Chapter I – Home
Home is the beginning. The beginning, to me, is where you open your eyes and see the morning light. My beginning was always my room, on the floor, where the window above faced the garden. The beginning is when you open your eyes and see that light passes through the colorful stained windows of your room and merges into the color of the carpet and colorful ornaments. Every morning, I woke up with colors. My room changed at different ages.
It seemed like my room was alive and knew my needs. It changed itself based on my needs, the time, and my age. My understanding of the room was different too. When I was a little kid, the room was small. As I grew older, it grew bigger and older with me.
I remember the decorations of my room pulled me through my surreal world. I would play with the painting and decorations. I extracted different shapes such as grass, sheep, and other creatures and played with them. I remember Mr. Ghooli, the kind monster shape; he was among my best friends. He helped me with my homework, played with me, and even cheered me up when I was sad. I remember he even sang a song or lullaby when I wanted to sleep.
When I grew older, other aspects of the room changed. It allowed space for my books, my desks, and my library. It felt like my room silenced everything to provide a suitable space for me to go deep into my books.
Coming out of my room, there was a corridor that connected all the rooms together, narrow and dark. Stairs connected the roof to the garden and landed on the iwan. My room was on the middle floor. Truth to be told, the stairs were annoying. They were small and spiral, with high steps. My grandparents rarely came up and down the stairs because it was bad for their knees. Iwans are mysterious. Ours was a pre-entrance and part of the interior as well as part of the exterior. To me, the iwan was the connection between the living room and the garden.
I spent long hours staring at the sky framed between wind catchers, thinking and talking to myself.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“I want to see what’s in faraway places. Or maybe be an artist. Yeah! I’d like to be an artist! Maybe a painter or a photographer or even an actress!”
“Where do you want to visit first?”
“A bigger city!”
“They’re big—endless—people are everywhere, all the time. It’s not like here, where everyone goes to sleep at 10 pm. Honestly, at some points, it’s boring! I think in Tehran there are lots of exciting things going on and nicer places to visit. So I want to move to Tehran and became an artist!”
“What you will visit first?”
“Azadi monument! In books, I saw that it’s super big! Even bigger than the biggest mosque in Yazd!”
And it came true! Years later it was at this iwan again that I made my decision to move to discover faraway places. It was a coincidence of life that the newspaper had an opening position in Tehran. At this iwan, I decided to apply. It was at this iwan that I got a phone call that I was approved for the Tehran position, and it was at this iwan that I decided I would move.
I knew that it was not easy to move and start from the beginning—to move to a place where I wouldn’t know anyone—where I wouldn’t have relatives.
There would not be big houses with spacious living rooms and all the furniture, carpets, and curtains; in my home, all these had been handcrafted by an artist that devoted time to make such intricate pieces. In fact, the iwan was a collection of art.
Now I have to find art in museums. The moment I decided to move, I sat on the handcrafted sofa and again thought to myself:
“So you’ve decided to go?”
“Yeah! I will.”
“You know that won’t be easy right?”
“Yeah! I know.”
“There will be no harmonious khaki-cream colored buildings. There will not be moments that you get on the roof and watch the wide horizon that connects the roofs to the sky with smooth lines of domes and roofs. There, the horizon is blocked and most buildings are gray, concrete boxes!”
“Yeah I know!”
“You are still ambitious to move?”
“Yeah! I don’t think everything will be ugly in this new place. There are millions of people living there; there will be a lot of things going on to discover. I know that there is no wind catcher or other specific elements, but I have to experience it! All in all, there is more space to grow in Tehran. I think I’m done here; at some point, this city gets boring, small, and I can’t do much.”
“I see! Aren’t you stressed about leaving your comfort?”
“Of course I am! I’m stressed and at the same time excited to go somewhere new, visit new places and meet new people. I’m stressed that the new place might not be safe. In this house there are so many rooms that I don’t know what to do with them, whereas in the new place there will be just enough space to fit your body, not even the soul! But I’m eager to go experience and discover what is called a ‘modern city.’”
“How about leaving the house that shaped your character?”
“I’m sad about it, and I hope I can find a place where I can fit in and be comfortable with my soul. I hope I can adapt my identity to the new environment and develop it! I hope the place I move to will be the same as my dreams, and those dreams won’t turn into a nightmare!”
“I don’t know; I will go to Tehran. But I think some part of my childhood will remain.”
In the end, I moved to Tehran. I moved from a spacious house and a beautiful garden, and I didn’t think I would see a lot of those kinds of houses in Tehran.
I moved from a traditional place to a “modern” world.
I think “modernity” is not just dark, gloomy, and sad. I think it is at some points, but on the other hand, there is more to see and more to experience, such as places, events, celebrations, etc. I think there are nicer things about “modernity” as well. There are even nicer buildings, and above all, there are wonderful opportunities for photography.
End of Chapter I