The fig tree of the temples is the work of Ahmad Mahmoud.
The only thing that all creatures are satisfied with is the intellect that they are sure will receive their share of perfection and perfection from the beginning.
The story takes place in one of the southern regions of Iran (probably Ahvaz) in the first half of the present century. Esfandiar Khan is a lord who has a garden for the satisfaction of his young wife (with an age difference of more than 20 years)! He buys an area of 60,000 meters and wants to build a pergola in that mansion. Ironically, there is a fig tree in the yard of this garden, which is sacred to the locals and is considered by the people.
The temple fig tree (Lor or Lil tree) is a progressive tree that if the branches are in contact with the ground and the environment is suitable, the branch will take root and become a trunk and thus expand. This tree probably has Indian origin and in our story, no one knows where this tree came from, they say that maybe a few generations ago it was entered by a Bengali man.
Esfandiar Khan’s mansion, which the architect has marked on the ground with a plaster plan, interferes with the place where the tree grows, and because of this, the local people gather and march in silence!
And after informing Khan of why the people were present, he changed the location of the mansion and also ordered that a fence be erected around the tree (the so-called sanctuary defines it and gives it formality) and of course later 500 Meters of land is also dedicated to him, and at some point, during the parliamentary election campaign, he intends to use its spiritual power.
The story consists of the narration of the ups and downs of Esfandiar Azarpad family and the narration of the fig tree and its evolution, which of course are intertwined. The story begins with the furniture of Aunt Taj al-Muluk (Esfandiar’s sister) from the mansion and her relocation to two small rented rooms overlooking the garden.
Aunt Taji wants to be where she sees the ruin of the mansion and the fall of the cypress tree in her brother’s garden. Two or three years ago, his brother passed away and the young widow of the brother (Afsaneh) soon married one of Esfandiar Khan’s young lawyers named Mehran. The children (Faramarz, Farzaneh, and Saturn) naturally have a negative view of this marriage, and each reacts in some way. Faramarz falls into the trap of addiction during a special process and Farzaneh commits suicide and Saturn leaves the country.
Mehran, who probably entered the family purposefully, gradually became the owner of all of Esfandiar Khan’s property after Afsaneh’s death. At the beginning of the story, he wants to destroy a mansion and a garden, to build a modern town consisting of several apartments, a school, a clinic, a cinema, a cooperative, and so on.
Ironically, the plan of Mehran town also interferes with the fig tree, and his attempt to satisfy the people through the sacrifice of cattle and sheep (to eliminate the evil caused by the cutting of the tree) does not come to fruition, but due to the crowded situation (this time There is no silence), in addition to preserving the tree, in order to calm the space and win the hearts of the people, it is forced to build a building for the tree (the so-called dome and court and the residence of the trustees, etc.).
The story contains several flashbacks through which he narrates the past of this family and the past of the fig tree: the memories that come to the mind of his aunt or Faramarz or the wise memories that Faramarz reads from his diary.
The main character of the story is Faramarz, who tries his best to reach power so that he can regain his lost right and take revenge on his unfortunate family for the cause of this politeness, which according to him is Mehran.
In the first five seasons, he is always looking for wealth because he knows the source of power in wealth. He does everything and basically, considering that his goal is right, he believes that he can use any way and means to achieve that goal. He is a sensitive, talented and intelligent person who, unfortunately, falls into the trap of addiction due to the loss of his father at the age of 17, his mother’s marriage, and his own ill-considered and crude actions, and sends his talent to waste.
Along with Faramarz, Aunt Taj al-Muluk is the second character in the story. As a young man, when he was about to have a successful marriage, he realized his own illness and inevitably broke off his engagement and remained single all his life. He had a strange enmity towards men and with the influence he had on young girls, he He tries to satisfy his sadistic attitude towards men, which of course leads to their misery (What was the guilt of men in the case of Taj al-Muluk? And his nephews are an exception!). Taj al-Muluk, despite being educated, is a tree believer.
In addition to these two main characters, there are several characters in this long story, which is the last work of the late author, and here I have to refer to “Alamdar” to connect to the next part of the article.
Alamdar is the title of the person who has the duty of taking care of the tree and is the so-called custodian of it. Performs dhikr and sells candles and incense and performs vows and such things … At the beginning of the story (present tense of the beginning of the story) there is a fifth scholar who has been in charge of this task from generation to generation. .
