The Newlyweds (2)

The wedding was a grand ballroom affair at some fancy hotel in downtown Toronto

06-Oct-2008 (11 comments)
Hi Dear Brother, First, I apologize for this tardy response to your letter. What with the wedding, honeymoon trip and our return to Toronto, getting acquainted with my new life, I have not really had the time to digest all of it myself, let alone write you an account of it. The wedding can best be described as a circus. The successive faces of various amoos, khalehs, dokhtar-dayees, friends, business associates etc. whirled around me like we were all on some sort of a giant merry go round, until they all started blending and blurring together. As the wedding guests lunged towards me, with their wide, grimacing mouths and teeth as sharp as their designer suits, I could not tell whether they were going to kiss me or bite me >>>


The Falling Stream

A page from a novel

03-Oct-2008 (10 comments)
So we decided to kill ourselves at the same time. “Hanging,” she said. I shook my head. “Too painful,” I said. “I like pills.” “No,” she said. “It’s typical coward’s kind of death. We want something spectacular.” Then we talked for hours about different ways of dying. Throwing ourselves under a train or a truck. Eating arsenic or burning ourselves. The final solution was supposed to be so original that nobody had never died from it. So unforgettable that everyone was going to remember how hopelessly we felt when we were alive. “We can’t live without hope,” Mitra said. “Suicide is our last hope,” I said. >>>


The Newlyweds (1)

BAM! Love at first sight.

02-Oct-2008 (11 comments)
Dear Mitra Joon: Yes, you read the subject line correctly. I am getting married!!! I know, your jaw is dropping from the shock. Me? Getting married? Me, who had all but given up on love, and vowed to remain single forever. It has been a whirlwind, let me tell you. I guess it must be true what they say, that you find your true love only once you have stopped looking. I had all but given up on finding my Prince Charming especially after kissing so many frogs (remember Houman from Montreal? LoL). In my case, as you have guessed, I found my true love in the most unlikely of places: Iran >>>



اینجا دارَک است. و کل جمعیت آن هشتاد و سه نفر است.

26-Sep-2008 (4 comments)
آن سال ها چنین بود که می توانستی پس از اتمام سال چهارم پزشکی، دانشگاه را رها کنی و برای سه سال خدمت با عنوان پزشکیار بروی به دهات دور افتاده و اغلب بد آب و هوا و پس از آن مجددن برگردی دانشگاه و تحصیل را از سال پنجم ادامه بدهی. اگر تعهد چنین خدمتی را می دادی در عوض با گذراندن امتحانی خاص " و نه کنکور " به دانشگاه می رفتی و پس از بازگشت و اتمام بقیه دوره و گذراندن " تِز " و دریافت پایان نامه دکترا، دیگر نیازی به گذراندن چند سال خارج از مرکز نداشتی. "اصلان" با سپردن چنین تعهدی سه سال خدمت بهیاریش را در ده دور افتاده و سرتا پا محروم از همه چیز و در حقیقت فراموش شده " دارَک " از دهات بندر عباس گذراند. از بچگی رفیق بودیم من و او و " کاظم "، در حقیقت سه تفنگ داری بودیم که حتا یک فشنگ هم نداشتیم>>>



Kish exuded a mystical attraction that tugged at our senses in unknown ways

23-Sep-2008 (one comment)
With the borders closed, many turned their gaze inward and began exploring parts of Iran they had not seen in years. Despite the ongoing war, there was a boom in the tourism industry; this time it catered not to foreigners but to Iranians themselves. There was plenty to see that was out of range of artillery shells and mortars, so we took every chance possible to visit parts of Iran that neither of us had been to previously. One of our first trips was to the island of Kish, a windswept strip of coral in the Persian Gulf. Prior to the revolution, the Shah had spent millions converting the barren piece of land into a world-class resort that catered to rich Iranians and Arab sheikhs>>>



