Rachna Joshi (Voices Within 2023)

Rachna Joshi is a poet and reviewer who has lived in India and North America. She has written four collections of poems: Configurations (Rupa & Co., 1993); Crossing the Vaitarani (Writer’s Workshop, 2008); Travel Tapestry (Yatra Books, 2013); and Monsoon and Other Poems (Tethys, 2020). She has a master’s in creative writing from Syracuse University in upstate New York, and has been widely published in magazines and anthologies in India and abroad. She worked as Senior Assistant Editor at the India International Centre, Delhi, for 28 years and lives in Noida, U. P.



Little Licks



Let us go to Baskin Robbins

Or to Café Coffee Day.

Let us see the joggers and walkers

And have something to eat

By the seaside.


Eat pao bhaji in Bandra

And many cups of tea at Solitaire

Watching Dilip Kumar and Saira Bano’s house.


Later, when all are asleep

I watch the rain

Fall outside the window

And curl up in bed.



Book launches


Going to attend a book launch

Of ‘The Logic of Dreams’

With pakoras, sandwiches and pastries,

Tea and coffee.


Seekers, diplomats and administrators

Among the audience.


Writing the body

And dealing with intimate relations.

What does dream analysis

Tell us?

Precognitive dreams

Anxiety dreams

Or messages from the unconscious.


Dreams as a gateway to knowing,

The importance of guidance

And discussion.






Shopping at Textile Intersections

In the Gandhi King Plaza.

Buying a stole from the J & K shop

For cousins visiting from NZ.


Suits and shawls and saris

At discounted prices

Shopper’s Paradise.


Choosing a red silk

I hold it up to my chin. Swirl

It in front of a mirror

Until the attendants clap!

I fear I have kicked off my shoes

And am dancing on a roof top.

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