To get to know and love the city, you need to live in it at least a little. Cities, like people, have their own destiny, their own character, their own habits, however, like the people who created it. Consciously or not, we build cities in our own image and likeness. The city absorbs our love, our tenderness, our souls, and itself becomes a part of our soul, generously giving its warmth and love. When someone leaves, the city is sad and patiently awaits your return. And when you return, he hospitably opens his arms to you. And even if you have not returned, your city still remembers you and misses you.
Ashgabat, as well as other cities, has a special attraction created by nature and people. The city and its inhabitants complement each other harmoniously. Take a closer look and you will notice: Ashgabat people are never in a hurry, as if they know that they have an eternity ahead of them, and there is no need to rush. Haste is generally not typical of the locals. The poet Vladimir Lugovskoy, who visited Turkmenistan in the 30s of the last century, spoke with great love, respect and tenderness about this feature of the Turkmens and, in general, about their centuries-old traditions. “He was mesmerized by the spell of Turkmenistan. He will rush to her call without hesitation. And wherever he is, he will remember the colors of this country, remember the people of this ancient people ... ”, another poet, Nikolai Tikhonov, told about him. And he is not alone.
Turkmenistan has always been distinguished by its openness, friendliness, hospitality and generosity. Figures of culture, art, science were frequent guests of our country. Others have lived and worked here for decades, for example, writer Vladimir Karpov, production designer Valentina Khmeleva, actress Luciena Ovchinnikova, composer Adrian Shaposhnikov, world famous ethnologist and archaeologist Georgy Markov, poet and actor Leonid Filatov. Some stayed forever. Recall, for example, the famous neurosurgeon Boris Smirnov, the wonderful artist, the outstanding breeder Olga Mizgireva, the wonderful artist Nikolai Shchapov.
Popular, famous pop artists, musicians, film actors from near and far abroad often came to Ashgabat. In the capital, they were invariably received warmly and cordially. They gladly gave interviews. This is how interviews with Oleg Dal, Nina Sazonova, Leah Akhedzhakova appeared. Oleg Strizhenov, Igor Starygin, Valery Nosik, Georgy Burkov, Lyudmila Kasatkina and other wonderful theater and film actors.
I remember the meeting with Vitaly Solomin - the performer of the role of Dr. Watson in the TV series "Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson." The hall where the artist performed was filled to capacity. Vitaly Methodievich spoke interestingly about how he got used to the image of an assistant detective, recalled the curiosities that happened during the filming, about theatrical roles, about his family, friends and plans. Then he answered numerous questions from the audience. When the meeting ended and the audience began to applaud, the artist, holding his hand to his heart, thanked her with the words that he had managed to learn: "Sag bol, sag bol."
I also asked for an interview. We walked around Ashgabat for a long time, sat in a cozy cafe in the city park, then it was time for the guest to go to the hotel.
- Listen, let's still go around the city, - suggested Solomin - Something I don't want to go to the hotel. Such an evening is good - warm, affectionate, but in Moscow now it is cold and slushy. And I also want to get a better look at the city.
We again wandered around Ashgabat, I showed our guest our sights, talked about the devastating Ashgabat earthquake in 1948, when the city was practically razed to the ground. He shook his head ruefully, then said: “Is it possible to rebuild such a city in just two or three decades? I can't even believe that there were wastelands on this place. The city is so cozy, although you can still feel the sadness of this land. And some other special aura. Let's take another walk ... ”Dr. Watson returned to the hotel at about midnight.
Actor Georgy Burkov arrived in Ashgabat with his wife, actress Tatyana Ukharova. They stayed at the same hotel as Solomin the year before. After the evening meeting with the audience, I asked for an interview. But this time we chose a hotel for the conversation - it was pouring rain, and he canceled the walk in Ashgabat. A small woman, half the size of her husband, came out of the room, held out her hand and introduced herself: "Tatyana Sergeevna, come in."
We settled ourselves in armchairs, I asked questions, Burkov answered, and still regretted that it was a rainy day, and it was impossible to wander around the city.
“Never mind, tomorrow the weather will be fine,” I assured. - We don't have long rains.
- Then Tanya will show me the city, as promised, - Burkov looked at his wife.
- Have you ever been with us before? - I asked the actor's wife.
- Yes, Tanya starred at the Turkmenfilm studio, in the film No Smoke Without Fire, and told a lot of interesting things about Ashgabat, - Burkov answered for his wife.
Then I really remembered a mischievous, restless girl who fought the collective farm bureaucrats. In the same film, Spartak Mishulin also starred with Tatyana Ukharova.
- Most of all I remember people, - said Tatyana Sergeevna. Our film crew worked in one of the farms near Ashgabat. In between filming, smiling women from the village in beautiful dresses brought us hot food - shurpa, pilaf, fresh churek, suzma, milk, vegetables, fruits, watermelons, melons. Moreover, they did this not on someone's assignment, but on their own initiative. We were vying with each other to be invited to visit one or another house. It was pleasant and very touching. The respect with which we were treated as relatives, close people, I will never forget. In our free time from filming, we walked around Ashgabat, and all the time it seemed to me that the city was similar to its inhabitants - the same quiet, cozy, calm, benevolent.
I spent several years abroad, in a rich, prosperous country. But the longer he lived, the more he yearned for Ashgabat. And one day he could not stand it - he got on a plane and rushed home. All day I wandered the streets of my hometown, where I was born and lived all my life, touched the trees that still remembered me. You can part with the city, but the city will never part with you.