Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Reflection Post for #AtoZChallenge 2021


Photo made in May 2019 at Sunder Nursery Heritage Park, New Delhi

One day, in the first week of March this year, I was browsing through the aisles of our local book shop when a hint of turquoise caught my eye.

A small, squarish book wearing a pale blue jacket was perched on a shelf in the poetry section. I left my aisle in the Children's section and picked the book. Felt the grainy cover. Read the blurb. Admired the artwork on the cover and went straight to the till to pay for it.

I'd have to come back to the store the next day to buy books for my friend's four year old daughter. 

By the middle of March, I had decided to participate in the A to Z Challenge, but had no clue what I'd be writing about. I even put a post out on fb to ask for suggestions. But nothing stuck.

On the 22nd of March, while sipping tea under the neem tree, an idea flashed. I wrote to Hector Garcia, co-author of the book, and asked for his permission to use quotes from the book in my posts.  I thought if I get a reply, I'll use the book as my theme and if I don't, I'll wing it somehow.

He wrote back saying, "I love that you write a blog. Feel free to add quotes from our book." within a day. 

And that's how the A to Z series based on the concept of Ichigo Ichie came to be. My theme this year was based on the Japanese concept of Ichigo Ichie which means--"What we are experiencing right now will never happen again. And therefore, we must value each moment like a beautiful treasure."

I had 7 posts prepared before I started. I wrote 2 drafts every day after posting and visiting other bloggers.

This year, I was very comfortable with my visits. I visited all my old blogging friends first, I'm loyal like that:) and then picked 2 or 3 new blogs every day. 

I'm happy to say that this year the quality of comments received were exceptionally good. 

I believe in quality over quantity in every thing I do. Blogging is no exception. Whichever blog I visited, I tried to spend enough time to read the posts and leave a comment but if no comment came, I didn't leave a one-liner to mark my presence.  

As always, I wish I could've visited more blogs. 

I found quite a few new gems this year. I've added all the blogs I liked to my blogroll. 

Here's my THANK YOU 
to all the bloggers who made 
my April truly spring-like: new blossoms and ideas sprouted
on sturdy, old branches and nodded 
to the new growth that May may bring
and perhaps this year of one more than twenty-twenty
will bear sweet fruit borne of curiosity and camaraderie,
despite a virus infinitesimal that's causing such exponential misery!
 A is for Arti, my namesake who writes short fiction on my space

Best mention Vidya and Ruchita who didn't blog but visited regularly and B is free:)

C is for Barbie's letters to herself. You can read them on Crackerberries.

D is for Deborah.
She loves the fact that her name means a bee.
Her topic of Ludic lexicon added new 'old' worlds to my vocabulary.
And like always, every single post of hers is magic perfumed with floral, dreamy imagery.

E is for Ellora Mohanty. After you read her poetry,
you'll thank me (for mentioning her here). You'll see.

F is for Farida. I found her by chance on
the chapters of her life which are full of inspiration, grit and wit.

G is for getting hooked on to a new discovery this year. 
He's called Tomichan Matheikal. He writes about politics and philosophy.

 Gail who is also a new find for me blogs about her writing process from 
H for Hawaii.

I is for Iain, a writer and Scotsman who visited me often. 
He writes fabulous fiction.
More about his trilogy of books is on: Iain Kelly.com

J is for Jayashree Writes.
She wrote about Harry Potter vis-à-vis life's light and not so light sides.

K has to be for Keith's Ramblings.
His humorous tales carried musical notes this time.
His short pieces always bring me a smile.

L is for another new find. It is Love, Laugh and Reflect.
A blog by Purba who's poetry is sublime.
M is for the missed opportunity of bloggers who visited me but I couldn't return the favour.
 N is for all the names I cannot list here,
  on account of only a couple of visits this year.

P belongs to four: PoojaPinkzPradeep 
 Old blogging friend Pradeep told us about Bangalore's history, 
while Pinkz supported me with her commentary.
Newly found Pooja used words from different languages to write Covid-poetry
and part-time working mom wrote witty pieces based on proverbs, verily.

Thank heavens for Quilting by Frederique.
I got my Q for this list and her posts were fantastic:
check them out for recycling and repurposing stuff into many things stylish.

R is for Rajeev, who I met this year on Spontaneous Overflow.

