1/14/2008

Sunday's Live Entertainment

I started my day taking care of a couple of outstanding commitments. I then went to visit my sisters for a couple of hours. It was a most enjoyable and relaxing time. One of my younger sisters had a birthday, and we celebrated her, though she wasn't in a great mood to celebrate herself. When I showed her the videoclip from the Indian movie, Sholay, her mood improved drastically, especially as our youngest sister decided to do the Sholay dance for her in person, to enhance the effect! We laughed a lot and said goodbye to my older sister who is leaving tomorrow. Let's see, how many sisters did I count for you so far? Oh yes, my other sister was also there, watching American Football with the guys as she does regularly, joining us for the Indian dance show! It was a sight, I'm telling you! I looked at my young niece and nephews who, I swear, had grown an inch each since I saw them last two weeks ago! Something really good happens to me when I'm near my siblings and their families. I am reminded of what all the effort, all the running around, and all the work we call life, is about. One of the things it's about is being able to share yourself and who you are with those who know you better and longer than anyone else in the world. What is life without being acknowledged and celebrated for your existence occasionally? A family does that better than anyone else in the world. Whether they live right next to us, in the same city, in the same continent, or in an entirely different house, city, and continent, they still know us and they care about us. What is life without an occasional unexpected dance in the middle of the living room, or the sight of those emerging dark hairs above a young boy's lips, and the hint of a ghachaghi lipstick on a thirteen year old's lips? Life is good.

8 comments:

masoud said...

سلام نازی خانم
امروز خیلی در زدم.دیر در رو باز کردی.
زندگی همین است دیگر.آنقدر مشغول بودی که صدای دق الباب را نشنیدی
سر حال نیستم.یه سری بزن به بانوی جشنواره زمستان.آنجا ولی داستانیست پر آب چشم.
بلاگ سبکباران را ببین

Nazy said...

سلام بر مسعود مهربان. ببخشید امشب گرفتار شدم و دیر آمدم. رفتم و بلاگ ندا را خواندم. من می دانستم که مهران قاسمی که نمیشناختمش چند روز پیش ناگهان فوت کرده و عده’ زیادی از روزنامه نویس ها و بلاگر ها در سوگ او نشسته اند. آن نامه را هم خواندم. از دست رفتن یک جوان همیشه غم انگیز است. از دست رفتن یک آدم با سواد و پر دل خیلی غم انگیز است. از دست رفتن مردی که همسرش را دوست می داشت خیلی خیلی غم انگیز است. حیف جوانی و سواد و عشقی که از دست رفت. چه بگویم؟ خانه’ کسی که دیگر مرد جوانش هرگز در آن را باز نخواهد کرد، خانه’ غم انگیزیست و سر زدن به آن خانه امشب مرا غمگین و متاسف کرد. خدایش بیامرزد. از اینکه محزونی متاسفم.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I read your article referring to your generation and wanted to send you this response.

When I am referring to my generation, I am not talking about the youth in Iran. I don’t know them. I am referring to Iranians between 25-40 who lived and grew up in the west. Middle class.

You say your generation was lost and confused.

I think your generation was very determined and goal oriented. Social justice was a very important concept. And not in theory or by reading SCE campaign blogs. But in an every day context. You saw poverty in the streets every day. From the cab driver to the “noonvaa”.

Perhaps you were manipulated and the result of the revolution was not perfect but all people are always manipulated by religion and politics. But you your generation was involved and had goals. Even in other countries, the 60s and 70s were a time of great political change. The sort of change that comes from people (results are not important here, the effort is what I am talking about). There was an apparent end to colonialism in some countries whereas other places had revolutions and revolts etc…

My generation doesn’t understand social justice. Not in the same unified or practical way your generation did. We are scattered around the world and our daily acts of organized or individual charity doesn’t go any where. And for the most part, we don’t care, I’m being honest. It doesn’t bother us that giving some old clothes to Salvation Army doesn’t do much for anyone. We don’t mind what is going on in Iran (talk in mehmoonis, or blogs on Iranian.com don’t count). We do nothing practical. We don’t organize. We’re too busy with ourselves.

