Thursday, November 20, 2014

Doubt Goes For Second Print


My publisher Faisal Mustaffa of Merpati  Jingga has informed me that my book Doubt has gone for second printing . As a writer for the book, one of my job is to promote my own book. So I am highlighting some interesting quotes from my book, Doubt. Hope these quotes inspire you to buy Doubt.......

1)"I do not want the truth. I am not interested in the truth. The 
truth is not important. I just want to be happy.” 
(Page 6)

2) I know what I have done is madness. But when love is not madness, it is not love. When the time comes, I will be ready to face God's wrath, his punishment and his hell.” 
(Page 12)

3)"Why do you hate me so much," I asked his mother, once. 
She didn't have any rational answer. 
"Not all mothers are meant to love their children,” she explained. 
(Page 13)

4) "Jebat must not die," he says 
"He did not commit any crime. I will not allow Jebat to die. I will save Jebat any cost." 
(Page 20)

5) It was strange to have my twin brother undressing me.... to 
have his lips kissing my lips ... to have his naked body brushing 
against mine... to have his hands touching my manhood.
(Page 22)

6) I have been married for the past seven years. And in all those 
years I have not been faithful to my husband. I had slept with 
countless dashing man that had shown any slight interest in me 
and the worst thing is, I feel no guilt.
(Page 27)

7) Love is not enough to keep my mother happy. My father failed 
to understand that. He was utterly shocked when she wanted to end 
their marriage. 
“Do not leave me…I will change… I will become a better man… I 
will change… I will change,” my father kept begging my mother. 
Truly, there was nothing to change. There was nothing wrong with 
my father. He had been a great father, a great husband and a great lover. He had showered my mother with love, laughter and happiness. 
Most women would die to have a man like my father as their 
husbands. But my mother was not like most women. She wanted more out of life. Simple happiness is not for everyone.
(Page 29)

8)Death is the only thing that could give me the peace I desperately want. Sometimes death is not bad thing. Death is ending of all misery. 
(Page 35)

9) I was her secret. And I was tired of being one. I wasn't expecting her to shout our love from the roof top of the Twin Towers. But I didn't want her to hide me, either. I could not totally blame her. She has a lot to lose if we display our feelings, openly. Ours is a society that is not comfortable with two women falling in love…with two women lusting for each other.
(Page 38)

10) “God had failed me, once,” she said. 
“God will not fail me again. He would not let me lose my son. God 
is great. God is not that heartless. God is not that cruel. God 
is great….”
(Page 47)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

More Reviews on Doubt

1) A reader Needa Lim recently wrote to me to my email after buying my book Doubt and this is what she says :

"Hello sir! I purchased your book, Doubt two weeks ago. At first, the cover and the summary does not attract me that much. But as I opened the book and I still remember, I read chapter 17 and I was like, this book is non like others (well, as far as I know, not much local writers would write this kind of story). So, I decided to buy it and I read the whole book. It was entertaining, some have made me speechless or in disbelief. And most of the stories, I did not expect the ending of the story would be like as it is. I also love the trademark that you have inserted into that book. The suicide part, where mostly they will go naked and went towards the train? That is like, odd but interesting. I cannot describe how much I love your book. And not forget to mention the randomness of one of your story, the mermaid and the werewolf. Hahaha its hilarious, I don't know what do you expect from your readers reading that but I thought its funny. And the story of An Earth without rain is also one of my favorite, because like I've said, I didn't expect the ending would be like that. But sir, I think what's best describe your book is what madness can cause people do and how mad people can be. Overall, I enjoy your book and it actually triggered my creative side. I actually Imagined all these scenarios as I read them. Plus, most of the short story you wrote, I have thought about it when I was younger and especially when I was playing this one game : The Sims where I always destroy a perfect family when I get bored of it. But, don't get me wrong, I love my family and they are perfect. Its just that sometimes, our mind needs to be open to something else too, that is out of the norm ones, I guess? That's all. Keep it up!"


