Z is for Zen

Zen because it’s Saturday – a Saturday with no plans. Which means staying in the air conditioned room eating leftovers from yesterday, playing silly games with Zo, surfing sillier stuff on the internet, and afternoon siestas.

Zen because the vacation is just two weeks away, and all the base work is done. Just a pair of walking shoes need to be bought but that needs a trip to Decathalon, so it can wait.

Zen because dinner tonight is a buffet, which means every taste bud, in whatever mood it is in, will be satisfied. And ofcourse, lots of dessert will be eaten.

Zen because I have had no interaction with any grown up today – and I mean grown ups you have to interact with because of the job and other social obligations. Such days calm the antisocial me down.

Zen because I decided I have to be zen today, and not let anything that usually bothers me bother me at all. Because we all need zen days like that.

Zen because if I had to think even for 5 more minutes about what I could write with Z, I would become all un-zen, and that wouldn’t work well for the post.

Zen because today is the last day of the challenge.  Thank you for sticking around till now!

Y is for Yes!

Yes, it’s been a tough month, I might not do this again;

Yes I know I thought I could, but it’s too much of a pain.

Yes, when you start, you think, “Alphabets? That should be fun!”

But only when you start thinking of words, you’ll find there are none.

Yes, the dictionary has a million words that you might just go and take;

But writing a line about each damn word, does not a blog post make.

Yes, it helps to have a timeline, it makes you have to write,

But have and want are two different things that always tend to fight.

So yes, while it might be the only way to get some blogging done;

If you’ve done it once, you’ve done enough, the next time you should run.

The good thing about today, however, is that it will finally end,

So what if I cheated a bit, after all  rules are made to be bent.

But I huffed and puffed and trundled along, so I deserve some cheer,

And say it loud, actually shout  – Damn YES! I made it till here!

Y

X is for X

Let me start with an anecdote, one which my fellow blogger Preeks happened to link to in one of her comments recently. So long ago, like really long ago, 12 whole years ago, the letter x on the rickety keyboard of my desktop, stopped working. And then, it started working. Ok, I understand that is not even close to what you would call an interesting story, but, I have a point, I swear I do.

So if you were kind enough to click on that link, you would notice just how angsty I had gotten, because one damn alphabet stopped working. When the truth is that when I had to think of words with X for this post, I could not come up with any! I mean, I could do Xylophone and write about Zo’s ‘performances’ that go ting ting ting, or I could do X-mas, and link you back to my Christmas post which I should have saved for today, but beyond that I could think of nothing. So I wonder why it was that I was so hassled about this key not working back then?

The answer I think is that, we followed the usual theory of ‘rare is valuable’ with this letter.It also helped that the letter looks kinda cute. I mean think of it, it’s the only letter which looks the same from all 4 directions other than O; which is as cute, but one needs to be able to hold their pens a tad more seriously to make it look good. I can say this because you will see multiple versions of O when Zo writes, some favoring one direction and some another. But X, she never gets it wrong. Yeah, so we develop this little letter, that looks nice, is easy to write, and suddenly we realize, what was the point? And then begin the force-fits.

Think of it, can you think of one word which starts with x, or has it, that really needs it? Xylophone is pronounced zylophone and X-ray could have well been eksray, and it wouldn’t make one bit of a difference. All the words – box, ox, toxic, exam – all of them could easily be boks, oks, toksic and egzam. So with a judicious use of ‘ks’ and z, we could have easily written off a whole alphabet.

But we didn’t, we kept it on board. And like a consolation to it, assuming that X knows that we know that it really doesn’t serve any purpose, we gave it 8 points in Scrabble. Yes, that would be similar to Q, but unlike Q, X doesn’t have any baggage it needs to carry around. In fact, all you need is an O or an E and you have words. Which makes us all love it more. So despite it’s uselessness, X has carved its own niche.

Which is reason enough for the letter to deserve a post of its own, without any letters behind it to steal attention.

X

W is for Words

Yes, W has to be for words. But not mine, we have had enough of those. So here we go.

