There is no heaven for Gungadin; The biography of the lost Iranian writer

"Like General de Gaulle, he was unrivaled and alone, as a man and as a writer. The comparison should end here. His name was Ali Mirdrikundi, but he preferred to be called Gungadin. He was a peasant from the wild lands of Lorestan in the southwest of Iran, and he could not be called literate in any dictionary. When I was working at the British Embassy in Tehran, he came to my house as a student, stayed by my side for six weeks, and then disappeared. This was all my acquaintance with him. The most extraordinary person I have ever met in my entire life, the author of this book..." (Professor R. Zaaner from the introduction of the book) There is no heaven for Gungadin; The biography of the lost Iranian writer

"Like General de Gaulle, he was unrivaled and alone, as a man and as a writer. The comparison should end here. His name was Ali Mirdrikundi, but he preferred to be called Gungadin. He was a peasant from the wild lands of Lorestan in the southwest of Iran, and he could not be called literate in any dictionary. When I was working at the British Embassy in Tehran, he came to my house as a student, stayed by my side for six weeks, and then disappeared. This was all my acquaintance with him. The most extraordinary person I have ever met in my entire life, the author of this book..." (Professor R. Zaaner from the introduction of the book)

"No Heaven for Gunga Din" (original title: No Heaven for Gunga Din ) is the name given by Lieutenant Hemming to the story of British and American officers written by Ali Mirdrikoundi and published in the 40s. In 1965, this book became the best-selling book of the year in America and England. After the publication of the work and its high sales, the corresponding publisher tries to find the author in order to pay the royalties. This news is published in Iranian newspapers with headlines such as "The Lost Millionaire". Eighty-three American and British soldiers, after death on the road to the galaxy, are looking for the gate of heaven.

After a fantastic journey and encountering extraterrestrial beings and passing through the world of purgatory, they lost their they find In front of the gate of heaven, all the officers are allowed to enter, but the guards of heaven prevent Gungadin from entering. The guards take him to hell to suffer for some time in the form of a black man.

While Gungadin is in hell and still continues, the British and American officers forget their poor and destitute companion. They don't take it and occasionally go to visit him in hell.

This story was written in 1321 by a poor and unknown farmer named Ali Mirdrikwand, a man from Lorestan. A person who, despite the fame and popularity of his book in western countries, is still unknown and has an unknown fate.

Gungadin is one of the children of this soil. He went through all the hardships and bitterness of the galaxy road with his fellow travelers, but there was no place for him in heaven. The people of his people, whom he represents, have the same fate as him. People who throughout history have always endured hardships and sufferings with the promise of reaching heaven, but in the end had a hellish fate.

This is the repeated story of the people of this land. Now, after many years, he has got used to the life of hell, but he is another person who still has a glimpse of heaven. Now we have to see how long Gungadin will have to stay in hell after all these years and enduring all these torments? Will they allow him to go to heaven one day?

Apart from the wonderful fate of the book, Ali Mirderikondi, its author, has also experienced a tortuous life. A simple and poor shepherd from Lorestan, who literally lived through many hardships from his childhood until his death. During the presence of the British in Iran, he spent some time in their service and worked as a simple worker at the British Embassy. According to his writings, he made a promise to himself to learn English at the cost of ruining his life. And this became a turning point in his life.

This poor shepherd, perhaps he did not know that one day his writing would become an influential masterpiece. After the British left Iran, Ali Mirdarikondi was in contact with one of the English captains named John Hemming and wrote this book in English and sent it to him. Several years later, Captain Hemming published Ali's book, and this book became one of the most famous literary works of the year, while Ali Mirdrikundi himself died alone a year before the book was published, in Borujerd city, due to cold and homelessness. !

In all these years, Ali Mirdrikoundi was in contact with only one book seller in Boroujerdi and he only went to him to drink a cup of tea and read a book, after that he went to the cemetery and slept next to the dead!

Some time after the publication of the book, the headline of Kihan newspaper became this sentence:

Lost millionaire! An Iranian man became the owner of millions of money by writing a book, but he himself does not know.

