Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One thousand islands-Toronto-Niagara (Part I)

Just returned from a two day trip to one thousand islands, toronto and Niagara falls... As you might have guessed by now, Niagara was easily the best among the three.

Wonder travels
(http://www.wondertravel.net/) is like the official travel company for our organisation - i have not yet heard of anybody who has travelled by something else.
So, following company tradition, we (me and a colleague) went to 'wonder' (Travels) to show us some wonders in Canada..

One thousand islands is nothing but a bunch of tiny islands put together. Nothing so great about it - You may compare it with any decently sized lake anywhere in the world...
Of course, honeymooners may have a drastically different view on this place.

The only thing good about this part of the trip is that we don't have to deviate much from our path to cover this. It is on the way from Montreal to Toronto and hence is as good as any other brief stopover.

Well, it is well past 1 AM and i need to catch up with some sleep if i have to report at work tomorrow..


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ana and Otto...

Otto is a dreamer and falls in love with Ana at first sight.. The series of events which follow make you glued to your seat until completion of the movie.

You will meet with surprises at every key moment of the movie and most of them are really pleasant. Otto's father and Ana's mother end up being in a realtionship thereby allowing the kids to spend more time together.

Otto leaves his mother for Ana but later tries to commit suicide after the sudden death of his mother. Otto's guilt gets into you as you watch him suffer in guilt assuming himself responsible for his mother's death.

He recovers after a long time - only to realise that Ana is no longer with him. Becomes a pilot just beacause of the fact that he was named after a pilot (there is a story there too). Some beautiful co-incidences follow towards the end of the movie and make it a worthwhile watch...

Though at times you may feel irritated with repetitive scenes but you would appreciate all of it once you reach the climax. It is as if you join the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle - You dont appreciate it until you are finished...

-- A French classic
-- Unimaginable co-incidences
-- A lovely & lively story on childhood love

Dont miss it if you get a chance to watch it !!!
(Of course with Subtitles!!!)

By the way, if you have not realised it as yet - Both names are palindromes and that too is one of the co-incidences.

Directed by: Ernst Gossner
Original Language: French

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Brownie Sizzles ???

If you are expecting an ice cream recipe, you would be terribly disappointed !!
But you would not be very unhappy if you appreciate what is called the "Sizzling Brownie"...

It all starts with an era when there were only two colours - Black and White. Time passed by and some more time passed by. A new colour emerged - Brown. This could not relate to any of the categories and hence created a niche of its own. As a result of this, a new culture came to the surface - 'The Brown Culture'.

Passengers are being screened at the Munich Airport and suddenly one of them is taken to a corner for further questioning. Some more passengers pass by and one more is sidelined. Some more passengers pass by and again somebody is sidelined. There is one common factor among all these sidelined characters - their skin colour- 'Brown'

A "Brownie" goes to an Indian restaurant in one of the coolest(Cool, either ways!!) cities in Canada. There are some empty seats upstairs, so he wants to be seated upstairs. He is politely refused as it is booked for a private party. Having no other option, he sits on the ground floor in one of the seats where he is not so comfortable but somehow adjusts. A "Ice cream" colored guy enters the scene, is granted a seat upstairs. "Brownie" thinks he might be part of the private party. One more goes upstairs.. and some more pass by. There is no private party...

Well, these are some isolated events and may not imply anything serious in a larger context. However, when an individual goes through even one of these, he/she feels terribly upset for being discriminated for no reason. Color does matter in some cases...

We live in a world where each culture has severe dependency on other cultures for its trade,economy and so on.. We talk a lot about globalisation and about a flat world. There are loads and loads of articles on interdependency between economies and globalisation etc - Are they meant only for theory??? We need to answer some questions...

Each one of us, at some or the other time in our lives, is faced with a situation where we have an interface with cultures which are drastically different than ours..

These are actually very enriching experiences which make you learn some really important things in life. Some of these experiences are really pleasant like the one where
- You keep nodding for a "Yes" at the coffee shop and the other guy takes it as "No".. And you keep nodding and the guy in front keeps waiting for you to leave. And both keep wondering what went wrong !!!


There are some unpleasant ones like the ones mentioned above.

All they do to you is expand your level of thinking to an altogether different sphere. A sphere where everything is determined by merit and talent an individual possesses... And then all of a sudden, you feel proud of being part of this mix of cultures.

Even now, as i type this article, and i look at the keyboard, i am using a keyboard with black coloured keys with white imprints. It cannot be complete without either.

Now back to our "Sizzling brownie"...

A sizzling brownie contains 'white' ice cream, 'almost black' chocolate, a hot pan and is called a Brownie.. And it can never sizzle without even one of the components..

Today's world is very much like the sizzling brownie and none of the cultures can exist without the other.

Is the Brownie sizzling????

It is for each one of us to answer !!!

Food for thought:
“No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive.” - Mahatma Gandhi

NOTE: "Brownie" has been used interchangeably between the 'Brown Culture' and the 'Globalised world' - "Brown culture" cannot exist without its diversity and neither can this 'globalised world' exist without its mix of cultures...