  • We breathe because we need oxygen to go into our hands and legs and make them move. That’s how the technology works.
  • Look at that dirt on the floor! It’s coming towards me! It’s disgusting!
  • Mama look, I matched my hair band to my dress. I am such a fashionista!
  • I like movies, because you just have to sit and watch and eat popcorn. Shopping is so tiring, we keep walking around looking at clothes!
  • Ok, I won’t color in your book, but can I assist you by choosing colors you can use?
  • Why are you angry? I apologized no?
  • Can you ask your boss if I can sit in a room and color while you take interviews?
  • I ate all the food, so now I am strong! Look at my muscles! (complete with a flexed bicep)
  • Is this juice freshly pressed? My teacher said we should not drink packaged juice.
  • I don’t want a burger, I will have a salad instead. That’s healthy food. Burgers are junk food.
  • No, you are the most beautiful. Ok, you be the most beautiful mama, I will be the most beautiful daughter. (on being told that she’s the most beautiful girl in the world)
  • But I want to be Elsa! How can I be Anna? I am a queen! (on doing a puzzle which tells you who you are more like. She turned out to be Anna however much she changed her answers)
  • Can you please wear the outfit I chose for you today? (always polka dots. Always)
  • Oh look, that’s not a CVC word, it’s a CCVC word! (on reading ‘from’ for the first time. C is for consonant and V is for vowel, for those who don’t have 4 year old kids or nieces or nephews in the vicinity)

And that would be the post for yesterday. I know, I took the easy way out, but I’m sure you won’t complain.

Now to think of a post for X.

W

V is for Victory

Because I think having kept this blog alive for a while 12 years can be deemed as one yes? A big, fact victory. In fact, I quickly looked back at my timeline, and there has been just one instance in the whole 12 years, where I did not post for two months in succession, that too within 2 years of having started the blog.

So this post is dedicated to each of the 12 posts that I have done, celebrating my ability, and in general showcasing my incredulity, to have stuck to this blogging habit for ‘another whole year’.Of course, there is also the first ever post.

2004 (Monday Morning Blues) Guess it’s obvious that after a really fun weekend, coming back to office is definitely boring…. two whole days of lazing around aimlessly seems to have totally drained me of any enthu to continue working…and sadly , theres a lot to do.. good thing that this week brings my first month of summers to an end.. cant believe its a month already…

All I can say is, some things never change.

2005 (No subject) Ok, I am posted at Hyderabad for the next 12- 18 months. And I dont want to believe it at all.

This is so awesome, but apparently I missed posting on my blog’s first anniversary. I also remember however, that for this post which I wrote on 27th instead of on 26th, I had to go all the way to a cyber-cafe in our very own Chauhan Market, so that might explain. And yes, I was super pissed with the posting.

2006  (It’s 2 years!Well! Well! Well! Here’s wishing my dearest blog a very happy second anniversary! Yup. I have actually managed to keep this journal up and running for two whole years now, and yes, I have surprised myself by doing so. And considering, how easily I get bored and frustrated with anything that requires even a little bit of my patience ( believe me, I don’t have enough to spare), this is an achievement in itself!

I am glad I remembered this milestone post atleast in the second year, and going by how surprised I sound in it, I can hereby declare that I always understimate my awesomness.

2007 (No subjectWhen I started this blog, the sole purpose was to ramble. My first post, in my own words said, “this is obviously not the first time i am blogging , but this is definitely my first personal blog, considering my older blogs were under the iimk username.”

This is getting embarassing, but I missed posting on my 3rd Blog anniversary by a 15 days. Eep. Also, what I quote as my first post ever above was actually the second post on that day.

2008 (Kya aap paanchvi pass se tez hain?Edit : I can’t believe I forgot, but the dear blog turned 4 years old on Saturday. Everyone stand up, clap and wish it a happy birthday!

As it is clear from the above, I forgot the 4th anniversary too. Maybe I should not do this post. Maybe I am making a big deal about nothing. Maybe this is just another cheat post. Also, above quote was the last line of the post. The post itself was an inane mockery of some contestant on the show in the title.

2009 (Not happeningNot happening at all. One, I post after like a month after I posted last. Two, I don’t even bother posting to atleast wish the blog on it’s birthday. 5th birthday. Milestone. Who does that really?

This post today was a bad idea. A very bad idea. Regret every year does not a regretful person make. By the way, late by 16 days this time.

2010 (We’ve come a long way togetherDearest Blog, Ok, ok, now don’t act all shocked. I know I updated you just 3 days ago, but dude, I’ve been pretty regular these days! Anyway, this is not to flaunt my regularity really, it is for a much bigger reason. I’m here to wish you a very Happy Birthday!  

Finally. Sob.

2011 (The 7 year itchIt’s been 2 months. Two. Whole. Months. And a little bit more. And I totally take the blame for being missing all this while.

Hmm, so that would be two straight years of ensuring I posted on 26th April, not that it justifies anything but still.

2012 (The Number GameEight – years today, since I started this blog. There. Now you know why I am doing this post in the first place!

This was not the first line of the blog, but it was the relevant one. I managed a hattrick you see?

2013 (And then we were nineBefore we start with anything, let me just say that when you have an 18 month old at home, everything else pretty much is put on the back-burner  Work, hobbies, leisure, everything. So much so, that in my case, I have completely neglected my other 9 year old.

Awww. Oh come on, that was totally Awww inducing! So much cute, no? No?

