MISHA – Nostalgia and conditioning

What is your the most “nostalgia evoking” possession which shaped your childhood/teen? Let me know.

I have a whole bunch of stuff in store room. I own hundreds of Audio Cassettes with that magical device which can RECORD. I have a PC with 20GB HD and 56 MB RAM running in WIN95. But, one thing that beats them all is a collection of Soviet Magazines!! Okay, who remembers MISHA?

For those who are puzzled, MISHA was a free Soviet Magazines for kids dispatched directly from Moscow. Emphasis is on keyword FREE. Tell me now, which kid did with his collective sanity does not want a free magazine every month. That, primarily when other Indian alternatives such as Champak used to cost nothing less a fortune – probably a week’s worth of pocket money.

MISHA was our window to the external world; everything was so happy and colourful.

But we’ve already established “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”. MISHA was a pure propaganda Magazine. Moscow wanted a generation of kids to grow up with the notion of how spectacular the Soviet Union is(was). That explains why all the pages sold happiness and colour.

Apparently, the Soviet Government kept a separate budget to “Deliver the joy of CCCP to the third world country”. I was also told that MISHA was targeted the kids in Kerala and West Bengal for obvious reasons, let me know if that is correct.

BTW The Magazine went out of circulation once the Soviet Union collapsed.

Come 2020, there is already a cult following to these and collectors hold Internet bidding war on remaining copies. I am pretty sure the creators of  MISHA did not see this coming. The Irony is, magazines which were delivered free to sell Soviet Utopia is being sold for dollars in bids. [Hint: Bids are capitalistic]

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