Thursday, April 30, 2020

Z is for Zarrā Zarrā #AtoZChallenge

An Urdu phrase today:  Zarrā Zarrā [Devnagari: ज़र्रा, Urdu: ذرّہ, pronunciation: Zarrā

I hope this last post of the challenge will make the meaning of this phrase clear to you.
Papadash and Artemis are back today. They'll help you get there:)
Marigold Yellow and Dahlia Maroon were opening their buds when Artemis heard Mother tell Father that Papadash had sent word with Breeze of Gentle.

"The Wizard thinks she's ready to go back to the Great Garden." Mother's words sounded as sweet as the song Koel sang in Tree of Jamun.

"Hmm." agreed Father.

When Artemis reached the Big Metal Gate, Papadash, the Perect was waiting. His eyes twinkled in the morning sun. 

Artemis ran straight into his open arms and immediately felt at home.

"You've grown my child." Papadash kissed the top of her head. 

There were many more Twigs in her wild hair today. They had all begged her to take them along as she'd run past first the Grove of Mango and then the Grove of Litchi. They cracked and creaked till Artemis agreed.

"I missed you so much Papadash." Artemis felt a tickle in her throat. So, she cleared her words out.


Artemis looked up surprised. Her eyes were filling up with Drops of Dew. Did you not miss me then? She thought but didn't say anything.

"But child, how am I to miss you if you never left me?" Papadash asked as they sat under Tree of Mulberry.

"I don't understand." confessed Artemis.

"You must be hungry." the wise Wizard said and pulled out an Orange Orange from deep inside his pockets and started peeling it.

Artemis was too happy to be back to let anything bother her. Leaves of Mulberry danced to the tune of Bulbul  while Perfume of Rose skipped around them. Even the Bags of Cloth who never looked happy for they often complained about Sour Grapes seemed to have mellowed with age. 

Papadash peeled the skin of Orange carefully. He split it into two halves and gave one half to Artemis.

She popped a segment into her mouth as soon as she got it. The juice was sweet and cool. She rocketed the pip out. Sunflower Bright moved his head to see how far the pip would fall.  

"How was it?" 

Artemis turned to see that Papadash hadn't touched his share of Orange yet. She felt a little embarrassed about finishing her half so quickly.

"Look." he said and peeled the web of veins that held the segments of Orange in place and showed it to her. 

Artemis watched spellbound as Papadash picked out a segment, slowly and carefully: just like Mother picks baby brother out of his cot. He asked Artemis to notice the veins, the transparent skin and pay attention to the promise of juice that lay within. He spilt it open. The strands full of juice opened up like a fan. Hidden inside the orange strands, lay a pip. 

"What do you see?" asked Papadash holding the pip between his thumb and finger.

"A pip."

"Child, look closely and you will see you, the world and me." 

For it is common knowledge that all of  Earth's Trees live inside Seeds -- from Orange Sweet to Mighty Oaks and even the Mulberry and that has always been the way of All you See.

"But Papadash I can not see you or me or the world! I only see a pip very small." protested Artemis.

"Give it time and look deeply--not to see that which it is but to see that which it can be."

Artemis nodded her head. Some things were starting to make sense.

Papadash offered her the juicy segment fan to eat.

"But, I've eaten mine already."

"Did you really eat it child? Or did you gobble it up? Did you pay attention to the millions of molecules and aeons of atoms that visited your tongue so you could taste Orange of Orange?"

"Does taste have colour too?" wondered Artemis.

Papadash smiled.

"Every thing, every little thing--Mountains High, Streams Shallow, Rose Pink, Pip Bitter, Particle of Flavour, Drop of Ocean, Wisp of Cloud, Breath of Baby, Dark of Womb--every Sigh, every Cry, every Heart, every Touch, every Bite, every Smell, every Tweet of Mynah bird--every little Zarrā inside every atom of every molecule of every Galaxy of every Cosmos has its own Colour."

"Really?" Artemis' saucer eyes widened and she shook her head to see if all the information Papadash was giving her was fitting in or not.

"Heads can see that which is. Only Hearts can see that which can be. When you said you missed me and I asked you why--this dear Artemis is my reply to those Drops of Dew that filled you eyes."

Papdash pulled her closer to him and started untangling her wild hair, one strand at a time.

"You see, dear child, we are all Children of the same Light. Pip Brown and Artemis Curious come from the same place. Every atom and every molecule holds the Light of Eternity as its Guide. So, when I want to talk to you, I think of you and see your light --from here." Papadash put his hand of many wrinkles on his heart and patted it.

"Next time you eat a piece of Orange or watch the Cloud roar, pay attention to that which can be -- for one day, you may be the drop that floats in Sky and who knows I may become a newborn's cry!"

