Posted by: talinebalikjian | February 23, 2009

Short story:AKHTAMAR

couvakhtamar

Once upon a time, in the big kingdom of Armenia, there was a princess who’s name was Tamar. She lived on an island in the middle of the Lake Van. She was different from the other princesses. She was beautiful, certainly, but she prefered to educate herself and to get closer to the people rather than to go to balls. That’s why, she often wanted to leave her island and to go to the other side of the lake in order to meet the people.

One day, when she was just sixteen, she went into town on the other side of the lake because she had to go to the book market. She was wearing the same clothes as the people because she didn’t want to appear different in such a polular place. But of course she was with two guards who assured her security. In spite of her clothes, she was so beautiful : long black hair, big blue eyes and a beautiful smile. She wanted to buy a book of poems. After visiting a few stalls she finally found the poems some. There were a lot of books of poems. At this same stall was a young man about eighteen, looking for a book. He was charming with his green eyes and his darkish skim.

Tamar couldn’t choose a book. She asked the dealer but he didn’t answer. When the young man heard the girl’s voice he turned around and saw the beautiful princess. He didn’t recognize her. He asked her :

– Can I help you ? It’s my favorite place in this market and I read a lot of poems.

– Oh please, I’m looking for love poems, a book of love poems, said the princess.

– I’ll find you the best book .

Two minuts after, he gave to Tamar a book. She said, «  Ok, I trust you. I hope I will like these poems. ». Then, she bought the book and thanked him for it. She returned her island with her two guards who had been watching her from a distance.

The night felt and Tamar went to bed. She took her book of poems. As soon as she read the first pages, she was delighted with the lines written by anonymous poets. Than she realized that she started to think again about this young man so charming, who she met at the market. She thought : « He’s not only charming but also cultured and romantic according to the masterpieces which he read. »

After two days, she stoped reading all the poems. In fact, she liked so much the book that she was reading it hardly all the time tinking of the young man.

This man was called Aram. He was a farmer’s son and he helped his parents at work. As soon as he stoped working, he was going to the book market to educate himself. He thought the beautiful Tamar too. Aram went back everyday at the market because he hoped to see her but she wasn’t there. He repented so much to not ask her her name.

But, finally, one week after, in the morning, while he was at the poems’ stand, he perceived the girl. She went near him and thanked him. He was so happy to see her and ased her her name. She answered him. Then, he asked her where she lived. She told him that it was on the Island. Il started to suspect her identity. At last, he asked her :

– Are you the princess?

– Shh ! I don’t want to be reconized.

Aram was so much embarrassed that he get down on his knees and he added :

– Hem…, I have to go

– No, please, get of the ground please, … And you? What’s your name?

– Aram. I’m a paesant. I can’t talk to you.

– Don’t say that… I feel you very interesting and I liked the poems. I need your advices for my buyings.

– I write poems too. And I wrote one for a girl I met by any chance.

– Can I read it ?

– Ok, I give you this poem, but don’t read id now, please.

He took a piece of paper from his closes and he gave it her. He was so embarreased to talk to the princess. Aram was sad beacause he though that he didn’t have any chance to spend time with her. For Tamar, it was time to go back home for lunch. She invited him to lunch on the island. In spite of his shame, he said yes.

So they went to the island with the two gards. The king and the queen were at the capitale city all the day long. The young people lunched in the palace garden one-to-one. Then, they spend the afternoon together on the island on the hills and in the gardens of the palace. It was hardly the evening and Aram had to left the island because Tamar parents would come back. She walked him back to the bank where a craft was. She took the piece of paper which Aram gaved her and started to read. According to the words, she understood that the poem was about her. They were both really in love. But they knew that it was impossible for them to live together because of the social differences. He took her hand and gave her a peck. Suddenly, they perceived her parent’s sailing boat. He jumped in the craft and started to row. Unfortunatly the king and the queen had already sawn him from afar. Aram went quickly away.

When the king arrived near to his daughter, he asked her a lot of questions about the young man who he perceived. She decided to told her father the truth because she really loved him. At hearing those words, the king was very angry and forbided her daughter to return on the other side of the lake.

She started to cry and cry all night long at the place where her lover left her. And she didn’t cease to read the poem which Aram wrote for her dint a candle which enligtened her. Suddenly, she saw in the lake somebody swimming, he went near her. It was Aram! He waited for the night to see her. They spent the night together and they decided to see themself by this way, everynight with the candle’s light. And it was what they did.

Everynight Aram swimed to the island guided by the flame’s light to see his beautyful beloved. They spent very good and full of love time. They experienced like this during months, until one night, when a guard saw them and informed the king. The next night, when Tamar was waiting to Aram, the guards caught her and switched off the candle. Aram was in the middle of the lake and couldn’t see anything more. He was lost. The lake, the sky and the land marged. The wind got up and the waves waked up. So Aram started to shout :

– Tamar… ! … Ah Tamar… Ah Tamar ! Akh Tamar ! (Akh! = Ah! in armenian)

Tamar heared him but she couldn’t do anything because of the guards.

– Tamar … ! Tamar… ! Ah Tamar …. Ah Tammar ! Akh Tamar ! Akh…

And Aram ended up drowning, crying and shouting her name.

In the morning, when Tamar found her loved body she could hear him again , « Akh Tamar! » The lake took her beloved’s soul.

Nobody can forget this story and from that time the island is called « Akhtamar » in rememberance of this sad love story. Today, you can see on a chart, the Akhtamar island.

—————————THE END—————————

Armenian church of Ahtamar Island on lake of Van in Turkey

Armenian church of Ahtamar Island on lake of Van in Turkey

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