2014 (London Paris New YorkFirst things first, after all the Hullabaloo I created about this Blog turning 10 years old before it  did, when it actually did, I did not even bother to wish it. Here I mean.

And we are back to our old ways. But this one time it was sort of justified, as I had gone on to explain in the post – I was on the way back from my awesome vacation, the day the blog turned 10. So I posted a whole 3 days later (because late is late and it doesn’t matter if it’s by a day or 3 theory)

2015 (I have decided to write todayI am writing for myself, because you know that’s how it should be. What also helps is the fact that this time; my sabbatical might have anyway ensured that I have no readers left.

Bleh. Looks like I have no respect at all for the sancitity of anniversaries and celebrations. The above parthetic post was done on 29th May, a whole frigging month and 3 days after the anniversary date. But what I remember is that we had just moved back to Hyderabad and were running around, sorting out things like Zo’s school, my new role at work etc, which I assume was enough justification for being away for a whole month. Or not.

In any case, today we are all about optimism, and hope, and determination. Also miracles – because if I could keep this Blog going for this long, anything can happen in this world.

V

U is for Ukulele

Why you ask?

Because, while I could have done a ‘U for Umbrella’ and written about the rains, or a ‘U for Unbelievable’ and written an extension of the ‘O for Obnoxious‘, I decided to pick something that was not just a means of writing about whatever I wanted to anyway. And also, how many times do you find a musical instrument whose name sounds just as sweet as the instrument itself does? I mean a guitar sounds wonderful but would you like the sound of yourself just saying ‘guitar’? Maybe. But nothing comes close to the Ukulele.

The Ukulele is a very happy sounding instrument and I will refrain from going all Wikipedia on it (you can, if you want), and just say that it originates from Hawaii, which will sort of explain why it sounds so happy. I mean, when you think Hawaii, or atleast when I think Hawaii I think all blue oceans and sunny (not harsh sunny, warm sunny) sands, and coconut trees. I also by default think Hula dancers with flower garlands around their necks, dancing happily to the tunes of, yes you guessed it right, the ukulele.

Then the first song where I clearly heard the ukulele as the main instrument was ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (had to google it, I always thought it was Louis Armstrong?). Once again, I was listening to this instrument in conjunction with lyrics that ensured that all I pictured was a beautiful rainbow, a pretty obvious and cliched symbol of joy, which was in absolute alignment with my idea of how happiness would look, if it were a picture.

Then came How I met your mother. Now we all know I was fond of this show for the longest time,  until of course they decided to trash the finale and kill the mother we had been waiting for throughout, comfortably justifying that’s what they had planned to do right from the beginning. Anyhow, the only good thing they did was have a pretty nice ‘mother’ character, and while that still did not explain bumping her off, atleast she was pleasant when she was on.

So this mother, she played the ukulele, and there is this scene when Ted (people who do not know How I met your mother, please bear with me) hears the mother (sing) for the first time. And she sings ‘La Vie En Rose’ while playing the Ukulele. I have always loved the song, but songs that have a situation associated with them, especially on movies and Sitcoms I follow, tend to have a greater impact on me. And so this version of the song, though extremely sad, stayed with me. And while it sort of went against my theory of the Ukulele being a happy instrument, it still worked extremely well, perhaps because my stupid head assumed it was atleast leading to happy times.

And that’s why U is for Ukulele, because a little bit of happiness flowing through your speakers might be just what you need to fight the Monday blues.

U

T is for Thankful

I am thankful for the music of a certain Amit Trivedi, who has renewed my faith in Bollywood music, and helps me tell anyone who feels that ‘it’s not what it used to be’, that they’re wrong, they just haven’t listened to the right stuff.

I am thankful for weekends, especially weekends like this, which actually don’t feel like they ended without notice. Weekends where a lot go done – from movies to shopping to dining out to de-cluttering and driving around to spending some real quality time with Zo.

I am thankful for online shopping and social networking  sites that help me while away many boring minutes that I spend waiting for people who don’t think it makes sense to turn up for meetings, con-calls et al on time, because who does?

I am thankful to Food Panda and Swiggy because they let me order a Paan Panache (an extraordinary paan flavored ice-cream concoction) online at 11:30 PM, because how else do you manage an unbelievable sweet craving at that time, especially when you are also too lazy to step out anywhere?

I am thankful for curds and rice because after eating out through the weekend, you usually want something that is delicious but also not as complex, or full of spices and oil, to feel good. Plus, no work involved, at all.

I am thankful that this post is for the letter T, which is clearly closer to the end of the alphabet chain, which seemed longer this month than I had ever thought it was. And that it means Oh my God I’ll have one thing less to worry about very soon.

T