May 15, 2005

Reminiscing things Russian

We found ourselves drinking Kvas and reminiscing our Russia. Kvas is a summertime non-alcoholic drink made by fermenting rye bread in water.


That is kvas in the Russian Cyrillic script — KBAC.

Back in the 80s, books from in Russia (translated into English, Hindi and several other Indian languages) were very common in India. One of my favourites was a children’s magazine called Misha”. The last page always featured Russian lessons. I remember some basic phrases like spasih-ba (thanks), dobrey den (good afternoon), deh svedanya (bye), da (yes) and nyet (no).

The Soviet Union published colourful popular science books. They were highly subsidised and they were much cheaper compared to Western books.


I first read about robots, space stations, computers etc. on these Russian books. I liked Russian Sci-Fi, even in the 80s their style was a lot like the American sci-fi from the 30s through the 50s — more about adventure, space exploration and far away colonies etc. These books were available until the early nineties and then with the fall of the Soviet Union, they slowly disappeared. Also by then with the advent of satellite TV, the U.S/Western pop culture became more dominant.

I faintly remember watching the Russian movie Stalker on television (a movie about three people exploring a mysterious area called the zone” where an alien spacecraft had crash landed).

Whenever I found myself in a train yard, I would start playing Stalker.


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