Saturday, 30 April 2022

Z is for "Zindagi ka Safar" (The journey of Life) #bloggingfromatoz #NaPoWriMo 2022 #AtoZChallenge


Good Morning from Izmir,

The fact that it's the the day of the 'Z' and the city I'm in at the moment carries a Z in its name makes me smile. 

The prompt on Day Twenty-nine of #napowrimo states: "In certain versions of the classic fairytale Sleeping Beauty, various fairies or witches are invited to a princess’s christening, and bring her gifts. One fairy/witch, however, is not invited, and in revenge for the insult, lays a curse on the princess. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem in which you muse on the gifts you received at birth — whether they are actual presents, like a teddy bear, or talents – like a good singing voice – or circumstances – like a kind older brother, as well as a “curse” you’ve lived with (your grandmother’s insistence on giving you a new and completely creepy porcelain doll for every birthday, a bad singing voice, etc.). I hope you find this to be an inspiring avenue for poetic and self-exploration."

The prompt lends itself to be wedded to an Urdu word -- Zindagi which means life. I've chosen a famous Indian film song title as the title of my post and this poem.

Thank you so much for being with my throughout April. If you're a blogger who's visited me and is miffed by the fact that I haven't returned the kind gesture, I apologise. I have every intention of fulfilling my blog challenge duties when I'm back home after a few days. 

Heartfelt gratitude to all of you who've read and commented. You may never know just how big a deal your comments are to this poet/writer. Your words carry me further -- into new directions and even the muse is mighty pleased when she sees them:)

Presenting my  last post of the #Ato Z April Challenge 2022:

"Zindagi Ka Safar"

(The Journey of Life)

It was a moonless night, the night I was born. My mother told me.

Black-outs and sirens of war shone instead on the night I was born.


I imagined the dark night of my birth like Alfred Hitchcock

must’ve imagined Vertigo and Ravens. Dramatic. Moody. Extra-ordinary.


Your smile, my mother told me, never left you. You’d ask for things and we’d give you.

You didn’t miss me when I was gone. She told me how I hadn’t looked up even once.


Sitting under our  mulberry  on Papaji’s munjhi*, happy --- so happy, I wondered whose child?

Recalled my mother the memory of the day she came home from the hospital--


Carrying my new born-sister. It was my first birthday. I was such a happy baby.

Content. Cuddly. Chubby. Apple red cheeks, my mother told me. 


So many gifts and more were to come. First my sister, then a baby brother even.

Our trio. “You’re not a happy family.” A precocious girl visitor once blurted out.


“Why did you say that?” her mother, our mother’s childhood friend asked, worried.

“Because they’re three—not like the T.V. ad—"We two-our two: A happy family.”


The girl jingled aloud the campaign slogan of India’s Family Planning—innocently.

We shouldn’t have laughed then. Should’ve seen the ravens’ dark—the dizziness yet to come.


Black-outs. Curtains drawn on good sense. Throwing precaution to the winds--of change.

Not to tempt fate. Not to laugh out too loudly or even softly at innocent utterances.


Loss. Loss. Loss.


Every blessing comes with its counter-balance.


Call it a curse. A CURSE-- a curse, if you will.


Life’s a list of opposites strung as beads—nature’s aesthetics.

Every life must be counterbalanced with death.


Brother. Mother. Home.


Full moons and No moons. Gibbous. Crescents. Grow. Fade. Glow.

Life’s hide and seek. Happy. Sad. Extra- ordinary is frowned upon by gods and goddesses.


What are Blessings without curses? Forbidden fruit. Only verses—

Songs of Praise (question mark). Mortal sins. Divine Justice.


Full STOP!


I'm participating in the #AtoZ April Challenge as a blogger and in #NaPoWriMo 2022 as a poet.

Also, as the poems I'll be sharing this month are first drafts, I'll be removing them from my site after a couple of days.

You know I'd love to find out what you think of my attempts.
Thank you for being here.
Be safe:)

Saturday, 2 April 2022

B is for Breath #bloggingfromatoz #NaPoWriMo 2022 #AtoZChallenge

Dear Readers,

It's day 2 of the two April challenges I've jumped into.

Two things to share with you toady:

1) You may want to click on: The prompt to find out the task (optional, of course) set by  #NaPoWriMo. The challenge is to write a poem based on a word featured in a tweet from Haggard Hawks, an account devoted to obscure and interesting English words. 

I've picked “greenout,” which means “the relief a person who has worked or lived in a snowy area for a long time feels on seeing something fresh and green for the first time” to write my poem.

2) Also, as the poems I'll be sharing this month are first drafts, I'll be removing them from my site after a couple of days.

Thank you for being here. 



Notice: Day 2 poem has now been removed.


I'm participating in the #AtoZ April Challenge as a blogger and in #NaPoWriMo 2022 as a poet.

Wish you a happy and healthy Saturday.

Friday, 1 April 2022

A is for An Announcement #bloggingfromatoz #NaPoWriMo 2022

Dear Readers,

I decided to jump into the familiar excitement of the blogging challenge of A to Z this year at 10 pm, last night which happened to be the 31st of March. I'd been toying with the idea of giving it a miss this year on account of lack of preparedness and a big lack of time. But, the pull of this challenge is too irresistible. So, here I am. 

This year's badge is a tribute to Jeremy Hawkins, the official graphics guy for the A to Z Challenge, who passed away.

I'm also participating in the #NaPoWriMO2022 for two reasons: 1) Because I love poetry. and 2) Because I want to learn how to craft better poems. And as practice is the only way to get better, I thought I'd give myself an entire month of limited time to write to invite the muse to work with me.
Thank you for being here.

You know I'd love to find out what you think of my poem today, if you'd like to share.

Happy Friday.


An Announcement

The white spots on the base of her throat hadn’t responded to the steroid cream her GP had prescribed. If anything, the pale white spots had turned red, angry and frustrated. Deep down, in the recesses of her heart, where her Indian heritage lived and guided her actions and thoughts—about love, the self but never about the two together—she knew. But she buried the knowing under fluffy blankets of optimism on a cold, clear autumn morning in West London and went to see her GP.

“It’s Vitiligo.” He announced, without taking his eyes off of the UV light he was holding on the red, blotchy spots which used to be brown skin but were assimilating with the whiteness of the country she’d migrated to.

“No!” concrete tears stuck in her throat. She sobbed out, “Really?”

“At least it’s not cancer.” The GP offered solace. “It’s only superficial!” he hammered the concrete, hammered her hopes.

She left the clinic. Outside, the blue sky was sparkling with autumn sunshine. The air was crisp. She unwrapped her scarf. The air hit the spots. She’d kept them covered for over six months with scarves, turtle necks in summer and band-aids in the swimming pool. She let them drink in the air—at last. But her feet, her knees, her brown heritage sitting deep inside her trembled like an earthquake—seismic shifts to how she’d look when the white spots start to grow, multiply and mutate her skin, her body and how people will see 'her' made her slump on the road, outside the GP’s clinic, under a large chestnut tree full of red, yellow and golden leaves that once were green.