the family’s social standing

He can’t let her go to university and become too smart, or turn into a raging communist, as most students seem to do these days. He can’t let her work because that would make people think he’s got financial woes—why else would a woman leave her children and her maids and the daily luncheons that keep her so busy, only to go be an employee somewhere else?—which would damage the family’s social standing.

Gina Nahai, Caspian Rain

what should, in fact, be done

Every few weeks, she brings up the matter of the school again, and he has to repeat what he’s already told her—it’s out of the question, it’s never going to happen, just look around and you may understand what I’m telling you. He’s not being cruel or unusually strict with her, he believes, he’s only doing what everyone else does—what should, in fact, be done. No self-respecting husband with his kind of money would allow his wife to go to school—to sit in a classroom all day when she should be at home, doing whatever it is that wives do.

Gina Nahai, Caspian Rain

your sons will go blind

Let him and the girl step out of the house every morning and find seven beggars already camped out on the sidewalk with their sick infants and crippled spouses on display, pleading meekly for help—I’m hungry, sir, God will love you if you feed my children, and if you don’t, He’ll curse you and your offspring, your sons will go blind and your daughters will become whores.

Gina Nahai, Caspian Rain

she owns us all

Without the advantage of knowing the facts, Bahar and I will be left to fill the blanks on our own, to imagine who or what this other woman could be, how she could wreak such havoc upon our lives. The mystery infuses Niyaz with a power we can’t beat: One minute she’s a stranger in a store my father has walked into. The next minute she owns us all.

Gina Nahai, Caspian Rain

all in the stars

Look at her, she’s nothing special, that makeup doesn’t suit her and she wobbles on her shoes, she obviously doesn’t have practice walking on heels, it’s the little things that give away a person’s breeding, but then there you have it, it’s all in the stars, a person’s destiny is carved on her forehead before she’s born and this one—this girl right here—is for sure blessed.

Gina Nahai, Caspian Rain

ignorant or stupid, lunatic or delusional

You might be called ignorant or stupid, lunatic or delusional for claiming you have seen him, or you might pretend you haven’t seen him at all—enough ghost stories, we’re living in the age of reason, the dead behave differently nowadays. Still, you only have to look at him to see the extent of his earnestness, the dogged innocence with which he haunts the living no matter how much they try to escape him or deny his existence, and you can’t help but wonder what deep and unrequited longing brings him back.

Gina Nahai, Caspian Rain

stoned or spat on

So she lives with him in sin without bothering to hide herself, and yet, instead of being stoned or spat on or at least shunned for her immoral ways, she is the darling of Tehran’s high society and the object of admiration by both men and women, and there’s no telling how she pulls this off, no way to make sense of it except to say that God loves some people more than others.

Gina Nahai, Caspian Rain