Friday, February 18, 2011

Russian babes or Russian babies?

Well, Russian babes or Russian babies?

The answer is not straight!
If you are a guy, in your wonder years, then choice 1.
If you are a girl/woman who is old school, or if you are a man who's settled, then choice 2.
Exceptions galore!

Check out any fashion week, all the babes would be Russian or from the nearby CIS countries.
Even today, walk in the streets and you would find much more than average looking ladies everywhere.
Be it a simple grocery purchase, they come decked up like its a party!
Not without reason, have they gained acclaim around the globe for their beauty.
Maybe its the tough and inclement weather conditions that give them the good looking build.

Christiano Ronaldo's current flame is a Russian supermodel, Irina Shayk.

Well, she's the quintessential 'Oh-My-God' babe.

Now have a look at the guy with her

As much as i dislike deviating from the topic, I cannot help but comment on this idiotic looking guy.
He is the quintessential 'oh-WTF' guy.
I have seen a few of his interviews, he doesn't even know how to speak what we call 'basic'.
He talks like the cheesy guys in the bar who ogle at women. He looks like that too.
Absolute 'no-class' guy.
So why is Irina with him?
Ah... show me the money, honey!
Plus the fame of being a footballer's WAG apart from being a supermodel!!

Now choice 2:
I have started noticing them quite a lot on my recent trips to Russia.
Have been touring this place for a long time, but more recently, these sugary cuties have started catching my eye!

On my last visit a couple of weeks back, a small baby boy, maybe about a year or a couple of months over, was at the security check in counter of the airport.
This guy had his shoe fitted on his left hand, it was a fur lined shoe.
He had put his hand in the shoe and was running all over the place with his hand held high... that was his airplane.
Suddenly he came near me and I too did the same thing, put my hand in my shoe!
He was taken aback... something struck him... he had competition, he stopped and started looking at me like a deer lost in the headlights.
I showed him my airplane and told him that it was bigger than his plane.
Obviously he did not understand, but now he wanted my airplane.
He gave me his shoe and started tugging at mine!
His mom came over... smiled and took away his 'airplane'.. said.. 'isvinite' (excuse me)...
I smiled.. and said that she had a very beautiful baby! :)
The joy on her face was something to behold.

Today, I again encountered 2 more such cute babies on my way back to India.
One at Ekaterinburg airport... this time it was an infant dressed in black.
He had stuffed cheeks that drooped like a fruit laden tree branch.
He barely knew how to walk, but the terminal was spacious and there were not many people.
So his mother allowed him to take a walk.
He did, and how!!
He wowed all the people around, because he walked a couple of steps to whoever was sitting nearby, went to them and just hugged their legs like he knew them forever.
Then he looked at them, made some gurgling noise and moved a few steps again.. then the next person.. hug hug.. that's all he did!
I was no exception... he was moving in a circle.. he came to me and did the same.
I picked him up. His mom, probably a little worried seeing a non-white guy came across, but then when she saw my smiling face and the comfort that the child was showing, she too smiled :)
It was a lovely moment.

Take-2, Moscow airport :
Here, the story went a little further.. a girl, all of 3 or 4 years.
But the same Russian cuteness overflowing...
She was in pink, pink cap, pink top, pink pajamas, pink shoes.
I was sipping my Pepsi diet, she was a couple of feet from me. I said : Hey, pink panther!
She smiled... then moved a couple of steps forward, turned back and gave me the smile which made my day.
Then again moved a few steps and turned back to see if I was still looking.
I was..
and she was happy!
Then she ran to her dad who brought the luggage stowed on a trolley.
She started speaking to him, but every few seconds turned to see if I was paying attention.
I was beginning to enjoy this!
Very few things in the world give you joy like playing with children.. it might be a game or something like this.. where there is eye contact and you just go wow!

She started to feel a little uncomfortable in the heavy coat that she was wearing.
Now, she told her dad to take it off.. but for some reason he wasn't willing to.
She turned again to see.. I was still looking, then she sat on a seat and started taking it off herself.
Once she was off with her coat and cap, for some strange reason, she wanted to put in on the trolley which her dad did not allow her to do because the luggage was a little dirty and her coat would get dirty as well.
Then he made her sit on a seat and went to get something.
She sat for a couple of minutes till he was out of sight, then she just looked around.
She put her cap in the hand luggage area of the trolley and covered it with a cloth so that her dad wouldn't see.
Then there were a couple of suitcases piled one over the other.
She wanted to stuff her coat in between them so that her dad doesn't notice.
But the suitcase was too heavy for her to move.
She looked at me like a child who had got lost in a mall :( .. eyes that said, "Please, help me".
I just went to her place and put the coat on the suitcase, sensing that her dad wont like it, she pointed at the place between the 2 suitcases and gestured at me to push it in between... I looked at her and smiled.
Taken in by her innocence, I just did what she said.

She was so happy, her face was now grinning!! End to end.
This is such a crazy and small thing... but it brought so much joy to both of us...
Then it was time for me to board.
I said.. 'dasvidaniya'.. she said..'svidaniya'
I waited to see if her dad was in sight.. I did not make it obvious, but I waited till he came over, then I left.
When I was leaving, I saw her again... she was so happy that her dad hadn't yet noticed the cap and the coat which were on the trolley.

These incidents made the end to my otherwise trying trip, fantabulous.

My vote : choice 2.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Why does nostalgia 'ALWAYS' feel so good

The best times in one's life are the ones that have been spent in the past.

Everytime you think of one such time in your life, it evokes a nostalgic feeling.
As a human, we tend to forget the things that happen in our lives, both good or bad.

But a small glimpse of a photograph or a fleeting thought of something which reminds you of those good times sends you packing back in the past.
The feeling is superlatively special to you but you cannot share it with anyone because people, however close, will not relate to your nostalgia unless they have been a part of it themselves.

It's like a cup of hot coffee with a topping of chocolate sauce and fresh cream on a snowy day.
You are on a busy traffic median with traffic zipping past you in both directions... there you stand all unaffected with that cup of coffee and snow flaking on your shoulders... you look around dazed, but the surroundings don't affect you.
That's because the nostalgic feeling makes you numb to your present troubles.
For a moment, you forget whatever is bothering you today and just feel happy for that time that you spent in the past.
This is nostalgia.
No definition in any dictionary can define it.

A person could feel nostalgic about his high school cricket team..
About his crushes which never went to stage-2..
About college life.. hostel life..
About the first few days in your first job...
Basically just about anything that makes you feel happy..
Just a couple of days back i saw some pictures of a long lost friend on fb who was on some common friend's profile .. just remembered all the good times we had..
For that next 10-15 mins, the world's troubles could not touch me.

There are other kinds of nostalgias as well.. those that are invoked by listening to songs.
This, the Indian audience will appreciate.
In India, we have songs for every occassion. Some of them take you back in your memory lane and bring back all those good times.

'Live in the present' is a famous saying.. well, not always.
When you have time to introspect, have those few moments where there is just you and nobody else, it's an absolutely good idea to go back into the past.
It refreshes you like nothing else!
Try it out.

But, despite all that, its only a feeling which is virtual... which will make you feel good for a few moments.
It's not real. It 'was' real once upon a time.. not anymore.
Maybe that's why it's beautiful.

A famous song from a Hindi movie in the 1970s rings through my ears...
"Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hain jo makaam woh fir nahi aate.. woh fir nahi aate"
--All the milestones that you cross in your life, will never come back.. will never come back.

But you can feel good that they came once in your life!
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