Lost Treasure: Destroyed Notebooks
by Reza Ganjavi
Slept terrible – a nightmare of Farid Larijani – I wanted to sue him for a million for every year of diaries destroyed. 7 million total. Most precious years of my life - in the dream i could see those booklets they destroyed - orderly put together - and reading them it was clear how there was a revolution in my mind - how my mind evolved - and being amidst of a political revolution. It was so incredibly painful to wake up and remember that my first 7 years of writings were destroyed -- it had to be illegal to destroy another person's property but maybe not because I trusted them and left it in cousin's attic with her full agreement.
In the dream members of family were there - mom and Firouz - etc. - and some others as judge - like elder Mr. K. - and Farid finally came clean and confessed - something he never did and that hurt even more -- Payam confessed but Farid didn't! And Mr. Saadati saw the boxes brought down during the "clean up" - it would have taken one phone call - one email - 5 minutes - and I'd get those out of there immediately - but they dumped 7 years of my writings brutally without any warning.
In the dream I said hello to him only b/c I wanted to deal with this. His not coming clean has made it worse.
Told this to friend and his 15 year old daughter - and even a 15-year-old said: They should have called first -- it's so simple -- one call:, and I'd have those out of there immediately. Instead they just tossed them. Payam admitted to it. But Farid denied it while his lips were shaking!!
May 13, 2009
Dear Farid & Maryam,
We have not spoken for ages. I could not handle having any contact with you guys, as much as I love you all, after my most precious possession was destroyed by you guys. I know when we last met you denied it -- but after putting everything Payam and you guys said together, plus Mr. S., who actually saw the box before it was dumped, there was plenty of indication that you guys dumped the box. It would not have evaporated by itself and there is no doubt that it was there -- you had agreed to hold it for me -- I had not forced you to -- I don't know if there is an English word for it but in Farsi it is called "amin" and "amanat daary". The box was an amanat.
Payam said it was dumped because it was "useless papers and fire hazard". My diaries may be useless to another person, but these were diaries that initiated the biggest and longest project of my life -- to write the book of life itself. Now, some 7 years of it is gone. The writings included my meticulously written accounts of being a 14-year-old in Iran, going through a love event, going through the revolution, writing the many lessons I was learning from experiences, life itself, from parents, grandparents, and others, the adventure of the move from Iran to America as a 15-year-old, fitting into a new culture, high school experiences, moving to California, having life changing experiences, and all the reflections and meditations and stories that went along with these and other events. All gone, except what remains in memory cells as small food for that long writing project. Useless to Payam, ok. But to say it was a fire hazard (and I don't dispute that it was) so we dumped without giving me a chance to take it, is so incredibly lame. One phone call, one email, one SMS, and the box would have been out of there in 10 minutes. I could have called a taxi to come and get it, if not a friend or a relative. Dump! Thank you.
I am not writing to complain or chastise you. I did not say a word to you upon my initial anger and frustration and disappointment and sorrow caused by this act. I just never contacted you again because there was nothing to say -- nagging about it or blaming you would not have brought the box back. I just took a hike and didn't look back. The pain followed me although I tried to move on and wipe the pain. Last night I had a dream. It hit me in the head again. It was a sweet dream that turned into a nightmare. As the first part of that Farsi poem goes, Shotor dar khaab binad panbeh daaneh. Camel sees cotton seed in dream.
I know this would be just as unreal as a camel's dream of cotton seed and a long shot in the dark, but if you happen to have info any info where I could find my box, or if you have any of the contents, please let me know.
In the dream, you said it was in another part of the house. I was deeply sad by the loss and almost in tears. we looked and there was a box - way on a top shelf - from below I looked - I was sure I had put it there - I remembered the exact day I put it there (as I did in reality about the real box) - I could smell the box from that distance that would take some effort to get to - a ladder or chain and hook that came...
I was about to get my long lost treasure chest back, with my little red and little brown, and little black notebooks that I neatly wrote everything in.
The saddest moment was when I gently woke up and realized it was just a dream! What a damn pity!
Upon waking, I thought of calling the dumpster where your bin was taken to - - but last time I looked it was one massive landfill with absolutely no hope of recovery. I gave up last time and I should give up now, and I do - I have no choice.
