The Days Without Mirror (Part 8)


The Days Without Mirror (Part 8)

Memoirs of Manijeh Lashgari; The wife of released pilot, Hossein Lashgari

Edited by: Golestan Ja’farian

Translator: Zahra Hosseinian

Tehran, Sooreh Mehr Publications Company

‎2016 (Persian Version)‎

Hossein rang me every day and sent each member of my family his greetings. He asked me about my school, my friends, and everything; and said that he missed me. But I did not have anything to say. I just asked: ‘How are you? What’s the weather there?’ I did not know anything about his living and working conditions; so I had no idea what to say.

Hossein went to Tabriz on Sunday and came back to Tehran on Thursday. ‘Hossein why did you come this long way? There is no news here. Meanwhile, in the house, all keep their eyes on us. We can only go out one or two times. That’s it.’ I said.

‘I'm happy with that. I missed you there.’ He said.

When Hossein came to our house, not only me, but all family members would be happy. He was a sociable man who was good at public relations. As he began to speak, everyone would like to listen to him. He was a pilot of fighters. He spoke about his flying, working with plane and flight technical installations. Even my brothers, who were sick of the sight of him, had become interested in him.

Each time Hossein came to Tehran he brought me a gift. He was fond of perfume. He had brought me a variety of perfumes. At that time, Clinique brand was famous. He had purchased a complete set of Clinique creams and cosmetics. ‘Hossein, I can’t make up.’ I said to him.

‘Now you can’t t. I like you to make up. You’ll do it when we live in our own house.’ He said.

It was last days of April. A month passed from our engagement. One day, during break, the assistant of school's principal, Mrs. Mohajer, called me, ‘Lashgari.’

‘Yes ma’am.’ I replied.

‘Come to my office.’ she said.

My heart sank suddenly. I went to her office with shaky foot and hand. Mrs. Mohajer had sat behind her desk and looked at me curiously. ‘Lashgari,’ she began, ‘two of your sisters have graduated from this school; they’re good girls.’

I was afraid more. I said, ‘what's happened? Have I done a wrong thing?’

She answered: ‘be frank with me. Do you have boyfriend?’

I said, ‘what?! No, God knows, I haven’t!’

She said: ‘Don’t lie! I know he’s not your brother.’

I said: ‘Who?’

She said: ‘that tall young man who picks you up with a blue Chevrolet Blazer!’

I had no choice but to tell the truth. ‘To be honest, ma’am,’ I explained, ‘I’ve been engaged for two months, but as I’ve not done any threading on my face, nobody realized it.’

Her eyes widened and said: ‘Well, that's it! What's his job?’

I replied: ‘pilot of fighter.’

She smiled and continued: ‘it’s my husband's job too. What’s his last name?’

I said, ‘Lashgari. We had a far family kinship. It was the reason we got married. We were engaged during Nowruz holidays.’

She nodded contentedly and said: ‘I'm sure he can make you happy. Congratulation!’

Although I had insisted that Hossein did not come to Tehran during my exams, he came. But he spent his time with my parents and did not disturb me. I finished third year of high school with the average grade of 18.5 out of 20. When my exams ended, Hossein declared that he wanted to begin common life with me. His military service place was in the Vahdati air base in Dezful. We should live there for five years. I was worried. I should have been away from my family. Because I loved Hossein, being away from him was harder to tolerate.

Hossein’s demand was not to hold a wedding ceremony and do everything simple. The revolution had been occurred and wedding ceremonies were held simple. Hossein was completely a religious man. He liked to follow this pattern. He talked with me lengthy. ‘I don’t want to impose my opinion on you,’ he said, ‘if you wish to wear wedding gown and to hold ceremony, I’ll do it.’

I said: ‘No, I don’t like these formalities.’

‘You know, honey; it won’t be done with only one ceremony,’ said Hossein. ‘We should hold one splendid wedding in Tehran and then another splendid wedding in Qazvin in my father's house. I don’t want to splurge and spend extravagantly.’

I said: ‘I understand you.’

My parents and two of my sisters opposed; it was unacceptable for them to have no ceremony. But Hossein and I spoke with them and they were satisfied little by little.

Two days before our departure, the dowry which my mother had prepared, was sent by a truck: porcelain set, Teflon cooking pots, spoon and fork set, bedding, vacuum cleaner, iron, decorative things, tablecloth, and so on.

The bed, refrigerator, and furniture were supposed to be bought there. ‘Hossein, buy these things and send me the bills to pay you back.’ My father told Hossein.

On the morning of June 23, Hossein took me to a beauty salon which he had already chosen. I removed my face’s hair by threading for the first time and did eyebrows threading very neatly. He had asked that my eyebrows not to be narrowed. He picked me up near noon. Getting into his car, he said, ‘I don’t believe it! Is that you? ... How much you’ve changed ... I should give alms before we go home.’

All the way home my hand was in his hand, and I felt from the bottom of my heart how happy he is. We lunched. We had a train ticket for afternoon. When saying goodbye, my father and mother, two of my sisters, my father’s and mother’s sister, and Fatemeh, our maid, with whom we all had grown, cried; I cried too.


To be continued…


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