The first scholar was one of the gardeners of this property who, of course, had a creative and imaginative mind (in the words of an experienced person!) The roots of the existing beliefs go back to the definitions he gave to others about his dreams and, of course, his waking experiences.
He explains that it happens at night and so on and so forth! And the next day, when one of the stems of the tree is cut down, blood flows from it, and whatever they sacrifice does not flow, and blood flows on the ground, and everyone was afraid that suddenly a man in black would come and do so and so. And dhikr says (one of the strengths of the story is that this dhikr is meaningless:
Pancha Pamara Asura Haga and …) and all the people who were there repeat that dhikr (… no one is confused by the words of the man in black. No one asks anyone the meaning of the words of the tall man’s song .. .) And then the blood is cut off and that year, after seven years of black spring, green spring has come. The trees have blossomed three times and borne fruit three times – spring and summer and autumn, and the ewes have all given birth to triplets. The milk of the cows is blessed and the sick – all – are healed.
This is the narration that the first scholar told to his son and he narrated it to his son who was the third scholar and this is the third person who brought and recorded this narration on paper and in the fifth time and with the help of Mehran this narration on a brass plate. Registered and installed somewhere in the court.
The story revolves around Faramarz’s efforts until …!
In this long novel, the author describes the social conditions well and shows problems such as unemployment, addiction, poverty, ignorance and illiteracy, superstitions, etc. In the next part, we will try to take a closer look at one or two central points of the story, including the topic of superstition.
But here I have to point out that maybe the first thirty or forty pages of the story seem a bit dumb to the reader, which is due to the reader not being familiar with the language and how to change the story time, so it is possible that some friends at the beginning of the story Motivation and cessation due to confusion and low traction.
After passing this stage and getting used to the language and time of the story, it becomes easier to read the story and it will take you to page 1038 with the appropriate traction. By the end of the story, if you re-read the first thirty or forty pages, you will probably find that this is one of the most beautiful parts of the book.
Another point is the volume of the book, which could have been less. The part of the story that Faramarz goes to another city (an imaginary city called Golshahr with people whose family begins with flowers) could not be or be more concise. For example, the American engineer Wolf who enters this section is totally nervous!
Ms. Zari, this part remains on the air, or Captain Gol Jaliz, who goes from this part to the next parts, confuses the story a bit in my opinion, and the justification for her presence in the last season is heavy and the principle of her presence is also a problem (which I do not open it to avoid getting dirty!).
If the last chapter was not there, there would be no problem in terms of story, but well, the author needs this chapter to express some of his opinions, but some parts of this chapter that are surreal were non-stick for me because we have come forward with 1000 pages in real space. And suddenly …. In addition, some historical imitations are a little tasteful (of course, very little) and, of course, here we must acknowledge the author’s artist in expressing his opinion in this sixth chapter and how he passed the checkpoints of the possible path of publication, and to those in charge (same Congratulations to the checkpoints) who, despite some explicitness, have allowed the passage (either they have not seen it or they have closed their eyes anyway …).
Excerpts from the book The Temple Fig Tree (2 volumes) (text pleasure)
Even Taji’s aunt, who is an educated and intellectual woman, believes in the lore tree and believes in its miraculous power: Taj al-Muluk goes on a pilgrimage to the temple figs on Tuesday evening.
He makes his vow, takes a candle, throws a few small bills in the box, and then walks in fear and trembling, standing in the line of the needy on the eastern stem. First he reads the brass plate calmly and cries, then he lights a candle and burns two incense sticks, and then he begs that Faramarz Khan be accepted in the medical entrance exam.
Begs to be guided to the right path. He slowly sheds tears and says: Take care of my needs, take care of me, O eastern stem, the owner of miracles! I want Faramarz to be named after Esfandiar Khan to live with honor and respect! O one who punishes the wealthy with the Red Gold Mountain, take care of my heart! Make two vows for the hungry sheep and a three-pound gold ring for your vows.
Let’s see the border. What breast did you put in Hamed’s mouth that has become so unobtrusive, why is he not so wise as to understand that he should not miss the shrine? Why does he kick his own luck and the hard work, service and honor of his father inside his father? I wish he was so smart and understood that this power should not fall into the hands of strangers!
It is no longer a tree, Mr. Mehran. You have studied law, you are familiar with social science! I do not think it is difficult for you to understand that this tree has now become a symbol of the beliefs of several generations of people!