PS To Needa Lim, I would like to say thank you very much for the lovely compliment. Your letter had brought a big smile to his face


------------------------------------------------------------------------

2) Recently I came across that someone from Thailand had bought my book Doubt and has written this review on my book Doubt on his blog: 
http://wasan-on-line.blogspot.com/2013/09/best-book-by-malay-writer.html
This is what he says about my book Doubt: 

"I bought this book at Time Square Shopping Mall, KL.  This is one of the best foreign books I ever read. This book helped to boot-up my reading after it had been drought out for years. It's 45 short stories of Life, Love, and Loneliness. I like the technique of the writing and also it twisted stories.  The writer uses the beautiful language to compose all the stories.  This short stories show that short story can keep it short and still remain interesting until the last word. I spent 2 days reading this book until the last page. I have a lot of fun and stunned by the stories. Great work by Bissme S.."  ��

PS: I am glad you love the book and thank you for the lovely review on my book 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Chaos




Chaos By Bissme S

The first time I saw him was at the cafe that my parents run. It was raining like cats and dog. He was cold, hungry and was looking some warm food to eat. He was a photographer from the big city.  He wanted to shoot our small beautiful village. He wanted to feature these photos in some travel magazine.  
“Can I find a hotel here?” he asked.
There was no hotel in our village. Out of kindness, my parents offered our guest room to the stranger. But my parents soon learned a bitter lesson that kindness is not always rewarded with kindness.

*****
Four days later, the stranger had disappeared into the air. The stranger did not leave our house, alone. The stranger had abducted me.  My mother screamed her head off when she learned what had taken place. The doctor had given her a sedative to calm her.  My mother spent her days in bed, feeling dizzy and depressed. My father had a high hopes my tragedy would have a happy ending - I would be found and he would be hugging me.  
But my father had forgotten that sometimes God loves sad endings. My kidnapper was nowhere to be found and I was no longer breathing. The police found my body, brutally raped and badly burned.   

*****
I was only thirteen when my life ended tragically. I have become a ghost, wondering in the house that I grew up in and hanging around my parents who love me with all their hearts.
My parents could not see me. My parents could not hear me. But I could see their agony. I could hear their cries of miseries. I could feel their unspoken sadness.
“It is a norm for a child to bury his parents,” my mother said.
“But when the situation is reversed – when parents have to bury their child – the pain can be unbearable.”
My mother had lost faith in God. My mother had stopped going to church. Our regular priest, Father Danny Fratine, visited our home. He wanted to convince my mother to return to church.
 “I cannot pray to a God who had taken away my only child,” my mother shouted.
“There is no place for God in my heart any more. I wish God will be burned in hell.”
My mother took the broom and literarily chased away Father Danny Fratine from our house.
 “God is my enemy,” my mother shouted
“If you love God, then you are  my enemy, too.  And my enemies are not welcome in my house. ”
My mother had become a bitter old woman who constantly cursed God and anyone who love God. My father was in far worse condition than my mother. 
“The police had made a mistake” my father said.
“The dead body they found is not my daughter. They just want to close the case as soon as possible. They don’t care about justice.
“I have done my research. Most paedophiles are not killers. He raped my daughter and most probably, sold her to some brothels. He is not that heartless to kill my sweet Sophia.”  
One morning, my mother and I could not find my father anywhere in the house. There was a letter from him waiting for my mother on our dinner table.  My father had gone to the big city to find me, the daughter he loved and adored. 
 “I will only come back after I find our daughter,” my father wrote.

*****
Nine months passed. There was no sign of my father. I had lost any hope that I would see my father, again. Then, one evening, my father was in my living room.
“I am so glad you have returned home,” my mother said while hugging my dad.  
I thought my father would have realized that his idea of finding me in some brothel home was a crazy one and would finally accept the bitter truth that I was no longer alive. But I was wrong.
“I found Sophia,” my father said.
“Our daughter is not dead.”
I was shocked listening to what my father had uttered. There was no way I could be alive.
“I went from one brothel home to another to find my daughter,” my father said.  
“I could not find her. I felt helpless. I felt defeated. I wanted to kill myself. But killing yourself is not easy. I was sitting on the road, crying my heart out. Then, God had shown me his mercy. God had shown me his greatness.  I saw my daughter on the opposite road, begging. I rushed towards her. I hugged her. I whispered in her ears: I will not let you go.”
Looking at my mother’s expression, my father said: “I know you don’t believe me. Let me prove to you that our daughter Sophia is alive.”
My father called out my name. A girl appeared in front of my mother. She looked like me.  She dressed like me. But she was not me. My mother slowly walked towards her. My mother hugged her.  There were tears in my mother’s eyes
“Your father is hero,” she said to the girl.  
“Your father has found you. My daughter is alive... My daughter is alive....”