Placing a rolled-up corner of pizza into his mouth allowed him to momentarily wash away his woes

22-Sep-2008 (one comment)
Ali met Bita when they were both at university in Tehran. It was the autumn of nineteen ninety-eight. They were arguing politics at a friend’s rooftop party, one exchange led to another and they left with each other’s phone numbers. They were married by the following spring. Ali’s father had agreed to let them stay in an apartment he owned, for six months. It was furnished but the bed was a bit creaky so they got a futon. Months later, after Ali’s arrest, Bita found herself sleeping on it alone, with only a pillow to hug. That first summer, Ali, along with Sam, the boy at whose dinner party they had met, had helped to organise a number of sit-ins in the student protests of June nineteen ninety-nine. The men who whipped them assured them they would never be able to sit again>>>


Diaries & Jallad

A novel: Chapter 17

K. was thinking about Wednesdays, caught in the middle with little or no respite, nearly always a working day, without any one questioning why weekends should always get the big breaks, then wondered if the predicament of Tuesdays or Thursdays was any better and answered yes, since Tuesdays were like Mondays fresh with work spirit and Thursdays bound up with the excitement of weekends breathing at their neck, and yet, the moment he remembered Jalil’s voice informing him recently that as of late Thursdays were being treated in government offices as an extension of Fridays, i.e., a longer weekend, he quickly shelved any comparison of poor lonely Wednesdays and Thursdays. It was past 7 pm and he was sitting across the table from Dr. Assadi at his small office on the second floor overlooking the yard where a trickle of patients were still milling about.>>>


A Good Night's Sleep

You had to do your best in whatever country you were in, and we had to do our best in America

"Let's go to an American bar and have an American beer," I said. "All right," he said. I could see he was thinking of why did somebody have to stop going to a bar and ordering a beer in order for somebody else to know what it was. Somehow I thought that if it really was like that, if there really was a time when everybody in the world could do that, could just walk right in and order a beer wherever they were, there wouldn't be any need for any beer to order. There was a way we could each walk into a bar individually - sit down, have a look around, check the score of the game - and there was a way we could walk in together. I felt sorry for him. I felt sorry for me too, and I felt sorry for everyone in the bar. I felt sorriest for them because at least we knew the value of a good night's sleep. It was a losing business to look at Americans and wonder what they thought of the war >>>


پنبه های فشرده در زمان

مدادم را با خودتراش تیز می کنم. می نویسم و می نویسم تا آرام شوم. آنقدر که تو از عکس بیرون بیایی و در کنارم بنشینی.

دستم را از پنجره ی قطار بیرون می آورم پنبه های زمان را به دست می گیرم فشارش می دهم . چکه های آب به آرامی بیرون می ریزد. کف دستم را باز می کنم در لابه لای شیارهای دستم آب جمع می شود. به داخل کوپه ام می روم _ به آرامی می نوشم . طعمش زبانم را بی حس می کند و روحم را نوازش! دفتر کاغدی ام را باز می کنم. مداد قهوه ای رنگ را از جیب کتم بیرون می آورم دست چپم را سایه بان چشمانم می کنم تا آفتاب سفید کاغذ را نورانی نکند _ چون می خواهم از تو بنویسم. چون می خواهم از نوشته ام نور تو بتابد نه نور خورشید!>>>


Diaries & Jallad

A novel: Chapter 15

I am very upset that I can't find my new notebook and the 100 rupee inside it. I hope no one has stolen it from me. It has got to be somewhere in my room. I was able to finally get through to my mother. Baba is in Tehran trying to get them forgive me so that I could come back. Knowing them, I doubt he will succeed. I am not even sure I want him to succeed. How could I go back to Mohsen? Doesn't Maman know we are absolutely finished with each other? Today I like to sort things out, put everything into proper perspective. That means I have to write about Ahmad. If I had the will I would not bother with it. If.>>>


