Deduško

Autor: Daniela Husarova | 19.8.2014 o 10:23 | (upravené 21.8.2014 o 18:37) Karma článku: 9,46 | Prečítané:  2418x

Po toľkých rokoch strávených v zahraničí, jednou z vecí, ktorú som nečakala je, že nanovo musím spoznávať členov mojej rodiny. Pár týždňov doma na Vianoce a tým pádom len deň-dva so starými rodičmi, to je dohromady za tých 15 rokov asi 30 dní strávených s mojím dedkom. Je to paradox, pretože ako dieta som prežila prvé tri roky u babky a dedka, kde sme vtedy aj bývali s rodičmi. Naša mama ešte študovala a otec bol na vojne. Boli to moji najobľúbenejši a pre mňa najlepší ľudia na svete, a po toľkých rokoch ich znovu spoznávam. Babka síce zomrela pred pár rokmi, a tak spoznať ju nanovo sa mi už nikdy nepodarí. Neprisla som ani na pohreb, lebo som akurat vtedy zacala novu pracu v Californii, a nedalo sa. Ale našťastie je tu ešte deduško.

Vybrala som sa za ním cez víkend úplne sama, a tak som mala krásnu príležitosť stráviť čas s ním osamote. Býva v Novej Dubnici.

Vychádzam hore schodmi do bytu na druhé poschodie, tá vôňa je presne taká istá ako si ju pamätám celý môj doterajší život. Zhlboka sa jej vždy nadýchnem. Aj protokol otváranie dverí je stále ten istý: zvonček: cin cin a dvere maju tiež osobitý zvuk, keď sa otvoria, zašumia a trochu puknú. Toto všetko je uložené v mojej pamäti, určite aj preto, že to boli prvé zvuky, ktoré som ako male dieťa vnímala. A vdaka tomuto, na zlomok sekundy sa zas citim ako dieta. Chcem aby tento moment trval co najdlshie, ale akonahle sa otvoria dvere, som naspat v realite.

Môj dedko je veľký labužník a vždy aj bol. Toto o ňom viem. Babka zvykla variť nenormálne vepřo, knedlo, zelo. A sviečkovú omáčku. Fašírky, zemiakový šalát a vianočnú kapustnicu. To všetko take, že ešte teraz sa mi slinky zbiehaju na tieto jedinečné chute. Po vsetkych tych rokoch a po tom ako som ochutnala jedla aj z ulice a aj z pat hviezdickovych Michelin restauracii po svete, toto jedlo je pre mna stale najvzacnejsie a nenahraditelne.

Mala som preto v plane, že mu určite navarím, keďže teraz mu nosia obedy z nejakej jedálne... Raňajky a večere si pripravuje sám. Nesťažuje sa, on sa nikdy nesťažoval na nič, ale ja viem, že mu určite chýba domáca strava. Môj otec ma vybavil uhorkami, bratranec doniesol domáci cesnak, tak nezostávalo nič iné ako začat uhorkovým šalátom, presne ako ten od babky.

“Ahoj dedko, tak co ti navarim?” “Ja nič nepotrebujem, cérenka moja,” povie deduško, keď mu oznámim svoj plán, a ďalej lúšti krížovky tak, akoby to bolo strašne dôležité. Pousmejem sa, lebo v tomto sa teda nič nezmenilo: Sedí len tak v tielku a v teplákoch v tej istej kuchynke na tej istej stoličke, presne tak ako si to pamätám. “Mne to cibrí mozek,” hovorieva milo tou svojou trnavčinou. “Ale ja to aj tak urobim. A k tomu faširky.” A aj keď sa na mňa od krizovky sotva pozrie, viem, že je rád, že tam som a varím. A aj ja som tam rada.

Môj dedko a ja zdieľame jednu vášeň, a to je, že sa radi túlame a máme radi dobrodružstvo. Dá sa to nazvať aj zvedavosťou. A nenormálnou. On, keď ešte šoféroval, často chodil po okolí autom, babka ho veľakrát zháňala a on sa vybral len tak si zaplavávať vo Váhu alebo na kukuricu a tak podobne. Potom chodil na bicyckli, na tom síce chodí stále, no už nechodí k Váhu a ani nzáhradu, ktorú majú v susednom meste v Dubnici nad Váhom.

