An Unexpected Journey!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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#PrayForFrance

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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

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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

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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!

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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!