On a coffee with writer Khosiyat Rustam, beautiful, talented, great lover of Pushkin,
“The story of my life began with love. I loved Pushkin before literature. And because of Pushkin, I fell in love with literature. When I was at school, I literally learned Pushkin word by word. I lived with every letter…!”
Ana Magdin: Khosiyat Rustam, in addition to poetry, as a writer and playwright, she wrote a series of stories, poems, screenplays. Please tell me about it!
Khosiyat Rustam: Actually, I was not interested in anything else than writing a poem… However, in my life I suffered from not being able to write twice for eight years and at that time I started to cry and write something about the painful situations I was going through. It was the only way to calm myself dawn. And on those days, a feature film based on a story I wrote was shot and is still being shown on state television as a topical film. My drama ‘The Bird That Didn’t Fit in the Sky’ was my first work in this field. It was also very well received by the audience and has not left the stage for more than a decade!
Well, the days when I couldn’t write a poem made me a writer…
Ana Magdin: In 2004 you received the Medal of Glory from the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and in 2016 the commemorative medal „25 Years of Uzbekistan’s Independence”. How was that feeling?
Khosiyat Rustam: I wasn’t in a position to be happy with the award in those days. Because the pleasure I got from writing was so strong that it could not be replaced by anything. For me, as a poet who is devoted to writing, it didn’t matter at all. Only, non-stop congratulations distracted me from writing a little…
Ana Magdin: In addition to poetry, as a writer and playwright, she wrote a series of stories, poems, screenplays. Tell me the story of your life.
Khosiyat Rustam: The story of my life began with love. I loved Pushkin before literature. And because of Pushkin, I fell in love with literature. When I was at school, I literally learned Pushkin word by word. I lived with every letter. And when I got older, I was even jealous of Pushkin from the girls in his works and tried to kill myself. As I read the coffin-maker, I could hear the coffin-maker’s hammer knocking as he made the coffin. Most surprisingly, I used to see the heroes of Pushkin’s works in my dreams. I could talk to them and be friends. They knew me as Pushkin’s closest person and asked me to tell Pushkin that they wanted to be happy…
Ana Magdin: “It was raining and I bought a picture of Pushkin from an old woman selling old curiosities on the street. It’s raining…”! What is the story of that image?
Khosiyat Rustam: I don’t know if it’s because I thought about Pushkin a lot. I had many situations relating to Pushkin. Even that day, when I was leaving with my daughters, a woman who had gone out of her way was selling a picture of Pushkin, in addition to her old things. I was in a hurry until I bought it, I was afraid that someone would buy it before me.
Ana Magdin: What do you love most about this life?
Khosiyat Rustam: I loved the word in this world and was captivated by the word. I lived a lifetime according to its taste. Eight years of inability to write, repeated twice in my life, made me agree to die. A total of sixteen years… Can you imagine? I can’t even brag in my current writing situations. Because, the above sixteen years have taken my heart. I am afraid to remember now and face this situation again. Now that I’m older, I know my heart can’t stand it. The best thing for me is to write and enjoy writing.
Ana Magdin: What makes you happy, what makes you happy when you need peace?
Khosiyat Rustam: Every moment I live makes me happy. Every minute that passes amazes me. We didn’t know how to live because we were living in this world for the first time. We lived as we knew. I tried to get into myself more. I tried to listen to my inner world. But as I got inside, I didn’t recognize myself. Because it was more beautiful than the world we see…
Ana Magdin: Of all the things you do, what do you love most about this world?
Khosiyat Rustam: I’m more interested in writing now than living. The word is like omnipotent. I clung to it as if it were doing miracles in my life. I follow it like a young child. The word knows it… Sometimes when it opens its arms and rubs my head like my mother, every drop turns into a poem despite the tears flowing from my eyes. I am ready for anything for this delicious cry.
Ana Magdin: What else would you like to do for life?
Khosiyat Rustam: I want to get to know myself better, learn more about myself, and get deeper into myself. And if I write something down! If only my writing could turn someone’s life the other way!
Ana Magdin: What do you know about my country, have you been to Romania?
Khosiyat Rustam: I know that your country and the people of your country are so good, it is not hard to imagine that. A person gives enough information about a nation. When my esteemed translator Tatomir wrote a letter asking me to translate my poems into Romanian, I sent my poems with concern, to be honest. Because I didn’t know Tatomir. Then I found out that he was also a very handsome human and a talented poet. My poems are, to tell the truth, chosen by the translator. Not all translators get close to it either.
That is why I left the issue of translation to my poems… And I hope that my poems will become ambassadors of literature in Romania and become citizens and live… I can say that.
Ana Magdin: What is life like in your country, what do you love most about Uzbekistan?
Khosiyat Rustam: My poems went to Romania before me. And they opened the golden doors of Romania to me…
I recently returned from America. Now I am in the house of legendary writers Peredelkino of Russia. In any case, Uzbekistan is my homeland. Wherever I am, this name goes with me. In Uzbekistan, I like my family and people. Our people are extremely kind!
Ana Moroșanu Magdin