“Dedko, kde chceš ísť? Pôjdeme pozrieť k Váhu? Alebo na záhradu? Možeme oboje,” otvoria sa mi oči, lebo ja by som tam strašne chela ísť. “Ktohovie načo. Načo by sme tam chodyly,” odvrkne tvrdou trnavčinou. Ale ja viem, že sú to len také reči. “Najeme sa a ideme. A hotovo.” Po fašírkach sa len tak zaprášilo, a fakt sa vydarili. Ja varím ako moja mama, ona ako jej mama, čiže babka, a tak tie chute sú tam stale tie isté. Po obede sa len potichu prezliekol do druhých teplákov a do trička. “Daj si tenisky, lebo ideme k vode,” kričím na neho počas umývania riadov. Od dveri na mna krici ze si zabudol paličku: "Nejako si na to neviem zvyknut..."  Potom už s paličkou, ktorá mu pomáha pri chôdzi si to pomaličky šlapeme dolu schodmi, a ja aj kvôli tomu, aby si nepripadal taký pomalý, spomalím na jeho tempo.

Keď mu chcem dať v aute pás, povie: “Ja si to viem aj sám.” Je mi to smiešne, ale je to zlaté. Najskôr si to zamierime na záhradu. Dlho tam nebol a smutno kráča smerom k opustenej chatke. Mám čo robiť, aby som nezačala revať. Pripomína mi to stratené detstvo a aj babku a aj to, čo asi musi cítiť on, ísť tým zarasteným chodníkom, otvoriť tú opustenú a schátralú chatku, kde skoro päťdesiat rokov chodili spolu s babku pestovať zeleninu a ovocie. Nájdem zopár ríbezlí, tak ich oberiem a odtrhnem si aj kôpor. Zavriem oči a nadýchnem sa: kôprová omáčka. Aj babka by obrala kôpor a navarila kôprovú omáčku. “Dedko, vecer varime kôprovu!”

Cestou naspäť prechádzame okolo takmer opusteného a schátraného areálu kedysi veľkolepých ZŤS, kde môj dedko riadil aj dvesto ľudí. Bola to kedysi veľká sláva. Vyrabali sa tam tanky a tazka municia pre Rusko pocas studenej volny. “Dedko, poď, kuknime cez bránu, dá sa trochu vidieť aj do vnútra!” “Ale ja som to už videl, načo by si tam chodila…” “Ale ja to chcem vidieť!” Tak zastavím auto a nakuknem tam, kde to vyzerá úplne ako zarastená záhrada, a nie ako nádvorie závodu. Popraskané okná, všetko zarastené, jednoducho nič iné len príroda – burina, ktorá sa tam rozmohla za posledných 25 rokov. Dedko nevyšiel von z auta, ale pokukoval. Neviem prečo nešiel, ale asi preto, že on nemá rád históriu. Ani vykopávky. Čo to vraj koho zaujíma, čo tam bolo predtým. Ibaže tento raz veľmi dobre vedel, čo tam bolo predtým.

Cestou k Váhu aj zle zabočíme, ale keď sa blížime k vode, tak ideme bez rozprávania. Viem, akú rolu rieka Váh zohrala v jeho živote. Ako dieťa žil v dedinke Šulekovo pri Váhu neďaleko Hlohovca. Raz mi povedal: “My chlapčiská sme ani doma neboli. Vždy sme sa hrali na Váhu.” A tak ako mlčky vychádzame z auta a ideme k brehu a spoza stromov ešte nič nevidíme, ja si spomeniem na člena rodiny, ktorého už nikdy nespoznám. Bol to dedkov starší brat Rudo. Bol veľmi talentovaný a rád kreslil. Dokonca ho prijali aj na umeleckú akadémiu. Raz keď sa hrali na Váhu, krátko po vojne, tak mu granát, ktorý našli a rozoberali s chlapcami, odtrhol pravú ruku. Vtedy povedal, že vraj už si ani pivo nebude môcť otvoriť. Ale nevzdal to a naučil sa písať a kresliť ľavou rukou. A asi sa naučil aj to pivo otvoriť. O nejaky čas neskôr, keď sa zase ako chlapci kúpali na Váhu, dedkov brat stúpil na nevybuchnutú mínu este raz a uz posledny krat. Dedko tam vtedy bol a povedal, že ho rozhodilo do vzduchu, ani ho nebolo vidiet, len drobne kusky im popadali na hlavy. Ryby sa z toho krmili.

