A Special Request

In Farsi, we say that death without tears, food without salt, women without beauty, and weddings without music are impossible. I believe music is the food of our soul. When I listen to my favorite songs, I put everything else into the bag of forgetfulness and listen deeply.

In recent years, music has been very expensive, so I am happy that the BBC Persian service has a program on Afghan music. When I first began listening, it was just 15 minutes long, and the announcers were a husband and wife team, Haroon and Amina Yousifi. Listeners from all over the world wrote letters to them and requested songs. Every program had two or three songs, and the announcers read the names of those who sent them letters.

I was one of those who sent a letter. I love to write nice letters in sweet Farsi. The song I requested was a classic song, and I could have listened to it more than a hundred times. I found my feelings in that song, which was sung by Satar and goes something like this:

I went to see him that evening
With a bunch of flowers
I had a Godly love for him
Honesty was the rain of my love’s sky
When I reached his house
With a world of hopes and desires
I saw from the window,
Two shadows laughing and
Drinking tea
I thought the doors and windows of the house
Said to me, ‘Go, he is not yours
He is not yours
Take it easy, girl
Oh, crazy girl’
The flowers fell from my hands
And I was crying walking alone
Take it easy, girl
Oh, crazy girl

I loved this song and still love it. It is a tear jerker. Sometimes it happens that we care for those who don’t care for us, and we respect and love those who don’t deserve it.

After I wrote my letter to the BBC requesting the song, my dad took it to the post office. The next Friday, I waited all day to hear the program. It was on at 2 pm, and I listened on an old black radio that dated from the time of my mom’s wedding.

Oh, how I was patient! It was criminal to stay in the jail of the house, and they did not play the song on the first week or on the second week. However, on the third week they read my letter and broadcast the song for me.

I felt pride hearing my name on BBC Radio! I even recorded the program when they read my name, and I still have the cassettes. After that, when I went out, some neighbors and relatives told me that they heard my name and loved the song. I was happy that at least the BBC Farsi program knew my name, and I was a famous girl in my dreams.

By Roya


One response to “A Special Request

  1. These small moments are my favorite things to read about. They help me to have a clearer sense of every facet of life in Afghanistan. As usual, you did a wonderful job of writing too.

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