10 Jun 2012 15:47
Reading a page of a book out of thousands and millions of pages is, for us, like looking through a window on brighter side of the world that is constantly calling us, tempting us to set on a journey with the frigate of a book for more and more adventures...
After rainless drought, the Bedouin Arab is drawn to the limpid raindrops that are gradually gathering up in a pit before him. He thinks whether to dedicate these celestial drops to the Sultan or not, as such water only deserves the Caliph of the time and it is just raining for him.
The road should be far and a tiresome trip it would be. It can well be imagined how the Arab reached the court. The guards open the way for him and ask for his permission.
The minister bows and whispers in the king’s ears. The king asks something and the minister replies. Standing up, he bids the man forward by pointing his two fingers to him. The man presents his jug.
The king, however, is generous and merciful. He commands his men to throw the salt water on soil and fill in the jug, instead, with gold coins. The Arab is lost in himself. He is fascinated with the limpid and celestial water bestowed upon him and cannot understand why his precious treasure should be poured over the soil. The king salutes him and then commands that the Arab should be taken to the shores of Nile so that he could see the real sea of water running on the earth.
I always imagine the man on shore of Nile, thinking. I am that Arab, that distracted tanned man standing on the shore of the Nile. The only difference between my story and the man’s is that I was aware of the greatness of the Nile from the very beginning. I wanted to write a dedication for him on the first page of my book. How futile, what can I ever give him? And I couldn’t give him even that thing, alas!
Now I know why with every wave and in each sentence he repeated: alas! Why does in the passing river only ‘alas’ resides and lasts forever? So the dedication on the first page goes like this: ‘For the owner of the Nile’.
I frame the picture and hang it on the bosom of the wall. He is standing there, in the presence of the king – empty-handed, more empty-handed than ever. The only thing remaining for his is ‘alas’ and a jug of salt water on his shoulder.
NILE | Pages 9, 10
Author: Mohammad Taghavi (1964 - )
Release Date: 2011 , Tehran
Category: Contemporary Iranian Short Stories