Reminiscences of a Long Friendship

The author begins by quoting some of the most memorable snippets of Meskoob's musings of about his life: "In my youth I yearned to change the world, but it was the world that changed me." "I have never pursued easy goals since nothing worthy of pursuit is easy to gain." "Death is like a little black fish that constantly courses through the darkness of my veins." He then proceeds to describe some of the comic and at times melodramatic turns of their long and durable friendship. He characterizes their relationship as being often dominated by Meskoob who was the more serious and opinionated of the two and thus, through the years, cajoled, or prodded him to opt for an option that changed the course of his academic or professional life at every turn, and perhaps for the better.

As one example, the author recounts the time when he had passed the exam for the Fulbright scholarship for graduate work in the United States and in a letter informed his friend of his success. Meskoob's "fiery and revolutionary response" was so moving, according to the author, that he tears up the Fulbright offer of scholarship and stays in Iran. Meskoob's next letter to his friend is accompanied by Howard Fast's Citizen Tom Paine and a little friendly advice: "Translate this into Persian." The author acts on the advice and later becomes a professional translator. Later on, upon his return from England, again on Meskoob's advice the author turns down an offer of employment in the royal court and continued his career in Iran's National Oil Company.

Hassan Kamshad
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