A to Z Challenge 2016 Reflections

Entire April I participated in the April A-2-Z Challenge which is organized by Arlee Bird. It is a blogging challenge where you are supposed to blog 26 days of April barring Sundays and each day marks an alphabet starting from A. This post is about my experience with the challenges and the after thoughts.

A-to-Z Reflection [2016]

It was the first time I participated in a posting challenge, earlier I had participated though it was a 7 day nature photo challenge where I was nominated by a fellow blogger and it was indeed a welcome experience to participate and complete it. We were supposed to post few photographs relating to nature and write a few lines about it for 7 days.

It was fun and I enjoyed it and for me it was easy to accept it as the duration was for 7 days.

To be honest when it came to A-2-Z, the first thoughts were not so positive and I was scared to participate in the challenge despite knowing about it well in advance and following it everywhere in the social media. This was particularly because of the thoughts which come:

  • Will I be able to complete it?
  • The duration is a month and I am busy particularly in April.
  • What am I going to blog about?

Trust me these are the questions always come and haunts whether it is a week or a month’s challenge. One just needs to stay focused in his mind, do planning, stick to his commitment and have passion which will take you till the end.

I enjoyed a lot participating in the challenge and it was a great learning experience from me.

I picked up a theme (blogging about my favorite music/band/songs) which I though was very mundane and believed it will be easy for me to write about it. I had never expected it will get so much response, appreciation and attention and in fact I ended up connecting with many people across the globe.

In return I too had connected with many bloggers and commented across various posts. It was good to get people interacting and discover your blog.

Some key points which I would like to share from this experience is:

1-When you participate in the challenge (any challenge) do choose a theme as it makes you easy to concentrate on stuff you will require to post.

2-Once the theme is ready preparing a worksheet to lay down the activity you need to do and get your content ready. It is not that easy to blog on the fly as you never know what tomorrow has in store and you might have a particular day messed up totally.

3- Be ready with 4-5 advance post in case of a monthly challenge and save them in draft mode.

4-Always do a preview before you hit the publish button.

5-Be prepared in case you are on a planned tour as you might go out of the connected world. This actually happened with me as I had a planned visit to a reserved forest area for some leisure. While we were some miles away to enter the restricted area the mobile signals started to drop and I did my last and final post of Z. Thereafter the entire day I was disconnected from all sorts of communication. If my content was not ready and in draft mode in WordPress it would have been difficult for me to complete the challenge. I used the WordPress app to publish the post from the draft mode.

6-Use social media wisely as it will help you to gather more audience, add twitter handles related to your blog and include A-2-Z twitter handle and hashtags when you publish

7-The most important point Connect and Interact: Why would others be interested in reading your posts if you don’t indulge with theirs. So it’s all about connecting and socializing. Do respect comments and likes and say a word of thanks. Show your appreciation by visiting their blog post too and what you thought about it.

The best part when you complete the challenge is that you feel quenched, the feeling is immortal when you complete the challenge and able to survive it despite all odds.

Looking forward next year for another happening April with new themes and new set of bloggers.

survivor-atoz-2016

Thanks to the A-2-Z team for all their co-operation, organizing and hosting this and re-tweets.

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Z FOR ZAKIR HUSSAIN – A TO Z CHALLENGE

Z FOR ZAKIR HUSSAIN 

This is a pure round robin, I started the 26 post series on 1st April with A for Allah Rakha, and ending with Zakir Hussain.This has such a perfect connect and relationship co-incidentally.

1-Zakir Hussain is the son of A, i.e. Allah Rakha and

2-Like his father he is also a renowned Tabla maestro. He is not only popular in India, but also across Europe and America.

Under his father’s able guidance he is been able to connect with millions of hearts and rendered some great compositions and known for his mastery in Tabla. He has also done various associated acts with western troupes for musical compositions, one such act includes people playing across various regional instruments, and it shows the harmony in diversity.