Ahmad Ata, nicknamed Ahmad Mahmoud, a Khuzestani writer, was born on January 30, 1961 in Ahvaz. His parents were both born in Dezful, so he belonged to Dezful so much that in most of his works, traces of the dialect of the people of Dezful can be seen.
He completed his high school education in Shapoor night school in 1329 and then went to the officer’s college. During his years in the officer’s college, he became involved in the game of politics, which led to his deportation and imprisonment.
The first time Ahmad Mahmoud was imprisoned dates back to the coup d’état of August 19, 1943. A stubborn and concerned man, he continued his political activities and spent 4 of his best years in prison, after which he was exiled to the port of Lengeh.
But during this time he turned to writing. He published his first story called Sab Mish in Iran Omid magazine in 1333. Writing this story like a small flame encouraged his life in such a way that he could never give up writing. His second writing is a collection of stories called Mol, which was published by Moin Publishing in 1338 and promised a career start for Ahmad Mahmoud.
Ahmad Mahmoud style and look in storytelling
One of the factors that can subconsciously determine people’s lifestyle is climatic conditions and geography. Environment is an important factor in the formation of ideas and has a significant impact on the style and view of the author. Ahmad Mahmoud has lived in the southern region for many years, is familiar with its small and large cities, and is well aware of the suffering and social conditions prevailing in that region.
Thus, environmental factors, abandonment of social concerns, and the use of indigenous dialects have ultimately led to a style that is considered unique to Ahmad Mahmoud. Like other great figures in Iranian literature, such as Mahmoud Dolatabadi, he pursues social realism and is the voice of a class of society that has fallen victim to poverty and class divisions and has had less opportunity to develop its talents.
One of the lasting works in Persian literature is the long story of the neighbors. Neighbors, Ahmad Mahmoud’s first feature novel, has come a long way in publishing. He was writing the novel Neighbors between 1342 and 1345. After rewriting it, he did not consider the conditions for publishing the novel suitable for a long time, so he published a part of it in magazines.
Neighbors was finally published in 1974 by Amirkabir Publications in Tehran. But that was not the end of the story. Although the book received a great deal of attention and became one of the best-selling Iranian novels, it was censored and banned until later years.
The story of the neighbors begins in 1320 and continues until the coup d’etat of 28 August. Ahmad Mahmoud in this period refers to important historical events that have led to the transformation of Iranian life. This story, which takes place in Ahvaz, refers to the story of the nationalization of the oil industry.
In this work, Ahmad Mahmoud writes about the suffering of the working class and criticizes class differences. His fluent pen and unique atmospheres depict contemporary history in the most beautiful way possible. With the publication of Neighbors, Ahmad Mahmoud became a well-known author, and was able to put aside the miscellaneous work he was engaged in and devote all his time to writing.
A review of the works and thoughts of Ahmad Mahmoud
During his 43 literary activities, Ahmad Mahmoud has published a total of 14 books, including 9 collections of short stories and 5 feature novels. In this sense, he can not be considered a prolific writer. Most of Ahmad Mahmoud’s collections of short stories are among his first writing experiences, which were published before the revolution.
The story of a city, the scorched earth, the zero degree orbit and the fig tree of the temples are some of his other well-known works. The story of the scorched earth tells the story of the Iran-Iraq war and his personal experience of the war.
Ahmad Mahmoud’s brother, who was martyred in this war, was the inspiration for writing this work. The fig tree of the temples is the last book published by Ahmad Mahmoud in 2000. In addition to his books, he translated a book called The Living Man in 1997.
Ahmad Mahmoud Awards and Honors
Undoubtedly, Ahmad Mahmoud can be considered the leader of storytelling in the south of the country with a style of realism. He has always faced many shortcomings in publishing his books and winning awards. In a way that he has received only one award during his glorious years.
His latest work, The Fig Tree of the Temples, won the first round of the Houshang Golshiri Prize. At the Twenty Years Festival of Fiction in Iran, the book Zero Degree Circuit also won the Jury Prize, which was not awarded to Ahmad Mahmoud for political reasons.
Illness and death of Ahmad Mahmoud
During the same years of imprisonment and exile, Ahmad Mahmoud suffered from respiratory problems and the disease remained with him for the rest of his life. He died in Mehrdad Hospital in Tehran in 2002 after a period of lung disease and was buried in Imamzadeh Taher, Karaj.
1- Introducing the book on YouTube
2- Introducing the book in Aparat
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