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About the author of the book There is no heaven for Gungadin; The biography of the lost Iranian writer

Ali Mirdarikondi (born in Dadabad, Khorramabad, 1296 - died in Azar, 1343, Borujerd) (also known as "Gunga Din") was an Iranian writer, who is mainly known for his two outstanding books, "Heaven is not for Gungadin" and "Spotlight" which is a popular epic and has 17 volumes, is famous. Both of these books were written in the middle of the 20th century in broken English prose.

In 1320, during the Second World War, foreign forces entered the country. British and American troops also found accommodation in Badrabad and Khorramabad barracks.

The country is in poverty and famine. People to work in the barracks They were visiting To learn English, Ali Mirderikondi works under "Lieutenant John Hemming".

Ali learns English with great interest and perseverance. To such an extent that a few years later he writes stories in English on the advice of the lieutenant. Americans call him "Gungadin". In 1223, when the foreign forces left Iran, "Lieutenant Hemming" took Ali's book with him to England for printing.

The book was published after 15 years in 1343 by Professor Zaaner through Oxford University, England. and was nominated for awards. After the success of the book in England, "Gholam Mohsin Salehiar" translated the book in 1344. Then the newspaper institute published the information about the book.

Newspapers and cultural circles of the country searched for the author of the book. But the search was unsuccessful. During such days, Ali Mirdarikondi with the name "Ya'bas" is living in displacement.

7 months before the publication of his book, the author spent a night in pure homelessness due to cold, poverty and starvation on the 5th of December 1343 in Jowar. Imamzade Jafar Borujerd cemetery said goodbye to the world with all its bitterness. He was buried in Borujerd as an unknown person.

Life and works There is no heaven for Gungadin; The biography of the lost Iranian writer

With the publication of the book in 1965, the Iranian press conducted a public search for Mirdrikoundi, who was referred to as the "lost millionaire". After that, his brother, one of his former classmates and other people who knew him, gave more information, including that he was born between 1916 and 1918 in one of the villages of Lorestan province. All these events took place at a time when the Pahlavi dynasty had begun to suppress the rebel nomads of Lorestan. In a short time, young Ali's talents were noticed and he was sent to a school that was reserved for the sons of clan leaders; A school whose one goal was to prevent children from learning banditry and theft. According to the statements, he left school after an argument with the head of the school, and in the midst of the beginning of World War II and the occupation of Iran by the Allies, he started working for the railway administration. There is a publication of his book in the newspapers of that time. A work by an unknown Iranian villager who wrote it in English and was first published in England. Then, in August 1344, Gholamhossein Salehiar translated it and published the information on 95 pages. Information and Kaihan newspapers publish numerous news and speculations about the author and his book, the edges of this case can be worthy of the attention of researches in the field of social sciences in those years. including the fact that some generally deny the existence of truth. All these events are happening while one year has passed since the death of the anonymous author of this famous work which was translated into eight different languages of the world. Let the truth come. He summarizes the results of his research in the form of an attractive and revelatory documentary called Behesht Nisit for Gungadin. A documentary about the life, personality and destiny of an abandoned and unknown writer who spent the last years of his life begging in an imamzadeh, and yet, according to the informants, he did not stop studying in those years and prepared books on loan. . The documentary for Gungadin Behesht Nisit is currently being screened at Art and Experience Cinema.

Ali Mirdarikondi, a villager, who goes to the English camp near Khorramabad (Badrabad) to find work, and at the same time Learning the English language. At the suggestion of Lieutenant Hemming, he starts writing stories in this language and is so interested in learning this language that even in choosing his job, the possibility of improving in English has been a priority for him:

"I am unemployed now." And I can't learn English without a job. I have come here to beg you to give me a job in the British military, maybe I can learn English while serving. You can be sure that I am very serious and diligent in my work..." (introduction section)

Or else he says:

"You may throw me in your prison, Provided that the prison guard is English..."

