ABU. To Be Who You Are
Editor Maria Felderer
© A. Manvayler, 2019
Created with Ridero smart publishing system
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream-and not make dreams your master;
If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build “em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings-nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And-which is more-you’ll be a Man, my son!
1 Alyona. Return To Moscow
2 Discovery Of India
3 My Goa
4 Abu – The First Meeting
5 The New Life Together
6 The Quartet
7 Heredity Abu
8 Money Reform
9 New Year 2018
10 Abu’s Last Day
11 Pandora’s Box
12 Abu’s Relatives
13 20 Days With Keith
14 Friends End Me
16 Excile Zero
17 Palolem. Aggy
18 The Games оf Emotions
Alyona, a pale, tearful girl of Balzac’s age, who had lost ten kilograms during the last month, did not consciously wish to be anywhere else. She surrendered to the flow of life, and life’s vicissitudes ceased to attract her. She did not have any desire to start afresh as she had no other goals. She needed an urgent transformation, but she could not concentrate on anything. So, shewent along the stream. Life was going by apathetically, and to gain any satisfaction from it was like waiting in vain. All the resources were exhausted. She no longer wanted to listen to herself or look at the world from the outside. All the same, there were no new horizons for her, and the current ones only vexed her more.
She got rid of the prejudices and became disenchanted with the freedom that she had endured. Now she felt like a doll, a robot programmed by an unknown puppeteer.
Not only her black curly braid was dangling lifelessly on her shoulders, but seven happy years were also left dead behind her, and only through sunglasses flashed a memory of a bright, sunny past in which she was really happy. Alyona was in despair: nothing went the way she would have liked, although in her condition, it was pointless to talk about any desires.
The day of departure arrived. February 15. The husband of Abu’s sister insisted to drop Alyona off at the airport in his office car, as just a day ago he had given his own car for repair after the accident on the day of carnival. On the way to the airport the familiar landscape was flashing in front of her eyes. Here she had been happy with her beloved ABU. With his death all seemed lifeless to her. She was in no mood to talk, she was far away with her thoughts, and her eyes relished the last sun and endless brightness of the landscapes of this affable country, which, perhaps, she would not see soon. Will she?…
She was pulled out of her stupor by the screeching of the brakes and the scene of the accident, unfolding in slow motion, as if in a movie, right before their eyes: a huge yellow truck painted under Khokhloma, wildly screeching with brakes, flew into a blue Suzuki subcompact. Thank God, there were no victims. Raj began to get out of this abrupt traffic jam, reversing, cutting through the cacophony of signals of surrounding scooters, subcompacts and rickshaws.
Finally, escaping from the dense stream, they drove up to the airport building. Coming out of the car, as Alyona watched Raj retrieving her things, Alyona suddenly broke down into tears, remembering all her ordeals of the last few weeks: that she had lost Abu, that this was the first time in several years when it was not him, who was coming to see her off to the airport. She tried to stop the flow of these thoughts from her last efforts, coaxing herself and frantically searching for answers to questions she had already asked herself long ago: “What next? Will I return? How will I live?” Just in time, she became aware of the fact that the ability to bear loneliness is a sign of spiritual maturity, that we are at our best when we are alone. If love changes a person quickly, then despair – even faster. And one need not succumb to despair.
She alleviated her imminent return to the cold motherland with the motto phrase, which she had read from Coelho:
“Getting lost – this is the best way to find something interesting”.
Having parked near the terminal, Raj, after unloading things from the car, hugged her heartily and said: “Come back, definitely! We’ll all miss you and wait for you”.
She took out the passport and e-tickets that had to be printed out in advance, or you won’t be allowed inside the airport. She approached the armed guard standing at the entrance, scrutinizing the papers more than the faces, they did it regularly, but very meticulously.
Alyona moved to the check-in counter.. It’s funny, but the surcharge for the excess baggage was more expensive than the ticket itself. But there was nothing she could do, and Alyona had to hand over last of her rupees to the boy handling this task at a special counter. Praise the heavens, after that, all the formalities were over, and in front was – Waiting Hall.
There were a lot of people in the hall for domestic flights. Alyona had agreed to meet there with her friend Amrita, who had specifically booked a ticket for the same date and the same time, only – to Delhi. She, along with her mother and sister Aparna, waited for Alyona to get over with her check-in. Amrita even ran to her several times and watched over the progress of her queue.
At this moment Raj called Alyona and asked her to give her keys of the apartment back, and although the relatives of Abu already had a whole bunch of his keys to all the apartments and bikes, for some reason, he still needed Alyona’s key. The feelings of abandonment, crushing, uselessness and futility of life overwhelmed Alyona with new force. Of course, she understood that such treacheries would never cease. Only through the strength of her will, she drove away her suspicions, clutching to the hope of finding something human in these people, and locked these thoughts inside a dark closet in the deepest corners of her soul, forbidding herself to ponder over it, so as not to torment herself further. “Accept everything as they are! – she told herself. -That way it will be simpler and easier”…
Finally, passing all the remaining checks and procedures, she found herself alone with Amrita: alone at the airport, amidst the crowd of departing people, all alone. They hugged each other and cried. Until recently they were such happy and full lives, today they were two widows- shattered, tired and desolate.
