“Great people are not born great, they grow great”
Wednesday, 7 January 1987, a new star appeared in the sky. The big boy, 4.9-kilo weight, came to the life to conquer the world. “I gave birth to elephant!” says my beloved mother. I am the only son in my family, with two elder sisters, and my little sister. The great attention was directed towards me, as I was a stubborn son, the one who is the future breadwinner of the family. I had almost everything I wanted because I came from economically well-developed family. Not a single child could have many toys as I had. I will never forget that my father bought me a 2 years old horse for my 12th birthday. My parents, however, were still strict to me. Every day, early in the morning, my father woke me up, brought me to the stadium, jogging with me and teaching me how to play football. This extraordinary experience gave birth to my future football career. Later in my life, 1992, I made my first step in the local school named Tesha Saydaliev in my hometown Termez city, Surkhandarya region, Republic of Uzbekistan. I was a math prodigy, eager to know, industrious and neat. These were simply the result of my upbringing. I was averse to waste my priceless time, and had a great determination to do things on time.
I have never had a dream but target, in my point of view, dream is just a imagination. Therefore, I usually set some targets in front of me, and move forward towards whatever I have aimed to reach. Being football player was my childhood target. In fact, I can recall those uncomfortable moments in the experimental tests in the local junior football club named “Spartak”. When I would pause to glance around the stadium, my parents and other youngsters who had same aim to play in that club, realizing that even though I might still have a young boy’s body but I had an old man’s heart. Frankly speaking, that was when I felt my heart trip, losing its cadence. Thinking football was the wave of the future. After all, I have accepted as a midfielder/playmaker because I was tall enough and had a good passes. It was the best experience one could ever have. My father brought me to neighboring county to buy football stuff for me. Words cannot express how I was happy. Training sessions have begun. Learning something new can be a scary experience, but I had a strong desire not to shame my parents, therefore, i showed my best strength. I knew there was nothing that I could not manage. I fought for my family’s honor, and always wanted to make my family proud of me. I believed, someday hard work would pay off. Ultimately, in 1998, i became champion between junior football teams throughout the country; it was the time to rise the championship cup over our heads, shielding my eyes from the tremendous glare that reflected off the cup. I did my family credit.
Nevertheless, my happiness did not last long, one day I was eavesdropping on my parent’s conversation. The atmosphere was not good in that small talk. My father told that we are in big trouble. His business was bankrupted. I had no idea what was the reason. There was no answer; there was no clean diagram of point A leading smoothly to the point Z. The delicate treatment did not work, though, there was an eagerly awaited announcement to know the details, or I assumed it was a hatched plot to cheat my father out for his business. My father was a big gun in the city. He had brought a super star, top singer in the county, to my circumcision. After that, people started to dish the dirt on him, even on my family. Playing in the world’s top football clubs, like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, being a well-educated lawyer, travelling throughout world had turned into something impossible that I could never get as if it were something written in the stars. Needless to say, my dreams crushed. This “punch” brought new direction to my life and was a huge turning point for me. The black clouds were over my head, dark days started…
Later as an adolescent, I had to work that I had never used to. My father left the city, went to overseas in the purpose of earning money. The young man became a breadwinner of the family. I had to rethink my strategies. I was devastated that I could not pursue my dreams of obtaining the college and bachelor degree, or continuing my football career in top clubs that I had always desired.
One thing led to another, after while my mother got high blood pressure and spent more than a month in the hospital. At that time, my sisters were students in local university, my little sister was still in the school like me. There was no income at all. I left football. I understood that even though this particular option was no longer open to me. I had to work, had to feed my family, buy medicines for my mother. I got a job in a computer game club as an administrator. I need much money and had to get it as quickly as possible, hence, I worked 24 hours a day. I ate, slept; shortly, I lived in the work place. It was a huge room filled with 10 computers. It was very cold inside. Every day, I tucked the earned money away. Twice, sometimes one a week, I came back home, bring a food, money for living and for medicine. When I visited my mother at hospital, just could bring two apples, I saw her and I could not hold my tears. We stood huddled together for a moment, my bottom lip quivered while tears were coming out of my eyes and even from the deep of my heart. They were tears of sorrow, for sure… I was in utter shock that not a single person, any relatives, any friends gave their hands to my family or to me in this unbearable time. I had no one to share my feelings, problems.. no one, no one at all, even God, but I still kept being practicing Muslim. I hold my beloved mother so hard, and I said, “Mum, I love you so much, much ever. I am ready to give my life for you.” We sat on the floor in front of the window in the big hall. It was about 1 am. We were goggled of doctors and other patients. I nestled my head against her shoulder and felt into gentle slumber; I did not sleep for days hence I was completely spaced out. I reeled out the hospital with gloomy face. This way of life, caused a great deal of stress for stunning me for long time. It is impossible to forget such horrific experience – they linger in the memory forever. Despite these occasional setbacks, I continued, headstrong, to pursue my passion for all things early modern. I did believe that the sorrows of my earlier years would give way to joy in later life. I got big ideas. I swore that I will not ask for help from anybody in any case in this world, I will make them ashamed who dished the dirt, who look at me as a piece of rubbish. Therefore, I took advantage of standing on my feet by myself.
