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December 24, 2003
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* 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.

This 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 take Eurostar, the train that travels to London from Calais via the famous channel tunnel.

I am now of that privileged class of Iranian that does 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 wish 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 best wishes for 2004 -- and Happy Diwali or whatever is these people celebrate.

-- Peyvand Khorsandi

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* Bollywood

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 Fattaneh "Real Irooni Woman") I guess now I can pinpoint from whom I have inherited my loopy view of things.

Ammeh wrote:

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.

But about Indian 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 some aspects 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 (or lawyers). Heroines always studying to become a doctor. They all wear sun glasses no matter where and when. The heroes always know how to "drive" a helicopter, and they mostly own one!

The girls are always identical in having fiercely dictatorial fathers-mostly tyrant landlords living in frighteningly old castles on the top of bewilderness.

And somehow always, when the Hero is driving / flying his helicopter (compete with 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 vertically 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

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* 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:

Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, -- entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns, and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation of the general government in its whole constitutional vigour, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad; ... freedom of religion; freedom of the press; freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected, ...

-- Siamak

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* Moosh bekhoradeshoon

-- From emrooz.ws, December 23, 2003
Sent by Mereekhee

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