Mlčky prechadzame koridorom k Vahu. Je obkoleseny kosatymi stromami a dedko podotkne ze kedysi to taketo zarastene nebolo. “Bohvi čo tu bude za dvadsat-tridsat rokov.” Zamysli sa. Vodu stale nevidiet a je blato, ako tak ideme klukatou cestičkou. Len čochvila, uz sa trbliece spomedzi stromi. Je hneda. Taka zelenkavo-hneda a prinasa pocit vlahy do tohto dusneho letneho dna. Vidime kusok, kracame pomaly a ten kusok spomedzi stromi sa stale zvacsuje a zvacsuje. Keď už sme skoro pri vode dedko sa otoci a povie mi: “Chyc mi ruku, zabudol som si palicku.” A tak ako pred tridsiatimi rokmi mi on držal ruku, keď sme spolu cupkali k tomuto istemu miestu, teraz som mu podala ruku ja a stiskla som mu ju trochu viac ako bolo treba.

 

ENGLISH

Grandfather.

Here is one thing I did not expect to happen upon my moving back to my old country. That I will have to meet and get to know my family members all over again. Throughout those years, I had spent few weeks in Slovakia for Christmas, out of which two days spent with my grandparents. To do the math, in fifteen years, I had spent altogether thirty days with my grandparents. Quite a stretch, considering I basically lived the first three years of my life with my maternal grand parents, while my mother was still finishing University and my dad was on his then-required army duty. My grandparents were my life. They were the only people present in my life actually, and now after so many years, after a huge gap, I finally have a second chance to get to know them again. Not my grandmother, as she passed away few years back. I didn't even make it to her funeral, as I just started my new job in California at that time. Luckily, grandpa at age of eighty two, is still here.

I decided to visit him over the weekend and so I had a unique opportunity to spend some time with him alone. He lives two hours north in Central Slovakia, in a small picturesque town Nova Dubnica, settled between dense green mountainous. Driving up the highway, I love watching the landscape changing from completely flat, to gradually bumpy hills, and eventually, once they reach that certain height, I know I am home.

As I climb up the familiar staircase in the post-war era building to the second floor, my senses are overcome.  I smell the same scents as I have my entire life coming here. I inhale deeply. It is a mixture of sauerkraut in the basement and something else that I can never attribute to anything specific. Even the bell ringing protocol and door opening sound have throughout all these years, remained the same. The bell goes one loud 'diiinng' which echoes on forever.  The door has this double cracking sound when they open. All this is memorized in my memory really really deep. Perhaps result of me being brought up here as an infant, these are my first memories. Such one never forgets. Before stepping in, just for a split second, I transcend to my childhood. The time suddenly stops into a slow lethargic linger. I want this moment to last, but as soon as the door opens, it is all gone. I know it will be there again, for the same split second, when I return.

“Hi dedko. So what am I going to cook for you today?” I ask joyously after we greet. “I don't need anything, my little one.” replies grandpa without even looking at me, and sits down back to the same chair where I remember him sitting since day one. I pause to take in the scene: thick glasses on a tip of his nose, white tank top and nothing but boxers, he is solving a crossword from a sunday paper. Hair as white as snow. “It refines my brain.” He always says regarding his crossword. “Well, I am going to cook anyhow. Fried meatballs and cucumber salad.” He keeps on solving his crossword like I am not even here and as if it was the most important thing in the world. But I know he is happy I am there.

My grandpa is a savvy eater. And always has been. That hasn't changed. My grandma used to make out-of -this-world pork, cabbage and dumplings, the typical czech dish (http://tinyurl.com/mno4j95​). And “candle” sauce. Svieckova omacka (http://tinyurl.com/c3vb7p), which is ironically made out of carrots, not candles. In spite of all those years passed and in spite of having eaten anywhere from food trucks to Michelin five-star steakhouses, these flavors will remain most precious and simply irreplaceable in my palate.

My plan is to definitely cook something for him. He gets his lunch from nearby eatery delivered every day and manages his own breakfast and dinner. He doesn't complain, he never has. But I know he misses the home cooking. I brought some fresh cucumbers from my other grandmother and so I had no other chance but to make the cucumber garlic salad (http://tinyurl.com/mfarj49), just like grandma's.

