The Picture of Dawn
Writer: Mekhri Abdurakhmonova
Translator: Khafiza Mukhtorova
“An exhibition of paintings by the talented artist has opened at the Spirituality Center. The exhibition lasts for a week. The artist was born and raised in our region.
Group leaders, take the students in your group and go to watch the exhibition. You will have a cultural recreation” said the director of our college at a “small meeting” convened during a long break.
I was not given a group. I just control the Young Literary Circle at the college. My health had deteriorated considerably since the depression in my life, I had recovered a bit after a series of treatments, and I had seen a doctor frequently, even though it had been a long time since I had returned to work. Although I didn’t feel comfortable in those days, I intended to go to this exhibition. Because as much as I loved literature, the fine arts were also very close to my heart. If only I was happy looking at the pictures…
When I was a student, we went on a bus trip to the capital under the guidance of our teachers, they took us to the Art Museum. I was so fascinated by the pictures that I didn’t even notice at first that the strangers around us were smiling at us, not at the pictures. At that time, the smiling eyes on our satin dresses, our braided hair, and our Iraqi skullcaps seemed to ridicule us as peasants. Because when we went to the park, we felt miserable (maybe I was the only one who felt this humiliation) when a group of girls dressed in completely European clothes, as we saw in the movies, looked at us mockingly and then turned their lips walking around. The city was full of people, but they stared at us only.
Years later, my mind was distracted by the memories of the past until I went to the spiritual center where the exhibition was on display.
The showroom was more crowded with student youth than older people. The girls, dressed in white blouses, with adras necklaces and ties around their necks, and Iraqi skullcaps on their heads that I was very envious. Thankfully, the thought that the free winds of Independence gave back our national values along with freedom came to my mind. Our national costumes have become a tradition again in our big cities.
I entered the center with great interest, and at the first moment I was disappointed. Portraits with human emotions on their faces, paintings of real creations depicting beautiful landscapes, pictures made in the direction of abstractionism for a heartbroken man who wanted to forget the worries of the world a little… I came in vain…
Why can’t twenty-first century artists create immortal works like the great Renaissance artists Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and my favorite Rembrandt paintings or Behzad’s miniatures. The heroes in the mix of Light and Shadows in Rembrandt’s paintings always excite me. I feel as if his pain is in harmony with mine… Van Gogh’s works, which are considered to be a great artist, for some reason are so simple and nonsense – they seem to be drawn just for fun. It is said that the lyrical mood prevails in his works. Maybe the power of my memory is too weak for me to understand it…
I came, and I began to walk around the exhibition in frustration, thinking that I would go around a little more. Different glances are felt between the different geometric shapes, just as in the works of the modern style in literature, the abstraction seems to show these images in a mysterious way. I thought so sarcastically. And suddenly the picture with the caption “The picture of dawn” caught my attention. Not only did it attract me, but it suddenly shook my consciousness like lightning.
Two drops of bloody tears clung to her cheeks from the sad eyes of a beautiful girl with her red dress fluttering in the wind and her flaming hair spreading like tongues of flame on a hill whose grass is yellowed by the cancer sun … The most amazing thing is that the sky was so close to her head. A dagger in the hands raised above the girl’s head, stabbed to the sky. While the dagger is being stabbed, the sky is glistening with a mixture of blue and green colors without paying attention. The red dress and red hair of the girl that stabbed the dagger, reflected across the horizon, indicating that the victim was herself. What is this? Is it the fate of a weak woman who rebelled against her destiny and was eventually lost?
Below, in the lush green field, among the countless stones reminiscent of sheep, a boy with white flowers growing from his chest is staring in amazement at the white flowers…
The green field, the yellow hill, the motionless sheep as a stone, the shepherd boy and the bloody dawn… If the image of nature reminds me of my childhood, the woman who became the dawn is as if I was…
My pain was renewed and I was left with memories again …
Author of the story
Abdurakhmonova Mehri Qudratovna, poetess, writer, winner of the “Shuhrat” medal, head of the Jizzakh regional branch of the Writers’ Union of Uzbekistan.
Translator of the story
Khafiza Mukhtorzoda, a student of JSPU, laureate of the Ilhom Award. The owner of the state scholarship named after Navoi, Uzbekistan.