This book is dedicated to the brave line of young Iranian women and men who their courage and bravery have shocked the world and most importantly have shocked the dictatorship regime of Iran. The one who risked their life and even have paid with their blood to gain their God given right FREEDOM.
Foreword by Dan Wooding for Ata Servati’s book, “I AM A LOTUS”
Throughout his dramatic life, Iranian-born Ata Servati, a talented filmmaker, poet and author, has always expressed himself by writing a poem or two when touched by an event that had occurred in his life. It was his way to release what was churning up inside him. Ata would use loose sheets of paper ripped from notebooks or occasionally type them on a computer and have them neatly printed and, although he never kept them, they fortunately always found there way into the hands of friends and family. He never compiled them for himself. Then, one day he woke up and decided he was going to start saving his poems and then publish three books of poetry. There were so many poems spilling out of his mind that he knew they could not fit into just one book, or even two, so he settled on three. The reason for this was unknown to him at the time.
“It could have been the casual recommendations by friends, the constant reoccurring situation in Iran, or a soul who rushed into my life and left just as quick during the hardest of times,” Ata told me.
He went on to say that there are many times in a persons life, like his own, when they question the existence of God, whether they are a believer or not.
“This is often caused after witnessing sin after sin, the unjust killing of innocents in Iran and throughout the world,” he said. “There is no power that can stop this madness except the power of the people,” He said. “Every voice counts and every tear should be wiped away.”
The sadness Ata, who was forced out of Iran because of his opposition to the then regime, and now lives in the United States, felt within himself while watching television or reading and discussing events that were unfolding in the land of his birth, as “indescribable.” He said that it was the traumatic changes in his own life that made it possible for him to “remove the shades” he had covered his eyes with, after having living the American dream with everything a man could ask for, and then losing everything and living in his car. After huge success and wealth, in a few short years he became homeless and began hiding from all his friends and those he loved.
“I found that I had no friends, no real friends I should say,” he went on to say. “I was reminded quickly that you are born alone and you will die alone. Fortunately I experienced the most peaceful time of my life sleeping alone in my car, having nothing but less than $85.00 to my name.
“I watched the stars through my sunroof every night, lost between worlds. I found myself associating with other homeless people, having casual conversations or deep meaningful snippets that filled our conversations. One lady in particular, her name was Alexa, helped me realize something very important. All my life I was running on empty, dreaming on empty, and living on emptiness.
“I learned to thank and pray for a few people who had a role in drastically altering my life.”
Due to a broken business relationship and later a divorce, he said he lost everything.
“As soon as the difficult times came and the tables were turned around, all of my so-called friends as well as the lifetime of friendships disappeared also,” said Ata. “My continuous thanks and prayers go out to above people for helping me reach the path that I was supposed to walk.”
As a result of his experience, Ata wrote two novels “IN SEARCH OF LOVE” and “IN SEARCH OF BABA” within two months. What made this so extraordinary was wrote them during the period he was sleeping in his car at night in Southern California and typing all day with one finger at Starbucks, and even sometime he doesn’t know how to spell his own name. This went on for days at a time.
“I must thank the local Starbucks staff who adopted me and treated me like one of their own and even gave me lots of refills for free. And Alexia who fed me sometimes and encourage me to write. And for sure that helped to manage the $85.00 budget for two months.”
Within a year he was able to finish his third novel ‘IN SEARCH OF PEACE’, a short film ‘CELLFISH’, two scripts and this book, ‘I AM A LOTUS’.
“At this point in time, I am happy that I have completed the tasks that I was trying to finish for the last twenty years… You cannot fight destiny, only your reactions to situations that you have put in.”
Through the many setbacks in his life Ata Servati says he has learned some important lessons. He discovered that when he was homeless, he realized that life is not just “material”, “it is much more than that”, but it was God’s Will to allow him to go through this difficult experience and find what is important in life, a peace that he had never known before.. Ata has also learned to forgive the people who he believes “put me through this” and added that he now feels “they were tools for God to guide me in a right direction in life.”
After listen to Ata, and fining out that he is donating all the proceed of this book to feed the needy children on the time he needs the money himself the most, I thought I wanted to be part of this and some how I took the task of writing this forward. Enjoy this wonderful book and, as you do, reflect on the lessons that Ata has learned and apply them to your own life. You will never regret doing that as it too will bring you a peace that passes all understanding!
Dan Wooding of Lake Forest, California
International journalist and author of 43 books