledge is not an anesthetic .
I am a petty creature like that
and I can only really feel my own loss.

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