S, too, belongs to three: Srivalli, Sanskrit and Satabdi
While old friend and now little sister Srivalli 
took us on amazing temple tours in India on Amore Natura,

Durga Dash's Pebbles and Waves shone like a beacon on Sanskrit's 
language and literature.
I'll be going back for more for sure.

Satabdi's posts were all about words to do with the business of creating books.

T is for Trudy who I met very recently.
In fact, in the last week of the A to Z.
She writes about Films beautifully.

Unable to find a suitable U, I'll move on to V.

V is for a Visitor who visited sporadically but I loved the wisdom I found on her/his posts.
I don't know their name. 
The blog is called: Diary of a Sunday Visitor

W belongs to an old blogger friend whose immaculate posts always make me be more like her:
organised, skilful and sorted.
She's Karen from Weekends in Maine
Trust me, you want to visit her to see how she creates WOW! from something plain.

X is for kisses to all the readers who read the posts on Facebook and commented too.
I love you.

Y for me is always, always Yamini. 
I write down her comments in a notebook you see.
Because they're so precious. 
She writes about things that my soul seeks. 
Find her on:
And she's even a cool cat of photography!

Z is for Zalka Csenge Virag,
an amazingly resourceful  storyteller from Hungary.
She brings you tales from all over the world in The Multicolored Diary

And with that my dear readers, I end this year's A to Z.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the team at Blogging from A to Z whose hard work and vision has helped me to write so regularly.

Thank you Arlee Bird and J Lenni Dorner and team.

If I've missed out your name, I apologise. I think I've included all those who I continued to interact with right till the end.

Leaving you with this delightful cartoon that my dear friend Sharon shared with me. I knew I'd like to share it here on Reflection day.
Till we meet again amigos.
Stay safe and healthy.
And happy:)

I'll put all of my A to Z s in a  single post soon for convenience.
For now, I'm going back to my bowl of freshly harvested mulberries:)

This year, I'm participating in #BlogchatterA2Z  powered by theblogchatter.com 


  1. Aww... Di, this is so so beautiful! And you've given me a lot of new blogs to check. I couldn't visit as blogs this year, but hopefully the next one will be even better. I love your posts and how you write straight from the heart. Big hug. <3

  2. What I liked most about your writing is the authenticity that underlies it. That's a rare quality these days.

  3. Hari Om
    Arti-ben, this is a wonderful round-up, as might only be expected of you my dear!!! (Though I may have blushed at your words for me - thank you - however if it is the contemplative blog you prefer, this is the link.). YAM xx
    (My Reflection Post)

    1. I'd love to see you blushing dear Yamini:)
      Thank you and everything I've said comes straight from my heart.
      Hugs. xx

  4. Your reflection post is as beautiful as your challenge posts! Always a pure happiness to read you. I love your AtoZ visitors review! Thank you for the mention, and see you soon online my friend.

    1. Thank you Frederique.
      Yes, out paths will cross online.
      Keep inspiring us with your beautiful collections. xx

  5. That's a good way of rounding it up. That reminds me, I have to update my blog roll.
    Thank you so much for mentioning me and your kind words. I appreciate a lot.
    I have given reflections a miss. Because there are too many things competing for time.
    I love reading your posts. And I hope you will periodically share your lovely insights and perspectives.
    See you soon, and take care!
    My latest post: Pandemic facts and emotions

    1. Thank you Pradeep.
      Keep safe and healthy.

  6. Thank you for the mention! It has been a pleasure to visit your blog and read your posts every day! Can't wait to see what theme you will find next year :)

    The Multicolored Diary

  7. Arti do you know what a virtual hug feels like? As I read through your reflections I could feel the virtual hugs that you gave each one of the AtoZ challengers (thank you for that hug you gave me personally). Your words bring tears (happy tears) to my eyes and every post I was able to read (and trust me when I tell you I will be back to read more) I could tell that your attention to detail went into it. Snoopy's words ....wise beyond years! I've enjoyed your company throughout April and I sure hope we are not strangers until next April.
    Have a great day!

    1. Thank you Barbie.
      I'm feeling hugged right now as I read your beautiful comment.
      Have a super day:)

  8. What a fabulous reflections post Arti. And an abecedarium! You know how happy that makes me. I'm so glad for your serendipitous find of The Book of Ichigo Ichie, and that you chose to write about it through the lens of your life. I can't tell you how profoundly the idea of "What we are experiencing right now will never happen again. And therefore, we must value each moment like a beautiful treasure" has affected me - it's like a flashlight turned on when I didn't even know I was stumbling in the dark. So thank you for all that. And thank you for the kind mention. It feels like the such a loving hug. You've mentioned a number of blogs I didn't make it to, and look forward to remedying that.

