An Unexpected Journey!

Featured

IMG_2184 (1)

Jungfraujoch

From the very first day of my professional life in Zurich, on the way to work I frequently used to see the ad ”Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe”. Since then it has been on my bucket list. Last Saturday when I was invited to my aunt‘s place for dinner, I never thought, 12hrs later I will end up on Top of Europe. She had visitors from UK and Germany and they were discussing about the possible day trip options for Sunday. Me being a chatty person, I was fully engrossed in the discussion. I had no plans to join them however the discussion was so persuasive, I ended up committing to the spontaneous excursion.

We started our journey around 8:30 in the morning and after a couple of hick ups, train changes and lunch we finally reached Kleine Scheidegg.

From there we take the final train, Jungfraubahn to reach the top. In other words the real journey starts at Kleine Scheidegg station (2061m above sea level). The cogwheel train takes almost an hour to cover 9km because the ascent grade is that steep (has to overcome an altitude difference of 1400m). The train goes through a tunnel crossing the mountains Eiger and Mönch. The construction of the Jungfrau Railway began over a hundred years ago with 300 men and lasted for 16 years. It is incredible how they cut these tunnels out of sheer rock by hand.

During these 50 minutes the Jungfraubahn makes two stops at Eigerwand (2,320m) and Eismeer (3160m) for 5 min. The Eismeer glacier sits snugly between these beautiful peaks. On each stops there are viewpoints,  allowing us to admire the breath taking view of alpine wonderland of glaciers, ice, snow and rocks. The thought of being inside a huge, gigantic mountain, gave me goosebumps and a slight adrenaline kick.

IMG_2142

Eismeer

Cogwheel train is the only way to reach the highest rail station in Europe, Junfraujoch, which is 3454 m high. A bronze statue of Mr. A. Guyer Zeller, the initiator of the Jungfrau Railway, welcomes you to this stunning, overwhelming, heart-stopping wonderland.

It may sound silly but my top priority was to Go Live from top of Europe. Having that in mind, I headed to the Sphinx observatory, the highest point of the route, where you will get the best panoramic views of the mountains. While glancing through the direction board, I saw Bollywood on the sign post.

Oh boy…I felt like winning the biggest lottery – Can you imagine, how awesome it would be to meet Shahrukh Khan, Amir, Ranbir, Hrithik, Shahid & co on top of the Europe? For a moment I forgot about everything else and without hesitating I followed the direction to Bollywood! Guys, guess what? You won’t believe it; It was just a restaurant. To be honest I was a bit disappointed, but on the positive side the only restaurant (according to what I saw) on top of Europe is an Indian restaurant, how cool is that?

Finally my mind was back on track and without wasting any second, I headed to top eagerly to Go Live – I couldn’t go live because of poor reception☺. The view from there is worth a billion dollars. I have never ever seen something as magnificent as this. Lunacy took over me as I ran around the Sphinx to capture as many pictures as possible, before my mobile battery ran out for good. I felt like diving into the sugar coated mountains to take a big bite of it. The clean and crisp air was so addictive that I just kept inhaling more and more. I wanted to keep this freshness in me and so didn’t feel like exhaling. To be honest I don’t know the right words to describe what I felt there.

JFJ

The Jungfraujoch complex

After spending nearly 1hour on the terrace of the observatory, I decided to go to the Snow Fun areaYou can walk through the “Ice Palace” where a tunnel has been dug out of solid ice with beautiful ice sculptures lining the halls. Since I wasn’t carrying proper footwear, I couldn’t go there. As I mentioned before, it was a spontaneous trip so naturally we were running against time.

IMG_2192

For more pics click here

It is undoubtedly an expensive excursion; the normal tariff is around 200 CHF per person. The Price of the train ticket includes access to the entire Jungfrau area.  I will definitely go there again and who knows may be I will be able to Go Live If you are planning to go there, these are my suggestions:

  • Start early and plan properly
  • Bring some snacks and water for the trip.
  • Pack your lunch, as you wouldn’t want to pay for an expensive  mediocre meal.
  • Check the weather report before booking! 
  • Have your cameras & mobile Phones always ready for action.
  • Don’t forget your selfie stick
  • Don’t forget your power bank
  • Dress in multiple layers as the temperature will fluctuate throughout the travel day.
  • Wear good tracking/ hiking shoes.
  • It is possible to get altitude sickness. Make sure to take things slow and drink plenty of water.

Advertisements

#PrayForFrance

Featured

Pray4franc

Woke up this morning to horrific news from France.  My deepest condolences and prayers to the victims and their loved ones.

The most precious, valuable thing apart from the 4 elements on this blue planet are humans. The world we know wouldn’t exist if there were no humans.  No matter which religion or cult we are following,  they all teach us the value of a human life. None of them support killing people.

