Jasur Kengbaev (Uzbekistan)

 
Jasur Kengbaev (Uzbekistan)
 
Jasur Kengbaev was born on November 19, 1985 in the village of Kokdala, Chirakchi district, Kashkadarya region of Uzbekistan. In 2003-2007, he studied at the faculty of international journalism of the Uzbek State University of World Languages. In 2009 he graduated with a master’s degree from the same faculty.
He worked as a commentator at the National News Agency of Uzbekistan (UzA), head of the department of the newspaper Jamiyat, and deputy editor-in-chief of the newspaper Oila Davrasida.
In 2017-2018, he worked as a senior consultant of the Information Service of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Since 2018, he has been working in the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
In 2017, he won the national contest “The most active journalist of the year”.
Participant of the VII Republican Seminar of young artists “School of Talent”.
He is the author of the books “The Old Belt” (2016), “The Heart’s Edge” (2019), “The Duty of an Uzbek”.
 
 
THE WORLD OF TWO HEARTS
 
After many years, it finally entered his heart again…
Arzikul was sitting in his office and worked enthusiastically, so he did not notice at first someone barely audibly knocked on the door and quietly opened it. Then a beautiful girl with dark hair peeked in. He did not take his eyes off the paper. Again the girl knocked softly on the door with her long, graceful fingers. That’s when he looked up and … stunned. He stared at his visitor for some seconds, then suddenly jumped up.
– Umida, you! – His voice trembled treacherously.
Standing on the threshold of the beautiful face lit up with a smile. She gracefully entered the office.
Arzikul took a step toward her, but stopped. He, not knowing whether to greet her or to remain silent, blushing, stood like a statue and smiled. Umida blushed more than he did. The girl came to her senses first and, holding out her hand to him, said:
– Hello!
Arzikul shook her hand. His heart raced, his breath caught… Her hand was hot… They, holding hands and looking at each other in fascination, froze for a moment. Then it was not Arzikul who spoke, but his eyes filled with grief and sadness:
– Umida, has the day come when I can finally see you?
– It has come… Here I am! I was in your company on business, and I heard that you were working here… And you didn’t mention me once…
– But…
– So what? At least once a year… You could have said hello through my friend Sarvinoz…
– You could have…
– Do you think married people should be forgotten? How indecisive you are…
– Oh, don’t rub it in…
– Do you still resent me?
– …
They sat down. Arzikul looked intently at Umida. She had not changed at all. The same kind eyes, the wide forehead he had once stroked, the lips trembling with a smile, the white round face…
Arzikul himself didn’t notice how he sighed loudly. Though he had sighed whenever he saw her before, this time his sigh was a thousand times stronger, and probably came from deep within his heart. When Umida noticed this, she felt uncomfortable and looked away. Her gaze fixed on her even more intensely. He wanted to take her hand, stroke her hair, look into her loving eyes and forget himself. But that opportunity had long ago been missed… Now the two of them had become rivers flowing in different directions.
Arzikul’s heart gnawed with an endless unfulfilled desire. Then… No, it hadn’t worked out the way he wanted. When ignorance conquered the world, people’s eyes were blinded by greed and hubris, the rose was flooded with tears in desire to see the nightingale, and the moth was not circling the candle. An unquenchable thirst took root in his heart.
On that fateful day he found the note. Arziculus, confused, realized that it was useless to go on living. He became pathetic, began to feel superfluous among his friends. The world had become a small place. Everyone is familiar with the state of a person who is mad with love. It is known that it only gets worse with time. And what happens if the person feels rejected? He will die! He will be dried up with grief. He will live physically, but spiritually he will disappear. There is form, but no essence!
He wished for just one thing every second: That suddenly sad music would ring out, slowly reaching its climax, and that he would hear the sound of moaning. His father and mother would come to mind, and images of his brothers and sisters would line up before his eyes. And then… And wipe away the parting tears flowing from the people left behind. Mentally say goodbye.
And the sad music would go on and on…
To say goodbye, not to meet again. To apologize to my thoughts, dreams, and hopes…
Arzikul raised his head, turned over the wet pillow. Then lowered his head to the pillow again. What had he seen in his dream? He saw his death in his dream. He touched his… lifeless body! Surprised, he pushed it. The body did not move. He shuddered, frightened, as if he had touched the corpse of a stranger. And the corpse lay motionless…
“So I’m really dead…” he thought.
He moved a little farther away and watched, hovering in the air.
