Urma: The Seasons of Life by Deeba Salim Irfan

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Prologue

Tehran December, 1978 Urma Behdad opened her eyes and stretched. It was past 7 in the morning and she could never sleep more than six hours. As always, she got up and looked out of the window. Snow. Her heart froze and then started hammering so hard she could hear it in her mouth. Shivers ran down her spine. Her hands trembled on the railing of the window. Fear gripped her and tears started rolling down her face. Yet another first snowfall. She wiped her tears away, cursing herself for crying. Not going to help, Urma. She hated to cry, even if she was alone. But today was the first snowfall of the season, and those old memories she so wanted to forget rushed to the front of her mind. Every first snowfall of the season they surfaced like a sudden phone call from an ex-boyfriend. Seven years back, she had awakened in the morning and run to the window to see the first snowfall that she loved so much. She had been screaming with glee about the snow when the phone rang, bringing the worst news of her life: the plane crash. Her parents. The association had frozen in her head. Last month, her all-girls boarding school—Khoabgah Zeebayee, in Chaloos, a couple of hours from Tehran—had been shut down and the students ordered home for safety. Political unrest or some

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such. Until today, that had seemed only an inconvenience; officials said they planned to reopen in March. But she felt in her bones this snow could portend a more sinister outcome. She wiped away the tears again, and pushed the thoughts aside, telling herself she was strong. She said a silent prayer for her parents and went to shower, then out to the dining room for breakfast. “Morning, love,” said her paternal aunt, her aani, who had brought her up after her parents’ death. Aani was looking out the French windows of their huge bungalow. “Salaam, Aani, how are you?” Urma crossed to her stick-thin Aunt, who was blessed with a sanguine complexion and hugged her from behind, giving her a kiss. “The first snow,” Aani said. “See? It looks amazing…” A white blanket of snow covered the ground as far as eyes could see. Urma moved her arms to hug herself. Aani turned to face her. A frown of sympathy mixed with annoyance clouded her face. “Baby, again the first snow fear? What’s wrong with you? How long will you cling to this? It was an accident, love, I’ve been telling you for so many years. Never associate things with happenings. It’s Shirk. God hates it.” “What can I do Aani? I try my best, but what can I do? I can’t explain how I feel. My mouth dries up, my feet are frozen the minute I see the first snow. My heart starts beating faster and I wonder what or who am I going to lose now? I can’t tell you, Aani.” Her eyes filled with tears. She looked away and wiped them. Not even in front of Aani would she let her tears show. Aani hugged her and let her sob softly. “My strong little girl! I know you are very strong, you’re fine the whole year round, but this one sight of snow makes you weak. I know this brings back all

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those horrible memories… the days that followed… Try and overcome this as well. Tell yourself nothing more will happen. See? It’s been seven years. Nothing has happened, right? So forget it. The more you tell yourself this, the better you will feel. Only you can heal yourself!” After a while, when she felt better, Urma covered her face with her hands for a few seconds and slowly slid them over her head pulling her hair back and taking a deep breath. “Sorry Aani, you know how it is.” “It’s okay, Urma, I know how you feel—don’t forget I lost my brother and sister-in-law too.” “But it’s different, Aani. Your sister-in-law was French. You hadn’t known her long. I am sure your feelings for her weren’t as strong as mine—she was my mother!” “True, but how about my brother? I only had one brother and I lost him. Now all I have is you.” “I know, Aani. And for me, all I have is just you. I don’t want to lose anything else in my life. I’m scared. I want everything to remain the way it is now. I don’t want any changes. I won’t be able to bear it, I’m sure. I can’t survive without what I have.” “Urma, you’re talking like a child. You’re an eighteen-year-old girl, honey. Life is full of surprises and changes. So don’t say that.” “No, Aani. I don’t want any changes in my life! I love this huge house of ours. I was born in it. I love my Iran. I love you and I love Shereen and I love Orash. I don’t want anything else. But I don’t want to lose anyone either. After losing Mom and Dad, it was like I’d lost the world. Now I don’t have the strength to lose any more. I want my life to have some permanence.” Her eyes moistened again. “Urma, you don’t have to say anything. I know. I think you should go out and enjoy the snow so that you feel better. Have you called your friends?”

