First of all, I would like to thank Anuradha of Life is beautiful for having suggested me to take up the challenge. The challenge had some rules, which I was not very comfortable with. But I did relax a few of them so that I could take part. One fine day I decided I would take it up.

Before embarking upon the challenge, I decided it would be wise to list out the possible themes that I would be able to write about. So I opened up a notepad, listed all the letters and then, then everything stopped. My brain wouldn’t come up with any suggestions. I was shocked at how things were turning out to be and how I would not be able to take up the challenge. Completing it was way out of question.  I couldn’t come to a conclusion and decided I would probably take one thing at a time and settled with A for Achiever. I wanted to start the Journey on a positive note and so it began.

To make things easier, I decided to include a few pictures (clicked by me) and try out various forms of writing, flash fiction, 55 word story , pointers etc., so that I wouldn’t have to sit every Sunday at 10.30pm wondering what to write about. I told myself I would make sure that the posts were ready a week before they were to be published and planned to publish them every Sunday. Again, even that plan failed because I was back to anxiously staring at my laptop on Sunday nights, wondering what to write.

So, when it was time for B, I choose a photo I had clicked in Kashmir, wrote a few incomplete sentences and published it. Thankfully, there was a contest that was being held and I had something to write, C for contest.  Again for D, I stuck to the photo and published D for Dusk.  After a few days, I realized I was just trying to play it safe and not taking the challenge seriously and decided against using photos unless absolutely necessary, even if it meant skipping my deadlines.

So that was when E for echo was written.  For the next letter, I was trying to write about how failures should be treated and I wanted to write a short story to illustrate and something really funny happened. So I ditched that write up (it’s in my drafts) and settled with F for Facepalm.  Then came G for Good Samaritans and H for humor without a hassle. The next letter was I. I had many ideas, but none evolved into posts. Thanks to twitter, I heard someone mention about Indian English and lo, there it was I for Inglish (Indian English).

I wanted to write something different for J, but stuck to J for Jealousy due to the lack of time. Up came K, and so did my photos from my recent holiday to Kashmir. I loved writing about life and seized the opportunity to write L for Life. There was something vague about M. I’d already written about Mother and did not know what else to write. Luckily for me, mom reminded me that I had to clean up my bookshelf. What should have taken one hour took almost 3 hours because I decided I would clean the other shelves as well. I was suddenly reminded of Monica (FRIENDS)and that was the post I wrote for M.

I decided I would write N for Name as I had to explain to everyone why I had a two different names, and why people at office choose to expand my initials and christen a different name. So that was easy and done. I stuck to the common themes for the next letters, O for Opinion and P for priorities, since everyone seemed to have one and wanted to let others know what they were. When it was time for Q,  again I had to rack my brains to think of something that would be appropriate, and so I borrowed from my TEDx speech and wrote Q for Quitting.

Again, I stayed clueless about R, googled up a few words and when nothing was satisfactory, I stuck to doing what I was really good at. That is how R for rambling came up. I knew it has to be S for Sunset, and that is the only post I was clear about from the beginning, as I wanted to post a photo that I’d clicked. T went for a toss as I wrote up something, I was not satisfied, cleared the content and then came up with T for Temple Run, the game that I was currently addicted to.

I was absolutely clueless for the next set of challenging letters, U to Z.  Just that day I was having this conversation with a friend about how things should be better,  how people should be better and that is what prompted me to write U for  Utopia, though in a totally different context. I decided to write about V for Vanilla, as I’m a big fan of Ice creams and wrote about the best combinations of Vanilla Ice cream when something happened and I was dying to write about it. I was looking for the right word and then I published it under V for Vanity.

W for Whomping Willow was unanimously chosen by all those idea-cells in my brain as I had to write about this from Harry Potter. Up came the mysterious X and unlike other letters, I wrote up something a week earlier. Just before publishing I felt it was not quite good and deleted the post and wrote about the mystery behind the letter. I was again clueless about Y, I even skipped a deadline and posted something else.  Till date, I’m not even sure how I ended up writing Y for Yesterday.

And the last one Z. I wanted this to be a good way to sign off. I was asking for suggestions from almost everyone I know and then a few wonderful people from twitter suggested Z for Zenith, among other suggestions.  So the word was chosen but I did not know what to write. I listed a few points, tried to connect them, but it did not work. Then I realized things would be better if I wrote against the topic and not for the topic and the points just came running by. I organized them and there my final post was up.

It was only after someone pointed out that I realized, I had in fact written inadvertently about my entire journey through this challenge. When I read it again, it seemed as though I’d written the post with the series in mind, when in reality I was thinking of something else.

Finally. Finally, done with the challenge. I did not know it would be this challenging. I knew I wouldn’t give up and I knew I shouldn’t give up and that was probably the only thing that kept me going.

As Paulo Coelho said in The Alchemist,’And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it’, I felt the same way too. When ideas came from unexpected sources and situations.

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