It’s just 14th of July and according to  Wikipedia there were already  more than 80 terror attacks reported (list of Terror attacks).  I am asking myself why this cruelty? What are those organizations/ individuals trying to achieve?  Definitely not peace and freedom. With this horrific, terrifying inhuman approach they just put their fellow human beings of same religious conviction, nationality, race, profession in jeopardy.

After listening to the news and reading few articles I felt, totally disturbed and my eyes were filled with tears. There was a certain anger building up inside me because I felt so powerless and helpless . The entire day I was thinking about how can I / we prevent terror attacks?  Oh well , I know  you are rolling your eyes now and thinking, how can she stop something  which the greatest minds of our time couldn’t do.  I am not an economist nor a politician or a religious leader and most probably my IQ is below average. But I think, if we could wipe out revenge,  jealousy and greed from us there won’t be any terror attacks like this.  Furthermore I strongly believe it has to start within each and every one of  us. Find happiness in what you have and don’t be jealous about things which you don’t have. Be fare in everything you do!  Then apply the same logic in your family – between parents and kids;  then on your extended family members, friends etc.  If everyone is satisfied then there is no need for fight.

So don’t hesitate and let’s try to make the world a better place; You and I, we are the ones who can make this change!

Like I mentioned before, it’s just a humble thought which came up in my mind.

Easier Said Than Done

Featured

I just learnt the hard way that it is difficult to follow a plan. Around last June there were a few weddings i had to attend and until this Feb i was fairly consistent in my diet and workout plan. I could feel the results of my efforts and had energy to work on my blogs,  be socially active and had even planned a vacation. Everything was going perfect.  Spring arrived in march and i knew hay fever season will start soon, for sunny days had arrived.

One day out of the blue, I felt an itching sensation behind my left ear. I went to the pharmacy and they gave a cream. Next day, somewhere around noon I looked into the mirror, because the entire area from the back of my ear to the shoulder was itching. After work I went again to the pharmacy and this time they gave me stronger medication. Next morning I had rashes all around my upper body, and it was spreading. I thought,  I was having a serious skin disease. Fear of infecting others, had driven me to maintain safe distance.

Even though I  was terrified to death, I decided not to call my mom or my best friends mom. In my weird mind it felt like i was going to die. So I only  informed my brother and then went to the hospital. While I was sitting at the waiting room, I got more scared. I didn’t know whom to text or talk to and for the  first time ever I felt lonely. I could have asked my aunt to come with me or my neighbour. I could have phoned my  best friend or my mom. Or instead of just leaving a WhatsApp voice message, I could have called my brother,  but since I was certain I was going to die, I didn’t want  to worry my loved ones unnecessarily in advance.  After one hour of  waiting, the doctor came. He looked at me and started to  laugh.  With tears in my eyes and a frightened voice I asked him: “Why are you laughing at me? I am dying here.”  Only then he realised how scared I was and he said : “oh no dear; you are suffering from hay fever. It’s just an allergy.” He prescribed antihistamine and some other strong medications.

On my way back home, I felt like an  idiot for getting scared. From that day onwards everything went wrong. Due to my allergy I had breathing problems, so I couldn’t even jog for 10 minutes. Most of the time I was too tired and in less than 5 weeks I gained more than 12 kgs. Now my allergy is a bit under control but the gained kgs are still there. Since my lunges are not fully recovered, I shouldn’t do my EMS training. Instead of that, I should go for a walk or do 30 min on my elliptical trainer. I stare at my elliptical trainer every day and all I am thinking is: “Why should I do it? Each time if I am that close to my goal, something happens; and then I have to start again from scratch – it feels like being in a never ending loop.”

Clearly I am/was  struggling to find the motivation. I feel so exhausted  and have zero energy,  the fire in me is blown out,  and obviously I am kinda hiding from my social activities because I feel, I am unfit. I know I have to do something very soon.

Today I went through some of my old blogs and then realised, I am a hypocrite. I was asking my readers to take the responsibility for their actions and motivating them, while at the same time I was not following it.  Finding someone or something to blame is always the easier path.  Yes,  it is true that my weight gain was partially due to the medicine but also I was guilty of having delicious meals.  I guess as soon as I had an excuse to eat more I used the medication as an excuse to justify it. As I was not able to work out due to breathing problems and being weighed down with weariness, I gained weight. Since I felt like a rolling stone,  my unconscious mind made a decision not to meet with other people. I was embarrassed and considering the fact that I was not following what i was preaching. I felt ashamed and could not be bothered to blog so decided not to blog. Now the puzzle is solved.

So I am starting from zero again. Target for this week is  to publish one blog, cut out refined sugar and do 30 min of cardio.

What about you my dear reader, have you faced similar situations like this? How did you bounce back?

