Bombay Rain, Part I

Denver Quarterly-dWritten by Payam Yazdanjoo |
Translated by: Poupeh Missaghi | Edited by: Adam Seth
(c) “Bombay Rain” was first published in Denver Quarterly, Vol 48, No3, 2014, and it is being republished here by permission of copyright holders  | Header Artwork by Javad Alizadeh

Marcel too knew that Hedayat[i] had published The Blind Owl in India, right here in Bombay. The first thing I had done right after we met was to encourage him to read the book and the history of its local publication. I then told him about my plans for making a movie about Hedayat in India. Marcel showed interest in helping out. We decided that it needed to be a feature film, including recreations of parts of The Blind Owl, with the supposed author as a ‘shadow’ and Marcel and I as interpreters. Three months after our first encounter, Marcel went back to France, and was now back in Bombay after two years. Several photos from Hedayat’s time in Paris, a short interview with an Iranian-American woman who had left flowers at Hedayat’s grave inPère Lachaise, and several white-covered octavo books, French translations of Hedayat’s short stories, were Marcel’s souvenirs from his time in Paris.

I was in charge of the main part of the work, writing the script — which I had not yet done, since the research process had not gone as I had hoped. There was not much information about the author’s visit to India. The total of all Iranian and non-Iranian material on Hedayat did not amount to more than two pages. The whole account of his time in India could be summarized in a few points: Hedayat came to Bombay with the help of a Zoroastrian employee of the Iranian