Outside the Comfort Zone

My Dearest Komal, Anjli and Amar,

In my younger days, riding a bicycle was not as prestigious as driving a car! Perhaps that is the reason I never showed any eagerness to learn biking. Whatever the reason, I never learned to ride a bike in the warm environment of Uganda. It could also be that there never was a resident bike to learn on.

Neshmama was taught by a neighbour using a cousin’s neighbour’s bicycle! Atishmama learnt in Jinja on Sangimasi’s bike which had broken stabilisers! Whereas Achalamasi acquired this skill in the UK, as this was her vital connection for visiting her favourite library a few km away. Whose bicycle did she learn on? On Atishmama’s new possession. Guess what though?, I at last acquired this skill last October…. a huge thanks to Enrico for teaching me and having faith in my abilities.

The Cycling Lesson

What a wonderful distraction in this Covid environment. Covid has taken over many people’s lives in a negative manner, but I am always finding positives of this dire situation. The Covid fiasco has in fact made me fulfill one of my life long dreams: learning to ride a bicycle. Moral of this story: you can try your hand at anything(or almost anything!) whatever your age! Here is where I would use the buzz phrase: ‘Stepping out of the comfort zone!’ Just like when we first started skiing, I did have butterflies in my stomach and a sense of dread on the mornings of my ‘lessons’, but it was all worth it. I now need to practise more, BUT we have been knee deep in snow these last few weeks. Ironic isn’t it!

Abundant Snow
Abundant Snow

Last year we had very little snow and all the skiers were complaining bitterly. This year we are inundated with snow and Covid is keeping the skiers indoors. As some Swiss ski resorts are still in service, the very keen enthusiast are merrily enjoying the beautiful abundant powdery snow. Overall it is a great outdoor activity except for the crowded ski lifts, gondolas and mountain restaurants!

Cycling along Greifensee
Cycling along Greifensee

Coming back to cycling, Enrico and I even managed to cycle along one quarter of the Greifensee. Next target is to cycle around the whole lake, a mere 20 km! And to think I let you three cycle around Greifensee with a relative stranger, only 6 weeks after moving to this country. Heartless mother, eh?

Even though one requires certificates for many everyday activities in Switzerland, thankfully cycling is not one of them. It would be a very stressful acquisition indeed. I have learned many rules of cycling. Seeing as you are the experts, you can add some more of yours.

  • Always wear safety helmet.
  • Wear reflective clothing to increase visibility .
  • Always look ahead.
  • Go with the traffic flow.
  • A  bicycle is a vehicle and you should obey all traffic laws .
  • Be alert at all times.
  • Look before turning.
  • Look out for parked cars.

Also as a long term car driver, I now see cyclists from a different angle and have a great respect for their abilities . With all the yoga practice I thought balancing on the cycle would come easy… but it absolutely didn’t! Despite all the falls and the bruises, I feel a great sense of achievement. I am proud of my new accomplishment and would thoroughly encourage you to ‘Step outside your comfort zone’. With this thought in mind, my next challenge is to learn to play the piano. Which one of you will be my teacher for this task?

With Ba having left us, there is a big void in our lives. It will take some time for this void to hurt less. She has left us with heaps of memories to keep her in our thoughts. One positive to this situation is that we have been able to spend a long period together. We are more lucky than all those families that have been torn apart and living solitary lives in this Covid Era. It has been many years since I cooked for the whole family. You have been eating differently and have also acquired your own eating styles. So these days I feel like I am discovering a new cook in myself. I hope to reflect this status in the new recipes I will be posting here.

As always I wish you happy cooking. I am eagerly awaiting to see more photos of your culinary achievements or even an invitation to a meal prepared by you. It might be a long way away, but how about Christmas dinner 2021 at one of your homes? Start planning.

Bye for now and with loads of love, hugs and kisses,

Vishfully yours


6 thoughts on “Outside the Comfort Zone”

  1. Thank you for those encouraging words Anjli.
    So my next challenge is to play the piano. Will you be my teacher?

  2. Thanks Komal. Now I am eagerly waiting for the weather to change, to continue my cycling practice. Look after yourself and keep healthy.

  3. I’m proud of you too mum! Not many people would take up the challenge of learning to ride a bike later in life (as we saw in the looks of surprise you got from the neighbors!!) but you did and managed to get the hang of it pretty quickly.

    Grateful to have spent these past months with you at home, one huge positive is that your amazing food is inspiring me to cook more 🙂

  4. Thanks Mum, you are so active! Great to see that it’s never too late to learn a new skill even with the covid restrictions! lots of love, Komal xxx

  5. Always enjoy reading your posts very much. And congratulations on your latest achievement.

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