First published: Dec.21.2017
A story by Laleh Chini:
One day in my early childhood, my father planned to take us to the “Hafez Monument” in our home town Shiraz.
Hafez is a very famous poet. Even nowadays most people around the world know or have heard about him.
People of Iran and mostly in Shiraz use his poems for prediction or advisory and call it “Hafez Fal.” In special family gatherings, particularly in Friday picnics, someone carries the book of Hafez with them and everyone takes turns to close their eyes to make a wish and open the book on a random page.
Everyone would stay quiet to listen to the poem that had come up, answering whatever question that was in mind. It was so fun. For us kids, they had to translate it to simpler terms so we could understand.
The Hafez Monument is so simple and beautiful. There are many tourists from around the world to pay a visit.
At the entrance, there are many old and young people selling something related to Hafez. There is usually someone with a little bird in a cage and some free birds, and when you pay some money, he asks the bird to pick a paper. That paper is a piece of “Hafez Fal”, which is one of Hafez’s poems which relates to your fortune or wish.
I remember one little boy was beside a scale, looking desperately at people, wishing for a customer to pay some money and weigh themselves.
That little boy drew my father’s attention. My father reached his pocket and gave the little boy a big buck.
That little boy got very angry and said: “I am not a beggar sir. I work with pride.”
My father realized that he didn’t do a good thing at all and to fix it, said: “No son, sorry for the misunderstanding. I gave the money upfront for you to weigh my family.”
The boy believed him and cracked a smile and said: “But I don’t have change for this money.”
“Do you mind if I leave a tip?” father added.
The boy showed a big beautiful laugh and said: “A tip is a legitimate wage.”
And we all laughed.
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