Love in the time of class struggle, insurrection, starvation and after.
Her name was Kansaitova Bazargul and she was born in Kyzyl Orda, Kazakhstan, in the autumn of 1916. Bazargul was oldest daughter of Kansait, who was wealthy bolys (general judge) at that time. Kansait had more than three wives, and Bazargul was the daughter of first wife, thus she was favorite child of her father.
It was a custom when children of wealthy men were born, parents “match made” them with each other since they were born. By this tradition, when Bazargul was born she was asked in marriage to Musakhanov Zulukhbar, the son of bay (mayor of the place), Kansait’s best friend.
Bazargul was rich and wore golden and silver perforated coins on her hair, and if she liked someone she used to take out one coin from her hair and give it to the person she liked. Bazargul was always surrounded by many girls. Most of them were children of servants from the house of Kansait.
Bazargul never treated her girlfriends as servant’s children. On the contrary she had given them her clothes, her jewelries, had offered them to seat on the horses from her herd and they had ridden to the neighbor aul (village) for oyin sauyq (game-party for youth, to find their couple).
Oyin Sauyq includes many games and arrangements such as:
Altybakhan (swings) - in the moony night nearby village there are swings installed- altybakhan. This place is for youth, who come there in the evening to sing songs and make merry. Young man and young woman as a couple are swinging on the altynbakhan by turn, and others are singing popular songs, telling jokes and invigorating the couple on the swing, with mischievous remarks;
Kyz quu («run down a girl" game) - The rules of the game are a young man and a girl mount on their horses and the girl begin to ride full speed away from the young man and he has to catch her up. They ride either for a limited time or on a limited area. If the young man don't catch the girl he will lose the game, and she (girl) has to thong him with the whip (but without force). And if the young man catch the girl he will have right to kiss her. It's a very merry game. The players must be able to ride well at a high speed;
Kokpar game - Several fellows on their horses take away the killed sheep or the male-goat from each other. That boy, who takes away the sheep from the others, has to ride away from them. The competition goes on the definite distance. Kokpar is the examination for boldness, endurance and riding skill. Also it is important to ride on a good horse in the game;
Aytis (the oral tournament) - Any two people (man or woman), who can sing and play dombra (Kazakh national musical instrument) well sit down near each other and begin to improvise- to make fun of each other, and people listen to them and laugh. If the singers are tired, the public value whose jokes were the best. The winner gets price;
And many other games…
In one of those game-parties, that was when Nizamiddin has seen Bazargul first time and fell in love with her.
Kalkulov Nizamiddin was one of the sons of mullah. His family was financially poor, and all he has got from his parents was education. Nizamiddin knew several languages and was smart in exact science. He had more than seven brothers and sisters, and lost his mother when he was young.
Nizamiddin’s friends, who were also from poor families, confessed later that they were going to the parties to see Bazargul, and to have a chance to get one of her golden or silver coins.
The years passed by. Bazargul became 16 year-old. At that time the daughters from wealthy families were educated privately in a small group, separately from others. Bazargul and other wealthy girls were taught Latin by Nizamiddin, who was 21 year-old that time. All students fell in love with him and so did Bazargul, because he was smart and handsome.
Nizamiddin began to make court to Bazargul. He used to translate A. Pushkin’s “Onegin’s letter to Tatyana” into Kazakh language and write them to Bazargul as his own. Bazargul wasn’t educated much, for at that time wealthy children, especially girls, were not interested in education, so she believed that letters were made up and written by Nizamiddin himself.
However he couldn’t see her to her house, because she was always surrounded by girl-court. And they both knew that their relationship was forbidden. So he kept writing her love-letters, and she could do nothing just let him to make court to her smoothly.
One year later, in 1933, when Nizameddin became 22, he came to Bazargul and proposed her to run away with him. Bride kidnapping was quite popular at that time. He explained to Bazargul, who was 17 year-old, that even if he would come to her parents and ask her in marriage, her parents will anyway be against and if she would agree to kidnapping, her parents could do nothing, because at that time it was huge disgrace for a girl to come back to the parent’s house. So Bazargul agreed.
First, when she just entered Nizamiddin’s house, she wanted to go back home. His living conditions were very poor. There were no conveniences at all. But she stayed, for she loved Nizameddin.
