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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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?

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!

Challenge the norms

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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

From Being Catfished to Real Chat with a Script Writer …

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After watching the movie Rockstar, I spent some time to know more about the cast and crew. It was just matter of time, that my browser history was filled with, Wikipedia entries, YouTube interviews and Facebook pages of the director VKP and the lead actor Siddarth Menon. I felt really bad for not knowing that Siddarth Menon is a famous singer from India. A  very talented musician with a mesmerising voice, who has a huge fan base and girls in India are going ga-ga over him. He reminded me a little bit of Justin Timberlake.  He is a member of a music band called Thaikudam Bridge and I pretty much love their music.

Few minutes of browsing, I ended up sending pms and friend requests to VKP sir, Rajashree Balaram and Siddarth Menon. It was a spontaneous reaction, like a fire and forget event. For my surprise a few minutes later I received a reply from Siddarth Menon. OMG… I was jumping up and down; He started texting me and then to top it all, he called me via FB messenger. OH GOSH … I couldn’t believe it. The first question I asked him was: “Why are you calling me? You are supposed to be busy”.  With a gentle laugh he  replied: “I never disappoint my fans”. Somehow an inner voice was telling that this guy is fake. To verify the authenticity with whom I am talking to, I asked him to sing a song! So he sang! I was spellbound!! End of the day I was thrilled and unable to believe that this happened to me.

Next day my sleep was disrupted by the annoying noise of FB notifications. Are you familiar with the feeling, when you wake up and you just want to smash/destroy your Alarm/Mobile phone? knowing very well it was you yourself, who forgot about the mute function? Flushed with anger I checked my mobile and guess what, it was his messages which woke me up.  This time he gave me his private number and asked me to add him on WhatsApp. How could I reject this nice gesture, right? By the way in the meantime all my anger just melted away. Thank God it was a weekend because on that day we talked a lot. About the band, music and how he ended up accepting the offer. During the entire conversation he was sharing personal information with me. I was a teeny tiny bit leery. After 2 weeks of small talk here & there, he succeed in convincing me that he is real. One day he told me that Thaikudam Bridge is going to Sharjah for a program. On that exact same day I saw a FB update about another program conducted by the same Band in India. From that point onwards the hide and seek game started. I insisted on having a video chat, which he refused due to some citing security issues. The other time I asked him for a selfie. A Selfie, which he has to take with his left hand and the index finger of his right hand should touch the left side of the nose 🙂 Oh well… I presume the poor guy researched online for it. 4 days later he admitted he was fake!

I hate being lied to and can’t understand why people are creating fake accounts. Look at this guy, what did he get out of this? NOTHING! What was he hoping to get out of this conversation?  The disturbing fact is that his fake account is pretty active and number of his friends are increasing day by day. I reported it to the real Siddarth Menon  (who I think) as well as to Facebook (How do I report a fake account?).

Now to the pleasant part. One day, completely out of the blue I received a reply from Rajashree Balaram and yes as you guessed it correctly, I was literally jumping around. She is such a nice person. Extremely  friendly and humble. During our small conversation, I told her about the above mentioned incident and she said to me that she will convey my message to VKP sir and Siddarth Menon. That’s so sweet of her, right?  Anyways I am eagerly waiting for her next work in a way I am waiting for the next season of Game of Thrones.

I pretty much enjoyed the whole experience and who knows may be one day I might talk to the real Siddarth Menon 😉

On this note I wish you all a wonderful day!

Xoxo

It’s all about YOU!

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It’s been a really long time since my last blog. A lot happened in the meantime which I might mention here on the blog one day. Hope all of you had a wonderful start. Jan is almost gone and how are you guys keeping up with your New year’s resolutions?

I have started this  year full of energy and excitement, determined to enjoy each and every day. Do things which would make me happy, experiment a bit and basically not worry about what others think about me.

So ….

  • If you think you are fat and unfit then lose weight, change ur diet and exercise more.
  • If you are unsatisfied with your job, then go and find another job
  • If you are bad in managing ur money then learn how to control ur expense
  • If you want to be a model/ singer/actor then go and explore ur options
  • If you love to travel then DO it.

Keep in mind that you are doing something which YOU want to do, NOT because you want to please someone else (parents, friends, children, coworkers, society …).

In my entire life I never felt this much of positive energy. I got inspired by the first movie I watched this year. Like most of us, I was also very tired on the 1st of Jan, so decided to stay home and chill.

