that library

Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to our being simply because their needs and way of existing in the world force us to compromise ourselves and our happiness. They aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go. Life is hard enough without being around people who bring you down, and as much as you care, you can’t destroy yourself for the sake of someone else. You have to make your wellbeing a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone you care about, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful — you have every right to leave and create a safer space for yourself.

NPR alumnus Bilal Qureshi sent these photos from his prolonged adventure in India. I’ll let him tell the backstory:

The Mahmudabad Palace in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, belongs to one of the erstwhile royal families of India. As the government determines the building’s future in a pending Supreme Court decision, its rooms sit abandoned and unused. Those rooms include a sprawling library filled with shelves of books in various stages of disrepair. The books date back centuries, from British colonial records to literary first editions, and Persian poetry collections to withering maps and lithographs of India before Independence.

That’s one haunting library time capsule.