Community Speaks 2021


 Community Speaks 2021

We are thrilled to announce that we are back with another year of Community Speaks! 🗣

We hope you join us to be a witness to stories of personal empowerment, spiritual reckoning, family acceptance, and more. Join us as we dismantle the power of the taboo that silences us, through storytelling.

This program will feature monologues by our 8 participants on the theme “Speaking the Taboo” 🔥

Note: This year we made the difficult decision of putting Aaina and Yoni Ki Baat on hiatus. We hope that the pandemic will soon pass and once again Aaina and Yoni Ki Baat will be experienced in a physical space.

About Community Speaks: Community Speaks began in 2008 as a program of annual festival Aaina: South Asian Women Focus. Partnering with API Chaya, Community Speaks was originally imagined as a forum for South Asians impacted by violence to break the isolation they have experienced by sharing their story. Over the years, many people have shared their stories, including young people, elders, all genders, and from various South Asian ethnic backgrounds.


Saturday April 10th, 11am PST and 5:30pm PST
Sunday April 11th, 2PM PST

To watch the first show on Friday April 9th : Register here (free tickets available) This show is part of Tasveer Gala.




Title of the Story: The Gift

Story: Come join me on a roller coaster ride through my forbidden craggy mental terrain. It’s the hero’s journey within, back to my center, back to the man in the mirror.

Pronouns: he/him

Bio: Abhishek is deeply committed to his personal growth as a man to be a better husband, son, brother, and friend. He has been actively involved with The Mankind Project (MKP) for the last 10 years, an international non-profit that teaches emotional literacy to men to heal their deeply seated emotional wounds and offers a brotherhood of trusted support. His mission is to empower fathers and build brotherhood by teaching men the power of authentic vulnerability. He loves being a dad to his two furry sons with tails and whiskers.

First Holiday after Pandemic: The first holiday I am looking forward to with my wife is a trip to South Korea and Japan, given our obsessive love of their food, music and culture.

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Title of the Story: A Box Full of Darkness

Pronouns: she/her

Bio: Mohima was born and raised in Mumbai, India and has been a Seattle resident for the past six years. She is a multi-passionate person who enjoys exploring different art forms for self expression like music, dance and photography. A longtime audience member at YKB, she hopes to connect with the world through her story and pursue the art of authentic storytelling this year at Community Speaks.


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Title of the Story: Meri Tasveer (translation ‘my picture in Hindi)

Story: Coming of Age, Coming Out, Coming to Terms – A short piece that explores the places I have been and revisits the people I use to be.

Pronouns: he/him

Bio: Babbar, an Indian-born, Canadian-based is an aspiring filmmaker, writer and image-maker. Babbar is interested in the limits of language, in how people use words to constantly avoid saying what they mean or how they feel and it is through Community Speaks he wishes to further explore the power of language, storytelling and crafting his own voice.

First Holiday after Pandemic: First Holiday I want to do once I can travel is drive from British Columbia Canada, down the entire west coast of the United States into Mexico.

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Title of the Story: ‘Nasty’ Brown Tweets Meet White Woman Tears!

Pronouns: she/her

Bio: Paroma Sanyal is an economist by training, and an actor,dancer,writer, and occasional director when she’s not serving capitalism. She believes that the language of theatre and dance are universal and can transcend barriers. Her goal is to bring a broader range of characterizations and theatre styles to a wider audience.She is a strong believer in multiculturalism, diversity and inclusion and  in blurring the lines between so called mainstream and fringe, through drama, dance, music and art. She is a founding member of Ta Tahoi, a premier South Asian cultural organization in the DMV area

First Holiday after Pandemic: Kolkata

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Title of the Story: Whispers Find a Voice

Pronouns: she/her

Bio: Mumbai born and a Pacific Northwest resident for the last 3 decades, Dipti is a mother, therapist, EDI consultant, trainer, and Life Coach. She is passionate about emotional health and wellness, particularly in Communities of color. She hopes to raise awareness by bringing difficult conversations out of the shadows to promote health and healing.

First Holiday after Pandemic: Any place that offers warm sun, sea, and sand in her toes is her next holiday destination.



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Title of the Story: The Bird on the Perch

Pronouns: she/her

Bio: Saleha is an adventurous, spirited, and friendly individual who strives to find the joy in continuously learning new things of interest in her life. She is a passionate educator of K-8th, and is currently substitute teaching and tutoring. Her current pursuits are learning how to speed read, reading non fiction books( a new genre for her), started doing a puzzle for the first time( 750 pieces at that), and listening to the I.T. audiobook while on her 1-2 hour long walks in the evening( yes she does look over her shoulder, and walks around the sewers when she passes them). She is participating in Community Speaks, because perhaps by sharing her story she can begin her journey of being…….free. To be herself and continue to pursue her passions without anything holding her back

First Holiday after Pandemic:The first holiday she would want to travel to is Pakistan, and do an entire tour of the country by road.

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Title of the Story: Pin Drop Silence

Story: My story is about my triumphant and survival.

Pronouns: she/her

Bio: Masoon is a fun loving, passionate and curious soul.  Over the last 28years, she has moved from Pakistan to America and now she is happily settled with her husband in Canada.  She is a proud mother of two children and three step children (they are all adults now). She likes to read and take long walks in nature.  Tasveer “Community speaks” has given her the platform to express her emotions, thoughts and experiences in a story.

First Holiday after Pandemic: She would like to travel to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat.


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Title of the Story: I am not Crazy

Pronouns: she/her

Bio: Turfa sees herself as a successful failure who has successfully failed in building a big shot career. But her true passion lies in mental health advocacy, baking, making videos, donating food and speaking out about things that are unspeakable. Her new purpose in life is to inspire by sharing stories about her struggles, in hopes that it will benefit others and bring positive societal change. She would like to start a non profit organization to raise awareness about mental health where free therapy and counseling will be available for anyone who wants it.