Thursday, December 11, 2014

One hour Walk to School

First time I meet Azarbanoo, she told me that she every day walked one hour to the bus station of the next bigger village and from there she rode on a bus another forty minutes to the station where my mother picked her up to school. My mother was teaching in the same girls' school. Because Azarbanoo was a good student, she was supported to come to a good high school in our city, Shiraz.

Some times, when Azarbanno had bigger breaks, she came to our house. My mother wanted me to learn with her since we were in the same class. We were both visiting the ninth class and I was one of those spoiled big city boys who had no idea about life in villages around. Once, Azarbanoo told me about her future plans. She wanted to become a teacher in a girls school in her village, so that girls didn't need to walk one hour to schools anymore. I was shocked to hear that. And I remember very good that it was very uncomfortable for me to deal with it. I didn't know how to react and what to say. But she didn't say that in a sad way. She said it full of energy and emotions with a very happy voice. As if she was telling about her Disney Land visit. During that year, she talked often about her big dream. Once she asked me about my plans for the future. I had no plans. The truth was that I was going to school and was happy after it was finished and I could play a little bit soccer or some computer games.

One day, we were going to pick Azarbanoo up. She wasn't there. We waited about half an hour and she didn't come. My mother asked me to call her and see what has happened. Her father had died on that day. Her father was a very nice man. He was an illiterate farmer, wanting her daughter to make the family proud. Like many Iranian fathers, he wanted her to become a doctor. And as she told her father that she wanted to become a teacher rather than doctor, he told her that teacher was also fine. Later he told her that may be she would produce doctors if she became a teacher. She found it very funny, "to produce doctors".

Some weeks later, I asked my mother about her. She told me that Azarbanoo married a boy around her age. That she still came to school, but the husband didn't want her to see strangers (men) anymore. I told my mother that I wasn't a stranger. She replied: "there are things that you cannot understand yet".

At that time I couldn't really understand it. But I thought, at least Azarbanoo was allowed to finish her school.

Years later, I asked about her. She didn't open a school in her village, but she was teaching in a close village next to it! That was great news. I tried to call her: I was allowed to meet her! She was a very happy mother of two children and a great teacher. Her husband wanted also to see me. He apologized that he din't allow me to see her that day. He said, he was too young. But I could also imagine that it was Azarbanoo, who had changed his mind.

(This story was not based on a true story, but I am sure that similar stories have happened in reality.There are these Azarbanoos and Malalas who do change part of the world. )

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