A to Z 2021 – Reflections


If someone brings up “April,” my mind immediately hollers ‘A to Z.’ I love ‘A to Z Challenge’ for it makes me commit to 26 days of Research and Writing. The striking slice is that it makes me write every day no matter what. I have been through days of professional and personal tiredness; 3.00 am, the bed looks beautiful, but then, I spend an hour more working on the A to Z. By the way, this was my fifth year of successful completion of the challenge. Every year I have been writing 8 line poems on the theme I select. I kept to the eight-line poems and then did a Travel around the world from A to Z.

Looking for country details, research, reading, selecting the specifics to write about, then abstract it and pen a poem, well, it was challenging than I thought. Some days got tricky because I had a lot to pick from, and then for a few days, I had to write on what I had. Letter X is always a challenge. I had days where I kept staring at my screen for an uncomfortably long time.

I have compiled my challenge into an ebook. Here goes my compilation, and with love, I close my A to Z challenge of 2021.

The ebook can be downloaded here:

A to Z Travel Around the World

I would like to thank all the readers who supported all through the month with reads, ratings, likes and comments. Thank you for being an inspiration. You also check my poems on the theme #LargerThanLife at my Instagram handle: prakash.hegade

Zimbabwe – Victoria Falls


It’s April of 2021 and Day 26 (Finale) of the A to Z challenge. This year, I am doing the theme – “Travel the World.” I am visiting countries from A to Z and presenting stories with 8 line poems.

Day 26 Country: Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, is shared by two countries: Zambia (to the north) and Zimbabwe (to the south). It’s approximately twice the height and width of Niagara Falls. It is said that the noise of the falls can be heard from 40 kilometers and the spray and mist of falling water rises over 400 meters above and hence can be seen from a distance of about 50 kilometers. For the same reasons the local tribes called it as Mosi-o-Tunya, meaning “the smoke that thunders”. The water makes a roaring noise as it falls over the cliff and down into the Zambezi River below. The waterfalls has a width of 1,708 m. The falls is at its peak during April and lowest in October and early November.

Credits: by Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7375063

Poem:

How can one,
Honor the limits,
Give them medals,
When you know,
The more you know,
The less you become,
The more remains,
In the more of unknowns.

One fine day, nothing will makes sense. Then another day, nothing still will make no sense. One fine yet another day, we will find the true meaning of what it all was.

Yemen – Dracaena Cinnabari


It’s April of 2021 and Day 25 of the A to Z challenge. This year, I am doing the theme – “Travel the World.” I am visiting countries from A to Z and presenting stories with 8 line poems.

Day 25 Country: Yemen

Dracaena Cinnabari or dragon blood tree, is a dragon tree native to the Socotra archipelago, part of Yemen. The tree has a unique and strange appearance. It is so called due to the red sap that the tree produces. Its fruits are small fleshy berries which turn from green to black as they grow, and then become orange when ripe. The trunk and the branches of the tree are thick and stout and display two-way branching, where each of the branches repeatedly divides into two sections. This is a species selected for making conservation related decisions, because protecting these species indirectly protects many other species that make up the ecological community of its habitat.

Credits: by Boris Khvostichenko(User:Boriskhv) – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7175533

Poem:

And that gem,
You loved,
You missed,
For no one’s mistake,
Is what,
You secretly look for,
When you say,
Nothing.

You let go because that is the way. You let go because of the pointless rules. You depart because you know why and no one else. Then, that, secretly defines you a ‘nothing’.

Mexico – Mayan Temples


It’s April of 2021 and Day 24 of the A to Z challenge. This year, I am doing the theme – “Travel the World.” I am visiting countries from A to Z and presenting stories with 8 line poems.

Day 24 Country: Mexico (X)

Mayan temples are one of the reasons why people visit Mexico. There are over 4,400 Maya sites throughout Latin America, of which many of them are located in Mexico. Palenque, Teotihuacan, Chichen Itza etc. are among the most renowned temples in the world identified by their grandeur.  The ancient stone temples of the Maya are ought to be around 2000 years old. Many Mayan temples were hidden among jungle surrounds for centuries until archaeologists have discovered and uncovered them. The Pyramid of the Magician, located in the ancient Mayan city of Uxmal, Mexico, is the tallest and most recognizable structure in Uxmal. Chichen Itza is one of the most spectacular Mayan temples and can be seen in figure below:

Credits: by Daniel Schwen – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7647000

Poem:

Then,
You just need a step,
A place to stand,
And own it.
The step,
Defines another, more,
Giving you destiny,
Never imagined.

It all starts with a step. Single step. It might be absolutely absurd on how the future looks like but it’s beautiful to let time define the ultimatum.

Wallis and Futuna – Islands


It’s April of 2021 and Day 23 of the A to Z challenge. This year, I am doing the theme – “Travel the World.” I am visiting countries from A to Z and presenting stories with 8 line poems.

