Aabye's Baby
In every city I visit, in every cathedral or mosque
pagoda or temple, gurudwara or synagogue;
in every space enroute to my self-discovery,
I light a candle, offer a prayer
With every prayer, I wish for things -
some material, others not so tangible, for myself
or for others I have loved more than you.

All through the hours of my worship, I converse with you
about my family and friends, whom you have gifted to me.
I don't know why I presume you will listen more carefully to
my entreaties in a foreign land. I am the one on holiday, not you.

I share my thoughts with you hoping that in the end
you will talk to me, directly; not through your silence.
I know you love me, for sometimes
you respond to the smallest desire of mine.

How can I forget that it was you
who taught me to accept my need of you?
I pray to recall our state of bliss before I was born,
before I demanded my own life, seperate from you.

I try my best to remember but memory plays tricks with me.
If you got hurt, you never showed me. Instead you loved me
constantly; kept watch over me as I lived and got hurt.
How was I to know in advance the consequences of my deeds?

My loneliness has brought me back to where I had begun.
I have nowhere else to go; don't let me turn away again on
another journey of self discovery for I am already done.
Shanta Acharya was born and educated in Orissa, India. In 1979 she came to Oxford, and completed her doctoral thesis in 1983. She was then appointed a Visiting Scholar, as well as a Teaching-cum-Research Assistant, at Harvard University. In 1985, she moved to London where she has lived and worked since. She is currently Associate Director, Initiative on Foundation and Endowment Asset Management at London Business School. Her doctoral study, The Influence of Indian Thought on Ralph Waldo Emerson, was published by The Edwin Mellen Press, USA, in 2001. Her four books of poetry are Shringara (Shoestring Press, UK; 2006), Looking In, Looking Out (Headland Publications, UK; 2005), Numbering Our Days' Illusions (Rockingham Press, UK; 1995) and Not This, Not That (Rupa & Co, India; 1994). She has a website at http://www.shantaacharya.com/ The Aabye's Baby Archive
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Shanta Acharya, 1999
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This page last updated: 12th November 2006.