Distant View of a Minaret – Hassan, “At the Time of the Jasmine”

Hassan, an emotionless, rational accountant, left the small town where he
grew up and hardly ever returns to see his family. He is consistently guilty of
inaction, and he neglects his own emotional life. When he returns home for his
father’s funeral, he can no longer ignore his feelings. Hassan’s flashbacks
reveal his inaction, which he now regrets. He never brought his daughter,
Jasmine, to his hometown to meet his father, and now it is too late. Hassan is
as baffled as he is sad: he has suppressed his emotions for so long that their
reappearance is confusing.
After the funeral ceremony, Hassan offers to pay for a feast for the men
in the village. The men are grateful for his unexpected generosity, but it seems
as though Hassan is trying to compensate for the guilt he feels because these
men know his father better than he does. He again feels guilty when he discovers
that his father has left Jasmine some of his inheritance. Even though Hassan was
never considerate enough to bring Jasmine to the town, his father remembered her
and probably longed to meet her. When Hassan goes to sleep that night, he feels
truly exhausted and emotionally beaten down. The weight of what has happened
begins to sink in, but whether or not Hassan will be permanently changed because
of it is unclear.