Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Years ago when I was a wee girl back in Tehran, I was totally smitten by pirates and maps and finding treasures and all that. When I was at my friend, Roshanak’s place, along with her two little brothers, we would spend hours burying Star Wars men and plastic soldiers in the ground and then make maps of their whereabouts so we could go and dig them up later.
In my Grandparents’ garden in the north, my cousin Nader and I would become proper explorers armed with sticks and would spend hours and hours fighting our way through raspberry bushes and cobwebs looking for signs and clues that would lead us to a treasure that we were convinced was buried somewhere in that garden by the pirates.


At school that year, we had a great bunch of kids in our class. Our classroom was completely separate from the school building and it had been built in the yard only the year before. Essentially this was half pray-room and half library but it later became half pray-room and half classroom because of shortage of classes and also lack of interest in the library (due to the fact that there were only about ten books in there; The Three Piglets and nine others about Imam Hussein).
Maybe it was the intimate environment of such a small classroom or maybe it was that old thing about a group of people who suffer the same inhumanity (which in this case was having to endure the terrible foot odour of all the girls who came to say their mandatory prayers before their religious studies class everyday) whatever it was, we were all very close that year.
At break times I would tell my classmates about my latest expeditions and treasure hunts but it was hard for them to understand exactly where the thrill of it all was when they had never done anything like that themselves. Some even thought it was silly to just be looking for a treasure when you weren’t absolutely sure that there was a treasure to be found in the first place. The way I saw it though, it didn’t really matter if you found anything or not because for me the exciting part was definitely when you were trying to get to what you were looking for and once you had found it, the adventure part was over.

What annoyed me the most was that after a while, even when they were all getting properly excited about this treasure hunting business and they were even warming to the idea of going after something just for the hell of it, every time I found something that could be seen as a map, they still found faults in it and only saw it as what it really was; an old stained and muddied photocopy of someone’s birth certificate, a big leaf or an old telephone bill. Well a bit of imagination never killed anyone did it? But no, from what I gathered, the only way I could get these girls to go on an adventure was if an authentic pirates’ treasure map, somehow found its way to our little classroom in Charrah Hessabi in Tehran!
At the end I thought I had no other choice but to make the map myself. I knew this wasn’t a nice thing to do but I managed to convince myself that this could very easily have been done by someone else. To lessen my own input in it, I drew most of it with my eyes closed and used my left hand to write things on it. But unfortunately this didn’t work either; for one, everyone knew straight away that the map was done by me, two, I felt horrible because I had to keep lying to my friends and swear to this and that that I hadn’t done it, three, having drawn the whole thing with my eyes shot, we couldn’t make head or tail of it anyway.

13 comments:

Ostan said...

How intersing ti was to find a hidden treasure. it was really better than many other girlish games (madar bazi, I don't say that I didn't like it but it was too classic). Somehow it wasn't that much a game for us. I felt myself as a real adult trying to solve vital problems. It's not good that I comment whenever I'm part of the writting. Huaman's selfish part!!

ostan said...

Sth else: The girls at school with their uniforms are excellent. It really reminds me of school time.

shadgoli said...

Do you remember the time we staked out on balcony, late at night, and when we came back in we were attacked by all the mosquitos in the world. I sprayes a whole can of insect killer in the room that ended up in our eyes!!!!!!!!!!

Shirin said...

That’s how I felt as well Ostan; grown up :-) We should start doing that sort of thing again maybe.

Hee hee Shadi I remember something about the spray but I can’t remember what the stakeout was about at all.

Foulla said...

this reminds me of the pirate i used to be in Casablanca,and u know what the kids around me used to actually believe i was a dangerous "see-thief";)
i think i shoul have been with u ,we could have had fun..really..
ahemm,btw,we have a backyard and..u know..i u feel like playing give me a call.i'll be the pirate u'll be the treasure hunter..

Shirin said...

You taarofing with me like that to come and dig up your garden Foulla and I might just turn up at your doorstep with a shovel and a made up map one day and get to work ;-) I’ll bring Ostan and Shadgoli with me as well if it’s ok.
I just might do that you know now that I have your home address and everything as well, yuhaaaahaaa (scary pirate laugh) :-)

amanda kay said...

i love this. i wish i had something more profound to say, but i love this.

my parents live out in the woods, you know, and when my nephew comes to visit in the summertime they orchestrate this big treasure hunt, map included. my brother and i used to do that stuff all the time. in fact for a long time my brother used to sign all of his e-mails and letters to me as 'the happy pirate'

GazanKhan said...

Hi my dear Shirin, the picture is beautiful. I wish I could play with you too then and there.
about the blog theft, they re-appeared the next day. thanks for your concern.

Foulla said...

oh do it do it...ahemmm.

Anonymous said...

Shirin jan

Aagain stories bring a twinkle to my eyes :)Is the pic of the young school kids your art work?
It's just so very adorable..If so, is it cloth?

~Moj

Shirin said...

Thanks Amanda and sorry for not having replied to your email yet. I will a bit later.
'The happy pirate' is so cute.

Gazankhan I wish you could play with us too. In one of our expeditions in the north, once my cousin and I found a clearing in the bushes near the beach which resulted in my dad buying us a big box of Quality Streets so I guess in a way you could say that at one point we even found a treasure as well.

Thanks Moj. I’m glad you liked it. Yes I did the picture myself and yes, well spotted, those uniforms are made of cloth.

shadgoli said...

Why did you delete the post. It was beautiful.

Shirin said...

Which Post? I didn't delete anything.