To be with V and the boys... and visit my homeland
May 3, 2005
A few days ago Varinder finally decided she’d had enough.
“We’re going, we’re leaving ... all three of
I reluctantly helped her pack her bags and those of
the twins. I collected together their favourite toys and books.
I put together a small bag of medicines suitable for toddlers.
At 19-months old they are teething with a vengeance.
[See what I
mean >>> video
“Honey, it doesn’t have to be like this ... ” I
She kissed me tenderly and said it was for the best, and
that even a purifier wouldn’t help.
Let me explain. The
builders are back and extending our already large kitchen into
an even larger one. The reason why V and twins
are leaving to spend the next two months with her parents is that
dust is everywhere. Dust is in my mouth, between my teeth when
I bite, in my nose when I blow into a tissue and in my underpants
ask. The last thing we both wanted was for the boys to be subjected
to so much dust. Dust which has been shaken off 120 year old brick
work, horse hair plaster and mortar can take months to work its
way out of your system.
So here I am, all by myself having dropped
V and the boys off earlier today at my in-laws. It’s not
too bad by distance -- only 70 miles away -- but when they aren’t
around and the house is so lonely and silent, they may as well
An eternal ‘look on the bright side’ kind of
person that I am, to distract myself, I have listed all the good
which will be happening to me in the next few months. Read on ...
Since I left Iran for the last time in 1977 aged 12, I have
harboured a dream to go back home. I have never needed an Iranian
passport since I was born in the UK and spent most of my 40
I got my assistant to write a letter on headed paper (anything
to add weight to my request) explaining that I had to visit
Iran for urgent personal reasons and that I only held a British
A week later I received a call on my mobile phone. It was an
embassy official asking me to ring him. I felt so elated I began
up flights to Tehran.
The next day I shut myself in my room and called the embassy.
After a few attempts a laid back voice answered. I politely
explained that I had written in, needed a visa, was Iranian by
etc. He replied that without a birth certificate I would never
be able to visit Iran again. Never? I repeated breathlessly.
Never, he assured me. But I am Iranian, we are speaking Iranian.
proof, he replied. A birth certificate or a passport, he replied.
So the next day I set about looking through all the ancient
paperwork I could find. I did have a birth certificate (my parents
one for each of us when they took my sister and I to Iran when
we were aged one and two). But where was it? My mum who lives
200 miles away didn’t know. It was not to be found in any
of my dad’s old briefcases. And It was in none of the boxes
we had kept full of paperwork from our last house move 8 years
Finally, this weekend, after taking all the books off a shelf
near the new kitchen wall, it dropped into my hands. It was crumpled
and still in its caramel coloured plastic cover. I tried to read
the words to see if I could recognise the way my name is written
(I can’t read or write Farsi) and I couldn’t. But
I know it’s my birth certificate because it can’t
be anything else.
Beside myself with excitement I revisited the embassy website
to download the passport application form. It was all in Farsi.
I now have to visit the embassy in person because I am officially
illiterate. The net result, however, will be an Iranian passport
in around 3 months -- I pray. And with V’s blessing
I will go back to the land of my ancestors. I shall keep you posted
with my progress.
2) I have a work trip to Louisville, Kentucky
in a couple of weeks. I will also visit our LA and spend a weekend
with my wonderful
cousin who with his wife has just had a little boy. My final whistle
stop will be to San Francisco to meet a new colleague who is based
out there. I can’t wait.
3) We are going on another holiday we can’t afford --
to Portugal this time. We couldn’t even afford the kitchen
extension so Portugal will stretch our credit limit beyond anything
we have experienced before. But we will, as always, pay it off
by hook or by crook. And it will be worth spending two wonderful
hot weeks in a villa with a pool with our German friends.
dentist cousin has organised for 20 of us (17 Indians including
V and my twins and me who are either part Indian not
at all Indian) to spend a weekend in Euro Disney. I will be interested
to see how I cope with large groups of Indians (who are no different
to large groups of Iranians, in case you think I am being racist).
other thing, I will be meeting JJ in San Francisco for a Chelo
Kabab! And all this before July!
But do I feel cheered up?
Not really. Nothing in heaven or on
earth can replace Kourosh shouting for me at 6:30 in the morning
or Siavash waking me up
by trying to pick my nose for me, and whispering, ‘No’ because
he knows he shouldn’t. Hello lonely weeks ahead.