All our terrestrial wandering consists of a train of continuous meetings. Life is, first of all people who surround you. However, it quite often happens that memoirs of one grow dull in due course in memory, being lost in its distant corners, others remain forever. Especially, if these people have left a kind trace in the soul and heart.
At the late seventies of the last century I was employed in the agency “Turkmeninform” (a prototype of the present agency TDH) as the editor of the department of the photo chronicles. My task included to prepare small texts for pictures of the press photographers who came back from official trips. The work though was entertaining, but, I should admit, was not so creative: some lines of the text, the list of the people represented in pictures – here and all work. I would like much – to visit the country, to meet interesting people, to interview them, to write sketches, reports, stories, say, to be like all correspondents of the agency. Vacant places were, alas, were occupied, but I all the same tried to draw benefit from my post.
Those years to Ashgabat often enough there came famous actors of theatre and cinema, variety collectives, writers, poets, circus performers. While press photographers chose the necessary foreshortening for shooting, I took short express interviews from visitors of our city. They willingly shared creative plans, impressions about Ashgabat, about people – benevolent, hospitable, and open.
Once, employee of the news agency Alexandra Tychinskaya approached me. She worked in the culture department. All called her simply Sasha.
– You that, my kind friend, take my bread? – Sasha took an interest. – don’t you know that culture is my diocese? I wanted to interview (she named the surname of a famous actress), and I was told that you have already visited her. What now you will order to do?
Over the fact that I got into another’s kitchen garden, I somehow did not reflect, and now I did not know what to answer. Seeing my confusion, Sasha cheerfully smiled, and encouraged: «All right, do not worry, I do not become angry. In our century we have enough actors and actresses. You have written not bad, but there are some flaws, I will show you». So, we had got acquainted, and had then made friends. After a while Sasha was transferred to work in the newspaper «Turkmenskaya iskra», and soon enticed there me as well.
Some years we worked together in the information department. It would seem, the department of “little information” as it was named, was a springboard for newspaper beginners who only begin their way to journalism. But it was only at first sight. It is possible to write a big and boring sketch which will not involve attention of the reader, and it is possible to give out the information for half-pages, but the material will be live, interesting and remains in memory. Thus, it is necessary to consider that information should appear on newspaper pages every day.
Sasha had not any concrete theme. She undertook any theme, let even at first sight and not so attractive, but could be so interesting and live, to find such, saying by photographic language, a foreshortening that the details not noticed at first sight seen only by it appeared. She wrote about reserves of Turkmenistan, about scientists, doctors, about Turkmen jeweller’s art, about deserts, about oil industry workers of the Caspian Sea, about Turkmen writers and poets, theatrical figures, about simple people. Once she had hardly interviewed the British princess Anna who visited in 1990 Ashgabat, but, unfortunately, the security had not admitted. Here is how with humour she described that episode:
«I sat less than a metre’s distance from the princess Anna and listened to the conversation of our scientists-physicians with her. And she showed her knowledge of medicine, the condition of health protection of maternity and childhood in many countries of the world … All group of visitors walked around the institute’s building, and I unsuccessfully tried to agree with the Press Secretary about the interview with her. The elderly gentleman took pity and made for me an appointment at six o’clock in the evening. Also he did not come.
– I understand, what means to leave in English, but not to come … is it also has become traditions? – I complained about failure to the correspondent of the English newspaper «World news», who casually met me.
– It was visible that it was a will of the princess, – he answered. – you, unlike me, at least were near to her Royal Majesty … Consider it for honour!»
Despite the magnificent of forms which had assiduity more, Sasha was light. In her there worked an unceasing perpetual mobile. Her working capacity and fidelity to newspaper business caused respect. If it was necessary to go to business trip – without any arguments she gathered and went out, leaving a small daughter Nadenka under the care of her friends.
Once we decided to make a story devoted to works of night services of the city. By the editorial car allocated to us we travelled night Ashgabat from one end to other. The dawn already approached, all rather were tired, a material collected enough, and it was possible to part to their houses. And here Sasha thought suddenly: «Stop! », we forgot about one service – laboratories on forecasting of earthquakes. Let’s go there ». Certainly, eventually, it was possible to manage without this service as it took place behind city boundaries, but Sasha got not used to bungle – it was necessary, it means necessary.
I cannot remember that I saw Sasha sad. She always smiled openly, benevolently, sincerely as smile to the child or a flower. The first time I noticed grief and tears in her eyes when she returned from Spitak.
Alexandera Tychinskaya was officially recognized by the first woman-journalist who visited the destroyed fourth power unit of the Chernobyl atomic power station. She was one of the few women-journalists already in the first days after the Spitak earthquake of 1988 was in Armenia on the ruins which remained from Spitak and Leninakan.
Sasha Tychinskaya lived bright, long life in journalism. From under her pen there came always such interesting, significant lines that once having seen, the reader remembered them for a long time, at times for his all life. She worked in different regions of the country, time and again went deep into subjects new to her. The impression was thus made that she everywhere was perfectly guided, being time a pioneer. If to combine all articles published by her for these years, they will make a decent volume.
In Ashgabat Sasha Tychinskaya spent almost thirty years. When long you live in one city, it becomes a part of you, and you – a city make up a part. And the people populating this city also make up a part of you. Each destiny is a line. And, as in each book, these lines happen both joyful, and sad. All of us are invisibly connected with a community called by city brotherhood. We go on one earth, are connected by one street, dawned by the uniform sky, and warmed by one sun. Life flies, and once you start to understand with grief that it is not eternal, and will not repeat any more. And when someone forever leaves our brotherhood, heart presses from loss, and you understand more sharply, how these people in your life much meant.
In the eyes of Sasha we saw grief once again when before departure from Ashgabat she invited us to her house. We with desperate optimism assured each other that sometime necessarily we will meet that the earth is not as large as it seems. There then I saw tears in her eyes. She already understood that we would meet never. It was a pity to leave the past, each other, the city in which she lived so many years which, I trust, were one of the best in her life. Probably, she would also remain, but the person who had entered her life, had become for her the most dearest one, her protection and support – Nikolay Mihailovich Sorokin, the former general director of Chernobyl atomic power station with whom she got acquainted during her business trip to Chernobyl.
Already living in Moscow, Sasha started to write the book about her profession, about people whom she could meet, but had not had time to finish. It was made by her colleagues and friends, having written the book about Sasha.
Sasha Tychinskaya (Sorokina) died in February, 2014. She was a bright, sunny person, and the sun gives warmth. The line of destiny of Sasha Tychinskaya remained entered in the history of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan and in memory of those who was nearby her, heroes of her sketches and reports, all those who remembers and loves her.
P.S. ORIENT brings to the attention of readers in today’s issue a sketch by Aleksandra Tychinskaya «Mowgli from the Kara Kum»