ستاره های کویر : نوشته جوی مد نی : آپادانا خرداد - مرداد 1388
Images of Iran 1970-1974
Stars in the Desert
Ahmad was doctoring in Fahraj, a desert village in the far South of Iran. He had told us that the best time to go there was in the winter. So, one cold day in the month of Day, in Tehran Nasser and I decided to visit him and took the coach to Kerman. The next stage, from Kerman to Fahraj, was by jeep, as we did not trust ourselves to the only available bus, which was overcrowded and had drums of petrol all down the isle. The jeep owner took our cases on board and said he would pick up a colleague and return for us. Visions of being stranded, luggage-less, were vivid in our minds, but possibly finding that there was nothing of value in our bags, he returned, picked us up and delivered us to Ahmad’s clinic.
The villagers treated us hospitably and we were welcomed by every one. Our visit to the Chai-Khone gave rise to a call from the owner to the kitchen. “Se ta Fenjoon Chai Tammees.” We wonder what other customers got?
Our present to Ahmad was egg cosies, (Kolah-e-tokhme-morgh), made by me. He subsequently reported that the hens of Fahraj were on strike refusing to lay eggs that would not be adorned with egg cosies.
Ahmad had a routine of going, on certain days of the week, to distant villages where he held clinics and during our visit, Ahmad took us to his clinics. On arrival, we would find that the patients from the surrounding area and their relatives were already crowding the clinic waiting for Ahmad.
On one occasion, a patient was brought in with severe intestinal pains. Ahmad diagnosed a blockage that required surgery and arranged for his driver to take us all to the hospital in Kerman. On the way back by night, the land rover broke down in the middle of the desert. By some magic, a mechanic was found, in the middle of nowhere, who fixed the problem.
Whilst he was working on the land rover, we were under the spell of stars. There was no unfilled space in the sky between the brilliant pulsating stars, so that we could read easily by their light. This, I felt, is what heaven is like, unpolluted by man. The scientists amongst our readers will know why this happens in the desert. On only one other occasion have I had such a revelation of the glory of creation. That was seeing the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis in Wales.
Haydn wrote a powerful work entitled Creation, which includes the lines “The heavens are telling the Glory of God.” Of course, they do this all the time, but they did it for me when a land rover broke down in the desert.