Leaving Moon city-autobiographical flash fiction


maltabus by doodle_juice
maltabus, a photo by doodle_juice on Flickr.

A day earlier in Abadan our passports and tickets were ready for collection. Dad spoke to this guy in the ticket office who dropped the word OK in every one of his Persian sentences.  He had a poster of palm trees on the wall. Who puts posters of palm trees of some other city in a city full of palm trees? He was what we called Gharb-Zadeh which meant western wannabe. On that last day I was keen to keep my daily ritual and cycled under the heat of the Sun, in our city of Mahshahr. Mahshar meant moon city. I passed Mahnaz’s house and peeked through the mesh wire  window. She wasn’t there, shame. Why was it that when things were getting better something always changed? Only a fortnight earlier I wrote her a note, sat next to her in the cinema and dropped it in her lap. When she saw me next she blushed. Her cheeks turned red like inside a cherry pie and I’m guessing they probably tasted the same. I knew then that if I persisted I could get a taste of her. I put my best shirt on. It was a lost cause but it wasn’t just for her I was saying goodbye to the neighbourhood. The heat  melted the road and left my tyre track behind. At least the road kept a trace of me. You could fry an omelet on that asphalt but I was used to that heat even though my skin had turned deep brown and peeled like a potato. The swimming pool chlorine had lightened my hair and I thought I looked cool!  I passed the market. The vegetable market had fresh coriander and the mechanic’s shop smelled of diesel and grease. My friend Ali was home.  Unlike me he was a town boy. At school I  hanged out with the town kids just as much as I knew the kids from our part of town. Town kids called us the refinery kids. I didn’t care much for such differences. Ali went puppy faced but kept quiet and just wished me luck.  Ali’s Mum offered me lunch, smiled and wished me luck, but I didn’t stay. I passed the fishmongers and the  smell of  freshly backed bread further up market made me hungry so I headed home. I reached the rose gardens of the English houses  of our road and circled the Helipad where the king had once landed for his visit. On his visit I’d peeked inside the Helicopter now I was going round the H three times for good luck. I had my lunch and had a short nap. The summer days were long but that day was going too quickly and I was slightly disappointed. My life was about to change and I expected a bit more fuss from friends and family. Surely someone cared that I wouldn’t be there the next day?  Then it happened. Ali hadn’t gone puppy face  because  he was keeping a secret. He wasn’t good at keeping secrets but that day he did a good job. The kids had organised a surprise visit. They all turned up at once, or at least the best of my friends the seven of them came to say goodbye. Mohsen the eldest of all of us was a poor kid who along his education had started to be a coach driver’s assistant. This had caused a bit of interruption so he’d repeated the year but otherwise that kid was a really bright. His favourite occupation was to make bamboo shoots burn a few holes and turn it to a flute for his buddies. He was a great musician but that day he was a coach driver. He’d borrowed his uncle’s coach, picked each one of them at their homes and beautifully parked the coach in the col-de-sac where we lived. It wasn’t just for me, it was for them too. They wanted to look me in the eyes and see how it felt to be going somewhere and living a dream. I should had kept in touch but didn’t. A lot happened after that point. A war swallowed up a million kids. Rich or poor many people left the country but I hope my magnificent seven, the seven friends, the town boys that I once had as genuine friends had grown to be happy men and I hope wherever they are that they had a good life. Life did turn out to be like a dream. The thirty-six years have gone fast and nothing like what I expected.

Anthem for Neda – My tribute poem


 

world_is_watching by doodle_juice
world_is_watching, a photo by doodle_juice on Flickr.
A frame from the video of Agha-Soltan's death ...

A frame from the video of Agha-Soltan’s death by gunfire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Grave site of Neda Agha-Soltan, shot by Baseej...

Grave site of Neda Agha-Soltan, shot by Baseeji paramilitia in Tehran during the 2009 protests to the presidential election results. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Portrait of Wilfred Owen, found in a ...

