«We need to look into the past in order to understand the present and foresee the future»
N.A.Nazarbayev

Gabit Musrepov is a man, who was born under a lucky star

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Gabit Musrepov is a man, who was born under a lucky star
Gabit Musrepov was born at the turn of the century, he grew up in a difficult period of Qazaq history. He saw revolution, repressions, persecutions, the Second World War

... At the same time, his life was full of bright events, meetings with extraordinary and inspiring people, the greatest creative achievements.

In 1960, Gabit Musrepov was appointed as a Deputy Chairman of the Soviet Committee for Relations with Writers from Asian and African countries. He used to travel a lot for business purposes. During one of such trips he met a young Qazaq actress Raisa Mukhamedyarova. It happened in May, 1962. Later, Raisa often recalled the time when elderly Gabit Musrepov, together with his driver Anatoly, was waiting for her at the gates of “Qazaqfilm” building. After all, Raisa accepted his marriage proposal. Gabit Musrepov, in turn, divorced with his wife, Khusni, with whom he lived for forty years.

Raisa used to say about her first meeting with Khusni:

“Somehow Gabit invited me home. It was his granddaughter's birthday. He found such words that I could not refuse. I was sitting together with all the members of his family and his friends - famous writers at the table set by his wife. There was a kind smile on her face, when she looked at me. I am grateful to her for this kind attitude. His granddaughters entertained me in every way. At that time fast style of dance was very popular, like Boogie Woogie or Charleston and they tried to dance them with me. I felt socially awkward, shy and found it difficult to talk to people. So far I ask myself: why did he invite me and why did I go there?”.

In 1964, Khusni Yagfarova died. Gabit Musrepov wanted to wait at least for the anniversary of the death of Khusni, but Raisa was pregnant and that year they got married. Their marriage lasted six years. Two children were born to the couple, two daughters.   

Their relationship began to spoil, when she was not invited for an audition for a main role in the Qazaqstani movie under a title “Kyz-Zhibek”, although the role was promised for her. Gabit Musrepov wrote a script for the film. She felt betrayed by her husband’s lack of support. At that time Raisa took care of two daughters and attended rehearsals in the local Young Spectator's Theater and Gabit Musrepov very often was on business trips. Besides that, gossip of ill-wishers brought serious irreversible damages to their relationship. Some of them thought, that it was impossible to become a father at the age of sixty.

In 1970, Gabit Musrepov and Raisa separated. The rest of his life he lived with Gaziza Beisenova, a former typist of a well-known Qazaq writer Mukhtar Auezov.

In 1971, the movie “Kyz-Zhibek” was released on the Soviet screen. The film was successful and Gabit Musrepov became a laureate of the Order of the October Revolution. In 1972, he was appointed as a Secretary of the Board of the Writers Union of the Qazaq SSR, and two years later he became a Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic.

In 1975, Gabit Musrepov’s famous novel “Her name is Ulpan” was published. The novel is largely autobiographical, because the main character of the novel, the girl named Ulpan lived in a village, where grew up Gabit Musrepov. Moreover, Gabit Musrepov’s grandfather knew her husband Yeseney very well. The novel has been revised more than once. The first version of the novel tells of a young Turkmen, who fell in love with a Qazaq girl. As a result, they married and gave a birth to a new clan. One of the representatives of that clan was Gabit Musrepov. However, the writer’s local relatives did not like that version of the story and Gabit Musrepov put some corrections in it.

After the novel “Her name is Ulpan” Gabit Musrepov wrote a script for the film “Once and for All Life” and a novel “An Awakened Land”, that tells about a birth of the Qazaq working class and a struggle against capitalists. The novel “An Awakened Land” was the last work of the writer.

Gabit Musrepov died on December 31, 1985 in Alma-Ata (at present Almaty). Three days before his death, being very weak due to sickness he said:

«…So I'm getting ready to die. I take stock of my life that was full of hope, struggle and faith, and I see that there were many grievances and disappointments, but I had many joys, too. I saw how my country became an independent state and it appeared on the world map. The only thing I wish is that the people do not forget about the importance of literature and art, because without them the existence of a nation is not possible. After all, where there is no soul-exalting unity, there is neither prosperity nor conscious movement forward. That is why copper often goes for gold, and a raven for a falcon. Big art should have a big and fair character”.

Contemporaries remembered Gabit Musrepov as a simple and sincere person who loved life with all the fibers of his soul. He was very fond of hunting, and considered the most expensive things in the house to be the two rifles he had brought from abroad. He was a good pool player. He liked very much to play a Russian preferans (a 10-card plain-trick game), he called it “a game of shepherds”.

The fact is that once Gabit Musrepov and Sabit Mukanov were in an aul (“a village” in Qazaq), where in order to pass the time they decided to play Russian preferans with the local shepherds. In the end, Gabit Musrepov was crushed to smithereens. He was stunned by the abilities of shepherds to such an extent that he said: “It is necessary to have such mathematical thinking in order to count accurately at one glance how many sheep are in a large flock!”.

At the same time, Gabit Musrepov was a very sensitive and generous person. He could easily present his favorite thing to a friend. Particularly, he gave one of his favorite guns to the writer from Semipalatinsk Sarsekey Medeu, and handed the GAZ-69 car, bought in 1969, a week later, to the director of the Aralsk motor depot. He often went to hunt there.

Gabit Musrepov treasured friendship. Thanks to his courage, the first edition of Mukhtar Auezov’s book “The History of Qazaq Literature” survived. The book after the arrest of the writer was removed from the libraries and destroyed. Gabit Musrepov at his own risk saved one copy of the book.

A few years later, when the relations between the writers had soured, Gabit Musrepov handed it to Mukhtar Auezov and said: “My friend, if I treated you badly, would I have kept it?”. The words touched Mukhtar Auezov so much, that all his resentment towards Gabit Musrepov went away without a trace.

Gabit Musrepov was a highly gifted person. He was a man of many talents. He was well versed in all kinds of art forms. His literary merits were awarded with all possible awards of that period. He was a laureate of republican prizes and an academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Qazaq SSR. He was elected five times for a post of the Deputy of the Supreme Council of the Republic.

The name of Gabit Musrepov is on a par with such outstanding figures of Qazaq literature as Saken Seyfullin, Mukhtar Auezov, Ilyas Zhansugurov, Beimbet Mailin.

His books are popular among readers. They teach to put yourself in the shoes of others and grow your capacity for empathy and compassion. Gabit Musrepov’s works remains exemplary to this day.

Author: Ayan ADEN

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