Hari Vasudevan : In remembrance

Last Trip to Moscow, with the Indian Council of World Affairs Delegation, November 2019

This trip was headed by TCA Raghavan and was part of the annual dialogue with the Russian Council of World Affairs. TCA Raghavan later wrote about this trip – “Although I have been to Moscow a number of times, the four days in the company of Hari were different because he made the city and its history come alive. Beginning with the Hotel Metropole where we stayed, Hari was a mine of information and historical detail.... Noticing my curiosity about life for Moscovites in Soviet time, Hari took me one evening to a Soviet-style restaurant – very retro. I remember clearly that the night was bitterly cold and we had to stop for some length of time at a Turkish vodka place. Someone there told him about a concert by a singer who could sing like the great Soviet-era crooner-composer, Balut Okudzhava. The quality of the singing and the music, the audience (greying, all 50 plus), the bitter cold outside and the vodka we had imbibed all made it a memorable evening.... I found Hari a vast store of the oddest anecdotal information and detail about Russia. What was exceptional was that the anecdotal details were always contextualized and rigorously analysed, making him the perfect companion for the non-Russian specialist. I found that our Russian counterparts had a high regard and respect for Hari’s scholarship. On my part, I feel that Indian scholarship has suffered a very great loss with Hari’s premature death and we will feel his absence for a long time."

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