At one time Russia rivaled the USA as a global power, but then came Gorbochov and we all know that Russia broke up into 18 states. This was also the end of the Russian dream for parity with USA, as the population was reduced by half and so was the area.

But when Russia was a monolith place under communist rule  it was organized and Indians were well respected. As an air force officer of the Indian Air Force , it was a great experience visiting the country. The best part were the Russian girls, golden and blonde who were great company.

I once landed  at Moscow airport and a Russian Air Force helicopter whisked me and 2 of my colleagues to the Air Force base. It was a grand welcome and I was given a orderly a Corporal, a Russian girl. She was slim and smart and I will be frank I had lascivious thoughts about her.

 We were told that we would be 'honored' with a flight to the Russian far east , to the Pacific port of Vladivostok. As I was leaving the room I asked the Russian colonel who all were going along. He asked me if there was anyone I would like to accompany me and others. Of the cuff I blurted if the NCO could come with us. He laughed and went away.

We boarded the supersonic transport early morning. It was the TU 144 and it could fly  at Mach 2. It was a rival of the Concorde, but bigger.  I looked around and I was surprised to  see my orderly with a knapsack slung on her back also waiting to climb in. This was a freighter version  with very few seats. She waved to me and said Thank you for the trip to me.

The flight to the east was magnificent and the girl sat next to me. She had brought a couple of sandwiches of beef and meat and all of us relished them with hot coffee. Come to think of it what a hullaballoo is created now on beef. We landed at the airport, but the Russians were wary of our entering the cockpit, so we just sat as the plane hurtled at mach 2. What an experience! whew simply unforgettable!

On landing my orderly told me she would be with me as per instructions. We had two days at the place. I asked her if we could go for a bike ride. This delighted her and she arranged a Ural bike. This is the Russian version of the BMW R7. Two days to while away before we fly back. We were told not to leave the base, but I put my orderly now in  mufti along with me and drove away. She carried her knapsack and told me she had arranged sandwiches from the mess.We drove deep into Siberia and the Bike a 650 cc monster was simply powerful. We drove among the woods and small forests, and a drizzle began. The girl at the back clung to me . At many places we saw log huts and we stopped at one of them for the rain to go away. Frankly I wanted it to rain even more heavily.  We went inside and there was just a stove and a small cot.

I got to know the girl better and for me these were magical moments with the rain belting away.  The inevitable did happen and I won't go into details of it. Suffice the rain stopped, but we didn't leave and continued for the night and the next day.

With the sun out we drove back to the base, with the cool breeze enveloping us. It was a pleasure, but I got a wallop when I got back. My AOC was livid. How he asked could I break a rule and go away with an NCO ?  I said sorry , but he told me he would report me. Did he ? No the old foggie never filed a report  and later in India asked me, how was everything ?

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