[Photo courtesy:]

From Salt to Turmeric

The journey
from my home to my palace
from the hive to the flower
from my veins to my heart
felt like
I was returning to my dreams
returning to the unknown
returning home

salt turned to turmeric
jeans turned to silk
water turned to lassi
cars transformed into rickshaws
the rain falling from the bleak sky
turned to crimson powers
falling out of the sky on Holi

a diva lamp’s rays
penetrate through the sadness
stress and madness
that lingers around the world
to present
hope, realisation, and commitment
to those who need it

the spirit of India
captivates forgotten dreams
that dance around in space
and plants them into its soil
so, they can grow
and play with the world

– I saw colours that I had never seen until I visited India

When writing this poem, I thought of the first time I visited India. The enchanting smells, unforgettable sounds, exotic foods, intricate architecture and inspiring stories all came back to me. I remembered how much history and pride I was surrounded by. Being born and raised in England, I sometimes forget the beauty of my motherland, India. The feeling of being able to visit your roots is indescribable. It was the first time I really felt like I had come home after a long day at work.

I am the solved riddle. I am the imagery writers want their readers to see in their metaphors. I wouldn’t say it is a “battle of cultures” that is inside me. I would say it is more of a smooth blend. A beautiful blend of red, blue, white, orange and green. A blend of fish, chips, and pakoras. A blend of British Rap and Bollywood. A mixture that has moulded me into the best me I could ever be.

Always remember to stay true to you. You are a recipe no chef can cook. The blend of spices, sauces, vegetables, and sugars that make you taste the best when they are mixed by your hands. A gift, nobody else has. You will never find anyone exactly like you. Despite this, you will always have someone to talk to. Somebody who uses the same spice as you do. Or somebody who likes the same sugars as you. You can always teach a chef how to make you. Just like how you can teach someone how to love you. You are never alone.

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Shreya Sharma
Shreya Sharma is a 16 year old student, writer and poetess from London. Having grown up surrounded by a vibrant fusion of the British and South-Asian culture, ever since she was a child, she has learnt a lot about what it truly takes to love yourself and your heritage. Being from a traditional Indian household, stories about Indian history, women gaining rights, and South-Asian heritage unfolded themselves to Shreya and utterly fascinated her. She was exposed to a lot of other coloured girls in her school who felt uncomfortable in their own skin. To help these girls, Shreya decided to write about the south-Asian culture in her very own school magazine. Shreya decided to write about brown girls in the current limelight (Rupi Kaur and Keerat Kaur) to motivate her brown skinned friends. Shreya chooses to document her experiences, values and interests through literature and poetry with the hope of sharing her stories with other coloured teenage girls like herself. “I truly feel as if more teenagers need to value their heritage and embrace who they are” Shreya says “self-acceptance is a love that will never die.” Through her meaningful poetry and empowering articles, Shreya hopes to shed a light on these beautifully rough years’ teenagers have ahead of them. She has also recently started up her own Instagram page called ‘Shreya’s Golden Ink’ in which she posts her poetry and blogs that cover topics from toxic relationships to loving yourself and culture.