*****
The girl was willing to adopt my name. The girl was willing to wear the clothes I wore. The girl was willing to tie her hair just like my hair.  The girl was playing me.  The girl did not care that she did not have an identity of her own.
I suspected that her life on street was a hell. In my house, the girl has food to eat, clothes to wear, a bed to sleep in and the love of my parents.  My house was like a heaven for her. And most people always choose heaven over hell.

*****
My mother wants to embrace God, again.  My mother wanted redemption for saying unkind things about God.
“God has given my daughter back to me,” my mother said.
“God has been kind to me. I have a lot to be grateful for.”
When Sunday came, my mother and my father proudly entered the church with their new daughter. I was sure the villagers will not accept their reality... I was sure the villagers will bluntly tell my parents that that girl was not me... I was sure the villagers will force bitter truth- that I was no longer alive - down their throats.   
But I was wrong. Just like parents, the entire village had gone insane.
They wanted me to see what they see. They wanted me to hear what they hear. They wanted to smell what they wanted to smell.  They wanted me to believe what they believe. They hugged my parents. They hugged the girl that supposed to me.
Watching my parents and the people in my village jumping with joy was like watching a bandwagon of madness.  I cannot make sense of the chaos that surrounded me.   
I thought our church priest Father Danny Fratine will bring calm to the chaos that was taking place in my village...I thought Father Danny Frantine will bring  sanity to the madness that had erupted in our village. But he did not.  Instead, he joined the bandwagon of madness.
In his mass, the good old Father said: “God works in the most mysterious way. God had brought back Sophia to us. What God have done here is a miracle and we should always be grateful to God for this miracle.”

 *****
Two years passed. Initially I was furious that my parents and the people in my village had easily replaced me with a girl that my father found roaming in the streets. I did not want to be replaced. I did not want my identity to be taken away. I wanted them to mourn for me. I wanted them to remember me, forever.
But, now, I am no longer furious. I have learned to rationalize their madness. I have learned to rationalize the chaos that surrounded my life. I am looking at my parents and the people in my village with the eyes of sadness than with the eyes of anger.
They came from a village where nothing bad really happen. They are simple folks. They are not trained to handle my kind of tragedy. My tragedy had broken them. My tragedy had pushed them into the world of madness.
They were tired of living in sadness. They wanted happiness. They wanted hope. They wanted me to be alive. They wanted my tragedy to have a happy ending.  Madness is necessary when you cannot handle the truth.

The End


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Born To Be Mothers

I am posting another short story... Enjoy reading it ...



Born To Be Mothers By Bissme S         

My mother could have gone to the police to get me back. My mother could have gone to the courts to fight for my custody. But my mother did not do any of these. My mother packed her bags and left town. I never saw my mother again.

******
Years later, when I was an adult, I asked my grandmother why she took me away from my mother.

"The moment I got married, I wanted to be a mother," said my grandmother.
"But I could not conceive. The doctors could not figure out what is wrong with me. I prayed so hard to have a child.
“Finally, after many years, God answered my prayers. God gave me a child I wanted so badly. Your mother is my only child and I love my daughter with all my heart.
“But my daughter is not fit to look after you.  Some women are not born to be mothers."

That was the only answer that my grandmother was willing to give. Nothing more, nothing less.  

*******
I was not the only one who lost my mother. My brother, Maurice, was 15 when this incident took place in our lives. My brother has not forgiven our grandmother for snatching us away from our mother.

“I hope you rot in hell when you die,” he shouted at my grandmother. 

A year later my brother run away from the house. My brother left behind a letter. He wrote: "Every son needs his mother. I am going to find my mother. I am destined to be with my mother.”

My brother didn’t get far. The authorities found my brother and forcefully dragged him to my grandmother.

“Nothing will stop me from searching my mother," my brother shouted.
 "You cannot keep us apart forever. I belong to her."

*****
The moment my brother came to an age where he needed no more guardian, the first thing he did was to leave my grandmother’s house.

"Please, do not find your mother," said my grandmother who was literarily on the floor begging my brother to change his mind
"She will only ruin you," my grandmother added.  

Nothing my grandmother said could change his mind.  His only mission in life was to find the woman we called mother. My brother was obsessed with our mother.

