Sunday, April 19, 2015

My Look-Up story- Humans of New York

I won't lie. It has been a hell of time lately for me. There have been too many things going on with me, around me that I was on the edge the entire time. In a bad way. 

I don't know at which point this actually started, I only remember it building up and up till I was overwhelmed. The past few weeks had days when I had a constant lump in my throat, the smallest of things making it grow larger by the minute. There were days when I felt powerful urges to cry, to scream, to relapse into isolation and just shut away from people. 

I wish I could say I was just PMSing :P 

I wish I could tell for real what actually bothered me so much to drive me off my usual cheerful demeanour this way but there are certain dark holes inside your heart that you are too ashamed to give voice to because they simply throw away all that you believe in, all that you strive for in a single, shattering moment. 

A had a few moments of realisation lately and some of them broke me. 

I came home for the much needed weekend break (which got extended to a week-long break :P) and started healing myself, one book at a time. 

Every book I read, or re-read, acted as a band-aid on my heart. Some newly acquired Enid Blytons helped. Some favourite Agatha Christies helped. Scout and Atticus Finch helped. The Book Thief (that wonderful, amazing tale!) helped. John Dryden helped. Even Shakespeare helped :D

I won't say the healing was smooth and went without a hitch. I wonder if any process goes without a hitch after all, except in the overly optimistic movies. There were hitches because the realisations I came to about my current position in my life and in others' could not be magically glorified after a few peaceful days; they never do. 

But I was dealing with it, in my own way, through books and scribbled words and plugged in earphones.

What actually filled me with positivity was this book that arrived today-


I cannot begin to explain what a beautiful, beautiful book this is. 

I started following the FB page of HONY quite some time ago and was touched by many portraits Brandon Stanton did under his project of capturing the NY city and many more places. I was ecstatic when he came to India and I saw some amazing portraits of our people through his camera lens. 

But holding this book in my hand and flipping through its pages, though 400 portraits that took my breath away. I was overcome with so many emotions and ended up laughing and crying over it. There it was, humanity in all its essence, humans in all their glory, feelings, situations posing for one man's camera and sharing their stories with him. I was overwhelmed by the thoughts people have and how, in essence they matched with what goes in our minds, in the minds of the people around it. 

It was a book that made me connect to something bigger than all that we bother ourselves with, a book that assured me that hoping was all right, it is all that takes us through some days at times. 

Through 400 portraits, Humans of New York filled me with a strange optimism. Through 400 stories shared in this book, sometimes through a few words, sometimes through the eyes of the people in it, sometimes though their smiles made me hopeful about the future again. 

It made my naive take on things seem okay, seem human enough. And it taught me a few important lessons as well. 

I loved many so many stories from the book, but this one was one of my absolute favourites

Yes, it is a treasure and I am so glad I own it!

This post is written for Housing.com.