Most of us have never really studied political theory…In most families I see, in your generation, there is always an uncle who was “toodehei”. Some people
even have “hezbollahis” in their families who joined the war. My generation really doesn’t have any political affiliations (voting democrat or republican doesn’t count). We’ve never seriously studied or even been exposed to political theories promising to change the world. The fact that new and popular theories haven’t come out in the last few years is another indication of our inaction.

Demographically speaking, your generation was involved in achieving a level of socio economic comfort that was unprecedented in Iran. Many moved from smaller cities to Tehran. Many were the first in their families to get higher education. A large number of younger Iranians left Iran for the first time in order to study abroad.

My generation has mostly grown up in relative comfort. We study to get into college. Some may have to get loans and scholarships. But we do not have the same economic obstacles your generation had. Everything has been handed down to us. We didn’t really work for anything. We took what we had (and have) and we run with it. Your generation had to get things on their own before running…

Even women! For my mother’s generation (she is in her mid 60s), goals were life saving! My mother has a university degree. She was part of the first women in her family to get a degree and work. Others in her age group had to or wanted to get married right away. Finding a suitable husband was a big job. In either case, they had a goal that had to be achieved in a short amount of time. Education is a given for us, we understand we will go to university. It’s relatively easy to do. Marriage too, it happens at some point in time. We don’t have to work as hard on anything.

You say “It was our generation that was captured and imprisoned, summarily dismissed from jobs, and tortured and executed.” This is an exactly what I mean. Ask any 30 year old Iranian in LA or Canada or Germany. Most of them have never been to a demonstration.

We do study. We do hold important professional positions and continue to move up. But we didn’t work as hard as your generation did. The natures of our obstacles are mostly not unique to us as a group. We face the same hurdles (more or less) that any westerner our age might face.

You say, “Our generation paid with its blood, with its hopes”. I think the major difference between our generations is that my generation doesn’t have hope. First of all, one has to be desperate to need for hope. We are usually not desperate. Then, one has to understand hope, it’s not just a slogan. It means a lot. We don’t understand it. We really have nothing substantial to hope for. We mostly have a comfortable life, we mostly have health and education and marriage and children…everything is already here. Unless something veers off course like sickness or an accident, we live our lives without hope. It’s not a depressing thing. We just don’t really need hope the way you did. I hope you understand what I am saying. We are mostly “happy” as it is. Our parents did the hardest work for us already.

The fact that there are so many organized terrorist groups is a testament to the death of hope. We have young suicide bombers, they don’t value their own lives. My generation of course isn’t blowing up a mall, but we don’t really do anything about anything. We just live. Day to day. We have fun. We buy and consume more and more.

You say “To my children who might say “we are suffering because YOU made a revolution,””. Well, I doubt if anyone from my generation (based on the definition I gave you of who I’m including in this group) really says that. If they do, I don’t think they understand or mean what they say. It’s a fun thing to start a debate at a mehmooni but, who actually says that and means it? These “children” are suffering from what??? Mall mania? Too much health food and exercise? Not going to war? Not worried about a revolution?

I don’t mean to sound like we have it all. But there is no comparison between us and you. And those who want to blame your generation for making it worse for us are just…being unrealistic.

Anyway, just a thought!

Thanks

Assal said...

Nazy Joonam:

I first came to post about life and family. I have been away for a while from your blog and the images of the Indian dance of sisters really brightened my day. My mom and I have spent the last two days and nights at Stanford Medical Center visiting an ill uncle who miraculously pulls through even the most grave situations. He is a miracle man, but that is a story I hope to post on Iranian.com soon, so I will stop there! It is a story FULL OF HOPE.

I read the third comment by Anonymous.

