You must have noticed Namuna Giri stopping by your Instagram feed once in a while, her heartwarming poetry videos with calming music at once grabbing your attention. In fact, the now 22-year-old had fallen in love with writing with her thoughts at a young age.
Growing up, Giri and her family moved around a lot and she never found herself getting attached to a place. Yet, she says, she carries in herself every place she has lived in.
Over the years, on the outside, she taught herself to express only the good and obedient side of her. “I tried my best not to let people around me know if I am sad or angry,” she shares with ApEx. “That way, I bottled up a lot of emotions.”
Again, writing was one thing that naturally came to her. Her friends and teachers noticed early that she had a knack for framing her words. “I never intended to write poems, yet somehow my writing turned out to be poetic,” she says with a bright smile. “I wouldn’t even realize my words rhymed.”
But Giri was not the kind of person who would naturally jot down her thoughts. Instead, she found comfort in talking to herself without even realizing it, and sharing whatever she thought as though she were writing with her own thoughts. She figured she could make sense out of this side of her by making videos of herself speaking out loud. “I made a record, and the words started flowing like magic,” says Giri. From then, she started uploading short 15-second videos on her Instagram to her small group of followers.
At the same time, she had just finished her plus-two and had to decide what she wanted to pursue as a career. As a student of science, medical school was her first choice. But then she would spend more time lost in the ocean of novels rather than studying her course-books. She had a rethink.
As a lover of words, she dove right into every storyline she read. Coincidentally, nearly every protagonist of the books she read was a lawyer. “I took it as a sign and decided to also apply to a law school after researching some more,” she shares. “Strangely enough, it turned out to be the right subject for me, like it was meant to be”.
Giri is currently doing her BA LLB from National Law College. Meanwhile, she has been making short poetry and storytelling videos of her writings on social media—her Insta fan-base has now grown to over 17,000 followers. She also shares her poetry and snippets of her life on her YouTube channel.
Giri finds inspiration in the people she encounters. All her life, she has been fascinated by little things happening around her. “When I’m walking on the street and I see someone, I can’t help but wonder about their life,” she says, her eyes lighting up. “I imagine myself in their shoes and try to channel their emotions through writing. That's how most of my poems come to life.”
Looking back, the little Namuna never thought sharing poetry on Instagram would take her anywhere. Yet she says that a part of her always knew. Poetry has helped her make sense of and understand herself better.
In the beginning, she wasn’t as confident as she is today. With the comments, criticisms, and judgments her words brought along with the growing number of views, there were times she didn’t feel good enough to do it.
An overload of assumptions, expectations, and criticism dissuaded her. It was hard to come to terms with the things said about her words, and about the way she spoke. Once, she was so daunted she stopped posting. “The most challenging part of showing the raw and emotional side of me on social media was finding a space to fit in all the negatives with the positives,” she shares. With time, though, Giri has learned that when it comes to poetry, she needs to listen to her own criticism.
She is at her happiest when she speaks to the camera about her thoughts, edits the shots, adds right music, and posts. It all seems effortless, and she plans on doing it for as long as she can.
Pursuing a career in law and writing poetry, Giri feels she has found the perfect combination to balance her real-world responsibilities and the endless world of her imagination. “I want to prosper academically, putting in all that it takes,” she says. “And I trust that poetry is something that can never be taken away from me”.
Giri also aims to write a book one day. “There is not much I can fit in one-to-four minute videos when I have so much to share,” she says. “I want to build a path through my book and explore where it takes me.”