Sky of Doon, the Valley of Green, was getting ready for the Night. His Star children had started coming out one by one. Koel and Bulbul were singing their last evening songs when Papadash looked at Artemis and said, "That's enough for your first day back. Now go home and tell Mother you were late for I told you another. Go and let April sleep in this Soil of Blog Deep; for tomorrow it will be May and all will wake up to a brand New Day. Go my dear child but remember this: His Light is all we need to see for it lights up every Zarrā  in every stone, every leaf, and every single bumblebee."
Dear Precious Readers,

Thank you for being my companions during this month of unusual April. I'll miss the daily posts and your visits but as Papadash would say--All I have to do is look with my heart and I will see all of you in your Galaxies.
I bid you adieu for now.
May will be here tomorrow. I've asked her to show me the light just like April did so that even if this is my last post of A to Zee, our paths may cross, more often than intermittently.
What do you think Zarrā Zarrā means? 
Do tell me what you think of this tiny little Zee which reminds me of Rumi:
"You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop."
Thank you.

Yours truly and always gratefully,


For those of you who understand Hindi, here's a short recital of beautiful poetry: Enjoy.
Punjabis have trouble saying crisp goodbyes. They linger on at doorsteps and garden gates for ages.
And as I am of Punjabi stock, I feel like saying more--yes, greedily so!
 Hence, sharing a poem I wrote a while back, in case you have time to read. 
And if you'd like to visit this sacred grove I talk about, just click on : Of Sacred Groves

But before you enter the sacred grove,
Take off the cloak, the mask, the camouflage.
Bring in the real you--
bare and brilliant
single and sufficient
older than time
younger than the last breath
no body
no mind
no iffs
no buts
no good
no bad
no likes
no dislikes
no memories
no plans
no past
no future
no family
no friends
no ties
no loose ends
no laughter
no sadness
no highs
no lows

a drop in the ocean
an ocean within a drop

Like a ripple seeking its shore

Come ...

meet your shore

He's been waiting for you all his life too.
Stay safe and healthy.
I'll see you on Reflection Day.


  1. Hari OM
    Oh... Arti... I will soil this post if I give more words than, Wonder Wanders Within and Without... This, to me, is Zarra...

    Congrats on completing the month and that too in such style!!! I do hope you will be more present - at least once a month. PLEASE!!! YAM xx

    1. Dear Yamini,
      I shall cherish your string of four Ws. Love it.
      Thank you for being present for me. I certainly hope to be more regular--but this vagabond soul and banjara dil sometimes tempt me away from routines and such:)
      I know you know what I mean.
      Love this connection we have.
      Hari Om dear one.

  2. Beautiful post, as the 25th others were! I enjoyed a lot reading your sweet family stories, Arti, and ihope to read you again! Take care and stay healthy.
    Z is for Zakka

    1. Thank you for your presence here throughout the challenge Frederique.
      I've added you to the list of blogs I follow so I will hop over every now and then--and I want to see the Australian sky inspired quilt of yours for sure:)

    2. Thank you Arti!! See you soon here too ;)

  3. I'm going to miss your posts. :( I've started reading them some time in the middle of the month but fell in love with your stories (fiction and nonfiction). Zarra for me is peace that comes from within, hope that fills each breath, and love that blooms around as Nature. <3
    Congratulations on completing the challenge.

    How can I find you on Facebook?

    1. Thank you dear Srivalli.
      May your definition of Zarraa infuse us all everyday. It's so beautiful.

      I'll send you a friend request on fb:)

  4. There is a reflection day? :)
    I've loved you tales Arti, will be back for more. Also, you asked me on your blog if my surname was Punjabi - yes, it is!! Although I am a Sindhi, there are a few people in my community with this last name. Some TV celebs too!
    Take care and see you soon!

    1. Sorry for sounding reflective Nisha:) I must've been in that space when I wrote the post.
      Cheers for clarifying the surname question.
      It's the first time I've come across it this month and by chance not one but two 'Punjabis':you and Arti of 'my space' --hence the curiosity.

  5. Arti, as soon as I saw the title I started singing Que Sera Sera (to the annoyance of my neighbours) which I know realise has nothing to do with Zarra which has a far more beautiful meaning! Thank you for making each day this month special.

    1. Cheers Keith and now that you mention it--Que Sera Sera is the perfect song to sing these days. I shall sing it (loudly) and see if the husband notices;)
      Thank you for visiting so regularly.

  6. What an absolutely perfect tale to end your series, and this month with! I feel so inspired and encouraged, and only a little bit sad as when does when delightful things end. But of course there is no ending when everything is a portal into Everything.

    I, too, linger at goodbyes, and am eager for more. You must write more stories Arti. I’m seriously urging, no begging. I want to see volumes and volumes of your beautiful writing, and your lovely photographs. Your poem is wonderful, and I will most certainly hold it in my heart. Thank you for adding so much delight to my month and my life.

