1/03/2008

The Day I Lied, Told The Truth, and Lied

Environmental Arts Festival, Hormoz Island, Persian Gulf, December 2007
On a snowy day several years ago, I went to Guidance Court (dadgah-e ershad) in Tehran. Several weeks earlier, my father's apartment complex had been raided by the police, who had broken the satellite dish and had confiscated his receiver, serving him a notice to attend the court. I had gone in his place, except that if I said I had come in his place, they would have demanded for him to attend himself, so I showed up and declared that I was the owner of the confiscated illegal device.
I had to wait with a group with other "suspects," all of whom were middle-aged men and women, engineers, teachers, and businessmen, one a university professor, calmly sitting there talking about politics and traffic. My turn was up. I went in. The judge, a young clergy, read my deposition and asked me what I had to say for myself. I asked him if he wanted me to repeat what was in my deposition, or if he wanted the truth. He said writing lies in my deposition could cost me a prison term, but that he wanted to know the truth. I told him that this dish and receiver was in use by my father, who was in his 80's, immobile in a bed, and alone. I told him it was one of his few outlets into the world outside, and he used it to watch the news. I told the judge that I did know it was against the law to own satellite dishes and receivers, but if the spirit of the law was to keep the society from learning bad things (bad amoozi), I doubted that at 83 years of age and paralyzed, my father was going to learn any new bad things through the medium, and if he did, that he would have a chance to try those bad things or teach them to others. I was found guilty, and the judge ordered me to pay 50,000 toomans in fines.
As I left the court, everyone outside wanted to know how much fine I had to pay, as some convicted individuals had had to pay as much as 500,000 toomans that day. I said 50,000. They all wanted to know what I had said to have resulted in the lowest fine. I told them I doubted what I had done (telling the truth) would work for them. After paying the fine and completing the paperwork, I called my father to say that he was off the hook ("Baba jan, tabrik migam, shoma tabraeh shodid."). He was so happy and asked me if I had managed to get his receiver back. I said they couldn't find his, because there were so many confiscated units there, but that I had managed to get permission for him to own one. I went and bought him a better receiver that afternoon and had it installed that night. This one he used happily for two years until he died.

26 comments:

خانم شین said...

چه قصه قشنگ و غم انگیزی... نمی دونم کجا خونده بودم که یا راستشو بگو یا دروغی رو بگو که به اندازه راست باور پذیر باشه... بهرحال کار تو خیلی جالب بوده ... از یک سنی به بعد ما باید یاد بگیریم که از پدر و مادرهامون در برابر بدیهای دنیا محافظت کنیم. همون کاری که یک روزی اونا برای ما انجام دادن. چه خوب که تو تونستی این کارو برای پدرت انجام بدی. خدا رحمتشون کنه. چیز دیگه ای که چند روزه توی ذهنمه برات بنویسم در مورد آرزوهای سال نوته. از اون روز که آرزوهاتو نوشتی چند بار سر زدم و در مورد پستهای دیگه کامنت زدم اما همه اش ذهنم روی آرزوهای توئه و اینکه برات نظرم رو ننوشتم... دوست خوبم. تصورات ایده آلیستی و دور از واقعیت از خودت داشتن و فاصله خود ایده آل و خود واقعیت رو زیاد کردن فقط کارتو دشوارتر می کنه. آرزوهای زیاد و دشوار داشتن و اونها رو ثبت کردن باعث می شه که در تمام سال بخوای غصه بخوری که نتونستی اونارو عملی کنی و سال بعد دوباره آرزو کنی و دوباره و دوباره .... به هر حال من به عنوان کسی که تازه شروع به مطالعه توی این مباحث کردم اینو برات می نویسم که سعی کن آرزوهات واقعی باشن و برای رسیدن به اونها برنامه ریزی داشته باشی. این جوری دیگه از آرزوی صرف بیرون میان و تبدیل می شن به یک برنامه توی زندگیت. اونوقت می تونی راه رو مشخص کنی که چطور بخوای ادامه بدی. من پیشنهاد می کنم که یه بار دیگه آرزوهایی که برای خودت داری رو بررسی کنی و واقعا اونهایی که عزم انجام دادنش رو داری و می تونی در عرض یه سال انجامش بدی رو جدا کنی و براش برنامه ریزی کنی. راستشو بخوای به نظر من مثلا "ترک سیگار" خودش یه هدف بزرگه و "لاغر شدن " به همچنین - که به نظر من اصلا لازم نداری- حالا به اینها اضافه کن "پیدا کردن یه آدم دیگه" که باز خودش یه پروژه است و همینطور الی آخر... بهرحال فکر می کنم با این کار نسبت به خودت و سال جدید احساس بهتری داشته باشی

Nazy said...