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“Yes, Shereen and Orash will come by at noon. We’ve planned to go for lunch. The others are busy.” “Okay. I hope this guy Orash is just a friend,” Aani couldn’t hide the frown on her face bringing up his name. Something made her face tensed every time Orash’s name cropped in the conversation. “Aani. Please. Can we please not talk about it now? He is my life, my love. I’ve told you so many times! Let’s not get started over that again, shall we? He will get into medicine this year and that’s it. No more discussions on him, please. Not today!” “Okay. I just don’t want you to rush into anything. And please stay close home. You know it’s not safe up north.” “Aani, can we please stop about Orash? I love you. OK, will take care.” “No problem. I’ll wait till his results come out. If he doesn’t get in, we’ll talk, is that a deal?” “He will get in. We will see.” Shereen and Orash came at noon, and as planned Urma went out to have lunch with them. Since the college had closed due to rioting, Orash had come to stay with a friend for a week to be close to Urma. Shereen was staying with her aunt for a week as well. They had plans and plans. Dreams and more dreams. But the permanence she desired, the dreams, her country, and her love - everything Urma wanted in her life - she lost it all that winter.

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PART I : PRESENT

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Chapter 1 Athens September, 2004 Yet another snowfall. Unlike old times, I sense an unfamiliar fragrance in the breeze as I walk back to our ‘shack’ in Chaloos. The three of us are together but still the feeling is strange; as if something is wrong. Still we keep on moving, talking about irrelevant and insignificant things. The huge mountain peaks all around are covered with a white coat of purity; trying hard to hide their flaws from us but barely succeeding in their attempt. A haze of present and of past surrounded Urma. Concentrating on what was happening around her only encouraged the mist that covered her mind. I’m walking with Orash. Not side by side, hand in hand like always. Shereen is walking between us… and holding his hand? Haunting memories of the old shack we built together. Does it no longer belong to me? What the hell am I doing with them? An intruder? Everything is upside down. The warmth in his eyes… those tender words, all stolen from me and now they belong to somebody I considered my best friend. Urma turned and started running away… but he called her name. He called again and then again. “Urma, Urma…” “Khanam, wake up. It’s your call,” called out Maryam. Urma woke with a start and found herself in a sweat, tears rolling down her cheeks. Tears of relief. Relief that it was only a

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nightmare. This abandoned feeling could never happen to her. As much as she hated him, she could live without Orash, but she could never live with the knowledge that Orash had married someone else and lived with her in their old shack. Certainly not Shereen. As she stretched, turned over, and sat up in her huge round bed, the burgundy silk bed sheet crumpled and fell down over the black leather frame. Rubbing her eyes with one hand, she looked outside; it was nice and sunny. Relieved, she reached for the receiver and murmured in a sleepy voice. “Yeah, Urma speaking.” “Mrs. Shereen Mustakimi wants to talk to you,” said the operator’s voice. “Put her through,” said Urma, springing up. She finger-combed her hair away from her face, trying for outward order. Wonderful time for Mrs. Perfect to call, after a dream like that. Clearing her throat, Urma fought to hide the shock of her dream. “Shereen! Aahan, what a pleasant surprise early in the morning. Chitori?” “I’m absolutely fine. How are things with you?” Shereen’s voice chirped from the other side, a slight crackle in the line from California. “I’m fine, but tell me how come you rang up so early in the morning? Is everything fine with you? How are Sitare and Paiman?” “One by one, Urma, calm down. Everything and everyone is absolutely fine. But first tell me what happened to you? You sound different.” “God Shereen, you can catch me out even sitting at the other end of the earth? Nothing, really. I was sleeping, but I’m glad I woke up!”

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“Why glad? Had the same nightmare?” “Yeah. Even after twenty years, he just crops up from nowhere. I hate him. Why can’t he leave me alone?” “It’s okay, relax. It was just a dream.” “Yeah just a dream, but I hate him!” This morning she dug deeper than usual, her defenses down and raw. Shereen had heard it before but Urma had no editor to stop her tongue. Loneliness had arisen. Urma’s voice took on the catch of tearfulness. “I hate that the revolution happened and I hate that I had to leave my country and I hate to have lost everything!” “But look at you today. A successful author with bestsellers every quarter…. Royalties pouring in from all directions, fans around the world, and a set of friends only a phone call away, what else? Urma - thank God for everything.” “I do thank God. But you know what - I have everything that I never valued and nothing that I really dreamt of.” “I don’t like to see this Urma. You have been my strength, always! I understand money never interested you but fame and recognition? Anyone would die to take your place, and you know it!” “I know, I know.” Urma pressed her lips together. Shereen lived a charmed life and could never see the flaws in Urma’s own lifestyle. Complaining was not allowed. She forced a smile. “Let it be - this was an exclusive preview, only for you! No one else sees this side of me, you know that, don’t you?” “I know! I’m there, always. I know the toughest nut has a soft heart and that is only for me to see. It’s okay. Forget it all. Cheer up!”

