“I fell in love at exactly fifteen minutes to three, on a hot summer afternoon”, narrates Saeed, the main character of the Dayee Jaan Napoleon (Uncle Napoleon) TV series.
As he is looking at the old clock, showing 2:45, Saeed, gradually, takes us through a journey of becoming of age. And what follows, is a series of events, set in motion by different characters, each unique, yet imperfect, but lovely in their own way. And as Iranians of many different backgrounds, and generations after generations, at exactly 2:45 we all fell in love, with the characters created by Iraj Pezeshkzaad, brought to life in the TV series.
Iraj Pezashkzaad, who is 86 years old now, is the author of the infamous Persian novel, Dayee Jaan Napoleon, has a law degree, worked as a judge for a while; then, just like one of his book’s characters, Shazdeh Asdollah, Mr. Pezeshkzaad, had a post in the Department of Foreign Affairs in Iran.
Feeling nostalgic, I was going through the book, and as I got to the very last page, I realized, that the very last sentence of the book had been overlooked, missed, just as much as the opening statement had been made famous.
In the end, we find Saeed, the main character and the narrator of the story, in Geneva, working and living a successful life. Twenty five years have gone by since his uncle Napoleon passed away. Shazdeh Asdollah, calls him from a hotel in Paris, asking him to join him and two beauties, on a trip to Southern France. But Saeed says no, making excuses about how busy he is with work and life in general, and how they all will prevent him to join Shazdeh in France.
And the closing statement starts with Shazdeh’s displeasure to Saeed’s excuses with a grim, saying: “Damn you! Neither when you were a young boy, not even after you became a man, you never had the balls for “Going to San Francisco”,(Shazdeh’s infamous sentence, referring to making love to the ladies). Well then! Suit yourself! See you in Tehran!…”
Original text in Persian by Mehdi Ganjavi