I really enjoyed Mrs. Ghahramani's article “Flashback” and I could totally relate to her feelings.
I have been fortunate because writing for the site has brought me in contact with some people who knew of me or where my acquaintances in my younger days.
Being the incurably romantic I am always looking for someone or something which reminds me of my life as a young, rebellious and in everyone's face female.
Hearing from these people that “you have not changed” lights up my heart and I am reminded that I may have packed over 60 pounds and have acquired wrinkles and some of the “middle-age” characteristics but the spirit is still that of Soulmaz (flower that does not wither).
I vividly remember that in 2003 I got an e-mail from someone who had grown up in Khormahsar and played on the basketball team. I was really mad at myself because I did not remember him but remembered all the other ones he knew. Once he sent pictures of the basketball team (black and whites) I cried non-stop for hours. Looking at the teen-age basketball players that I knew took me back to when I was a teen-ager and I also played basketball. The archive of my memory re-played the plots that the prankster who also made fun of the girls with huge crushes on some of these boys used to pull.
Of course I found it amazing when I saw his picture that I remembered I did not pay much attention to him because he was shy and quiet and looking at the picture more than thirty five years later the old thought went through my mind.
He was nice enough to tell me that he was not one of the “cool” people which I used to hang out with. I have heard that from a few people and it really bothers me now to think people had found me a snob which I never have been one.
It was wonderful to reminisce about all mutual acquaintances and he even gave me the phone number of one of the basketball players who resides in LA. I called him and he even remembered the last time he had seen me (I was sixteen years old) was a holly night and I had left the place (with my best friend) were people had gathered praying, covered in a borrowed chador. I met him and my boyfriend. We sat all night long chatting and listening to music. To me that was the ultimate mischief because no doubt some people thought I would be struck by God for being disobedient and not to mention being sinful for laughing instead of beating m chest or crying with others.
Of course, Speaking to him in the present made me feel that he had left his past behind and seemed almost sad.
The best part was when I found out one of my childhood playmates who had gotten a good roll in the mud (while I placed my hand on his mouth so their servants would not hear him) because I was tired of his whining (and so where our other playmates), now lived in Texas and has turned out to be a handsome man with beautiful gray hair. I did not call him because I still have the image of his runny nose and whining and could not hold my laughter.
I was thrilled when another person who had attended school with me also wrote to me. We shared some old stories and I remembered vividly when he was walking in the snow and my girlfriend Dokhi referred to him as the Match guru.
A few years ago I was dancing and a lady approached me and said “I went to high school with you”. I was thrilled and thank God she lives here and I often get to have her great cooking and we see each other often and reminisce. I am fortunate because another one of my close friends is from my hometown and I did not like her as a teen-ager because I thought she was a snob but for the past 27 years we have been like sisters and we have a blast when we speak and she uses many phrases from my part of the world.
I think it is wonderful to be able to meet people who knew you a lifetime ago and usually their observations tells you a lot about who you were and who you really are now.
When I talk to my friend Syma and we laugh so hard reminiscing about boat club or Annex or Aravand club, or Hotel Abadan, I become that skinny teen-ager/ college student who wanted to change the world and when I hang up the phone or leave her house that feeling lingers for a long time.
I just hope everyone is as lucky as I am because everyone who is from my part of the world or knew me a lifetime ago tells me that I am still beautiful and “hamoontor sheitoono bala” which loosely means I am still as mischievous and naughty. They are sincere and never ask me to behave. That is music to my tired middle-age ears and gives me the courage to be who I rally am even though my culture says that I should settle and be a responsible and well behaved middle-age woman. I burst out laughing and shake my head in disagreement.
Thanks Zohreh khanoum for reminding us what really matters in life and how lucky are those of us who can have their pasts as part of their present life and be thrilled about it!