they say

home is where your heart is 

but you stole my heart 

I fell in love

with a Ajax wasteman

now all these familiar places

are shifting to unfamiliar

I feel lost

wandering these lonely streets

without you

-XOXO chana


when I was losing my mind 

going stir crazy 

stuck in the house 

you told me you would be there for me 

if I needed anything 

you would help 

yet 6 months down the line

history was repeating its self 

and you,

stood there and lied to my face 

told me you didn’t know who I was talking about 

said I should move on —-

I am not stupid 

I caught on very quick 

I noticed the small things 

I many have anxiety and depression 

But my memory is sharp 

I write everything down

to show y’all once all the lies end 

even when I call you out on the lies

you switch the conversation

you smirk

you smile 

you laugh 

y’all are playing with my life

as if I am a puppet 

I am still waiting on a 

sincere apology 

-XOXO chana

my identity

Last month, on May 28th, Tamils around the world remembered all the lives lost during the 3 decade long civil war. It is our remembrance day, during the final stretch of the war, hundreds of thousands of Tamil individuals were brutally killed. On this day, several school boards in Ontario, government officials and prominent individuals commemorated the genocide. However, Peel School Board District, retracted this tweet and apologized to the oppressor based on a few complaints from some uneducated individuals in the GTA. Tamils across the GTA have been trying to email the district school boards to tell them now much acknowledging this day means to us. In order to stand together and fight this worthy cause, Tamils have been posting on social media with the caption ” I am தமிழ்/ Tamil and genocide is a part of my identity”.

Here is my post to this movement:

In May of 2018, my family and I took a trip to the so called paradise island that travel blogs promote – Sri Lanka – for a month long stay. We rotated our stay between 2 towns: PointPedro and Mallavi. One place my Appa and Aththai really wanted to visit was the Church in Mullivaikal. My Aththai is a strong and resilient women who became a widow in 2009 due the civil war. This spot is where my Appama and Ammama were last seen. This spot is where my uncle was bombed to death. This is the spot that brings chills and goosebumps to my family. This is the spot that brings tears to my Appa’s, Athai’s, Akka’s, Thambi’s and family’s eyes. Speaking about our history as Tamils is so important. We need to educate those who left us to fend for our selves during the war. To educate the countries that did not stand behind us in 2009. To educate people of all races and nationalities. To stand in solidarity for the hundreds of thousands of individuals raped, sexually assaulted, kidnapped, murdered, killed and disappeared during the decades long civil war

RIP Mahalingam Mama, Rasama Kanapathipillai, Ammama

I am Thamil and genocide is part of my identity.

-XOXO chana

acknowledging my privilege

This was a post that I found on my Facebook timeline and this really resonated with me – so I wanted to share it on my blog as well. Acknowledging your privilege is sooo important especially with the systematic inequalities currently found in the education, health sector, and other notable institutions. If you can please post this on your blog- show young Black individuals that we are with them and that their voices are heard. I know what it’s like to feel like no one was there for you in times of hardship. Especially with the Sri Lankan civil war – no nations stood behind Tamil. Tamils, as people, were left to fend for themselves and this is what created the LTTE. During the war – nations deemed it as a terrorist group but in actuality it was one of the few militant groups that was created to fight for Tamil Eelam – independence and wishes to become a separate entity from the rest of Sri Lanka. Now, 11 years after the end of the civil war, Canada has recognized that LTTE was in fact NOT a terrorist group – instead it was a militant group fighting for the atrocities done by the President at the time and the Sri Lankan army (Singhalese individuals).

Hello! My name is Archana Baleswaran. I have privilege as a Tamil individual because I can do all of these things without thinking twice:

I can go birding (#ChristianCooper)
I can go jogging (#AmaudArbery)
I can relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemSean & #AtatianaJefferson)
I can ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell & #RenishaMcBride)
I can have a cellphone (#StephonClark)
I can leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards)
I can play loud music (#JordanDavis)
I can sell CDs (#AltonSterling)
I can sleep (#AiyanaJones)
I can walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown)
I can play cops and robbers (#TamirRice)
I can walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin)
I can hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party (#SeanBell)
I can party on New Years (#OscarGrant)
I can get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland)
I can lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile)
I can break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones)
I can shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford)
I can have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher)
I can read a book in my own car (#KeithScott)
I can be a 10yr old walking with my grandfather (#CliffordGlover)
I can decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese)
I can ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans)
I can cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood)
I can take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo)
I can run (#WalterScott)
I can breathe (#EricGarner)
I can live (#FreddieGray)

White privilege is real.

Take a minute to consider a Black person’s experience today.

Take another minute to consider the constant and legitimate fear of a Black person’s parents / families / communities / loved ones that their son, brother, sister, daughter, cousin, teacher, student, partner, mentor, mother, father or friend could be murdered any day, for any reason or non-reason, under the egregious auspices of “law enforcement,” while simply trying to live their life in the United States of America.


-XOXO chana

things to do to keep occupied

  • watch Netflix
  • browse pinterest
  • watch productive youtuber’s
  • create – art, music, write
  • write in a journal
  • practice self care
  • gratitude log
  • try out a new recipe
  • find a new youtube channel
  • go out for a walk
  • take some pictures
  • spend time with family
  • facetime a friend
  • download a new game
  • play sudoko

what do you like to do during quarantine to keep occupied ?