*****
The night before my brother left my grandmother's house, my brother came into my room.

“I will find our mother where ever she is,” my brother said to me.
"Once I find our mother, I will come and get you. Then all of us - mother, you and I will live in one house like one big happy family."

I was a kid, then. I was hardly six. Innocently, I asked: "What will happen to our grandmother?"
Angrily, my brother answered:"That heartless monster has no place in my heart and in my house."

*****
A year later, I received a letter from my brother. He had successfully tracked down our mother. She had a house in some rural place, far from the madding crowd.
He also sent me a picture of him with our mother. My brother was holding a cat on his lap. The cat was my mother's pet. My mother named the cat, Samson. Happiness was written all over my brother's face.
My mother was standing a few feet away from my brother. Oddly enough, my mother was not smiling. Her eyes give me the impression that she did not want to be found...She wants to remain lost forever. 

*****
Eight months later, my brother was waiting for me, outside my school. I had a high hopes that I would see my mother, too. But my hope was dashed.
One morning, my brother woke up and he could not find our mother anywhere around the house. Her clothes were no longer in the cupboard.  Our mother had disappeared again. Our mother did not left any goodbye letter.

"What happened to Samson, the cat?"  I asked
"Our mother has taken Samson with her," my brother answered
"Our mother has taken Samson but had abandoned us, again. Samson is very lucky, don't you think so?" I said

Sadness and disappointment were written all over my face.

My brother hugged me and said:"You must understand that it is not our mother's fault. She became a widow at very young age. She loved our dad very much. Coping with our father's death was not easy for her. 
“It is our grandmother's fault that our mother is no longer in our lives, anymore. Our grandmother had brainwashed our mother to think that she is not fit to look after us... She is not fit to be our mother. 
“That is the reason our mother had ran away from us...That is the reason our mother has not come to see us. Our mother believes staying away from us was best thing that she can do for us.
“I will find our mother where ever she is.  I will make our mother understand that her place is with us... With her children...We deserved to be together like one big happy family."

I learned love and hate have the power to make you irrational. In my brother's eyes, our mother would always be a goddess who can do no wrong and our grandmother would always be the devil who brought us misery.

*****
“Our grandmother wants to bury the truth. But the truth cannot be buried forever. One day, you will learn about the truth."

My brother was drunk when he uttered those words to me. We had just celebrated our birthdays in his apartment. Our birthday falls on the same day. I had turned 21 and my brother was 36. My brother had consumed too much liquor. My brother had tears streaming from his eyes. My brother was shaking in fear.

Before I could asked him any questions, my brother continue to say: "Please do not ask me what the truth is. The truth is not important. The truth is irrelevant.
“But what is important is when you learn about the truth, you must not hate your mother. Every child must realise his mother is not perfect. “Promise me, you will not hate our mother. Promise me, you will love our mother till our last breath...." 

Naively, I made a promise that I could not keep.

*****
My brother had found my mother, again. My mother had joined a religious monastery, somewhere in Thailand. My mother had refused to see my brother.  He built a small tent outside the monastery.

"I will stay at the monastery's doorstep till she sees me," he wrote.
"My desire to see my mother is stronger than her desire to shut me out of her life. I will bring our mother back to us. Mother, you and me - we are meant to be together like one happy family."

But you can never stay awake forever. One night when my brother was sleeping, my mother quietly slipped out from the monastery.  This time we are not the only ones who got abandoned.
Samson – my mother’s cat- got abandoned, too. When my brother woke up, he found Samson, sleeping next to him. My mother did not leave any goodbye letter. My mother was never to be found again.

*****  
The day that my brother feared most had arrived...The day where the truth cannot be buried anymore...The day where I will learn about the truth. 
My grandmother had spent her whole life keeping me in the dark why she took my brother and me away from our mother. Then one day, out of the blue, my grandmother finally told me the whole truth.
Of course, my grandmother did not do it willingly. My grandmother was not aware of her action.  My grandmother had become old, ill and forgetful. My grandmother thought that she was taking to a priest, not her grandson.

My grandmother said:"I didn't want to hurt my daughter. But I had no choice. I had to take away her children from her. I did the right thing. Didn't I, Father? God would forgive me, won't he, Father?"

I pretended to be a priest and kissed my grandmother's forehead and said" Of course, my child, you did the right thing. There is nothing to forgive."