There, his mother walked into the room where his body lay and collapsed beside him. She, hugging her son’s dead body, began to sob loudly. His father, trying to comfort his wife, squatted, but cried himself to sleep. The younger brother, who had grown pale, stood on the threshold, wiping away his tears. And the little sister wept silently.
This crying in her sleep once more killed Arzikul…
At that moment a light breeze blew in from the open window and began to sway the curtains. Spring weather… The melody that hit his ears tormented the heart of the newly awakened Arziculus. The melody seemed to conceal a sad maiden’s song, the moans and complaints of his beloved. In this melody were felt the innermost secrets of the heart, whispered by one beauty…
Arzikul lay down. Thinking of the wedding that was now taking place in a distant village, and how he would keep these secrets all his life, his heart gave a hiccup. Oh, could one day of the Creator seem so long…
Arziculus had been attending the wedding of many of his friends. He had met many happy couples. Envious of them, he dreamed. He imagined how he would live together with Umida, that they would have many sons and daughters. Sometimes he felt ashamed of his thoughts. He was jealous of Umida, whom he cherished as the apple of his eye, even in his own crazy thoughts. This jealousy embodied the demands of the world of Arzikul’s heart. He imagined that she would be his and his alone.
And the girl felt it. And the more she felt it, the more she became more attractive and even more captivated Arzicul’s heart. His classmates secretly watched the lovers, and the soul of many of them became uneasy, many openly jealous of him. Some of Umida’s friends, hoping to get the girl out of the way, tried to dissuade her. But she was a clever girl who did not pay attention to her friends’ words and avoided various gossips.
Ah! Remembering those times, Arzikul’s heart ached. He stared spellbound at the young woman sitting across from him. Her radiant face burned his heart.
– Are we going to sit here and stare at each other? – she smiled, trying to extricate herself from the awkward situation. – Tell me, what’s the news? What’s going on in the world?
Arziculus’ sweet reverie was interrupted, and he frowned, not knowing what to say.
– Well, I don’t know,” he answered. – After all, we’re having a great conversation… – Suddenly realizing that his answer made no sense, because they had not even had time to say hello, he suddenly sank into his thoughts and hurriedly added: “We’re fine… Shall I pour you some tea?
– As you wish…
“Oh!” exclaimed Arzikul inwardly. – She said: “As you please!”
It was with these very words that Umida charmed Arzikul. He knew that these words were spoken by the girl only to him. The boy in love knew the secret meaning of these words, so when he heard them his heart overflowed with joy, he tried to find a decent answer, but in the end he found none and stood, silent as a statue, unable to tear his eyes away from her beautiful face. Seeing his pitiful silhouette in her pupils, he was embarrassed, but no force could make him even blink. And Arzikul still cannot understand why then, when he saw any girl, he immediately compared her to Umida, and in neither of them did he find what was in her…
Like him, Umida, too, obeyed the orders of her heart. And the girl, without noticing it herself, became attached to Arzikul and in time noticed that she could not live without him. It got to the point that no matter what she was doing, it seemed to her that Arzikul was near her and gazing intently at her with eyes full of love and longing. Sometimes it seemed to the girl that she was beginning to look at everything through the eyes of the boy, to judge everything like him. Although she felt that she was beginning to yield to this unusual feeling and cease to control it, but in her heart she was glad about it, even a little proud… Is it easy to say, because Arzikul – such a stubborn, unrestrained, resolute and unyielding guy loses his breath at the sight of her… And now, pouring her tea, the proud lad could not overpower his excitement.
– Umida, what is your news? – At last, having managed to find some words, Arzikul was pleased. – Where… living?
– Still there… I married a guy who lives on the next block,” Umida replied, then looked questioningly into Arzicul’s eyes. – Didn’t you know about it?
– No!” replied Arzikul, though he was aware of it, but now he did not want to admit it.
He wanted to say, “I didn’t want to know about it,” but he restrained himself and kept silent.
– I thought you had heard about it…
They were silent for some time. They both stared at the cool tea and did not dare to say anything. Suddenly seeing the engagement ring on Umida’s finger, the boy’s heart fluttered. Umida felt his scrutiny, folded her hands, thus hiding the ring from the guy’s gaze, and asked:
– And how are things with you? How is your family… Is everyone well?
Arzikul took a quick glance at the girl. The peculiar accent in the question struck him as funny. Realizing that the girl could not ask directly what interested her most, he smiled sarcastically:
– Yes, both father and mother are well!
But even this caustic remark did not stop the girl.
– Um… And the mother of your children… how is she? – she inquired.
