Tuesday, March 15, 2005

26

My dad dropped me off in the morning and drove to work. I was still feeling a little uncomfortable in the school uniform. I specifically couldn’t keep the scarf on my hair and it would slip every 2 minutes! I waited until they took attendance of all the first graders and then told the others to go home and come back during the afternoon shift. Back then, during the war, Tehran didn’t have enough schools and they took students in two shifts. That sunny 1986 September morning was the first and last time that I was dropped off at school…
On a rainy afternoon of March 1988, Uncle Alex and his wife invited us to dinner at their small and cozy apartment in New Delhi. When we arrived, I saw my name written in colorful ribbons, beside a beautiful Happy Birthday on the living room wall. It was sweet and very generous of them to surprise me like that. The cake tasted very delicious, too. When I still look at pictures from then, I get butterflies on my stomach. That year, I had the time of my life touring Bombay, Delhi and Calcutta. I never thought I would still be living in the same city as Uncle Alex, 16 years later…

I hugged them and cried hard. We were to start highschool in September 1993 but Goli and Honey would have to register at another school. Apparently they didn’t pass the test! Maryam and Sahar decided not to make them any more uncomfortable and just pretended that nothing would change. We played cards that night and promised to stay friends for ever. Maryam and Sahar, both architects and married to architects still live in Tehran. Honey is a film producer and like Goli and I single. Goli moved to Germany a few years later in 1994 and she is graduating this year with a degree in Chemical Engineering.

March 1997, we were studying very hard. It was getting dark but we couldn’t tell from inside the library. Passing each other the books and sample tests, we hard formed a solid support group to study for the National University Test. That night when Mona’s chauffer dropped me off, she rolled down the window and told me to get a good night sleep. “It’s going to be ok. We will all get into the best schools” she said to relieve some of the stress she could see in my face. That year we all passed the test with flying colors and got into the best universities in the country. Mona and I went to the same school and while I was there, took the same classes together. When I left the country, it broke my heart to leave her behind. I never thought she would be visiting me regularly from Vancouver in just a couple of years.

March 1999, my parents celebrated my birthday in our new apartment in Toronto. For the big “two, zero” everyone was there: Uncle Alex, Uncle Hossein, Behnaz, everyone. I felt like such a grown up that even had some red wine! Baba was still vigorously looking for work, I was working part time at Tim Hortons and Kaveh and Keyvan were struggling with the new language, in a new highschool, in a new country.

For my big “two, five” we booked the Smokey Joe's Cafe and had a blast. Although Ali’s 2004 nomination campaign was not over yet, we decided that the crew needed a night off. Even Charles showed up, too. What a sweet ex-boy friend he was! Then on the verge of a serious nervous break down, even Ali came. I think he was there for a few minutes and then left for a Sunday late night election meeting! Many of my friends took the time to be there: Afshin, Saman, Mehrdad, Farhad, Katti, Azadeh, Noushin, Maryam, Alidad, Yaser, Faranak and Pouria. It was the best 25th birthday I could ever ask for. We drank, we smoked and we played pool…

And today, I don’t know why I hear Sinatra’s “I did it my way” all day! Tonight, I will be volunteering for the “Chaharshanbeh Souri” celebration in Sunny Brook Park. Who thought I could one day be a “Patrol Officer”? Amongst all the community volunteer positions that I have held during the years, this one sounds like the most fun!

“Regrets, I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention.
I did, what I had to do, and saw it through, without exemption.
I planned, each charted course, each careful step, along the byway,and more, much more than this, I did it my way”

1 Comments:

At 9:29 AM, Blogger Looking for treasure said...

Happy 26th birthday, sky!
I hope your celebration is fun, although I have no clue what the duties of a "Patrol Officer" could be! But whatever you do, keep "doing it your way"!

 

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