When I was a kid there was a famous prostitute in Abadan called Mahin Chamani whose name in the local dialect had changed to Meychamani . Meychamani was not famous because she was the most beautiful, most elegant or even a big mama. She was only famous because she was the most available, and hence the title “Chamani” which meant “On the Grass”, Mahin Chamani, Mahin on the grass.
I once saw her. I was in a bus and my brother said look, look, Meychamani. I leant over him to see the unordinary and saw a woman like all other women who had veiled herself in a chador and who wore a cotton dress and loose cotton pyjamas to cover her legs. Standing in the bus stop in her plastic slippers she seemed uncomfortable, perhaps embarrassed of the fingers and the peering eyes.
I never met her again, because back then I was a little boy and before I could have the pleasure of meeting her in person, the Islamic revolution had happened. In Abadan, like every other city, the newly formed revolutionary committees were struggling to identify and punish the enemies of the revolution and remnants of the old regime. The punishment in most cases was execution by firing squads. In absence of the guilty, many of those who were arrested were nothing but the prey in the blood game of the lawless land. The unforgiving god of revolution had arrived and the devotees were praising the new lord. The ever thirsty god roared for blood and the worshipers sacrificed the weak of the society at his feet, wishing and praying for better life.
One of the anti-revolutionaries that they arrested was Meychamani who by then was a mature woman. She was accused of perverting the otherwise good men and was sentenced to death for all her sins. She was put in front of a firing squad and executed by the worshipers of the god of insanity. She lived without love and she was killed without love. Her unjust death proved once again that poverty is far more expensive than what it looks. May she rest in peace.
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Divaneh Jan your story of Mahin Chamaniby Hoshang Targol on Sat Nov 27, 2010 09:14 AM PST
reminded me of this ( rather long piece) about the same topic , in the same era. Hope you like it, cheers
بی کاري، فقر و روسپی گری
دريغا که فقر
چه به آسانی
احتضار فضيلت است.
Take my commentsby Nur-i-Azal on Fri Mar 05, 2010 06:43 PM PST
Symbolically literal ;-) Joking, serious, what is the difference? The universe is the Godhead's cosmic giggle!
Yes, there are Hindu Tantric cults in India (and many operating in the West) as well as some Vajrayana Buddhist sects which use sex in a sacramental and initiatic setting. In the West there is also a sub-culture within popular occult circles that utilizes, what it calls, techniques of sex magic. Most of these techniques are watered down and Westernized techniques taken from India and Tibet and popularized by people such as Aleister Crowley and similar. Most of the Thelemic and Golden Dawn sub-culture of LA is saturated by perpetual weekend sex magic rituals up and down the coast, and there are quite a few celebrities and eminent professionals seriously involved with it -- not just to get their rocks off, but as a serious spiritual path. Ever seen the movie Eye's Wide Shut with Nicole Kidman and her former hubby Tom Cruise? While Stanley Kubric got a lot of things wrong in his depiction, giving a sinister spin to it that ended up just descending into a crass orgy rather than about magic and tantra, there is a bad Hollywood depiction of a Thelemic sex magic ritual in that film!
That aside, you also have many Neo-Pagan and Wiccan groups who use sex to initiate as well. Sex and spirituality are very much connected in some contemporary sub-cultures, even now.
Can you clarify what you meantby Gavazn on Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:51 AM PST
The cults of sacred prostitution ... using sex as a vehicle of initiation into the Greater Mysteries of life and the universe!
I am asking because you said She is coming back with a vengeance . Do you know any religions that practice this? Sometimes I do not know whether to take your comments literally or whether you are joking.
That is plain Englishby Nur-i-Azal on Thu Mar 04, 2010 02:16 PM PST
The ancient Supreme Goddess is coming back into the global consciousness, and She is going to kick some hide! Look around you. 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile last weekend that tilted the earth off its axis, another one in Taiwan yesterday, Haiti, etc.
The cults of sacred prostitution I've already explained and linked to various sites detailing its history in antiquity. But to put it another way, these cults of sacred prostitution in ancient times are basically this: using sex as a vehicle of initiation into the Greater Mysteries of life and the universe! These sacred prostitutes in the ancient cults were the priestesses and Initiatrixes into these sacred mysteries!
Nur-i-Azalby Gavazn on Thu Mar 04, 2010 06:30 AM PST
Can you explain in plain English what you mean by this?
The Ancient Goddess (which cults of sacred prostitution were sacred to and built around) has not been defeated by 2-3 thousand years of patriarchy, and it seems to me She is coming back with a vengeance
Probablyby Nur-i-Azal on Mon Mar 01, 2010 01:16 PM PST
Thanks for useful informationby divaneh on Mon Mar 01, 2010 08:07 AM PST
It seems from your comments that the oldest trade has been present in all societies in one form or another. Unfortunately when hysteria takes a society over, the first victims are those who can be singled out. In this case as the society reimbursed the old values, lack of understanding of those values resulted in harsh interpretations with fatal consequence for those who fell outside the newly drawn lines as shown by the sad story of Meychamani. The other consequence of such cruelty to the weaker elements of the society is to desensitized the society and to establish the stepping stones for the state violence.
