12/16/2007

Bacheh Mahal's

Chattanooga Restaurant, Tehran, in its days of grandeur
Life can be amusing! A group of my extended family who live in Europe are in our area for their winter vacation, attending our family reunion. The amusing thing about this family of four brothers and two sisters is that they were my and my sisters’ friends as we were growing up in Tehran. Their mother was one of my late mother’s best friends, too. We were each other’s “Bacheh Mahal,” riding bicycles in our neighborhood and taking the same bus to school together and learning life a few doors down from each other. One of their boys married one of my sisters. One of their girls married another boy, four doors down on our street.
Seeing them last night had all the joy of a family reunion, plus opening the floodgates of childhood and adolescence memories and nostalgia. We laughed hard remembering each other as the scrawny young boys and feisty young girls that we were. We reminded each other of the tricks we used to play on each other and on our parents, and how we would ward off our nosey neighbors who liked nothing more than to gossip about us! We reflected on some sadder memories and rejoiced in realizing that some of us had kept in touch with yet others from our neighborhoods. It was such a good time! It won’t come as a surprise to you when I tell you that I was one of the noisiest ones, telling the most stories and reminding everyone about our moments of mischief, discovery, embarrassment, and first love. We had a blast and that felt so good. Such is the texture and feeling of old friendships—even if you don’t see your old friends for a long time, when you do see them, it feels as though the years of separation never happened, such is the feeling of continuity in friendships. I am expecting my family for dinner tonight (yes, all those 30 people from last night), so I will go do what needs to be done about that. I will see whether I can also post another part of my Yalda story later today. With so much to do, I’m not hopeful. Happy Sunday!

12 comments:

Mina said...

There's no friendship like Iranian friendship.
Let's trade Yalda stories!
Mehr,
Mina

masoud said...

سلام نازی خانم.می دانم که با ذکر این خاطرات ،ذهن همه را به گذشته هایشان برده ای.آنوقتها دوستی داشتم که یکروز بعد از دیدن فیلمی از سریال خارجی پزشک محله که به رابطه جوانان پرداخته بود،آمد دم در و گفت:اینهم شد زندگی که ما داریم؟تا می خوای به یکی نگاه کنی هشتاد تا چشم زل زده تو چشمت.اینا چرا همش دم در ایستادن و مارو می پان؟
همین دوستم امسال تابستون پس از بیست و چهار سال از اونور آب اومد به دیدنم.راست گفتی ،آدمها در زمان زندگی می کنند و زندگی جز همین رابطه ها نیست.وقتی رابطه ات با کسی قطع شدگویی زندگی نمی کنی ،یعنی زمان برای آن رابطه متوقف می شود.ببخش اگر دراز نویس شد.چه چیز هایی که درچنته داری.یعنی چه جواهراتی در خزانه ات داری.به همه سلام برسان.

Assal said...

This picture of Chatanooga is awesome, Nazy Joonam! My parents used to tell me about it, and I always used to wonder whether they were talking about someplace in Tennessee...

I wish I could sit and hear you talk about old memories forever! You are not just a talented writer, you are also a wonderful and animated story teller...

I miss you.

Assal

Nazy said...

Mina Jan, I'm so delighted to see you in these parts! I am forever impressed with your blog and the depth and breadth of your knowledge about issues. One of these days I want to write a post about you! I will come to visit again soon.

Nazy said...

Thank you for telling us your memory Masoud Jan. You didn't say if your friend is happy that he left 24 years ago, and if he has peace of mind and joy in his life now. I have lived in both Iran and the US, and overall feel confident in saying that happiness is not entirey a product of our environment. It also has to do with us, with our inner feelings and our thoughts. Most of the years I lived in Iran were the happiest times of my life, full of good experiences and joy. I guess the key is to learn to enjoy life wherever we are. Take care Masoud Jan.

Nazy said...

Sweet Assal:

Thank you for the compliments which flatter me silly! For many years, the building where Chattanooga used to be was abandoned. It was a sad sight to see it still standing, so forgotten and neglected, devoid of all the joy and excitement many had felt in it in its years of grandur. I understand that this year it was demolished and no doubt soon, a huge tall building will be built where it once used to be. My generation will keep memories of Chatanooga only in our hearts now. Be good azizam.

masoud said...

سلام نازی جان.دوست من برای ادامه تحصیل و کار مهاجرت کرد.البته راضی بود از زندگی ای که دارد.سه هفته ایران بود و هفته ای سه بار هم دیکر را می دیدیم.می گفت شبها تا دم دمای صبح مادرم برایم از ازدواج ها و تولد ها و همه چیز خانواده برایم حرف می زند.تلفن که در این سالها جوابگوی حرفهای یک مادر نبود.الان سه فرزند دارد و نکته مهم این بود که در غربت خود را از مشورت و تجربه خانواده محروم می دید.می گفت برای هر چیزی خودمان باید فکر کنیم و برنامه بریزیم و عواقبش را هم به تنهایی تحمل کنیم.سرتان را درد آوردم.

Nazy said...

Thank you Masoud Jan for sharing your friend's experiences with us. I am familiar with his feelings.

I was 19 and living as a student in the US when one of my friends called me to tell me her father had passed away. None of us knew how to deal with a death. We had to learn how to bury a moslem in this area, reserve a hall for the memorial service, let people know, make halva, and hold a memorial service in which I had to give the euology. We had to learn all of that in a few hours.

I had to attend "khastegari's" for my friends as their "elder" when I was 24! I had to help throw a wedding for my friends several times, not knowing how to find an "aghed," or how to cook for 100 people in our small student apartment.

I had to attend my friends' labors, as they prepared to give birth to their children, as the "oldest" one around, at 26.

The same things went for ourselves, too, as we were all of a sudden cut off from life in the old world, and feeling really lonely in the new world.

Well, we did our best, and the results are what they are. The stress was always there, though, thinking "what if I'm wrong?"

Thanks again for sharing. Take care.

nimshab said...

hoom! To me the meaning of neighbors is fast vanishing. We are on the move all the time, and as a child also I have lived in so many places. Even my grandms, both of them, have moved from their old neighborhood which were really charming to a child I was. I don't know if the meaning of neighbors is vanishing in my world only, or if it is epidemic!

Nazy said...

Nimeh Shab Jan, Salam. It is an epidemic for us, Iranians in diaspora. Though I must say, that even in diaspora, when you have lived long enough in one place, you will develop ties with your environment. After being away for so long, those memories and those ties brought me back to Berkeley, where I feel at home. Your young family will develop those ties, too, in time, I am sure. Take care my friend.

masoud said...

سلام نازی خانم.همان روز که پاسخ دومت را خواندم،مطلبی نوشتم فکر می کنم ارسال نشد یا اینکه شد و بین راه گم شد.در هر حال گفته بودم برای همه مادری کرده ای و نقل کردم از کسی که گفته:جامعه باید مادرانه اداره شود.و این فراتر از مرد سالاری یا زن سالاری است.انسان شناسان در دوره ای از حیات جوامع انسانی قائل به سیطره زنان هستند.برقرار باشی.

Nazy said...

Massoud Jan:

Thank you. I agree that men and women are different and throughout history, they have filled different roles in the formation of societies and humankind.

Like I said, we only did our best under the circumstances. I have many friends as a result of those "trials and errors." That's the best gift anyone can expect to have in life after it's all said and done. Take care.