From Sydney to Shahroud
Day drifting for a few seconds
By Yassaman Motaghipour
March 31, 1999
During the months of spring -- although it is technically autumn here
in Australia -- Sydney has these beautiful Jacaranda trees that turn entirely
purple. All you see from a distance is this painting of greens with purple
spots. In the mornings, sitting in the train on the way to work, I look
out the window and I see snap shots of Shahroud.
In the summer of 1374 (1995) we went on a trip to Shahroud. We were
on our way back to Tehran from a trip to Gorgan and Mashhad. Driving on
the "Silk Road", we passed cities and karvansaras. Our daughter
Nastaran was eight-years old and usually slept in the back seat of the
car. As we would approach a karvansara, she would get up and jump out of
the car toward the old ruins.
She is a cautious child. I don't know what it was about those ancient
relics that interested her so much to the point of brevity. Or maybe I
do know. I watched her going through the gate of a karvansara as I imagined
travelers going in to rest for the night.
I again see the Jacaranda trees as they are surrounded by greens. The
images take me to a view of Shahroud from the tomb of Aboulhassan Kharghani,
a Sufi, in the village of Ghal-eh Nokharghan, about half an hour from Shahroud.
Shahroud is surrounded by greens and further on by mountains. It is
so "Iran" - like a poem. At one level it is like a few words
with meaning attached to it, at other levels the context and connections
bring out the true meaning. Shahroud's surrounding nature, its simple urban
structure and the history that it carries, are in such harmony and peace.
Bayazid Bastami's grave is close to the city. A simple stone with a
monument built next to it. The story is that Bastami wished to rest in
a simple grave. As you walk into the area, the simple grave stone is the
center of attraction, not the monument built during the Moghol era.
The mehmansara is above a hill with a view of a small park. Nastaran
challenges a local boy her age to play with her, as we sit to absorb the
centuries that have gone by in Shahroud. The last snapshot is of the stars,
as they bear witness to all this.
I have seen different parts of Iran and I have a list of favorites but
somehow Shahroud stands out as a Jacaranda among other beautiful trees.
When I get to the office, I make myself a cup of coffee to make the necessary
switch, then start working.
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