The Man Who Turned Sorrow into Happiness

However countrymen used to gather in Kelimbet’s house and asked him to read ancient religious eposes. Kelimbet read religious eposes by the light of wick lamp to his fellow-villagers. It was the time of the Second World War. There was a child Nemat among the listeners. His love for literature at an early age was caused by this literary tradition in his family. Before long Nemat continued his father’s tradition and started to read forbidden books to his fellow-villagers. Nemat whose passion to oriental literature began at an early age also wanted to be a scholar as his father. While studying at the Economical Faculty in Tashkent he spent his days in libraries. Thanks to his father he was able to read freely the books in Chagatai language.

He began his career in Almaty, the formal capital of Kazakhstan. He started to work as an economist-journalist at one of the leading republican newspaper “Socialist Kazakhstan”. Although he was not a journalist, destiny tied him with media. In the short run he was invited to work at the apparat of Council of Ministers of Kazakhstan. A new promising career was ahead of Nemat, who was just under the age thirty. He had everything but life partner. He was a tall good-looking man with curly hair. Unexpectedly he came across Miss Kuanysh, a girl who came from a village. They fell in love at first sight. Nemat took the girl to his village to introduce her to his parents and were married in three days. They were happy and had two sons. The sons were named Mukhit and Kairat.  They had everything, including a house. This house was enlightened by love and their children. Thus there was a happy shining star in the sky above the Nemat and Kuanysh family. The young family was in a place of happiness and prosperity. Nemat successfully defended a scientific candidate thesis in his favorite field, oriental literature. Their life went on with success and achievement.

But shortly at the age of thirty five, Nemat suddenly had fallen ill. He could not walk after suffering paraplegia. His friends thought that an evil eye was put on Nemat’s shining star. He had a spinal cord operation but it was unsuccessful. All of a sudden Nemat turned into an unhappy bedridden disabled man. The life’s ill fate was a hard blow for an ambitious man. Nemat fainted the time he heard he would be a disabled man. The lucky star of the man who was always successful blew out.

At first Nemat could not admit the fact of being disabled. Being in bed ruined his life. His young spouse and two sons always came to mind. What will their fate be? Nemat cried in the ward at night when nobody came to visit him. His happy life turned into hell which he could not bare. Nemat suffered not only from mental pain but also from unbearable physical pain he had after the operations on spine. But he fought for his life, for sake of his young sons and loving wife.

He did not want to die. He struggled with death for months. It was his precious spouse Kuanysh who saved his soul. Kuanysh’s true love saved them from tragedy. Kuanysh gave up her job and spent months by Nemat’s bed. There were times when they had no bread to eat. They started to borrow money. The friends changed their way when they saw Kuanysh thinking she would ask for money. They were left all alone with their tragedy. The friends who used to spend their time in their home in the past, had left them.

Some friends advised Kuanysh to take Nemat to a nursing home, the children to an orphanage and marry another man. When they heard this they cried embracing each other and cursed the fate which brought them to this disaster. The most difficult thing was the fact they could not protect their children who came home crying having been hurt by hooligan boys in the village.

Although Nemat was in bed he always supported his sons. He told his sons to be brave and patient by saying “Young men never come home crying”. Physical pain was subsiding and he began reading books. Kuanysh fixed a stand, in order to help him read books. He turned the pages with his tongue. He read books days and nights.

An idea came to his mind: “Why don’t I write my life experience like these writers?” You need the ability to write! How could he learn it? Once when he was thinking about this one of his publisher friends brought a book by an Ukrainian author written in Russian and said: “Try to earn money rather than doing nothing!” On the one hand he was happy to find work; on the other hand he was scared to translate fiction for he had never done it before. Anyway he started working. His wife sat with him holding pen to paper.

When he began translating the book, he could not even manage the first sentence. However he could not manage with the first sentence. Nemat translated one sentence eight times. Kuanysh did what he was asked to do. She wrote all the sentences he spoke. The bed was full of piles of paper from dawn till night. The publisher gave six months to translate a book. Nemat finished it a month earlier. The publisher brought the newly published book, saying it was the result of Nemat’s work.  He could not believe his eyes. His ears were blocked from happiness. Tears came to his eyes and he forgot about everything. When he took his eyes away from the book he realized his friend had already left. He did not even thank him. The publisher left money on the bed. Nemat cried of happiness once more. It was the first income of disabled Nemat! Nemat could not forget this day!

At that time he realized he was able to earn money and look after his family like any man. It was his first heroic deed he performed bedridden. Later he began to write a book about the tragedy he experienced and how he became a disabled man. This book was also written under dictation with the help of his wife. Nemat Kelimbetov’s popular book “I Don’t Want to Lose Hope” came to life under these circumstances.  After publishing this book he became very famous. He did not stop with this achievement. He got moving to conquer new peaks.

Nemat was determined to succeed. His wife brought him necessary books from the library.  He ordered books from abroad. Before long Nemat Kelimbetov successfully defended his PhD dissertation in his beloved field, Kazakh-Turkic literature named “Ancient Literary Relic”. He had reached the peak within Social Science. The monograph discovered the history of Kazakh-Turkic literature to ten centuries earlier.  The dissertation was published as a book which turned into a favorite book of students studying in Higher Education Institutions of Humanities and Arts.

Nemat Kelimbetov was awarded a republican award “Kultegin” in the field of advanced historical researches for this work. His fame glorified in the field of literature and science. The status of academician was conferred to him. It was the creative works written in bed which brought fame to Nemat Kelimbetov. Nemat Kelimbetov proved with his life that people with limited opportunities in fact had unlimited opportunities. He proved that man could achieve anything if he was determined. He made happiness of tragedy. His life and books encourage people to be a winner. At present one of his sons is a minister and the other is a successful businessman. Nemat Kelimbetov passed away last year. His wife Kuanish died three years prior to him. They spent a happy life. This makes the phenomenon of Nemat Kelimbetov precious to the world reader.

Smagul Eluvbayev

Writer, A Member of Writers Union of Kazakhstan

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