Kansait, when he found out, that his most-loved daughter had run away with poor man, got angry, and refused to give his benediction. He even verbally refused from his parental rights towards Bazargul, because she broke the custom of “match making” and it created problem with Kansait’s best friend Musakhan, whose son should have become Bazargul’s husband. Musakhan took Bazargul’s escape as the point against his honor. Since then Musakhan’s and Kansait’s families became enemies.
First year in marriage was very difficult for Bazargul. For she was from wealthy family, she couldn’t neither cook, nor look after house, so she couldn’t welcome guests properly, and it created many domestic problems. The child she gave birth passed away soon after the birth. All this problems created difficulties in a relationship between Bazargul and Nizamiddin. They suffered, then argued, but after some time made up, for they loved each other.
Nevertheless insurrection came to Kyzyl Orda. Repression has begun. Bazargul’s father Kansait was imprisoned for the kulaks. All his riches were confiscated and distributed among collectivization such as kolkhoz and sovzhoz. All his family became poor and was destitute. There were no the rich and the poor anymore. All should have been equal. Mass starvation had begun.
In the time of collectivization, Nizameddin, for his strengths in mathematics, became first accountant general and then chairman of kolkhoz. He always had food in his house. Nizameddin took all Kansait’s family to his house and maintained them, by giving food and place to live.
However it was difficult, because Zulukhbar, Bazargul’s first fiancé, Musakhan’s son, became First Komsomol Secretary and his goal was to do away all Kansait’s descendants. Although Zulukhbar’s father was wealthy too, which meant he was the kulak as well, he always disputed against Kansait’s family, by telling they were the kulaks, that’s why they should leave the country.
So Nizameddin’s family with Bazargul and all Kansait’s descendants were moved to Uzbekistan.
Years went by. All the children, Bazargul gave birth had passed away either before getting born, or soon after. People around said it was because she hadn’t got her father’s benediction.
Both Bazargul’s and Nizameddin’s families were from the clan of aq suyek (white bone), named Qozha (bearers of religion - Islam. Closed, hereditary privileged clan of individuals, impenetrable from outside for the strength of its origin, with class isolation and large concernment in social relations structure). One of their faith customs was handing down bata (benediction). Bata was passed from male to male.
That time Kansait had probation, he worked as night watchman in one of shops.
One day a group of young man broke into the shop. Next day Kansait showed who was that robbers. Those robber’s friends took Kansait to the steppe, and wanted to kill, but Kansait told them, that he hadn’t passed his bata yet, so he couldn’t die before he would hand it down. So he offered to the young men to blind him, for his witness attestation, rather than kill him.
After probation, Kansait, old and blind, came to Uzbekistan, still angry towards his daughter, Bazargul. One of his wives, who stayed alive, told him:
“If there weren’t Nizameddin, all your descendants would’ve been dead, because of mass starvation. Whiles Bazargul’s children keep pass away. Give your benediction to her.”
Next day Kansait asked Bazargul and Nizameddin to empty their bedroom for him. All night long he prayed there, giving his benediction to the couple.
That was the first time when such kind of bata was given from male to female.
In 1937 in the family of Bazargul and Nizameddin baby girl was born, they named her Zainlarab. After that Bazargul gave a birth to six children. All seven of them had survived.
In 1962, when Bazargul was 46 year-old, she began to ache, and couldn’t live with her husband anymore. She didn’t want to get divorce, for she wanted her husband were beside with his children, her youngest daughter was just three years old, and still needed to be looked after. So Bazargul went to her distant relative Rumash, who was 33, to ask her to marry Nizameddin.
Rumash was the only child of her mother. Her mother had passed away when Rumash was a child, so her father got married second time. However Rumash’s step-mother hadn’t look after her, and treated her badly. So when she was 14, her uncle, decided that it would be better if she would get married and live in other place, far away from her step-mother.
After 15 years of marriage, having problem with getting pregnant, Rumash decided to get divorce. Before getting divorce, she found another wife for her husband, got them married and went back home, where Bazargul have found her.
Bazargul implored for Rumash to get marry to Nizameddin. She said she would pray for Rumash to have children, and if she couldn’t, she said she would give her younger children a five-year-old boy and three-year-old-girl to Rumash, so she could treat them as her own children. And Rumash agreed.
Nizameddin and Rumash got married, and Bazargul asked her children to treat Rumash as their second mother. It was easy for two younger ones, because Rumash was kind with them.
Nizameddin and his new wife moved to another village. After some time Rumash gave a birth to a girl and later to a boy. Both of them have called Bazargul – big mama.
This story was told by children of Bazargul and Rumash herself.