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“I am fine. Don’t worry! Only sometimes I can’t help being nostalgic and my love for him starts to peep out. But you know how I hate him. Anyway, you’re right, let’s forget all that.” Urma glanced at four designer clocks arranged in a square on her wall. “Let me see… hmmm, what makes you call me at 10 pm? You should be in bed by now! Is everything okay?” Shereen laughed. “Wow! Since when have you become a genius in math? That’s been Aanahita’s forte, not yours!” “I wanted to beat her at this.” Urma laughed and added, “I just put three more clocks on my wall, with the timings of California, Sweden, and UK. Am I not brilliant? I’d rather use my brains for my stories, than for calculating what the time is at your end… it’s quite exhausting, mentally, for me!” “Yeah, I understand,” said Shereen, laughing. “Well, I just rang up to ask you if you’re free these days or very busy as usual with your writing.” “I’m absolutely free, feeling lonely as usual and I think I need a break. Your arrival will only do me good.” She got up and stretched “So finally your program has been finalized. Are you coming alone or are Adil and the kids coming too?” “Ma’am, when did I say anything about me or the kids coming over?” teased Shereen. “Who are you trying to fool? I know exactly what you’re thinking. Have you forgotten how everyone used to tease us for our telepathy in college?” “How can I ever forget that? But I am surprised that you’re still that good at it. Time flies, eh? How soon everything becomes the past. I hate to think about that. But then I have so many things to look forward to, too. These kids are driving me mad and I’m

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looking forward to the time they’ll grow up. That’s a long way still, but at present they are after my life. They want to come to Athens to see you. They simply adore you and your company and your penthouse and …their list is never ending,” said Shereen. “I adore them too. Who else do I have to call my own? They are my kids too, aren’t they?” asked Urma. “Of course they are, and now get ready to look after them. The kids and I are coming over this weekend, arriving by noon.” “Okay then. I’ll see you at the airport. Convey my love to Adil. Why aren’t you bringing him along?” asked Urma. “He has a lot of work, can’t spare a moment. He sends you his love too and hopes to see you soon. And yeah, don’t bother coming to the airport. I’ll see you at home.” “No - that’s not possible.” “I am not telling you what flight we’re taking, so don’t bother coming to the airport or else we will miss each other and we will reach your home, while you wait at the airport.” Shereen knew well it took a long time for Urma to reach the airport. “Fine. As you say.” Urma smiled. “I’ll see you at home on the weekend.” They said goodbye. Urma placed the phone on the cradle and snuggled back under the covers, smiling at the blue sky out the window. During the revolution, Shereen had left Chaloos, Iran and got a scholarship for higher studies at the California School of Art, where she completed her doctorate. While still studying, she had met Adil, who was half American and was into business. After a brief courtship they married. Shereen was now a well-known artist

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in California, where she stayed with her husband and their two children, Sitare and Paiman. Shereen often organized art exhibitions. For this, she frequently visited Europe, and Athens was always on her itinerary. Urma made it a point to make a conference call with her three best friends at least once a month—to chat and gossip and remember old times. Of her three best friends, Shereen had been the closest in a different way—she had been protective of Urma, had always been with her through good and bad times, like a shadow always protecting her, comforting her and helping her as a true friend. She was the first connection with home Urma had found after leaving Iran for Paris, and the only one with whom Urma had serious talks. But when they all got together, it was just madness, nothing less. Crazy fun, unlimited. Aanahita was in Sweden, with her husband, Haider and son, Farzin. Like Urma, Ladan was not married and lived in Cambridge, UK when she was not in Antarctica. The four of them had been friends for over a quarter of a century. The two decades that had interrupted their correspondence disappeared when they got together. Like they were one—four different souls in four different corners of the world, but with one heart. Since reuniting with Aana and Ladan four years ago, Urma and Shereen never let the physical distance keep them apart. One would be going through a problem and the others would just get a feel of it and make a surprise visit. They had one mind. The time they had first met at Khoabgah, in Chaloos, Iran, was like yesterday. They had all gone to the boarding school to do their Konkur, their graduation. Four different girls from four different backgrounds. Shereen came from a big conservative family from the north of

