Burning Khojaly in blood
( the night of 26 February, 1992, the Khojaly genocide)
Though people collect wealth during all their life, but when they are in danger, they think only about to be escaped but not about the wealth. Because life is sweet. It is neither a new discovery nor uprightness that anybody can deny. It is life axiom needing no prove.
She woke up hearing the noise of the neighbors, after listening for a while she heard the shooting in the village. She didn’t remember when she awoke her husband. She can’t remember whether she called him or cried, or which word she said. Maybe she whispered: “ Wake, they are coming! “ She don’t know what she said, now it isn’t necessary to know it. Main thing was that her husband began to help her in dressing the children.
She got up frightfully, and in a hurry dressed her clothes which she used to put near her bed. For four months Khojaly was in blockade. They didn’t have any cartridge for to defend the city. They didn’t have enough food , the fate of the city depended on the people who had no gun even to defend themselves. That was why like other inhabitants of the city, she also was accustomed to put her outdoor clothes near her bed at nights. The neighboring villages were occupied one by one, and it suggested them that it was blameful not to put clothes near bed at nights. Because if the clothes weren’t near them, they would be more anxious. In addition, who could guarantee them that there would be lights at night? Because during the last four months at nights they were in dark, they didn’t have lights every day. The people didn’t think about taking anything from home, or they had wish to do this.
She was so excited that even she didn’t think to take her coat. She knew she was going outside but she didn’t know how long she was going to stay outside.
“Be quick! Put on your boots! “she ordered her elder daughter. She shouted at her daughter, the girl pursed her lips, began to cry, turned her father.
The girl was sleepy, she grew numb. When father woke her, she didn’t want to get up but to sleep. Why did she have to get up if it wasn’t morning? Why did she have to put on her dresses, boots early in the morning? Where did she have to go in the darkness of the midnight? In a sleepy way she was sitting on the floor and was trying to put on her boots.
Mother once more cried:
“Put on your boots yourself!”
Then she turned towards her husband: “ Be quick! If we don’t leave home in time, they will kill us at home! Press this shawl on my back! Let it not be untwist! “
She ordered her husband to shoulder the four- month baby on her back. They didn’t know where they were going , but they knew that firstly they had to go out of the home. They had to join the people of the city. They were thinking only about this, except they thought about nothing.
She grabbed the clothes of the children, kicked the door. Oh, my God, as if the sky broke, through the sky there was falling fire instead of rain or snow. As if the clouds were beating with fire in order to unite the sky and the earth. The rockets went round in the air for a while, glittered in front of them. With their red lights the rockets not only lighted the darkness of the night, but also as if they were spreading the seeds of the death all around. One after the other the cannon-balls burst in the air, then the cannon-balls fell above the city like seven headed dragon . The cannon-balls as if licked the houses with their red flames, embraced the city. That night in Khojaly nobody could answer the question about why all the events happened. All the people , those who were in Khojaly at that time and those who watched from far knew only one thing: Khojaly was burning in the blood!
The four- month baby whom mother had shouldered on her back was crying, maybe in this way the baby wanted to direct the attention of her parents. But at that moment nobody paid attention the baby’s crying. The parents thought that their duty was to shoulder the baby on mother’s back, now they had to be escaped. The elder daughter was eight years old, the second one was seven, the younger daughter was just four years old. They dressed with the help of their father and with the help of their experience they could. They were near their parents. The main thing was that they had put on their coats and they had caps with ear-flaps. It guaranteed that the children wouldn’t frozen in the frost.
The shooting was heard not from the end of the city, but near them. Around the home the shooting could be heard. The people were calling for help. They were shouting. The noise of the people and the noise of the shooting mixed each other. The noises were not harmonious, they frightened the people. In the darkness somebody was calling mother or child, somebody was shouting or etc. But soon the voices of the people lost in the whiz of the shooting. The bullets firstly killed the voices of the people, then their bodies.