    1. Dear adorable Deborah.
      Thank you for pouring so much of your love and time and light into your comments. Your words glow with the kindness of your spirit.
      This past month has been a journey for sure--a loss and a lot of gain.
      Artemis and Papadash made an entry--whoosh--just like that and I have a feeling they are here to stay with me --at least for some time.
      Sending you hugs full of gratitude.

  7. Such a beautiful end to this journey weave magic and transport us to a fairyland...And you are right..His light is all we nees..Noor toh har zarre mein hai

    Its been a great experience, getting a glimpse of your world. I hope agle mod par phir mulaqaat hogi..

    1. Cheers Arti -- you know when I type out your name, I get this out-of-my-body feeling--like I am addressing myself:)
      Insh'Allah...zindagi ne saath diya to mulaqaatein hotee rahengee.
      Thank you for visiting and commenting so regularly.
      Happy our paths crossed this April.

  8. My dear sis thanks for sharing these beautiful memories this month. I enjoyed each and every post of yours, it was a lovely break during this time. I was surprised how I would think of some memories and then later read your blog post! I guess we are telepathic!
    You used to amaze me at school with your short stories that you used to choose for essay prompts. You're a lovely thought provoking writer, keep writing and looking forward to your published book soon!Lots of love and hugs my darling sis.

    1. I love you sister. And now a whole lot of people in this world know what a horrible big sister I was to you when we were little:)
      Hugs and love --always and forever. xx

  9. Hi Arti, absolutely enjoyed reading your childhood and family stories, one each day all this month. It was a wonderful journey. Thank you for coming over to my blog, and for your lovely comments. Hope you would continue to read my posts, as I would yours. And, thank you for adding my blog to your list of blogs that you follow. I shall add your blog to my list.
    Take care, and wish you the best.

    1. Thank you Pradeep.
      I'm so glad you enjoyed the posts I wrote.
      Keep safe and healthy and we will meet in this virtual world of blogging:)

  10. Your words speak to my soul! I feel like I know them from somewhere, and you say it so brilliantly that it is at once clear.

    Can I just say, I love your words, dear Artemis and leave it at that?

    I know I will come back often

    1. Artemis is blushing and Drops of Dew are threatening to fill her eyes with Fog of Friendship:)

      Some connections are just there, no?

      Like I said to you once Namratha--the wind in your branches tickles my leaves---let's enjoy the breeze and nod and dance to this cosmic tune for how long--who needs to know anyway!
      For now, this is magic and I will partake.

      Tickles to you dear poetess.

  11. I am so going to miss this daily dosage of nostalgia Arti... Anyways like you said... You can only miss something when that something has left you... Otherwise there is nothing to miss :)!Congratulations on a successful completion of the A2Z challenge... Will keep visiting your blog and hope to keep the interactions on... No goodbyes :)

    1. Cheers Ira.

      I am all for no goodbyes. Those are too sharp and final for my taste--I like slow and curvy and round and sweet -- yes, like jalebis.
      Our paths will cross I'm sure and in the interim, I will hold your words and the image of you reading to your son a tale of Artemis and sigh a deep sigh of gratitude for this A to Zee that brought us together.
      Hugs and best wishes.

  12. Your A-Z challenge has shuffled a lot of childhood memories in my life.It was like many of your new friends set on an impromptu long distance travel.30 days of train tour and each day, we landed in a new station of experience, absorbed all that it had to offer.Filled up with all its Freshness,Fragrance,Food, Flavors,Friendship,Films,Fantasy,Fairy-tale,Fears,Fondness,Faith & above all Family.All so well designed & built with a lot of warmth & love. Though we humsafars traveled together to Dehradoon with you, it felt like i carried my Mumbai too along with me.
    Congratulations!!Take a bow my dearest friend,for taking us through this journey when literally the world has come to a stand still. Enjoyed every word every emotion you touched. I am happy i came along with you, witnessed the garden of memories and met all your beautiful family. Thank you Arti.
    Z - Zarra Zarra for me will be 'Zinda', to be 'full of life', as in the 'Zest' of life, from the mere presence to its vast infinite existence. (Zarra lines from Dilli-6 says it all)

    1. I wish I could give you pyaar bhari Punjabi style Japphi right now my lovely, lovely friend.
      I'm thrilled that you shared and bared so much this month with me. Your Amuma, that balcony and the natkhat nanhi Vidya have become a part of Artemis and Papadash's garden.
      Stay safe and healthy and keep sprinkling your magic around you --just the way you always do.
      Love you loads. xx

  13. This was so deep and meaningful! I hope you write more stories like this. Very moving.

    Congratulations on reaching z.

    I hope you and yours are staying safe and healthy during this difficult time.

    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

    1. Thank you so much for visiting and for writing such an encouraging comment.
      I hope to continue writing stories--discovered that I could thanks to the A to Z challenge of 2020.
      So, I am extremely garteful to you and the team for putting in the hard work.
      Wishing you safety and good health too.