Having found my long lost treasure was just a dream - perhaps merely an echo in the cleansing of the consciousness of the extreme pain of not only the loss, but the denial by you guys who were so dear -- you were my dear friends despite being family, closer than family -- and the utter shock of betrayal of trust, and having to work so hard to get to the truth, and shattering of a key piece of that project which sprang in a young passionate heart/mind. I cannot figure out which one of you made the decision to simply dump this box or that it was a collaborative decision. Certainly it was not Mr. S., who dumped the box although you tried to blame him for it. This is all water under the bridge. I am not stuck on any of this -- I lived through the pain and moved on - or tried to move on as far as I was able to - and hope this last dream was just a last step in the cleansing as this thing echoed out of my consciousness.
If you happen to have any idea where it might be, of have any of the contents, please let me know.
Good wishes to you.
17 Jun 2010
Another nightmare about the lost boxes - and how F, P, & maybe M who at least didn't try to stop them, tried to maximize their utilization of their dumpster. Another nightmare. [logged]
I have not had any nightmares about the destroyed treasures after the last several times -- perhaps the consciousness has cleansed itself which makes sense. However, heard she's been talking to Maryam asking her to look for it etc., for some time, uselessly because I know they're decomposed in the dump site Farid and Payam, by Payam's own admission dumped it. Maryam's sincerity touched me and I think she probably didn't have a hand in it. I wrote her that I love her and have always loved her and it's the truth. I didn't know if she had a hand in this vile decision or not, and still don't, but my guess is she didn't. The eye witness said again today that he got the dumpster and it had a lot of space - he and his workers left at 5 - but the next day it was full of stuff like paper and cartons. The day before Farid and Payam had told him, a few boxes are Reza's and they've been here a long time. Yes, because they agreed to it, or could have made 1 phone call and the boxes would be out of there. So they just dumped the writings -- 7 years gone. Mr. S. says he remembers me always with pen and paper and knows it must have been very precious -- these especially since they were from first 7 years of my writing -- 14 to 21.
It's not clear to me if Maryam had a hand in this or not -- I like to believe not -- I like to believe she would have had enough decency to at least make one phone call and inform me or Shadi before just dumping what they agreed to keep. Nevertheless I wrote her an email saying I love her and I always has, but just so she knows, since she had mentioned it to Shadi that the boxes were not there or Farid and Payam just said what they said because of how I felt, that those things are not true. The boxes were absolutely there and in fact Mr. S. heard you guys say these are Reza's boxes and the next day the dumpster had cartons and papers in it and I could no longer find a trace of those notebooks. So while we like to justify and rationalize things, this case is clear as day to me.
And Payam stood there saying, they were fire hazard "ozre bad tar az gonah" as my mom puts it. It's very easy to imagine the situation as discussed by the witness -- very realistic situation -- and I examined the witness's remarks from different angles and at different times. His story always matches up his remarks. He's always volunteered on different occasions to go there with me and have a conversation and see if the Larijani 's will deny it because he heard them say my boxes were there, and there's no doubt in my mind they were, I put them there, I checked on them from time to time, was confident they were there, I trusted that place more than anywhere to have taken them somewhere else, I had no reason to.
01 Sep 2009
It must have been such a traumatic experience to have my adolescent diaries destroyed by my cousin's family's stupidity. Dreamed about it again. Again, hoping in the dream to find the lost writings. I have no choice but to observe this bubbling up of the shock to my consciousness from the betrayal of trust and realization that it's long gone -- my meticulous writings that meant so much to me are part of the Orange County Landfill. I am also surprised that this shock has not cleansed itself -- those writings must have meant a lot to me. Anyway, life goes on and I trust this will eventually clean up from my consciousness, not eventually in time, but eventually through the observation of any remaining ripples.
My name was on the box, they knew how much my writings mean to me, yet, they destroyed it -- I can guess as to the motives -- but let's just say, utter stupidity and craziness which is common in Orange County, especially in Irvine -- the machine life Oriana Fallaci wrote about is right there -- soul of cars are everywhere but people don't walk in the streets. Of course, there are always exceptions.
