I tried to organize all the higgledy-piggledy thoughts in my mind and found out most of the thoughts took a retreat from the mundane daily life and escaped to a world of a fairy tale. After all, December brings Santa, snowman, snow-draped roads, reindeer along with blessings from Jesus. Even an adult can choose to become that innocent child in the holiday season and escape into a different world; an uncomplicated, unambiguous and innocent world. I chose to escape to the mountains. I boarded a train from Montreaux to Château-d’Oex, in Switzerland. It is located half-way between the beautiful Gstaad in the Bernese Oberland and the small town of Gruyères in the canton of Fribourg. In fact, the international competition in hot-air ballooning is held every January in Château-d’Oex.
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While living in Switzerland, I used to go for long walks. The paths are well marked and as varied as the scenery – in fact, they quickly become an end in themselves. Switzerland has over 65 000 kilometers of waymarked trails. I walked along lakes, through vineyards, under the shadow of mountains, and along small streams. One thing which accompanied me on my walks was divine beauty; everywhere and in every corner. I enveloped all my walks and kept them secured and safe in a deposit called the heart.
The purpose of a museum or an exhibition is not about conveying information (which is a commodity in this information age) but invoking emotion from within, make a basis for reflection and let the visitor grasp the real significance of the situation. The whole idea is to present an experience. I had one such memorable experience when I entered the permanent exhibition – Defending Human Dignity by Gringo Cardia, a Brazilian graphic designer and an artist inside the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva, Switzerland.
Whenever mundane reality clogs my thoughts, invades the realm of the senses, shrinks me and shakes the tranquility of my mind, I gear up to travel to new places if time and situation permit or else I just open an unread book. Both of them comfortably take me afar from the present. And then, I find myself all charged up again like a phoenix. Books and travel, two of my favorite companions in life merge into one whenever I visit a library – the storehouse of thousands of years of knowledge.
206 nations; 306 events in 28 sports; 11000 participants and one unique flame representing the spirit of all. You got it right. I am talking about the Olympics. Now, when the game is on, some of you might be coming back home to watch your favorite games or athletes in the Olympics, while some of you are tracking the counts for medals for your country and some like me, is loving the whole atmosphere that it creates. The very spirit of togetherness and friendship among nations and fellow athletes even on the stage of the competition is a precious gift of the Olympics, I believe. Beyond winning and losing, it ignites a flame in all to remain fit, healthy and inspires to thrive for one’s best. Today, I would like to tell you my experience of visiting the Olympic Museum (the museum is the largest archive of the Olympic Games in the world) in Lausanne, Switzerland. Beautiful Lausanne is also the headquarter of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Over the horizon, the floating white clouds were meeting yet shying away without touching. A relentless march of colors everywhere. Sweet fragrance filling the air. Sun shining warm and wind blowing cold. Yes, spring has sprung, I murmured that day. Indeed, spring is a carnival of nature, I felt. I wanted to make that day special, so fixed up a rendezvous with our beloved little tramp, Charlie Chaplin in Vevey, Switzerland.