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:)


  1. Zindagi the Josh of it , joy of it and then the sudden unwanted events it throws on us...well portrayed...but while in joy i don't think we can see Ravens dark even if it's lurking! Ur title reminds me of song zindagi ke safar me jo guzar jaate hai makaam wo phir nahi aate....enjoy Izmir...i love the name..hope to stay in touch

    Congrats on completing a to z. From "The Pensive"

    1. Thank you so much Afshan. You've been extremely kind with your visits and comments.

      Izmir is as lovely as its name:)

  2. This is a great poem. I love the twists. And the use of the moon. Great use of Z. Congratulations on making it to the end.

    J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

    1. Thank you so much. It's thanks to all the efforts the A to Z hosting team puts in that bloggers like me get to expand their writing horizons every April. So, thank you for all your hard work:)

  3. Hari Om
    Yes, a fine finish to the alpabet! A tiring but rewarding month, is April. YAM xx

    1. Indeed Yamini. Tiring and rewarding:)

  4. What a beautiful poignant poem Arti! And kudos to you for completing the A-to-Z challenge with such consistently wonderful posts - despite traveling and hurting your back. Well done!

  5. Sometimes you look at a group photo taken a few years back at some family event and realize that many in the picture no longer exist ... Yet life goes on with newer gifts ... poignant Arti

    1. So well said Jayashree. And thank you for your meaningful comments .

  6. Arti, this tugged at my heartstrings. So many emotions strung together. What is life, if not this? In the midst of this evocative piece, pls accept my hearty congratulations for a wonderful NaPoWriMo run. I must admit I learnt so much from your poetry. So thank you for the treat in April. Have a wonderful writing year. Also, gratitude for your encouraging visits to the blog.

    1. Thank you Sonia. Let me say 'ditto' to the 'learning from you' part. I have enjoyed reading your poetry too.

  7. A good end to the Challenge. So much feeling. Congratulations on such a successful A to Z.

    1. Thank you Kristin--from the bottom of my heart:)

  8. This is a really moving poem which developed in a surprising way. Great job and well done for being so creative to be able to combine napowrimo with the A-Z challenge.

    1. Thank you so much Anstice. It felt great to be able to complete the challenge:)

  9. So beautifully crafted! Such an apt end


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