Young Love: I was not alone!


by sima

عشق جوانی: برف می بارد به روی خار و خارا سنگ

Me, I’m a sucker for snow. And skiing.

I wish I could say that on winter Friday mornings when we would wake up before six, pack our butter and halvardeh sandwiches, and load our ancient clunky skis in the Land Rover, the fantasy-churning factory in my head would go into hyper drive. But no. The factory never shut down in the first place. It was in full chugga-chugga production mode even when I was solving my mas’aleh riyazis with full attention.

But the sight of snow, the gliding on freshly packed snow, and the whisper of the dusting of powder freed up my entire soul– and with that, the factory chimneys nearly blasted their tops off with excess steam from the production. Forget about freezing toes and numbed fingers, forget about skiing behind baba and amoo and brother. Where I was it was crisp cold and sunny warm, there were no inhibiting forces such as families, and there were no lines at the telesiege… I glided right up to the chairlift, kicked up some snow dust with a little extra flourish of my ski edges, gave a sweet thank-you to the attendant… and I was not alone. Oh no.

This was Dizin in the 1970s. We called it Gajereh back then. I’d say there were three groups of people who skied there. One group, for whom the place had mostly been developed, was the high taqoot: the Shah and family, very rich or highly positioned people, and their kids whom I thought of as soosools. A second group was the locals from Velat Rood (Velayat Rood, really) and other villages nearby. These guys were excellent skiers and smart cookies but, you know, I kept my distance. I only had one friend among them, Mokhtar, who because he was younger than me was safe. He was tall, tanned very dark, and flashed his super white teeth in a big smile when he saw me. He followed me on the piste yelling “Sima, Sima” at every opportunity.

Then, there were the cool people – like us. We were a mishmash of athletes, intellectuals, and daneshjoos (almost all guys, of course). I was still in high school but I somehow counted myself among the daneshjoos. And most daneshjoos back then were lefties. They either had bushy mustaches or beards and were almost always frowning at something. I was kind of in awe of those macho revolutionary types but I secretly didn’t like or trust them. I wanted someone to listen to California Dreaming with and have fun. I didn’t want to become proletarizeh (I’m not kidding, that’s how they talked back then). I even wished my dad would buy me hot prepared lunches at the lodge rather than make me saqq the halvardeh sandwich with its massideh butter. But I never expressed that desire because only the soosools ate at the lodge.

One day I heard one daneshjoo calling out to another one: “Hey, Jahanshah…” I turned around and caught a glimpse of “Jahanshah.” He was tallish, bearded, agile, and smiling. I never saw him again, never even saw his face fully. But the name stayed with me. “Jahanshah” became the one I slalomed down the slope with and rode up the chairlift with. Ahh… the thrill. I was not alone!

And so Jahanshah entered my life.

First, though, I shaved him. (I didn’t like facial hair.) Second, I lowered his age. (I didn’t have a thing for older men, like guys in their twenties.) Then Jahanshah and I spent our entire lives together. And every day of our life was a winter day in the Alborz mountains. Some days were sunny and we skied with our kapshens unbuttoned. Some days it snowed and we rode up the telesiege wrapped up in the sarbazi blankets they handed out at the base. We pierced the clouds and emerged above them where it was clear and you could see the forever of mountain tops, but the not the bustle of civilization sprawled out down below the blanket of clouds. Jahanshah would occasionally give me a hand when I fell in a pile of powder. Maybe once or twice he put his arm around me going up the chairlift. And I occasionally gave him a pat on the back, my padded gloves thumping against his padded kapshen.

And that’s all folks. Except for the sound track—California Dreaming of course, but also Abbey Road, Pink Floyd, or even José Feliciano—I have nothing to add.

As for the fantasy factory, over the years it experimented with other productions. It spitted out sometimes clumsy, sometimes admirably sophisticated products. In the process, it often spluttered and emitted pollution instead of puffs of clean steam. But now, beginning to fully register the permanence of the forever mountain peaks, I’m cleaning up the factory—going existentially green, as it were. Back to smooth-faced mates and the eternal days of mountains and snow and skiing. Back to where imagination started.

Hey, Jahanshah...


more from sima

sima joon: kar gozashti roo dastam

by Monda on

Now I'm curious about your shadow - Beatrice. Dante' is difficult for me to read. Please suggest a good translation when you have time.

Your writing pulls me - in any genre. 



Nazy Kaviani

Loved it!

by Nazy Kaviani on

Great writing Sima and a good story, too! Hey, is it too deranged for grown women to have "perfect" imaginary friends, too?!!


You only say that because your name is Jahanshah!

by sima on

You're biased.

Why did Red Wine delete his comment? Had he said something bad?!

Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

I thoroughly enjoyed your story. So playful and sweet. It really flowed well, like a good skier sliding down a slope. Beautiful. You should seriously consider publishing it elsewhere.


Ha ha ha, great stuff Anonymouse!

by sima on

I remember those posters. My amoo Hormoz always had a stack of ski magazines and we would devour the pictures. He also had a green Peugeot -- irrelevant, but if just complements the picture!


I don't know Stem Christie but these were the posters for those

by Anonymouse on


Anonymouse and Monda

by sima on

Anonymouse khan we probably did ski the same place the same days. We probably even knew each other by sight -- threre weren't that many of us on the slopes after all! My brother definitely got better than all of us, but then the poor thing was sent to Europe and US and never again had the money to ski. My amoo was the one who started us skiing and he had lived in Colorado for years so he skied a very proper Stem Christie -- do you remember that?! At Dizin the cool guys imitated Jean Claude Killy and occasionally you would see an American Hotdogger. I'm a very intermediate skier myself (didn't ski much when I left Iran) but I married two excellent skiers, one hotdogger and one elegant one in the Colorado style. Sigh... told you not to get me started on skiing!

Monda khanom, delusional khodeti! I still have imaginary friends. One prominent one is Beatrice from Dante's La Vita Nuova (ask your husband about her!).


Sima joon: He was one lucky guy!

by Monda on

Your romance sounds so perfect, I'm jealous! Hey did he have any other ambitions besides following you around in your dreams?! oh I forgot skiing.

BTW I thought imaginary friends disappeared around age 7 or else they'd be called delusions (this is me sounding catty!) 


We probably skied the same slopes & same days! Do you still

by Anonymouse on

We probably skied the same slopes & same days!  Do you still ski?

Once I became a better skier I didn't follow my father and ended up skiing mostly alone.  So between your father, uncle and brother who was the better skier and who ended up being the better skier after a while? 

Everything is sacred.


MPD jan,

by sima on

anybody from back then who claims a whole lot more than my padded pats is probably bluffing!

Nowadays is a different story!

Red Wine


by Red Wine on

Edit Out .

Multiple Personality Disorder

I can’t believe this!

by Multiple Personality Disorder on


In your fantasy induced courtship rituals your padded gloves thumped against his padded jacket!  What a naughty naughty girl :O)  Good writing though.  bist dar enshasefr dar fantasy  :O)


عشق جوانی


Thank you for the story.
I enjoyed the read at this moment in time; and that is all that life is, just moments in time.