The Bernina express & moving around Europe.

Bernina Express:

A journey that we had to experience once in our lifetime at least. Should we go to Zurich or should we go from Zurich and with not enough time. We planned out our exit from Zurich and so we did it through from Milan- Tirano to Chur. A four-hour journey going through the shades of greens and blues and tunnels with Lindt chocolates and Cherry liqueur for some company. The journey was lovely with the rains, the views and the comfortable space. A long time ago we had done the Glacier express Zermatt to St. Moritz and while that was covered with snow this journey was more greens, mountains, and waters through the journey. Maybe because more into the Italian region and little of Swiss. The train climbs up to the 2253 m high.

Planning to Travel:

Buy a Eurarail mobile pass: Depending on the days and countries you are travelling buy the pass. If it’s more than one country buy the Global pass.

Next, log in to the app.

And make the entry of all the passengers who would travel along with you.

Passport details and other basic information.

Make one Trip on the app:

Create a trip and add all the passengers.

Choose your preferred train time and soon one QR Ticket would be displayed on the app.

Now keep adding the journeys ( Intercountry, or outer country you would like to take)

And with the preferred time, you will soon have multiple QR Ticket under the first group you made for all your trips.

Now, whenever the Ticket collector comes to view your ticket it’s all there.

Do not buy a swiss pass it’s more expensive.

In case you are travelling with Zurich Via trams, Trains or public transport buy a Zurich card.

For Italy Milan :

Buy the ATM card – This can be used for Trams, Buses and Metro. A convenient fast way of travelling around Milan.

We always use public transport as much as possible to explore the city like a local.

Europe 2022!

Already been a week!
The trip was in many ways a Deja Vu experience.
Right from the moment, we landed in the city of Zurich! Seemed like time had stopped moving since we were last here seven years ago.
The roads, the streets, and the stores they seemed like nothing had changed.
We moved around here without google maps.
And since it was Sunday as we walked down the streets, we were predicting the stores that will be coming and just next to that is where we should meet in case we get lost.
As we continued our journey to explore the other side of Switzerland.

Thank God things were different. Else it would have been a crazy holiday experience.
We explored the Italian- Mediterranean side of Switzerland Lugano and Lausanne & Montreux.
Lausanne was known for the Olympic Museum, and Montreux was very much like Como and Lugano was like the typical European small-town charm.
These towns were in their way beautiful and as we travelled to each of them. We could notice many shades of blue water. The narrow streets with colourful structures were some of the things we missed about Europe and travelling in the last couple of years…
Italy – Milan Centrale station seemed to have changed a little. But the structure remained the same. Dumao the cathedral and the shopping centre both were nostalgic experiences. As it was a decade ago or the 1st European trip ever from India was to Italy. The Cafes, the tourist buzz and the stores in this hundred of years old architecture and space were worth revisiting too.
Venice: The Land of Espresso! And coffee for Italy. The San Marco square, the faint memory of remembering the Florian Cafe being a little around that particular column, the walk past the bridges and the boat experience that we did this time from the station that had gone through a complete makeover from the last time we were in Venice in 2012.
We did not do the gondola ride this time as we just had a day in Venice.
Quite a few new stores opened and many remained where they were!
I remember this particular store that would have Ferrari & F1 merchandise and this was the time I was more interested and related Italy with Cars like Ferrari that I wanted to just go and visit this store!
There were too many stories that I relived on this trip to Italy & Switzerland.

Planning to travel around Switzerland. Some of the cities around Zurich & Geneva are mentioned below.

Train Travel from Zurich:

  • Lausanne – 2 Hr 15 Min.
  • Montreux – 15 from Lausanne( 2 Hr 30 Min from Zurich)
  • Lugano – 2 Hr
  • Fribourg  – 1 Hr 30 Min.
  • Lucerne –  45 Min.
  • Bern – 1 Hr.
  • Basel – 1 Hr 10 Min
  • Zermatt – 3 Hr 12 Min
  • St. Moritz – 3 Hr 22 Min

Train Travel from Geneva:

  • Interlaken – 2 Hr 15 min
  • Montreux – 1 Hr 10 Min
  • Lausanne – 45 Min

Starting up!

