Flower delivery in Iran


Tradition * FAQ * Write for The Iranian
* Editorial policy

The knights of the rectangular table
Grandfather's Friday meetings

By Tara Ebrahimi
August 14, 2001
The Iranian

In a world of dying traditions and faltering morals, one takes great comfort in witnessing something that has taken place every week for the past half-century.  Something that has remained untouched and untainted in this ever-changing world. 

Although these men now have wrinkles, although they now have grandchildren, although their wives now sit beside them at the table, the meetings at the rectangular table are still the same as they always were.

My grandfather always reserved his Fridays for anyone who wanted to come and have a conversation with him.  He was a very respected man and his friends were all honored to come to his apartment for lunch and tea and a two-hour talk. 

In keeping with a Persian woman's duties, my grandmother always cooked fantastic meals for these gentlemen.  They would arrive one by in the early afternoon, some gripping canes, others walking with two-inch steps. 

They immediately walked over to my grandfather, who sat at the head of a rectangular table, and kissed him on either side of his cheeks.  If he could, he would have gotten out of his seat to greet them. 

Then they would sit down at the table, first filling up the seats closest to my grandfather.  The men exchanged the usual salutations.  When everyone had arrived, the meal would b eserved and conversation would be kept to a minimum so that each man could properly savor the delicious Persian dishes. 

Then, soon after lunch, my grandmother would bring out tea for the men.  They all drank their tea the same way, the traditional way.  They poured the tea into the saucer, waited for it to cool, put a sugar cube in their mouth, then sipped the tea from the saucer. The sugar cube soaked up the tea, and the sweet cube would then slowly dissolve onto their tongue.  This was no doubt one reason why all of the men at the table were now wearing fals eteeth. 

During tea, conversation began.  These men talked about everything and anything.  Often, my grandfather would recite one of the millions of poems he knew off the top ofhis head. 

I loved watching him do this.  Someone would say something that would trigger his brain to remember a poem. He just began the recitation, no introduction, no warning that he was about to begin.  It always caught everyone's attention.  He raised his voice, and his words were more drawn out. I never understood the poems because they were in old Farsi, but it did not matter because I was sure the words were not half as beautiful as the way he spoke them. 

Other times, the men spoke of the latest politics in Iran or even sometimes the goings on in America.  They would talk about the past, their childhood, their days as young men.  They reminisced about old friends or old foes. 

Sometimes they spoke about a friend who had died.  I always left the room when this subject came up.  It reminded me, and them, that although these men's minds were virile and still as sharp as ever, their bodies were becoming frail and soon they would turn to dust.  I did not want to hear about death, especially when they spoke of it so casually.  I guess they had just accepted that it was near. 

After about two or three hours, the men would get tired, not of speaking, not of each other, but physically tired and they would leave one by one just as they had arrived.  Then my grandfather would slowly make his trek to his bedroom for a nap. 

I would sit and ponder about the day's discussions and pray that next week's Friday meeting would be as interesting and rich as this week's.  It always was. 

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment for the writer Tara Ebrahimi


Don't call me "Sir"
Mossadegh: Humility and integrity in government
By Fariba Amini

Salaam aaghaa
You never know who you'll bump into in America
By Bahar Jaberi

My mother is trying to learn the Internet
By Yasaman J

Something to smile about
Yes, thank God for Noruz
By Najmeh Fakhraie


Features archive

* Latest

* Cover stories

* Feature writers

* Opinion

* History

* All sections

Flower delivery in Iran
Copyright © Iranian.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Terms for more information contact: times@iranian.com
Web design by BTC Consultants
Internet server Global Publishing Group