Friday, March 27, 2020

Welcome to my A to Z Blogging Challenge of 2020

Dear Readers,

Awkward pauses hold my thoughts captive as I try to type out a post today to say hello to you after a gap of an autumn and a winter. Two seasons apart has turned me into a tongue tied blushing bride: I'm not sure where to begin and how to give form to the stream of emotions that's gurgling inside. So, I'll do as the wise people say. I'll start at the beginning.

For me, beginnings are easier to get to when I work my way back from the end. The end of 2019 threw some curve balls at us as a family and when 2020 shone on the horizon, I was in danger of boxing all of last year into one big disappointment box, tape it up with 'why us' and post a big 'I'm feeling sorry for myself' label on it.

But, someone, somewhere, in this dimension or another, was looking out for us. Hearts healed and bodies bounced back to health.

Ironically, just as I was beginning to flex my writing muscles and get the grey cells ticking to the tune of writing regularly, news of corona-virus threatened to capsize my feeble attempts to get back to blogging.

The heart said not to bother with the challenge in such challenging times and let this year's A to Z slide by just like 2019. But the shutdowns and curfews and the inability to continue with my work at the local hospital have opened up a parallel universe of unencumbered time.

So, I thought to myself, why not step into this expanse and write?

I've been toying with the idea of writing a memoir for over a decade now. But, somehow, I haven't put in any real work into the idea. So, this time, thanks to the discipline of this challenge, I hope to make a start.

For the month of April, I will be sharing stories and memories from my childhood which revolve around my grandfather's garden.

I've inherited his love for the land, soil and seed and in recalling my fondest memories of him and his beloved garden, I hope to introduce you to him, my Papaji. Of course, no mention of Papaji is complete without talking about his better half, my grandmother, Beji, who he doted on and whose kitchen will provide some of the tasty flavours of this month's posts.

The posts this month will follow only one rhythm: that which goes from A to Z. So, the seasons and the mood may change every day--be warned. Not all that you'll read here in April will be happy and full of light. Some of the posts may make you unhappy or sad. But such is life.

Apart from my grandparents, you may meet a few other members of my family, but the focus of this month is Papaji and Beji. So, come along and meet them and some flowers, fruit and vegetables that grew in a plot of land I remember as heaven.

It all happened in the mid nineteen seventies in Dehradun in a garden that was attached to a house built for refugees who'd left their homes and lands and moved to the newly formed India in 1947.

Papaji and Beji were two of the fifteen million people who were uprooted from their homes to honour a line drawn on a map by Sir Cyril Radcliffe.

Roots and branches will keep you company on this blog during this month of A to Z.

See you on the 1st of April 2020 with the first offering of "Papaji's Garden".

Keep safe and healthy.

Love

Arti