Raj, as if confirming the absurdity of the world around them, had already called Amrita requesting her to collect that key. With some inevitable apathy Alyona gave her key to Amrita, and she also silently accepted it.
To shape a person God often has to test him. Alyona had earlier wondered at the strength of Russian women to endure such incredible suffering that she had read about in the classics or seen in movies, but now she herself could feel that this source of immense energy existed right within, as well as outside. One only needed to find a way to the productive metamorphosis of this energy, rupturing out of it.
It seemed as if the wound, blanketing the shroud of the eyes and stuck as a lump in the throat, would soon explode, but it did not happen. She really wanted to throw up, suffocated by this lump, but it stayed inside. And when the crescendo of the heartbeat rose up and reached the very throat, the convulsive rhythm of thoughts about the loss, separation and grief, went away buzzing, and the spasm unexpectedly released itself and tears rained over Amrita’s shoulder. They stood embracing briefly, exchanging friendly emanations and concerns, saying goodbye to their happy life gone by and getting ready to fly off to meet the new, the unknown, full of mysteries, riddles and, perhaps, great achievements. It was at this moment that Alyona realized that her Way, her Power was – in humility. Regardless of whothey are, everyone faces the similar events of life and death. She thought that if she were to survive all this, then she must without fail share this knowledge with other people. Maybe it will help someone to “open eyes,” and perhaps this experience of her would help someone to know the world of other people.
“Be yourself,” – Abu said to her on this New Year’s Eve. Maybe he meant exactly that? As soon as the answers are found, the questions change. Finally Alyona, without any fear, with humility in her heart, without fear and pain, was able to reveal to herself, answers to all her long-settled issues. The questions changed within moments, as soon as she accepted them with her heart. Whenever she lost hope, a new one kindled in her, which, like a guiding star, showed to her next goal.
Fate continued to be consistent throughout: the flight to Mumbai was delayed. Amrita and her family’s flight had already departed, whereas she was still waiting for half an hour, even though her flight was rescheduled to fly 30 minutes early. In fact, this is normal for Indian domestic flights. For example, trains of Indian railways earlier used to delay for a day or more. Anyway, Indian railways – that is a different tale altogether: can you imagine “train-surfers” hanging on our Moscow suburban train from head to toe. This they have in the order of things: not enough seats, but everyone wants to ride, so one can just latch on to whatever it’s possible.
Four years ago, when Abu was going to meet her in Delhi on a train from Goa, his train got delayed by six hours, because in Indian state of Rajasthan it had knocked down a camel. Abu told Alena that he witnessed with his own eyes how the waiting and clearing exhausted the passengers, and they jumped out of the train and at the very same place, skinned out the still warm camel. Someone kept the meat as reserve stock, someone there itself lighted a fire and started cooking kebab on-the-spot! Incredible India. Every day there is something to be surprised: for example, their friend Leila took a ticket to Delhi spending the last of her money and a week before the end of her visa: there is such an extreme of our tourists rely on the “Russian Avos1.” Well, Leila did not leave, the train was canceled because of some strike in Gujarat where people just came out and sat on the tracks like birds on wires.
1 blind trust in divine providence; blind faith in sheer luck; blind trust in sheer luck; counting on a miracle At last, the boarding started. Luckily, the plane was not far, and everyone settled in rather quickly. The girl got a place at the aisle. Quickly placing her little backpack on top and the folder on her lap, she again got attuned to wait. There was noise all around, racket and a continuous bacchanalia. Have you ever seen how they show local flights in movies, with whole chicken coop and piglets right in the cabin? Well here, of course, this was not the case, an earnest flight to Mumbai. Some bulky passengers brushed her by elbows, packing airplane lockers to the gills, talking loudly and buzzing like bees in a hive. She sat silently, thinking about the fickleness of fate and the very meaning of life.
The most important words in our lives are spoken silently.
Lost in these thoughts, Alyona spent almost the entire flight, thinking that she had finally grabbed by tail, the very same answer, the question to which she had asked for a long time but could not find a solution. Sometimes you need to die before you start living (P. Coelho). Something in these words was true, touched those same strings of her wounded soul, which eagerly responded, absorbing them letter by letter, drop by drop, as arable lands soak in the long-awaited rain. That Black Hole, that abyss of frightening darkness that had taken roots inside thegirl with the passing away of her beloved, gradually began to shrink, expelled by some confidence. Confidence in what needed to be done further and what to strive for. In each of us, there is a Black Hole that obscures the way to the Light, to the true realization of one’s genius in this world. While in contemplation, Alyona didn’t notice how the time flew during her flight. In India, generally, time flows otherwise.