At times somebody was lost in the grip of the red flames following the voice that melt in the darkness. Or somebody was trying to find their dear children in the darkness, that was why they opened a new path on the snow that began to fall since the night. But it was impossible to find anybody in the darkness. As if the sky broke and was falling on the earth, in such a moment the people again made efforts for to find their dear children or parents whom they lost in the darkness. A child was calling her mother for help, a mother was calling her lost baby. Till that time nobody in the world had heard such noise. Who knows maybe the danger has its own language, its own voice. In ordinary days the nature hides these voices and languages. And the strangeness of the night was that everybody wanted to take her relatives, children or parents and to move off from the city. Nobody wanted to leave their children or relatives in the danger.
Who says that the last day of Pompei was over? But the history stages one play twice. First as a tragedy, then as a comedy. But the play with the theme of the uniting of the sky and the earth was staged for the second time, but in both of the plays the heroes of the play played the tragic roles. The space was another, time was another. In the first time the event was created by the furious nature, but for the second time the producer of the event was Arthur who was born as wild, he was the grandson of one-eared Andranik. When the Armenians pretended to occupy Qarabagh, Arthur gave up studying at Cinema Institute in Moscow, came to his home in Khankendi. He demonstrated his courage in driving out the people from Erevan. At that time he occupied one big house and moved his family there. First his father Ashot got angry why he gave up studying at the Institute. Ashot was shoemaker. Arthur made his father understand that the life was a stage in itself. The difference was that at the theatre the actors recite the words of others, but in life you write the scenario, how you want! Then Arthur asked his father not to worry. He said to his father that he would demonstrate so performance in Khankendi that even his teachers who taught him the secrets of being an actor would surprise, and would give him the Diploma of the Institute.
Ashot admired at the courage of his son. His mother, tears in her eyes, came near her son, embraced Arthur, kissed her forehead.
“I shall make invalid the people whom you once made shoes. I shall break their legs, let them be invalid.”
Then they began to laugh together. Mother said:
‘My dear Arthur, it would be good if I did this .”
“Father, now they won’t ask you to make them shoes anymore! “
…Four years had passed since that time. As if the laughter of them was soaked on the walls of the home and reflected at home. Ashot wasn’t making shoes. He gave up making shoes. Most of the Armenians were shoemakers or tailors in Erevan. When the people were sent to exile from the region of Goyche by the Armenians, they didn’t have work. Now on the fingers of Ashot didn’t rub sore. Because he didn’t use thimble. Not only the corns of his fingers were lost, Arthur forgot the direction of their home which was near Blue Mosque. He had forgotten the direction of the home. Arthur couldn’t fulfill the two tasks in one time- either he had remain in his native home or had to reach his purpose. As he said to himself if he wasn’t, the tragic “ performances” in the villages of Qarabagh wouldn’t be so dramatic. At times he sent some expensive things to home, wrote a letter: “ Father, don’t worry, our army goes forward fighting. “ His letter was always short. Whatever he invaded used to send to his parents. When Ashot received all the things that his son sent him, he said:” Oh, thanks God, at last my son began to earn.” Saying thus he breathed freely. For the last time when the village of Malibeyli was freed from the Turkish people, in a lorry he sent a lot of sheep, lambs to his father. The animals were brought by Shagen Barsegyan and Armo Abramyan . Arthur’s father talked with them too much. Arthur’s mother Amina said as if reproaching his son: “ I wonder, my son knows that we don’t eat the mutton, why he sent us too many sheep. For about forty years I lived in the same yard with them. ( she meant Turks while saying “them”) but I never ate the mutton. Even when my neighbors gave us mutton, I threw it to cats or dogs.”
The driver Armo Abramyan was unloading the animals from the lorry, when he heard the words of Amina, he said:
“Eh, aunt Amina, now Arthur even can’t think what he does. How can he remember you like mutton or not. “
“Why, my son?” Amina raised her voice.
