Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I...have a dream!

I should correct this: we have a dream.

It all started on a cold grey December day. My father had some errands to run and asked me to accompany him, what better than some quality father-daughter time? Somewhere between the grocery shopping and the bank, he called my brother and offered that we could pick him up from university as well, "we are going home soon anyways and you won’t need to take the bus". What my brother and I didn’t foresee was this old habit of my father, who likes to use us as the "safety lock" for the car, and the back up driver when there is no parking spot, "Sit behind the wheel, and watch out for the police. If you see one, just drive ahead. I’ll find you." So at some point he left us in the car to meet someone, "it will only take 10 minutes. Watch out for the police..."

It was already mid-afternoon and we were both very hungry. It was a windy day and we were too tired to get off and look for something to eat or drink. We just sat there and started munching on some dried fruits I always carry around. He started complaining first.

"I hate it when he uses me as the safety lock in the car. Had I known he wanted to leave us like this, I would have gone home by bus", he took another handful of raisins.

"I know, don’t forget that I was the safety lock before you!" I reminded him with a grin.
"No, really! Sometimes I’d like to ask him why do you always do this?" he groaned.
"If you get a chance, ask him why he thinks he is the one who has to offer everyone his service. And while you’re at it, ask mother why she acts as if she knows everything."
He got excited, "you know what, I wish we could have arranged a gathering and ask people our questions."
"Like uncle N! why are you always angry?"
"Or aunt Z! why are you so greedy?"
"Hey Mr. S! why don’t you want your photo to be taken?"
"Dear R! why are you so unbearably spoiled?"
"Hey F! why are you so hypocritical?"

By this time we were laughing uncontrollably. He said, "Oh I wish we could have also invited some big names from the upper levels in the society and ask them some questions."
"Uh! Tell me about it. I would have asked…"

(Well, we did list the people and the questions we wanted to ask them, but I leave it to your own imagination!)

"You know what? We should invite them all to the big stadium. We will have too many people to ask "why"."
"Then we can have the VIP section for the dead, and a super VIP as well; why not bring up god as the special guest?"

The door opened and my father rushed into the car. "Don’t you see the policeman getting close? He is two cars behind us. If I hadn’t seen him, we would have got a ticket. Why were you two not watching? What are you laughing at?"

Well, we didn’t get the ticket, but we both had stomach ache, since we'd laughed our guts out. But, that hilarious dream somehow stuck around somewhere in our heads. Even now, when we talk over the phone, every now and then we add someone new to the list of the invited guests to that big stadium and we ask them "why…?"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The requiem

"We don't, we don't, we don't wanna die!" they said,
"You are the enemies, the enemies, the public enemies!" they were told.
They said it humbly, just so humbly,
and they were killed simply, so very simply.
And their death was so despised, so cheap,
that any effort to live,
seemed so painfully stupid,
as a rough, tough, quite bitter journey
through a rather complicated labyrinthine maze,
seeking nihility…

*This is my take/translation of a poem with the same name from a great poet of our recent history, Ahmad Shamloo. It's been playing in my head over and over recently...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

For the five senses and more...

- The sight of the bus coming on a snowy windy cold grey day after work, and those empty seats...
- The sound of pigeons on an early morning...
- The smell of dried mint on the cucumber-tomato salad...
- The taste of butter and honey on bread, followed by a sip of sweetened tea...
- The touch of grandma’s hands, stroking your hair...
- The moment of vernal equinox...