Anu Yadav

A Hindu Prayer

Orbit: The Asian American Issue
Volume 15:3, Summer 2014

A Hindu Prayer

Ok, I’m praying, ok?
I’m sitting on the toilet and I’m praying.
Let’s just get one thing straight.

I don’t believe in you.
I don’t believe in Krishna.
But I’m praying because I don’t know what else to do.
I’m just going to talk to you even though
I don’t believe in you, ok?

What has happened to me?
I am living on the edge of existence.
My medicine,
food for my daughter,
electric bill,
car payment,
I have to choose between

These are impossible choices.
I want to believe in
something bigger,
a God.
I wanted to believe in you
but every time
Papa praised your name
with one hand and
beat me with the other.
My older sisters,
my own mother
Did nothing.


No one else.

Why me?

I cried out your name,
Krishna save me.
Someone help me.
And for that he beat me more.
The things he did to me.

I learned to rely on no one.
Not God.
Not even my own family.
They left me long before I left them.

So now my daughter is having you
as an invisible friend.
Karma, huh?

I pass on these stories,
not for her to believe they are real,
not for her to believe in you,
but for her to believe in herself,
believe that she can do anything she wants.

So give me something, please.
Because right now,
I can’t tell that there is
anything left worth
believing in.


Anu Yadav is a critically acclaimed actress, writer and theater-based educator dedicated to telling the stories of people pushed to the margins of public discourse. She has performed with the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Imagination Stage, Theatre Alliance, and African Continuum Theatre, as well as at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Strathmore Mansion and the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing. She co-founded the storytelling project Classlines, wrote and performed her solo play Capers which toured nationally, and recently debuted her newest play Meena's Dream at Forum Theatre to sold-out houses. She was featured in the documentaries Walk with Me and Chocolate City. She is a 2013 DC Artist Fellow and holds an MFA in Performance from the University of Maryland at College Park.