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Kopol vs. Topol V
Battle of the bulge
Parts (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

June 28, 2002
The Iranian

Daashtam meeraftam noon bekharam...
By Siamack Salari

I have had two major setbacks on this diet. The first was when I broke our scales and the second was when a drunk made an unkind remark about my MP3 player headphones. See my video clip: Daashtam meeraftam noon bekharam...

The broken scales were a real problem because the new ones seem to have weighed me in at back to where I first started. My resolve, however, is still there, stronger than ever. I am now a semi vegetarian only ever caving in with white, lean meat such as turkey which is only ever Georged.

I eat salads and more vegetables than I ever used to and the combined effect seems to be helping. People are noticing that I look slimmer. As well as set backs I have had to negotiate some tough situations:

1) Leila, my mum's cousin came to dinner and brought a large box of chocolates - which I ate only two pieces of,

2) We went for a Turkish meal with friends and I stuck to chicken when everyone else had succulent lamb,

3) In Barcelona I controlled my eating but forgot to control my drinking...

4) I have drastically reduced my nibbling Now nibbling is a big problem. I learned to nibble food from my mum. Any bits left over in a bread basket, in a bowl of peanuts or in the fridge from a previous day's dinner would end up straight in my mouth. I think I now have my nibbling under control, although I do sometimes forget.

Finally, as if enough temptations aren't placed in front of me, V and I are off to Turkey for two whole weeks. I will stick to fish, salad and more salad. We will go for long walks and we will swim in the beautiful blue waters we have been promised by our travel agent. I will report back w/c 14th of July.

This lap's for you
By Jahanshah Javid

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when Uncle Cyrus (see-roos) told me to get ready.

This was in the middle of a Friday afternoon around 1972, when I was 10 or so. Was it summer? I don't remember. But it was in Abadan. It was bloody hot -- and damp enough to get vaporized just by standing out in the sun for ten minutes.

Handsome, vulnerable, melancholy Harvard MD Cyrus Bakhtiar and I were tennis partners. He gave me his Spalding aluminum racket -- one of the first non-wood rackets ever made. (Yes. It was a big deal. I had to have the newest and coolest things. And you couldn't get any cooler than playing with an aluminum racket at the Abadan Tennis Club in the early 70s.)

Every once in a while Uncle Cyrus would drive down from Masjed Soleiman in his beaten VW Beetle. (The story was that he drove it in the steep mountain passes near Masjed Soleiman without any breaks. He used the hand break.)

We would wake up very early in the morning and walk over to the tennis club and play a mean game.

Uncle Cyrus had an unconventional style. He would slide a foot or two on the white crushed seashell court, keep his arm close to his body -- as if it was glued to his chest and stomach -- let out a long, loud grunt and smack the ball.

Uncle Cyrus was an okay tennis player (I'm pretty sure I beat him more than a few times). But he was an extraordinary athlete. He was a swimming champion of some sort. And he jogged miles and miles at a time when no one considered jogging a sport nor something fun to do on a hot afternoon.

Imagine him like some Greek god in 1972 running in a yellow T-shirt, red shorts, and red Adidas shoes, grunting and sweating on Abadan and Masjed Soleiman's asphalt roads. It was like running on hot coal in a 500-degre oven. He once wanted to run from Abadan to Ahvaz, a 2-3 hour drive. I don't know if he ever did, but if anyone was crazy enough, it would have been him.

He was crazy alright. But I loved him to death. The man had such a gentle soul.

So one day he thought it was time. He told me to get dressed -- not for tennis, but for a run. Run? Did I have to do every crazy thing he did? I needed to be chased, or chase something. I would run after a ball, but to just... run? For no reason? Why?

So I ran with him. For five minutes? Ten? "Come on... you can do it..." Uncle Cyrus said, as he pulled on my shirt and dragged me through the streets of our Braim neighborhood. The hell I could! I had never felt so exhausted (and close to death) in my whole ten years. I could no longer lift my knees...


While I was running uphill yesterday, my knees... I couldn't lift them anymore. And I rememberd. "This lap's for you Uncle Cyrus..."


Cyrus drowned in a boating accident on the Potomac River in Washionton DC, Christmas Day, 1975.

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