by Uzeyir Hajibeyov
"Hello, Karbalayi Mammadjafar!" [Karbalayi is a title given to people who have made a pilgrimage to Karbala, a city in Iraq that is sacred to Muslims.]
"Where are you rushing to?"
"Nowhere, I have some urgent work to do!"
"Nice to see you!"
"Nice to see you." (To himself: I just told you: I'm in a hurry).
"Are you OK?"
"Praise be to God, I'm fine, but they're waiting for me over there!"
"Thanks for asking." (To himself: He won't leave me alone!)
"Are you feeling fine?"
"Thank you very much." (Hey, you jerk, people are waiting for me).
"Are you feeling OK?"
"Thank God!" (What a stupid guy!)
"Thank you. Long life to you. But I have some urgent work, I need to rush."
"Don't' worry, it's OK, everybody is in the same situation. How are you feeling?"
"Fine, thanks!" (Hey you, son of a bitch).
"I haven't seen you much lately. Why?"
"Honest to God, I always have urgent work, and look, even now I have something to do, and I can't be late even for one second."
"Good luck to you!"
"God bless you" (The devil is saying 'smash his brains out!').
"How about a cigarette? Want to smoke?"
"Thank you!" (Scoundrel!). "Bye for now!"
"Are you leaving?
"Karbalayi Mammadjafar, where have you been?"
"God damn villain! Mashadi Safi wouldn't let me go!" ["Mashadi" is a title given to people who have made a pilgrimage to Mashad, a city in Iran sacred to Muslims.]
"Bravo! People waited and waited for you, you didn't show up and so they left."
"I swear on my father's grave!"
"God damn you, Mashadi Safi! I don't know how I became so dear to this son of a gun!"
Proverb: If we spent half an hour with everyone we happened to greet, that would be the end of our lives.
Uzeyir Hajibeyov. Selected Works (In Azeri Cyrillic). Pages 349-350. Baku: 1985.
Translated by Farida Sadikhova. Edited by Betty Blair
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