Maman Nahid, Eulogy of Her Kind
Maman Nahid the name we called her by,
Venus, the Goddess of Beauty, means her name
Her facial features perfection of beauty,
Glistening perfect teeth, shapely nose,
Luscious lips and high cheekbones
Every women, sister, daughter envied so
She taught me, raised me and loved me deeply.
Maman Nahid, she’s my love since birth
She held me, cuddled and kissed me so
Chanting prayers for me ‘til early morning hours
Giving me her love, heart, with poetry and all her powers.
I want to make sure I have her history correct
Poetry and song she loved so much,
I attempt to share her eulogy
In song, rhythm, with our souls in touch.
Nahid Varqai Mazcouri was her name,
Born in the city of Yazd, Iran
Precisely on March 24 in 1942
She came from a lineage of resilient women
Many who lost their husbands, brothers, and sons
Only to be raised to Martyrdom.
These women found courage, independence and strength
Women of higher education, doctors of the time
During a period when women were oppressed
with no education or literacy
My great grandmothers trailblazing women
Educated, literate, with healing capacity.
The women of this family of distinguished martyrs
Known as Varqai family their name
A title endowed by the Founder of their Faith
Their history recorded in Baha’i books
By Adib Taherzadeh, Revelation IV to be exact
For those who care to learn some more.
The Varqai lineage described like so
Martyred Varqa had one sister, two brothers you may know
His sister doctor Bibi Tuba Varqai
Born four children in the late 19th century.
Her first born, a daughter named Bibi Ridvan
Became a prominent healer of her time
She raised four children of her own
Her last one she named Safaiyeh
Safaiyeh became a mother when Nahid was born.
The father of Varqa and Bibi Tuba Varqai,
Titled Haji Mulla Mehdi Atri
A medicine man of his era
Was blessed to meet Baha’u’llah twice
He fell ill and died on his way
Just before he met Him thrice
Near a place called Mazraih
In the Israeli countryside.
Baha’u’llah buried him with His own two hands they say
And often walked by his site of grave
To send him prayers and His loving praise
Mulla Atri, Varqa and Bibi Tuba received
Special Tablets from His Most Glory
As part of their blessed story.
Bibi Tuba, Nahid’s great grandmother
A learned healer and her husband too
She witnessed her brother, Varqa
And Ruh’u’llah her nephew true
And then her son, precious he was
Tortuously killed before her eyes.
Their single crime Baha’is they were
Lovers of humanity was unpopular.
Bibi Ridvan, first born of Tuba
Gave birth to a fourth child named Safa
Bibi Ridvan Varqai
Grandmother she finally became,
With Nahid her first to succeed.
A learned women doctor of her time
In the early part of 20th century,
Bibi healed many with her healing powers
Maman Nahid admired her dearly
Bibi Ridvan raised Nahid ‘till she was three
With love, courage, and resilience indeed.
So who was Nahid’s father, you may ask
Mehraban Mazcouri was his name,
A respected businessman of his time,
Born into a Zoroasterian family in Yazd
He found the Baha’i Faith at thirteen
Shunned from his family ‘cause they could not believe
He would expand his horizons to Baha’i
So he traveled to India to study.
Always well dressed in a tie
Respectable, knowledge and kind
His business mind and passion for English, poetry and the arts
Taught Nahid violin and voice as a child.
He helped her become a prodigy
A violinist performing on radio and TV.
Nahid, the first born of six girls
Her father and mother named them in a rhyme
Nahid and Parvaneh,
Zohreh and Farzaneh,
Vedad and Afsaneh.
Nahid’s mother and father before her time
Pioneered to Ahvaz for
Mehraban to open a bookstore, one of a kind
And then back to Yazd, where Nahid was born
And one year later, Parvaneh, girl number two came to join.
Nahid was three when they pioneered to Zahedan
It was during World War II
Safa and Mehraban with four girls by now,
Moved to Abadan for Mehraban
His knowledge of English, his intelligence and his heart
He ranked high in British Oil in Abadan.
A few years later, they returned to Yazd
And sent Nahid and Parvaneh to Tehran
To write college English exams
Two sisters age eighteen and seventeen,
Proved to have brilliant minds of their own
When they passed their examination
For university recognition
At Cambridge by the English countryside
A career in medicine
Unique in their generation.
Nahid wanted to be like her grandmother
A learned doctor Bibi Ridvan
But the cards didn’t play through
As life took her towards another route
She met the love of her life in pursuit.
It was Arastoo Khoshkhesal
A handsome, young businessman
Educated, well-dressed, with a heart of gold
Nahid’s beauty, brilliant mind, and education
Her eloquence, humor and purity
He could not resist but to fall in love
In less than three months
After a few months, as newlyweds
They moved to Tehran from Zahedan
To open import business in downtown.
They had two daughters, Negin the oldest,
And four years later, it was I, Nooshin
Then came Nabil, finally a boy
To complete their family dream.
When Nabil was 3 and us girls were 11 and 7
In midst of the winter of January ‘77
With faith and courage,
They closed the doors, leaving their family, business and home.
The family of five left Tehran
With obedience to their Faith
To a new country, named Canada.
This new land they knew nothing about
Creating education for their children abroad
Trust, faith and pioneering was their aim.
