Bembya Fedorov, Six Short Stories
MetadataShow full item record
Churyumov, A., & Okonova, A. (2017). Bembya Fedorov, Six Short Stories [Video file]. https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.18266
Story One. About the real Kalmyk man. A man tells a story to his grandson. In the chest of every Kalmyk man burns, he says, a fire on which is boiling a (metaphorical) kettle with water. If you decrease the fire, the boiling water will cool down. A real Kalmyk man always has his ‘kettle’ with water boiling, and he is always ready for action. Such men fall seven times, but stand up eight times to carry on with life. Story Two. About how an old woman prepared her grandson for a married life. An old woman is teaching her grandson: ‘After you marry a girl, tie your wife up with three (metaphorical) bridles. When she gives in to you the first time, take off the first bridle. When she gives in the second, take off another bridle. But never take off the third one so that you could keep her under your control’. All Kalmyk brides are treated like this, including the old woman when she was a young bride. Story Three. About loneliness. A lonely monk lived near a well. One day when he was pulling a bucket of water from the well, a herdsman who was passing by stopped to ask about what it was like to live alone. The monk said to the herdsman, ‘Look at the bottom of the well and tell me what you see there’. The herdsman looked down the well and replied that he saw nothing. After some time when the waves in the water calmed down, the monk asked the herdsman to look at the well again. The herdsman said that he saw only his own reflection. The monk philosophized, ‘When the water in the well has waves, that is what life among people feels like. When the water calms down, it is like living alone. You can see your own reflection and find your true self. Every person has to experience loneliness twice in their lives. Once when you are young in order to think about how to live when you grow old. And then when you are actually old – in order to ponder about the past’. Story Four. About two tengris. Tengris heavenly beings that live in the skies. One day two tengris are having a conversation. One asks the other, ‘Why do you fly up and down all the time?’ The other replies, ‘My duty is to help the mortals. Why do you rest all the time?’ to which the first answers, ‘My duty is to receive thanks from the mortals (for what you did)’. Story Five. About sweet life and cheeky Kalmyks. God created 10 Kalmyk men from clay and gave them duties. The first man looked after sheep, the second after horses, the third after cows, the fourth bred camels, the fifth was a hunter, the six was a fisherman, the seventh was a carpenter, the eighth was a sewer, the ninth was a cook, and the tenth man was a jeweller. After some time, the men come to god to complain that they felt lonely and bored. God gave them clay and said that they could make ten women according to their taste. He also brought a plate with 11 lumps of sugar and told the men to use only 10 and give a lump to each of their women. When all the 11 lumps disappeared, god became angry, ‘Who of you took two lumps?’ As no one replied, god took all the women, mixed them up, and returned them to the men as he wished. Those who liked skinny women received plump ones, those who liked tall women received short women etc. It is said that since then 9 out of 10 men think that other men’s wives are sweeter thinking that one of them must have eaten two lumps of sugar. Only one man out of 10 knows that all women are the same, because it is he who ate the extra sugar. Story Six. About the allusiveness of attaining enlightenment. A young herdsman decides to attain enlightenment and asks a monk how to do it. The monk answers that in order to attain enlightenment he should go home and every evening look into a mirror and ask himself, ‘Who am I?’ The herdsman thinks to himself that it is too easy and decides to consult with another monk. The second monk gives him an advice, ‘It will take a long time for you to attain enlightenment. You need to work for the sake of the community good day and night without any reward’. Since this advice fitted with his idea of attaining enlightenment, the herdsman spent the next five years working for his community by collecting dung (for fuel), doing washing-up and cooking for others. After five years the herdsman asks the monk again, ‘Do you think I am ready now to attain enlightenment?’ to which the monk replies, ‘Go home and ask yourself who you are every evening in front of the mirror’. Puzzled and frustrated, the herdsman says, ‘Five years ago another monk said exactly this to me’. The monk only answers, ‘Yes, that monk was absolutely right. First of all, you need to know who you are before attaining enlightenment’.
legends, stories, loneliness, bride, women, enlightenment, monk
Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.18266