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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Truest of them All?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ashoka chapter.

Edited by: Sahana Inuganti 

Mirrors are such a mystery, aren’t they? Are they trying to deceive me? Or are they the only ones that hold the absolute truth? Are they the end of my beginning? Or the beginning of my end? Will they ground me in the present? Or make me question the entirety of my reality? Is that reflection I see of myself the real me? Or is it the distorted view society sees?

Because mirrors are the epitome of subjectivity, aren’t they? Every mirror was once a blank canvas, it is the people it perceives that makes each one unique. The people are the ones that bring the colour and the vibrancy, that blur the lines between black and white — until it’s all a confusing grey.

And so, I walked through that door — that bright red, inviting door. The door beyond which could be the answers to all my questions or the key to opening a Pandora’s box of all my insecurities.

One step forward, two steps back. 

Two steps forward, three back.

And then I ran in — I ran in before I had the time to rationalise the idea of backing out.

As I entered the mirror maze — the mirror maze that so many before me never found a way out of on their own — I was scared, nervous, and almost euphoric. My heart was beating fast, my breaths were slow and deep. My face was expressionless, but my mind was a portrait of pandemonium.

Three different mirrors, three different reflections, three different selves stared right at me so closely, as if they would pierce through my soul any moment now. I wouldn’t allow that, though. The window to my soul is not only sealed — it’s lost. Lost in the abyss of my emotions, in the hustle and bustle of my humdrum existence. I looked in another direction and, lo and behold, more mirrors, more reflections, more selves. These mirrors truly were canvases, a myriad of memories that I had forgotten existed were resurfacing — resurfacing as reflections.

A stream of seemingly insignificant moments flashed before my eyes — my best friend and I laughing at the most ridiculous of jokes, my grandfather and I engaging in a heated debate about literature, and my parents affectionately watching over me as my four-year-old self attended her first dance class.

The fear and nervousness rushed out of my body as fast as it had rushed in. Familiarity always brings comfort, and that’s what these reflections felt like — they were like a warm hug on a cold winter night, like a cool drink in the scorching heat.

I made a right turn — and yes, it was more of the same. More mirrors, more reflections, more selves. Talking to an old lady in the metro about the transience of life, giving a high-five to a five-year-old who was somehow very fascinated by my spectacles, screaming the lyrics to a Taylor Swift song in the mall with a girl who looked about my age. All strangers, all so irrelevant to my life, all so important to my life.

I froze. I wanted to move forward, but I just couldn’t. All I could do was think. Think.

What I thought of was this — I still laugh the same way my best friend taught me to, I am a reader because my grandfather inspired me to read voraciously, I am a dancer because my parents encouraged me to take up that dance class, my perspective on life is a tiny bit broader now than before because of my conversation with that old lady, giving a high-five to that kid made me understand that true happiness is found in the simplest of things, singing a song with a stranger gave me the confidence of knowing that I’ll always find people who I can relate to.

My life is a tapestry, a work of art. My entire being is an amalgamation of other beings — of the incredible people that surround me every day, who make me who I am. It’s the impressions that people leave on us that mould us into the truest version of ourselves. Every person’s impression on our life is so beautifully unique that in turn, we become beautifully unique individuals ourselves. This seamless symbiosis is fundamental to us as humans, it’s what separates us from every other being in the world. The complexity of our emotions and the reliance of these emotions on people is our strength, but it can also be our Achilles heel. There is a certain beauty in this dichotomy, a beauty that cannot be replicated. A beauty that shouldn’t be replicated.

And just like that, I could move again. Just like that, the path ahead was clear. Five steps forward. Left turn. Three steps forward. Exit.

Rhea Wali

Ashoka '26

A dreamer by design, Rhea is a sophomore at Ashoka University, studying biology, and also writes for the Ashoka chapter of Her Campus. She is an avid reader, science enthusiast and a trained Kathak dancer. She enjoys writing poetry, spending time with friends and family, and tries to do her bit to bridge the gap between Einstein and Shakespeare!