-XOXO chana

behind the scenes: part 2

Introducing Eliya – content creator, playlist curator, mental health advocate, and creator of monthly workbooks. Be sure to check out her socials below 🙂

Tell me a little about yourself?

A: My name is Eliya also know as @lilaroosak. I am a middle eastern mental health advocate and playlist curator from Toronto! I love to learn and through that educate others. I’m a really big nerd! My ideal day would be me sitting in a park, reading a good book, and drinking tea. I feel the most alive in those moments. What gravitated me towards mental health advocacy was inspiration to create an online community and interact with others who needed an outlet. I knew how it felt to feel alone in your struggles and to use things as a distraction from getting to the actual issue…I want to create change in people’s lives through my words and experiences. By sharing my own experiences, coping skills, and any topic that comes to my mind I have been able to create that change I believed in with many people around the world, hear their stories, and offer them a listening ear. 

The more my platform grew, the more creatives I would connect with. That is what inspired me to becoming a playlist curator that is dedicated to the talents of Toronto/The GTA. Creating a community where we can show support to local creatives is definitely a passion of mine. I am always on the hunt for more underground artists in hopes of showcasing their talent! 

Growing up what did you aspire to be?

 A: As a child, I always wanted to be a lawyer for some reason! I believed everyone deserved a second chance at redemption (it stemmed off of personal things I had witnessed). The older I got the more I came to terms that I do not support the system and the corruption that is interwind within it. In a way, I still do believe people deserve a second chance at a better life via finding a new way of bettering themselves mentally/emotionally still!

What are you pursuing now?

 A: I am currently in school for a degree in social work! I am very passionate about wellness and I believe through that career I will be able to help create change in generational trauma and be a safe space for others. However on the side, I do have my instagram platform where I have already created a safe space for many people! It is important to me to create a community where we talk about different issues & learn better ways to cope + taking steps towards healing. Through my platform I have been able to get in touch with other creatives and I am in the works with collabing with some local creatives. I am excited to show everyone what I have in store for this year! 

What’s one tell you would tell yourself if you could go back 10 years.

 A: If I could go back 10 years I would tell 10 year old Eliya to not be afraid to be herself and to stop wanting to fit in so bad. It was hard growing up in an environment where there were more European features vs my ethnic features. I would always be afraid to show my culture or embrace my unique beauty. I wanted to be liked so badly which made me lose touch with who I really was as a child. I would simply tell myself the corny line “why try to fit in when you were born to stand out”. 

How do you cope in the face of adversity or challenges

A: I love this question! Coping looks different for each individual and I can definitely say I have found solid healthy coping mechanisms that work best for me! When life gets hectic or new difficult experiences arise I take a moment to check in with myself. If I always feel grounded and at peace, I will be able to move towards a solution rather than allowing myself to get foggy minded. I like to journal as it helps release any thoughts I have (that is why I created free monthly journals in hopes of teaching others the power it has). By journaling I am able to self reflect and understand steps to take to get through the challenge. I have spent months healing my inner child, understanding her and her needs. That has definitely been a turning point for me. By healing that inner child, I learned self compassion and silencing my inner critic (that mean voice in our head). I make the active decision to be kind to myself through any obstacle and by doing that I cope smoothly. 

Where do you see yourself in the future – career-wise and personally?

A:  I see myself being a motivational speaker and a published children’s book author!  My back up plan is a social worker but regardless I am extremely passionate about both. I envision myself being a successful woman who is filled with stories of her travels, knowledge, and kindness. In terms of my personal life, I imagine myself being a mom not sure how many kids exactly but being a wife, a homeowner, and a mother are things I do want in this lifetime. 

What are your attitudes towards social media?

A: I personally think social media is a whole different dimension HAHA! You meet different people that come from different walks of life which is a beautiful way to connect with others. However it can be draining and a spiral of comparing your life to others. I however don’t have that problem. I think it’s just about knowing your own personal boundaries and being aware that not everything is as it seems…by doing that you can have a safe, wonderful experience on it!

What are your attitudes toward mental health and the stigma towards it

A: I think mental health is just as important as anything else. It’s your whole mind which controls everything else…how you see yourself, others, the world! To judge someone for solely struggling to understand themselves and better themselves just shows that person’s true colours. To discredit someone, to name-call someone, to belittle people who have mental health issues is a power trip for some…those are the ones who are the most blind. There is nothing wrong with having mental health issues and it’s my goal to make people be seen, educate others on navigating through their health problems, and understanding they should not feel ashamed to be vulnerable about how they feel. There is more to a person than their depression, anxiety, eating disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and many more! Around 7 million people each year live with mental health issues and for someone to use their old fashioned beliefs as a way to discredit them…well that’s just a joke of its own. 

What makeup product would you recommend to someone looking to get into makeup?

A: If I had to pick one makeup product it would definitely be an eyeshadow palette! Makeup is something that takes practice & you should be having fun during that process. Eyeshadow is something that is easy but also takes time with blending, the different styles you can do, and overall it’s a form of expression. You can not go wrong with a good eyeshadow palette with colours you want to play around with! 


-XOXO chana

Find Eliya on

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