    1. Thank you Deborah:)
      The flashlight analogy will stay with me--this is what blogging is all about: the exchange of ideas and moments when we are prepared to give the posts our time and attention.
      I have loved your visits like a flower loves a bee--it pollinates the flower with new possibilities.
      Thank you:)

  9. Thank you for sharing all your sage thoughts and colorful photographs in your AtoZ posts this month, Arti. I agree that much planning goes into arranging these blog challenges and believe we get out of the experience in equal amounts what we choose to contribute. I look forward to rereading some of your posts to more fully appreciate the thought you put into each one.

    Just read "Z is for Zohra" and was pleasantly surprised to find how closely it relates to me!

    Thank you for your comments on my Reflections post.

    1. Thank you Gail.
      It's been a pleasure discovering your blog this year.

  10. Thanks so so much for the mention Arti... I love reading your blog and your posts as much. And in the midst of covid having struck my family back in India I couldn't write a reflections post yet. But I came to visit your blog just to draw some positivitity out of it... So you can imagine how much your writing impresses me... Hugs.

    1. Ha! HA!
      That's so sweet Ira. So happy you find positivity in the posts here. It gladdens my heart that in some small way my words make you smile.
      Hugs. xx

  11. I'm a little slow to get to all the reflections post this year due to some unexpected company but so happy I am finally stopping by to read this one. I have so enjoyed your A to Z posts. Your posts are, as always, beautifully written and so insightful. They always make me smile. I love the creative way that you highlighted other bloggers from the challenge this year and appreciate the shout out. I am hoping to do the road trip and be better at keeping in touch with all my A to Z blogging friends throughout the year. I love the concept of Ichigo Ichie, and of being present and living life to the fullest. Thanks for helping to make this such a wonderful A to Z this year! Weekends In Maine

    1. Thank you Karen.
      I reckon Ichigo Ichie came to me at the right time. When the world seems so chaotic, it's good to focus on one moment at a time.
      I've loved the comments you wrote and am grateful that you shared snippets of your own experiences with me.
      It truly feels like a virtual meeting of old friends in April.
      Have a wonderful day.xx

  12. What a wonderful reflection post Arti, A-Z bloggers. Wow! That was great post for sure and I am glad to be a part of it. Feel honored. I too landed here by chance and the first post I read touched my heart. Your words have a touch of honesty and openness about them. Thank you for the connect. My favorite quote as well.. We live everyday.

    1. Thank you Farida.
      Please keep safe and keep inspiring us all with your posts.

  13. What a sweet thing to do... mentioning my blog and including it in your blog roll. Thank you! (And what a clever way to write about the blogs you connected with during the A to Z challenge.)

    I love Snoopy's meaningful message!

    1. Thank you Trudy.
      Loved all the connections I made in April.

  14. I found your posts, including this one, lovely and engaging. What a clever way to acknowledge fellow-bloggers!

  15. A bit late to the party, but I got here eventually!

    What lovely reflections, it was so nice to read about the inpiration for your theme. And a great theme it was, well done!

    Thanks so much, not just for the mention you've given me, but for visiting my blog thehoughout the challenge

    Stay safe Arti.

    1. Hey Keith. So good to see you here:)
      Thank you for visiting.
      I'll try my bestest to be more present in the blogging world this year:)
      Have an amazing summer.

  16. Wow - written so well. I missed the challenge this time. Infact my recent post- comes after 1 year. After the April 2020 challenge-didnt blog the whole year. Loved reading your post as usual. Very few take time to read the entire post/ comprehend n comment. Yes Quality of comment matters! 100 marks to that

    1. Hi Viyoma.
      It's great to see you here. Thank you for stopping by :)
      Hope you and your family are safe and well.

  17. I loved your theme. Thank you for introducing me to the beautiful concept of Ichigo Ichie. I am participating in the road trip so will be back to catch-up with some of your posts that I missed. I love how you highlighted some new blogs to visit using an A-Z format.

    1. Thank you Anstice.
      I'm so happy to see you here. I loved your theme and posts too. Hope to read the ones I missed this summer.


I would love to hear from you. Please leave your thoughts and comments here.