This poetess has 7,500 people following her on Instagram. They wait for her daily updates with anticipation. It is very common for an average post of hers to receive at least 200 likes. And no, she hasn’t been doing this for ages. This modern day rhapsodist only joined Instagram a year ago.
‘The thought of starting this page hit me when I was sitting on a hill top in Uttarakhand. I was going through a really tough time in life, and honestly had no idea how I was going to make this page a success but I knew I had to give it a try. I came down from the hill and instantly started working on my page.’ Yashi Srivastava explains earnestly.
Lawyer turned Poetess, Yashi Srivastava
How did this former law student, suddenly turn to poetry, we wonder. Yashi has probably received this question many times in the past, still she answers patiently.
‘I wrote my first poetry when I was 8, I think. But as I started growing up, my focus shifted from writing to other things. It was only when I started my college that I started writing again, and that too because my best friend from law school (who is amazing with words) inspired me enough to get back at it. I was really a scribbler when I began with poetry but it’s been two years or so since I’ve religiously started working on this beautiful art. ‘
A Poem by Yashi
Yashi believes that there has never been a better time to be a young poet writing in English in India.
‘In recent times, I have seen a sudden rise in the number of poets in India. There are so many poetry slams, events, and literary festivals being organized to support and promote poetry that the future seems promising enough for those who want to publish their own books or start their own poetry pages/websites. I truly believe that you can do whatever you want to do in life, if you protect your vision and believe in yourself.’
Yashi was one of the only four poets from all over India, invited to read their poems during a session at the Kumaon Literary Festival, 2015 at Dhanachuli in Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand.
Being a poetess doesn’t stop her from reading and appreciating the poetry of others. Reading poetry is a soothing balm for her soul, something that she keeps coming back to, time and time again.
‘Vinati from Writings of Vinati will always be my favourite, also because she has taught me so much about writing good poetry. And then there’s Megha Rao who gives me goose bumps every time I read her work. Karla M. Alexander isn’t very popular on Instagram yet but her words hit hard and I’m sure she’ll achieve her share of success soon! Nayyirah Waheed, BeauTaplin, Nikita Gill, Rupi Kaur, R.M Drake, J.M Storm, Lang Leav etc are other favourites. I love reading Rumi and literally anything written by Ruskin Bond. ‘
A lovely poem by Yashi
Five years down the line, this prolific poetess sees herself as having checked off every item on her bucket list. ‘And that includes writing a best seller or two, or fifty! Haha!’ She adds cheekily.
I ask her to share some advice on getting published with the thousands of aspiring poets and poetesses in India.
‘One can start by a writing a blog and sharing the links on social media. Join poetry/writing communities/groups. Visit poetry readings. Go for slams/events. Google about the magazines/journals that are open for submissions. I am sure one way or another he or she can get his work featured/published on various platforms. I would like to end it with these two lines that I wrote a while back and truly believe in – Let your reality keep you grounded. Let your dreams make you fly.’
And with that wonderful piece of advice, our conversation comes to an end. If you would like to get in touch with Yashi, you can do so through the following channels: