Swapna Abraham makes the milestone entry in her diary as Yasser Al Gergawi looks on Image Credit: Clint Egbert/XPRESS

Dubai: A Dubai woman, who is attempting a potential world record by singing 1,000 songs in 1,000 days - along with an additional children’s song a day, reached her 500th milestone on Monday.

Minutes after Swapna Abraham went live on Facebook with an impromptu rendition This Blessed Land in the presence of Yasser Al Gergawi, director of cultural events, Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, at the HSI Events studio at 2pm, the single mum said she made up the lyrics based on the theme of peace given to her on the spot by the official. “I am so happy I have reached so far and look forward to completing the challenge.”

The challenge, which commenced on April 8, 2017, is expected to end on January 2, 2020, in time for EXPO 2020. Abraham said, “I am as old as this country, so this has a lot of relevance for me. My parents lived in Abu Dhabi from 1968 through 1995.”

She said the challenge has involved composing music and lyrics with no pre-work, producing, orchestrating, singing, recording and publishing two songs a day - one regular and the other a song for children. She said she has had to crossmany hurdles during the course. “It wasn’t so much the execution of two songs every day. What took me two-and-a-half hours initially was being done in a little over an hour later; uploads however take another 30-45 minutes, often longer, and this made things difficult on work days.”

Not quite a morning person, she said, “Creativity was a default, discipline had to be developed and I had no idea to what extent. In order to report to work at 8am, I would wake up at 3.30am and take up the challenge from 4 to 6am.” She said there were times when she encountered unstable wifi, as a result of which the composition, which had to be done live, would be interrupted. “There were many surprises too. Both my children graduated from university, and this was a huge achievement for me. My daughter got married and had a baby. My father back home suffered a traumatic fall. All of this meant I had to travel. There was uncertainty with respect to flights, baggage delivery, etc. I contracted Influenza A on a US tour, but I managed to keep my date with my songs.”

She said, “If I failed to complete the task within 24 hours in Dubai time, I would have failed the challenge. But by God’s grace, that has not happened.”

She said, “There have been moments of glory too. One of them was hearing back from Kensington Palace on sending them a song that was written for Prince Henry and Meghan Markle on the occasion of their wedding,” said Abraham. She said she plans to raise the bar from Day 700. “I will be doing a third song for 100 days, seven a day during the last 40 days and 21 on the last day,” she added.

Highlights: 1,000 Songs In 1000 Days

■  Gifted (about a musician who performs everyday in a subway)
■  When Harry Met Meghan (for the Royal Couple on the occasion of their wedding)
■  The Planet Saved (about how we saved the earth from all the damage we caused it)
■  Last Christmas (in memory of the late George Michael)
■  Year Of Zayed (in memory of the Founding President of the UAE)
■  Zabivaka (in connection with FIFA 2018)

A Children’s Song A Day:

■  Talents
■  Never Give Up
■  Daddy’s Doing The Best He Can
■  Children Ruling The World
■  Say No
■  Lovely Mother