ქართული | English


In mud veritas!

Keto Ninidze

Today is June 15, second day after the biggest World Wine Exhibition opening. Before leaving I have promised to Malkhaz, who is now in Bordeaux, I will write about WineExpo on Monday. But somehow it didn’t work. Expo information – places, dates, numbers, word signifying activities – as if it just lost its syntax stucture and can’t be put in sentences. As far as I know full well our friends from Wine Club always treated civil problems right, I’m not forcing myself to write the article. I believe Makho will understand me. He used to write about Vere Valley problems long before the tragedy. 

I automaticaly put text together and publish on blog. Then I’m making contact to my new friends on facebook, “13 June volunteers” group members. At the same time I’m thinking where to find spades, latex cleaning gloves, trash bags to buy and together with husband heading to the street that yesterday morning was destroyed in catastorphic flood. 

In post Soviet Georgia seems quite hard civilians to gather around values (but not around political movements). They rarely show clear position when protesting against even extremely intolerable antiecological resolutions. As older generation groans over TV news, we, younger people do our best in social media, but when it comes to real things, being sheltered in visual reality, we can not make strong society. 

But this time everything turned out another way. Amazing! Ready to help flood victims people are endlessly flowing to Tamarashvili Ave. Such a solidarity I do not remember since April 1989 (I was 5 years old then). We went down to asphalted slope - valley, in fact - (Bizarre how it came to one’s mind building homes here or even gave permission for it) and entered in one of the house yards. The house is almost on the same level to river water. This place in most damaged, so big part of the volunteers work here. We found out that luckily Zumbulidze family members luckily escaped flooding.  

It’s two storey house. The yard, like many Tbilisian yards, roofed with grapes. Green grapes are also covered with mud for river reached its top level, about five meters here. Oldest family member Lamara recalls year 1960 – year of previous flooding when she was newcomer here. Damage was also huge then, but they could easily clean sandy mud out of rooms. This time it will be much harder to clean the house out of soil River Vere brought from mountain slopes. 

Scene on the second floor porch was following; the day before family members and volunteers caried clay and silver cups collected for years, big drinking horns, tiny cups, cristal bowls, that once meant for “special toasts”, out of muddy rooms. And here they are covered with dirt as if they are ashamed to put their festive look on show – it is horiffic message from eternity, endeed. Only thing brightens up this gloomy situation is a guitar on dirty armchair – awkward piece of Tbilisian family colourful feasts. 

Whole day people are coming – young girls and boys, older ones – from their parents and grandparents generation, celebrities and non-celebrities like me, politicians and NGO-s, wearing ties, high heels, sneakers – we’re all gathering in this muddy yard and starting to work with spades untill we’re exhausted for our sorrow is so great that working is only way to handle it. We’re taking our rain boots and cleaning gloves off wishing to touch the ground we almost lost touch with and it becomes more pleasant as we getting more and more dirty.

Landslide and flooding killed 16 people and great number of zoo animals – most innocent creatures. And I believe only and more or less bearable perception of this tragedy might be the thought that death of the innocent victims and most painful catharsis will become a start for good changes - sorrow that transforms into physical and intellectual performace.

This is an image I captured with my iphone.  

© Wine Club of Georgia, Wine Information Center.


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May 2023