I am an Iranian, born in America, from that same age group that Anonymous refers to. It takes great self-confidence (arrogance is a better term) to take on the task of speaking for a generation of people, and damning them the way she does.

According to Anonymous:"My generation doesn’t understand social justice" "we don’t care, I’m being honest" "We don’t mind what is going on in Iran" "My generation really doesn’t have any political affiliations".

As for me, I look at those broad, overbearing labels and think to myself: B_!!$#!^.

You're saying MY generation doesn't understand or need hope? I NEED hope because I have SEEN despair. Hope to drive to Richmond one morning and not see drug deals just happening on the street corners when the kids who are selling the drugs should be in grade school. Hope to one day walk the streets of Berkeley without seeing someone laying on the sidewalk with a sign begging for food. Hope to one drive through the country my parents left behind in a car with the windows rolled down and my hair blowing in the wind. Hope that no member of my generation still in Iran sees another day inside the walls of a prison cell.

And about those suicide bombers who don't value life: If you are willing to let yourself be sacrificed for a belief, isn't that hope? Isn't that the highest form of expression? To lose your life because you believe that anything less than that will not be paid attention to? Even though I may not agree with it, it is not the death of hope. It is a revolt against the death of hope!

I respect you too much to say anything terrible on this blog Nazy Joonam, but this post has really gotten under my skin. I'm not saying everyone in my generation should feel this way, but being a member of that very generation and not agreeing with the label--- I had to say something!

I'm sorry for ranting!

Leva said...

Oh.
So now I feel useful to bring the memory of that Indian Movie to you!

Nazy said...

Salam Bar Anonymous:

What a surprise to hear from you here and now about something I wrote for Iranian.com a while back! Thank you for taking the trouble to read it and to write such an elaborate comment. Your comment is written honestly and articulately, and I thank you for that. I do believe that you are too hard on yourself, as it is quite clear that you are an individual with wisdom, soul, and deep reflection, and it would be such a blessing for all of us if everyone else in your generation followed in your footsteps, expressing their feelings and ideas so articulately.

The piece I wrote in Iranian was in response to a call in another article featured there, and I think it is best if your comment is also posted there, so that the dialogue can be traced effectively by readers of Iranian.com. Therefore, I have forwarded your comment to Iranian.com for publication. I sincerely hope that this is O.K. with you.

I am honored you came to visit me. I hope you do come back. I am sure we can benefit from your future comments. Take care and be good.

Nazy said...

Salam Bar Assal-e-Azizam:

I'm sorry to hear that you spent the beautiful weekend at the hospital, but I am glad that your uncle is pulling through, surrounded by the love and care of you and your wonderful mom.

Though I love reading about your sense of responsibility and care for our world and your environment, I believe that you have viewed Anonymous' comment out of context. I think if you read my original piece and then re-read Anonymous' comment, you would not feel the same way. In my piece I had talked about the younger Iranian generation blaming my generation for our decisions which have led to the current state of affairs in Iran, trying not to defend, but to explain the pain we, too, have felt over the years. I believe Anonymous was paying homage to the sentiments I had raised in that article.

Anyhow, you do know that I am ever so proud of you, your thoughtful and soulful look on life, and the immense responsibility you feel as a young woman, and a proud Iranian-American. Since the day I saw you open your eyes into our world in that Berkeley hospital, I have had nothing but respect for your spunk, your joy of life, your intelligence, and your dedication to humanity.

I have different points of view about the motives of suicide bombers, whom I consider a menace to humanity, and I will share them with you at an appropiate time and place. Be good azizam and take care.

Nazy said...

Baleh Leva Joon, you started a wave of nostalgia for many people with that post! Yes, indeed, I have enjoyed unearthing the clip, thanks to you and also to my friend Kiomars, another brilliant young Iranian in Iran, who recently sent me the link. I hope your few days on the job are happy ones, filled with resolve for new beginnings and much joy to come over the next year. Be happy azize delam.