The USA!
Most of the trends and innovations come from there! And that might be because they are trying to solve the sustainability issue’s with simple solutions. And it’s not just one category they are solving problems .They are solving most of the problems that they think matter.
A start-up ‘clove ‘had the idea of finding a solution for the healthcare to have comfort while being on their toes and launched a shoe that is easy to clean, fashionable, Stylish and you can stand with it for hours.
And then you have ‘stoggles’which are fashionable, Stylish frames that are anti Fogg and affordable again mainly targeting the healthcare sector.
Then you have’ Huue ‘a denim ware start-up brand that aims to make denim by converting sugar into indigo dye a sustainable way of making denim.
Another start up ‘Rothys ‘is a footwear start up that is making shoes by recycling single use of plastic bottles! One pairs of shoe takes about 20 odd plastic bottles.

Start up with great possibilities!

https://goclove.com/products/clove-shoe-mens-lunar-fade

https://www.huue.bio

https://stoggles.com

https://rothys.com/collections/mens-shoes

Reading Books From India

Tamil in Tamil Nadu.Telugu in Andhra Pradesh. Kannada in Karnataka.Malayalam in Kerala. There are so many languages within a region in India. So you can imagine how many different stories and experiences one can read and learn about or learn from.

In the last six months and over the years since I started enjoying reading I have come across so many stories. sharing some of the ones that I liked reading.

  1. Heat by Poomani 

A story about a child committing an act of murder and how the family goes about this Act. A simple story written in a very intriguing way and this is the first time I read a book by a south Indian writer that has been translated From Tamil into English.

A book written nearly 40 years ago in Tamil and fairly recently translated in English.

Is a story that even more relevant today 

Vekkai the Tamilian name of the book. That was Published in 1982, Heat is more than just a social document about caste dynamics. The book Is soon going to come into life in a movie by Dhanush.

2.Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag originally written in Kannada

A simple story about a joint family, where one person runs the household and all are dependent on him and how their attitude, lifestyle and things around them change after they have started doing well and are considered Rich!

3.Adventures of Feluda by Satyajit Ray 

Satyajit Ray was one of the authors/ Filmmakers who I had always heard about but, it Did not strike me about how amazing his books were until I watched Ray’s series on the OTT platform that the stories were much ahead of our times and fortunately came across the adventures of Feluda Vol.1 short story that are mostly based in Kolkata and keep you interested right until the end.

4.Devdas by Saratchandra Chattopadhyay originally written in Bengali and then translated

A story that has been adapted a couple of times in the Indian cinema and after reading it felt like it was the Indian Romeo & Juliet story that has been the base for most of the love stories that have been made in the cinema.

Devdas was another story written by a Bengali writer and you sense it’s Bengal that has been one of the states from our country that has been recognised not only for the Art & culture that it has shared with us. But even sports.

5.Rising Heat by Perumal Murugan 

A story about Rags to Riches from a point of view of individuals who’s attitude change with money.Is a story originally Written in Tamil In 1991, by Perumal Murugan his first novel, Eru Veyyil.

Nearly 30 years later, the book appeared in English for the first time, in translation by Janani Kannan.

The story also captures the change from Rural environment to urban environment and the people around the neighbourhood they have moved too. A story that captures everyday life in India and the characteristics of the South Indians.

6.Poonachi: Story of a Black Goat by Perumal Murugan. 

“Once, in a village, there was a goat. No one knew where she was born. The birth of an ordinary life never leaves a trace, does it?”

Goats are problem-free, harmless and above all energetic. A story needs narrative pace. Therefore, I’ve chosen to write about goats.

A story of a black Goat. A Goat that’s handed over to an old man from a stranger who doesn’t have much time to live.

The story of a goat who was the 7th goat from the litter. And how the goat becomes their life, their happiness & their sadness.

The Goat has more human characteristics than the human beings itself and is compared to a child when it’s growing up.

The regime is only deaf when we speak about our problem. 

This a book written by Perumal Murugan after a long hiatus since his previous work had become controversial and did not want to write about humans but rather wrote another story having human characteristics.

Though it’s just 170 pages book. It’s very rich in text and literature. 

The book talks about the problem, issues and challenges we face while they go to get the Goat Ears Pierced.

They think before speaking as whenever we talk about the regime, Its ears are quite sharp. But when we talk about our problems they don’t hear.

The book is easy to read and speaks about the relationship and bond between the old woman and Poonachi and how we humans like to control every being.

7.Moustache by S.Hareesh 

A recent trip to South India made explore south India literature and here I found moustache to be an interesting title & a story to read translated from Malayalam to English… this book was a little slow to read and tiring on a few occasion.

But, it reminded me of Kafka on the shore style of writing ( Magical realism) when they were chapters of the crocodile.

This book also seemed and reminded me of Ravan with the way the character of moustache has been written & developed.

The unusualness and the stories that are written by South Indian writer are rarely found across India. And since the South Indian writers mostly about the region they are familiar with . This makes it interesting to read.

