The Woman Singing in My Heart

Haydeh sings shahrashoub.

Our friend, Hashem, had a small restaurant in the nearby Albany. His mother cooked the delicious food, and he and his brothers managed the restaurant. Sometimes on weekends he would invite Iranian singers and musicians to perform in the party room upstairs. Our children were young and when we attended the small concerts at Hashem's restaurant, we had to get babysitters and plan our time carefully. He was so happy one time to tell us that Haydeh was coming to town in a few weeks. We reserved a table for 8 for that Friday night and went about telling our friends to come along and arranging for a sitter. When Friday night rolled in, we first went to dinner and then upstairs to the first table off the small stage. In a few minutes the band started playing and Haydeh walked on stage. She looked really good and happy. Because it was a small crowd, it felt so cozy and family-like to be in that room with the singer a whole nation loved. At one point, I asked her to sing "soghati ," and she immediately started singing it, honoring me to no end. We had one of the best nights of our lives in that sweet atmosphere. It was 2:15 a.m. when we finally decided to leave, because we had to let the sitter go home. The concert, however, wasn't over yet, and as we left the building, all the way across the road in the parking lot, we could still hear Haydeh's sweet voice, singing my most favorite of her songs, "Narges-e-Shiraz."
When I woke up the next day, I was still really jazzed about the performance I had seen the night before. As usual, I called Hashem to thank him for the wonderful time we had had the night before and to give him feedback on the performance. Hashem's brother, Saeed, picked up the phone. He sounded different than his usual bubbly self. Was he sad? I asked him what was up, and he burst into tears, telling me that Haydeh had died in the early hours of that morning. Since then, and for the rest of my life, I carry the sadness and honor of having seen Haydeh in the last concert of her life. She was a legend to all Iranians, but I have felt her loss on a very personal level for all these years. She continues to live in the hearts of millions of Iranians now, and I believe none more profoundly than mine.


نیلوفر said...

Setareh hay mehraboon....

Shobeir said...

I use to own a community at orkut called deltangi. There I asked ppl what do they listen when they are in their blue mood?
Answers I receieved was all around Haydeh and Moeen...

Daisy said...

Salam Nazy jon,
You never fail to blow me away by your stories. I wish I had a chance to meet Haydeh in person. She was/is my favourite female singer. I love her voice, her elegance, and her songs.

SERENDIP said...

How sad! I used to see her all the time in LA. My then boyfriend and I used to see her all the time at our favorite Chinese restaurant on Santa Monica Blvd. She shouldn't have lost that much weight quickly...I was just a kid back then and too shy to go and get her autograph...

Have a beautiful day!

bayramali said...

Last Monday , me and one of friends (Reza) was listening to on her album that composed by maestro A. Rohani when we driving in highway 680 . we talked about there isn't any body like her to sing such perfect with that masterpiece music . I told to Reza if he knew that late Haydeh was in north California in the last night of life . I didn't know you were there that time . now reading of this post reminds me that in less than a week.
God bless her . she was unique

Hyacinth said...

Nazy jon,

What a beautiful memory, and how amazing it must have been to see Hayedeh perform in a small and intimate setting. Her songs are eternal, never get boring or old no matter how many times I listen to them...and I must say "Soghati" is my absolute favorite...the lyrics are a perfect expression of love.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend :)

نون جیم said...

I'm happy that "She looked really good and happy" that night.

Nazy said...

Dear Friends,
Hyacinth, and
Noon Jim:

Thank you all for your comments and for sharing your sentiments about Haydeh. She was truly a unique artist and an unforgettable singer. After she died, an incomplete album she had done with Anooshirvan Rohani was released, reflecting some of the nicest songs she had ever sung. Of those, I believe the song "Ey Yar-e Man" to be the most beautiful of them. I give you that song to thank you for sharing your Haydeh memories and sentiments: