In the World of Atal Matal, there are no wars, bombs, prisons, or disease. There are rules that govern the game, but there is neither anarchy nor police. Atal Matal is a borderland, between a riddle of make-believe and a ready-to-play row of legs and feet. There are neither passports nor checkpoints. Entry requires neither state authorization nor monetary compensation.
The World of Atal Matal stretches across the earth’s continents, serenades the moon innocently, and spills into the Caspian Sea. Atal Matal lives and breathes in the pockets of Diaspora hiding under mounds of Swiss and Gouda cheese, valleys of grape leaves, and barrels of fermented barley. It seeks cover under Hollywood’s hills, on New York’s city streets, and in the shade of Abadan’s date trees. Atal Matal finds joy in a Park of Tulips, the taste of Kerman’s fresh ice cream, and in the bazaar of ancient cities. Atal Matal lives in homes of satellite T.V. and freshly boiled leaves of tea. Atal Matal is wrapped in newspapers around fresh sabzi, a cream puff pastry, the sound of cows in the morning. The World of Atal Matal drifts in the aroma of rice fields, clouds in the sky of very young dreams, and the endlessness of unconditional love – even if only momentary.
The World of Atal Matal survives without electricity, without the radio, high speed internet, or cable programming. In the World of Atal Matal, the majority attacks like bumble bees to tickle the last one standing – rather than to charge with B-57’s terrorizing the most starving and sanctioned of countries. There is no weaponry, pain, or mourning. There are no overnight shifts in the World of Atal Matal. There is repetition, but no exhaustion or fatigue.
From a trip to India to trade a cow (read Hindu, holy) to the ceremony of a Kurdish wedding to Amghazi (with a red brim on her hat), the World of Atal Matal is never boring. Despite the great adventures, Atal Matal is practically risk-free. There are no death penalties, no execution apologies, no beheadings, and no deprivations of liberty. In the World of Atal Matal, there is neither a national security policy nor a Department of Homeland Security. There are no lies to be articulated on T.V. There is neither nation nor nationality. There is neither malnutrition nor obesity, neither low self-esteem nor incessant vanity. There are no mirrors, no scales, no votes, and no property. In the World of Atal Matal, there is no debt to create and no source for ownership to accumulate.
In the World of Atal Matal, mistakes are made but easily forgotten. Hearts are rarely broken. In the World of Atal Matal, there are neither sirens screaming, missiles striking, nor windows shattering. We laugh and sing to the sounds of Rashti and Afghani, Farsi inspired by L.A. living, the swagger of Kermanis raised overseas, Azeri inspired by Swahili. Whether with only two people or twenty-eight million, the World of Atal Matal is never lonely. And in the end, Atal Matal will always be a part of (you) me.