شادیهای چهارشنبه سوری: نوشته جوی مدنی : آپادانا اردیبهشت 1388
Images of Iran 1970-1974
2 – The Fire Place (The Bagh)
Small piles of burning twigs were glowing around a patch of earth in a garden near Tehran. The air was frosty and there were traces of snow on the ground. Everyone else present at the family gathering knew what was going on and one by one, they recited a mantra as they leapt over the little fires. I was taught the words “Zardie man as toe, sorkhie toe as man”. I followed Nasser in this ritual of Chahar Shanbeh Soori, which is of such ancient and elemental origin. Despite the fires and the sheepskin coat that I wore, I felt the cold, so was glad to be invited indoors to the hospitable home of Sedigheh Khanum-e Nematollahi, where a strange sight met my eyes.
Around the room, with its doors open to the garden, family members were sitting on mattresses on the floor, looking snug under a big quilt, drinking tea. I shall never forget the sensation of joining them and feeling the warmth of the corsi, dissolving my chill. What a brilliant system for keeping a number of people warm for so little expenditure of energy. Later a delicious supper was served to us all. Since that day, the Fire Place and its inhabitants have had a warm place in my memory.
Nasser set up a corsi in our flat in Kouche Zomorod. Maman Batoul gave us all the equipment including a beautiful family heirloom quilt. We settled down next winter to read and write under the corsi in ideal conditions. Our corsi was heated by an electric light bulb. Nasser wrote three Physics text books whilst in our comfort zone to the musical background of the samavar. All foreign visitors delighted in this practical, traditional and friendly way of defeating winter on the high Iranian plateau. Young sophisticated Tehranis preferred to relax on our large sofa in the western style sitting room, heated by oil guzzling bokharis.
We set up a corsi in our Welsh cottage on return to the UK. Our modern version was provided with a superb thermostatically controlled, velvet covered, heater made in Japan and kindly given to us by cousin Abdullah Sadjadian, May his shadow never diminish. This was photographed, reported in the newspaper and described on the Radio, but the stupid, overcautious Health and Safety Experts declared it unsafe and a fire risk. Thus, a great opportunity to keep folk warm at minimum cost was lost to shivering sufferers of the depressing, damp British winter. Khaily motoaseffam.