Sain Muratbekov «The Scent of Wormwood»

Sain Muratbekov was a writer and playwright. He was born on October 15, 1936 in the village of Konyr, Kapal district, Almaty region. From 1957 to 1963 he studied at Kazakh State University, in 1971 he graduated from the Higher Literary Courses in Moscow. He was awarded the Badge of Honour and Honoured Worker of the Republic of Kazakhstan title, he was also a laureate of the State Prize. The writer's works have been translated into Ukrainian, Belarusian, Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Lithuanian, and Arabic languages. Many key facts from Sain Muratbekov's biography were described by him in the "Wild Apple Tree" story.

The story of the lyric writer "The Smell of Wormwood" is a work that stands out in Kazakh literature because of its very special charm. The reader can easily understand the characters, because they speak the same language. The story is understandable and accessible to both adults and children. The protagonist of the book is an orphan named Ayan. He loves to make up tales. He is very smart and he was the first to learn to read and write at school. He has all the positive characteristics of a truly exemplary boy. Ayan is patient. He never confronts anyone. If necessary, he can stand up to a bully, to Yesikbai, for instance, another protagonist. Even when the boy's grandmother died, when the report on his father's death arrived, when he dislocated his ankle and suffered from pain at work, he did not show his tears to anyone. The protagonist might not cry, but the reader cannot be indifferent to his sufferings. The author managed to create a completely typical image, which is capable of touching the depths of the readers' souls – and this is the very essence of mastery.

The smell of wormwood is the smell of the steppe. It is said that some readers, after reading this story, dreamed of seeing this special plant growing in the Kazakh steppes. Even the very phrase - "The Scent of Wormwood" reflects the national philosophy. Only such a classic author as Muratbekov could explain this with the words of a child.

“Hey, want to hear something interesting?” he asked happily, “Today, before dawn, I saw my father in my dream. That's true. Before going to bed, I put my father's coat under my head and smelled it for some time, and the coat smelled like my father. It was such a pleasant aroma, similar to the smell of wormwood. I buried my nose in the collar and sniffed it for a long, long time ... Grandmother often used to say: "I gave birth to your father on that wormwood hillock, when I was moving cattle in the pasture, I gave birth right in the steppe." That is why the smell of wormwood is the smell of my father… I fell asleep on my father's coat, and I saw him in my dream..."