There was a Persian restaurant on
My grandfather always sat at the head of the table, wide-smiling at the young waiter. He calls him over, “Biya!” They speak enthusiastically, the waiter suddenly understanding our connection to
My mother never learned Farsi, and so neither did I and neither did my sister. Baba was a bad teacher, she said, teaching her unnecessary words like “monkey” (meymun), “apple” (sib) or “bird” (parandeh). “Vocabulary words,” she told us, “not a language.”
But now Baba is old. His smile is faint and he does not bubble with fast, beautiful Farsi. He talks slow, smiling faintly at the recognition of his native tongue. He is eager to speak Farsi now, aware that he will never return home.
I speak to Baba in English and he often stares blankly at me. I wonder if he is wishing for