This is a short film that demonstrates the power of good screen writing.
Three beautiful talented Iranian sopranos
When the chilled dough of his flesh went in an oven
not unlike those he fuelled all his life,
I thought of his cataracts ablaze with Heaven
and radiant with the sight of his dead wife,
light streaming from his mouth to shape her name,
‘not Florence and not Flo but always Florrie.’
I thought how his cold tongue burst into flame
but only literally, which makes me sorry,
sorry for his sake there’s no Heaven to reach.
I get it all from Earth my daily bread
but he hungered for release from mortal speech
that kept him down, the tongue that weighed like lead.
Ramin was born in Shiraz and moved to the UK at 13. Through painting he came to realize that no matter what medium his work is focused on protest based Art “where I continue to tell the story of those often forgotten. A kind of Art that sometimes mixes serious issues with some humour but often with tragedy”. See www.dagod.org/about
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.
You left with tears staring through the window
came back and stole a glance through the bars and smiled
You watched me as I played,
the four-year old boy that I was but no longer yours.
Troubled and wary, you came for a visit
You dared yourself, stole a touch that softly brushed my chin,
the ten-year old boy that I was but no longer yours.
You stayed with us for a week, familiar yet with a distant look
we said very little and moved as strangers through the corridors
but before you left you sang with a broken heart and I listened,
The twelve-year old boy that I was but no longer yours.
Discretely and away from the crowd, I saw you in a Margate restaurant
with a sigh you watched me before you left for London
as the eternal gypsy you’d left Toronto, you left for Tehran.
The fourteen-year old boy that I was but no longer yours.
They said you were lost for days in Hyde park
lost your handbag, lost your mind, lost your taste for this life.
They said you received my letter, the first and last before you died.
They sent me a picture of a stone, some carnations for good cheers but lost amongst other stones.
Now here I am, with half of my life gone,
and I see your lost look in my daughter’s eyes.
Strangely I still feel that brush against my chin.
Still you steal a glance through the lost forest of my thoughts.
Strangely I’m still truly yours.