Iran Darroudi in an interview with ISNA
Q: For start, I am curious to know how you are coping with current situation and the Covid-19 pandemic?
Paradoxically one of the most imperative aspects of my professional and private is the need for a solitary life style. I have learned how to be alone and only then I will be able to paint or write. I live the moments and that is the way I am replete with the life moments and get to reverie. Although, at this difficult time of Covid-19 pandemic, I am really worried for my fellow Iranians, especially those like medical stuff who are sacrificing themselves to save patients. Equally the implication of the high rate of unemployment and sharply rising prices and its impact of this economic burden on people’s life, when they have to take a serious risk and leave the safety of home just to feed their families. I am also worrying about every single fellow Iranians whom their presence at the workplace is mandated, examples of which are hospital staff or bank employees. I ask myself why government grants financial support to people who are organizing Muharram mourning gatherings and ignoring the desperate members of the society who will have to search garbage bins to find something to eat. Don’t they really know what is happening around them? Or they have forgotten this miserable people potentially could get infected and spread the Covid-19 virus.
But this tiny virus taught us all a great lesson that the humans race living on the planet Earth have a joint interest no matter where and on which corner of the world they are living in. As Sa’adi the great Iranian poet said many centuries ago:
“Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you’ve no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain!”
The rich message embedded in this beautiful poem has resonated far and wide to the extent that has been chosen to be displayed above the entrance of the United Nations headquarters in New York. The other major lesson learnt from this pandemic is worthlessness of money in the fight against covid-19. In other words the mere wealth provides no immunity for rich and wealthy. This is in direct contrast to the unfortunate global greed to accumulate more money at any cost as the only grantor of life comfort, power and stature. In spite of continues sanction against Iran in this difficult time, out nation unlike many other the so-called civilized countries don’t loot supermarkets, pharmacies and food stores. The recent event shows that Iranians try to help other compatriots in this hard time. As statistics show the highest number of victims of Corona virus pandemic are nurses, doctors and bank employees. Trump contrary to human rights, continues to pursue the unfair sanction at this tragic time while Americans plunder shops and pharmacies and rush to gun stores to arm themselves as much as they can. Why guns? I don’t know! In the face of a catastrophe of this magnitude the behavioral difference of different societies is an indicator of the type of human values, culture and life’s outlook.
I quarantined myself from the beginning of the Corona outbreak simply because I didn’t like to be a virus carrier. Unfortunately up to the last days of 2019, I was still expecting to receive my museum’s building permit, but after a long five years wait, it was denied. Meanwhile the Corona virus hit us. At this stage I decided to leave the pursuit of museum permit idea and instead receive the highest heavenly warrant and devote my attention to my own profession. I have wondered many times, is there really ground for a legal action against people who wasted such a long period of my time without a positive outcome. The time which I have bestowed all of my possessions to people of Iran. However these five years of endurance caused so much pain and took me to the verge of nervous breakdown. But Corona virus on the other hand caused me to recover my senses and now for the reminder of my days, literally I live my life in tranquility. So instead of waiting for museum building permit, I have made a decision to get entry permission to my painting paradise and live in my divine life as before.
Q: The New Year has been started, what are the New Year wishes for people of Iran including you?
I am a believer that god loves me so much that made me creative and lucky to experience rapture. I am afraid of neither death nor Covid-19. I hope God helps me deepen my faith and keep me alert up until the final moments of my life, and accept my prayers for whatever he has granted or refused me.
But what do I wish for my people? I hope to have proven to my people throughout my life that I admire them for their patience during periods of hardship and oppression; I love their glorious history and I am proud of great men and women who lived in this land. I have never felt disappointed in my life, as I know my people love me.
At this time of Corona there were so many unnamed passer byes that left medical items (from alcohol to a mask or a pair of gloves) on my door front. I’ve returned to Iran to live and die here and I am sure my museum would be built in the heart of my compatriots who loves Iran and endure its difficulties patiently. For me altruism is the most important value in life. Then we have to love our beloved land more than ever to find ability to withstand severe natural disasters like floods and earthquakes and air accidents like a plane crush.
Q: You always talking about the favors of God. What is your feeling in these hard days? Do you have any message for your desperate people?
In all honesty I do not recognize desperateness. I have always seen or been willing to see a twinkle of light in the absolute darkness. But as witnessed throughout history, my compatriots have never been disillusioned or given up hope; to the contrary they have been always resilient and persevering. You see, people may not be fully aware of the severity of Corona virus outbreak and are celebrating the New Year arrival, ignoring the possibility of being a virus carrier. They are calm and travel to Caspian see resorts for the holiday. May be this is the result of their skepticism of the official warnings about corona virus. May be the delay of official notices results in this sort of behavioral response. Anyway, my message to people is: we are not just responsible for own lives because in case we are a virus carrier, we could unknowingly cause the death of one and perhaps hundreds of others. Everyone should appreciate only a single person started it all at the beginning. So it is our patriotic duty to observe all the recommended safety protocols to stop and prevent the epidemic. But my New Year best wishes for my people is very much the same as my own, which is to get closer to the creator of the universe and also being thankful for enjoying the gift of life. The mankind faith is highest power of human’s is the consequence of his view of the universe’s creation. At a time that we can be in communication with someone at furthest point of the earth only by pushing a button, corona virus forced us to think about the concept of life and to realize that an invisible tiny virus could destroy billions of people. But at the same time it cannot stop the universe. So, let’s have faith on the creator of this universe with millions of planets, stars, galaxies on orbits and only then we may enjoy our belief and be grateful of every seconds of our life. With thanks and prayers to my creator who made me cognizant of life as a most valued treasure