Monday, November 21, 2005


This was the view out of our window yesterday. I had a lovely time standing there and watching this for ages. Then I took some pictures of it as well just because it looked so pretty. But then as soon as I put the pictures into the computer this morning and looked that them on the monitor, I felt a bit depressed. This surprised me as yesterday morning watching this exact same thing from the window had been very pleasing to me and it had even given me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.
But then just now I suddenly worked out what it was (which made me seriously happy because I absolutely hate it when I suddenly feel depressed like this over something and don’t even know why).

If like me, you grew up in Iran as well, there is a big chance that you also felt a bit sad when you saw this picture. Now let me take you back a few years. Imagine it’s a cold winter Friday afternoon. You’re a kid and your age can be from six all the way up to thirteen or even fourteen or even eighteen actually. Anyhow you go to school.
You’ve messed about all day and have put off doing your homework. Then you’ve had lunch. Then you’ve watched the especially rubbish children’s programme that very especially on Fridays starts at two O’clock which means you’ve spent a whole hour listening to some silly old girl with a bad case of acne calling you her little friends and lecturing you (in a badly-disguised-as-friendly patronising voice) about the benefits of fasting and praying, just so you could watch another episode or a rerun of yet another depressing Japanese cartoon series about an orphan girl or a boy or a bee, all looking for their mothers which they will never find.
Now it’s about half three-ish and the sun is going to go down soon and you still haven’t done your homework and you’re going back to school tomorrow and so you’re feeling quite depressed. But you still don’t want to do you’re homework so you stick around by the television some more to see what the special Friday afternoon film is going to be (knowing very well that it’s probably going to be some depressing foreign black and white war film or a depressing Iranian war film but still hoping that maybe the television man in charge of choosing the films had something good happen to him that weekend and so he will want to put a comedy on).
Then this presenter guy comes on who is either in a really over the top sad mood (if it is a religious mourning day of some sort) or in a very over the top happy mood (on the rare occasions that it is not a religious mourning day of some sort) and reads this very long poem in this very unnecessarily expressionistic way either in a sombre or a happy tone depending on what his mood is supposed to be.
Now it’s about four and the sun has gone down and you still haven’t done your homework and instead you’re watching an ancient black and white Second World War movie and feeling very sorry for yourself and thinking about how you could maybe runaway and go and live in the mountains with a pack of stray dogs so you don’t have to go to school anymore.
And then the ancient movie is suddenly cut off (on account of it being so bloody old and practically a museum piece) and then while the people in the television building are looking for a bit of tape to stick their antique movie together, what comes on your television screen? Yes, the above picture.
And that’s when you remember how cold it is outside and so even if you did runaway, you would probably die of pneumonia before you even find that pack stray dogs that you wanted make friends with. Yes kick a child when it’s down why don’t you, IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting).
In true Chandler from Friends fashion, ‘Can it be anymore depressing?’

17 comments:

amanda kay said...

you have outdone yourself, friend.

Foulla said...

wao!

Negar said...

NICE!!!
I remember my religion studies teachers telling us that we're SUPPOSED to be sad on Friday afternoon because another Friday has passed by and Emam Zaman hasn't come to save us! and if I remember correctly, the piece of poetry before the movie was related to Emam Zaman coming and whatnot. what always annoyed me was the way they repeated a random line just to add a little drama.
Hah, good ol' days!

Kamyar said...

Beautiful Shirin, I really enjoyed reading this piece. 12 years of school in Tehran could not be described any better.

Judy Abbot said...

I don't know if you remember the series "Road to Avonlea", but it's amazing how later in high school my whole Friday night perspective was changed and all the blues disappeard when I had that to look forward to around 9PM on Friday nights. Funny how easy it is to screw with minds of a whole generation :) I need to find out if the generation after us are all jolly-friday-loving creatures because of that hour long dose of happy uplifting show. LOVE YOUR WEBLOG shirn joon btw :)

Foulla said...

i was so under the "charm" of u're piece that i just couldn't comment..
i'm back to say that u're an artist..nothing new for u,i guess, but i wanted to tell u that i felt u're so so so artist..
OAW(here we're again!)

asad said...

the picture made me more nostalgic than sad, but your write up was excellent. I get the same feeling when I look at foggy mountains.

Aydin said...

The picture makes me depressed because it reminds me of the time when I lived in Germany, seeing the sun once every two weeks. I love your great description of Friday afternoons. The only thing that seems to be missing is the “Azaneh Maghreb” intermission which made the sadness tenfold.

Shirin said...

Thank you a.k.g. I’m glad you liked. Bet you can’t wait to go to Iran now and get yourself a bit of that lovely Friday feeling ;-)

Negar thanks for reminding me about repeating the random line from the poem. I knew something was missing from my description.

