HORU October 14, 2016
“I have a condition called Vitiligo, which causes loss of pigment in the skin. I’ve had it since I was five years old. My family is from India and this condition is really stigmatized there, especially for women. Throughout my life, my family attempted to use Hindu astrology and alternative medicine to try and cure my Vitiligo and other chronic health conditions, but obviously that didn’t work. They would scrutinize my skin on a daily basis and blame me if my skin wasn’t regaining its pigment. They were concerned about me being part of Indian culture and also not being accepted in America either. But more importantly, my fundamental ability to be an Indian woman was compromised. For a long time, I never talked about it because I didn't know how to and because my family wasn’t ok with me discussing it. It was only when I came to college that I started talking about it. I realized that there are a lot of people that can be going through the same thing or through something similar. And if you don’t voice what kind of struggles you’re going through in your personal life, you could be depriving someone else of having their voice heard too. Right now, I’m writing a novel based off my experience. It’s about an Indian-American girl with Vitiligo. I’ve had the chance to work with an editor from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. It’s the same publishing house that’s published “A Wrinkle in Time”, “Holes”, and “Speak”. I have 170 pages right now. I'm both excited and scared about writing this piece. No matter what, I don't think I could stop writing this even if I tried."
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