NARGIS MAGAZINE
Interview by editor-in-chief

Nargiz Pashayeva

Who you are, "Little Lady of the Big House"? It is said: "Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in his hometown" Of all the variety of meanings of this maxim, I understand most of all its meaning, concerning how often we don’t notice or recognize it as such from being close to something great and high.

Very often this reflex works with people who are the closest, the most dear. Probably, a man has no one closer to his mother on earth. And in my relations with my mother, since my childhood I have had some kind of special connection, a desire to meet her expectations and a keen sense of my own luck from her presence in my life. But there is a certain bias in the close blood ties of the roles assigned to you, memorized over the years, which, at times, makes it difficult to voice the same question that you calmly ask without being a close friend.

Today I would like, trying on the role of the interviewer, to ask my mother about the most secrets and, possibly, to get the long-awaited answers ...

 1419_src

Mom, I have long wanted to tell you that you have a striking look. Your eyes are very kind and deep, and the look is piercing, even, sometimes, severe. How do you get to combine incongruous?

Well, firstly, the look, facial expressions and other external signals give the true essence of a person precisely because he is usually not able to constantly monitor or realize them.

No wonder there is a saying "the eyes - a mirror of the soul." Yes, the eyes always translate the inner state of a person, his mood, maturity, wisdom or, conversely, nearness, inner emptiness, inability to see and understand. Because "seeing" - it's not the same thing as the "look". Let us recall the words of Sherlock Holmes: "You look, but you do not see, and this is a big difference." With age, you begin to observe the life.

Over the years, do people necessarily get wise?

“It must be his purpose.” But the number of years, unfortunately, is not always proportional to the quality of lessons learned from past experiences. Happy is he who reaps with the fruits of life's wisdom over the years. This is not given to everyone, because wisdom is determined by some basic data of human nature. The vision of life is very different in 20 years and, let's say, in 40. And at my age you start to notice such nuances and colors that were previously inaccessible to you. In general, over the years, despite the trials and experiences of life, life itself seems to be more beautiful, more spiritual and richer.

But isn't it too scary awareness of life?

No no! One should understand that no matter what happens, everything has a fundamental principle. Just sometimes, human understanding, interpretation, philosophy of life are not equal to the objective laws of reality, of being. Yes, we are not given to know everything, but “the speech of truth is simple,” so there is no need to hurry with negative conclusions. I believe in the superiority of good, I believe that the formula “good triumphs over evil” is not an empty sound, but a true reality, sometimes hidden from view, but open to the heart.

 

Do not you think that a person with a more limited understanding of what is happening it is easier to live?

“Maybe easier, but not better.”  In the words of a famous philosopher Benedict Spinoza,  “Everything excellent is as difficult as it is rare.” I am personally for the depth of perception. It reveals such overtones of being, hidden implications that previously remained inaccessible.

With this, it is really interesting to live. But I mean human relationships. When, over the years, you begin to understand people, to distinguish between their masks, you are involuntarily horrified by the feeling that people can only seem and not be. Do not you think that it is better not to know anything about a person than to guess what lies behind the invented way?

The man has many faces, and so it was at all times. “ man is broad, too broad, indeed. I'd have him narrower”. So there is “It” - the deepest essence of the personality, unknown to itself. Man is the most difficult of all philosophical categories, and, in order to know the truth, he is prescribed to know himself. And many people are not able to be honest with themselves, not like others. And those people who have found this unity, the harmony of their internal and external image are people of a higher order.

They are among us, and for me such personalities are a certain limit of perfection that fulfilled Rumi's Sufi covenant "either seem as you are or be as you seem". But, unfortunately, such people are in the minority. But this minority always wins. And questions of this kind move in time and space, are transformed in their expression, but their essence remains unchanged. These problems have accompanied man in all eras - from antiquity to modernity, since human nature is unchanged. Even science ascertains the fact that the human genome has not undergone any changes.

 

What do you understand by the word "positive"? Positive inner spirit or human kindness?

Sometimes positivity is simply the absence of negativity. When parents do not abandon children, a stupid doesn't pry a smart,a dishonest isn`t decent, an ignorant doctor does not kill patients, a bad teacher doesn’t cripple the nature of the students, the acquaintance doesn’t turn into a mischief-maker, etc. As for the inner world of man, he is initially dual. And this dualism manifests itself in the eternal struggle of opposing entities in the human soul. Man equals: "God plus the Devil" - this formula of romantics is as old as the world. Hence the law of unity and struggle of opposites. A positive is when there is more light than darkness. We are not angels, we have many shortcomings, but one thing is a defect, another thing is a vice. One thing - a mistake, another - when intentionally. And there is nothing worse than untrue kindness. The world and the very nature of things are arranged so that the good can be reborn into its opposite, remember the film “The Black Swan”. So a good person is one who really tries to stay good all his life.

