Advertisement
Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Azerbaijan Diary

Manicured sidewalks lined with flowerbeds, Caspian platter, local wine and Cognac: A first-person account of former rear admiral of the Indian Navy on his recent trip to Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan Diary
Azerbaijan Diary
outlookindia.com
2018-07-13T12:29:04+05:30
A Cure For Red Eyes

Azerbaijan is not usually on the travelling Indian’s itinerary, so, when a conference in Baku beckoned, I eagerly accepted. A little foraging around came up with Tashkent as the shortest and most affordable route. It however meant a red-eye flight via Uzbekistan Airways, a surprisingly classy airline. My tired eyes open up: first, the ultra modern Baku airport, then the ride to our hotel through this amazingly beautiful city. Wide roads, manicured sidewalks lined with flowerbeds and miles of tree-lined boulevards along the shores of the Caspian Sea. Baku city is a revelation. It is the cleanest city in the world, eclipsing even the oft-cited Singapore. Soviet-styled brownstone apartment buildings are spread across the city (no washing hanging out of those neat balconies!). In contrast, a rash of new, ultra-contemporary buildings pepper the skyline. The source of all the wealth is oil, of course.

Illustration by Sajith Kumar
Delegate Bowl

Post the red-eye flight, the day is spent resting. The evening sees a reception by the US Ambassador in a villa complex. There are about 200 of us. The conference begins early and there are speakers from all the Central Asian and Caucasus countries including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. The conference has a historic objective: to reconnect Central Asia with all its former trading partners. So there are delegates from Japan, Singapore, and there’s me, the lone Indian. The mix of nationalities is...

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Live: Aryan Khan Not Just Drug Consumer But Involved In Trafficking Too, NCB Tells HC

Live: Aryan Khan Not Just Drug Consumer But Involved In Trafficking Too, NCB Tells HC

The Mumbai High Court is hearing Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan’s bail petition following his arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau on Oct 3.

Explainer | Why A Lawyer Is Seeking FIR Against NCB's Wankhede For 'Extortion' In Aryan Khan Drugs Case

Explainer | Why A Lawyer Is Seeking FIR Against NCB's Wankhede For 'Extortion' In Aryan Khan Drugs Case

On Monday, a lawyer approached the Mumbai police with a complaint seeking registration of an FIR against Sameer Wankhede and five others for extortion in the drugs-on-cruise case.

Virat Kohli Was Graceful In Defeat, Says Pakistan's Sana Mir

Virat Kohli Was Graceful In Defeat, Says Pakistan's Sana Mir

Former Pakistan women's cricket team captain Sana Mir is floored by Virat Kohli's gesture towards his opponents even after their 10-wicket thrashing in a T20 World Cup clash on Sunday.

Why A Delegation Of Odisha Villagers Met Andhra Pradesh Collector Seeking Protection From 'Harassment'

Why A Delegation Of Odisha Villagers Met Andhra Pradesh Collector Seeking Protection From 'Harassment'

A delegation of elected representatives from 17 villages in the disputed Kotia area in Odisha's Koraput district has accused the state government of ‘harassment'.

Advertisement