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Iran. She was religious, prayed five times a day and was pious. Urma was just the opposite—very modern, liberal and forwardthinking with great ancestral heritage, from a rich and royal family on her father’s side and a well-bred French family on her mother’s side. She had spent her entire childhood in Tehran. Ladan came from Tehran as well. She was an only child. Aanahita was the only one who came from the northwest— Ahwaaz. Her language was different initially, but soon they were all one. Two months from the time they met, the four friends realized this friendship was meant to be for life. Not a single evening did they spend alone at Khoabgah. They were always together. Till Orash came into Urma’s life and she moved with him to their shack. And then the revolution, which had ripped them all away from the life they’d known. Yet Urma loved Athens. After the acclaim she received as the author of two best sellers, the ideal choice would have been to move to the United States or the United Kingdom, like a lot of people had suggested. Shereen had wanted her to shift base to California, so they could be close. But Urma insisted on staying in Athens. She loved the place. She believed in the meaning of the name—Athens, derived from Athena. The goddess of Victory. Incidentally, Athena didn’t have a lover. Urma was also unmarried and didn’t have love in her life, so somewhere she empathized with that. Athens was like a second home to her now, but she still missed her Iran, her childhood there. She never let the memories fade. Iran

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was in her blood, in her every breath. She could smell the fresh air of Chaloos even today, the place where she had found her first love. With the love had come pain, as she lost him there as well. Every memory of Chaloos was bittersweet for her; every smile had a tear with it. Twenty-five years ago. The day she last spoke with him didn’t seem that far back. But not a day passed when she did not think of Orash. About how much his betrayal had cost her. But despite all the force with which she had pushed thoughts of him somewhere deep down, he had not left her alone. He would pop up in her dreams or nightmares. She dragged herself out of bed, and to the bathroom to wake up. The night before had been really late. She had hit the bed at almost four in the morning. Irrespective of the time she hit the bed, her breakfast time was 9 a.m. and she would be at the table. She studied her tired eyes in the mirror. In spite of dark circles underneath from lack of sleep, a sparkle lit her eyes. Because of the phone call from Shereen, not from dreaming about him. New lines had formed at the corners. That was bound to happen; she was past forty now—forty-four to be precise. Her freshly trimmed and highlighted hair fell straight on her shoulders and looked fabulous, even fresh out of bed, framing her angular face. Turning, she pulled in her stomach, admiring her athletic frame but wishing the flab to go away. She carried herself well like her French mother. People who had known her parents told Urma that she spoke like her mom, was reserved like her, elegant like her, and like her, needed little makeup and would never be seen in a mismatched color, ever. She took a quick shower and then with gentle fingers applied her favorite expensive eye cream, followed by the best age-fighting

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moisturizer on the market. But stroking her face in morning ritual allowed her thoughts to wander again. Where was Orash now—did he have kids and a wife? What did he do—did he leave Iran in 1979 or did he stay there, or did he go and fight against Iraq in the war that followed the revolution? Was he alive at all? Grimacing, she slammed her vanity drawer closed. What did she care for someone whom she hated so much? How dare Orash hurt her! A man who hurt her was obviously not worth her thoughts and her precious time. Dressed in a lime silk kaftan, looking like a fresh lily, she strode to the breakfast table, ready to start her day. The new girl who had joined the kitchen staff and was still a trainee brought milk for Urma’s oats. Other things were already on the table; almonds, fresh orange juice, and a slice of garlic bread. Urma picked up the milk, but with a hiss set the hot pitcher down quickly. “The milk is hotter than usual!” she snapped at the girl. “Make sure tomorrow that the temperature is just right. I don’t have time to sit here and wait till it cools, understand?” “Yes madam.” The new girl hurried back into the kitchen. None of the home staff—the chef, the gardener, the driver nor the secretary wanted to cross Urma. She cared for all her employees but took no nonsense. She expected them to abide by her wishes: she gave instructions once, a warning the second time and the third time, she dismissed. But she wasn’t like this with Maryam. “Maryam, biya inja,” called Urma. “Bale, khanam,” replied Maryam. She was Urma’s most humble and faithful helper. Urma had brought her from Paris when she had

