Hi, this is Gennis! I hope all of you are doing well, I pray that everyone is safe and healing. This right here is a person from the northeast, Manipur, not your conventional boy. I have been focusing a lot on my mental health now because I realise how big of a deal that is. I’m going to tell you how I spent this 2020. It has been a year of healing and self-reflection.
Every story should have a beginning. Let’s begin when I came to Delhi in 2018- a young, naive, anxious and brave person.
I spent the one and a half years there making good friends and meeting really cool people. I liked going to college because it provided a distraction from my anxiety, and what was going on at my cousin’s place. They were very homophobic and transphobic and so, I didn’t feel safe there. But I strived forward because I am that strong. The silence screams the truth.
Then, COVID-19 happened and I could no longer go to my happy place and even waking up felt like a chore. But to my relief, one of my cousins had gone away for her marriage and one of my cousin brothers had replaced her. So, I had to stay with an older cousin brother. I hated sharing my personal space with him but had to because of the lack of proper space in the house.
But he wasn’t always in the house and would roam around with his pack of “misfits”. I had been struggling with my mental health for some time now but all of these events somehow made it harder. But I somehow managed, and an FKA Twigs song, “daybed” lyrics, expresses perfectly how my condition was during that time –“dirty are my dishes, many are my wishes, possessive is my daybed, active are my fingers.”
But I managed to go out during that time to the nearby parks although not regularly. This was enough for me. I spent my time listening to music, dancing and painting. Music would remain on all the time during those days. I would play it and dance to it, sing to it and paint to it. Allie X, Marina and the Diamonds, Kim Petras to FKA Twigs were my friends. Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince was there for me and how can I forget Melanie Martinez, Emmy the great and more.
Then there was news about flights starting to fly soon. I waited and waited till I was on that plane and back to Manipur. I stayed in quarantine for more than 14 days. I begged my mother to bring me a new earphone to the quarantine centre because mine had broken and she did! There was music there too, my friend. It didn’t matter that people were cold to me because I presented myself differently.
I would make up these sketches of makeup looks to upload on the internet. It provided a form of escape. Looking at reference photos on Pinterest, thinking of ideas and what makeup pallette should be brought were my escape. So was my music such as Solange’s ‘Losing you’ and Kate Bush’s ‘Running up that hill.’
I would like to talk about how makeup made an impact on my life in the next article soon. I had a tiny breakdown during the last few days of the quarantine. The words of people who care for me and my vision and for what I was going to do after this kept me afloat. Music kept me strong.