“Now he is thinking about how to kill the Turks.”
“Ask him at times visit us,” mother said anxiously.
“He has no time! “
“Ask him when he has time let visit us! “Ashot said.
“Do you know what you are saying? He can’t find a time to shave his face. If you see him you can’t recognize your son” saying thus Armo shouted with laughter. Shagen joined him, they began to laugh, he also affirmed Armo’s words.
‘Why doesn’t he shave his face? By the way, my son, why are you so bearded” Amina asked Shagen.
“ All of us took an oath. We shall shave our faces after we free Qarabagh. Only then we shall live freely. Now nobody calls Arthur with his name. Everybody calls him Bearded Angel. He likes this name. He says that he is Angel described in the epos of “Ruslan and Lyudmila. ”
Shagen was laughing while speaking.
“ If there wasn’t Arthur now all of us would be dead.” Armo said, then he asked:
“Uncle Ashot, do you know what is the difference between Arthur and the Death Angel in the epos?”
Ashot began to listen more attentively for to hear the good features of his son.
“In the epos whoever the Death Angel kills, Ruslan awakens them. But the people whom are perished by Arhur never return to life. “ Ha….Ha….Ha…
He repeated the word of “ Bearded Angel” for many times.
He used the word “ perish”. They often used this word. For them they didn’t kill the Turks, but they perished them.
Mother Amina was a bit anxious when his son’s friend Shagen said that Arhur lost his mind. But she didn’t want the others feel what she thought. She thought that if she told her husband Ashot about her anxiety, he would worry. She also thought that these words were said by a young boy. In this way she calmed herself.
Oh! Mother’s heart! Mothers are so sensitive. They are worried by any word said untimely. They grieve in their hearts , in order to solve the problems of their children they spent that grief.
Shagen and Armo were speaking about the courage of Arthur. At times they were boasting with their friend. These boys as if were in sweat. Their clothes were too dirty. Sagen was busy with scratching his beard. Seeing this Amina said:
“My sons, water is hot in the bathroom. Go and have a bath! Rest for some hours, then continue your way. You seem tired. “
But both of the boys objected to Amina’s words.
“After some time we must leave. We must visit other places. Till evening we must finish all our tasks, then we must return.”
“Why are you in a hurry? What is the reason? “ Ashot asked them to have a rest.
“We are preparing for a big operation. That is why the Armenians who live abroad brought assistance to Erevan. They are placing all what they brought. We must carry all of them to Qarabagh.“
As soon as Shagen finished his words, Armo began to explain:
“Even Vazgen Sisiyan came to Yerevan.“
“Vasgen? “Ashot asked.
There is no Armenian who doesn’t know Vazgen. The president of Armenia, Robert Kocheryan awarded him with the title of “ The hero of Qarabagh war” for his assistance in the war.
Ashot thought that if Arthur’s friends carry out something connected with Vazgen it means that the problem is serious.
“We must carry the military supplies to the stuff with Vazgen himself. Qrant Markaryan, the chief of” Dro”, Abu Ali from Beirut, and Hilbert Minasyan also have come. Soon we must go to the hotel where they are, and together with the special group of observes we must be in Khankendi. “
When two Armenian fighters spoke, Amina and Ashot understood that they had to go, it wasn’t time to make them rest for a while. Ashot changed the subject of the talk, brought something new to the talk:
“My son, from where did you bring these sheep? “
“Uncle Ashot, we brought the sheep from the village of Malibeyli. “
“Malibeyli? “ Ashot was surprised hearing the word of “ Malibeyli? Even he raised his voice while pronouncing Malibeyli.
-“We occupied Malibeyli! “ Shagen said.
“I know those places very well. It is near Khojaly, near Khojavend. On the bank of Karkijahan. Not far from the way of Shusha.“
“Well, my uncle, you are right!”