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Another look at the book "There is no heaven for Gungadin" There is no heaven for Gungadin; The biography of the lost Iranian writer

In classical works, all the points and loops go hand in hand to create a coherent work, with form and content in mind. The audience is seated. First, we talk about the form of the work. Completely national but with a global theme. Because Mirdrikoundi had fully experienced the sufferings and miseries of the weak class of Iran, he was able to use the form and content as befits its theme.

One of the positive points of the book for Gungadin is the characterization It is not an exaggeration. Of course, because according to Captain English (Ali's closest friend), the author was very studious, he knew where to repeat an emphatic sentence.

Apart from the main characters, the secondary characters can also do as they should. Be interesting to the audience. Like the commander of wind, water, fire, etc., who at first intend to help the passengers of the story, but refuse to help because of a simple dispute and argument over power. This shows the main theme of the story, the issue of power.

In all the turning points of this book, the issue of power and its influence on Gungadin's life can be found. For example, in the judgment field, when they have gone to a rest house and the soldiers ask him to wax their shoes, where everyone is going to rest and they tell Gungadin not to rest and to do the rest of his work and...

Powers and inequalities are always reflected on them in different situations. In addition, in order to mock the class system directly, even in the field of judgment and at the time of judgment, he is mistaken for an Indian Gungadin, but because he was mockingly called an Iranian Gungadin due to his apparent resemblance to an Indian Gungadin, Again, he is subjected to inequality and sent to hell.

The story and the linear narration of this book happen while the members are moving and the so-called story is in progress. Ali Mirdrikoundi, who despite his lack of academic education, had a good anthropology background, deepened the inner value of his story by using various metaphors and symbols.

The language of the story is also remarkable. The book is not heaven for Gungadin has a universal language, and in order not to be limited to a particular religion or way of thinking, it has never mentioned specific names or characteristics about the inhabitants of the world after death, but they are well placed in the corners of the audience's mind. Places In this way, when he talks about Lieutenant Hemmink, we know exactly who Hemmink is and what he wants to do; What is his opinion and what is his goal in life.
The author's personal life is always involved in characterisations. In this way, the narrator always pays special attention to Gungadin, and in the field of judgment, the audience sympathizes with him more than anyone else.

The book is not heaven for Gungadin, which begins with these sentences:

Nothing can be done without God's will.

No one can live without God's will.

Nothing grows without God's will.

In the end , it ends with an attractive sentence and an allusion to the same topic of social inequalities that plagues people even in the world after death:

God loves all his children equally.

  • Good book "emotional extortion"; When they use your fears for your exploitation p> There is no heaven for Gungadin; The biography of the lost Iranian writer

    In this article, with a new approach, we have dissected and reviewed the elements of the story. The story tells about an important situation. The secret of life after death, which is the concern of all people in all religions. "The Story of Paradise" shows the journey of people in the journey to the afterlife. People wish to achieve eternal life in heaven. This journey is the author's perception of the fate of humans in the other world.

    An interesting point, some people have been unaware of it, is Ali's religious beliefs, which may be assumed to be the real and only reason for his writings, which of course can be related to He found a connection between this issue and the concepts mentioned in the story; which I will mention in the review of the conceptual position of the story.

    In terms of genre, Ali Darikondi's work can be considered a kind of fantasy; A beautiful fantasy that expresses the deepest concepts in the simplest possible way and communicates with the audience in a strange way. The childish imaginations that are going on in the story bring the work closer to the story, but since the elements of the story and the type of concepts it raises are somehow considered modern, it brings the audience along with them in an attractive struggle.

