I lived in Azerbaijan in childhood, and spring is incredibly beautiful there. Mountain slopes are covered with thick feather grass. Watching from distance, you might say they look like giants wearing silver long-haired fur coats. It was amazing. Once, when I was in the eighth grade, we went for a mountain trek with a group of friends. Mehriban, she was one of us. Together we stayed behind the group and laid at the foot of another slope. Sitting on a big boulder, she observed fancy feather grass forms created by the wind. I admired her long wind-blown hair shining on the sun, she just had them dyed with the platinum shade. I constantly keep in my head that image of young Mehriban’s silhouette with the wind-blown hair against the hill covered with the silver-gray feather grass constantly moved by the wind. She looked like a mountain flower, blossomed for a first time in the endless feather grass fields. Her hair smelled of vanilla. She told me in confidence that she preferred to use this spice instead of perfume. It was her secret of seduction! She didn’t like trekking, she joined only because she wanted to be near my friend Farhad. She was in love with him. He was the reason she had dyed her beautiful black hair in platinum, because he adored blondes. Unfortunately, Farhad didn’t appreciate the gesture. Himself, he was in love with a blond Russian girl who came to Baku just for holidays to her grandmother. Myself, I was in love with Mehriban. Being 15, one is sure that love will last forever. Mountains had fallen upon me. My young heart was bursting out because of this unrequited love. I knew that in several months Mehriban with her family would immigrate in the USA. I couldn’t imagine that once I would cross the ocean several times within one month. In my childhood, when any of my friends immigrated to the USA, it was like a resettlement to Mars or even similar to death. We knew that we will never meet again and parted ways forever. But twenty years later, we successfully met in Chicago. Her hair was black again. She had three beautiful sons. I decided to create this picture when, during one of my shootings, I made a portrait of a very beautiful girl with platinum hair. The fan blowing her long hair carried the aroma of her perfume – it was vanilla! It is amazing how a tiny note of familiar aroma can instantly bring you back into your past, throw you into your childhood memories. The title of this piece is Mehriban.

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