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Which Modern-Day Ashta Nayika Are You?

In Bharat Muni’s Natyashastra written circa 200 BC, the Ashtanayikas represent eight heroines, each grappling with different dilemmas one might face in romantic relationships. Here’s their 2024 representation

The card contains four different women heroines or ‘nayikas.’ They have different expressions corresponding to their circumstances and emotions. One of them has a crown on her head, while another is crying. It seems that she is experiencing some turmoil in her relationship, by the illustration of the broken heart next to her.

Text on the card reads:

Are you an Ashtanayika in Romance?

Back in 200 BC, the Natyashastra classified romantic heroines into 8 types, each an archetype of a woman in love, a romantic type.

Collectively, they are called the Ashtanayikas (Ashta bole toh eight; nayikas bole toh heroines).

Which of these Pracheen Heroines are you?

The card contains a woman peering intently over a bed. The bed has been elaborately made up, with a heart-shaped floral arrangement and a candle.

Text on the card reads:

Vasakasajja Nayika

The "dressed-for-sexcess" heroine

'My lover is OTW...and I cannot keep calm'

Always excited to be reunited with her lover, the Vasaka-sajja (literally, dressing for the conjugal union) Nayika sings "sajna hai mujhe sajna ke liye" in the shower. Her solah singaar is all about filling up with desire in erotic anticipation. She likes to dress up slow, and be undressed slower.

Fav Google search: "A bra with 10 hooks”

The card depicts a nayika holding a dead snake. She is gazing out at a stormy landscape with trees and bolts of lightning. Her speech bubble says, “Keep calm lover, I’m on my way”.

Text on the card reads:

Abhisarika Nayika

The "Hamesha Ready To Elope Heroine"

"Keep calm lover, I'm on my way"

The most famous of the Ashtanayikas, the Abhisarika Nayika is an impatient risk taker, who doesn't play the waiting game. She'll simply brave storms and snakes, as she sneaks out of her house to meet you. Chhup-chhup ke milne ka, aur risk lene ka thrill, just makes the fires of her passion burn brighter.

Fav Google Search: Lyrics of "Saat samundar paar…

The card contains a woman perched in a laid-back manner on a throne. She has a crown on her head. A man sits on the floor, holding her foot with a heart in his eyes.

Text on the card reads:

Svadhinapatika Nayika

The "Treat me like the Goddess I am" heroine

"Keeping calm cause my boo's a slave to my love"

Is it even love if you don't have their whole heart? The Svadhinapatika Nayika wants unlimited, unfiltered adoration. Help her paint her nails, Swiggy her treats, and give her your full attention. Submission ahoy! She'll turn your life into a garden, as long as you send her flowers.

Fav Google Search: "10 things a man does when he is in love.”

The card contains a woman hiding her face with her hand, while a man holds the shawl around his neck with his palms in a prayer position, as though asking for forgiveness. There are two blue ticks positioned near her hand, indicating that she has left him ‘on seen’.

Text on the card reads:

Khandita Nayika

The "In her villian era, because of cheating lover" heroine

Fuck your calm. you cheating skunk!

If you fuck around with someone else, she will find out. The Khandita Nayika is a raging lover, literally. She will leave you on seen, block you, and make your own parents cancel you - at the very least. She will destroy you, and look sexy AF while she does it (Revenge bod ftwl).

Fav Google Search: "Best ways to kill your asshole ex.”

In this card, the roles are reversed. A woman is seen asking for forgiveness with tears rolling down her face. A man in a turban stands with his back to her and arms crossed. 

Text on the card reads:

Kalahantarita Nayika

The "break-up first, say sorry later" heroine

"I wish I had kept calm"

Roothna-manaana is all part of the game for the Kalahantrita Nayika. She is passionate, impulsive and quick to anger. But the gussa is just a prelude to regret. (Can you imagine how hot the makeup sex will be? Ufff!). Fun, until it's not maybel

Fav Google Search: "Boo was unreachable for 6 hours so I thought they were cheating on me. AITA?”

This card depicts a waiting nayika. An illustration of a watch has been drawn over her bangle, showing the time and a broken heart.

Text on the card reads:

Vipralabdha Nayika

The "damsel who's distressed" heroine

"Do I keep calm and (still) wait on?"

"Tuhje yaad na meri aayi, kisise ab kya kehna," sings the Vipralabdha Nayika, as she waits for the lover who never shows up. She spirals as she wonders why she has been stood up, and wallows in self-pity. You can almost hear her say: emotional self-torture ka kinky pleasure tum kya jaano Ramesh babu?

Fav Google Search: Lyrics for "Mamma Mia by ABBA.”

The card contains an illustration of a nayika gazing up at the sky with tears running down her face. The background around her is that of the night sky, stars and the moon.

Text on the card reads:

Virahotkanthita Nayika

The "Yearning and churning" heroine

"Keep calm and listen to sad songs”

The Virahotkanthitha Nayika is not a multi-tasker- she gives waiting her anxious all! She misses that special someone with unstinting ardour. Heart-to-hearts with clouds, stars, and the moon - only the universe can really understand this dooriyon ka dard. She is dreaming of the day she can finally feel the touch of true love again!

Fav Google Search: "Bollywood heartbreak songs”

The card contains a woman reading a long scroll with a hand over her head. There is a heart illustration close to her. Her speech bubble reads, “How can I keep calm? It’s been 253 days, 16 hours, 54 minutes and 45 seconds.”

Text on the card reads:

Proshitapatika Nayika

The "Tere bina beswaadi ratiyaan," heroine

"How can I keep calm? It's been 253 days, 16 hours. 54 minutes and 45 seconds"

The Proshitapatika Nayika is in mourning. No, her lover is not dead - just away for work. But jab pyaar itna passionate ho, even thodi si doori is unbearable. She is extravagantly stoic. How can she be sure that they are okay without her to take care of them? She spends her days reading through their first anniversary chats for the 461st time and texting them, 'Khaana khaaya baby'?"

Fav Google Search: Will my relationship survive the distance?

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