In the dream I hoped that I would not wake up so I can find the box.
10 July 2009
Another case of camel dreaming of cottonseed. Dreamed of the destroyed diaries – this time the box was found at Parand’s – Farid’s sister’s house – a lovely lady and lovely family – haven’t seen them for ages – but back then we were close. It was like, Gosh, that’s right, the diaries were there, in her garage – they were locked and sealed and I was incredibly thrilled happy joyful ecstatic to have found this biggest lost part of my life. Only to wake up in disappointment that it was only a dream.
27 Oct 2010
Another nightmare about the lost treasure. At least it wasn't so bad as fantasizing they were found.
I was walking and Farid walked by - he had a cigarette in hand - we didn't talk. Later Maryam walked by and I said hello. I felt love for her - I feel love for all of them - but! She denied it still. But Farid finally smirked "sorry". And Payam was there and I said at least this guy was honest and he told me what had happened. Your denying it makes it even more painful. 7 years gone.
Dec 2010 - another dream about the lost treasure -- the stuff they put in the air that it wasn't here. Sure it was -- Mr. S. saw them. And Payam admitted destroying them.
Feb 2012 - another dream -- the red covered notebook was right beside me.
Will send this email:
Hope you're well.
Just a question -- since I continue having dreams / nightmares about my destroyed notebooks. I know this is very unlikely -- and maybe only wishful thinking -- but I still need to ask it:
If before throwing away the notebooks Farid or Payam by chance kept any of the notebooks I would love to have something - anything - back from that era. If you have any of my notebooks please let me know. I'll pay you a $1000 per.
I dreamed of you last night. I woke up and had an insight that I forgive you -- Your "guilt" was not great -- but the shock and consequence of the ordeal was so great that even a little involvement was enough...
You were young, but an adult. You told me my boxes were a fire hazard. At least, I appreciated your honesty. But correct action, even if your dad said let's get rid of these, would have been to say, “Dad, we should call Reza or Shadi and give them a chance to take them since they're personal items” -- they were obviously writings -- first 7 years I wrote a journal -- age 14 to 21 -- first love affair -- move to the US -- morphing into an adult -- etc., etc.
Anyway, I wish you the best. Congrats on your PhD and running of the OCGC - it's a good cause to further this beautiful instrument.
October 2021 – I wrote the following to Maryam who had told my mom Mr. Saadati had lied and there were no boxes. Once I reminded her that Payam had admitted to it, suddenly there were boxes, but not the papers, but papers were the “fire hazard” according to Payam so they were papers and they were my diaries, and Mr. Saadati saw them.We also had some gentle and kind voice mail exchanges, where her argument changed from, there were no boxes, to oh ya, there were boxes but – inconsistent as expected and colliding with the admissions and evidence. Bottom line: They destroyed my boxes of paper they had agreed to keep in their attic without informing me – I could have gotten them out of there within an hour!
Mr. Saadati’s testimony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJHAXnkorkw
I asked Mr. Saadati multiple times -- every time he said the exact same story. If he was lying he would forget and would give contradictory stories.
I interrogated Mr. Saadati from different angles and determined he was not lying.
The last time I came to your house to talk about this, Farid's lips were shaking when he told me he said my boxes were not there. Shaking is sign of nervousness associated with lying (think lie detectors).
Payam admitted to me. He said we threw away your boxes of paper (notebooks and diaries written on loose paper) because they were fire hazards. Payam's narrative supported Mr. Saadati's narrative. They matched. And they indicated the decision making powers there decided to get rid of my boxes without making a single call to Shadi or me, to get them out of there.
I recoded Mr. Saadati once on video. He is very firm in his statements -- a liar would never be so clear. And his account was totally consistent with what he had said before.
Mr. Saadati didn't know I have boxes there so he couldn't have made it up.
The concept of his story was the work he did there which was absolutely true.
The said blue luggage, even if true -- the boxes would never fit in a luggage. They were boxes full of my early precious writings and notebooks.
Water under the bridge. It was very painful but eventually, after a deep process, I got free from it. But I wanted you to know these facts, because I care for you and don't want you to have the wrong idea. I also don't hold any negative feelings towards Farid. Y'all were like my family so I love you all.