* Nigger with a badge
After 26 years in the
UK I have finally received my British passport, a small, red thing.
I should have got it some twenty years ago, but my parents were
never any good at paperwork – a trait I have inherited.
particular document I owe to my sister who pulled me into a solicitor's
office back in 1999, it was the only way to get me to fill in
a form. All I had to do was answer his questions.
The most important
thing about the passport is that I can now travel to France
without hiding in a cart of hay across the Belgian border. I can
the train that travels to London from Calais via the famous
I am now of that privileged class of Iranian that
not have to "storm" the tunnel at night for a passage
to England, disguised as a toilet-roll dispenser. No fear
of being detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure or bullied
by immigration officials when I return from France – my
refugee status has been deported.
I possess what Mohammed
Al-Fayed craves and Osama
bin Laden should be loathe to accept -- British Citizenship.
But Britishness is a mooted subject in Britain; many might still
I would go back to my "own country".
So despite considering myself a native of these shores,
I keep remembering
Eddie Murphy's cop in 48 Hours. He waved his ID
in a redneck's
face and said: "I'm your worst nightmare, I'm
a nigger with a badge."
This piece was written in January 2002. The author would
like to take this opportunity to wish Iranian.com readers
2004 -- and Happy Diwali or whatever is these people
-- Peyvand Khorsandi
I just wanted to share with you this VERY FUNNY
portion of a letter sent by my Ammeh in (somewhat delayed) response
to one of my old
articles (the one about
Irooni Woman") I guess now I can pinpoint from whom
I have inherited my loopy view of things.
1- India and your remarks on Fattaneh: I found your remarks
on the change of costumes, etc. in any Iranian video / film quite
astonishingly close to my observations, many years ago.
movies: For years, I took joy in watching Indian movies (Bollywood style,
before the style took its name!). For years more, I took more joy in enacting
to other friends (including some Indians themselves, such as Ruchy and
Ajit-as I am sure you would remember them!).
I have always been fascinated by the fact that in these movies
almost all modern (late 60s 70s and 80s mainly) heroes are architects
Heroines always studying
to become a doctor. They all wear sun glasses no matter where and when.
always know how to "drive" a helicopter, and they mostly
The girls are always identical in having fiercely dictatorial
landlords living in frighteningly old castles on the top of bewilderness.
And somehow always, when the Hero is driving / flying his helicopter
his sunglasses, of course), and the Heroine is skiing (equally "cwsgs":
complete with sun glasses), suddenly the father finds out about
their "forbidden" love,
and takes off to grab the girl back into the castle (Switzerland
- India, mind you!), and at the same time, the Hero "observes" this
from his heights (pun learnt and ntended!!!!), and dives down,
all that distance
and diagonally and horizontally, to land on a horse back just in
time to fend off
the brutal father single-handedly - and in a sword duel!
Meanwhile, there is ALWAYS a whole row of 70+ dancers, ALL always
in bright ORANGE costumes, dancing on the horizon line in unisonic
and perfectly musicated (!!!!)
manner. Finally, the father is won over, and more: He turns into a loving father,
and we see the couple flying off (CWSGS), and waving at the tearful father
at the door steps of his castle!
Give or take a few details, and you have the whole generation
of pre-Bollywood, Bollywood movies in those 3 decades!
-- Niki Tehranchi
* Surest bulwarks
Given all that went on in this region in 2003, I borrowed words
from Thomas Jefferson for my 2004 New Year's wishes to you: