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It is almost a week since the A to Z Challenge 2014 has ended, and yours truly has crossed the finish line to join the ranks of the A to Z Challenge 2014 Survivors. Oh wow. Not a mean feat that. There were times though, in the middle of it all, when I seriously wondered whether I’d see that finish line at all, or end up by the wayside, a disheartened dropout. That is definitely not something to my liking, abandoning things midway and waltzing away. Not that I was in any condition to waltz, mind you.

Headaches, as many of you already know, are uninvited guests who walk in and out of my life at their own sweet discretion. Not content with wreaking havoc with my schedules all the time, this time the whatchamacallits decided to bring along their buddy Tummy Ache to spice things up exactly while the the A to Z Challenge was going on. Hardly had I thwarted the efforts of Tummy Ache when along comes their bigger brother, The Fever, and settles down comfortably making my body his home. The next morning found me staring bleary-eyed at the screen wondering what I’d write for the day while all I wanted to do was crawl back into bed and go to sleep. But did I do that? Yessir, but only AFTER writing the post of the day. Ha!

What happened next had me wondering concluding that the Universe (which people believe conspires to make your wish come true and which I believe does nothing of the sort being too lazy to move its butt from wherever it is parked), had actually moved its lazy butt, and was out to get me, with the sinister motive of making me give up on the Challenge. This is where the Universe-conspires-to-make-wishes-come-true theorists are going to say that it can never be so. Oh yeah, tell that to the birds, you believers, you. If it, the Universe I mean, can conspire FOR, it can also conspire AGAINST, if you know what I mean. And you better take my word on this one.

For example, think of someone, X for instance, going about life merrily as you please, and then we have Y whose greatest wish is to see X fall on his/her face and fracture nose/leg/whatever. Don’t ask me why. These things happen. People take sudden dislike to someone just like that. I should know! Anyway, Y wants something of X to break. Y wishes long and hard for it to happen. And whaddya know, the Universe starts quivering in earnest, unable to resist the call from Y.

Haven’t you heard how the Devas could never sit still when people down on Earth decided to do penance, invoking them, just so they could wrangle a brand new boon, as yet untested, out of the Devas? Our puranas are full of it. Even if you are the worst of the lot, you only had to do severe penance, which by the way involved lots of standing still (mostly on one foot) for indefinitely long periods of time, in all sorts of hostile weather, without food or water, to force Gods to trot out of their comfortable abodes and hand out those handy boons, pronto. It is another matter that they, the Gods that is, invariably inserted a clause in small print in the boon, which when the boon-takers got too big for their boots the Gods only had to wave in their baffled faces to bring them to their knees.

How different can the Universe be? When Y longs to break X’s nose, the Universe unable to restrain itself (a wish is a wish is a wish), obliges Y his wish, leaving poor X, conspired-against, with a bloodied nose. Now wait a minute. How the hell did I land in this soup? I mean I was ‘reflecting’ on last month’s writing challenge, wasn’t I? Ahh now I get it. I was about to tell you of another of those spokes in the wheel that almost derailed me from the Challenge-track, when I got effectively side-tracked by of all things, the Universe and its quirks.

This summer season in God’s Own Country (where I, a mere mortal at that, reside) has come with Kabooms aplenty making the sky cry copious tears. Add to that strong winds and the tree filled city got itself transformed into a disaster zone of sorts. Branches fell indiscriminately breaking cables and bringing power failure in its wake. Twenty-five goddamn hours went by without lights or internet. How was I going to have that post up? Even the phone had exhausted its charge. Luckily, we were among the few who had power restored in a day’s time. So I could quickly scribble something and post it. This was almost at the fag end of the challenge, at X. The Universe, having used up all the arsenal at its disposal by then, withdrew, defeated. So here I am, sticking my tongue out at the Universe and saying, Tchah! I did it, in spite of you trying to trip me.

Now a word about the challenge. This is my first A to Z Challenge here (click here to read them all) and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I found many new blogs to read and had new visitors reading me too. My thanks goes to the hosts and co-hosts of the A to Z Challenge who make this event possible every year. You all are awesome. Thanks are also due to all those who stopped by, to read and comment, not to mention the many who tweeted and re-tweeted. Did I enjoy the Challenge? Yes, I did. Would I do it again next year? In all probability, yes. I really enjoyed the challenge of thinking up posts to write corresponding to the alphabet of the day. Rummy as it may seem, at the end of it all, I have reached a rather funny conclusion: Writing for a challenge like this is not the challenge, but writing when there is no challenge is the real challenge. True for you or not?

A-to-Z Reflection [2014]

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