Those I Left Behind | Teen Ink

Those I Left Behind

March 19, 2013
By Astha SILVER, Newton, Massachusetts
Astha SILVER, Newton, Massachusetts
5 articles 1 photo 0 comments


Ishika Patel is an Indian-American teenager who must to come to terms with her traditional Indian heritage and modern lifestyle in San Francisco. She struggles with the guilt of betraying her parents and their culture, as well as the desire to live like her friends and classmates in San Francisco. Her journey navigates the path between East and West, old and new, traditional and modern.
Outside of her struggles at home with her overprotective parents, Ishika faces the same pressures as the other teenagers she goes to school with. Drama with her crush, her inability to decide whether she really does like him or not, and whether she is even allowed to like him. An immense course load she gives up on and begins to fail classes. A time-consuming job on her school newspaper that keeps her on her toes and her parents on her back.
As Ishika struggles to find a sense of balance in her life, she must also come to terms with her depression as she recuperates in a psychiatric facility she is sent to from school one day. Her fear of being in a "mental hospital," of being abandoned by the people who come and leave every day, and her emotional desire to make long-lasting human relationships, are all issues she must grapple with, always haunted by a single question: How do I get out of here?

Astha A.

Those I Left Behind

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