My grandpa and I, as I suspected, share the same passion. We both like adventure and like to go see places. We can call it curiosity. Sparkling curiosity. Extreme curiosity. When he was still able to drive, he would go around the town, to the river Vah and back. Grandma could never find him. He would just decide on a fly to go and to take a swim to the river. Or he would go and steal few cobs of corn from nearby fields. Then, when he couldn't drive anymore, he would go as far as he could on a bicycle. He still rides his bike but doesn't go too far, as his leg is ailing.

“Dedko, would you like to go to the river? Or go check out your old garden? Or both?” I ask him also because I would like to go. “Oh, why would we want to do that now?” and gets back to his puzzle. His argument is not really an argument. I know he will go. “Oh come on! We will eat and go.” I command like grandma would. Few fried meatballs later, he automatically starts putting on his shirt and sweatpants. “Granpa, put tennis shoes on, we will go to the water!” I holler at him while washing the dishes. He is very very slow walking down the stairs and so I automatically slow down to his speed, mainly so he doesn't feel so slow. Half way through, he sends me back to get his walking stick. "I just can't remember the damn stick..." 

In a car, I try to put his seat belt on, but he stops me: "I can do that."

First stop, the old garden house. I have not been here over twenty years. Not much has changed. He hasn't been here for a while either. He gets out of the car without my help and slowly and sadly walks towards the familiar garden hut building. I am walking behind him and am trying hard not to cry. The sight, the smell, grandpa limping on the dirt path, me, the quietness of the mountain, it all reminds me of long lost childhood. And lost grandmother. I wonder what thoughts are going through his head. I pause before I step in, and inhale the moist air. I can smell the dill growing fresh from the rich soil. It reminds me the long warm summers we had spent under this mountain. Grandma would make a dill potage this time of a year. I look around and there are few dill plants still alive and so I pick few. “We are making dill potage tonight, dedko!” I am not sure he listens. He just aimlessly goes through few items, tosses some to the garbage. Then we are done.

On the way back, we pass the abandoned factory where dedko used to work his entire adult life. In this factory, thousands of workers assembled tanks for the Soviet army during the communism era. There is nothing there now. We pass by the main entrance gate. It is rusty and barely visible because the trees and grass have not been attended to since the nineties, the end of Cold War. I walk out of the car and peek through the gate. Nothing to be seen except more weeds and grass on what used to be a mighty factory square. One gets almost a chilling moment looking at places where life used to be once, and is no more. Dedko does't step outside the car. He says: “I have seen it enough already.” But I think for whatever reason he prefers not to see it.

Off we go. Next stop is the river. I know this river Vah had played major role in dedko's life. We park the car and have to walk down the stoney path rimmed by bushy trees to get down to the water. You can hear the birds chirping more. And you can hear the river. It's life. We are walking down slowly, and speechlessly and I can't help but remember a story about dedko's older brother Rudo. I have never met him and I never will. He was a very talented young man and was about to go and study at the academy. This was right after the war. They lived in a village by this river, about fifty kilometers down south from where we are today. “We were never home.” he told me before about him and his brothers. The story goes, one day, while playing in the river, Rudo touched an explosive left behind by the Germans who were being pushed by the Russians from the East. They had left unexploded ammunition behind. It cost him his right arm. He used to say: “I can't even open a beer bottle anymore.” Not much time passed since that incident, and the boys played in the river again. This tim Rudo stepped on a grenade. Grandpa had said before: “It was just pieces in the air falling down on us and to the river. Fish were feeding on it.”

Quietly and slowly we are approaching the river bed. Dedko makes a comment that it didn't use to be this overgrown. “Who knows what will be here in twenty, thirty years...” He wonders out loud. We can't see the water as we are just coming out from behind the curve. The path is muddy. Eventually, we are catching glimpses of water, peeking through the dark green leafs gently moving in the summer breeze. It glitters. The water is light brown – greenish color. It brings a feeling of life to this hot and muggy day. Once again, I feel as if I am traveling back in time.

The closer we get, the bigger the opening in the trees appear and we see more water. Only few more meters and we can turn this curve and be by the water. Suddenly, grandpa turns to me and says: “Here, hold my hand. I forgot that damn stick again.” And so just like thirty years ago when he held my hand coming down here, now I hold his and squeeze it a bit more than I really have to.  

 

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