Broken camera

Way before the revolution started, I was already hiding in my room

04-Sep-2008 (13 comments)
Spring of 79. I hadn’t yet turned twenty. It was the day of the demonstration against the banning of the last liberal newspaper, Ayandegan, only a few months after the revolution. Before we left home, Arash - my cousin and Kian’s brother - promised my parents he would protect me by swearing on the Koran to impress them, even though my parents never cared about religion, even though they knew Arash was a converted Communist. It was a warm day. “Wear comfortable shoes and don’t carry anything heavy,” Arash said. Once we joined the line of protesters, Arash grabbed my hand and didn’t let it go>>>


Diaries & Jallad

A novel: Chapters 13 and 14

A big thank you to aunt Maryam for sending me this precious journal as a new year gift, eidee. She wants me to make a daily entry, long or short, even if it means only a sentence. She is confident I am going to thank her one day for encouraging me to do this. I should have begun with a self-introduction. My name is Zohreh. no Zahra. Actually it is both, not at the same time of course. I guess it depends on which school I happen to be going to. As long as I was at Mehrain, where religion is taken very seriously, I was Zahra my birth certificate name>>>



I knew I was going to be safe as long as my homework was perfect, as long as Mrs. Mostofi remained our family’s friend

02-Sep-2008 (12 comments)
It’s hard to be a victim. It is harder to be a witness. Every man in my childhood city -- at some point in their lives -- was one of my father’s students. He had built the first high school of the town, one that allowed only boys. This accomplishment made him walk with pride, showing off his weighty influence. We lived at the end of a narrow passageway, where, in summertime, the neighborhood boys played with a plastic ball in the dusty road, fought over their turn to ride the postman’s bicycle, and the silence of their absence was the sign of approaching cold. Mrs. Mostofi, my first grade teacher, lived next door. Every time she made Halva for a religious mourning or celebration, her maid brought a plate to us>>>


مونیک واقعی بود، یعنی هست

- آه مهستی، من یه سرطان کوچولو دارم.

02-Sep-2008 (2 comments)
امروز درست دوازده روز است که از مونیک بی خبرم و همین نگرانم می کند. باید پیش از این که خیلی دیر بشود این مطلب را در موردش بنویسم. تا پیش از این جریانات اخیر، یعنی تقریباً تا دو سال پیش مونیک به قول ایرانی ها یک دختر "همه چی تمام" بود. اول از همه: خوش هیکل بود، مونیک دختر بلندبالایی با اندامی متناسب بود. دوم: شیک بود. مونیک با موهای بلند خرمایی و اندام کشیده اش، خوش لباس هم بود، بیشتر اوقات مینی ژوپ می پوشید و ساق ها و ران های کشیده و خوش تراش خود را در جوراب شلواری های نقش دار در معرض نمایش می گذاشت. سوم: مونیک هنرمند بود. مونیک آرشکیت و نقاش بود یعنی هنوز هم هست. مونیک در رشته معماری تحصیل کرده است ولی نقاشی را بیشتر دوست داشته و تابلوهایی با طرح های آبستره می کشید، یعنی می کشد یعنی امیدوارم هنوز بتواند نقاشی کند. چهارم: خانواده دار و اصیل. مونیک از یک خانواده ی اصیل فرانسوی بود،>>>


In India With Mr. S

India itself was a world of extremes – the antipodes brought together on every street corner

01-Sep-2008 (2 comments)
We were truly an odd couple. A twenty-three year old, completely westernized Jewish college graduate accompanying a devout Moslem merchant from Ardebil with nothing on his mind but money. Or so I thought. Boarding the plane was like entering a different world. Beautiful stewardesses passed by, their long hair falling freely. Men and women were sitting next to each other, talking and laughing in public. It came as somewhat of a shock to the system. As soon as we sat down, one of the stewardesses came by to see if we wanted some refreshments. Mr. S turned to me. “Tell her I want a Scotch over ice.” I nearly choked but managed to give the hostess our order.>>>