Amidst a time when prejudice was high
They settled in North Vancouver in a house
Guided to them in a dream
By Abdu’l-Baha, who else would they believe.
Baha’i pioneers they were
The Local Baha’i Assembly was thrilled to be formed
With Nahid, Arastoo, and seven others
Finally together in a special forum.
Nahid’s English was very good
So she went to work in retail to provide
Since they had to start life from scratch
While Arastoo learnt English to renew his path.
They learnt a new culture
New career and language too
Made new friends, sharing their Faith, heart and virtue.
Meantime, Baha’is, and families in Iran,
Persecuted, separated they became
They grieved for their losses
They could not go back
They dreamed someday to return to their homeland.
For many years, they juggled to raise their kids alone
While all along,
Together they lovingly sponsored, and housed
Kindly guided, fed, and advised
Foreigners, refugees, visitors, family and friends
Who came to this new land called Canada.
Nahid was an artist, a gifted seamstress and designer
She designed and sewed the fashion she wore,
Before she turned forty-two
She opened her own company too.
When Nahid was 38,
Mehraban was forced to separate
From his beloved wife, Safa
Under house arrest for ten years in Tehran
Because he was Baha’i and died in his sleep
Nahid deeply traumatized
Her heart broken losing her daddy
She had no chance
To say goodbye, far from completely.
Nahid was fifty-five
Entering University of British Columbia
To gain a degree
In Child Developmental Psychology.
The lessons she learnt,
She pursued with passion
A second business, she inaugurated
Twelve years of her life, she dedicated
Educating others’ kids with love and compassion.
At age 65, when all are retiring but she is not
She went back to School of Sauder at UBC
To pursue a degree in Real Estate and broker field
She practiced as an agent until one year before she passed.
She loved homes, people, and social times
A woman of no-nonsense
Speaking her truth to those she loved
Telling jokes to lighten up the mood
Adding humor to bring healing and joy.
Magnificent was her voice
Powerful and touching to the soul
Chilling the heart and the bones.
At 70, a grave diagnosis was indeed
An aggressive cancer in stage 4 with no options to treat
Prognosis of 1 to 2 years was hard to believe
Nahid bravely refused chemo, radiation and the like
For she followed the lessons she was taught
By her grandmother, Bibi Ridvan
To heal without prescriptions or drugs
Honoring the temple of her soul
As naturally as she could do so
She traveled to USA, and Budapest
Pursuing the best in natural medicine.
Her quality of life perfection it was
Nine years beyond her diagnoses she thrived
She continued to work, travel, and laugh
Spending precious time with family, and friends
Helping raise her grandbaby girls she loved
Sanna, Maleka, and Delbar first
One special grandson, Adib came next
And two little ones, Sophie and Saidie
Deeply warmed her soul.
Nahid taught us as her children,
And her grand babies too
Joy, patience and love
With kindness, empathy, courage for life
Her humor, boldness, and her witty thoughts
Her loyalty and aim for reaching high
In life, education, and spiritual pursuits.
To create, trust and not to follow the norm
To be trailblazers with a grand mission
To have faith, certitude, and conviction
And above all, to raise our hands in submission
To the Greatest Source of Power
When aspiring to achieve our distinctive purpose,
While embodying excellence, unity and passion.
When her husband, my father
Arastoo passed in 2020
And the Covid shutdowns began to take toll
She grieved quietly and alone
No one to visit to help her heal
Her Love grew more fervent
She became more detached
From all worldly pleasures and pursuits,
She purified herself from the past
Cleansing her body with simple food and fast
Her faith and courage more ardent it grew
Her time would end very soon
One year after her husband flew.
One week before her 79th birthday,
At 6:51 in the early evening hours
On March 16th 2021, a special Tuesday
Surrounded by her loved ones in prayer and chant
In the same house pioneered she vowed to stand
She took a deep breath and smiled
Showing off her glistening pearly teeth
Her physical cage asunder it burst
Nahid ascended to join her husband’s soul
Leaving the sufferings of this mortal life
To enter the Kingdom of Paradise,
Gaining closeness with her Beloved,
Ultimate joy, priceless in pearl.
Her daughters, Negin and I,
Two special son-in-laws, Johnny and Behnam
One exceptional bride, purely Mahsa
And her devoted son, Nabil
Six beautiful grandchildren full of might
Through all these precious ones
Resplendently and joyfully she wings her flight
Mrs. Nahid Varqai-Mazcouri Khoshkhesal
You shine your light so so bright!
~Dr. Nooshin Khoshkhesal-Darvish
Dr. Nooshin K. Darvish is a Washington board-licensed Naturopathic Doctor, certified in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine with a Fellowship in Integrative Cancer Therapies. She is the founder and Chief Medical Officer of Holistique Naturopathic Medical Center and Holistique IV Lounge. A 1995 graduate, former Chief Resident, and an Affiliate Faculty of Bastyr University, with more than 25 years of clinical practice, Dr. Darvish practices Regenerative, Naturopathic, and Integrative medicine with a passion to assist patients in their transformation towards physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. As a physician, writer, educator, lecturer, and speaker, her mission is to inspire others to become 'agents of transformation'.