Syedyshev Oleg
Syedyshev Oleg

Humorous Essays Based on students' memories

"All have died
except for those who are alive, and those whom we remember"Confucius

Essay 22. Brothers Romashov

After Yevgeniy had became comfortable at the institute, to be more precise, had studied for two years and had been moved up into the third year, his younger brother, Konstantin, came to Kemerovo. Kostya was about twelve or fifteen years younger than Zhenya. He was also sturdy built, like his elder brother, but Zhenya did not see or did not want to notice that his brother was a mature man. Perhaps, it was because of the elder brother's sense. Zhenya loved Kostya, it was obvious, and at the same time he blew up at him for the slightest fault. It was true though, and Kostya had to be given credit for that, he did not quail before his elder brother. And the story I want to tell you is the following.

Kostya and Zhenya Romashov

Kostya and Zhenya Romashov

It happened so that my parents left for Kirgizia, namely to Frunze, in summer 1968. And the Romashevs had lived in Kirgizia long before the moving of my parents. Zhenya and I did not know that we became fellow-countrymen. As it turned out, Zhenya's parents lived in a settlement at a sugar refinery of a town of Kant, which was twenty kilometers away from Frunze. They lived in a house and had a big garden. So Zhenhya invited me to visit him in Kant in summer when we were on vacations.

I already wrote that I loved Zhenya, he was like an elder brother to me. So, of course, I came to the Romashevs, like we agreed. The meeting was very warm. It was then when Zhenya introduced me to his younger brother Kostya.

And now tell me, please, why the aspiration for freebie is ineradicable in a Russian man? At that time all markets of Frunze were heaped up with watermelons of any kind: local, Uzbek, and from Fergana valley, and from Osh. So there was choice to any liking, and the price was five, maximum ten kopeks a kilo, and in Kant they were even cheaper.

Nevertheless Zhenka offered to go to a collective farm's watermelon field, and I thoughtlessly consented. Well, as the visit was arranged only by us, and the hosting side did not even suspect, that the medical students from Siberia decided to pay a visit to them, it was planned to leave when it grew dark. For the time before night we were chatting and enjoying food. Culinary talents of Kostya and Zhenya's mother were incredible, and she treated us to various delicacies with local flavor.

So it grew dark. "Take the sacks" - Zhenya snapped at Kostya, and we left. It was difficult to say whether it was near or far as we were talking all the way. And there was a watermelon field. We decided to check if the watermelons "from this side of the field" were ripe. Zhenya picked up a watermelon of half a meter in diameter and gracefully by his hand, like by a sward, stroke it on its side. The watermelon fell into two halves. Even at night one could see that it was dark red. It tasted deliciously; it was with sugar granules, sweet and with a slight flavor of herbs. Well, you understand that the watermelons "from this side of the field" were approved by us. The leader among us was, of course, Yevgeniy. I just did not know what to do and how, as I was at the watermelon field for the first time and at night too, and Kostya simply knew his brother and let him lead. Well, we took orders from Zhenya about what kind of watermelons to pick up and moved in different directions. In about ten minutes fifty watermelons were collected in a heap. Zhenya was strictly controlling the process saying that we were even doing "good" for the collective farmers, as when we fill our sacks, there would be many watermelons left, and all of them will be in one heap. It happened exactly that way. We chose watermelons of three - four kilos to fit more of them into the sacks.

So when the sacks were full, Zhenya asked Kostya to give him the lace for the sacks. But Kostya replied in a sense that he was told to take the sacks only, and nothing was said about the lace. He asked me for the confirmation, which I made. Well, poor collective farmers, they did not get the watermelons which were left after our sacks were filled. Zhenka took a watermelon and threw it at Kostya, who deftly dodged. I got my part as well for protecting Kostya. But the situation was extreme: we collected the watermelons, but to carry them in untied sacks was risky. I do not know how it happened, but right in the field we managed to find a not long piece of an aluminum wire. Zhenya managed to tie up two sacks. One sack was left untied. So Zhenka started racking his brains over the situation. He made Kostya to take out a string from his boxers - I swear, he did that! - and tied the last sack up.

Zhenya Romashev

Zhenya Romashev

The way back was not that easy. Well, first of all the sacks were quite heavy, the second Zhenka was scolding Kostya all the way along and promised to deal shortly with him, when we got home. It happened so that Kostya and I got to carry the sacks which were tied up with a wire, and Zhenya was carrying the one tied up with the string of the boxers. Well, when there were about three hundred meters to the house, the string slipped off the sack and the watermelons from Zhanka's sack started falling down, and as all of them were ripe, they cracked when fell down. Kostya, who knew his brother's temper, while he was standing in shock, put his sack on the ground and rushed away so fast, that we barely winked, as he disappeared in the darkness. Well, if I studied the anthology of the Russian foul language, at that moment I would receive so much material that it would be enough to write a doctoral thesis and about ten popular science articles. I barely talked Zhenka to calm down and go home. And when we came home Zhenka's mother started soliciting for Kostya. He managed to come home and tell everything there. With our collective efforts we somehow calmed Yevgeniy down, and he promised not to touch Kostya, who came out of the next room. The rest of the night we spent enjoying delicacies baked by the brothers Romashev's mother and sampling mead.

I was very pleased by the visit to the Romashevs.

july 11, 2011

© Copyright: Oleg Syedyshev, 2012
Publishing licence #21202101780

Translated by Viktoria Potykinato content