“I had a close friend there.“
Amina was silent, but now she asked:
“Whom do you mean?“
“I mean Rustem…”
“Well, well! I remember. “ She affirmed her husband’s words smilingly. “How can we forget him? We were like the members of one family. It isn’t a joke. We are their kirve. Rustem’s son sat on the knee of Ashot. I had brought khoncha in the ceremony. I also gifted a gold bracelet to Rustem’s wife. It was a real, pure Russian gold.“ Amina began to describe the gold bracelet. “ When taking gifts to close friend being a kirve it is necessary to take pure gold.. They open the khoncha among the people. If we brought cheap gold what would the people say
Amina was speaking proudly about the khoncha.
“Together with Ashot I drank too much mulberry vodka.” Ashot said. Then he began to speak about the friendship between the Azerbaijani and the Armenians, about the reality of being kirve. He tried these young boys understand to be devoted to the bread eaten together with friends.
“My son, we ate with them bread at the table! If somebody wasn’t devoted to the friend together with he ate bread, the people called them mean, ignoble. Nobody could believe to such kind of people. We were so close friends. We always went to their homes as guests. I remember, Ruustem had a sister in Khojaly.“ Ashot began to think over the name of Rustem’s sister. “What was her name? She was very kind woman.”
No sooner had Ashot found her name Amina said:
“Oh, I found her name. Her name was Sariyya.”
“Yes, you are right, “ Ashot answered.
“Once I visited them together with Rustam.”
“We went to them when Sariyya’s husband died.”
“Well, I remember, you are right, we went to mourning ceremony.”
“You went only once,“ Ashot said to his wife.- “But together with Rustam I went them too much. He always helped his sister. His sister’s husband died when he was young. Sariyya didn’t marry anymore she kept her two children.“
“They also came us. Both to weddings and mourning ceremonies.“
Ashot spoke too much about how they were close friends with Rustam.
“In the garden of Sariyya there was a mulberry tree. Oh, how good was mulberry. Once I took a branch of that tree, wanted to plant in my garden, but it didn’t grow in my garden.” Ashot said. Then he added: “My son, to be kirve is like to be brother. We always took part in their ceremonies, weddings or etc. We were always close to each other. Let those who began the war be dead, we lived in peace.”
“Oh, uncle Ashot, still you think as before? Why do you speak too much about your friendship? Now there are nobody. How much you speak about Rustam.”
Ashot turned over the pages of his last life spent with Rustam. He looked at the face of Shagen with surprise who said a moment ago that then there were not any people in those places. Ashot was staring at Shagen’s face. As if he was lost in thoughts. He was astonished as numb. Since the day he didn’t see Rustam as if he was frozen. Then Ashot looked at the sheep near the stable. Though the sheep were in the yard for about two hours, they didn’t move anywhere. The sheep didn’t go towards the pigs.
Amina went towards the sheep. She said:
“We haven’t enough feed to give the sheep. Let’s cut all of them, fry their meat and fill into the jug. It will be good in winter.“
When she said her last words her eyes were shining. It wasn’t a joke. Her son earned and sent them earnings.
How the mother looked like her son in solving the fate… Her son solved the fate of the people of the village of Malibeyli and her mother Amina solved the fates of the sheep brought from the village!
Voices mixed with the voices, people mixed with people. The people who were born in this city , were not able to find the way leading to the main road. The voice of the shooting made the voices of people be lost in the darkness. The barking of the dogs, neighs of the horses, the bellow of calves, the bleating of lambs were heard in the darkness. There was heard only one voice- hooting.
