Day 14

Videos of Iran-Iraq war are projected on the walls, floor and the ceiling. The Man, and his father are sitting centre stage, surrounded by these disturbing pictures, as if they are overwhelmed by them.

The Man: Would you please stop conjuring up these memories, father?! This is not a usual nightmare. This is not a normal nightmare; it is a special one, an emergency nightmare. I am here to ask you a question.

The Father: I cannot stop these memories, son! At the very moment of my death on that cursed morning on 27 May 1988, all these memories were conjured up, and I have not been able to get rid of them ever since. These memories are part of my ghostly presence.

The Man: I know! But I told you I am in urgent need of help. I don’t need your ghostly presence now. I need your paternal support and attention.

The Father: OK! Tell me what the matter is!

The Man: You know what the matter is.

The Father: Yes, I do, but I don’t know what your problem is with this situation.

The Man: What do you exactly want me to do?

The Father: You know that better than I do.

The Man: I just want to get rid of all these perpetual nightmares.

The Father: Then, do what you have to do.

The Man: This is not fair. When you died, I was just 5 years old.

The Father: It doesn’t make any difference. A father is a father. A son is a son.

The Man: Do you know that her father died in loneliness and pain?

The Father: I know, but it doesn’t change your duty.

The Man: You wanted him to suffer pain, as much as you did, and he suffered much more than you did. You suffered  for  3 days, and then died, while he died after 30 years of  mental instability, pain and depression. Suffering from a mental condition that alienated him from all his family. Isn’t that enough? Doesn’t that make you feel relieved?

The Father: It is not my relief which is important here! It is your duty as my son which is important. I didn’t cause his mental problems, pain and depression.

The Man: But he is dead  now.

The Father: It doesn’t make make any difference. You must make her suffer! Promise!


The Man: Don’t speak Arabic with me.

The Father: Why?!

The Man: Because I hate to speak Arabic with you.

The Father: OK! We will talk about that later. For now, just promise me.

The Man: …

The Father: What?!

The Man: …

The Father: Have you fallen in love with her?

The Man: …

The Father: NO! You must NOT. Fatima is the one whom you must love. I have said that before! Have you forgotten?

The Man: No! I haven’t! It is morning now. You must go. I have to wake up now.

The Father: Just one question before leaving. Where are we?

The Man: In St Andrews.

The Father: Are you in the belly of a holly man?

The  Man : I wish I were. Then I could stay there forever…I remember you once told me the story of a holly man who never shat. And I thought that food waste would remain in his belly forever.

The Father: I didn’t tell you those stupid things.

The Man: Maybe! It was someone else. I always had this wild dream of not being an orphan, so I thought you told me that story. Anyway… St Andrews is the name of this town. Years ago, a king established a monastery in a village near the sea. The village then became a town which was named after a saint whose body parts were apparently buried here. It is a long story.

The sound of train and then Darkness