– And she’s fine,” Arzikul replied sharply, worried that the topic of conversation had turned in the direction that had been expected for years.
– Is she beautiful?
– Yes…
– Prettier than me…?
Arzikul, not knowing how to answer such a delicate question, hesitated. Though he was well acquainted with Umida’s character, he had not expected such a serious, cryptic and sensitive question. Desperate, the boy decided to apply his old method and jokingly answered:
– I have not yet met a girl more beautiful than you…
That answer seemed to Umaida to be an insincere compliment. She exclaimed disappointedly:
– You have always been indecisive…
Oh! That word struck a nerve with Arziculus! At last the loaded gun went off! It seemed to him to be the last and sharpest conclusion that Umida had drawn after years of reflection. Now the tip of the word stabbed into the heart of Arziculus, already heartbroken. There was no choice but to surrender like a moth perishing in a blazing fire, but it was also unacceptable to admit defeat.
– Umida, is it really about determination? – he asked bitterly. – What about your father’s condition? Upon hearing such a condition, any lad would refuse you. Though I…
– You what?
– Although I left in silence…
– Ah! It was just an ordeal… – Umida looked into Arzikul’s eyes with eyes full of love. – It wasn’t really my father who said that. I made it up to test you!
– What?!
– Yes…
Arziculus felt as if he had been pelted with ice water. He looked at the girl with rage:
– Is it really… Is it really true, Umida? Why did you do that? Why didn’t you say so when we parted? Why didn’t you? Because in defending my honor and dignity, I lost my love, and you…
The questions rained down in a hailstorm. Arzikul clenched his fists nervously.
– It is true what they say, that when love is much discussed, it is bound to fail… – with a pain in his voice he said. – So…
– What was I supposed to do? There was no problem, and you suddenly… without even saying goodbye… Do men sulk?
– I wasn’t sulking!
– Then why didn’t you send matchmakers?
– If you were me…
– … …would have been more determined!
Arzikul didn’t recognize Umida. What does she mean? Why does she stir up the past and remember the words that make her heart ache? What does she want? After all…
– “Umida, let us not speak of this matter,” he said sadly. – A man should not be like a chameleon and change every day … Yes, I could not marry you, but I do not regret, because I always keep my word. You know, Umida, my conscience wouldn’t let me marry you… But if your father was happy to give his daughter to the man who agreed to his terms, I am glad. Though no normal man would agree to such a thing…
It seems that Umida could not find anything to reply to such harsh and sharp words, so she remained silent. And so came the end of the conversation. Everything was clear. Umida stood up from her seat. She took a deep breath. Heading toward the door, she looked at him one last time…
– Don’t be sad, Umida, we were both to blame…
– I was helpless… I wanted to come to you, confess everything and ask for forgiveness, but I am a girl, and I was ashamed to do so. Shame kept me away… Besides, you never once said to me, “I love you!”
– Я… loved without words!
– And you didn’t send a matchmaker…
– What to do, Umida, it’s fate… Well, tell me, how are you? How’s life?
– Thank you, I can’t complain. I live peacefully, peacefully.
– Are you happy?
– Um… And you?
– Me too…
– My husband is a very good man. Sometimes I wonder if I’m torturing him with my spoiled and selfishness. But he respects me very much. Tolerates all my vagaries. What about you? Is your wife nice?
– You know, I’m a very fussy man, too. But my wife doesn’t complain about my temper. She respects…
– And the children? What do they look like?
– Like me… Only the eldest looks like their mother… What about your kids?
– I have three. All three of them look exactly like their father.
– Thank goodness… You’re lucky…
– And I’m glad you found your happiness…
At this first, maybe last, meeting after a thousand years of separation, the eyes spoke so relentlessly. They said goodbye for a long time. But those eyes felt that both were deceiving each other… In their world of these two hearts remained their own Umida, their own Arzikul…
 
Jasur Kengbaev was born on November 19, 1985 in the village of Kokdala, Chirakchi district, Kashkadarya region of Uzbekistan. In 2003-2007, he studied at the faculty of international journalism of the Uzbek State University of World Languages. In 2009 he graduated with a master’s degree from the same faculty.
He worked as a commentator at the National News Agency of Uzbekistan (UzA), head of the department of the newspaper Jamiyat, and deputy editor-in-chief of the newspaper Oila Davrasida.
In 2017-2018, he worked as a senior consultant of the Information Service of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Since 2018, he has been working in the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
In 2017, he won the national contest “The most active journalist of the year”.
Participant of the VII Republican Seminar of young artists “School of Talent”.
He is the author of the books “The Old Belt” (2016), “The Heart’s Edge” (2019), “The Duty of an Uzbek”.
 
 
 

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