    As mentioned at the beginning of the article, from the structural point of view, with the strong reasons in the work, it can be concluded that the author is well acquainted with the elements of the story and based on them, he creates his works. The fact that he sometimes knew that the word structure was not correct, but insisted on using it, shows that he He sought to create a catchy language for the narrator of his story, through which "Gongadin" would appear more and be accepted by the audience. Of course, if a writer is not familiar with the elements of the story, he would never insist. It is not unreasonable to say that in "There is no heaven for Gungadin", the author, like a skilled miniaturist, created pure and artistic images that originated from his conscious nature. In the following, I will mention some of these subtleties:

    Indirect and artistic reference to many issues is significant both in structure and in form and content; The story begins like this: "The sunset of the first night of the seventh month..." (the first night of October), which may be considered a defamiliarization that the author used for the beauty of his story. The characters to the story and their introduction are done delicately. After the author mentions the names of all the chosen characters in the story with a short dialogue from them, and then they continue to speak, he no longer mentions the names of the characters and only mentions their dialogue, which is one of the subtleties that the author has with Awareness has benefited from it. The importance of this issue becomes more evident when we are faced with personality diversity. The way the character enters in such a situation can only be accompanied by the cleverness and knowledge of the author and not disturb the focus of the audience. From the total of 83 people who are present in the story, the author takes a factor and mentions the names of 13 of them, and the rest fade into the background in order to avoid the busyness of the work.

    Another pointed out that one of the characteristics of today's story is considered to be "description in motion". This means that today's writers, like classical writers, are in a state of stopping the story and in a situation where there was no movement; They resort to long and boring descriptions, hiding their location or character descriptions in the middle of story movements so that the story does not suffer from exaggeration and boredom. Drikundi uses such a trick in "No Heaven for Gungadin"; "I'm so hungry I've forgotten how tired," said Major Mathews, and as he sat down, he added, "Gungadin. Come sit and clean my shoes."

    In the field of characterization, considering the importance of this issue, the author makes a significant effort and tries to make each of the 13 characters in They are present in the story, it is different from others and this is reflected in the way they talk and behave. Even if, based on what "Hamink" has expressed, we consider it to be a direct abduction of the real people around "Ali", it still does not reduce the value of the author's work. In any case, the fact that the author is aware of its necessity and effect is an important issue and cannot be overlooked.

    Most of the narration of amateur storytellers is done in the way of "saying" and "passing" without focus. And just "defining" to end the story is on their agenda, and this ignorance makes the story useless from the necessary nuances. On the other hand, writers who are aware of the progressive elements of the story, know very well that in certain situations it is necessary to show instead of "telling" in order to involve the audience in the feelings of the story;

    "When the sun shines He blew, they got up and started shaking and cleaning their clothes. Captain Bloor said: Curse the devil! My nose is full of sand.

    Colonel Weiman said: My ears are the same.

    Major Lawson said: Curse the devil! My mouth is the same.

    Colonel Skeet said: That's enough; We have no right to complain; The sands were softer than the mattress and we slept well."

    A contemporary writer like "Marquez" emphasizes the necessity of conscious detailing and says that the more lies, horns and details in the story, the better it is accepted by the audience. And in this regard, he gives an example and specifies that if we say, for example, "10 adult elephants and 5 baby elephants, one of whom was limping, were moving in tandem" than "a group of 15 elephants are moving in tandem." It is more relatable and believable.

    In the mentioned book, the author advances his story on this basis; Both when he talks about the number of officers and when he refers to the number of times the group of officers attacked the gates of heaven and uses the exact number "8043 times". In another place, Gungadin's file number is mentioned in a special way and the interesting figure "three million and two" is mentioned. Also, the story has significant dimensions that deserve special investigation and analysis. As mentioned before, the author's belief that what caused the creation of this small masterpiece (Heaven is not for Gungadin) is rooted in the author's ideology and religious beliefs, and of course the conflict that plagues him in this area and ultimately leads to side and It pulls him in a direction that chooses the path of isolation and anonymity. He is looking for God and its signs in life, and in this way he gets a significant experience. The idea of God that was formed in his mind by his illiterate family in a vernacular form, along with the idea that he deduces from various holy texts, including the Quran and the Bible, throws him into the abyss of struggling with philosophical concepts, as well as discrimination. And the differences that he discovers in the way of life of different people disturb him and lead him to isolation. He struggles with the problem, until in the end he sees himself and his companions in a divine court at the judge's table, and with the despair of everything, that suspense and waiting, marks the end of the story and everything takes shape in this direction.