Salam Bar Sin-e-Azizam:

Thank you so very much for your kind and thoughtful comment. For some reason, your advice just put me in such a good mood!

You are so right about New Year's Resolutions. The thing about them is that nobody really ever achieves them. They are just wishes. If they were easily attainable, they would become a part of people's ongoing programs, as you suggest, and they would get done!

Truth be told, of all the "wishes" I made, meeting someone (or being struck with thunder of love) is the one I am least ready, willing, and able to do! O.K., then, I will cross that one out! Where I made wishes for others, I won't have to do that much either! My sons, Kavoos, Mehran, and Leva will have to do all the work! And God will have to restore my niece's health and bring world peace to us.

You are so right, quitting smoking and losing weight are also too hard to do (I have tried them many many times with dismal results), so I will cross them out, too! I think just about all that I MUST do and will find a way to do now will have to be reading some books, working on my writing, and cleaning that garage! Those I can and will do for sure. I promise. All of a sudden I feel so good and light. Thank you. I will keep you informed about my progress!

Marzieh said...

شرح حالی که گفتی خیلی تحت تاثیرم فرار داد.ممنون برای شریک کردنش با ما.چقدر پدر و مادرهای ما ضعیف و شکننده می شن.هر دفعه که میرم ایران اینو بیشتر میبینم.پدر من جوان تر که بود به سختی گریه می کرد ولی روز خداحافظی حال بدی داشت..که هر دفعه بدتر می شه
کامنت شین اینا رو یاد من آورد و یاد پدر شما .خدا رحمت کنه پدر و مادرتون را.چقدر از کاری که کردی لذت بردم نازی جان

Marzieh said...

این هم اضافه کنم که درسته توقعات زیادی و دور از دسترس ما را ممکنه ناامیدو خسته کنه ولی من دیدم کسانی را که در سن خیلی بالا(بالای 65) ترک سیگار کردند.یا یکی از نزدیکان من در بالای 50
ای کار را نکردو می خوام بگم که سخته ولی محال نیست و چون با سلامت جسم و روح شما در ارتباطه من خیلی دوست دارم که برای این کار برنامه ای در آینده داشته باشی جوری که سخت نباشه.
برای لاغر شدن هم نیاز به زمان است جوری که گرسنگی نکشی و سخت نباشه. این روشی است که جواب داده.
عذر میخوام که خیلی حرف زدم.
می بوسمت و یکی از آرزوهایم تحقق یافتن آرزوهایت است دوست خوب من!:)

Marzieh said...

انگار قاطی شده نوشته ها!

منظورم این بوده که این فامیل ما توانست بعد از 50 سالگی و تعلق خاطر زیاد به کشیدن سیگار
آن را ترک کند
:)

ا. ش. said...

خاطره ی زیبایی بود و مرا بسیار به فکر فرو برد. اگر از صورت قضیه بگذریم، در معنای عمل شما دروغی نگفته اید: در مقیاس حکمی که قاضی با در اختیار داشتن امکانات عمل خویش می توانسته صادر کند، حکم شما در واقع بخشش بوده، گرچه جریمه ای هم پرداخته اید. شما حکمی که شایسته ی آن بوده اید و قاضی هم در حوزه ی قید و مقتضیات خویش به نحوی ضمنی بدان معترف بوده ترجمان کرده اید و به زبانی روشن و واضح به پدر گفته اید. گفته ی شما بیشتر نوعی ترجمان راستینی بوده از سطح برگرفته ی آن. راست و دروغ هم مثل هر مفهوم دیگری سطوح معنایی برگرفته و برگشوده دارند که در سطح پوشیده و برگرفته ی آن ظرافت در مفهوم و تفسیر آن اهمیت بسیار می یابد.ء

Assal said...

