Khoudaiberdy Khally

Худайберди Халлы (Халлыев) туркменский писатель. Родился 17 апреля 1947 года в деревне, которая расположена на месте, где находятся руины старого Мерва, в районе Байрам-Али, Марыйская область. Там же окончил среднюю школу. Работал в колхозе. Потом окончил факультет туркменской филологии Туркменского государственного университета в Ашгабате. Много лет проработал в официальном печатном органе Союза писателей журнале «Совет эдебияты» («Советская литература»). Прозаик. Публицист. Опубликовал 10 книг на туркменском языке. Несколько рассказов и один роман были переведены и опубликованы на разные языки народов СССР. Были опубликованы рассказы на персидском языке. На чешском языке была опубликована повесть «Трехухий человек».
Женат. Имеет трех дочерей и внуков.
Проживает в городе Прага.


Cultural Heritage Prose «Patterns»

excerpt

Like a soul leaving the body, the two lovers stole away furtively. «If the storm’s coming, let it come» they decided, and took two swift horses from Saleh Ishan’s stables. They left before dawn, when sleep is most powerful. Even if the family immediately discovered their flight, daybreak would come before their response could, since they would still have to wait until the rest of the community stirred. Declaring publicly that your own girl has eloped is a terrible way to begin a morning.

Owez knew even the narrowest paths through the country. He followed an old streambed to the beginning of the desert. Soon a herdsman would drive his cattle over the same path, obliterating their own tracks with those of his herd, and thwarting any pursuers. All such routes of livestock were familiar to Owez. Just as they planned, he and his beloved reached the desert without meeting anyone along the way.

The most critical day had passed, and Haltach had finished one splendid phase of her life. With the setting of the sun she would keep her promise and her loyalty. She would show the world who she was, and achieve her heart’s desire. With the setting of one sun in her life, a new one would rise.

The darkening sky brought a new sun with a new life for Owez as well. In a remote corner of the desert under the waning light he took hold of his own treasured hopes, and clasped them in warm embrace.

Around them the world was vast and peaceful. The outer calm was broken only by the impatient, wild beating of two hearts within narrow cages, as though their great happiness would be unable to fit there. Owez lay above his beloved to protect her from the desert around them. The two young people’s eyes shone with joy, but also alarm.

«I am prepared to die for you,» said the youth.

«And I for you,» said the girl.

«I accept my fate,» he said.

«And I mine.»

Two hearts and two fates united then. In that dark night surrounded by the expansive desert, two people shared one lot: To live and to die. They would accept whatever was offered. They had what they wanted and did not regret. The soft sands of the Black Desert were their pillow, and the dark heavens their blanket. Their love overflowed and they slaked their thirst for each other with a satiation as powerful as it was short lived.

The flowers had not bloomed yet, but already the spring’s breath was pleasant and stimulating. The shining yellow sands sparkled with radiance. The sun rose, but it was neither too hot nor too cold. The universe was comfortable but not insipidly so.  The smell of grasses and bushes, and the humid breath of clouds mixed to form a relaxing melancholy. Wherever they stepped, the sand’s hot pulse went from the naked soles of their feet to the top of their heads. Nearby a small bird trilled from some unseen redoubt. Sometimes its voice died away, and then the listeners would strain their ears until they heard it again.

The desert around them was pure. From the tops of dunes, flowers and evergreen bushes surrounded them like beloved relatives. The soft, virgin sands that nothing larger than an ant had ever trod on invited them to cross and made soft depressions for their feet. The world was aloof and stood listening to its own heartbeat, Owez threw himself into the embrace of this peace. He prostrated himself before beauty, and after this bliss he left his shuddering body behind, only to return quickly to it like a hungry wolf.

They had a long way to go, but they did not rush. They travelled on obscure paths through the immense space and avoided large wells in favour of forgotten cisterns. There were bandits and the desert, but by carefully choosing their way they avoided them. It was entirely pleasant, beautiful, and fine. The desert was full of narrow trails, and the youth proved to his bride how strong and resourceful he was with his knowledge of them. She for her part showed him that her affection was as insatiable as her breath was sweet, and that the germ of love in her heart was immutable.

In the heat her lips became parched and cracked, the blush of her cheeks was washed out by the sun, and her hair grew matted. Her entire body was exhausted. For three days past she had been unable to sit a saddle, so she alternated between side saddle and then walking on foot, but she did all she could not to be a burden on her companion, who would not permit her to fall behind.

So they slept in the desert, with sand as their bed and sky as their blanket. After passing sands and the salt flats, they finally came to the waste’s edge.

They had chosen Khiva as their destination when they left Arkach, though it was not so close. For whatever reason though, they had picked Khiva, which provided Arkach with lentils and grains from its fields, and was abundant with fruits and vegetables. Perhaps they thought such a bountiful kingdom could easily provide for two refugees, so the idea of that abundance drew them onward.  To the single-minded there is only one way to go.

Haltach passed the trip to Khiva in the grip of passion. These were the sands on which she poured out her zeal.  The dunes soaked up the moisture of her breath, her tears, and her sweat. How could the desert not be silent before her?

In Old Urgench they stopped at the door of Saya bey. «Let me be a shepherd for you,» asked Owez.

«And I will be one of your servants,» added Haltach.

«Your flocks will increase under my care,» promised Owez.

«I’ll fill your chambers and courts with red carpets. I’ll teach my art to all your kith and kin, if you’ll only protect us, dear elder!»

Saya bey showed humanity and supported them. He called a Mullah and had their nika read, so they marriage was legalized. They were given a shack in the corner of one of his cattle barns, and entrusted with the bey’s domestic matters.

Time passed, and two horsemen called on Saya bey. He received them and they exchanged pleasantries. Then he asked, «Will you drink tea, or stay for a meal?»

«We didn’t come for tea or for bread. Give us our fugitives, and we’ll depart.»

Saya bey was astounded. «Those fugitives are our people now. They are my guests, whom I’ve taken into my household. They’ve killed nobody and stolen nothing. They found love with each other and left with it. Such things do happen. If you lay hands on them, you’ll become enemies to me, and murderers before God.»

«Our honour has been thrown in the dirt. We must lift it back up,» they replied, to show that they would not be turned from their purpose.

«We all have honour to consider!» countered Saya bey. «It was my door they came to, and my feet they fell at. From me they begged protection, so now that protection is my duty. Be amicable: take our gifts, eat our bread and salt, then return. What is done is done; do not extinguish the fire in a newly built hearth. The girl and the boy are your own blood after all. If you won’t listen and only came to take heads; well, you’ll have take ours first. Do what you will,» he said, and gestured to the vassals surrounding him, «but you won’t take our heads so easily, and you’ll have to take care for your own!»

The riders paid him no heed, but mounted and rode away in anger.

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