Declaration of love to deserted Baku

Declaration of love to deserted Baku

Baku is empty these days. Of course, this is temporary, but it’s hard to see a deserted city, full of life once. Perhaps all for good, as people began to realize things they had not valued before. Gunel Anargyzy, director of the Baku Book Center, writer and publicist, presented the My City project in Russian. She wrote this story on April 5, the first day of tightening the quarantine regime and social isolation of residents of Baku.

The text is read by director and screenwriter Efim Abramov.

My city, the only one, native and unique. Suddenly, I decided to write to you. My name doesn’t matter - who cares what my name is. The most important thing is that I am your resident, the most ordinary one, without whom you have been left alone for the first time. Perhaps, without me, you are not particularly sad, because you are so diverse, many-sided and beautiful, wise and deep. And you do not need me at all. Оh, what beautiful streets, wide avenues, arranged parks and managed boulevards, luxurious new buildings and unique monuments you have. And the sea ... Oh, what a deep and immense Caspian you have! What a magical old and dazzling new city! All this creates your unique, incomparable appearance.

My city. How many great people have glorified you. And how modestly, probably, my words sound in comparison with those praises. No matter how hard I try to praise you, I can’t convey all your strength and defenselessness. I can’t, but you don’t need this. But today you are left without me. Perhaps, for the first time in many years. For the first time in many years, you can calmly breathe, breathe deeply, because your pavements have been freed from the stench of buzzing traffic jams, sidewalks - from the traces of countless heels and soles, the railings of the metro - from a string of tired hands, cafe chairs from indifferent backs, elegant windows - from insatiable devouring glances, schoolyards - from carefree children's laughter, and dark nooks - from secret kisses of young lovers. And how many more things you lost in one day, being left alone. This must be fate.

I miss you. The pictures of my distant childhood come alive. I am running to the street, slapping my bare feet on wet rough pavement, leaning against the cool walls of old houses, closing my eyes, listening to the whisper of summer foliage, inhaling hitherto unfamiliar aromas of street cafes washed by a shower. And then, getting wet to the skin, I understand that it is not raining at all. These are my tears, my city.

My city, forgive me for poisoning, littering and mutilating you, for being always in a hurry somewhere, not noticing the pain and suffering inflicted on you, accusing you of things, you, my city, were not to blame.

Often I dreamed of running away, running away from you. Where? There, where it seems I could breathe easier and live better. But when I escaped, I suddenly began to absurdly miss you and feel the heaviness of guilt befallen on me. Forgive me for not appreciating, for not loving you. 

And now I am alone, and somehow I need to live with it. My city, take a break from me, I exhausted you. And I will live, and every day, more and more clearly understand that it is impossible to be without you.

Worked on the project: musical accompaniment - Etibar Asadli and Shahriyar Imanov, sound producer - Teymur Abdullaev, editor - Fuad Tahmazli, video production - Baku Media Center.