Transgender – Painful Prejudices

Featured

Yesterday I watched one of my favourite dance reality shows on YouTube. I was shocked and surprised at the same time when I got to know that it was the first time ever a transgender was allowed to participate on a reality show, which is telecasted on a national television. Considering the given history, I thought India would be one of the transgender friendly countries in the world. Listening to Jazz’s story made me really sad.

The fact is:   On 15 April 2014, in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India, the Supreme Court of India ruled that transgender people should be treated as a third category of gender and as a socially and economically “backward” class entitled to proportional access and representation in education and jobs.

I think it is difficult to imagine what it must feel like to be transgender if you are not. Imagine what it must feel like to debate every day to use the men’s restroom or the women’s.

We all are born with sexual characteristic of either a male or a female. The term transgender focuses on individuals whose gender identity conflicts with biological sex assignment. Most who are transgender know they are different from others from an early age. There are different studies explaining the cause of being transgender. The fact is we will need a much larger body of research to reach conclusions about where gender identity lives in human.

I think at this point, it is very important to mention that gender and sexual preference are entirely two separate things. Sexual identification is who we to be intimate with while gender identification is who we see ourselves.

I am not intending to write a scientific blog about transgender with my limited knowledge. On the contrary I want to encourage you to wipe out your prejudices. Keep in mind that this condition might be caused by hormonal imbalance. It is definitely not their fault! Support them on their journey! Be nice and human next time when you meet a transgender.

Hats off to Mazhavil Manorama for taking the first step towards breaking the taboo and hopefully many will follow you.

Jazz, never give up! No matter if you are going to win 1st prize or not. Consider yourself as a winner because through Mazhavil Manoramas D4Dance Season 3 the world is listening to you. Don’t pay attention to the Naysayers and ignore the negativity. Don’t be shy and don’t hide! Go Girl, Go Girl! Rock the floor, don’t forget Feet Must be pointed 🙂 .

I am fully aware of the fact that I don’t have neither a huge follower base nor a celebrity status. But If at least one among the few readers would change his/her mind and treat a transgender as a “normal” human being, then I would consider my blog, a worthy effort. Like Pearle, the anchor of the show said, we may be born with different skin colour, on different places as men or women. But we all are one and all of us are God’s creation.

There is no one “right” way to live a life. And no one should have to spend a life hiding who they are!!

XoXo

Darling, you make my day!

Featured

Oh my love!
You make me happy and alive.
You are always there for me, in good times and in bad.
You have got me addicted.
Your fragrance brings out the energy in me.

On a cold rainy afternoon, I wrap my arms around you,
your warmth soak into me.
Snow brings you even closer
I cant survive a day without you
Coffee Coffee!

I Love You Forever!

Doorway to your heart

Featured

When was the last time you looked into someone’s eyes? Or let someone gaze into yours? Since few days this question is haunting me. I don’t remember when it happened to me the last time! What about you my dear reader? When was the last time you experienced the emotional cocktail made of excitement, butterflies in stomach, nervousness and the spark you will feel when you look into your loved ones eyes or the person you would love to love look into your eyes?

You will find a lot of scientific studies online, where they explain the importance the eyes in combination with physical attraction, seduction and romantic love… And yes as usual within seconds my browser history was filled with articles about this particular theme. So if we are sitting on the same boat, then I think I know the cause of the problem. After spending days thinking about it, I came up with 3 possible reasons.

  1. You are living with your life partner and you take everything for granted. You might say there are other important things to do than looking into eyes. Beside it’s something for silly people. So you are purposely avoiding it.

  2. You are “too busy” and blabber A LOT. What I mean by this is, you will always engage yourself in some personal projects like weight loss, redo your garden, refurnish your place or you are a workaholic. So basically you don’t have time to go out and meet people and when you are with your friends you simply keep blabbering so that there is no silent moment. Practically everyone around you is in the FRIEND zone. In other words unconsciously you have a defensive shield around you, stopping yourself exploring new possibilities

  3. You are scared. Letting someone that close to you means apart from the facial hair, impure greasy skin, thin lines/wrinkles, and that his person can see behind your retina. You are literally letting a person into your life, in other words you are not used to being vulnerable, comfortable and used to being alone.

I myself belong to the category 2 and 3. I hardly go out and meet new people. And when I meet people I talk a lot and most of the time I never notice any signs of interest. I am also very scared and I don’t want to put myself in a position where someone could hurt me.

Audrey Hepburn, a famous actress once said: “The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the door way to her heart, the place where love resides.” If that is true and eyes are indeed the doorway to the place where love resides, don’t be shy. Go ahead. Stare deeply into those eyes belonging to the other person and relight the flame of love.

Challenge the norms

Featured

IMG_0963

What do you want to be when you grow up? Do you remember the first time you heard this question? I don’t. But most probably I said Mickey Mouse or some other cartoon figure with magic powers.

