The Brides of Mokhber al Dowleh

Tahmineh Monzavi

The bridge at Mokhber alDowleh connects the four corners of the junction there.  When I stand on top of the bridge facing south, I can stare at an alley full of shops selling bridal gowns. A bit to the right in front of me is an old building; it must least be a hundred years old, with a window display covered with tree branches and leaves. There is an unbelievable mystery around this building. This is a place which very much belongs to Tehran and I had always wondered who the people inside this building would be and who decorates the window displays.

As Bahman Jalali once said; ‘they are like ghosts staring at people high up from the bridge.’

I went up the narrow stairs inside the building and noticed tailors inside working; young working class boys with hopes of love, making ‘costume of dreams’ for girls.  The hall was full of bridal gowns, an unfamiliar atmosphere, strange and quite.

The sewing workshops of Mokhber al-Dowleh are masculine atmospheres in feminine appearance combined with the noise of an old man’s radio, voice of a young tailor boy laughing or sound of a man’s scissors cutting silk.