The name of Tukay means a whole epoch in the intellectual development of the Tatar people, its literature, art and the whole culture making....

Agzam FAIZRAHMANOV — Left aside Uchile

In our Republic there are many places related with the life and works of our great poet Gabdulla Tukai. Every year on the birthday of the poet the poetry festival is held in Kazan and then our contemporaries having creative joy and longing for the poetry in the depths of their heart and soul go to the district of Arsk and there they take part in celebrations in his native village Kushavych, Tukai – Kurlay and it is advised to visit Sasna Puchinke village which is next to Baltasinsky district where you can visit the tomb of the poet’s mother, Mamdude. But the village Uchile closely associated with Gabdulla Tukai’s life for some reason stays on the sidelines. Guests are not taken there due to the fact that Regional and National authorities have failed to show any enthusiasm to honor the works of Tukai. For some reason Uchile is considered to be a third rate village.

But Uchile village is a village which has kept the spirit of Tukai and sheltered him from his birth and is also the village of Zinatulla Hazrat who was the father of the poet’s mother.

Locally this village is known as Uchile of Tukai. Maybe there is a need for this to some extent because there was another Uchile village in that area called Small Uchile which was the home of the Tatar national writer, Garif Akhunov who was winner of the Gabdulla Tukai prize.

Unfortunatey this village no longer exists as it has disappeared over the years and is replaced now by a sad cemetery.

Uchile is well-maintained medium sized village. In my childhood there was a primary school in the village.

Children from five villages came to study there. At one time this school was a secondary school but when the number of children in the village reduced it again became a primary school.

The local self-government manages three villages and in 2000 in Uchile the villagers opened a museum dedicated to the history of the village and the creativity of their fellow countryman Gadulla Tukai

It is known that the father of Gabdulla Tukai Muhammadgarif died in 1886. According to his will his entire estate was given to the child from his first wife, and widowed Mamdude with a small Gabdulla Tukai in her arms was forced to go back to Kushlavych village to her father’s house.

In a small house where six children lived Gabdula Tukai became the seventh child. After 2 years had passed in the life of Tukai when he had barely left the cradle, there was an unexpected event, his mother Mamdude who at the time was 24 years old married a 60 year old Mullah Shakir from Sasna Puchinke village. She married him certainly not because she wanted to but she did so in order to make her life more comfortable due to her poverty and not having a home of her own. As for 2,5 year old Tukai he was left in the care of an old woman Sharifa in Kushlavych village. However, after a short time she took Gabdulla back, she sent horses for Gabdulla, writes Ibrahim Nurullin who is studying Tukai’s life, but I believe that in the words of the scientist there is a small inaccuracy. Firstly, to bring the boy there was no need for a lot of horses. One is enough, Secondly, how the mother could have entrusted somebody else to bring her son. Most probably Mamdude went by herself and had the chance to stay in the house of her father which was on route.

In 1890 the grief came again Memdude died, having lived with her new husband for only two years. Gabdulla was made an orphan. It is clear that Zinnatulla Hazrat could not leave his grandson for foreigners and took him to Uchile. It is known later that the future poet lived in Kazan in the family of a merchant, Muhammatvali and Gaziza. When they fell sick they were afraid that Gabdulla would be alone and sent him back to Uchile to the house of his grandfather.

Thus Tukai never stayed away from Uchile for a long time, however he was moved to a village called Kyrlay and stayed in the family of Sagdi and Zurha, they also came from Uchile,

In the same village he then lived with the mother of Mamdude (his grandmother) and his aunty, they were persuaded to adopt him.

There is one more fact about Uchile. When Sazhida from the new family of Gabdulla was getting married, his grandfather Zinnatulla who was also a mullah read the wedding vows himself,

The wedding was held in Uchile and little Gabdulla also attended, whilst there he stood in the door way and was told the Groom will enter here, but you must not let him enter. You must first ask for money to see the bride.

Later Gabdulla remembered this occasion well and wrote a poem named “The Door lock”.

In 1911 being ill with tuberculosis Gabdulla was admitted to Klyachkin hospital, Doctors told friends of the poet who visited him that he did not have much time to live and they needed to take him for fresh air. Friends gently brought this to his attention and the question was, which village to go to.  The poet chose Uchile.

In the cold December of 1911 after having tackled up the horses, he returned to the house of his grandfather Zinnatulla Hazrat who had by this time passed away.

In the village Kabir Hazrat became the new Mullah, His wife Ragiba kept a very detailed account of Gabdulla Tukai’s treatment and of his thoughts and feelings at that time.

This notebook is kept in the school museum of Uchile. Gabdulla lived here until 1912.

During this time of convalescing he did not forget his poetry and we know that he wrote and additional 12 poems during this period.

He wrote a letter to his friends in Kazan asking them not to disclose his address to anybody, and he explained to them, here in Uchile I live unnoticed even for the royal guard.

There are lots of documents in Uchile village recording the life and events of Gabdulla Tukai.

Most of them have been collected by the teacher of Tatar language and literature Farhat Ziyatov,

He has forty years of experience, and is honored with Excellence of Education in Russia.

Now they are kept in the school museum

The life and career of Gabdulla Tukai had already been well studied. Scientific works are written, thesis are defended. However, there are still more than enough unanswered questions. For example, I had found a few notes, telling that his grandfather Zinnatulla Tukai was a poet, and published books. But I did not keep those books in my hands. Do they really exist? Did Zinnatulla Hazrat write poems? To bring some clarity to these questions, I called a few scientists. Among them was a scientist, recently defended his doctorate thesis on creation of Tukai. But I could not get a positive response. I was told that in the National Library there are none of Zinnatulla’s books. And only a regular author of the newspaper, Ph.D. Ramil Islamov remembered that Zinnatulla Hazrat after the death of his daughter Mamdude wrote a legend. So, the author, who described Zinnatulla as a poet, was probably wrong. And the rest, evidently, repeated this mistake.

It’s hard to say that today’s youth knows the work of Tukai very well. Even despite the fact that Tukai — our greatest poet. When I was in Arsky district, studying works of Tukai, I was told an anecdote. Inspector of the Ministry of Education and Science of Tatarstan went with inspections in schools. On the lesson of Tatar literature in the sixth form, he asked one student: «Who wrote Shurale?». The boy was not at loss, and replied. «I did not». Upset, the teacher talked about it at the parents’ meeting. The boy’s mother gave the following explanation: «It seems like it’s really not him. I did not see that he was sitting and writing «Shurale» at home.

Now children do not like to read books, as much as to do their homework. Most of the time they spend on the computer. It is well, if they are looking for additional material on the school program. But usually kids just play computer games.

It is necessary to think, how to interest children. Earlier in the schools after the lessons there were a lot of different circles. Teachers taught retarded students. Additional lessons are now called as tutoring, for which you need to pay. Of course, from parents’ pocket.

The Ministry of Education has banned teachers to take students on excursions or to theaters and concerts. Saying, in a way children can get into trouble. Of course, safety regulations must be observed. But it is impossible being afraid of going out to keep children at home or in school. It is important to make better use of the wealth, collected in our museums. Then, there will no students telling: “I didn’t write “Shurale». «

Holding events, dedicated to the great poet, to leave aside Uchile village — completely unfair omission. Let us not forget that the life and career of Gabdulla Tukai directly related to Uchile village.