Thin and deep Oralkhan

This year Oralkhan Bokey could be 70 years old. Author of marvelous landscapes of East Kazakhstan region and Altay mountains dead 20 years ago. And today he is spoken about by those, who loved him, those for whom he is alive as far as they are.


-My brother had writer talent given by God, but there was something he took in the family, – tells Galiya Bokey, young sister of O. Bokey – Our father Bokey terse, despite this he was known as master of the word. Everything he told hit the target. When our mother Kudiya began speaking, we kept silence: she was very wise and fellow-villagers came to her for advise.


There were five children in our family – four sisters and one brother. Nobody could tell our Oralkhan was spoilt. Despite Kazakh traditions – to cherish the only son -our parents did not. Effete one was only me. Not by parents, just by my elder brother and his wife Ayman. We had a great difference in ages, and he hadn’t children in his first marriage, that is why together with his wife they treated me so much. He had already lived and worked in Alma-Aty, but every time he came home he ran with me, that little girl and played tags and blind man’s bluff.


Another celebrities before going to their homeland made a report to current authority, but my brother never did. Once he was arrested on the border post. Young border guards of course didn’t recognize famous writer and he didn’t tell them. He just wrote in his explanatory: let me, Oralkhan Bokey, see my Mom and Dad.


He returned home such way: if the yard was empty, he took puppy, kitten or kid and walked the doors telling «Here I am!».


All student years I lived in his family. I’m not boasting, but I was the most well-dressed girl on library faculty. On his own he liked to dress-up, and the same with me: he filled me up with clothes, brought from different places. He never was wrong with size. I could thank him the only way – study well.


I offended him once. When I after graduation the institute began working in National library, there was rumor, that young specialists will be given flats. Chief with great life experience told me that my brother came to minister to ask it for me. And I came to my brother and told her words about going to minister. He turned pale: «Is place not enough for you in my house, sister? I’ve never asked anybody about anything. How did not you understand this?»


Today there are a lot of rumors about his early death. Actually, it was not accidental. That time he lost many close people – two sisters, mother, father, beloved wife Ayman. Fact that he became a father in his second marriage is good, but he was 45, and it is hard not to sleep at nights in this age. Remember he asked me to come not long before he dead. When I came, the door was open. His wife went, and left son Aykan with him. All night he head heart aches and left the door opened.


Very soon he went to India, where climate was very different from our one, and that trip was fatal. He dead at night between 16th and 17th of May – the reason was massive heart-attack. The previous day the went to Tadj-Makhal. He was asked to go around around the mausoleum, but he stayed inside, surprising how it could me created by man.


Russian writer Anatoliy Kim, the author of famous novels «Belka» and «Otec-Les», was one of the closest friends of Oralkhan Bokey.


Fortune gave me the possibility to meet with such close to me romantic awareness of the world author. Oralkhan could see wonderful details in heavy situations – and this made me close to him. Thanks to him I had a chance to translate and take it as co-creation. Then we became real friends. Every time I came in Kazakhstan I was waiting to see him. Oh, it such a great sorrow – he was young, full of life and creative thoughts… and hi is gone. His death still hurts me a lot.


I first met him in Moscow. Rollan Seysenbayev cake to me with him. I saw asian Apollo then with smart eyes and discreet behavior. I opened before him at once. The fact, that he is not included in the list of Kazakh classic writers, I find unfair. According to my reading experience, he is like Knut Hamsun. They similar in something – the same romantic and tense relationship to life, same beauty in awareness…


Dulat Isabekov in something is obliged in his place in dramaturgy to Oralkan:


-Oralkan was the first to write plays. That time censorship every performance examined meticulously. Seeing Oralkhan running between Communist League of Kazakhstan and Ministry of culture, I often sweated and spared him: what do you find interesting in this dramaturgy, whet there are still waters of the prose.


Finally, we saw the performance «Zherebenok moy» in the theater of Mukhtar Auezov and it was triumph. After a while, magazine «Theatre» published the play. Actor Kuman Tastanbekov and writer himself became the laureates of Communist League’s prize.


When we celebrated his success, Oralkan showed his medal and told: «You see, I overcame difficulties and you told me what for I suffer this hellish torments. You go too!». But I refused: «You are enough, I even won’t close to dramaturgy».  He continued to persuade and I agreed. Once I saw how rector in waiting room of another one rector is waiting for him in long line. And I wrote the play «Priyemnye din rectora», which also get wide fame. It gives an enormous height, doesn’t it? Than I wrote the second and the third one, more and more. «And you were afraid. Now we are two, we will go in turn to the Community League».


Together with Oralkhan we always supported each other. I returned back from Kyrgyzstan in days and had a thought that I want to call him to answer rhetorical question: «Why there is no oil, but their petrol is cheeper, and the same with bread, which they bake of cereal bought from us?»


The mark of our friendship’s sincerity I find in absence of forbidden themes and tabu on critics. Once I offended him greatly: told that in his works there is too much fantasy. His reaction was dangerous – we almost quarreled. The next day he calmed down and told that critic was necessary, but his sister worried about him.


Later I get acquainted with his younger sister Manshuk, we became more than friends – she changed my relation to life and my creation principles. I became more easygoing, may be…


Galiya Shimyrbayeva, Almaty