    Conceptually, there are two important issues in the story around which the story is formed; First, the popular notion that is dedicated to the position of God and the promised paradise in the heavens, and of course this notion has not disappeared and many seek God in the heavens; and secondly, the injustices, discriminations and differences that exist intrinsically and the author tries to examine them in the form of fate and fate. Zarif mocks and protests against it. A fantasy image mixed with humor, which is presented about the heavenly spaces and the ways of moving between these spaces, well leads to the understanding of the author's intended concept. In one part of the story, he talks about movement by the commanders "cloud" and "wind", and in another part, he talks about a helicopter, which we know is a mechanical and worldly tool, and this is while in another part, with the knowledge of everything. It deals with the importance of moving through the mind in the immaterial world; Where the characters of the story think about everything, it appears in a fraction of a second. This method has been emphasized and proven in many books, and the author is aware of this issue and uses it in a part of the story. Where their needs are met in the "holy house":

    "They reached the holy house after walking for half an hour. But when they entered, they found nothing there and were upset. There was no bathroom, no bedroom, no rest room, and no dining hall, so they just stood on the floor of the "Holy House" and started thinking.

    General Burke said: Well here. There is no food. Suddenly the house has become a dining hall. While food was prepared for 83 people on a big table. The officers were extremely pleased. They sat on the chairs that were placed at the dining table and ate until they were completely full.

    One of the officers said: Now we need to take a bath: suddenly the dining hall became a "holy house". . And the "holy house" became a very big bath. Hundreds and hundreds of scented soap molds and bathrobes, such as velor, etc., were prepared. With other tools such as razors and razors and everything that was needed for bathing..."

    The second issue that is raised from a conceptual point of view, although it still originates from the same popular idea, but it shows another dimension of the matter. it shows; This is a discrimination issue that exists in the life of Adam's children due to the place and land of their birth, and according to the author, there is no justification for it. This issue appears in the writer's personal life in the comparison between Iranians of the same gender as Ali and British officers, and urges him to learn English, perhaps by this means he will be saved from this cursed discrimination. In the story, however, there is no more room for effort and the narrator, who is the representative of the author in the story, is tried and sentenced to "96 earthly years of prison in hell" without making any effort to defend himself.

    Then the "Holy Agency" while turning to the "Judge" made the last defense of "Gungadin" and said: "Those children of Adam Those who are unfortunate, and during their life on earth have not had anything other than work and deprivation, should not be sentenced to prison in hell. If "Gongadin" is a sinner, it is only because of the deplorable situation he had on the planet. which is considered for them (swimming for 14 minutes in the Barzakh pool), they are transported to heaven and Gungadin to hell by helicopter, and each of them becomes a resident of their environment and years pass, the narrator creates hopes for the author so that the children of Adam not only because of Gungadin to gather and pass resolutions to protest the conditions of all hellish prisoners. Although it seems that these resolutions do not have a proper executive guarantee and end up in an annoying wait; Waiting for the result of the notification of Adam's children's request by Adam to Jibreel Amin, which is going to be announced next week and: "I am very sorry that so far there is no news I haven't heard about the decisions of Adam's children..."

    Parallel to this expectation, Darikundi also faces a similar expectation in his personal life. Expecting a change in his life situation as a result of hanging out with British and American officers. The expectation that will be with him and his hard life for a long time after the withdrawal of the Allies from Iran, and a small window for his future; And when he despairs of it, he happens to join a sect of dervishes to remind himself more than ever of the futility of life. Although this plan is not able to keep him until he reaches the world of anonymity and contentment, and in this situation, he says goodbye to mortal life and leaves behind many doubts and questions along with the works he created. ambiguities that may never be able to find a clear answer for all of them.