My grandmother just hugged me and cried her eyes out.  After my grandmother's confession, everything finally makes sense. I could understand my brother's obsession for my mother... I could understand why my mother did not want to see me... I could understand why my mother was not happy when my brother had found her... I could understand why my mother had stayed away from our lives ... I could understand our grandmother took us away from our mother. Everything finally makes sense. 

*****
A week after my grandmother told me the truth, my grandmother passed away. My brother showed up at her funeral. My brother had tears in his eyes. He hugged me and I did not hug him back. I just stood still like a lifeless mannequin. From my body language,  y brother  knew that the truth has finally reached my ears .

"You promise that you will not hate our mother ... You promise that you would love our mother till your last breath," he said.
"Some promises are meant to be broken and some women are not born to be mothers," I said. 

That was the last time I saw my brother. I sold our family house. I did not want to have any connection with my past. I want to forget that I have a brother.... I want to forget that I have a mother...I want to forget that I existed.

******

Ten years has passed since my grandmother's funeral. To a certain degree, I had made some peace with the truth. And now, I am ready to tell you the truth that my grandmother had told me ... the truth that was buried in my heart... the truth that has been torturing me for years.

The man I believed to be my father is not my father.  My brother and I did not share the same father. The man I believe to be my father died in car crash long before I was born

My mother had loved the man I believe to be my father with all her heart and she could not accept the fact he was no longer in her life. My mother was depressed. My mother had lost the will to live.

My brother, who was only 13, had become my mother’s pillar strength during her terrible moments.  My brother feed her. My brother clothed her.  My brother made her laugh. My brother made her smile. My brother was a father to my mother. My brother was a mother to my mother. My brother was a clown to my mother. 
But my mother wanted more. We often forget that mothers are women with desires. My mother did not want to wake up to an empty bed... My mother was tired of sleeping alone... My mother wanted someone to hug her... My mother wanted someone to kiss her passionately... My mother wanted someone to whisper words of love into her ears.....My mother wanted to be desired.
So, my mother seduced my brother. My mother turned my brother into her lover. They became sinful lovers. I was born out of their love. My brother was only 15 when he became my father.
My mother told the world lies that a man had seduced her and made her believe that he would take care of her. But once she got pregnant, he abandoned her.... He just disappeared into a thin air and could not be found anywhere. Everyone believes her lies.
My mother was extremely happy. My mother had a man to love her. My mother had a child in her arms, to love. Life was a paradise for my mother

"All my life, all I ever wanted was to love and be loved," said my mother.

Problem arises in her paradise when my grandmother showed up at her door steps. My grandmother wanted to see her new born grandson.
  
 "You have just given birth. You need to rest. You need someone to look after you and the children," my grandmother insisted on extending her visit. 

And one day, my grandmother caught my mother and my brother, totally naked, in each other's arms. It didn't take long for my grandmother to guess that I, her new born grandchild was a product of incest. All hell broke loose.

 "How could you do this your own son...How could you make your son to be your lover... How you could make your son to be the father of your child.... Have you gone mad? You are not a mother... You are a monster," My grandmother shouted.

Immediately, my grandmother took my brother and me away from my mother.

“If you go to the police or court to get back your sons, I will tell the whole world what you did to your son," my grandmother said.
 “You will spend the rest of your life in prison. If you have any shame of what you did, you will just disappear from our lives. You will never see us again. Go somewhere far from us. Leave us in peace ... Leave us in peace....Leave us in peace...."

And that is what my mother did.

 *****
When I first heard the truth, I was angry beyond words. Over the years, I have become less angry.  I learn to be compassionate. I put myself into their shoes and tried to see the world through their eyes.

I learned that loneliness and sadness can drive people to do the most insane things. My mother was lonely. My mother was sad. It is not easy losing someone you loved with all your heart ...It is not easy to be a widow at a young age.

 As for my brother, he was young, naive and was desperately making sense of the chaos that enveloped his life – the death of his father, a mother who clings on him for everything and becoming my father at the age 15. Indeed, life must have been difficult for my brother.      
 
Yet I pray that our path should never cross. I believe there should be a distance between my mother and me...A distance between my brother and me.  No matter how hard I try to justify their actions, I am not ready to forgive them.  I have not mastered the art of forgiveness. Sometimes, dying is easier than forgiving.


The End