Don’t put your air guitar down just yet. Singing shabads and playing tabla and harmonium may lead you to realize your dream of becoming a rock star and playing side by side with bands like Rage Against the Machine and Ozomatli. Sonny Suchdev of Outernational proves it’s possible.

Suchdev is not only a musician, but a writer as well. His intimate short essay “The Day My Skin Came Off” details his experience of being harassed as a young Sikh traveling on a Brooklyn train.

Each of us has faced times where our beliefs have been challenged; Sonny is an example of how “staying up” can keep one afloat from unwarranted criticism and how terrible experiences can inspire one to become an activist and promote tolerance and social justice for all.

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