Some time ago, her uncle, shop owner Aldan and her sister Sarah organized the villagers in search of Shara. After all, losing a loved one is not easy. Their souls were worn out. Due to severe anguish over the loss, their nerves gave way.
Shara was Sarah’s younger sister. She came to visit on a summer vacation. The fruit and berry department of the Kyzyltu state farm grew apple orchards and vineyards on many hectares.
In the summer season, the labor department recruited pickers, and children helped the adults to collect the fruits. It was Sarah’s intention when she invited Shara to her home, to include her in the job as an assistant in the department to help her buy new clothes from her salary.
Shara became more mature as she did not sit quietly at home after work, when her peers went walking in the evenings. She went out in the evening to see Bekmurat, the second son of Bekbolat, who lived in the house opposite theirs, and she returned at night. During the last secret conversation, Shara told her sister that she loved Bekmurat very much, and it was a great honor for them to hold hands warmly when they met. Sarah believed in her sister’s words.
Shara was the youngest in the family. She was smart and very hardworking. When she and her sister picked apples, she could easily reach the top of the tree. Ignoring the fact that she was not tall, she quickly climbed to the top of the branches. Who would have thought that she would disappear like that?
Sarah thought to herself: “Bekmurat knows everything”. When she tried to ask him, he replied, “Really. Where am I hiding her?” He repeated the same answer and said that he himself could not find Shara. Although Sarah did not tell her parents about the tragedy that had happened, she could not hide it from her two younger brothers.
Bekmurat sometimes helped his father, who worked as a gardener in Ulkenbau* (the name of the 60 hectares’ apple garden in Kyzyltu). Then he often went to a livestock farm outside the village. His mother Aisaule worked there as a milkmaid. Sarah and her brothers Aripbay and Sharipbay visited the Kishibay garden * (the name of the apple garden with an area of 32 hectares in Kyzyltu).
Sweat rolled down their necks, they were very tired, their legs were trembling, and they were hungry like wolves. They decided to go into their sister’s house to have a bite and walked around the livestock farm with a heartfelt thought. It was shocking for everyone to meet Bekmurat there when they were hot, dehydrated, nervous and depressed.
When Aripbay saw him, he was very angry. Bekmurat, who knew Shari’s older brothers well, felt that something terrible was about to happen, but he decided not to run away like a coward, and went up straight to them. Seeing their angry faces, Bekmurat politely greeted them. Aripbay held his right hand and hit his ear with his left hand. Bekmurat, who did not expect such a thing from him, fell to the ground raising dust, not having time to tear his hand away from Aripbay.
Kazakhs lived in villages with their tribes, and it turned out that it was a large community that did not marry another fellow tribe! The tribesmen living in the same village were divided into seven ancestors. Thus, the descendants of each separated ancestor considered themselves close relatives, build houses close to each other, oppressed each other. and if possible, did not mingle with children of another ancestor. If that happened, they would not give rest to those families. They offended and humiliated them in order to evict that family. Therefore, all the girls in the village where only one tribe lived, were counted as sisters. That is why Kayrly had no right to fall in love with a girl from the village.
Kayrly’s father, Absamat, was an oppositionist of his time. The department head tried to get rid of him as soon as possible, deviating from his stubborn and honest nature. The manager for Absamat did not even allow his cattle to be sold. He did not mow fodder grass for his animals, or collect crops and forage, which he planted on one hectare of land. Somehow, the manager found a solution and forced them to move to another village.
The village of Kyzyltu, where the Kayrly family moved was a village where many tribes lived. Here, besides the Kazakhs, there were Russians, Ukrainians, Germans, Latvians, Gypsies, Turks, Uzbeks and Koreans, as well as children of three Kazakh Juzes * (the Kazakh people were divided into senior, middle and junior creating many tribes). Therefore, it seemed that in the village young people were growing up quickly and girls were quickly maturing. When Kayrly finished the eighth grade and went on summer vacation, two beautiful girls came to visit the village, at the house of their two closest neighbors. The girls remained in the village until the end of the summer holidays.
Interestingly, both of Kayrly’s neighbors were called Aldan. Since they were of the same name, depending on their profession, one was called “Aldan driver” and the other “Aldan shopkeeper”. Once two Aldan’s fought. Aldan, the shopkeeper, when he could not stand up for himself, hit the driver of Aldan, on the head with a bottle of vodka.
His head and the bottle were broken, and blood and vodka spilled from his head right onto his face. When the driver bandaged the wound, Aldan shook his head and said: “When the head is healed, the hat will hide it, and this will pass. I still regret spilling the bottle of vodka. I feel sorry that I didn’t drink the vodka. My head is not a priority!”
Two beautiful sisters are wives of two Aldan’s. Like the villagers, the girls who came to visit went to pick apples with their older sisters. In the evenings, young guys and girls walked around the village where the branch of the club was, and in which Indian films were regularly broadcasted, or went to the dance floor, which was made for adults, in a small park in the center.