Day 23 Country: Wallis and Futuna

Wallis and Futuna is a small country, islands, with around 15k population. It is a territory made up of three main volcanic tropical islands and a number of tiny islets. The original inhabitants built forts and other identifiable structures on the islands, many of which are in ruins, but some of which are still partially intact. Only 5% of the islands’ land area consists of arable land. There are some villages in the islands which do not have telephone and internet connection yet (I personally feel that must be a bliss).

Credits: by Anna Vinet – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=71524224

Poem:

In the land of waters,
Sits a monk,
Defining new seasons,
Guarding aspirations.
Let it go,
Let it grow,
Wait and watch,
The monk and his fable.

We think we can do a better job. We think we can handle it well. But some thrive and grow, only when let free.

Vietnam – Halong Bay


It’s April of 2021 and Day 22 of the A to Z challenge. This year, I am doing the theme – “Travel the World.” I am visiting countries from A to Z and presenting stories with 8 line poems.

Day 22 Country: Vietnam

“Ha long” means a descending dragon. Halong bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular tourist destination where travelers can take a boat ride to appreciate this natural wonder and breath-taking natural landscapes. The significant part of the bay is thousands of limestone karsts and isles in numerous shapes and sizes. The limestones have gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments. Hạlong Bay is home to 14 endemic floral species and 60 endemic faunal species which think is astounding. The bay consists of around 1600 limestone monolithic islands each topped with thick jungle vegetation, rising spectacularly from the ocean. There are also abundant lakes in these limestone islands.

Credits: by Taewangkorea – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83218

Poem:

I wonder sometimes,
How does the earth,
Smile, rejoice, cry?
Does it smile,
Painting landscapes?
Does it rejoice, in flowers?
Does it cry,
Looking at us?

Every emotion is balanced with other. Beauty and the beast are always together.

Ukraine – Chernobyl


It’s April of 2021 and Day 21 of the A to Z challenge. This year, I am doing the theme – “Travel the World.” I am visiting countries from A to Z and presenting stories with 8 line poems.

Day 21 Country: Ukraine

Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurred in April of 1986, near the city of Pripyat in the north of the Ukrainian. It is considered the worst nuclear disaster in history both in terms of cost and casualties. The incident had several major consequences. Four square kilometres of pine forest directly downwind of the reactor is known to have turned reddish-brown and dead. The forest, named “Red Forest” then is known to have recovered soon. Even after around 34 years of the incident as of 2021, the radiation levels in the area is known to remain dangerously high. Chernobyl is one of the popular Ghost towns of the world. There is a 5 episode mini-series produced by HBO and Sky Atlantic on the incident if one is interested to watch.

Credits: by IAEA Imagebank – 02790015, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63251598

Poem:

In the diary,
Are the dots,
Dots that connected,
And blew up.
The diary,
Beyond repair,
Awaits for the light,
Welcoming none.

Sometimes, the recovery is slow. As slow as a lifetime and more. The very aspect of life is to appreciate the whole kit and caboodle and offer the tributes that one deserves.

Turkey – Cappadocia


It’s April of 2021 and Day 20 of the A to Z challenge. This year, I am doing the theme – “Travel the World.” I am visiting countries from A to Z and presenting stories with 8 line poems.

Day 20 Country: Turkey

Cappadocia is a region of exceptional natural wonders. The area is a popular tourist destination, as it has many areas with unique geological, historic, and cultural features. It has awed the visitors not just from above the surface but also from beneath the ground. Cappadocia is a semi-arid region in central Turkey and is known for its distinctive fairy chimneys, tall cone-shaped rock formations, swooping rock valleys, mesmerizing landscapes. Cappadocia is one of the world’s top destinations to take a hot air balloon ride. Tourists say it’s a fortnight long exploration, each day capturing million striking memories. I insist to check other pictures on web.

Credits: by Ivankazaryan – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=90872624

Poem:

From up there,
High in the sky,
Are dancing angels,
For the,
Words you gather,
Songs you write.
Put up a show,
Worthy it.

I know the angels up there are up for every kind of dance. Happy, hippy, lyrical and also with demons.

Switzerland – CERN


It’s April of 2021 and Day 19 of the A to Z challenge. This year, I am doing the theme – “Travel the World.” I am visiting countries from A to Z and presenting stories with 8 line poems.

Day 19 Country: Switzerland

CERN, The European Organization with currently membership from 23 countries is a Nuclear Research center established in 1954. It is a research organization that operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. Numerous experiments have been constructed at CERN through international collaborations as CERN’s main function is to provide the particle accelerators and other infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research. CERN is the birthplace of World Wide Web. The lab has bagged several noble prizes. Many activities at CERN currently involve operating the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the experiments for it. In one of my favorite soap, The Big Bang Theory there was an episode titled “The Large Hadron Collision” where Leonard and Raj travel to CERN to attend a conference and see the LHC.

Credits: by Brücke-Osteuropa – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2254432

Poem:

Is it the electricity?
Is it the wheel, fire?
Is it the internet?
Or the writing?
The best of Inventions,
Is definitely,
Well, like I do,
You all know too.

We all, necessarily, must make sure that we don’t invent and spread gossips, filth and crap.