I don't exactly know what I want to say for this one.

I bet your dad must have been so proud of your strength and your ability to stand up for other's causes...

jeerjeerak said...

what a touching story Nazy joonam.

Daisy said...

Why don't you collect all your life stories and publish them as a book. There is something about the way you write which is hard for me to describe that into the words. They are charming, interesting and sad at the same time. I bet your book will be a true page-turner.

! said...

سلام نازی جونم
دقیقا عین همون چیز هایی که ا.ش. گفت برای من هم اتفاق افتاد و صدق می کند
یعنی من هم کلی به فکر فرو رفتم و از این جور حرفها !!!!
راستی با گفته ی خانم شین هم موافقم
مخصوصا در مورد جمله ی آخرشون
...
راستی ایمیل هاتم چک کن لطفا البته منظورم هات میلته !!!

مانا said...

چه نوشته جالبی بود.واقعا تحت تاثیر قرار گرفتم
در ضمن چون در این کامنت دونی بحث ترک سیگار شده منم بگم که دارویی اومده که با خوردن اون در چند هفته می تونی راحت سیگار را ترک کنی.من فراموش کردم اسمشو ولی اگه خواستی حتما راجع بهش تحقیق کن

bijan said...

It goes to prove my unproven theory about White Lies. I think they’re life’s spice, most of the times!

يكي مثه همه said...

Dear Nazy in recent years,(I think after my marriage) some strong feelings dont let me leave my parents alone even for 6 months! its a kind of responsibility or something, I know I am indebted to them for everything I have and what I am now.(and I believe they are God's grace in my life...THANK MY GOD)
nothing is that much important that make me leave them alone...

and about your wishes my dear Nazy:
Its a must to have some dreams but I believe in something too:
Success is getting what you want
but
Happiness is liking what you get.
Best wishes for all

Nazy said...

Salam Bar Marzieh-ye Ziba:

Thank you very much for your sweet comments. I do hope to be able to quit smoking this year, and I will be sure to report on my progress.

I have often said that our parents are our fan club, loving us unconditionally. Of course I remember my parents fondly and with love and respect, but I also feel good in remembering that during the last years of their lives, I lived in Iran and kept them company, learning from them until the last day. I hope your parents live a long and healthy and happy life, giving you and your beautiful daughter many wonderul lessons and memories.

Be good and happy and stay warm Marzieh Jan.

Nazy said...

Kind and thoughtful Alef Shin, Salam. Thank you very much for that comment. As I wrote the post and sat here reading it, I was a bit unsure about whether I wanted to publish it, not because it wasn't true, but because it was. In telling my stories, I open the door to my soul sometimes, telling many things about myself, to an audience mostly unknown to me. Somedays it is easier, and somedays it is harder, because just like anyone else, I fear judgement about my values and actions. My young blogger friend, Leva, told me once that I must write for myself in order to be free. I heed that call, but I'm still anxious sometimes. It feels good to see that when I confess to lying, which is not a good thing to do, considering the circumstances, I face compassion and understanding. Thank you for that. It matters a lot to me.

Nazy said...

Salam Assal Jan. In fact my father never learned what happened in that courtroom, and I wasn't really standing up for anything, except to appeal to that judge's sensibilities. The good news is that now my father knows everything! I hope he is smiling.

Nazy said...

Thank you sweet Jeerjeerk. I'm glad you liked it. I have a lot more stories to tell, waiting for the mood to strie again. Stay tuned my friend!

Nazy said...

Daisy Jan:

I hope I didn't make you sad. It is actually a story that makes me smile when I remember it. I want to write a book one of these years! I am just not sure yet how to write it. This is my year for figuring that out. I want to write a happy book, a book that will have me smiling as I write it, and will have others smiling as they read it. I will have to go to writing classes to learn how to do that and I will do that beginning in January. Thank you for your supportive comment my friend.

Nazy said...

