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  • Writer's pictureAli Assareh

An immigrant's life is but a scattered memory box

I had never seen a picture of my dad's father until just a few moments ago. I didn't know I'd feel like this, but I feel deeply sentimental & melancholic; like I'm reunited with a missing piece of me.

This picture is dated March 15, 1945. Allied Forces had temporarily invaded Iran, to ensure the safety of Allied supply routes to the USSR.

But this picture was taken in New Delhi, India. My dad's father - pictured in white - is sitting next to his father in law; so I'm seeing my dad’s grandfather for the first time too.

They are flanked by the two little kids; who grew up to become my cousins' grandparents.

They were in India because they took silk from Iran to India, to trade for spices to bring back to Iran.

My dad's father died when my dad was 6 years old. My dad barely met him, let alone me.

When I came here, I tried to forget everything about my past; I wanted to be here, to be accepted, to be American. On top of that, an immigrant's life is but a scattered memory box: trinkets, albums, moments, even loved ones, left behind, or lost along the way, in the many stops of life to get you here. Like a movie - It seems like a movie only as an illusion; in reality, it's just fragmented frames, stitched together by dreams, hopes; and lots of pain and love too.

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