    Apart from the dimensions that the story "There is no heaven for Gungadin" has in the two areas of structure and meaning, and they were mentioned, arguments can be made in the text of this book. found that they can unravel some ambiguities about the author's personality and his life full of mystery. Somewhere at the end of the story, when the officers are tried in the judgment field, the guilt of some of them is the false promises they made to Gungadin: I confess to all my minor sins.

    "Davar" explained: When you were the officer of the Amirabad camp, you sincerely promised "Gungadin" that you would give him a certificate of good performance, but when you left Iran, You forgot your promise and this was a great sin." You said, you forgot your promise..." It can be inferred that, contrary to the prevailing opinion, Gungadin handed over the manuscripts of his book to the Allies when they left Iran, and to Lt. Haminak, to be published years later (the time of their departure from Iran is 1323, and the book was published in 1343), this book was finished after the departure of the British from Iran and was actually sent to England by post. According to the publisher, which is mentioned in the introduction of the book, Lieutenant Haminak was in contact with Ali until 1328 (that is, 5 years after their last meeting in Iran).

    In this part of In fact, the book refers to the promises that were given to him in real life and he did not fulfill them, and perhaps it can be considered as his last attempt to escape from his life full of misfortunes, and when he does not get any benefit from this passage, His wandering period begins and he is no longer looking for what he was looking for before. Although sometimes he is tempted and goes to the English publications of Boroujerdi librarians and borrows them; Maybe for fun and of course not unlikely to find a name for himself or his book. What if, according to the documents that exist in this field, he was fully aware of what he did (writing "There is no heaven for Gungadin") and its dimensions, and he said clearly: "I have written a book that will sound like a ball in the world." .

    Of course, there are two other situations (although faint) in this context (subtle points that exist in the story and can be the unraveling of some ambiguities) that should be mentioned; First, the idea that this part may have been added by "the same" or the publisher (Zahner); It means the piece according to which Colonel Skit promises Gungadin to give him a certificate of good performance, and of course he leaves Iran and does not fulfill his promise. Of course, this notion can be clearly rejected, because Hemmink himself states that he did not make any other changes in the story except for changing the names of some characters who were real and well-known.

    Another idea can be that the author He predicted this issue in a completely imaginative way and included it in the story, which, of course, considering the author's clear selection of the surrounding realities, does not seem to be considered. What's more, even the name of the book is given by the author himself as "The Book of British and American Officers" and at the beginning it seems as if it was supposed to be a biography close to the reality of them.

    Another idea can be that, anyway, the officers with whom Ali was in contact may not have all left Iran at once, and for example, people like Colonel Skeet and Major Mathews (real name These two are something else) they left Iran earlier and before the finalization of the story "There is no heaven for Gungadin", which of course may not be proven. Although in the following and in another place of the story, it takes on a clear expression:

    "After him, it was the turn of Major Mathews." He had one hundred thousand and sixty two minor sins and one major sin and said: I confess to all my minor sins, but what was my major sin?

    - Shortly before you left Iran, You were secretly hiding yourself from the eyes of "Gongadin", lest you expect a gift or a reward ".

    The interesting thing about the conviction of the British officers is that Lieutenant Hemmink's sins are lighter than the others, and maybe the reason is the special look that this person had on him during his acquaintance with Ali, and of course It has not gone away from the author's mind and it has been retaliated in a way.

    What more than anything else weakens the ideas put forward, to be more confident that "there is no paradise for Gungadin" after leaving. Let's accept the end of the British from Iran, is a clear reference that the author puts forward in the book under the title of "Wishing to start the third world war" and unlike many who have gone astray in this case and have strange and far-fetched interpretations in relation to We have to accept that this request is also a personal wish of the author, so that he can once again find the possibility of mingling with the English and achieving his dreams. The most obvious meaning of this fragment is that the book was written or finished after the departure of the English from Iran.

    Anyway, Ali Darikundi's happiness was only for three years when he studied languages with foreigners and was hopeful. He was trying to change his way of life by getting closer to them, and after that, it seems that there is nothing to make him happy, except waiting for news from the other side of the border, which will never come true as long as he lives.

    "God loves all his children equally."

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