I have always wanted to visit Russia. Like China, Russia to me still remains mysterious, historic and full of potentials. Apart from the very rich culture, I have always been an ardent follower of Russian Literature having devoured works of Boris Pasternack, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anton Chekhov and many of the Russian masters since childhood. Chekhov, the medical doctor/writer has always been my inspiration. His famous saying, ‘I am married to two wives, Medicine and Literature. When I am tired of one I go and play with the other one’, has always fascinated me.
Pasternack’s Doctor Zhivago, a moving historical book about the Russian Revolution is one of the few books that I have read and watched their film adaptations. Surprisingly, (just like the yet to be released film adaptation of my book Tenants of the House) I found the film adaptation better than the book.
I could even recollect that it was Dostoevsky’s The Possessed, a haunting psychological fiction that inspired my own psychological, tragicomedy book, Dreams Die at Twilight (adjudged in a 2009 National Literary competition as one of the best 50 books in Nigeria in the last 50 years)
So when the Green Eagles of Nigeria qualified for the World Cup (WC), I made up my mind to make the trip to the WC. Fortunately for me, Tayo, my U.S. based secondary school classmate, a veteran of several WCs was on hand to give me the necessary support. And as Tayo and I went over our preliminary travel plans by phone yesterday, the adrenaline was back at the thought of making a long held dream come true.
Tayo has asked me to do some homework reading more about Russia, especially Moscow and Petersburg… some of the historic cities he wants us to touch. We may also have a chance of meeting Trump’s buddy, Putin, the veteran former KGB spy turned President. If I see Putin, I will ask him to tell me the whole truth about his rumoured coalition (or Collusion) with Trump during the last U.S. Presidential elections!!
Then we hope to cheer our dear National soccer team as it meets the highly talented Messi led Argentina on June 26 in Petersburg. I am ready… with my Green Eagles T shirt, muffler and cap, which I bought last year in Uyo when I went all the way from Abuja to watch the team’s ‘hypertensive’ match with Zambia. Of course, I will need all the nail biting and seat kicking skills that saw me through the Uyo match on June 26 when our boys will be at the mercy of Messi, who missed the last encounter between the two countries. I am ready to see Russia and all the richness of its land. Abuja and its politics can do without me.