From my young school days, I had a desire to be a doctor. I think deep down inside me, I believed that doctors have some magical power to heal people. I was even considering  to pursue  with the med school two, three years ago. After doing the math -> years of med school + residency + specialize, I realized that it’s too late, by the time I become a heart surgeon, I might be facing retirement 😉 Becoming a doctor was just one of few dreams. Almost all the Indian kids growing up abroad want to become a doctor, lawyer or an engineer. And guess what, I am an engineer. Apart from becoming a doctor, I wanted to become a successful writer, adopt a child, build an orphanage in Kerala, do my Arangetram etc.

As kids our dreams are comparable to a bird with a lot of colourful feathers. We are not aware of the risks and certainly not thinking about the negative impacts, which might follow. Children are full of positivity. As we grow old like a bird loses its feathers, our dreams wither away. Dreams are indeed very strange, my dear friend! 

So what happened to that curious child? I was a talkative child; I used to ask so many questions and was telling stories all the time. Recently I saw an old video of mine and I couldn’t recognize myself. That 7 year old girl was full of energy and blabbering nonstop. As children we want to be so many things and the sky is our limit. An innocent 7-year-old explaining about her dream of becoming a doctor, catching thieves or becoming a fire fighter, certainly is a good party entertainer. Everyone listening to this kid is amused and will encourage her. Time passes by, in your early teens try to talk about your dreams, most probably you will face the first “NOs” and discouraging statements like:

 “You shouldn’t compare yourself with that person, You are not good at it .… Your primary focus should be achieve higher scores! …….Don’t ask stupid questions! ….Listen to us, we know what’s better for you! Don’t waste your time!”

In our early 20s most of us are usually finishing school/college, finding the first part/ full time job. If you mention about your dream now, then they will laugh at you and say:

”Oh common… don’t be silly… you are not a child anymore…don’t be a dreamer….Do you really think you can pull it off?.. think about your future…you don’t have much time to waste… get a job and get married!”

While growing up we probably hear a lot of NOs and undergo diplomatic brainwashes. The reason for this is because our friends and family are protective of us and they don’t want us to fail or get hurt.  All these Don’ts  and NOs creates a huge wall of fear inside us. This ugly, huge, dreaded wall is standing between us and our dreams. Instead of breaking down this imaginary wall, we project a fake dream on it. A dream which is approved by the society where we live. A dream that makes others happy and where you should be also happy because it’s what everyone else does. The average dream where you don’t get hurt. School -> Graduation-> Complete a professional course -> Job -> Marriage -> Kids -> Say no to your  Kids ->  A NEVER ending loop

From our mid 20s onwards it should be us, who decides if the imaginary wall should disappear or not. This wall is a projection of our insecurities and fear. Most of the time we are not aware of this and we subconsciously follow after a fake path. Until and unless some event  wakes you up. In my case it was Hanspeter, my former  boss. I used to work for a small international startup company. Back then we were like around 25 employees. Now it’s one of the world’s leading BPM venture companies. One day during our coffee break, I told him that I am going through some personal issues. That’s where he gave me the best advice someone ever gave to me:” Petsy, don’t be too nice all the time and do not say yes to everything. The world belongs to those who always ask questions.” As usual I didn’t understand the deeper meaning of what he said. It took me a while to digest but slowly I understood. In a polite way he was telling me to stand up and challenge; to get out of my comfort zone; to spread my wings and fly! That’s when I started to dream again, where I got my confidence back and started questioning. It was not easy, it’s a scary thought because you are on your own. You can’t blame anyone else anymore. Very soon I realized when you try doing things differently or follow a not so familiar/ common path, you scare and challenge the people around you. So forget about the Naysayers! Follow your dream!  You may fall quite often on your path. Each time when you fail, think about the bouncing doll you had, when you were a child. No matter how often, forcefully you hit on it, it always bounced back and smiled back at you. All the obstacles and failures will bring you closer to your dream.

We can’t undo the decisions we made or were forced on us in the past. BUT you can totally change what you are going to do while or after reading this blog. You CAN decide to fulfill your dream as of today, as of now, like this very second. If you follow your dream, you might have to say No, get out of your comfort zone and sometimes even detach yourself from the emotional dramas going on around you.

Common guys, be brave! Don’t neglect your dreams/ goals. Let’s pursue a life of fulfillment, and happiness. It took me a while to understand the importance of having a dream and to be truly myself.

Can I read your mind and say what you are thinking now? You are asking yourself what is this crazy girl dreaming of?  Oh well my dear reader, stay tuned, one day I will definitely share it here.  

And now STOP reading this blog;  Write down your dreams/goals; Save it on your device or pin it somewhere. Draft a plan and start your journey!

Xoxo