Sunday, October 28, 2007

My First Lady !

Rereading Irving Wallace’s “The Second Lady” after so many years, brought me a funny thought this time.

One of the best thrillers of Irving’s, The Second Lady is about a plot webbed by Russian spy agency KGB to replace a Russian theater artist Vera Vavilova with USA president Andrew Bradford’s smart and beautiful wife Billie Bradford. Vera being a look alike of Billie went under some surgical operations to match every mole and hair of American First Lady and very scrupulously practiced and adopted Billie’s habits, styles and manners. KGB dug very deep to get all the details of Bradford’s and took care of every aspect (which could arise in a reader’s brain) to make their ‘Second Lady’ successfully planted in White House and fetch first hand information directly from the president to win a crucial diplomatic summit connected with the holding of power and peace of this world.

Married with Billie for eight years, Andrew Bradford the president of USA amazingly could not find out through out the novel that his wife was replaced with a Russian spy and not only behaved very normally with her but also revealed the vital information which she was looking for.

Leaving that novel story here, I was wondering whether it is possible for a husband (married for eight years) to not to recognize his wife if she is replaced by her look alike? I think even if one may practice like anything to adopt someone’s styles still cannot copy every this and that of a person. Everybody has a typical way of behaving which cannot be copied by even best actors of this planet.

The funny thought? I was thinking what if this happens with me, (though I am not that lucky L ) I think I will realize in max 24 hours about her.

Eight years! How much a person can know about his wife in eight years? My emphasizes on eight years cause we two are in eighth year now and I am sure I have minimum hundred solid ways to know about her switching with someone else. Here is the checklist of some ways if ever God be kind on me to switch her with someone else. :P Yummy idea !

  • Only she could sleep soundly even with books, pen/pencils, combs, her mobile or even knife under her at the bed without even realizing them. If she is making up her bed it means she is a Russian spy.

  • The very first thing she would definitely do after sitting in car is to switch over to FM if CD is playing and to switch over to CD if FM is already tuned.

  • That only real Vande would let any object (it could be her own photograph) lay on the floor of her bedroom for months (if stupid maid does not show her intelligence to pick it) and if she herself picks it up and place on an appropriate place, she is defiantly her look alike.

  • Only Vande can sleep wearing her most favorite and most expensive dress on, her look alike would never do that and will get caught. Ha ha ha !

  • She would genuinely start mumbling a song and more genuinely would never complete even a single line with correct wordings. A tough task for KGB agent.

  • That only she would run the water tap at maximum speed even if she requires a tiny drop of water.

  • If ever I find her expensive golden Titan (her first gift from me) safely kept in her cupboard and not in the shoe rack or any place like that, I know she is switched by some foreign spy.

  • If the bedroom wardrobe is neatly maintained and is not occupied with toys, books, spoon, water bottle etc (or anything beyond imagination to be there) I have strong reason to suspect her reality.

  • The original Vande would keep fumbling with electronic gadgets including power window switches of car or my ipod. Her only favorite electronic item is TV remote (precisely channel 3 button, star plus for saas bahu).

  • The right hand of actual Vande would automatically scratch her left arm whenever she would laugh out loudly. Did you know that Vera Vavilova?

  • Even our neighbors can hear her speaking within the house and I wonder even if her mother could hear her on the other side whenever she chats with her over telephone, she speaks so lowly. A cool trap for any spy.

  • Vande always forgets the names of companies I deals with, obviously it won’t be easy for her look alike to pretend.

  • She would reveal the suspense on a movie promptly if she has seen it already and you have not seen. On the other side would keep grilling you for revealing the suspense if she has not seen it before but unluckily you have seen that movie. A blowout situation for her replaced clone.

  • And finally the Russian spy would have to meditate for years to achieve Vande’s cool. She would never loose her temper even being married to such an irritating and always complaining person like me.

  • Only the real Vande would keep praying for our bondage to be for seven lives and like this is not sufficient she wants this one to be the first life among seven. Of course no spy on earth can spend a single day pretending to be wife with a hubby like me who can write all this. :)
There are a lot more points I can verify about her but I don't wanna reveal all and put here on record that one day KGB chief General Ivan Petrov may discover them and start thinking of some new misadventure. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

'Russian Folk Tales'

While shuffling my small personal library at home, a very old thick book caught my eye. ‘Russi Lok Kathayen’ (Russian Folk Tales), I think I received this book as prize from my school around 22 years back in 1985 when I was in 6th standard. Since then I must have read this book not less than 100 times. I never get tired of books, movies or music I like, and can read, watch or listen over and over again for countless times.

First published in 1960, this 373 pages book has got collection of 33 short and long Russian folk tales translated in Hindi. These stories are part of Russian culture since generations and carry the same world of magic, devils, angles, beautiful princess and poor peasants as our Indian folk tales do as our mom or grandma used to tell us in our childhood. Some of the stories are one page long and some are 10-15 pages long as one keep flipping the pages.

I still remember the fantasies I used to get dragged in while reading this book in my childhood. That was amazing world, when there was no tension or worries or targets to be achieved. Entering those worlds of imagination was not at all difficult as like today. Few pages a day, kept mind of a reader like me engaged for weeks and floating with the little prince who is struggling hard to get his kingdom back from the clutches of lusty cruel Czar.

That amazing world had every color hidden inside. There were always some godly magic powered people or animal to help grief stricken hero or heroin of the story. It could be Beautiful girl Yelna or Wise Vasilisa, the princesses or brown wolf or brown horse or Feniest the Falcon or sometimes even a kind witch named Baba Yaga. Peasants like everywhere were innocent and being exploited by local rich landlords. There was beautiful princess cursed to be frog, retired army soldier who outsmarted and trapped ‘Death’ and is believed to be ‘still alive’, merchants with magical objects like flying ships, kings with extra ordinary beasts like singing cat, or golden falcon or flying horse, poor Ivan (almost always the hero of every tale) who had to walk and cross unlimited jungle or snow covered fields to fight anacondas, six headed fire throwing dragon named Zamai Gorinich or envious czar to achieve his destinations. Hateful cruel stepmothers, helpless fathers, wise and gorgeous daughters and brave sons are part of almost every story. Three iron caps, three pairs of iron shoes and three iron sticks were to break off to achieve every difficult mission.

There are some very interesting and funny stories which bring smile at the face of reader of any age. Gladly every story has a happy ending and brings relief for soft hearted innocent readers.

Reading these stories once again as a mature reader, I found that the feelings, emotions, dreams, desires, values, affections, lust, beauty, kindness, hate, responsibilities, duties or anything which touches a human heart are same all over this planet, no matter it is an Indian or Russian, no matter it is 16th century or 21st. We all are same.