Russia: The Fourth Son

Global Voices Online
Sunday, June 7, 2009

A month or so ago, LJ user voinodel (Russian journalist Vadim Rechkalov) started a second LJ blog (voynodel) and announced (RUS) that he would use it for writing "unhurried posts" there. So far, Rechkalov has posted twice on this new blog. The first text is about the funeral of one of the victims of a Moscow police officer who shot at least three people to death at a Moscow supermarket in April; the second one (RUS) is a sketch about a Chechen family - and here is a translation:

Alaudin and Fatima were only having boys born to them. But they were dreaming of a girl, especially Alaudin. Relatives did not understand Alaudin. He's got three men growing in his house, the relatives would say, and he's dreaming of a girl.

Alaudin and Fatima lived in [Grozny], in Tashkal [area]. In a 5-story building on Zavety Ilyicha Street. When the war began, Alaudin took the family out to [Nazran], then came back to Grozny to watch after the apartment.

At night, Alaudin used to come out on the balcony. He smoked and watched [tracer bullets] fly by. During mortar attacks Alaudin used to lock the apartment and go down to the basement. Once, when he walked outside after the bombing, he saw a woman he didn't know and a baby lying on the ground - she hadn't made it to the basement in time. The baby was alive. Alaudin took the baby home, [and unwrapped the bundle on the kitchen table].

"A boy, again," Alaudin said and started laughing.

This is how Alaudin and Fatima got their fourth son. Alaudin called him Moris, in honor of the horse catcher from his favorite book [Morris Jerald, from The Headless Horseman by Mayne Reid].

Alaudin's relatives don't get it. What kind of name is that - Moris? Should've called him Maerbek instead...

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