Sunday, February 8, 2015

More on Bitter



My Book Bitter is currently selling at Pesta Buku Selangor that is taking place in Shah Alam Convention Centre. Bitter features 13 stories from me and I am highlighting few snippets from my short stories. Enjoy. 

1) All About My Mother 
By Bissme S

“You are too beautiful to belong to one man.
You should become a prostitute.”

The first time I heard those words, I was only thirteen.I was having a dinner with my parents in a restaurant. A tall man in a blue jacket sat at the table next to us.The tall man in the blue jacket had been staring at my mother from the moment we entered the restaurant. When we finished our dinner, the tall man in the blue jacket stood up and approached our table. Looking at my mother, he said: “You are too beautiful to belong to one man. You should become a prostitute.”
There was complete silence at our table. None of us knew what to say to him. We just stared at him.The man in the blue jacket had big smile on his face. 
Slowly, he turned around and walked out of the restaurant, laughing loudly.
After the strange incident in the restaurant, our lives were never the same again. My mother stopped being a wife. My mother stopped being a mother. My mother abandoned us. My mother became a prostitute.
****

“Nobody loves her the way I love her. My love will bring her back,” my father said.
My father worshiped the ground that my mother walked on. My father said: “She was my first love and I was her first love. Nobody forgets their first love. Your mother will come home. She will become a better mother to you and a better wife to me.”
My father became a religious man. Every day, he begged the son of God to bring back the woman he loves into his life again. In the past,my father believed all religions was manmade.
“Jesus is Santa Claus for adults,” he used to say.
He loved making fun of God, Jesus and religious people in general.
Not anymore. He said: “God has been kind to me. God blessed my life with so much happiness and love. But I was ungrateful. I abandoned
God. I made jokes out of him. And God punished me. God made my wife abandon me. God wanted me to feel the pain that God felt when I abandoned Him.But now I am repenting my sins. One day, God will forgive me. God will make your mother stand in front of our doorstep with her two suitcases, begging for forgiveness.I will forgive her the same way God had forgiven me. We will be one happy family again.”
My father has no doubt that God will give him a happy ending. As for me, I am totally convinced that God is obsessed with sad endings... ( to know more a grab a copy of Bitter) 
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2) The Woman I Love 
By Bissme S

“Why did you kill her?” I asked.
“Because I want our love story to have a happy ending,” Malena
answered.
Slowly, Malena walked towards me and kissed me passionately.
Malena unbuttoned my shirt and kissed my chest. Malena unbuckled my belt and put her hands into my pants. I melted. Soon, we were on the floor fucking each other’s brains out, in front of a dead body.
Exhausted, I slept off on the floor where we had made love. When I woke up the next morning, the body was missing. Malena entered the room with two coffee mugs in her hands.
Placing one of the mugs in my hand, Malena said:”Drink up your coffee before it becomes cold.”
“What happened to....” but before I could finish my sentence,
Malena answered: “I have taken care of everything while you were sleeping. All you need to do is to make a police report.”
Like Malena had instructed, I went to the police station. I told
them that my wife was missing and I could not find her anywhere.

*****
A few days later, a letter arrived for me. It was from my wife. She no longer loves me...Our marriage was making her miserable…She felt like a bird in a cage that was crying for freedom…She had found a man who brought joy into her miserable life…She wants to spend the rest of her life in his arms.
My wife wrote: “Forget that I existed in your life. Forget that our marriage existed. When I married you, I really believed you will be the first and last man that I loved. Perhaps we are not meant to love one person for the rest of our lives.”
I showed the letter to the police. I showed it to my friends and to her friends. To my relatives and to hers as well.
“My wife is not missing,” I said.
“She had abandoned me.”
They believed the lie that was written in the letter. My wife did
not write a single word in the letter. It was Malena who composed the letter. ( To know more about the story Grab a copy of Bitter)
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3) Bitter 
By Bissme S

The first time I saw him was at the cafe that my parents run. It
was raining cats and dogs. A photographer from a big city, he was cold, hungry and looking for some warm food to eat. He told us he wanted to shoot our small beautiful village. He wanted to featurethese 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 guestroom to the stranger. But my parents soon learned a bitter lesson that kindness is not always rewarded with kindness.

****
Four days later, the stranger disappeared. But he did not leave
our house empty-handed. The stranger abducted me. My mother screamed when she learned that I was missing. The doctor had to give her a sedative to calm her down. My mother spent her days in bed, feeling dizzy and depressed. My father had a high hopes my tragedy would have a happy ending – that I would be found and he would soon 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 13 when my life ended tragically. I have become a
ghost, wandering in the house that I grew up in and hanging around my parents who love me with all their heart.
My parents cannot see me. My parents cannot hear me. But I
can see their agony. I can hear their cries of misery. I can 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 burytheir child – the pain can be unbearable.”
My mother had lost faith in God. She stopped going to church.
Our regular priest, Father Danny Fratine, visited our home. He
wanted to convince my mother to return to the 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
burns 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 woman who constantly cursed
God and anyone who loved 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’s. 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, he would have sold her to some brothel. He is not heartless to kill my sweet Malena.”
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 dining 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.... ( to know more grab a copy of Bitter) 
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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Bitter at Pesta Buku Selangor 2015



