[Highlighted Excerpts taken for reference from The Stationery Shop of Tehran- Marjan Kamali]
The Stationery Shop of Tehran by Marjan Kamali has been one of my best reads last year, a book set in the backdrop of The 1953 Iranian coup d’état, known in Iran as the 28 Mordad coup d’état and the overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in favor of strengthening the monarchical rule of the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
I fell in love with this book just by looking at its title The Stationery Shop of Tehran. The neighborhood stationery shop means a lot to me. I have been there innumerable times for aids, charts, books and pens to help me with teaching. The book and its sweet romance revolve around a stationery shop which made it delightful to read for me.
Roya and Mr. Fakhri’s Stationery Shop
Roya’s favourite place was the stationery shop and that was what it was called nothing fancy. Here she meets her love Bahman who came in one day with a huge gust of wind and ruffled the pages of Rumi in her hand. From here on their love grows and we are taken into their sweet and tear-jerking love story.
Letters can be such a powerful way of communication. I think you can pour your heart out into a letter more than saying it out aloud. I often write letters that I never send sometimes and they help me express what I am feeling deep inside. For Roya and Bahman letters became their way for communication and for Roya receiving a letter from Bahman gave her such joy.
Little do we know until later that the innocent letters they shared would separate them and their lives would go in completely different directions. Meet me at Sepah Square at the center how powerful was that one line from Bahman’s letter that shook their relationship eventually.
We feel that we cannot move on from heartbreak but Roya finds a way to build her new life without Bahman. I loved Bahman’s last letter where he clears the misunderstanding between them and that Bahman never stopped loving Roya and he had waited for her at the square on Wednesday, the 28th of Mordad. They had just ended up at different squares.
In the heart of the passage, I found the meaning of letters written with love that they could bind or break two people in love. That true love never fades, you carry it in your heart forever that it’s our fates that maybe twisted and lead us in separate ways. The Stationery Shop of Tehran-Marjan Kamali will always be a special book for me because it spoke to my heart.