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come to Athens after Aani’s death in 1985. Maryam had been 28 years old then, four years older than Urma when Aani had died. Since then, Maryam had been always by Urma’s side, serving her. She ran her house well and in time, hired other staff and managed them. She knew just how to keep the palatial penthouse according to Urma’s liking. Urma had bought the huge penthouse when she was just 33 years old, after the success of her first two books and to celebrate the honor she had received, the Booker Prize, for her second book —“Challenges,” a best selling book the world over. Maryam knew Urma had a fetish for cleanliness & precision. The glass had to be kept four inches to the left of her plate, neither six inches nor two. Her glass of water had to have six ice cubes, neither four cubes nor eight. The candles in her living room had to be lit at sunset without fail and the fragrance in her living room always at the same level. Her cupboard had to be perfect, always, all the clothes placed color coordinated; perfumes all in a line arranged alphabetically; all the make-up brushes were to be always clean—the girls had to clean all her make-up brushes twice a week with the brush cleaning lotion. All linen had to change every day. Maryam couldn’t manage all this alone and as time passed, had hired staff. “Shereen is coming this weekend by the noon flight. Get the guest room and kids’ room cleaned. I will check tomorrow,” said Urma. She smiled, her youth coming back with Shereen. Her contact with her memorable and pleasant past. Urma went into her study and after two hours, Maryam knocked. She entered the study where Urma was busy typing on her laptop. “Khanam, Aatish called for you and said he would meet you for dinner.”

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“Okay, I’ll speak to him.” Urma briefly looked up at Maryam and then returned her gaze to the laptop. “You cook dinner. We will have dinner at home. I am in no mood to go out. I have to finish this chapter by tomorrow.” Saying this, she signaled for Maryam to leave and close the door. Maryam knew she hated to be disturbed when she was writing and did not pass on calls when Urma was in her study, unless it was important. Urma looked up and thought of Aatish for a moment. He was much better than Orash. At least he had been with her for so long. In her own way she did care for him, but on her terms, in her spare time. Aatish didn’t deserve more than that, she had always thought. And she had made this clear to him more than a dozen times. If he wanted to be by her side always, well then that was his choice and not her fault if he was hurt. She persuaded herself that she wasn’t playing with him. Brushing away the flutter of guilt, she immersed herself in her work. Urma’s work came above everything. She was focused. In life, all that mattered to her she had already lost and all that was left was her writing, her books, and her three best friends. An outsider would think she was lonely, with no social life, no parties that she would attend, no friends in Athens besides Aatish, so what was her life all about? But her work was her passion; she never had time for anyone else. She would research day and night for her upcoming projects and continue to write, spend time interacting with her agent, publisher and fans, plan her marketing campaigns, be available for book signings and travel around the world for that. She was invited by well-known universities for guest lecturing and was invited as keynote speaker for various functions and also for writers’ workshops around the world.

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The whole day she was busy in her study. She took two short breaks, one for a snack and another one for lunch. After lunch she called Aatish. “Yes, Aatish, sorry, I was busy!” “No worries, I know you were writing. Maryam told me, so I didn’t call you again.” “Should I say thanks?” she fidgeted in her chair irritably “If you wish.” “Actually, I don’t wish, but anyway. You know, I am talking to you because you are considerate and thoughtful.” “Oh my God, Urma, so many good words from you. Are you okay? I think you’ve met your word count for the day. Your generosity speaks for itself!” Aatish could hear her laugh at the other end. “Bravo! That’s like my boy. Yes, that’s right. But I have a deadline tomorrow morning so we need to have a quick dinner tonight.” She picked up her cigar and lit it. “Come over. I’ve got dinner prepared. How does eight sound to you?” “Hmm. Yes, sounds good. So, you’re smoking again, your café creme cigar?” “Hmm. How did you guess?” “I heard you exhale!” “That’s very observant of you!” “Thanks. You gave up smoking last week, didn’t you?” “Yes. But I succumbed again. I love the smell. I tried to give up. But I guess one week was the maximum I could control myself. When I write, I have to smoke. What to do?”

