Project 6060 – Lesson 59
A novel or long story is one of the types of literary writing, which is written in prose and is very popular and favoured these days. Normally, a novel is a long piece of writing containing adventures and incidents, within which the author fictitiously recreates the life of a person as a story. Sadeq Chubak is one of the most important modern novelists and story writers in Iran who started writing after Mohammad Ali Jamalzade, Bozorg Alavi and Sadeq Hedayat and he left behind many works.
One of the most important and famous Persian novels is ‘Tangsir’, written by Sadeq Chubak, which also has a film made of it. Chubak was born in 1916 in the city of Bushahr in the South of Iran and passed away in 1998 in America. The Novel ‘Tangsir’, shows the life of a man called ‘Mohammad’ who, after years of hard work saves a bit of money and, with the encouragement of three other people, gives it to a fabric seller. The fabric seller pledges the deeds of his beach house to him and they agree that the fabric seller will use that money to deal with and share the profit of that with Mohammad. After a while, Mohammad realises that the deeds to the fabric seller’s beach house had also been pledged to a few other people and he wants to get his money back from the fabric seller. But the fabric seller doesn’t give him his money. Mohammad tries with all his effort but is unsuccessful. Therefore, he decides to take revenge on him and the three people who had a hand in tricking him and flee Iran. To continue, you will read a section of this novel, which tells of the night time adventure when Mohammad tells his wife, ‘Shahru’ what he has decided.
Mohammad had lain down with Shahru and his two children were sleeping. It was dawn and Mohammad’s eyes were open. Shahru was also awake and each of them knew that the other was awake. Shahru had been unable to sleep all night. In the middle of the night she would sometimes hear the sound of Mohammad snoring when he jumped and spoke incomprehensible words and yelled.
It was after dinner when Shahru took the children to bed and, so that they would sleep, she too lay beside them for a while and told them a story so that they would fall asleep. Then she came down and saw Mohammad sitting in the outbuilding with his gun, knife, axe and bandolier in front of him. Shahru became worried because Mohammad hadn’t touched them for a quite a while. Slowly, she came and sat beside her husband and looked at his hand. Mohammad was busy and he didn’t look at her. Shahru was afraid because she knew Mohammad well and she knew that he had a bad idea in his head. Mohammad cleaned the barrel of the gun. Then he said to Shahru: “You see this gun is better than all other guns, small and light…”
Then he put the gun on the ground and picked up his axe.
Seeing them, Shahru had become nervous and had a bad feeling inside. Seeing them wasn’t new for her. She would see them every day in the outbuilding, but now they were different.
She remembered her pair of brothers who had been killed. They too had guns and cartridges in their house and Shahru had seen these things since childhood; she had seen how her brothers would describe their guns and, in the end, the guns remained and they went.
She asked Mohammad: “What are you doing with these? Don’t you have something else to do?”
Mohammad said: “Didn’t I tell you I want to wake them from their sleep? To be honest, I’ve been thinking of something for a while. Now it’s time to tell you. I need to go on a far and long journey; I don’t think I’ll come back here from this journey. I want to go with these.” And then he pointed at the floor and showed his gun and cartridge and knife and axe and laughed.
Shahru said: “Have you gone mad?”
Mohammad said: “No, but I have to go. I have no choice.”
Shahru said: “Where might you go?”
Mohammad said: “I’m going to the coast of Saudi Arabia coast. Bahrain, Qatar. Maybe I’ll go to Zanzibar…”
Shahru said: “But what’s wrong with our own home and life? Maybe you’ve become tired of me? If that’s it then give me a divorce.”
Mohammad said: “No my dear. You and the kids are my life and soul. But if you want the truth, I’ve become tired of this life. Believe me; I have only stayed here until now because of you all. But now I can’t stay any longer at all.”
Shharu said: “But why are you tired? You’ve got something in your heart, but you don’t want to tell me.”
Mohammad said: “You know a little bit of it. This money that I gave to the Bandaris to deal with: they’re not giving it back.” Then he gently took a cartridge out of the bandolier and showed it to Shahru and continued: “Now I want to go with these and settle my account with them.”
Shahru breathed quickly out of fear, her eyes had filled with tears.
Mohammad brought a bag out from under the blanket and put it in front of Shahru. Mohammad took his hand off the bag and nodded at it and said: “All that I have is in this bag. In all, it’s seven hundred tomans. I’ve sold my shop in the port, this outbuilding and the goats. This is the money from them, all of which I’m giving to you.”
Tears streamed from Shahru’s eyes. For the first time, she felt a separation from her life and husband and children.
Shahru said: “If you’re not around then I don’t want to go on.”
Mohammad said: “Now don’t cry. Listen to me. I want you to listen to me well. There’s no time. I’m leaving tomorrow morning. If I go and fire these and they get me then tell the kids their daddy went on a journey. They’ll work it out when they’ve grown up. But if I run away and they don’t get me, I’ll come and we’ll run away together.”
Mohammad’s words went into Shahru’s ears, but she didn’t want to believe them.
Again, Mohammad said: “You need to help me; now isn’t the time for crying. I have bought a boat and it’s in the water. They might get me tomorrow when I have left here. It’s not an easy job. And I want to shoot four people one after each other. If they haven’t got me, I’ll come to you at night and I’ll take you and the kids, we’re going to escape by boat. If I haven’t returned, empty the house, give it to the elder of the village and you and the kids go to live at your dad’s house.”
By now it was dawn and Mohammad and Shahru were awake. Mohammad had lied down and was looking at the sky and the stars. Morning was approaching, but the sky was still indigo and the stars were sparkling.
Translation of Dialogue
Maryam: Where are you going for the Noruz holidays?
Bahman: I’m going on a tour to the South of Iran.
Maryam: Which part?
Bahman: First I’m going to Bushahr.
Maryam: Is your hotel near the port?
Bahman: We’re not going to a hotel. We’ve arranged to stay in a kapar. It’s no more than a few minutes from the beach.
Maryam: It will be a good time for you to finish your novel.
Bahman: I’m going to try. Are you going to come?
Maryam: I doubt it. I have to stay in Tehran. We’ve done a deal with a company and it’s not giving us our money.
Bahman: If you want to complain and get what you’re after I know a lawyer.
Maryam: They’ve run away now, but I’ll find them at Eid.
Traduction de Dialogue
Traducción de Diálogo