Mother put her first step on the first stairs of the home, her husband and little girls were following her. Though the home was dark, but it was light outside. As if the sun feared from the bombing and had come earlier than usual. The girls were afraid outside, they took the hands of their father. The dog Alabash began to bark, then the dog began to howl as jackals. It was chained in front of the small building near the home. Hearing the voice of the dog the girls feared much. Mother went down the stairs not paying attention to anything. Soon she would reach to the main road if she went so quickly. But suddenly she fell on the earth. She could cry loudly while falling on the earth. It became clear that she didn’t fall herself, but the bullets made her fall all of a sudden. The bullets had drilled her head, she embraced the cold snow on the earth. The blood through her drilled head was running on the white snow, and the snow was melting under the blood. As if the snow was bending in front of the young mother.
The woman’s voice wheezed and soon her voice wasn’t heard. Her feet stirred for a while. Then she became as if was frozen. The rope of her fate was cut by the bearded Armenian Angel who had seen before that she hadn’t gun in her hand. The clothes of her children that she had taken while leaving the home, were spread on the snow. The bearded Armenian had stood behind the mulberry tree.
“Stop! Don’t walk! “ he shouted pressing his gun against his breast. Holding his gun he began to give orders. They stopped. Now only one creature didn’t obey the armed Armenian death Angel. It was four- month child. Still she couldn’t understand the meaning of the words. The world of her mother was limited with the native city, but the world of this child was her mother who passed away on the white snow without saying good bye to her native children. The child was still on the back of the mother, though the dead body was hot, feeling that she didn’t stir the child began to cry.
The second girl ran towards her mother crying loudly.
“Stop! Stop!” The Armenian insisted in stopping of the little girl.
The girl wanted to help her mother to stand up, that was why she didn’t obey the Armenian death Angel. But as soon as she reached her mother the bullets reached her. She stumbled and fell on the snow. The poor girl was half dead, then she fell on the earth like a picked up fine flower. One of her hands were stretched out towards her mother.
The two girls didn’t walk, as if they were waiting for the new order of the Armenian death Angel. Just at that moment their grandmother Sariyya came running . She came to help her daughter’s family to go to the main road. Seeing that the armed Armenians had come before her, she frightened. When she saw that her daughter and granddaughter were floundering in blood on the snow, she didn’t stop. She didn’t obey the Armenian death angel. She raised both of her hands, showed that she didn’t have any gun in hand, began to come towards her daughter. From one side her daughter was dead, from other side her granddaughter was crying loudly, calling for help, she couldn’t stand. Neither she saw the armed Armenian nor she was afraid of the bullets. Wasn’t she afraid of the death? Maybe she didn’t want her granddaughter consider her weak, that was why she was walking forward.
She untied the shawl that was on the back of her dead daughter, she took the baby, tied the shawl to her back. But it was impossible to go forward, even it was impossible to crawl forward. The Armenians who had hidden themselves behind the mulberry tree, began to go forward after seeing they didn’t have guns. Two of the Armenians came up towards the father of the girls, seized his arms. The girl also came with their father. First, the Armenian kicked the little girl, who was four years old, then kicked the older daughter.
“Be off!“ Armo Abramyan shouted at the girls. With the bolt of his rifle he struck the girl.
The girl fell on the snow, half of her body was inside of the snow. Grandmother made efforts to help the girl. As soon as the grandmother reached her granddaughter, the other Armenian Andranik Arutunyan shot at her.
“Take, this is your portion,” gifted her with “ the fruit” of his submachine gun.
‘Oh, my father. Don’t let them…”
The girl cried on the top of her voice, and held both of her feet.
“All of you will perish! You will perish as dogs! Hi, Turkish dogs! “
Just at that moment the father of the girls could ran from the hands of the Armenians, struck the arms of the Armenians. The second bullet hit the window of the home, the glass broke into pieces. Grandmother could embrace her granddaughter. She brought the girl near the dog house. She looked at her wounds. The bullet had been shot at her ankle, had drilled her ankle. Grandmother took her head kerchief and pressed her feet, for her blood not to be over.
