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“What I Remember(9)”- Nayana Nair

I tell myself stories about
why I threw away all that I had,
or why everything was taken away from me.
How I was too weak, will always be too weak
to carry the weight of the gifts that I had.
Or how I was never quite convinced
that I had something to be proud of.
How I was always trying to gauge
how much deep my feelings ran
for everything that I could only sort-of-love.
I can list all similar attempts
where I sought a better quantitative understanding of my specialness
and used these unreliable results to decide how and when to give up.
But if I had to give one consolidated story of
why I was never a failure at anything,
why I never succeeded,
why I had nothing to show for the years I lived
or for the talents that people remember me for.
If I had to be concise and true
I would say
I never made those decisions,
I was never aware of how I felt about
all the things that bother me now.
I drifted away from what I was, from what I treasured,
the way dear friends lose touch, lose each others name,
lose a happiness they could have had.
Only to be reminded of this loss
when it no longer matters.

“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.

“What I Remember(7)” – Nayana Nair

I have got something against
most words and most sentences
that proclaim that everything is achievable,
that dreams come true,
that life is perfect picture if you want it to,
that everything is in our hands,
and happiness is ours if we have to courage
to step out of the shadows of our fear.

Because I may have lived just over 20 years
but I have feel like I have lived a lot
and I think it is unfair
that I feel so old and weary already.
I feel I am disappointed in many things,
many small things,
things that I could have easily ignored,
things that I could have got used to
if I was aware of their existence
before reality crawled into my world without any warning.

So when I cross my path with these filtered picture of this world
the fun, the bright and the confident who deserve the world.
I am sad, because that is the world I have never seen,
that world doesn’t exist for me.
In the world I see not everything is achievable-
somethings are and somethings aren’t.
Dreams come true, but not always
mostly we end up changing, skipping and down-grading
till we reach the ones we can achieve.
Life is not perfect.
Yes, it is the biggest gift,
but it is not perfect and it all doesn’t depend all on me.
My life is more in the hands of others
than I would want it to be
and helplessness comes in all forms
dressed in the form of situations that no one else can see.
Helplessness is as real as our dreams.
That out of the shadows that we hide in
it is not all warm and sunny.
The rains, the storm,
the climate of life is not same for all.

So all these quotes meant to motivate
don’t mention the subtext
don’t mention the terms and conditions,
the cases where they don’t apply.

I would have coped better with these small hardships
if I expected them when I chose my dream.
I may have taken it as my grand adventure,
if I didn’t feel duped or betrayed half of the time.
Maybe then I would not feel obligated to always have an excuse
to give, for the times when I fell short of the default way of things.
It would have helped or perhaps consoled me to know
that everyone has to work hard, has to sacrifice a lot,
that many struggle for years and sometimes for their whole life
to get what to they want.

Or maybe I am just bitter cause someone else is living a better life.

“What I Remember(6)” – Nayana Nair

I am writing this poem
because for an hour my mind is butchering
every beautiful thing in the world
to get that one line that can finish the thirst of this page.
And nothing beautiful remains beautiful
when such desperate hands
hack at it, cut it into grotesque chunks
and then fail terribly when trying to stuff them
into these mascots figures, these alphabets.
I call this a poem
because I can call it nothing else.
I call this a poem
because years ago a naive me
reached the conclusion
that the only way
a moment can live on,
a feeling can be recorded,
without the burden of the reason of its existence
is if it becomes a poem
and because the current me
doesn’t know how to deal with myself,
the current me knows nothing but to write,
and has nothing of substance that moves it’s heart.
And I fear myself
for the ease with which I refer to myself as ‘it’,
only because I became useless for few minutes.
I end up documenting my fear
of becoming empty,
of becoming blind,
and calling it a poem.
I end up felling helpless in newer ways
and I am forced to call it a new beginning
because giving every sorrow a beautiful name
is all that I capable of.

“What I Remember(5)” – Nayana Nair

No it is not an escape anymore
because
it is not only me
who is into these addictions of milder kind.
All I want is what everyone already has.
Don’t worry these books and music I get high on
don’t alter my perception of reality
like they used to before.
So I am fine with irrelevant goals of
having one more book to read, one more page to fill up,
and some hours to sit and stare at screens of literature of a cruder form.
They may not constitute the real meaning of life.
But I have not seen anyone who is particularly worried
about missing the real point of life.

. . .   .   .     . 

I know this consumerism and media culture irritates you.
That I look like one of the thousands who sit and demand
to be entertained, to be fed with something other than
the reality of insufficient time and cash.
Would it make me more real, would your gaze become more softer
if I bring up a portion of my life where I was hurt by this world,
when the reality didn’t change just because of my disappointment in it.
That not everyone can be one with the nature and one with society,
when nature is far away from where we are locked,
when society is all about waiting for someone else
to mess up on a grander scale than us.
See that is what I don’t want to talk about.
It is depressing enough to live it.
We can either discuss about how I almost found friend in a fictional character,
found a mirror or even a window in another,
how I do not agree with most reviews,
how I couldn’t get the tragic end of the story out my head.

. . .   .   .     . 

I don’t mind sitting in front immaculate shows of lies
if that is where the my temporary relief of my life is hidden,
at least we are entitled to that much – relief.

“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.

***

“What I Remember (2)” – Nayana Nair

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I have friends who didn’t know whom they were befriending. That is why I feel lonely and that is why I am distant.

There used to be a time when I could philosophize about friendship. I don’t do that any longer.
Because having opinions on what friendship is and who friends are is tiring. Tiring because at best maybe it can change the view I have about the world. But it doesn’t change who I am and what I will do when faced with certain situations. Situations that sadly repeat themselves so many time, that it feels like a burden to rethink my own reaction to them.
And it is difficult to voice these frustation because I am the one who is tiring others out.
Once I could dismiss these thoughts as my wrong perception about myself or a kind of self-hatred. I believe that the only thing that makes me stay in a relation is need. I want people to need me. It would be better to say I can understand if people befriend me out of their own self-interest. And I will know what to do, to continue that. I want to be given priority because I can deliver their expectations. Things go well till this point.
But when they are position to not need me. I feel that I am a tool whose use has expired. I feel them looking at me, occupying a space in their life, and thinking how to get rid of me, so that they can bring new furniture. Now even if they continue to treat me as they have always done, I can only look at it as kindness of person or formalities that I have never been able to get my head around.

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I will not text you first, because you may have tried hard to get slip this distance between us, so that you don’t have to become a bad person.
No issues, I will become the bad person, if you don’t want to. If that makes life convenient for you.
I will answer your calls out of blue and will say the things that friends are supposed to say. I will politely decline or postpone meetings that are half-hearted. So that you can feel good about remembering to invite a friend you didn’t want to.
I will not tell you of all the times I needed a friend. Times I looked for you, while you stood steps away from me, trying to be everyone’s friend.
I will get rid of this luggage, these unnecessary feelings, when people I trusted even when I didn’t want to trust, seek me only when they had no one to turn to.

giphy
I am sorry you thought I am strong enough to not need friend.
I am sorry if you thought I do not take things to heart.
I am sorry for cutting our ties, for being a person who cannot be loved once their use ends. Or for being a person you keep as Plan B.
Once I would have believed that I am at fault for pushing people out.
But not now, when I see you standing at the door, not wanting to come in, not wanting to leave my life, not wanting to close the door. Just in case I become useful again.
I have not become a loner. I have not become anti-social.
I just refuse to be kept in dark only because you need a candle.

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