English: Portrait of Wilfred Owen, found in a collection of his poems from 1920. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Death of Neda Agha-Soltan

Death of Neda Agha-Soltan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back in June 2009 Neda Agha Sultan was shot by a Basij member. Basij is a so-called volunteer militia that operates in the Islamic Republic of Iran (whenever the authorities want to use violence against the public or need a rent a mob. In reality these people are not volunteers they are on the payroll). She was shot as part of the policy to spread fear amongst peaceful protesters who were upset by the rigged elections. In those days I was watching events live on the internet and broadcasting it wherever I could. I was so moved by watching this event that with the slightest mention of her name I had to force myself and hold back the tears.
Inspired by the poem “Anthem for Doomed youth” by Wilfred Owen on 23rd June 2009 I wrote this poem and created this image of a man with the face of the globe looking behind a distorted glass.

Anthem for Neda

What lamenting cry for you who fell like a leaf?

More howling guns or sound of protesting feet?

What drops should pour for this anguish?

Their tears of Gas? More weeping in blood vanquished?

No mockeries for you; no drink from their martyr’s well,

Nor sound and vision from a TV deaf and blind for those who fell,

No gleam of sorrow from these murderous beasts,

Only a frenzy as they persist their blood feast.

How many candles should we burn to keep your memory alive?

Burn the World with your light or go back to just survive?

You gave your youth, life and beauty,

Shame on us to live but not to do our duty.

Life is just a day, our lives race towards the dusk,

We shall walk your path in freeway, we must until we turn to dust.

Ramin Tork 23rd June 2009

Related articles

 


mohareb by doodle_juice

mohareb, a photo by doodle_juice on Flickr.

A DaGod style poster I did a while ago. I republished it to celebrate the fall of Gaddafi. May all dictators follow.


The Mourning mothers by doodle_juice

The Mourning mothers, a photo by doodle_juice on Flickr.

Made from plaster and wrapped in black cloth this particular sculpture represents the gathering of Iranian mothers whose children have been killed by the Iranian regime for their political beliefs.


End of Gaddafi by doodle_juice

End of Gaddafi, a photo by doodle_juice on Flickr.

This is it, it is the end of another dictator and a cause for celebration. Hip Hip Hooray!

They took my dignity


They_took_my_dignity by doodle_juice
They_took_my_dignity, a photo by doodle_juice on Flickr.

The sculpted frame is part of the Art work otherwise the painting is done in oil.

This was done as a remembrance of the political rape victims, where in countries such as Iran rape has systematically been used by the Government as a form of torture or to create general fear among the public.

It is time to Act


Wordle: It is time to act

OK Now I’m over doing the word cloud, but I thought I do a final word cloud of a political Article I wrote back in 2010.

Here is the original article.

http://www.iranian.com/main/2010/mar/it-time-act

Let’s Talk


Let's Talk by doodle_juice
Let’s Talk, a photo by doodle_juice on Flickr.

From my DaGod series.

Someone wears a mask and holds a household hostage, he insists that he now owns the house and decides the fate of those who live there. He insists that within that household you should let him play by his rules. You as a neighbour and businessman had a role in the affairs of that family. You sold the mad man the gun. You bribed the father of the house to the point that he had lost all traces of dignity. Now you are interested in the premiums of the policy that you also sold him and if that would continue to generate revenue. Your son says let them be, they are like animals anyway. Your wife says you should take a gun and be ready and call the forces before he comes and shoots your children. You had an unbalanced neighbour and because of your greed you pushed them to the point that their son’s madness emerged. Now instead of a friendly neighbour you have to calm down a madman with a gun who wants to talk but only on his on terms and this time he is holding an innocent family hostage and is a threat to you. This is no allegory, this is what happened in my country! The madmen are the Islamists holding our people hostage, and we watch hopelessly as they drive their household and the neighbourhood into destruction.

The sacrifice


The sacrifice by doodle_juice
The sacrifice, a photo by doodle_juice on Flickr.

I chose the colours of the Iranian flag for this work. I felt like my country through many influences was sacrificed and Iranian people have paid a heavy price for it.

Sacrificial President


Sacrificial-President by doodle_juice
Sacrificial-President, a photo by doodle_juice on Flickr.

It looks like Ahmadinejad is going to be sacrificed by the regime.
The regime feels a major crisis of power and the lack of popularity both internal and external. It has seen the Arab spring and it’s allies in crisis. The sanctions and the wasteful policies have brought the nation to a state of major crisis. Ahmadinejad had started securing his position but has lost support amongst the military Sepah so it seems he will become the latest sacrificial escape goat of an unpopular crumbling brutal regime. By the way I have reused one of my old cartoons for this, but somehow the topic is still relevant.

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