• Vancouver Diaries

    Concluding part: Vancouver snowstorm and Air Canada

    Well, I came down to collect my baggage hoping to get done soon. To my frustration, my checked in baggage never arrived! I noticed that YYC too had a section where they kept unclaimed baggages and I looked there desperately in search of my lost baggage. Simultaneously, I could see a long queue in front of the Air Canada baggage counter. “c’mon, not again! gimme a break!”, I told myself. Not able to find my bag, I queued up as well to report the incident. Fortunately for me, I had too much time at hand. I arrived at YYC around 8:30 AM and my next flight was at 1:30 PM.…

  • Vancouver Diaries

    Vancouver snowstorm, Air Canada and my travel plans to India

    It all started on the day before Christmas, Dec 24th 2008. Unprecedented snow the day before and on the morning of 24th resulted in Air Canada canceling all short and medium haul flights from/to Vancouver. 22nd was the last day I had gone out to work for the year and I did find it extremely difficult to navigate the snow and the windchill outside. Thereafter, I stayed indoors and worked from home the next day and the day after. I did not quite realize how bad the situation was until the evening of 24th when I went out again and only then came to know about the flight cancellations. I…

  • Vancouver Diaries

    Memoirs of Traudl Junge – Addendum

    I believe my write-up on Traudl Junge would be incomplete without mentioning one more fact. I wrote in my note that non-Jewish population in Germany during the early days of the War were oblivious to Holocaust.  They were in fact living an increasingly comfortable life and for them Hitler had brought hope for the future and the belief that they could win the War. Of course, people like Hans Junge knew that something was wrong and one has to go beyond the shadows of Hitler in order to know the truth.  But aside these individual cases, there were largely two separate groups of people who felt the real truth. One group was that of those who witnessed the bloodshed…

  • Vancouver Diaries

    Memoirs of Traudl Junge

    “Now that I have let go my story, I can let go my life”   – Traudl (born Gertraud) Junge (née Humps), Feb 10 2002 These were the last words before death from the woman who otherwise lead an ordinary and secluded life, except for one thing  – she was the youngest and the last secretary to the man whom the world knows as Adolf Hitler (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitler) . She was not only his last secretary but also was among the few people who were with the Führer until the very end and left Hitler’s bunker below the Reich Chancellery on the night of April 30th, 1945, the day Hitler killed…

  • Vancouver Diaries

    Memoirs of Traudl Junge – concluding part

    This is the continuation of my write-up on the memoirs of Traudl Junge … From the very beginning of the writing, it becomes apparent that Hitler had become a fatherly like figure for Junge. This feeling of her’s was intensified by the fact that Junge had seen very little of her own father during her childhood (her mom and her dad were divorced when she was still very young). From early on and even later throughout the entire writing, you can see that this young little girl was so absorbed, thrilled and caught up by the fact that she was working for the head of the state that when Hitler asked her whether she would like…

  • Vancouver Diaries

    Anil’s Ghost – Michael Ondaatje

    Over the time, I have developed a strong liking for non-fictions that explores the darker and complex realities of human societies. When the going gets tough, its easy to complain about how wretched we are, in our circumstances and surroundings. These writings help us to realize that it could always have been worse and that in reality how well we are within our circumstances! Ondaatje who is a Canadian writer of South Asian origin writes about these complex social circumstances. Anil’s Ghost is no different. Unlike The English Patient which was completely based on fiction (except geographical facts like existence of the Cave of Swimmers and time/circumstances of its discovery),…

  • Vancouver Diaries

    The Maxine question in The Namesake

    So, lots of people have asked this question again and again “Why did Gogol and Maxine break up?”. Most people have vilified Maxine’s character and blamed her for it. As a matter of fact, it was quite opposite. Here’s my answer that I posted to IMDB: Unfortunately, most people just seeing the movie comes up with the same conclusion. However, it was entirely opposite. Maxine really loved him and I believe, as per the novel, out of the three women that Gogol got involved with, Maxine was probably the best. Gogol always struggled with his Indian origin, his own identity and the cultural differences between how his parents were brought…

  • Vancouver Diaries

    WWII

    So many people have been wondering why I was reading the book "Nazism and War" … why such sudden interest in WWII? Well, I just finished the book while I was on my way back from Seattle. So, now, going back to this question … well, its a long story. First off, I was always fond of history. History never lies and gives us knowledge to go forward. They say, sometimes you need to look backwards in order to go forward. Then again, once, over a cup of coffee, Mayukh told me about this movie Schindler's List. When the movie had won the Oscar, I was in my middle teens.…

  • Vancouver Diaries

    The English Patient – The book and the movie

    So sometimes around the middle of last week, I finished reading the book. It is the second novel I read written by an American-Asian writer. I was terribly disappointed by the movie “The Namesake” after reading the corresponding book. The former made too many compromises and never went deeper into exploring the characters well enough. It was a really bad dramatization of such an excellent work of literature. Every movie makes compromises when dramatizing a novel. However, how well they compromise the non-significant portions of the book that really matters. I think this movie did a relatively better job and consequently won the best picture Academy Award. The English Patient…

  • Vancouver Diaries

    Memorable moments in some of the greatest movies (Gandhi) …

    Gandhi (OSCAR 1983, best picture and another 7 wins and 3 nominations): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083987/ Yet another greatest movies of all times. Not sure how many times I have watched it, perhaps 14-15 times now. In India, they used to show this movie (with hindi dubbings) on 2nd October, the birthday of the Mahatma . Not sure what they do now. No matter how many times I see, it never fails to amaze me. Its our history, our tradition. I remember this movie as we, all Indians remember Gandhi – the father of our nation. There are several touching heartbreaking moments in this movie. I remember two. One, about the Jallianwalah Bagh…