 My Connect

Zakir Hussain is a very renowned and famous name and is widely known in India, cant recollect my association. As he has done a lot of commercials for the Tea company Taj so he is synonymous with Taj

My Pick

Enjoy this lovely live performance from the maestro and feel the running of horses:

 

 

(All April I will be posting about my favourite music artist (as part of the A to Z Challenge), songs or bands and my memories around them and this will help us connect and discover new artists and music genres.)

Y FOR YOU ARE THE INSPIRATION – CHICAGO

Y FOR YOU ARE THE INSPIRATION – CHICAGO 

Y

We all require inspiration in our life at some point or other or may be always…

I am sure you must have sought inspiration from a Guru, artist, teacher, your parents or a public figure, however when it comes to music this is one of the songs I would recommend to tune on.

This was probably one of the finest songs by the band Chicago and it shot up to the #1 position.

In my life –  Dad, my wife and my children are the biggest source of inspiration for me and I always look on them to stay positive – Yes you bring feeling in my life, you are the inspiration.

My Connect

I heard the song in a radio program long time ago.

My Pick

Although I like It’s hard to say I am sorry, but You are the inspiration takes precedence, Enjoy the song here:

(All April I will be posting about my favourite music artist (as part of the A to Z Challenge), songs or bands and my memories around them and this will help us connect and discover new artists and music genres.)

X FOR X-MAS CAROLS – A TO Z CHALLENGE

X FOR X-MAS CAROLS 

Christmas is not complete until you have enjoyed the Carols from a week in advance.

Let me share my background over my inclination towards Carols and Christmas. My education till high school was done in a catholic school. We were being taught by Britons who opted to stay back for their love and inclination towards education and obviously their personal choice to remain and teach post-independence. So it was a 100 years old school, spread across huge land and being managed by Catholic and had many British people as the teachers. So you can imagine the atmosphere and the environment in the school, there was very strict adherence of speaking in English and discipline had been the top priority always. The principal and some school teachers were too strict and always carried wooden canes which they used to give corporal punishment if they found any violations.

Despite all this we loved our school as the teachers and the values were much more as compared to the strictness and punishments, may be were used to it and knew how to handle and get away 🙂

Oh, it makes me nostalgic as I write all this; maybe I will dedicate someday a post on my school days. Then there were the Moral Science classes were we gained knowledge on social dos and don’ts and stories related to morality. It was like a relief time for all.

Coming back to the post, I described my school life so that you have a back ground and then we had musical concerts, around Jesus’s life esp. during Christmas, and we had a church inside the school campus which we used to visit. So from there we got used to the plays, concerts and Christmas Carols.

How can I forget Silent Night Holy Night or we Three Kings or Joy to the World.

Thanks and respect to the person who coined these Carols and composed them. It is also heard at times that these schools will imbibe their religion or culture, which I totally defy, I and many others like me have completely enjoyed our 12 years in the school and proud to be part of it.  We were never compelled for anything. We owe whatever we are today because of the environment and opportunities provided to us. Although today the catholic schools are losing their importance and international schools are much sought of.

Today I have carried forward the legacy and my wife and daughter (7+) are better in Carols than me. We enjoy Christmas more than anything else with Cake and Carols.

My Connect

I am thankful to my school from where I picked up these and still enjoy them.

My Pick

My favorite is Silent Night Holy Night

(All April I will be posting about my favourite music artist (as part of the A to Z Challenge), songs or bands and my memories around them and this will help us connect and discover new artists and music genres.)

W FOR WET WET WET – A TO Z CHALLENGE

W FOR WET WET WET 

I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes
Love is all around me and so the feeling grows
It’s written on the wind, It’s everywhere I go, oh yes it is
So if you really love me come on and let it show

W

This is the song by the band Wet Wet Wet and it will make you wet in love, it is so touching and romantic that you can feel it when you play it. Originally “Love is all around” was from Troggs and they recomposed it, it was adapted for the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral. The song topped the #1 position in the UK chart for many weeks.