The Armenians brought Farhad, the father of the girls, near the mulberry tree. They tied him to the tree with the rope. Not speaking much they made condition of the freedom:
“If you say that Qarabagh belongs to the Armenians we shan’t kill you! “
Arthur was saying these words. He considered himself much courageous than the others. While speaking he was walking here and there, was laughing. At times he attacked Farhad with the bolt of the rifle. Who knows in this way he was cleaning his rifle which was dirty and black after the shooting.
Farhad said staring at him:
“Never I shall say! “
The bearded Armenian attacked him again.
“Your life depends on only one word!“
The Armenian roared with laughter hearing his word. To laugh among the screams wasn’t the sign of happiness.. There was no need to analyze in laboratory, that he was abnormal. He who creates tragedy not understanding what the tragedy is, at last turns to the hero of his drama.
“Now I shall perish you!“
“I shan’t say!“ Farhad said insisting.
“I shall never say!“ These words as if burst at the ears of the bearded Armenian. The two Armenians who were searching in the yard for a bottle of oil, came at last. Sagen Barsegyan and Andronik Arutunyan came up the mulberry tree.
“Burn the home!”
The children began to cry. They begged the grandmother:
“Granny, don’t let them burn our home. Don’t let them…”
The girls were begging the grandmother holding the hem of her coat.
“Where shall we live?”
The children began to ask the grandmother about the future, they gave questions all what they thought.
The grandmother didn’t want the girls to see the burning of the home, that was why she pressed their heads to her breast.
Children have their own strangeness. They think that the adults are able to do everything, for them the parents are the strongest in the world. But after the children grow, they understand that all the difficult load of the life always was carried by the parents, they didn’t feel the troubles of the life. Because of this reason they think that the parents are the strongest in the world.
The home was burning, because the Armenians had thrown oil on the home. They found the oil in the storehouse near the tandir. (oven made of clay in the earth to cook bread) That was why the home began to flame in a moment. The Armenians were laughing, as if it was holiday for them.
“Well, how are you now? Will you say?“
“No, I shan’t say! Qarabagh is ours!“
“Well, now I know what to do with you. - “The bearded Armenian who was watching the burning home turned, towards the mulberry tree.
“ Your problem has been solved. I know what to do with you! Ha….Ha….Ha…”
He was holding his gun at times towards Farhad and towards the home. As if he was laying on the scene, demonstrating his skills in order to make Farhad to surrender himself.
“Pour the oil on his feet, “ Bearded death Angel ordered Shagen Barsegyan. Shagen brought the bottle of oil, approached Farhad, threw some oil on the feet of Farhad. Then he raised his head, as if he grieved for him, said:
“It isn’t late, you may change your decision! Say that Qarabagh belongs to Armenians!“
No, Qarabagh is ours!“
The bearded took his cigarette lighter, burnt the oiled feet of Farhad.
The elder daughter couldn’t stand to this scene, she ran towards the Armenian, began to beg him:
“Armenian, I beg you, don’t kill my father!“
The Armenian shook his feet for the girl not to seize the hem of his shoulders. But the girl was still begging him.
“Armenian, you killed my mother, you killed my sister, don’t kill my father! With whom shall we live?“
“Be off! Take her! “
The other Armenians dragged the girl to other side. But the girl ran towards Arthur as if there had happened nothing:
“My uncle, don’t kill my father! I beseech you, don’t kill him!“
Arthur turned towards Farhad:
“ Do you hear?“
Farhad said nothing, kept silence.
“Your life depends on only one word. Say that Qarabagh belongs to Armenians. If you say we shall free you, go and keep your orphan.”
When half of Farhad’s feet burnt , the Armenians kicked him, began to throw snow on his burning foot. Though the flame was gone out, but there was pains. At last he began to speak:
“Burn him from feet up to wais-band!“
The Armenian fulfilled what he said. He struck his gun against his belly, ordered the other Armenians. It was already for some years his gun was as if a part of his body.
His companion-in arms were waiting for his instructions. As soon as they heard Arthur’s instructions, they took the match, wanted to burn Farhad.