After little bit browsing  and checking FB,  I ended up on an online movie portal and  chose  the latest Malayalam movie they uploaded. Malayalam is a language spoken in India to be precise in Kerala.  Watching  movies online gives me a guilty conscience, but sometimes you don’t have any other choice if you are abroad.

Yes, yes and yes … I know you are waiting to hear the name of the movie. The movie is called Rockstar.  If you understand Malayalam then you have  to watch it. I have  never ever seen a Malayalam movie like this. The movie is about a young independent woman and a young musician.  Oh well.. I know what you are thinking now and can imagine how you are rolling your eyes… A man sees a woman, they fall in love, jumping around trees in the alps, singing and dancing Benny Lava style and live happily ever after.  Sorry guys, I have to disappoint you. It is a romantic story which portrays very deep and intense emotional drama. The real star of this movie is the Story itself.  I loved each and every dialogue in this movie. My favorite dialogue is when Eva responds in a conversation to her mum and maid: You don’t have to get married to have children. It reminded me a conversation between my mum and me.

The script writer Rajashree Balaram beautifully captured the independent thoughts of today’s spinster professionals. The continuous fight with themselves to be independent,  to be different than the older generation, the confidence to express to the world what they think and confronting the conflict between fact-based  judgments and moral values.

Such a brilliant story in the hands of, one of the most renowned directors in the industry, VKP sir, it  certainly  created magic on the screen.

After watching this movie, I was so excited and decided to pm (private message) VKP sir, Siddarth Menon and Rajashree Balaram. The experience I made there,  will  be summarized  in a separate blog because a lot happened there.  Got catfishes,  had a real small chat …

End of the day watching this movie inspired me to set goals for this year. My New Year’s resolution is very simple: enjoy the life to the fullest and not to be worried about others.

I even came up with a nice romantic story. A good friend of mine and me even thought about filming it, me in the lead role. HAHAHA…. all my friends who are reading this, is most probably ROLFing. Yeah me in a Movie ***@@@@???!!!!

On this note I wish you all a very Happy New Year.

Xoxo

Almost a Vegan

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I met an old friend of mine last week, and it’s no surprise we talked about weight loss. After all she was in good shape compared to the last time I saw her, where she had gained a lot of extra pounds due to constant business travel and bad diet. All she did was modify her diet. She is a Vegan now, oh well a 95% vegan.

After our conversation, I realized, with minor tweaks to my current diet – I’d  be a vegan too. Her story  totally inspired me.  So I decided to cut out chicken, eggs, honey and butter. Now I’ve completed 1 successful week of being a vegan, I mean almost a vegan.

A vegan doesn’t eat anything that originates from something that walked, crawled. Flew or swam, but that’s not all – a true 100% hardcore vegan shouldn’t wear leather, wool, silk or down. That’s why I am calling myself ALMOST A VEGAN. I love silk and I can’t say no to my bags and shoes, could  you?

My body accepted the change pretty well. Off lately, I am free from digestion issues, feel quiet energized and am loving it. Explored Quinoa and made my first dish with it. I hate to cook and  that’s because no matter how hard I try, I end up burning stuff. All I know is how to make chicken,  basmati rice, sausages and of course instant noodles. Now I am trying new recipes and  for my surprise I am not burning them. And the shocking fact is, that they come out well. My body seems to like this change and I noticed that I love chickpeas, okra , quinoa etc. Have even come up some really interesting cooking ideas. If I should continue this journey then one day I might do a V-log about my new favorite recipes.

I know all this sounds really promising and very easy to follow, but it isn’t. Yesterday night all I could think about was my favorite Pizza. Hmmm… the crispy thin pizza crust, the melted Mozzarella topped with the finest spicy Salami, garlic and black olives ( oh no….I am  thinking about it again). I almost dialed the number, thank god somehow I managed to control my cravings. I am quite sure one of these days I might fail and opt for a treat. Then again I guess it’s a slow journey and I have to take persistent baby steps.

My next weigh in is on next Saturday and I am eagerly waiting to see how my body has changed. There are so many questions popping up in my mind like: How much fat percentage I have lost? Did I gain on muscle mass? Am I following the right diet? Do I need to increase my Activity level? Do I need to decrease my sugar( carbs) intake? I guess in my next blog I will have answers to this questions. And keep in mind, with baby steps as long as I don’t gain – that’s fine  🙂

Till then Keep Calm and Stay Healthy!

XoXo