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Narine Abgaryan - modern Russian writer originally from Armenia. She wrote the autobiographical book "Manyunya" about her own childhood in a small Armenian town (near the Azerbaijani border). The book is very funny and bright (her childhood and teenage years were not overshadowed by war).
A little text, which I clumsily tried to translate into English - recent entries Narine on facebook. This other side of memories Narine - there is a war. I could not remain indifferent to this text. so.
About my brothe
He was four years and three months old. Outside the window was February — warm like spring- after a long, unmercifully frosty January. It smelled like the wind, snowdrops and old stone bridge. And besides — like the war. Every month a year now smell like a war. And only then — like the wind, snowdrops and old stone bridge.
At first we did not know what war is. We ran out into the yard after each blast, to see where the next bomb hit and run for help. We stupidly hoping that this is our city and we decide what to do and whom we must come to the rescue. But in that day, when the blast wave killed the people from the house next door, the war explained us who is the host in the town. And we have not found the words to protest it.
Now we wereknow what war is. War means hiding from the bombing in the corridor, if no time to run to the shelter. Corridor is safer because all sides protected by rooms. Need to tightly close the door, and doors with glass inserts, close the blankets, so people will not be injured by shrapnel in the explosion. It is important to put on the floor all that can shatter and all heavy. And crawl away from the chandeliers because it during the fall could cripple who sit under it.
War means saving doorways. If a bomb fell on the house, you need like during the earthquake, run to the door. Because if the house collapses, there is a chance to survive between the doorways.
War means spoiled holidays. especially mercilessly bombed it on January 1th, on March 8th, May 1th. 2th or 9th. On May 2th we have Parents saturday*, and they on the other side of the border well remembered it. Spoil the celebration or commemoration day - double happiness for the enemy.
War is lesson resistance for the rest of all life. An example of such resistance are my parents. Dad was spending all day in the hospital. He, like other doctors, had their own holy war - for the life of the wounded.
Mom, amid the general horror and darkness read Byron for students. She often spent time in the camp, into which has turned our school, literary evenings. And the children declaimed something, played performances. Danced. Sang.
Then, many years later, I found in my mom's diary four letters addressed to her favourite writers - Chekhov, Saltykov-Shchedrin, Petrushevskaya and Tolstoy. For each with the words of sincere admiration and gratitude for their blessed work. The letters were dated wartime.
But I did not want to talk about the war, no.
I would like about men.
Specifically about one man. About my brother.
One day a bomb hit our house. Now I know for sure - the desire to conceal a person - is an unconscious impulse. When the explosion is close, you have exactly three microseconds to fall to the floor and cover instinctively your head by hands.
How did I managed in the three microseconds to jump towards my brother and cover up him - I do not know. I did not remember. I remember the explosion and the fact that I was lying on my brother.
He immediately crawled out from under me, a little tadpole, very angry, likewasp, in a bad mood and even ferocious. Crawled out and looked me in the eyes, blurted out, highlighting each word: “Never. More. Do not. Cover me. Do you hear me? I'll. Take care. Somehow. Of myself !» And I could not find the words to contradict him. I was nineteen years old in those days. He wasfour years and three months old.
When the boys turn into men? In which a moment of your life? In the day of the first fight or reconciliation? In the day of the first kiss or the first disappointment? In the day of the first betrayal or the first night of love? In the day of his first war? Or maybe the last war? When the boys turn into men? It seems to me - never. They alredy born as men.
Parents saturday –day of commemoration of the dead. Others mentioned days – holidays.
tell us please how it was?