Muzzafar, my taxi driver and companion in Moscow arrived bang on time. I was fresh from my endeavours from last night and finally had managed to download files from my GoPro camera. It was time to hit the road again. We first went to Kolomiskiy Park which was a huge park full of trees bursting with autumn leaves. I started filming again as Muzzafar gave me a smile. For the first time, I noticed that he had two gold teeth and almost five frontal teeth missing.
“What happened, my friend? Did you get into a fight with someone?” I asked politely. “Yes, Anuj, I was beaten up by the Russian Mafia and got into a scuffle with them. They beat me black and blue but I survived. You know, I am a strong man, I am a survivor.” he laughed showing his two golden false teeth and half empty gums. “Well, that makes two of us. I was also attacked and my father butchered by the land grabbing mafia who wanted to upsurge my property. So you see, I am also a survivor just like you.”
I saw a Russian wedding party taking place in the middle of the park and quickly joined them merrily singing and dancing as one Russian fella played the accordion. The bride was dressed in white and Muzaffar made sure that he captured everything on the GoPro. I enjoyed myself in the midst of my Russian friends who realised that I was from India and subsequently started doing Namaste to me. Muzaffar told the gathering that I was an Indian actor from Bollywood. After absorbing the view, we headed for lunch which was a thoroughly Russian affair of brown bread, lamb chops and potatoes. Muzaffar told me that Russia doesn’t use butter for lunch with their bread. They have it only in the morning and the Russian name for butter is musk by the way.
Sarisino Park was our next destination. The parks of Russia are indeed a reservoir of beauty and splendour. Not only are they very well maintained, they also showcase the splendour of Russian architecture and its period heritage. I just meandered through the park with my GoPro capturing whatever I could till the evening set in.
Now, it was time to head home. On the way, I told Muzaffar about my plans to go to Ukraine but he was very much against it. “Russians don’t like Ukraine people and there are no direct flights to Russia from Ukraine. Be careful, it’s not a very safe country.”