Uma Rao, YKB Director (pronouns: she/her)
Uma is an unequivocal believer that art can change everything for the better, if you let it. She is directing this year’s show to bring visibility to these incredible performers and stories, and because she is committed to lifelong learning.
What do I love most about myself? I’ll go with my curves, my Aunty status and my ability to see the glass as half full (90% of the time).
Priya Walia (pronouns: she/her)
Priya is a passionate activist, women’s rights advocate, and dog mom from Morgantown, West Virginia. She is participating in Yoni Ki Baat to grow her creativity and paint a more diverse picture of what it is like to be a Desi in the Northwest.
What do I love most about myself? I love that I am able to feel empathy for all people.
Aara Shaikh (pronouns: she/her)
Aara is a native East Coaster who is persistent in her belief that creating meaningful change requires acceptance and humility. She is hopeful that performing with YKB will set her spirit free and inspire other Muslim women to speak out and be fiercely unapologetic for who they are.
What do I love most about myself? I love my ability to look for and see the good in others
Sasha Duttchoudhury (pronouns: they/them)
Sasha is a shy, silly, and sensitive soul who seeks to connect people to authenticity, vulnerability, and growth through playful tenderness and compassionate creativity. They hope their participation in YKB allows them to pause in gratitude and pride, and invites others into warm and rich conversations about how we want our communities to thrive.
What do I love most about myself? I love my big-belly-laugh humor!
Sonj Basha (pronouns: they/them)
Sonj is a professional artist advocating for justice and connection. Seduced by radical acts of embodiment, diversifying community norms, and queering the status quo, Sonj is committed to bringing a vulnerability that provokes YKB 2018 to be a reflection of our Desi and Muslim community at large.
What do I love most about myself? I love that I am perfectly imperfect.
Gitika Talwar (pronouns: she/her)
Gitika is a Community-Clinical Psychologist and all-round intense human being. Through YKB she hopes to gain some closure around questions she has asked herself for a long time.
What do I love most about myself? My willingness to be vulnerable and be the one to break the silence.
Piya Banerjee (pronouns: she/her)
Piya is a long time YKB fan-turned-performer and healing nerd with reverence for the power of story. She hopes that YKB can be an opportunity to be witnessed and held in her complex and sometimes contradictory longings by her multiple Seattle communities.
What do I love most about myself? I love my open heart and curious spirit
Akshara Balakrishnan (pronouns: she/her)
Akshara is a student at UW who is interested in becoming a surgeon. She wishes to use YKB as a platform to raise awareness of issues that are present in desi culture, but hardly talked about.
What do I love most about myself? I love that I am kind hearted and that I know a bunch of languages!
Sakhi Kamal (pronouns: she/her)
Sakhi is an aspiring nomad trying to cook her way through life with a hard head and a soft heart.
What do you love most about yourself? I love my eccentric cynicism and my “love, and let love” philosophy.
Harsimran Bagri (pronouns: she/her/they/them)
Harsimran is an Apprentice Electrician who loves to cook and watch Doctor Who. Harsimran chose to be a part of YKB 2018 because she believes that challenge is an integral part of moving towards your personal truth. They seek to challenge the audience along with challenging themself; for without truth there cannot be justice.
What do I love most about myself? I love my ability to see the bright side in any situation.
Krysta Walia (pronouns: she/her)
Eighth grade dropout turned community college counselor, amateur comedian, aspiring cat lady, and out of tune jazz vocalist from Sedro-Woolley, WA. Apparently, Krysta did not get enough stage fright or performance anxiety her first time around, as a YKB performer in 2016, and this year she hopes to share her story of growing up half-Punjabi in rural, white America.
What do I love most about myself? My gift for quoting Tupac lyrics. Also, my ability to “make a dollar out of fifteen cents.”
Madhu Ganesh (pronouns: she/her)
Madhu is an artist searching for her best medium and is a constant work in progress. She is hoping to be reconnected with her self and find her yoni through YKB.
What do I love most about myself? I love furiously, cry easily, and surround myself with people who inspire me.
Jayanika Laxmi Lawrence (pronouns: she/her)
Jayanika grew up on Guam and has a passion for cultivating a more just and loving world. She is committed to individual and collective healing and believes in the transformative power of storytelling.
What do I love most about myself? I love my sense of smell and hair.
Ananya Garg (pronouns: she/her)
Ananya is a young artist finding her way through this complex world. She is in YKB because her story is one that she has not been able to speak fully and truthfully in the desi communities she grew up in, and she wants them to be heard.
What do I love most about myself? The full, whole, love that I have for my communities and offer to the world.
Saara Majid (pronouns: they/them)
Saara is also known by the name Femmeboi Godess, and their superpowers include fighting the white patriarchal agenda, gossiping aunties, and creepy uncles. They have decided to join YKB class of 2018 because it has never felt more pressing to speak their truth in hopes of inspiring someone to speak theirs.
What do I love most about myself? I love that I have the ability to create things that didn’t exist before, whether on canvas or in heart; I am an artist.
Evon Mahesh (pronouns: he/him)
Evon is a relentlessly optimistic, life-long learner with a certain affinity for wearing hoodies under t-shirts. Always looking for a challenge, he hopes to show a new perspective on what storytelling can be.
What do I love most about myself? I love my ability to smile and laugh freely!
Anjulie Ganti (pronouns: she/her)
Anju is a Desi, Northwest raised Boeing kid who lives for a home cooked meal, the cleansing energy of a muddy cedar forest after hard rain, survivor, mother, teacher, learner and loyal friend.
What do I love most about myself? Sense of humor, my resilience and sense of integrity.
PG (pronouns: he/him)
PG is a techie nerd with ambitions of being a Marvel superhero (or Harry Potter). He is participating in YKB because his partner asked him to, and he knows how to keep the peace.
What do I love most about myself? I love my courage to be unapologetically me.
Sri (pronouns: he/him)
Sri/Vatsa is just another hopeful being trying to build the world he seeks, one conversation at a time. He is doing YKB because he believes that it is about time that he and the world explored and appreciated femininity in all its forms.
What do I love most about myself? I love that I try and find music and stories around me – the popular and the unacknowledged, and let them move me to pieces.