NiAby Rea on Mon Mar 01, 2010 04:51 AM PST
Personally, I have always believed, still do, that M. Magdalene was an Initiatrix. With Jesus being the ultimate in the line of those she had initiated.
As for the sigheh/muta', was it not more out of necessity? Initiation is supposed to mean a virgin man being ushered into the world of manhood, not a sex-thirsty warrior far away from his wife.
Sacred prostitutionby Nur-i-Azal on Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:23 PM PST
BTW you good people are aware that many pre-modern (non-Abrahamic) cultures enshrined within their societies an institution to sacred prostitution? Prostitutes in cultures as far flung as the Ancient Near East, Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, India, China, Japan, Central and South America, etc, all had sacred prostitutes lodged in special ad hoc domiciles or temples specifically built for their craft. These women were deemed to be holy priestesses and initiators (or, rather, Intiatrix) of the men of their societies into the sacred mysteries. Here's the incomplete wikipedia article on the subject:
And here is a modern New Age homage to it,
although this second site above has more to do with crystals, dolphins, energy healing orgasms, neo-shamanism and other such flackiness than how Sacred Prostitution was actually practiced in the high cultures of antiquity.
Looking at this blog and some of the responses, it would be interesting to conduct research into the function of prostitution in Iranian society through history. Some of the points made here are almost textbook perspectives on what effect sacred prostitution had in the individuation of males and their induction as men in pre-modern ancient societies. One could even argue that the Twelver Shi'ite Islamic institution of the sigheh/muta' (temporary marriage) is a remnant of these ancient practices.
...by The Phantom Of The Opera on Mon Apr 05, 2010 06:30 AM PDT
The Pahlavis, all mullahs, and all public figures associated with the Green Movement must disclose the source and the amount of their wealth/income.
The uncles :)by Souri on Sun Feb 28, 2010 06:32 PM PST
Divaneh, You said:
"I wonder who helps the first son in the family?"
I think the answer must be the good uncles or cousins :)
I heard from someone that his first time was at 14. He and his friends gathered some money to go see a prostitute. When they reached to her, the money was not enough!
He asked the lady to accept the money for that time, and he will bring the rest of the money later :)
The lady told him: akheh pesar joon, Jendeh ke nesieh nemishe......!
Then later, he felt in love with the woman and wanted her to leave that job and come and live in his big family house, as they had a room available under the roof!!
Dear Phantomby divaneh on Sun Feb 28, 2010 06:11 PM PST
Thanks for sharing the beautifully written memory. It seems that it is still so fresh in your mind. Isn't it amazing that how the elder brothers feel responsible to deliver the first drink and the first sex to the younger ones? I wonder who helps the first son in the family.
.by The Phantom Of The Opera on Mon Apr 05, 2010 06:31 AM PDT
The Pahlavis, all mullahs, and all public figures associated with the Green Movement must disclose the source and the amount of their wealth/income.
Dear Azadehby divaneh on Sun Feb 28, 2010 03:25 PM PST
Thank you for reading and for your encouraging comments.
Dear Hamsadehby divaneh on Sun Feb 28, 2010 03:23 PM PST
Thanks for reading. It is a sad story and unfortunately not the only one. Women like her only serve one purpose in the society and that is to pay the price for the lust, sins and prejudices of the more fortunate. Let’s hope one day this country look after all of her children.
Dear divanehby Azadeh Azad on Sun Feb 28, 2010 03:02 PM PST
A very well-written and tragic story. You are a very talented writer.
"... were nothing but the prey in the blood game of the lawless land."
Thank you, and please write more!
thanks for the sad storyby hamsade ghadimi on Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:53 PM PST
thanks for the sad story divaneh. may meychamani and her family be in peace.
Dear Reaby divaneh on Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:36 PM PST
Thanks. Yes, some of those with guns in their hands may well have been known to her.
Dear MPDby divaneh on Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:33 PM PST
OK, you must be right. Perhaps I have been away for too long.
Très touchant..... and so noble to have remembered herby Rea on Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:15 PM PST
Maybe just before she died, Meychamani had recognized a young man to whom she had gently opened the door to manhood a few years back.
"monom" and "monam".by Multiple Personality Disorder on Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:59 AM PST
It all depends on what part of town one came from.
Hamvelayatiesby divaneh on Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:45 AM PST
MPD Aziz: Hello hamvelayati, I think you have been away for a long time and are starting to forget the dialect. We have to work on your "Monom" and "Monam".
Vildemouse Jaan: Thank you for your generous comments.
Dear Anahid: Thank you for reading hamshahri. Pity you left so soon. That was a great city. A sort of the melting pot that attracted people from all over Iran into its oil industry. Very difficult to find Abadanis who do not have their root somewhere else in Iran. For that reason and for its exposure to the English culture, it was not a religious society and even the hate crimes such as the one that has been the subject of this blog were not common occurrences.