The author S.Hareesh has also written thr screenplay for Jalikattu a film that came in the limelight for the story and the awards it won internationally.

Moustache is a must read if you want familiarise yourself with the stories from Southern Indian.

8.Jasmine Days by Benyamin The JCB award has been modelled on the Man Booker Prize a prestigious annual award for English language books published in the UK.

A story about immigrants… Benjaymin actually known as Benny Daniel 

Started publishing his book under the pen Name Benjayim. 

Benyamin started writing when he moved to Bahrain for a corporate job and a lot of his stories are based on the backdrop of Bahrain & the Middle East.

Jasmine Days is a well written book that transports you to being there in the city and living the story as the writer keeps narrating the story. Jasmine Days explores too many characters and describes a revolution as if it’s happening during those moments. The book is bold in so many explores Religion, Politics and Humanity that the writer had to write another book ‘Al Arabian Novel Factory’ that was translated by Shanaz Habib who translated the jasmine days too that is originally written In Malayalam and titled Mullappoo Niramulla Pakalukal 

9. Bankster by Ravi Subramaniam: I remember reading the synopsis in an article and wanting to read the book. I was sceptical though since I wasn’t sure the book would try out so good! And a few months later I met Ravi Subramaniam at a literature fest and couldn’t wait for what other books were in store. If you would like to know about Banking and their work this is it! I would like to read God was gamer next by Ravi Subramaniam.

10.Chetan Bhagat 2020 Revolution: The picked up the book from the library and this was the second book after three mistakes I had read from Chetan Bhagat one thing that I like about Chetan Bhagat encourages the youth to read. Simple Stories, are written in easy to read language for first-time readers and the stories are interesting too. If you would like to start reading fiction. Start with a Chetan Bhagat. 

11.Jhumpa Lahiri Lowland: The book written by Jhumpa Lahiri is a book the backdrop is West Bengal and this book portrays the distance between leaving home and still having some roots back home when one settles abroad and the relations with the family. The book is written by the same author whose popular book namesake was adapted by Mira Nair. 

12. Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh: A book that I did not know I would enjoy reading. A science, A story with myths and in one of its kind a Medical thriller. Written by one of the most prolific writers from India. Post-Calculata chromosomes and otherwise known for writing historical fiction books. Calcutta chromosome is his first foray into science fiction a novel that offers an alternate history of the discovery of a parasite that causes malaria. This is an fast-paced suspense thriller

13.Durbar Tanvleen Singh : (1984 Riots)

A book that I read more than six years ago.. Has been one of the best books on political reporting and Riots that changed India in many since 1984 and what one went through and how politics was the key in the whole issue.

14.Saboteur by R.V Raman

A Writer who I am came across after searching for the thriller writers from India and his two best seller “Fraudster” and “Insider” then are widely spoken about. A writer who has worked with KPMG and most of his stories are around corporate working. But Saboteur was one of the book that interested me the most as it was about an E-Commerce scam thriller. And it’s worth a read if you like reading thriller. 

North & South India Journey

Tamil Nadu, was on my travel diaries for a while Now! Or for that matter travelling around India other than Mumbai and 2022 has been a surprising year that’s been inclining towards spirituality naturally.

Varanasi, An offbeat destination to celebrate your birthday! 

Yeah! Right! But being born in Nashik! And having celebrated my 25th in Amristar. This shouldn’t be a Shock!

The boat journey through the Ghats witnessing the Sunset & sunrise was very calming and beautiful.

Birding chirping, Bird feeding, boat sailings and a cool winter settled in two luxury properties that had their charm & Views.

A short trip of eating three days food menu in 1 and a half days was very upsetting and unsettling to the stomachs of all of us.

Dharamshala. 

Another spiritual awakening city in the Himalayas was the travel we went ahead with from Amritsar after thinking over all the possible travel plans around.

A five Day Short trip was two days of travel and three days of sightseeing. The hills have characters that set them apart from the other regions. And sharp turns and small spiral roads keep your head spinning around.

The quietness, stillness and kindness of the people out there are humbling. And something that’s difficult to find in larger cities across the country.

The landscape is all different around one country that speaks so many different languages and showcases the culture of each region that the south Indian region was the most Conscious about plastic. Everything was either brown paper bag, Plastic was replaced with metal cans and one Ltr water bottles were replaced with five Ltr’s. The hills here were much more greener.

While we were trying the Momos in Dharamshala we were enjoying Dosa, Malabar parathas and dark chocolates & ice creams in the south region.

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