Moscow se Aaya Jimmy
We stepped out into the beautiful and spectacular Red Square. It was close to midnight,but the sky was not dark, which was not surprising,as it was the first official day of summer in Russia. The” White Night’”,is a phenomemon experienced more in the north,especially in St Petersburgh,where the days are never ending and the nights really short..
As my wife Barkha and I strolled amidst the Kremlin,enjoying the Moscow summer[which felt like delhi winter] noticing old Russian ladies selling everything from Matrushka dolls,to Russian souvenir’s, Having played a concert in Moscow state conservatory the previous night,this was our day off. It almost felt like we were in a fantasy land. The red square’s dome’s and architecture seemed like a beautiful castle in the time of Alladin! Accompanying us as a guide was a friend who has made Moscow his home since 11 years.a few Russian teenages walked by us and shouted,”Hey Jimmy,Jimmy”, had my friend changed his name and religion? I asked myself,as far as I remember he was from Cochin and his name was “Santosh”! he laughed and told us how they thought he resembled a certain “Disco dancer” called Jimmy from our Bollywood.
Jimmy maybe from a certain Bollywood film,and maybe popular in Russia,but when I saw more than a 1000 Russian faces at our concert the previous night,I realized how much the Russians were into arts,culture and appreciated music from different countries too. They sat for 2 hours,some of them lost in a trance and moving to the rhythm of the tabla and the melodies of the santoor.
Infact having been to “The St Sergius Monastery”, a few days ago,I realized how similar their chants and Hyms were to our Indian chants. Just like out Sanskrit mantras are melodically tuned,so are their hyms ,almost felt like a “jugalbandi” sung by the pilgrims who come to this famous Trinity-St Sergius Monastery,which is a 2 hour drive from Moscow.
Talking about driving in Moscow,well it almost felt like we were going back by car all the way from Moscow to Mumbai. This was trafic never seen and experienced before. It takes about 3 hours to get to the airport from the hotel situated in the city centre. Well,unless your driving in Moscow late at night,but it’s a city which parties almost every night and most clubs,and disco’s remain open till 4 or 6 am.
Sometimes,I do wish I had a time machine and I could travel to the beautiful wilderness in Siberia,well some lucky people get to do just that. Not travel by the time machine,but take the train from Moscow to Vladivostok! A journey which lasts for more than 7 days,5000 Km and goes into different time zones within the same country. Well ,actually 9 hours ahead of Moscow is Vladivostok. What fun it would be to play the santoor for hours ,as t he train went through dense forests of Siberia,what fun it would be to have Indian food along the way,and listen to Rahul Dev Burman’s songs,maybe even Jimmy would agree!