“Stop!“ Though Arthur had given instructions , he ordered again, wanted to delay to burn him. Maybe for a while he felt himself as human. This time he turned towards groaning Farhad:
“Think over and over! Think, it isn’t late!“
“What had to be said have been said. It is useless! The lands are ours!“
Arthur hinted Vazgen Sisilyan who was waiting for his instructions.
Farhad’s feet were in fire, were flaming. The elder daughter couldn’t watch this scene, she ran towards his father.
“My uncle, don’t burn my father! Don’t kill him! I beseech you, don’t kill him! “ the girl was crying, was begging the Armenian. She had no other way for to do in order her father remain alive.
“Be off! Be off!“ Furious Arthur shouted at the girl, he kicked the girl.
“Go, my daughter, go! Don’t cry!“ Father asked him to go.
“Come near me!“ grandmother Sariyya called her.
The cheeks of the girl were wet with tears. She seized the hem of her grandmother’s dress, burst out sobbing. At that moment another Armenian – Qrant Petrasyan reached to the dead body of the other girl, seeing dead body he kicked it. Then he took out his knife from his pocket. When the events began in Sumqayit he left his home in Beirut came to Khankendi and joined to the group of Arthur. Since the day they began to live in the mountains the knife carried universal feature for him. With the knife he cleaned his gun, cut the meat, cut the bread, and in the cases like this, he crafted the eyes of the dead bodies. His friends used to tell him jokingly: “ Now you have been the specialist in this field. If you are here , there is no need for us to do this task. “
His friends also said to him: “ When the war is over what will you do?“
One of his friends said: “After war you can craft the eyes of the dead animals.”
When Qrant turned the dead body of the girl, he pressed the button of the knife. In a twinkle the sharp end of the knife as if jumped. Then he lowered the knife on the head of the dead body. In a moment he crafted two of her eyes. Grandmother knew beforehand what the Armenian would do. When the neighboring village of Malibeyli was occupied by the Armenians, those who remained alive came to Khojaly, to their relatives. The people of Malibeyli said that the Armenians crafted the eyes of the dead bodies before cutting their heads. That was why grandmother Sariyya closed the eyes of her granddaughters.
“Don’t look at! Don’t look at! “
Grandmother was trembling with stress and nerves. She had given the name to the killed girl herself- Vafa! But she never called her with this name. She always called her as Qaragoz ( Black-eyed) The mother of the girl always said: “Mother, do you know, nobody calls the girl by her name. Everybody calls her Qaragoz.“
Grandmother used to smile and say: “From where could I know that this girl would be soon black eyed . Or I wouldn’t give her the name of Vafa but I would give her the name of Qaragoz. She is my black-eyed granddaughter. She is my star in the sky.”
The elder daughter used to say at this moment: “Granny, I fall out with you! You love her most of us!“
Grandmother used to laugh and kiss the girls one by one, used to say:
“All of you are my dearest!“ She never wanted her granddaughter fall out with her.
As if it wasn’t enough to kill her dearest granddaughter, now they began to pull out her eyes- her black eyes. There were three the black eyes on the snow. Farhad, whose half of body was burnt, said nothing seeing the Armenians pulling out her girl’s eyes. It wasn’t for the first time that he saw such a scene. When he fought in the mountains he had seen such kind of scenes too much.
Shagen turned off the flames of Farhad. Of course, after the order of Arthur. But Arthur’s passion to burn Farhad , wasn’t turned off.
“Hi, Turk, do you hear me? How are you now? Hi, it will be late when you understand! Will you tell?“ he pressed his gun against Farhad’s cheeks, asked him questions. Then he began to advise him: ”You have a chance to live! Tell only one word! Tell Qarabagh belongs to Armenians!“
The Armenian pronounced the word “Armenians“ in special form shouted at him:
“Tell this word! Then I shall free you! Hi, tell me, don’t you want to live? “Then he showed grandmother Sariyya and the two girls near her. As if he was grieving for them, said: ‘ If you die they will die being hungry! “
Arthur wasn’t laughing then, he insisted in Farhad’s saying that word. As if his life depended on one word.