There were many times when the Kyzyltuly people did not obey the laws. Several serious crimes were taking place in this village that violated the law of the authorities. The first and most difficult of them was theft. Theft flourished in the village and cunning and clever thieves formed a big mafia.
There was another major crime that destroyed the welfare of the family. It was alcoholism. If you were organizing an Alcoholism Olympiad among villages throughout the world, you could be sure that the Kyzyltu village would become an Olympic champion. Their “success” was due to the fact that they made tons of wine by hand and drank wine twelve months a year.
Young people’s interest in love sometimes led to crime. For the sake of love, a broken head hid in a hat, and a broken arm in a sleeve. There was also the fact that a girl under the age of 18 had an intimate relationship, and on the one hand, she broke the law. On the other hand, she lost her honor in the eyes of her ancestors, grieving in flames of gossip, sometimes all over the village and sometimes beyond the village.
Was it because the Kayrly was raised so that he considered a good girl as a sister, or because there was an older brother who was not yet married, and had two unmarried older sisters, he could not find love of two beautiful girls in the house of neighbors.
Especially, the sister of daughter-in-law Seysekul who came from Tashkent! Her eyes shone like the sun, and the girl’s behavior and subtlety were very attractive. She was slim as a ballerina, and her long dark brown hair hung over her white dense calves and reached the very ankles.
Once, when the girl was a guest in the house, Kayrly could not take his eyes off her and almost swallowed saliva from under his tongue. His mother felt this and said: “Son, it’s late, go look after the cows!” and sent him to the barn.
Shara, the daughter-in-law of the second neighbor, the shopkeeper Aldan, was also not a vulnerable girl. She was small in stature, slim in body, and very cute. Her hair was not long and thick, but black and curly. Her eyes were big and brown as a camel’s. Her teeth were white as pearls, and her teeth were even. When she smiled, a dimple appeared that makes her radiant face more beautiful.
Kayrly would not refuse such a beautiful woman as she. However, Bekmurat, who watched her and met with her, was two years older and slimmer than Kayrly. Bekmurat’s reputation as a leader in rural youth was probably due to the fact that he was educated in a Russian school. In addition, Bekmurat was much higher than Kayrly. There were a lot of girls in the village who were interested in his snub nose, fiery eyes, and his brown hair, which he always washed with shampoo, and which he combed back.
Due to the small size of the village, young people such as Bekmurat, Seydakim, Atageldy, Nurali, Eszhan, Beken, Manarbek, regardless of age, often met in the evenings or on weekends. At one such evening meeting, Bekmurat met with friends and talked about the fact that he and Shara had a sexual relationship when they went on a date. When he told his friends how he fell in love with her, how he undressed her, squeezed her hot boobs, and stroked her thigh, his friends’ eyes brightened. They had feelings of desire to hug and kiss her.
The secret of love was originally a secret for adults, but the story spread in the village. When people began to spread the gossip, Shara disappeared. Bekmurat tried to keep up with the event that passed. Thus, the tragedy with the “missing girl” lasted for several days. Sarah’s patience was exhausted, and her hopes collapsed. She told her husband Aldan “Now we must complain to the police” and the village was shocked. The situation escalated, and Bekmurat was badly hurt. Two brothers, Aripbay and Sharipbay, found Bekmurat, beat him and broke two ribs. Because they were adults and strong, Bekmurat’s friends were not able to take revenge on them.
In fact, this is what happened to the “missing girl.” She was pregnant and told Bekmurat about her condition and cried. Not knowing what to do, Bekmurat told his friend Nurali the truth and asked him to help. Nurali, in agreement with Bekmurat, hid Shara in the basement of a large new house under construction in the center of the state farm. Therefore, before revealing the secret, Nurali unknowingly brought food and water to Shara.
Bekmurat and Shara, who were found guilty, were initially separated, and the girl’s parents planned to imprison the young man who had just graduated from school. On the other hand, they, of course, were worried about their daughter’s future. How could Bekmurat’s parents not interfere in the fate of his native son when Shara’s parents were going to put him in jail?
They put their souls in order to receive forgiveness, approached Shara’s parents, apologized, and falling at their feet begged the parents, saying: “Let’s marry the young persons and we will accept Shara as our own daughter, and you will be a thousand-year-old matchmaker. You will witness that your daughter – will become our own child and we will be honorable to her.”
Thus, Bekmurat and Shara got married in front of their peers. Yes. It was an early love affair that matured 40 years ago. Such a story in the village was not in vain for Kayrly’s peers. It was a lesson for many. This story taught them to be careful not to fall into that trap in the future. They became cautious about easy behavior emotionally. From that day, there was a new proverb. “If you learn from the mistakes of others, you will remember. If you learn from your mistakes, it will be too late,” Kayrly remembered forever.
Edited by Brenda Mohammed
All rights reserved.
Image credit to the Rightful Owner