I love traveling by train. It is peaceful and gentle and much more comfortable than any other means of transportation. Besides it is the most economical, environmental-friendly and safest means of transportation, and in my opinion the type of people who travel by train are usually nicer people. That is why whenever I am in Europe I go to places by train. The Channel Tunnel between London and Paris has made my life in this respect a bliss. Once or twice year, if I am lucky, when I come to Europe my hopping place is England where I have many family members living there. When I want to go to France or Holland or Belgium and even other places, from there I take the train from London Waterloo Station, middle of city, and go to Grand De Nord in middle of Paris. Yes the trip takes three hours and by plane it is a third of that, but then it means I have to get to and from airport which are far from city centers, and that in itself takes a lot of time and costs a bit too.
I was planning my trip to Paris this time when the news of the war broke out. Almost everybody around me was stunned. We had all expected it, but then one somehow naively hoped that it did not happen and dread it happening at the same time. Nobody ever doubted the outcome, whether you were for or against it in the first place. I find all wars deplorable and I am sorry for all those who get hurt and die in the process. As far as I am concerned, those who make the decision are the responsible ones for it all. When I saw the bombing of Baghdad, I remembered those terrible days and nights in Tehran when we heard the Red siren and had to go for cover and the sense of helplessness that overtakes one. I felt the fear and shaking of men, women and children who were enduring it as we had done before, and I felt sad and in pain and angry that I could not do anything to help.
I was in state of shock and weariness and it got worse when I heard about Kaveh. I was devastated. I was away alone and when I read my e-mail at an internet cafe, I had to exercise a great deal of self restrain not to scream and cry out the pain that came over me. Why? I asked as many of you must have done the same. I had worked with Kaveh on a couple of UNICEF projects, and had helped some of his students and worked with couple of them here and there, but always our common theme was Kaveh. He was a good person above all. His sister, a dear and brave lady, with whom we had spent a few days together only a few days earlier, kept telling us that she had this strange feeling, a sense of apprehension about his safety this time, even though he had been on many war missions before. We told her that it is nothing! How wrong we were, and how his dear family must have felt when they heard the news that terrible Wednesday. There is nothing one can say to ease the pain. They know we love them and our hearts are with them, and when I sent an e-mail stating this the reply I got from Kaveh's dear sister was this:
do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there, I do not sleep I am a thousand winds that blow I am the diamond that glitters on snow I am the sunlight on ripened grain I am the gentle autumn rain when you awaken in the morning' s hush I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight I am the soft stars that shine at night do not stand at my grave and cry I am not there, I did not die
We loved Kaveh and he is alive for us in our hearts and mind.
... Payvand News - 4/18/03 ... --