“Don’t let anybody deceive you!”
30 January, 2014
“Don’t let anybody deceive you!”
A generation was keen on the works of Irakli Charkviani, a man who called himself The King to provoke the public. After his death, I decided to visit the family from which someone so free, gifted and different came. I have often watched his father Gela on television. His talent, beautiful voice and charm are admirable, and impress Georgians of all generations. In a presentation of his opera Nargiza, he performed all his works while accompanying himself on the piano.
Afterwards he agreed to an interview.
Q. Mr. Gela, what were your relations, first with your son Irakli and then with him as the King? What did you learn from him?
A. This or other way, a son is a son. So I knew him from the age when he was not a philosopher yet, not a King or a great musician. For me, he was still a child in spite of everything. Now when I look at his writings and music, I appreciate him in a different way.They are two different Iraklis. One is a child,and the other is a creative person.The one, whom I love more, is a child, and the other, whom I appreciate more, is a creator. What have I learned? I learned a lot from Irakli; on many issues about which we had debates, he turned out to be right. I understood it only later.
Q. What do you think about contemporary youth?
A. I approve of today’s youth. Some people insist they don’t know anything , but I don’t agree. Times change, and people get more information. It’s important just what knowledge is required in this or that period.You reproach someone for something he doesn’t know and that you believe … that knowledge is important. However, today it may prove not so significant. I belong to that category of people who like today’s Tbilisi more than the old one, and today’s youth more than the youth of old times. This Tbilisi is more like the city in which I wished to live.
Q. You were the son of the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Georgia. What kind of life did you have then?
A. I had that life till I was 13. Boys under 13 are still children.Of course, I had a unique childhood. The chance that someone would have such a childhood is less than winning a jackpot. Is it good or bad? Probably it’s a good thing, because it is unique, but isolation from people, from friends is still not a pleasant sensation.
Q. What is the thing you cannot forgive?
A. There are a few things.First of all, rudeness. And the second thing, which is still very difficult to forgive, is breaking a promise. I think that our country would be much better if 70% of promises were kept. The most important thing in a person is his word.
Q. Mr. Gela, what would you wish for young people?
A. I would like to advise them never to step back, and remember that all proposals not democratic are fake. The only thing they have to aspire to is a situation in which they will be able to vote for something meaningful, something which will allow them to be more or less engaged in the processes going on in the country. I wish that youth always protect their rights, and live in a system which protects their rights. Do not be misled, don’t let anybody deceive you.

More interviews and a series to be called “Conversations with Gela Charkviani” are being considered. As a son of Kandid Charkviani and father of ‘King’ Irakli Charkviani, Gela Charkviani has much to say to the younger generation.


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