When I was in tenth grade in a high school in Tehran, we had a big student by the name of Shahriar as our mobser (class monitor). He was one of the biggest guys in the class because he had been held back for a couple of years for failing his classes. The other bigger guys in the class were all his allies. Shahriar's brother, Mehrdad, became my best friend in high school after he cheated me out twenty toman when we played a game of 21 with a book that he had marked for the numbers he wanted to pull out. After Mehrdad proudly told his brother that he had made the money off of me, Shahriar told him to give it back to me. Shahriar was not a bad guy in that way. After that, Mehrdad and I became good friends.
Shahriar was a tough guy, he had to be to control a bunch of teenagers on a high dosage of testosterone. The class had about seventy students in it from all parts of the country, a true melting pot, which added to a lot of frictions between the boys. Tehroonies making fun of shahrestoonies, Turks, Rashties; it was a volatile melting pot. Shahriar and his brother were from Azerbaijan, Turk'e Tehrani, but they hardly had any accent and spoke both Farsi and Turki without a glitch. Shahriar ruled over the class with an iron fist, and in the process he used some nasty language, some times, anything to make us mind, and while at it in two separate occasions he beat up two different students for misbehaving in addition to his usual yelling and intimidations. After awhile dissatisfaction began to grow among the students. Here and there you could hear them pechpech about him, about how he used too much force and foul language.
Finally one day when we had a teacher no show, Shahriar had enough of this and after he quieted down the class he brought up the issue. He spoke of being a fair guy who didn't want to force his will on others. He said he knew that some of the students were not happy with him, and how much he cared to know if he was truly wanted by the majority. So, he suggested a secret vote, a referendum so to speak, on whether the majority of the class wanted him or not. He made a big deal about secrecy of the voting process, and how no one should be fearful of him. He told us to vote what was in our hearts without fear of retaliation. So, we all took out a piece of paper and began to write what was in our hearts. I was sure he would lose. I was even optimistic that his own brother might vote against him. I voted NO while cautiously covering my paper while writing it. Mehrdad, who shared a desk with him, at one time stuck his head out to see what I was writing, but I didn't think he saw it. I wasn‘t even sure of that at the time.
The big guys collected the papers and began to read the votes. One after another it was YES in favor of him being our mobser. Then after several YES's there was one NO, then many more YES's. My heart pounded harder and harder each time they called out another YES, and then there was another NO. At the end there was only three NO's and the rest of the class had voted for him to be our mobser. What followed terrified me for a long time; he, after thanking everyone for showing their loyalty to him, began to interrogate some of the boys to find out who had voted against him. He quickly pin pointed the two boys that he had beaten up before, and after questioning them about it they confessed, and when they showed remorse, Shahriar didn't make a big deal of it. As long as they had declared their loyalty to him he was convivial to have them on board, but he wanted to know who had cast the third descending vote. He went on walking in the isles and stirring down at us, questioning and interrogating. The class was dead silent; no one outside his closest allies even dared to mention his contradictory behavior after calling for a secret vote. I’m sure if anyone objected seriously he would’ve been immediately suspected of being the third defier. This went on for awhile, not a peep from me or anyone else till the bell rang.
Who voted the third NO remained a public mystery until today.
Shahriar never graduated from high school. A couple of years after he dropped out, he ended up killing a little girl in a small street with his car when he was driving too fast. He spent a short time in a prison, telling his cell mates he was there for murder so they wouldn't mess with him. His father bailed him out eventually with a payment of blood money to the girl's parents. A couple of years after he got out of prison he organized a gage of thieves, and for awhile they were infamously successful, making a name for themselves with their heists, until one night after they rubbed a place and got away with it clean, they drove through a red light in their way to their hideaway place and were stopped for traffic violation by a policeman who in the process discovered the stolen goods. Shahriar spent a few more years in a prison in Ahvaz for his crime.
My friend, Mehrdad, died five years go of being an addict most of his adult life.
|Recently by Multiple Personality Disorder
ناگهان، شاهین نجفی Suddenly, a song by Shahin Najafi
|Nov 13, 2012
|Oct 01, 2012
|Shahin Najafi, When...
|Sep 02, 2012
|نسرین ستوده: زندانی روز
|Saeed Malekpour: Prisoner of the day
|Lawyer says death sentence suspended
|Majid Tavakoli: Prisoner of the day
|Iterview with mother
|احسان نراقی: جامعه شناس و نویسنده ۱۳۰۵-۱۳۹۱
|Nasrin Sotoudeh: Prisoner of the day
|46 days on hunger strike
|Nasrin Sotoudeh: Graffiti
|گوهر عشقی: مادر ستار بهشتی
|Abdollah Momeni: Prisoner of the day
|Activist denied leave and family visits for 1.5 years
|محمد کلالی: یکی از حمله کنندگان به سفارت ایران در برلین
|Habibollah Golparipour: Prisoner of the day
|Kurdish Activist on Death Row