Maya Nandhini – ‘Nostalgia is a kind of violence’, ‘Amid the wreckage’

Nostalgia is a kind of violence


A song breaks at its pauses,

splinters collecting beneath

hushed reverence; locked

in a terrarium of time.


The other day it rained,

and the sun came out,


every single leaf on that


tree at an angle,


light skittering through

crevices of memory.


Nostalgia is a kind of


the pain a

sharp reminder of the past’s

soft afterglow — vivid, kind,





Amid the wreckage


The colours of the walls melt

and find their way down in steady

drips – glacial slow,

staggering through memory in

staccato bursts


That shade of yellow will

remind you of butter, sunlight

in the afternoon, and of the

patina that your mind takes

on when exceptionally anxious.


And the shadows that

are there, constantly out of

reach, that come down to mingle

when the siren sounds – loud,

shrill, urgent.


Where is the exit to the escape

room? What are you running from?


In the dense straits of

everyday cacophony, do not

expect kindness.


The sirens sound hollow and

bereft, stained yellow with



Are you in your mind, weary

and out of breath or

are you just here, a temporary

presence waiting for the

blue light of clarity

to wash you out?


Maya Nandhini is a freelancer from Chennai who finds solace in reading and writing both poetry and prose.