Crimson by Niviaq Korneliussen

📍Greenland 🇬🇱

First published in Greenlandic in 2014 as Homo Sapienne, the book was then translated by the author into Danish, a version that went on to receive Nordic acclaim, being nominated for the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize. In 2018, the UK translation, Crimson (released as Last Night in Nuuk in the US in 2019) was published, converted from Danish by Anna Halager. Events unfold at a startling pace in this book, told through the lives and stories of its five protagonists. Fia, has no love for her longtime boyfriend, and is now repulsed by his touch and presence. She breaks up with him, only to fall head over heels for Sara. Inuk, Fia’s brother, is a closeted gay guy and is in a secret relationship with a prominent personality from Nuuk. Arnaq, Inuk’s best friend and who is temporarily hosting Fia at her apartment, has unresolved childhood traumas which has lead her to alcoholism and a self destructive “party” lifestyle. She is smitten with Ivik. Ivik, who’s story is the most heartwarming and queer affirming, is struggling with the label of being a lesbian and sexual intimacy with girlfriend Sara; later realises his gender dysphoria. Sara, who actually makes Ivik realise the above, is grappling with loss of the relationship, the birth of her niece, and her simmering attraction for Fia.

The book is an exploration of various nuances of gender and sexuality. The author, a queer woman and native Greenlander herself, asserts that queerness cannot be explained by a stringent and linear definition. Queer individuals define it for themselves. Through it’s myriad characters, Niviaq, makes space for an unbridled queer narrative that’s messy, flawed, imperfect, inconsistent and even inconsequential at times. Their internal dialogues and personal struggles, conveyed effortlessly by the author, is reminiscent of every queer person’s journey, irrespective of their country of origin. The book also gives us a glimpse into Greenland (a former Danish colony which became self governing in 2009 after a referendum), it’s culture and life in its capital city, Nuuk. I feel, the original in Greenlandic, was way ahead of its time, since queer discourses and identities have become and are becoming mainstream only since the last couple of years. Bravo, Niviaq!


flawed. defeated. powerless.

adult alone backlit dark
Photo by Pixabay on

well, i’m in a relationship. and  i’m in love with him.

he’s engaged to a girl.

wait. is this true? i can’t myself believe it at times. everything about this scenario is unbelievable to me. at the start of the year, i had hoped in all positivity and gusto, that this would be my year of finding love. and lo behold, here i am; having found love and in a relationship. but, i never saw this one coming. the fact that, i would carry on a relationship with a guy despite his engagement to a girl. what? why, am i doing this?

this doesn’t seem like me. its such an antithesis to who i really am. but now i don’t even know who i really am! apart from my medical degree, the one thing i had always prided on were my morals. not that i am a moral incarnate, but i trusted myself to have the ability to choose the right thing; that which is morally correct. and this is still me, doing THIS; it seems so far fetched and so distant in every possible sense. but still its true, its happening. i am making it happen. so whatever happened to ME? the moral me? have i died? have i gone in hibernation? have i also become like all those people whose morals and ethics are solely dependent on their situation and convenience? those people are assholes. am i an asshole? maybe i am.

i did try to break up with him. one time. the every next day, i went crawling back to him. shameful is what i should feel, but i don’t. my life was so barren, up until he came along and planted this sapling of love. i was parched for love. so now,  i am trying to bloom and sprout without realizing if my roots are in place or not. how will this sapling ever get rooted? its still a barren space. for it to grow and nurture, love isn’t the only thing it needs. it also needs security and support and the right amount of sunshine. can i see any of that? well no! then, why am i still doing this?

i see no sunshine currently. i feel i  am in this deep dark hole of self loathing and disgust. i feel defeated. even before my moral self could ask me anything, i have turned my back and scooted off. but i am still in this. this relationship. which i feel is like a balm , on the scars of my previous relationship. its so crazy though, that this relationship is going to inflict upon me some brand new scars which currently i have no idea how will they appear and how long will they take to heal.

i feel powerless. because i have all the insight, but still i am choosing to not go through with it. fucking powerless. and maybe that’s where i want to be right now. but why would i be wanting that?

my bestie from chennai is constantly telling me to be kind to myself. truth be told i am unable to do that. i cant. the only way for it to happen would be to end this relationship. but i don’t think i can do this right now. oh, it’s so fucked up.

my eyes are tearing up. my heart is clenched. my whole life seems like a fucking lie , right now.

i see no light.







the year of love and magic.

i had such a wonderful, wonderful start to my new year. new years  is always goa for me. it’s now become a tradition. music, beaches, sex , alcohol, dance…no better way to ring in the new year i believe. this year too it was all of the above, plus it was peace. not that it happened out of the blue, but i conjured it. i made it happen for me, i feel. my ex landed up in goa and though there isn’t any hostility between us since the un-coupling and we remain friendly and cordial; i have had a nagging sense of grief lurking in my subconscious regarding my single-dom since the separation seven years ago. i remember the previous years, whenever he informed me that he was in goa too, whilst i was there; i used to be filled with rage. yes, that’s the word. unknown crazy rage, directed at a lot of things and of course at him; though i knew there’s no emotion left in me for him to bring that rage for him. it was sort of blinding rage. purposeless and potentially scarring for me. so this time as well, he informed me and came to goa. and for the first time, as he told me; i didn’t feel a thing. no rage, no anger, no madness. we met up at the nye gay bash. i had a friend with me. at the end of the party, around 5 am; as i trooped out of the bar, fairly drunk and “high”; and was waiting at the side of the road with my friend, wondering how to get a cab or transport back to the hotel; i saw him rushing towards me, he offered to drop me and my friend back to our hotel. and he dropped us. now, that was an epiphanous moment. before that, let me tell you; my ex has always been quite a helpful and courteous gentleman . so what he did that night, wasn’t surprising to say the least. i knew it, at the back of my mind, he would come to drop me. i just knew it. despite so many years having passed between us, i had that assurance. and that’s what it is!! OMG, the assurance! i never knew what he had meant till so far and what was his purpose in my life. and now after so many years , he still fills my heart with that unspoken assurance. i have always wondered, about love . how will i find love again? how will my next relationship be? will it be be filled with love and fluff? now i know, my heart isn’t just looking for the very over-rated “love”; but it’s assurance. this feeling of being taken care of. yes, i don’t want to take care of myself all the time. i want to let go at times, and i want that special someone to help me let go without batting an eyelid. and that will be love at its very best. for me.

as i hugged him, at the front of my hotel; i told him the same. and thanked him for making me realize something so poignant; so effortlessly. that has been my most magical beginning to the new year. as i stood there , i could feel all my difficult emotions leaving me. just like that. i felt my heart filling with warmth. and tranquility. with a feeling of ‘everything’s alright now’. it was as if i had found a soothing balm to apply on my bruised, battered heart after all!

2018 is going to be fabulous. in so many years, i am finally and completely open to finding my love. love of my life. this is going to be that year. i can somehow feel it. the yearnings of my heart feel more real. i no longer feel exhausted and scared at the thought of boyfriend, relationship, love. i want it. and as i want it, i can feel how it tingles my heart and fills it with mush. these feelings are new for me and i am so happy i feel them now.

this has all been magical, none-the-less. as i roll into this year with open heart , open to amazing possibilities ; i can’t wait for my love and the magic to unfold.

until next time; i am wishing and hoping the same for all of you out there. it’s gonna be such a fantastic year for all of us. and remember, be kind to yourself.