So, do you think that in the formation of a personality, education plays a greater role than the influence of the surrounding world and heredity?

Undoubtedly, the role of education is very great!

 

And by what criteria did you raise us, your children? Probably, it is easier to find a common language with a girl than with a boy?

I'll tell you what the difficulty is. It is generally difficult to educate a person, whether it is your child (it doesn’t matter - a boy or a girl), your student, your student, or your friend. Parenting is not a formula that you follow and get the result. Parents, family, and the environment itself play a role in bringing up a person. But it is the mother who lays some kind of protective mechanisms in the child, which later, already outside the family (and the child must be able to break away from the lap of the family when matures) become more active and will lead him through life.If the mother, for whatever reason, missed the point, not being close, lost contact, the child is deprived of the luggage of positivity and warmth that is consumed during a lifetime. Most importantly, you need to know that the child never perceives educational measures through consciousness, through the mind. The child perceives everything through the heart and through the emotions. Only without losing emotional contact with a child at an early age, it is possible to bring up a normal person. This should always be remembered.

Continuing the theme of children, do not you think that 80s,' 90s' children are very different from children born in the 2000s? Not only in Azerbaijan, but in the whole world. They are more developed, more ambitious, more cunning. With your experience of teaching, you probably feel it keenly?

Of course, the children have changed. Without change, there is no development. I would not argue that they somehow increased the degree of cunning. Cunning is usually an indicator of the nearness of the mind. A clever person does without such tricks; he lives according to other schemes. And children became different simply because they fulfill the inexorable law of dialectics - the law of development and movement forward through change. Generations should replace each other, introducing new ideas, new forms, new genres, types, which are signs of progress, into a new era. At one time, when Prokofiev wrote the ballet Romeo and Juliet, which is now considered one of the masterpieces of world classics, some members of the old generation of composers did not take it. This is one example of how sometimes the passing generation hardly understands the language of the new. But this does not mean that one is better or worse than the other.

“You are a scientist and run a university of 400 students.” This is a huge responsibility. What qualities should a leader have in the first place?

The first duty is human qualities, because the university is a big humanitarian, social “box”. In general, an educational institution is one of the largest social spaces, an important social unit. And the person who heads the university is responsible for each member of this cell, because the fate of these people is in his hands. And even when there is unbearableness, you cannot just turn around and leave, expecting, like in production, tomorrow to catch up with the plan, having fulfilled the double norm. This job is like caring for a small child. You will not tell him: today I could not feed you, but tomorrow I will feed you twice as much. Your constant presence is necessary here and now, on this day, on this minute, on this moment. Therefore, a person who does not have experience in the university, will not withstand such a load. Especially those people who are accustomed to be purely representative figures and, as a rule, come to everything ready. But for me it is the business of my life, in which I am a professional. And one more thing: one should be able to appreciate and support worthy people. That is, to be able to shine, not overshadowing, but on the contrary, illuminating others.

How many years have you been working?

I have been working since 1983, the year of my graduation. I graduated from the Faculty of Philology with a red diploma, I was immediately left to teach at the university - first as an assistant, after - as a teacher, then as a senior teacher. At 26, I was already a Ph.D. Next was the title of associate professor, then - professor of the department, vice-rector and, finally, rector. I went through all the steps of the career ladder in my profession, having overcome everything to be a real professional. But it was not easy to work, lecture, having two small children - I was very tired.

 1417_src

Now people live more for themselves. The abundance of temptations, when you want to try everything, to see everything ...

For young people, a craving for healthy temptation is a natural condition. This is normal. One cannot blame a person if he has any hobbies and interests, but at the same time, of course, there must be a sense of proportion - some golden mean.

Is the golden mean an ideal?

This is not ideal, rather, it is the norm. When you devote time to this and that, while finding the right balance.

At the same time you do not harm yourself ...

Yes, it is wiser not to harm yourself with some kind of momentary desires. Man lives in the local, that is, in the transitory sense of time. But he must live in global time. He must understand that today's decisions will have consequences tomorrow. That is, a reasonable person cannot be guided only by instincts, desires, passions, otherwise he will remain hostage to his eternal disorganization and carelessness. In general, the main enemy of man is often the man himself. Sometimes it is difficult to define this line between “good” and “bad”, but there are some obvious and unshakable principles that cannot be violated. If you break them, your life will collapse in the end. I also believe that a person should not build his life in such a way that he always has to lie or accept this lie. After all, a lie dries up the soul, humiliates the person ...

 1410_res_00

How to find a compromise between feeling and reason that argue among themselves?

If it concerns the issues of relations between the sexes, then everything is very fragile. The situation when he and she appear on the scene is very unpredictable. For example, why was Romeo and Juliet's love story a tragedy? Both are young, beautiful, from noble families ... Why did they have to die? Did Shakespeare want to demonstrate how those who love without memory are dying?

Over time, love does not die, but goes ...