Nice story Divaneh jan, Another Abadani on ICby Anahid Hojjati on Sun Feb 28, 2010 09:54 AM PST
Divaneh jan, I liked your story. I also enjoyed the one you had about mean teachers. Thanks for posting your stories. I lived in Abadan until I was 8.
Exquisitely attentive toby vildemose on Sun Feb 28, 2010 09:37 AM PST
Exquisitely attentive to pain and suffering of disenfranchised in life and death. You are a great story teller. Look forward to more of your writings.
داستان خوشایند و غمانگیزی بودMultiple Personality Disorder
Sun Feb 28, 2010 09:27 AM PST
وولیک نمیدونستوم تو یه دیوونهء آبادانی هستی. مونوم همینطور.
Great story Benrossby divaneh on Sun Feb 28, 2010 09:04 AM PST
Dear Benross: That is a beautiful story and has been written with such compassion. Thanks for posting it here.
Faramarz Jaan: Good to see you here. Thanks for your comments.
Tall Pari, Blond Pariby Faramarz on Sun Feb 28, 2010 07:42 AM PST
مرسى ديوانه جان
مرسى بن راس
فكر كنم اين ليدا بايد يا پرى بلنده باشه يا پرى بلونده
Sun Feb 28, 2010 06:58 PM PST
موهای بلند طلایی و لَختش، پوست گلبهی فسونگرش، چهرهٔ مهربان و پذیرایش، هرگز از خاطرم نرفته است.
در راه مدرسه گهگاه به هم برخورد داشتیم و سلامی و همین. برایم دیدن لبخندش کافی بود تا شبانگاه در رؤیاهایم، مردانگی نشناخته و نرسیدهام را از آن سیراب کنم.
خانهاش در محلهٔ ما بود. لازم نبود کسی به من به صراحت بگوید چکاره است. آن را در نگاه مردمان کوچه میدیدم. نگاهی که ناخودآگاه از آن همان رعشهای به من دست میداد که بعدها با به روی کار آمدن آخوندها شکل روزمرگی گرفت.
روزی سر کلاس، آقا معلم مشغول نوشتن چیزی روی تختهٔ سیاه بود که گچش تمام شد. مرا صدا کرد و گفت برو دفتر و به آقای مدیر بگو که فلانی ترا فرستاده تا گچ بگیری. برو و معطل نکن. من هم دوان دوان روان شدم. درِ اتاق مدیر مدرسه بسته بود. در زنگ تفریحها هیچگاه آن در را بسته ندیده بودم. مأموریتم اما، در ذهنم چنان فوریت داشت که به آن بیش از آن که بایست نیاندیشیدم. در را باز کردم و وارد شدم.
لیدا از روی زانوان آقای مدیر شتابان برخاست و لباسش را درست میکرد. اما لبخندش همان لبخند دلنشین همیشگی بود. آقای مدیر اما، بسیار جا خورده و عصبانی به نظر میرسید. گفت پسر مگر در زدن را کسی به تو یاد نداده است؟ گفتم آقای معلم مرا فرستاده که گج بگیرم. گچ گرفتم و رفتم.
در ذهن کودکانهام، از آن روز لیدا کمی از چشمم افتاد. نه به خاطر آنچه که بود. بخاطر اینکه انتظار داشتم در انتخاب مشتری خوشسلیقهتر باشد!
زمان میگذشت و به موازات بزرگتر شدن من و رشد هورمونهایم، لیدا شتابان پیر میشد. هنوز گهگاه در کوچه به هم برخورد می کردیم و لبخندش همان لبخند مهربان همیشگی بود ولی دیگر رؤیاهای شبانهٔ من با او پیوند نداشت.
از تبار ارامنه بود. تنها نانآور خانه بود و آنطور که شنیدهام، موفق شد هزینهٔ تحصیل برادرش را تأمین کند و او را با موفقیت برای ادامهٔ تحصیل به خارج بفرستد.
بیش از این از او خبر ندارم. نمیدانم چه بر سر او آمد. اما رعشهای که از نگاه مردمان در آن زمان میگرفتم، نگاهی که بعدها نگاه غالب شد، مرا همواره پرسشگری نگران نگاه داشته است.
نام واقعی او را نوشته بودم ولی در آخرین لحظه آن را به «لیدا» تغییر دادم. اگرچه او شایستهٔ یک بزرگداشت واقعی است ولی نمیخواهم منشأ پیامدهای ناخواسته باشم.
Aziz,by Monda on Sun Feb 28, 2010 07:15 AM PST
Thanks for writing them.
Thanks for readingby divaneh on Sun Feb 28, 2010 07:10 AM PST
Dear Fattolah: Thanks for reading and I have the same problem. It's difficult to have nothing to cling to in those difficult times, especially when one is brought up with such beliefs.
Monda Jaan: Thanks for your comments. It’s one of our many tragedies indeed.
Dear David: Thanks for reading. Yes there are so many sad stories and so many victims.