This week was the 48th anniversary of the assassination of General Farsio, the military judge who presided over the trial of the Marxist revolutionaries who attacked a police station in Siah Kal and wanted to start a Che Guevara-like uprising in Iran. The locals arrested them and turned them over to local authorities. They were executed after the trial by General Farsio.

As General Farsio was backing out of his driveway in Gholhak with his 16-year-old son to take him to school, he was ambushed by the revolutionaries who had attacked a police station in Gholhak earlier, killed a policeman and stolen his machine gun. The revolutionaries threw cocktail Molotov at his car and as he got out of the car, they sprayed him with the bullets. His son was also injured in the attack.

The news of the assassination received wide coverage in Iran and in our high school we were all shocked to hear that his son was one of our schoolmates. Everyone was trying to figure out who he was and what he looked like, but not many seemed to know him.

A few days went by and on one spring morning, as we were playing soccer or volleyball during our lunch break, there was a whisper going around the large sports field. “There’s Farsio … He’s back!” Hundreds of students stopped on their tracks and all just stared at him, standing with a friend by a building. We were all trying to figure out, by looking at him, what it’s like to lose your father in an assassination attempt. What it’s like to get wounded. This was all new to us. We were looking for answers in his face and his demeanor. He just stood there and then went inside after a while.

After he went in, we got back to playing again and with the finals coming and the summer break on the way, we all forgot about him.

Years later, I was having lunch with a few friends at an Iranian restaurant and as other Iranians were coming in and going out, one of my high school friends nudged me on the shoulder and quietly said, “Remember Farsio whose father was killed. He’s coming our way. Let me introduce you to him.”  

He stopped by our table and said hi. As we were being introduced, I kept looking at him trying to get the answers to the questions that I did not get back in my high school days; “What is it like to lose your father in an assassination and get wounded?”

I did not find my answers in his face. He smiled and left.