But please, not in the habit! ..

Maybe the point is that such a bright love fades with time. And because death caught up with them in the midst of love?

But they did not die! Physically, yes, but their love did not die. This is not just a love story. This is a great story of a great ideal of love.

“It seems to me that love simply has its stages...”

Psychologists distinguish several stages of relationships: acquaintance, interest, further crystallization of feelings, etc. Each person is a combination of some characteristic features for him. There are funny, gloomy, greedy, kind, smart, stupid, etc. When a person falls in love, he attributes to the object of his love more such qualities that are not inherent in him. If he is kind and sympathetic, then add: "the smartest, most honest." This is more characteristic of women, men tend to be more realistic. And breaking occurs at the moment when they recognize these differences. My head understands that this person does not correspond to the ideas about him, but his heart is still unable to move away from him.

Now that's a tragedy!

Balzac described something like this: “Those who love either have no doubt or doubt everything.”

For men, it's just as hard?

Men are still different. They turn their minds on faster and calmly transform in the right direction. But they are also able to suffer for a long time, hiding it from prying eyes.

Yes, but they will cope with it.

Just men are able to get rid of the burden of destructive emotions in time. And women often continue and continue to carry this in themselves. Every woman should know that always deserves the love, attention and pleasure of the senses. To be honest, the feeling of the fullness of life is given to a man only by a woman, and to a woman only by a man.

 1418_src

Do you think love can be demanded only if he is capable of it? I personally adhere to this philosophy...

There are no guarantees in love. Do not think that your dedication in feelings will provide the same response. If a woman is inherent to become a slave of her senses, it is not a slave state like any man. I believe that in the relationship, first of all, the person, the wealth of nature, is interesting. Anyway, to be able to love and be loved means first of all to be able to love and appreciate yourself, your life.

Is it possible to combine feelings and mind? How to be responsible for the decision - in relationships, in the family, in your career?

There is one universal formula that I consider to be a good guideline: do as you should, and come what may.

That is, as the heart tells you, or as the mind?

As conscience tells you. Conscience is the most divine thing in man. The presence of conscience - evidence of light in the soul. If a person always acts according to his conscience, this is almost a holy person. Conscience does not have semitones. “Let your word be: yes, yes; no no; and what is beyond this is from the evil one, ”these are great words. Therefore, responsibility is above all honesty, decency.

Do you think that education affects the appearance, on the face?

Of course. The more cultured a person is, the more refined is his appearance. That is why, where backwardness, there is often ugliness. The beauty of the form is the beauty of the content. The more beautiful the content, the more perfect the form. Culture is always the highest aesthetic taste.

 

What style of clothing do you prefer? And how should a girl at my age dress?

Probably, do not wear very expensive things, expensive jewelry, do not dress up in things that make her older. Youth should exclude vulgarity, which, as a rule, destroys beauty, attractiveness and charm. In the modern world, a trend has emerged of some leveling of beauty, a stamp of appearance. It turns out that everyone wants to be the same. I prefer the images of the 50s and 60s - they have not candy, but rather inner, meaningful beauty. Now this is rarely seen. The world has become like a great consumer, culture - the mass. Elitism has fallen, sophistication, individuality, inimitability, imagery have become rare. The economically preoccupied modern world does not yet produce masterpieces, either in literature, or in movies, or in music. But this is normal, since periods of recession and Renaissance always replace each other.

“What are your favorite clothing brands?”

Prada, Nina Ricci, Christian Dior, YSL.

If you had the opportunity to get into any era, which one would you choose?

I would like to get into the future for 300-500 years ahead. It would be interesting to see everything, especially to see what kinds of art will appear. It is curious to find out by what means and methods the artistic thought of the person of the future will be expressed. But what I have no doubt is that people will remain essentially the same.

What is the most important quality you value in a person?

Decency and nobility.

And what repels?

Cruelty and hypocrisy, indifference.

Icon of style and beauty? Have a favorite image?

At school I collected postcards of stars: Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot, Robert Taylor and others. But most of all I had postcards of Claudia Cardinale. I considered and consider her very beautiful and charming. Her photos were always on my desk, and I often looked at them. And then you were born, Ulya, who grew up, flourished and turned out to be surprisingly similar to Claudia Cardinale. Once Claudia, seeing you in Paris, exclaimed: “How do you look like my youth!”. Then I was once again convinced that in this life everything is interconnected and interpenetrated. This is what the ancients still spoke of as the unity of sets. So, not everything lies on the surface.

You said that from modern actresses you like the image of Demi Moore ...

Yes, I like her. This is an amazing image, embodying realism and romance, modernity and classics at the same time.

Your wishes to our magazine?

So that everything will always be beautiful and happy!

 1424_src

 Text: Ulviyya Mahmudova/ Photo: Sitara Ibrahimova, Nijat Burchiev

 The interview was published in the first issue.