Right after high school, I entered Tashkent Law College in capital city of Uzbekistan. I continued to come across many obstacles while I was a college student or even at university. After graduating my college, I took an entering exam at Tashkent Law University but I have failed. Another event, which shifted my life forever, that I have applied document for Uzbek State World Languages University. Being a lawyer was not a dream anymore. Not because of I could not pass the exam at Law University but I thought rational for a while. It is better to learn language and travel around the world, take my mother to overseas, to see the masterpieces of the modern or even ancient architecture rather than become a prosecutor and sentence people, make mothers suffer. It was outstanding decision I suppose. This was tremendous breakthrough in my life. In the nutshell, I have succeeded. In 2006, I became a student of Uzbek State World Languages University. My undergraduate curriculum consisted mainly of English classes. My student period was full of challenges in terms of economic circumstances and academic difficulties. I lodged with my friend when I came to capital city for the first time. I have faced an independent but tough life as I was living far from my family. Knowledge and gaining bachelor degree have now become more important than they had ever been before. I was doing well at University, after the first year my GPA was 3.7 out of 4 but in the following year I got in trouble with my main English teacher because of I was used to find his mistakes and got in discussions beyond the topic which was being taught but still in academic sphere. He has stopped paying attention to me, stopped answering my question, started getting bad grades from him even though I was one of the most active students in the class, though; my grades from other subjects were high. I was hunger of knowledge. Seeing no other alternatives, I continued to learn English at home, it turned into self-study. On the other hand, I was suffering economically as well. A friend, whom I was used to stay together, has transferred his study to the city where his family works. Alone at home. Nothing to eat. There were my relatives in the same city where I studied. I had no option visiting them for dinner or asking money for daily expenditures but feeling of shame push me back. I have already had my word that I will not ask for help from anybody else as they did not do when I was in need. I will never ever forget that once I opened a refrigerator and I saw a pair of carrot but they were uneatable… Carrots kept me alive for another bad day.. Twice I have lost myself, first one was at the bus stop, and another one has occurred in the bus, on the way to University. I became “skin and bone.” Saturdays and Sundays my schedule was not full, so I found myself with extra time on my hands. I joined my acquaintance to work at reconstructing buildings. It was wintertime. We were making a roof for crockery factory, suddenly I stepped on the nail. I did not feel pain because I have already got my leg frozen. Snow turned into red; it was as if roof has already painted into red if one looked at it from the front of the building.
General speaking, I swore vengeance on everybody who put us in trouble, dishing dirt on us but without a force rather with “brain” as my mother always teaches me “..never hurt people, even though you are hurt, let it flow, the day will come, the sun will shine between clouds again then they will regret. Just be patient.” Nothing could have been further from the truth. June 2010, I was defending my final research paper for gaining bachelor degree. Defending time has already come. We were in the diploma defense hall. There were approximately 20 students, professors and the teacher who hated me a lot. I did all as I could. It was time to announce the final grades. Exciting moments. They called my name, I went in front of the hall and the dean started to speak.. “the best speaker in this year with the best result 88 points out of 100 is Jakhongir Shaturaev!” The claps for the accomplishment evoked me someone special whom I was not patient to tell what has happened just now. I am calling my mother. “hello, mother it is me. I have failed in the exam.” “Really?” she chimed in. I could feel nuance of her, however, I just wanted to startle her. She was expecting an inordinate result from me but she was still in the line while crying and I continued my speech “I am always ready to give a sacrifice for those I love. I am the best speaker and graduated with the highest score in my faculty. Your sacrifices for me have paid off” tears of sadness turned into tears of joy. Then I got a job in one of the top engineering company as a junior manager and English translator. The economic problem in my family stared to wear off and it was recovering gradually.
The atmosphere became “fresh” again in my family as the wounds were gradually healing up. My mother has been promoted, and she was risen from an ordinary teacher into the position of deputy dean at the University where she works. Despite my future visions and good intentions to pursue post-secondary studies, bachelor degree, many decisions, and circumstances influenced my path but nothing would stand in the way of achieving my goals. In 2011, i got to my target what I fought for throughout of my life. I got a full scholarship for Master Degree in Indonesia. That year was the beginning of the new era for my family and for me as well. My two elder sisters finished their master degree, my little sister entered to Tashkent State Medical University. 10 July 2014, I graduated my master degree with the GPA 3.8 out of 4. At the moment, I am working as a regional manager in Samsung Company, furthermore, still willing to gain PhD in these coming years. In addition, I am reading books, those suits my sophisticated taste and playing table tennis in my spare time.
Different events in my life have directed my life path depending on the circumstances I found myself in. Free feeling when I achieve the goals I have set for myself because my goal keeps me moving forward as I know if I fall seven times, I stand up eight times. The life taught me a lot and it still does. If you work hard, it will pay off for sure. Just have a little faith, hard work and be patient. On the way to reach your target you shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars. I found throughout my small life experience that in this living world impossible is nothing!
to be continued….