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“On the waves of spiritual memory.” Part 2

“My grandmother was born in a hungry 1933. And hunger remained the main theme of her memories…”- columnist CABAR.asia Ak-Maral Azimova tells the story of the women of her family, who created and create their picture of being, organically fitting into it the religion and conscious attitude to their personality.


“Once, a whole flock of sparrows flew into the shed with a hole in the roof where straw was kept. My brother and I were 8-9 years old during these war years. Small, infinitely hungry, we closed the hole, caught the unfortunate birds, plucked and roasted a whole cooking pot. It seemed that we have not eaten anything tastier in our life,” my grandmother once shared.

She was let to go to school only after fulfilling a number of requirements. “Sweep, clean and making bread. If you do everything – you can go, maybe you will become a mullah”- she was told. In galoshes, worn on barefoot everyone walked for a long time. They were cold. Starved. But studied, studied and studied. And then they worked, worked and worked…

My grandmother retired 10 years later then she was supposed to. And only then there was time not only for work. In her declining years, she began to notice that “something has changed around.”


Read also: “On the waves of spiritual memory.” Part 1


Women, who were the same age as my grandmothers not only, began to dress differently, speak differently, and behave differently. Those who were well known also changed. The majority in their past were far from piety, but they did hajj and turned into saints in their own eyes.

All this greatly annoyed her, but nevertheless Namaz entered the life of my grandmother. She did not change her way of life – she dressed, brushed her hair as before, complying with her age and with her predilections for fashionable and comfortable clothes.

I really liked her relationship with God. It was a conscious attitude towards her personality. From the point of view of religious studies, she created her own picture of being. She had her own opinion on everything and could make decisions on her own.

After the untimely death of her son, my uncle, my grandmother installed a small vertical stele on the grave. It has an image of her son in a medical robe, in a cap and with a phonendoscope around his neck – this is how the people he helped remember him.

After some time, the imam of the local mosque came to her personally, and began to accuse her of it, threatening to remove the stele. An elderly woman defended her right to dispose of the grave of her own child and preserve the memory of him for others. Moreover, she did it without selecting expressions – the imam barely took off his legs. Stele remained, one of a kind, surrounded by clay, nameless hills, marked with colored, broken drinking bowls and teapots.

(To be continued)