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“Try it again.” “Why? What’s your problem? I love it. Period.” She stiffened in her chair. Aatish could not direct her. That privilege was only given to Shereen. “Okay, I take my words back. Accepted. It’s your love. Do I feature in your list somewhere? Maybe one day you’ll have a change of heart and want to marry me.” She relaxed back in her chair again. “Aatish, you won’t stop trying, will you? Why do you bring this up? Listen, we’ve discussed it so many times.” She chuckled and puffed on her cigar again. “You never know when you might have a change of heart. I want to be there at that moment.” She blew out smoke in a long trail. “Sorry, it will never happen. My decision is firm, final and engraved in stone. And if you keep bringing it up, I’m sorry, but I will have to stop meeting you. Don’t make me feel guilty that I’m playing with your heart!” “That was not my intention. Not even in my dreams do I want you to feel guilty. You’re not playing with my heart. I love to be with you! That’s my problem. Anyway, I know you’re dying to get back to work. I’ll see you at eight. I know what your next statement will be - sharp at eight. Correct me if I am wrong.” “You know me. Sure, see you then, sharp at eight.” She smiled. For the rest of the day, Urma stayed busy in her study. She finally came out at seven in the evening, eyes strained and tension in her wrists taking their toll on her mood. She took a stroll around the penthouse and crossed the drawing room. Her tone snappish, Urma called out, “Maryam, the third candle is shorter than the rest. Please get all of them changed and fresh ones put in.” A crystal

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vase filled with red roses sat dead center on the dining table, mocking her. “And the flowers on the dining table, what’s wrong with you guys? Who dared to put red roses on the table?” She glared at the offending bouquet. Shit, my day is going get spoilt again! There was a time when I had to keep red roses around me all the time. That was me then. But now I want to stay away from any memory of Orash. Why does he still haunt me? “Sorry, khanam, the new girl. She is still learning!” “Maryam, tell her I don’t have place for mistakes! I will not repeat myself. I don’t want red roses in this house. You know that! Change them to white and green immediately.” “Yes, khanam, sorry. Actually I got caught up with dinner. It’s my mistake not to have checked on her. It will not happen again.” She rushed to the kitchen and brought out the trainee and explained what needed to be done. Leaving discipline in Maryam’s hands, Urma went to her bedroom to get ready to receive Aatish. She took a quick shower and slipped into jeans and a yellow tee. She never dressed up for Aatish. He loved her the way she was. Sharp at eight, Aatish walked in. He had been with Urma long enough to know that neither 7:59 nor 8:01 was good with her. He was escorted into the huge white living room. Swanky white leather sofas and a low glass centre table filled the conversation space. Two walls were full floor to ceiling glass, overlooking the busy street. Sunk in her signature couch, Urma casually browsed through art books and listened to Mozart. “There you are!” Aatish crossed to hug Urma. He kissed her on her cheeks, his moustache tickling, and sat next to her. “How are you?” His voice trailed off as he stared at her, awe-struck. Urma was used to his antics. He said her half French and half Middle-

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Eastern looks had a mesmerizing effect on him. “Fine as can be, with so much work! And you snap out of me, will you?” she said curtly. “Okay! Why do you work so hard? What’s the point? I mean, you already have everything you want. You have money, fame and power, what else?” He stretched his long arms across the back of the couch and sprawled the length of his legs next to the glass table. “You won’t understand, Aatish. I’m racing against time. I will slow down only when my heart says so.” “Okay. I understand your answer. You don’t want to discuss this issue.” Aatish knew she was an intensely private person. She talked only about what she wanted to share with him. This mysteriousness made Aatish crazy for her. Aatish was over six feet tall and well built—and well kept, for a man in his late 30s. The most striking thing about him was his thick eyebrows that joined over his laughter-filled eyes. He had a well-maintained mustache which Urma loved. And yet, his charms could not replace the perfection of memory. “It’s not that,” she said, looking away. “Anyway, come let’s have dinner.”

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To read more… send in an email @ deebairfan@me.com
(So that you can be sent a link to buy the book, once it is published.)

Meanwhile: Twitter - deebzirfan Blog- http://authorsretreat.blogspot.com/ About the Author
Author is advertising professional and lives in Dubai. This is her debut novel. Manuscript is at the stage of final draft and will be in print soon. With her childhood spent in Iran where her father was an ENT Surgeon and having experienced Shah’s reign and then having seen the revolution by Khomeni’s, gives her a unique sense of attachment to the country and she has woven the story with a backdrop of Iran that she has perceived. Its is in no way her personal account as she was a child then, however, the mark that the country and its loving people has engraved on her mind, makes her write the way she has written. She intends to write more novels with Iran as her backdrop

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