Judy I don’t remember Road to Avonlea. That must have been after my school years were over. Do you remember Oshin though? (Salhayeh door az khaneh) That I used to really look forward to on Saturdays. How cool was that! And everyone used to talk about it at school the next day :-)

Foulla thank you very much! I’m so flattered by your comment. Let’s hope it won’t go to my head now and make me a bit snobby and all ;-)

Asad yes I think it’s the fog that makes it so very IRIB. I think they might have had a contract with someone up in Kelardasht and thereabouts that used to send them pictures of green and foggy places all the time.


Aydin you’re right I did leave out Azaneh Mghreb beh ofogheh Tehran but to tell you the truth it was only because I started writing about that but got so depressed that I thought I might start crying on the keyboard and, god forbid, electrocute myself! So not writing about that was purely for Health and Safety reasons.

caillou said...

It can get much more depressing when the sun get really down and you begin hearing the voice of the muezzin outside AND on the TV.
You know, there is this "cling cling " thing which precede the azAn, and that's when you loose all hope : tomorrow you'll be the first the teacher will check out for your home work, and he/she will not buy "my aunt and grand mother died when our house burnt down with all my homework perfectyl done".

Shadgoli said...

You do know that I share these old feelings of weekends with you (since almost all of them we where together), but the picture reminds of horrible sundays of London, when nothing would cheer you up. I dislike them with a passion. They include all the cruelness of old Fridays in Tehran minus the diarrhoea feeling that came with the afternoon's fear of not having had your homework done, and the sadness of having to go back home from your grandparents. And you know the bad thing about Sundays is that a completely white infected throat and a very high temperature would only make the matters worse, when many years ago on a cold Friday afternoon they were seen as salvations.

Shadgoli said...

Sorry the post was long again.

GazanKhan said...

Very nice Shirin my dear.and we must also think about those childern that they parents pretend that take school too seriously and put more unnecessary load on the poor child's shoulder

Tima said...

What a beautiful picture and your talent in prose is unmatched. You have a way with words and see things that most people don't. I'm sorry the school years were so sad for your generation. Ours (I'm 57) was great ... not that we liked going to schoo that much:-), but "childhood" in general was pleasant ....... regarding TV ... those days we had the "American Armed Forces" TV channel and I grew up with American cartoons, sitcoms, movies, etc... so at least Tv was good; but I do remember "asr-haayeh Jomeh" ... especially in the Fall ..... soooo depressing.

Shadgoli said...

Tima joon (I'm calling you as Kamyar and Shirin do.) Our school years weren't so sad. we did have a great time, and because sometimes we didn't know what was going to happen the next day, due to war and all that stuff we did have quite fun, completely out of routine (at times) child/teenagehood. Owing it to our family's fun, happy, lively attitude I must add. But I think Friday afternoons' feeling is the same in any generation, with a different background. same goes with Sunday nights when the BBC for example decides to show DEER HUNTER to cheer us up. It's the universal end of weekend conspiracy.

Dr O2 said...

well things have somewhat changed these days. No one really cares what's on TV no more as everyone easily turns on the sattelite reciever & just gets to choose from the 283 channels available but still there are those acne-girls calling themselves AUNTS(khale)& talking in childish fashion which really make me wanna crush their faces :">

Yet agn no matter what the programs, still at this age the past-time-effects haunt me as Friday afternoon seem to be the most deperessing of all for no particular reason.

P.S: very interesting post this one :-)

Shirin said...

Yes Caillou, you are right on the money there. Even as I read what you had written, I could hear that cling cling in my head and felt like having a good long cry ;-) I liked your burnt homework excuse. However the favourite in our area was, ‘On my way to school my perfectly done homework fell into Joob and was washed away.’

Beautifully said my dear Shadgoli. But as you very well know, I can’t exactly sympathise with your whole Sunday evenings feeling since I have never done an honest day’s work in my whole life ;-) I’m kidding but seriously I always used to love going to college and then after that the other jobs that I’ve had have never been nine to five. Hopefully when someone gives me a proper job one day, I will be able to have another chat with you about that.

Very well said Gazankhan, those poor kids had it the worst. I was very lucky however in that area ;-)

Hi Tima joon :-) as you said there is something about that Asreh Jomeh. It can even break the toughest of pahlavanan I’m sure and make them want to have a bit of a cry by themselves in the corner ;-)

Dr O2 Thanks for reminding me about the Khaleh thing. O how I hated it when they did that. That must be about the most annoying thing a TV presenter can do. I’m sure they said that on purpose just to get on people’s nerves.