Nerses Boztaş

Clouds of dust licking longitudinally all the suburb, Sasuntsi women veiled, handling water copper buckets and spreading out their inlaid rugs on the street, settled down to gabble in a language frazzled. “Ahçig,Anunıt inçi? “ Makruhi Can, Makruhi.” Yells of Methuselah’s swearing, swearing blue streak, damning, sarcastic melodically covered grayish air and  Virgin Mary church’s bell clanging. Patriarch wormy Ohan, in the middle of the smarmy vartabets crowd, hymning Hayrmer liturgy in abundant woe, enraged as much as gulping, the whole congregation started to weep. İnçu honeng? “Why are we here? Why? But the railway had never stunk of joy and happiness. How can ironpigs bring along serenity? Contrarily they talked about Jerusalem, beauty terrenels, flowers, fig and apple trees…” passed from mind to mind. Just then, in front of gate, a scraggly boy, swarthy and black-haired, appeared. He rushed up flustered. Stumbling up and down in each bend of serpentine, stony streets of the historic peninsula, he exhaled in Hoopedstone. In front of him, there was an old, white-facade building which was never lacking in internal uproar. The old foreman was dressing down the novice apprentice. Even micro-stains remaining on the window being overlooked while cleaning up was a sufficient cause for beating.  Varbet-tradition, contradictorily demanding subsistence of us, was a just part of exiguity. When he ascended to the fourth flat, he saw senile Arto pissing by the window, mad Zınzalyan busy stuffing patties with cheese filling, and bald Aram yelling to Arto. On the bench, plenty of Ganyan bulletins creased by nervous hands were piled. İt was evident that Arto had lost his 44th horse-racing bet, dooming again. Because bequeathed fortune undoubtedly  goes into horse racing; now he doesn’t even have a common lavatory. Bald Aram, when he noticed the little boy, rumbled like a whale, “Zso, Jamı kaniye kides?” “Kide kidee kidem varbet pays, pays.” Bald Aram got nervous. ”Pays inç, pays inç, gentani.” The boy’s was saucer-eyed, his lips twitching in fright. “Pays, varbet, şat kalelu der mi ga.” Bald Aram, flaring out, said, “Betkevor zezs çudes, ganuğh bidi cas,” and made him stand on one foot for punishment. Mad Zınzal gave a silly glance, once at the boy and twice at varbet bald Aram. And the boy was thinking. It it worth it for us to go on working, suffering here? And what to say for Garabet, Hagop, Mıgır? Education will hit us? Witnessing a sargavag, elder man Zınzalyan, now he is busy being parasitic. He cares, no? Arto? Thousandfold endeavoring though his fortune has been lost? But has he been lost? Or bald Aram,a  foreman creating global diffusion of jewellery. But on the other hand, he is quite realistic. He tortures me. When I expressed to my family that I can’t understand human behavior, they disdained me as a child. But a child growing up becomes a more childy child. Childhood in Sandgate is adulthood. An adulthood is childhood part one.” With a sudden seizure he fell in a heap in front of everyone’s eyes.

Armenian glossary

Sasuntsi women:The women of Sason

Ahçig,anunıt inçi? “Makruhi Can,Makruhi”: the refrain of a folk song named “Makruhi can,” meaning “girl what’s your name, Makruhi Can, Makruhi?”

vartabet: a priest in the Armenian church

Hayrmer: a liturgy meaning “our mother”

Varbet-tradition: mentor system

Zso, jamı kaniye kidess?: Hey you, what time is it, do you know?

“Kide, kidee, kidem varbet pays,pays”: I know, know my master, but…”

Pays, varbet, şat kalelu der mi ga: “But my master, it’s a long way to walk.”

sargavag: deacon

Betkevor zezs çudes, ganugh bidi cas: In order not to be beaten, come earlier!