OUT OF DATE

DSC02590That’s the last picture of me in 2012. It was taken by my daughter on December 29 at our company’s corporate party. The long-haired guy on the podium in the background is a pop star. As a rule, some celebrity is invited to perform at such parties. The magnitude of the star attraction depends upon the financial muscle of the company and its connections. This time the chap hadn’t even been announced: it had been presumed that he would be recognized immediately. He appeared from behind the wings as a “surprise” and all to a man roared gleefully the moment they saw him. I didn’t know the celebrity. To make things worse, there was no chance of finding out who the person was: the songs and music were presented in the non-stop mode and they were deafeningly loud killing any attempt to communicate – even if you shouted something into your neighbor’s ear. Later, when an opportunity arose, I addressed my colleague about it. The colleague cast a curious glance at me: “Don’t you know Vladimir Presnyakov?” Seeing no reaction to the name he uttered, the colleague tried to probe deeper into my memory: “You may know the film ‘Over the Rainbow’…An old film…Presnyakov sang a few songs there.” I didn’t know the film. Neither had I heard the songs. Nor was I impressed that Presnyakov’s parents had once sung in the group “Samotsvety” and that Vladimir Presnyakov had once been married to Kristina Orbakaite and that they had a son…

Most surprisingly, I didn’t feel I was in any way awkward or ashamed of my ignorance.

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