Madi Jahangir – The sound of music is heard from Zaferaniyyeh street. But there is no concert hall around there. The musical instruments this time are different type. The type that reminds you of yesterday and “How fast yesterday’s past!”
Not far from the foreign language department of Islamic Azad university, on the Parzin Baqdadi cross road there is a beautiful Qajar style gate covered by mirror artworks written on it:” Tamashagah-e-Zaman” aka Time spectacle. The sentence was a reminder in my routine urban life. I entered the mirror work gate in a pleasant afternoon. On the two sides of the way to the main building, there are flower gardens and placed inside them the old sand clocks, sundials, and candle and oil clocks. The outer of the building is just a typical Qajar period architecture. The smiley guide explained that the elegant mirror and plaster artworks of exterior took 14 years to finish since the time that the landlord was Moir el Mamalek, a Qajar nobleman who sold the house to a person named Khodadad. But the beautiful building is not what has made it Time spectacle of course.
The sound of music is very near now, this time more harmonic : Tick Tack, Tick Tack. Resting on magnificent and unique stands with lots of detailed artworks, as if clocks on the walls, table clocks and travel clocks are all screaming. The most silent ones are the watches peacefully placed behind the glass showcase. Did our forefathers really care about time more than us, considering all the efforts they put for creating a beautiful detailed needle for a watch? While nowadays we take it easy with digital watch or even our mobile.
The clocks are less made in Iran. Most of them belonged to the royal families and were made by their order in Netherlands, Switzerland and France between 17th to 20th century. However the decorations here and there were done by the hand of Iranian artists.
Every royal family has had different taste though. The clocks varies between vertical or horizontal, with or without pendulums, 12 hours or 24 hours etc. I passed the stairs to the second floor very carefully so that i would not disturb the concert of clocks. Second floor is the museum of calendars; The popular calendars, semi popular calendars and outdated calendars from around the world. There are even some samples of ancient calendars that have been renovated. In one side of the museum, the oldest Iranian inscription known as Bisotoun has been reconstructed which shows Iranians have always cared about measuring time since the foundation of their civilization.
Beside the calendar section, there is paleontology section too which reminds of the creation and first moments of life on the earth. Moreover, the museum has a restaurant and a gallery hall for exhibitions. Throughout the museum framed on the walls are photos of foreign and Iranian clock-makers, among them Abraham Louis Berger and Haj Hussein Sadeq Kalam. And of those Iranian scientists who had a say in time measuring and calenders, such as Abureihan Biruni, Mohit Tabatabaei and Ahmad Birashk. All of them touched the time and maybe more than any of us valued moments of their life. All of them are part of history.
I had read in Stephen Hawking book that God created time with the creation of the universe, so that the time would be a tool created by God and in the service of man. I was thinking of this when i went out of the museum. Just like the distance from Zaferaniyeh street to Valiasr street, life is short. There are many works to be done and so fast is time passing!