Indian history

I always longed to have a lighter complexion, and I felt embarrassed to be seen with my Indian family. It is unfortunate how so many young people in North America feel uncomfortable in their own skin. Conceived from the systematic racism that lingers in our society, we feel unequal.

Thanks to my conversations with my father, I started to become more aware of racial inequalities and discrimination. He armed me with the ability to advocate about these issues, despite the underlying hopelessness I felt. Over time I have come to recognize the beauty of being Indian — our culture, our history, our values, and especially our relationships with our family members.  

A Brown Girl

I used to feel


In my own skin


My dark brown hue

And even my kin


I longed to be white

A product of systematic racism

I longed to feel accepted

But instead was locked in a prison


Of my mind


Of my culture


Less than divine


Worrying about tanning

Worrying about police brutality

Worrying about feeling like an outcast

I lost my sanity


Not being represented in books

Eyes gaze through

When we were younger


Feeling like an exception

As opposed to society’s member

I find comfort in my Indian family. The sense of security and unconditional love has allowed me to reciprocate such love for my greater community.  As I read more on India, our history, and our culture, I fall more and more in love with that side of me. I hope that I can pass on this love for the culture to more Indian Americans and Canadians, who are deprived of a sense of belonging or fondness for their culture. 

My (Our) Family

You are an alluring warmth,

A beautiful glow,

Radiant and promising,

Hovering over us with your gold


Cascading as an angle

From our window to the floor

Gleaming on the family table


Never ignored


An affirmation,

A comfort,

Through arguments 

That persists


That even when rains come over

You are opened like a door


Always there,

 Holding the day,

Shielding me

From our thunderstorm


You became my family;

A warm little glow 

And the merest of conversations

We share


Make me feel whole- 

Being Indian is more than an ethnicity or a label. It is a home. It is a community. It is a history of a beautiful and spiritual culture. It is security. It is knowledge. It is family values. It is strength in the face of adversity. It is resilience and peace in the face of colonialism. It is who I am.

More Than A Race

I am grateful for my Indian mother’s curls

I am grateful for my Indian family’s 

Pillar of support


I am grateful for feeling

Like I can always talk to them

They’re my refugee against the world


I can quarrel with them one day

And then feel loved the next day


I can be 1000 miles apart

60 years old

And my family’s hands

Will be the ones that I still hold


I am blessed with food 

With delicious spices

Taught about spirituality 

And forms of kindness


The birth of yoga

And ayurveda

A country that never laid a hand

On another


India fought off inequalities 


Through peaceful protests

And ended colonization


India redeems themselves 

Despite all of the racism

Through the burning of their temples

And the cultural genocide of their people


Through their kindness

Their values

The sense of community

The love that I 

As an Indian girl

Am lucky to carry with me

Sanjana Karthik is an entrepreneur, writer, and tv show host. She dedicates her time to volunteering and tutoring. She has reached some of her personal goals by creating her organization called Your Words Matter To Us, co-founding an upcoming mental health app called myEsprit, and creating mental health campaigns through the BC Youth Council. 


Sanjana Karthik has her own writing organization – Your Words Matter To Us, a mental health app – myEsprit, and is the host and co-founder of the Shawmulticultural show – The Reality Is. Her poetry...