by G Khamba
If a trashy website ever did a list of top 10 countries that contributed to humanity, Russia would be at the top. Over its history this prolific supplier of Hollywood villains has given us authors like Dostoyevsky – who if you quote in public not only leads to hot socialist sex with NGO volunteers but also instant admission to JNU. It’s defence industry was the first to invent the one-year-product-life cycle, leading to countries finding themselves with obsolete and non-functional aircrafts and tanks overnight – a technique later copied by Canadian giants Blackberry. Last but not least, they perfected and gave us the holy water we call vodka because even they knew that someday we’d have to sit through a Mani Shankar Aiyar press conference.
Recently, however, they gave us a figure even more mythical than a smiling Marxist. A Soviet Salman Khan known as Vladimir Putin - who proved that with the right pinch of suppression of civil liberties and silencing of political opponents, anyone can be a democratically elected popular leader.
Despite jailing feminist punk rock bands and getting pictures taken with pre-tranquilised tigers, however, all was not well in the house of bhai. As we discovered last week, Vladimir and his wife Aishwarya Lyudmila announced on state television that they were no longer living together because Vladimir had thrown her into a gulag in Vladivostok amicably separating.
A sense of envy overcame my being because no Indian couple would ever be able to do this on national television. LK Advani would never say that he can’t live with Modi anymore because the latter teased him saying “You’ll be my deputy baby”. Advani instead had his house surrounded by a mob of Modi supporters who threatened violence if he didn't agree to him being Prime Minister. And we all know what happened the last time a BJP mob surrounded an old building. All we would get is an India TV news segment saying “Jo mard ek aurat nahi sambhaal saka, kya wo desh sambhaalne laayak hai?”.
Here was Vladimir Vladimirovich (Cyrillic cousin of Hans Raj Hans) being dignified, poised and compassionate in saying that he would always love and be close to his fake Ranbaxy tablet name-sounding wife. The head of one the world’s most powerful nations’ showed that divorce was not a bad word. Unlike American Presidents he did not have to be in a pretend marriage while expanding the depth of his study table to accommodate larger ladies. Bhai, through one press conference showed that he was a mature leader while one of our potential prime ministers had his rath stuck in Goa and the other tried growing a stubble to look like an adult while going through a bitter divorce with common sense.
Vladimir is rumoured to be dating Olympic gymnast Alina Kabayeva and marriage or not I wish bhai all the best. While feminists believe gymnastic floor exercises are a patriarchal device to make women better sweepers, I’m of the opinion that the pressure of five strangers giving your sexual dismount points on a scale of ten evens it out. There is something we can all learn from Vladimir, especially Indian parents who refuse to acknowledge that their marriage is over so that “the kids don’t suffer”. Now if you excuse me, I’ve to save a Russian friend from getting killed by FSB agents for calling his blog post “Putin’s marriage pulls a Mig 21”.
Gursimran Khamba is a writer, comic and the co-founder of All India Bakchod.