  14. You made it to Z with a beautiful end. Will miss reading you sorely. I think I will miss resonating our childhood stories with yours more. Hopefully will read you soon in near future. Take care and don’t stop writing. Lots of love ❤️.

    1. Thank you dear Pinkz.
      I am always so happy when I see you here. Our shared experiences, despite being born in different places,show the connectivity of this universe---zarre, zarre mein uska hi noor hai-- and we are all the particles that carry his light:)
      Sending you hugs and lots of love Pinkz.
      Stay safe and healthy. xx

  15. Arti, you have a wonderful gift, and it has been a pleasure sharing your world this month.

    1. Thank you dear Jade. It's been lovely to have you visit me this month.
      Wishing you good health and a beautiful spring full of new blooms.

  16. Thank you for giving us a beautiful April with this beautiful theme! :) See you on the road!

    The Multicolored Diary

    1. Cheers Csenge. Sure--our paths will cross:)

  17. Wow! This was mind-blowing - "For it is common knowledge that all of Earth's Trees live inside Seeds -- from Orange Sweet to Mighty Oaks and even the Mulberry and that has always been the way of All you See."
    ""Every thing, every little thing--Mountains High, Streams Shallow, Rose Pink, Pip Bitter, Particle of Flavour, Drop of Ocean, Wisp of Cloud, Breath of Baby, Dark of Womb--every Sigh, every Cry, every Heart, every Touch, every Bite, every Smell, every Tweet of Mynah bird--every little Zarrā inside every atom of every molecule of every Galaxy of every Cosmos has its own Colour."
    Really, I feeling like quoting everything. I feel like I am Artemis and this information is too precious to be just read and processed. This is too beautiful, dear. A brilliant conclusion to a beautiful series. I know that Zara means little but I wonder what zarrā zarrā means. This post is so evocative. I loved your poem! ""You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop." We may tend to make ourselves feel insignificant but we are a marvel indeed - a miracle of nature.
    I am so, so glad to have come across your blog, and I will keep coming back. Like Artemis, I have my eyes opened and now, there's no going back. Congratulations on completing the challenge and what a series it was! Thank you for a month of beautifully penned words and wisdom. I am so glad and humbled to have been a part of your A2Z journey. :) Oh, and if I haven't said it already, I'm love with the way you write! In awe of it!

    1. Sweet Shweta, You've sprinkled joy and bliss with your words. I am humbled by the generosity you've shown with your kind comment.
      Sending you love and gratitude with folded hands and open heart:)

  18. Zarra is me...I am zarra. Nothing more than that.
    Thank you Arti. Yours has been one of the most beautiful blogs I came across this season. I have no way of following you but whenever you write something please drop in and knock at my door. I'll open yours immediately ����

    1. Cheers Sonia.
      Yes, you are that zarraa for sure:)
      If our paths are meant to cross, they will for sure.
      Stay safe and healthy.

  19. What a beautiful lesson. It has been so fun to read your posts about your childhood. Such wonderful memories. Weekends In Maine

  20. Liked it "You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop." Each drop has the same value and potential. Well we say "sea of humanity."

    Congratulations for successful A to Z Blogging.

    A to Z 2020 Blogging Series What is Industrial Engineering? What is its Practice in Top Global Manufacturing Companies?

    1. So true--sea of humanity indeed:)
      Thank you for visiting.

  21. Beautiful final post. Congratulations on completing your A to Z Challenge! Thank you for sharing.

  22. Speechless!!! What a beautiful finale to the grand A-Z challenge. Each and every post is like the precious pearl of a necklace, whose string was none other than but beautiful, thoughtful, soft, kind-hearted Arti!!!
    I am so intrigued by Arti and her parents, grand-parents that I really want to have a peep into their pictures, although I have painted my own picture of all the characters in my mind’s eye.
    Papadesh has asked such an important question to Artemis, "But child, how am I to miss you if you never left me?" and it is so so true… we don’t miss people who live within us, they are part of us, they are us…! I can relate this statement with my daughter, since she left to university four years back, I have never missed her… never… not for a moment!!!
    For me, Zarra is that tiniest unit which is nothing but me… as expressed by you… “a drop in the ocean, an ocean within a drop”. I am glad you invited me to visit your blog.
    Much love and big hug to you, take good care of yourself… Nisha

    1. I got goosebumps as I read your words Nisha.
      Thank you for sharing your memories and feelings throughout the challenge and beyond.
      Big hugs to you. xx

  23. I haven't had a chance to read your A to Y posts but Z alone is magical. I adored Papadash's line "Next time you eat a piece of Orange or watch the Cloud roar, pay attention to that which can be -- for one day, you may be the drop that floats in Sky and who knows I may become a newborn's cry!"


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