Coming out from the airport in Mumbai and getting her luggage, she looked around and realized that she had landed to the wrong airport. Terminal, where they had arrived, was intended only for domestic flights, so she had to urgently rush to the international airport.
Dragging her suitcase, that was getting heavier with each step, down the street, the girl tried not to be distracted by the pain in her back and her eyes searched for a rickshaw that could be hired to travel to the right airport. Behind Alyona someone called, she turned around and saw a taxi driver who was offering her his services as the carrier.
– No thanks! – The girl responded briskly in Hinglish. – I’m looking for a rickshaw!
– There’s no rickshaw! – The taxi driver shouted. – Not Available!
Seeing, how he was losing his next money-victim, the taxi driver spat directly on the roadway with red-yellow saliva.
Saliva had such a shade because of the betel. It’s a kind of Indian nut, a legitimate drug for the poor. It causes profuse salivation and a slight narcotic effect, many who chew it, are gradually addicted to it. The gum and teeth become orange-red, the whites of the eyes turn pink and turbid, then the teeth start to fall, and their eyes gradually begin to lose vision. Every second taxi driver in India chews or intakes already powdered form of this cheap potion, so as to not to fall asleep behind the wheels. In fact, the effect of it was akin to intoxication, so Alyona was wary of such drivers.
Luckily she soon stumbled upon a rickshaw stand: 14 kilometers along a noisy, dusty, loud, gassy, smoke-filled metropolis for someone, probably, would be very interesting. It scares some, and fascinate and attract others, but certainly leaves no one indifferent. This creates an effect of an exploding cultural bomb, the effect of a complete immersion in the very essence of the country, in its life and realities.
Upon arrival at the international airport, Alyona paid by the meter, out of her last remaining hundreds – 84 rupees. In Goa for such a trip, she would have paid a minimum of 500 rupees. Here, although it’s the second capital, but still not Goa, so the prices are different, more humane, but this applies only to taxis.
At the counter it suddenly became clear that the Brussels Airlines’ ticket allows you to carry only one luggage with no more than 23 kg. Alyona began to panic, definitely, this was not her day. But what to do now? How to pack the travel bag with things necessary for her such as: brushes, stands, palettes…? It won’t just fit in an already jam-packed suitcase. Here the panic gave way to the already gone tears, and Alyona got hysterical again. The girl left the queue, trying to gather her thoughts and understanding that the issue somehow needed to be resolved.
The solution was as usual banal with no place for any novelty, resulting in the sum of 7100 rupees for the second luggage. She was forced to change money at the ugly rate.
Hardly managing to stand, she paid, and finally, getting rid of unbearably tiring suitcases, she got two tickets at once: Mumbai – Brussels and Brussels-Moscow.
Sitting on the last row with double seats in front of the toilet, the girl cringed under the blanket. She was feverish from the extreme bitter cold of her native land and from the thoughts about her future destiny. The stress suffered over these weeks and from the events of the previous day, took its toll. The girl spent the whole flight half-asleep, half-delirious. It was dark in the porthole. All the way it seemed to her that Abu was so close, that he was hugging her and singing a lullaby, comforting her that even nine hours passed like one. Abu came to her dreams, talked to her, joked, smiled, she broke away from this wishful dream to refuse the food offered on the flight, to cry a little and to again fall into the sweet oblivion, where her man was – so alive, so close and cheerful.
Finally, the plane landed in Brussels. The frosty air forced the lungs to exhale the steam – a long-forgotten and unpleasant feeling for her, along with an instant allergy to the cold, it made all her essence shudder from the fingertips to the very top. As if a thousand frosty needles pierced her whole body at once, causing her shoulders to jerk convulsively.
A hours later, after accelerating, the plane took off from the land of a calm sleepy Belgium. In the porthole the dawn was already peeping, and one could see huge electric windmills, green grass interspersed with monograms on the road. The sun, appearing from behind the horizon, heartily blinded through the porthole, but warmed-it did not. The senior pilot announced not a happy news: in Moscow it was minus seventeen. After two hours of flight crystals of snowflakes appeared on the window’s panes. They sparkled beautifully, like white stars against the blue sky, and the sun lit them up like a theatrical ramp. They were so beautiful, even tender, but so cold. At that moment Alyona thought that not in vain, apparently, Schopenhauer had said:
“Of all the worlds available, the world, which we live in, is the worst”.
And that it was not for nothing that he was called a pessimist. Probably, he suffered in this life too.
На этой странице вы можете прочитать онлайн книгу «Abu. To Be Who You Are», автора A. Manvayler. Данная книга имеет возрастное ограничение 16+, относится к жанру «Современная русская литература».. Книга «Abu. To Be Who You Are» была издана в 2019 году. Приятного чтения!