Salam Uni-Far Jan:

Thank you for your comment. If I provoked thought in you, I have accomplished my mission! I have replied to your kind emails. Thank you.

Nazy said...

Salam Mana Jan:

Thank you so much for your kind comment. I asked my doctor for a patch with the help of which to quit smoking. He believes I should try doing it by myself first and if it doesn't work, to seek medical help. I just need to get myself to the stage where I will do it. That's in progress. Thank you for your suggestion my friend. Take care azizam.

Marzieh said...

نازی جون چون داری مینویسی من هم یادم رفت جواب سوالتو بدم این جا می نویسم
اون کلیپ که فرستادم به نظر من هم صدای شهره نیست یه صدای به مراتب زیباتره.من هم از آرزوی قشنگت خیلی ممنونم خیلی احساس خوبیبه من می ده حرفای تو دوست مهربانم.
چقدر خوشبختی که تونستی سالهای آخر عمر پدر و مادر رادر کنارشان باشی. آفرین برتو.
سخته دوری از کسانی که این همه پیر شدن
دختر من که همیشه می پرسه چند روز !!! دیگه می ریم ایران!!
(ما 11 سپتامبر از سفر 4 ماهه برگشتیم!!)

Nazy said...

Salam Bijan Jan:

Though as you can see I have admitted to lying, I am not sure about white lies, so I don't know how helpful I can be in proving your theory! I have also received some cruel lies in my life, and they were not at all fun to realize! It is really hard to try and teach children not to lie when they see adults do it. Even small or white or harmless lies can become complicated. I once told my sister who was answering the phone in my house, that if the call was from my work, she should tell the caller that I'm not home, because I wanted to spend a few hours with my family without interruption. This left a negative impression with my older son who was 10 at the time, reminding me at another time that I lie, too. If in your theory you can manage to give some clear guidlines about when to lie and when not to, I'll be interested in subscribing to it! Be happy Bijan Jan.

Nazy said...

Salam Halat Jan:

It is true, we do start a new relationship with our parents as our friends when we become independent and move away. Wait for yet another change when you have children of your own, when you truly start seeing them as peers. Yet another change will happen when they become physically unable to take care of themselves. Each stage has its own merits and joys and pains, I assure you. Altogether, I would say true friendship and love with our parents starts when we grow up and become mature ourselves. I hope your parents live a long and fruitful life. Enjoy them sweet Halat.

Nazy said...

Thank you Marzieh Jan. It's lovely that your daughter is mindful of Iran and her family there. The affinity she feels for the place and her ties there will become important assets to her as a young woman in a few years, outining here sense of identity. Good for you for keeping the flame alive. Goodnightto you my friend.

Chakameh Azimpour said...

Hello Nazy Joon. I think it is a little late, but I wanted to leave a small note for dear Mrs. Shin. Hope she sees that here.
""Dear Mrs. Shin. I don't know you personally as I don't know Nazy personally. But I can assure you that her wishes were the least selfish, idealistic ones that I had ever seen. Reading them gave me such a joyful moment. A balanced-wishlist of what she wants for herself, her immediate family, close friends and then the world. Showing a well-developed character of her. I also get the touch of joking when I read what Nazy wrote about weight loss. First of all here everybody (mostly women) regardless of size and weight, have the same item in their New-Year resolutions. The boost of advertisements about weigh loss programs after each new year is the best indicator for this. But also, as Nazy said: "The thing about them is that nobody really ever achieves them. They are just wishes." And to be very truthful, I shall add that she does not need a single try of weightless, she is in a great shape.
I saw her wishes on the peace for the world we are entering to, very sweet, however, very idealistic. But her wishes for her personal life were not idealistic at all. They were indeed, very realistic in the life we are living in.
Love and friendship is such a big part of her life. That is what I respect about her the most.
Be happy my friend(s)."

Nazy said...

Thank you, sweet Chakameh. Wishing is the most economical entertainment in the world! It costs nothing and it gives so much joy. I think Shin worries that wishing might become an obsession which will not bring joy, but anxiety in case it is unfulfilled. I think life would be really boring without big wishes! Be happy azizam, and I hope all your wishes come true.