I don’t want to be old fashioned and complain about the vast difference between our generation and the new generation, who know more about the newest version and brand of mobile phones than they know about what is going on around them. I was fortunate to get familiar with two of my cousins (two brothers), whom are very smart, naturally have read lots and lots of books (something you can very rarely find among today’s teenagers) and actually have their own thoughts and beliefs, but other than that? Not even a handful of sharp young kids, as you might expect from a society with such ratio of the youth.
Oh, and the books…As usual, I spent some time digging the bookstores in downtown Tehran (in front of University of Tehran mostly) and found less and less books in fields of philosophy, metaphysics, self-help and … Also I couldn’t find many new and interesting writers with actually something to say. There are thousands of novels and short stories though, and lots of newspapers. It was so good to see so many newspapers and being able to actually smell the paper while turning the pages. I had definitely missed them.
There is a phenomenon that I’d like to call “the soul hunger”, which could be described as your soul’s hunger for beautiful images and good music. Although one can add the opportunity to touch well structured figures to the previous two as well. One thing that I was fortunate to have in my trip was to curb my soul’s hunger. I visited a museum and had a short trip to Esfahan, one of the most beautiful cities in Iran. Also I had the opportunity to go to a concert, which I enjoyed a lot. I saw a live play, as well as a bunch of movies from Iranian directors that I had missed while I was not there. Well, I’m still following the Iranian cinema pretty seriously, as much as I can.
Other than the general observations there are always the personal experiences between you and your loved ones, which is a complete separate story for itself. As much as it is comforting to find the love and precious existence of the elder members of the family, there is a great awe from finding the younger ones grown, and gradually getting to know the now-the-new adults.
Sometimes when I get really tired of all these mental and emotional struggles, I wonder if it wasn’t easier had I stayed in my own country and lived a simpler life. But then I think I still like this life of mine, with all its challenges and its difficulties and unique experiences, much more than any other ordinary life that I could have had, mostly because I can observe, feel, think, analyze, plan, and then dive into life, head first.