“Qarabah is ours! Qarabagh belongs to Azerbaijani!“
“Burn him!“ this time Arthur pressed his rifle against the throat of Farhad and gave instructions hinting his companion-in arms. He shot an empty bullet into the air. Then as if he was a warlord who plundered wealth in the fight, he began to distribute “ wealth”. “Let the girl be yours!“ he ordered the Armenian who burnt Farhad.
In a hurry he went towards the girl. Arthur went round for a while, then he turned to Andronik Arutunyan who was active in burning the home. He touched the rifle on his breast, said: “Let her be yours!” he meant grandmother Sariyya.
The bearded Armenian who had crafted the eyes of Qaragoz, that is to say, Qrant Petrasyan, shouted:
“But me? Am I not a man?“
“Your portion will be forward. Don’t worry! We must not be late, let’s do with them, then let’s run! “
Andronik Arutunyan came forward, gave instructions:
“Give me the child! “
Grandmother cried them:
“Well, if it is thus both of you will perish together! “
The grandmother went back.
“Don’t you give willingly? Listen to me, none of you will remain alive! “
With his gun Arutunyan struck at the woman. The woman floundered for a while, but she didn’t fall on the earth. She gathered all her strength and seized the dog-house. One of the other Armenians who were near mulberry tree, shot at the dog. The poor dog fell on the snow four of its legs being before it.
As soon as the bearded reached the child pulled her coat. The buttons broke, fell on the snow. The child cried. Together with her the Armenian also cried. The reason why the bearded Armenian cried was the falling of bullets into the yard. As if Armenian was struck by lightning, he fell on the earth. He embraced the dog which he had perished a moment ago. Grandmother put the four years old girl in the dog-house , ran towards the girl who was tired of crying. She took her coat, shook it, dressed the girl:
Those who were near the home were calling: Alif, Alif!
Alif was the commander of military plane. For a long time he was commander in the air troops in Kiev. When the war began in Qarabagh , he returned to motherland, began to live in the street where the mehseti Turks settled. They were driven out from Uzbekistan. His family lived there. But he himself was always in the front of Aghdam. The Armenians hated him. The Armenians ordered he who would kill him would be paid much money. Now as soon as Arthur’s group heard his name they began to ran.
Grandmother took some wool clothes that had fallen on the snow. She gave the clothes to the girl, said to her.:
“Follow me! “
Grandmother went out of the gate, but the girl couldn’t reach her.
Because Arthur’s dead body was in front of the gate. The child was looking at the dead body. Grandmother said:
“Don’t be afraid! Jump over the dead body! “
The child didn’t know what to do, she put her feet on the dead body, went out of the gate. At that moment the girl feared too much.
The baby was on the back of grandmother Sariyya, the wounded girl was in her arms, the elder granddaughter was following her. They joined to the people who came from locality of Hasanliler and Turks. She didn’t look behind. She knew well if she looked back would see nothing good. All what was behind was lifeless. The home was burning, her daughter “s husband was twined round the tree, as if he turned to coal. Near her daughter’s dead body, there was the dead body of the girl whose two eyes had been pulled out. Both of the dead bodies were as cold as the snow.
The girl’s pulled out eyes were on the white snow like the seeds of grape. Now the eyes were like the seeds of fruit. Soon the eyes would mix with the soil. But not now, as soon as spring comes, the snow will melt, at that time her body will mix with the soil. When the snow of Khojaly will melt, they will turn to soil. She couldn’t look at the sky, it was smoky. The snow was falling, the snow fell on the black eyes, covered them. The snow didn’t give her the chance to look at the world that she didn’t understand.
Translated by Sevil Gulten
17 February, 2013