I have so many fond memories associated with this; it takes me back to the time of my High School.

This is ever so romantic that I fall in love with the song and the entire surrounding changes. You feel rains, holding hands together and eternal love. This is one of the best song to enjoy with your soul mate.

My Connect

This was a very happening song on the 90’s and heard it on MTV

My Pick

This is the only song which I am aware of this band:

(All April I will be posting about my favourite music artist (as part of the A to Z Challenge), songs or bands and my memories around them and this will help us connect and discover new artists and music genres.)

V FOR VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR – A TO Z CHALLENGE

V FOR VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR

It was the time when the significant change in the media and electronics and technology made this thought possible and the song got composed with the belief that the stars will not have their due recognition. This song is from The Buggles, an English band and it got them huge commercial success.

Albeit now the radio and TV stars are getting more recognition through Radio FM channels, sitcoms, live shows, live events, TV challenges and talent hunt’s. More people are opting for TV and even commercially successful artist are turning to it to rebuild their fame. It is so prevalent; just see the popularity of series like GoT, Friends, Sherlock etc. although I have seen only the Sherlock seasons.

My Connect

My connect is attributed to the daily travelling which gets a breather with the old classics played by a FM on the same time I leave for work and vice versa.

My Pick

As I write about the song in particular, so there are no choices to be made, here it is:

(All April I will be posting about my favourite music artist (as part of the A to Z Challenge), songs or bands and my memories around them and this will help us connect and discover new artists and music genres.)

U FOR UPTOWN GIRL – A TO Z CHALLENGE

U FOR UPTOWN GIRL

Uptown Girl by Billy Joel is my in fact it is every man’s perfect song. The words penned down for the song are the reason that it caught up with people quickly. It is lovely to hear this song again and again and for some reason I prefer it when I am driving all alone down the country side.

Another great song from Billy Joel is “We didn’t start the fire” it was always burning since the world was turning. It was also a major hit for Billy Joel and I also wrote a post here in which I had co-related it.

Thanks Billy Joel for these and many more delights.

My Connect

IT was the New Year show way back in the 80’s. A dance troupe performed on the song “We didn’t start the fire”, given that time it was electric to watch it. I still remember it very precisely and the song was on my tongue for many days. Thereafter I heard Uptown Girl in radio.

My Pick

Here is the song:

(All April I will be posting about my favourite music artist (as part of the A to Z Challenge), songs or bands and my memories around them and this will help us connect and discover new artists and music genres.)

T FOR THE FINAL COUNTDOWN – A TO Z CHALLENGE

T  FOR THE FINAL COUNTDOWN

This is the song from Europe which will pump up your adrenaline and boost you energy levels.

So whenever you are low this is the sure shot song for some quick mood uplifting.

It is also one of those songs that have been used regularly in countdowns, finale, sports events, suspense and esp. the jingle is used widely across in commercials.

My Connect

Can’t recall it but have been many years since I have heard this song across in multiple platforms. We also have a very famous Bollywood movie which lifted the tune in a song and the movie and the song was a big commercial success, enjoy it below:

My Pick

This is my pick from Europe:

(All April I will be posting about my favourite music artist (as part of the A to Z Challenge), songs or bands and my memories around them and this will help us connect and discover new artists and music genres.)

S FOR SOUND OF MUSIC – A TO Z CHALLENGE

S FOR SOUND OF MUSIC

By far this is the best musical film ever made and it will continue to be.

The Sound of Music – the best sound.

S

I love it when my daughter sings Raindrop on roses and whisker on kittens, they created an epic and history was made with the release of the movie and songs.

My Connect

I saw the movie on a TV channel.

My Pick

I love when my daughter is singing these are a few of my favourite things:

(All April I will be posting about my favourite music artist (as part of the A to Z Challenge), songs or bands and my memories around them and this will help us connect and discover new artists and music genres.)