Project 6060 – Lesson 58
One of the forms of story writing is the short story. The Persian short story began in its modern form about one hundred years ago with the ‘Once Upon a Time’ collection of stories; the work of the famous Iranian writer Mohammad Ali Jamalzade, and a few years later Sadeq Hedayat presented the first masterpieces of this type of Persian literature to Persian speakers. Hedayat was born in the year 1903 in Tehran and committed suicide in Paris in 1951. He travelled to different countries and studied different subjects and became familiar with different languages including Sanskrit. In addition to short stories, Hedayat translated many books and also wrote a few plays and one travelogue. Many researchers believe that Hedayat’s story, ‘The Blind Owl’ is Iran’s most important contemporary literary work. Another of his famous stories is ‘Dash Akol’, which is very readable and touching and a film has also been produced, based on it. To continue, you are going to read some shortened sections of this story:
Everyone who lived in Shiraz knew that Dash Akol and Kaka Rostam were enemies of one another. One day Dash Akol was sitting on the deck of the tea house when Kaka Rostam suddenly entered through the door, cast a threatening glance at him and went and sat on the opposite deck. Then he turned to face the apprentice tea boy and said:
“B-b-boy, b-b-bring a tea.”
Dash Akol cast a meaningful look at the apprentice tea boy and, out of fear, he ignored Kaka Rostam’s order.
Kaka Rostam became angry and yelled again: “A-a-are you deaf?! I-I-I’m talking to you!”
The apprentice tea boy looked at Dash Akol.
Dash Akol said: “The shameless are full of hot air.”
Everyone started to laugh, not laughing at Kaka Rostam’s stammer because they knew that he stammered. Dash Akol was well known in the city and Kaka, himself also knew that he was no opponent for Dash Akol. Because he had been injured by him twice and he had sat on his chest three or four times too, he wanted to take revenge.
On the other hand, everyone who lived in Shiraz loved Dash Akol because he didn’t mess with women and children, but was kind towards people. Dash Akol was often seen helping people, giving and carrying people’s loads to their houses.
Kaka Rostam had become very angry about his humiliation in the tea house. After a few minutes, everyone had calmed down, apart from the apprentice tea boy. Kaka Rostam picked up and threw the sugar bowl at the head of the apprentice tea boy out of rage. Then he got up and exited the tea house with an angry face.
In amongst this, a man entered the tea house head first, looked around, went up to Dash Akol, greeted him and said:
“Haji Samad has passed away.”
Dash Akol looked up and said:
“May God have mercy on him!”
“But don’t you know he left a will and made you the executor of his estate…”
Dash Akol was surprised, looked him up and down again and said:
“God have mercy on Haji! He’s passed on now, but he has not done well. Fine, you go, I’ll follow behind.”
The man who had come in was Haji Samad’s butler and he went out through the door.
Dash Akol got up and left the tea house.
When Dash Akol entered the house of Haji Samad, they brought him into a large room. The lady came behind the curtain and, after saying hello, Dash Akol sat.
The lady said:
Haji made you known as the executor of his will in the presence of all men; you must have known Haji from before?
“We became acquainted five years ago on a journey to Kazerun.”
Then, just as he turned his head, he saw a girl with mesmerising black eyes between the other curtains. It didn’t take a minute for them to catch one another’s eyes. Her attractive eyes did their own thing and transformed Dash Akol. This girl was Marjan, the daughter of Haji Samad, who had come to see Dash Akol.
Dash Akol was a thirty five year-old man and strong but ugly-faced. But if anybody sat down to listen to him, they were fascinated by him.
His father was one of the great land owners of Fars and, when he died, all of his wealth went to Dash Akol. But for him, money and worldly possessions had no value.
The thing that seemed amazing was that until now, the matter of love romance had not arisen in his life. But since he became the executor of Haji Samad’s will and saw Marjan, a total shift had come about in his life.
Every day, from early morning when he got up, he was thinking about how to increase the income from Haji’s estate. He took his wife and children to a smaller house, let out their personal home and attended to Haji’s estate from morning until evening.
From then onwards, Dash Akol put aside his night-time activities and associating with his friends. Many of his enemies and rivals were speaking behind his back in meetings and tea houses. With his stutter, Kaka Rostam would say: “At his old age, this guy has fallen in love with Haji Samad’s daughter!”
Nobody respected Dash Akol anymore. They would whisper wherever he entered and mocked him. Dash Akol heard these words, but paid them no attention because he had fallen in love, as though captured, with Marjan such that he thought about nothing else. To keep him entertained, Dash Akol bought himself a parrot. He would sit in front of the cage and pour out his heart to the parrot.
The rest of the story is about Dash Akol’s romantic adventure and the events that it brings about for him.
Translation of Dialogue
Bahman: Yesterday I finished the story of Dash Akol.
Maryam: It’s really good. Which bit was your favourite?
Bahman: At the beginning when they’re in the tea house. In your opinion, which is the most interesting character in the story?
Maryam: Dash Akol himself.
Bahman: How come?
Maryam: Because he changes so much after falling in love. But he doesn’t say anything to Marjan.
Bahman: Only the end was really tragic.
Maryam: Almost all of Hedayat’s stories are tragic. They made a film based on this book.
Bahman: Have you seen it?
Maryam: Yeah, I’ll bring it so you can see it.
Traduction de Dialogue
Traducción de Diálogo