Ten Years

A young woman of Indian heritage remembers September 11, 2001.

I knew something was wrong with the way the kids in my carpool looked at the turbaned man behind the counter of the gas station in Atlanta, Ga., my hometown. I also knew he was Sikh and Punjabi—from India, like my parents—by the long, uncut beard and the turban he wore and the lively bhangra dance music playing behind the counter. He was Sikh, like Balbir Singh Sodhi, who owned a gas station in Mesa, Ariz., and who was shot to death on Sept. 15, 2001.. . . Read more
Sanjena Sathian
Not on Their Watch

Putting on the red jacket of international civilian crime-fighting brotherhood, the Guardian Angels.

The Guardian Angels are watching. Illustration by Tom Stokes We walk in a sharp diamond formation. Rocky reminds me repeatedly to stay on his inside, away from the street, where action is most likely to break out. To patrol tonight, we’ve driven to the Crown Street nightclub district, an area close to Yale that I know well, but still Rocky has built the formation of hulking men in red jackets around me—I’m small, I’m a girl, and it is my first patrol. As we approach. . . Read more
Sanjena Sathian
Letter of Intent

Writing to inquire after a summer internship.

Office of Recruitment, Ivy League Division Generic Consulting Group, LLC 10 Times Square New York, New York 10036 Dear Mr. Recruiter, A sophomore English major at Yale University, I write to apply for a summer position at your firm, where its inspired mission statement and premium on teamwork and bold investment across the market makes me think that you will perhaps not read the end of this sentence wherein I fail to say anything because I will have succeeded so admirably at distracting you with. . . Read more
Sanjena Sathian
Umbrella Man

Paul Hammer, New Haven’s bicycle activist.

We’re pulling onto the main road. My driver carefully looks over his right shoulder to check for traffic. A minivan passes, and the middle-aged, portly driver visibly snaps his neck around, craning to get a better look at us. The next driver does the same. When the street is finally clear, we slip into the traffic headed down Orange Street, and we’re off. I wish we were moving a little faster, because at this pace it’s hard to escape the stares of pedestrians and drivers. . . Read more
Sanjena Sathian