My new book Bitter that features a collection of my stories is currently selling at Pesta Buku Selangor till this weekend. I am highlighting a few snippets from my short stories  that  is featured in  Bitter


1)The Ugly Truth about Beauty

My daughter was convinced that I was not her mother. She said: “The doctors and the nurses have given you the wrong baby. I will correct the mistake they had done. I will make sure you get back your daughter and I will finally meet my mother.”
My daughter carried an extensive investigation on the hospital where I had delivered her. But her investigation revealed that on the day she was born, there was only one woman who had given birth. The woman was me and the baby was her. There could not have been any mix up. She was utterly disappointed with the end result. She was in tears.
She said: “How could a beautiful swan like you give birth to an ugly duckling like me? God is playing a sick joke on us.”
I hugged her. But my daughter could not stop crying.
I said: “Looks have never mattered to me. I love you from the moment you were born. I have always wanted to be a mother. But I could not become one. The doctor could not figure out what was wrong with me. The doctors had given up. I prayed for a miracle. God had listened to my prayers. I became pregnant. You came into my life. You have brought so much joy to my life. ”

My daughter answered: “Looks may not matter to you, mother. But the world will never let us to forget that you are beautiful and I am ugly.”.... To read more  Grab a copy of Bitter 


2) Born To Laugh

“Mother, I never see you laugh. Why is that?”

My daughter was 10 when she asked me this question. Kissing
my daughter’s forehead, I answered: “Some people are born not to laugh.”
I lied. In the past, I loved to laugh. Even the lamest joke could
make me laugh my head off. I have always been attracted to men who can make me laugh. I got married to a stand-up comedian. I laughed the loudest at his jokes.
The moment my daughter was born, laughter just disappeared from my life. Motherhood has robbed me of my laughter. I could not give any rational explanation for the loss of laughter in me. No matter how hard I try, I could not bring myself to laugh. I could not even fake a laugh. I find nothing funny anymore.
My husband said: “Your laughter was vibrant and full of life. I love the sound of your laughter. Why have you stopped laughing? I am the most unluckiest comedian alive. I can make the whole world laugh but not my wife.”
I did not have any answers for him. I could only stare at my
husband blankly. Out of frustration, one night, my husband walked towards the ocean. He took off his clothes and walked into the sea.
He left behind a suicide letter. All he wrote:” I do not want to be the unluckiest comedian alive anymore.”
I never told my daughter the truth behind her father’s death. I cannot have my daughter hating me for driving the man she loved and called father to death. I told her that her father had drowned.
“It was unfortunate accident,” I lied.
My daughter believed every word I told her. My daughter should have known that there are some mothers you cannot trust. ( To read more, grab a copy of Bitter) 


3) My Government, My Enemy 

I am taking my government to court. I want my government to lift the ban preventing me from marrying the man I love.
“What do you hope to achieve from this trial?” my mother asked.
I answered: “I want justice. I want to have the freedom to marry whoever my heart desires. I want my love story to have a happy ending.”
Laughing sarcastically, my mother said: “You will not get a fair trial in this country. The government has the judges in their pockets. The judges will do whatever the government wants them to do. You cannot have the government as your enemy. Some love stories are not meant to have a happy ending.” ( To read more, grab a copy of Bitter) 


4)  Mothers & Crocodiles 

I accidentally killed a stranger. In panic, I chucked the dead body in the boot of my car. Once I reached home, I told my mother what had happened. Furious, my mother shouted: “Some women shouldn’t be behind the wheels. I will clean the mess that you have created.”
My mother cut the dead body that I brought home into tiny
pieces and fed them to the crocodiles. My mother and I have been running a crocodile farm ever since my father died 10 years ago.
“Nobody will ever find the body,” my mother said.

****
A few days later, on television, I saw on old woman speaking to a reporter about her missing daughter. The old woman was waving the photo of her missing daughter. I took one look at the photo and knew straightaway that the stranger I had killed was her daughter, Malena.

****
Ever since the crocodiles ate Malena, they have not been the
same. The crocodiles refused to touch their food. All the meat I had given them rots in the pond. The crocodiles had become more ferocious, more savage and more restless. The colour of their eyes had also changed. The colour of their eyes began to resemble Malena’s.

****

I became obsessed with the woman I had killed. I wanted to know everything about Malena. I read everything that was that written about her.
“Malena is a vegetarian and her favourite vegetable is cauliflower,” her mother said in one of the interviews.
My instinct told me that I should buy several dozens of cauliflowers and throw them into the crocodile’s pond. I followed my instincts.
I could not believe what I was seeing in front of my eyes. The
crocodiles were rushing to eat the cauliflower. These crocodiles chose cauliflowers over red meat. These crocodiles had become vegetarian.
I have no doubt that the soul of the woman I had killed was living inside these crocodiles. ( to read more grab a copy of Bitter) 

Promoting Bitter



Bitter, my new book under Merpati Jingga features a collection of  my stories. My publisher, Faisal Mustaffa informs me that Bitter 
is currently selling  at the Pesta Buku Selangor at Pusat 
Konvensyen SACC Shah Alam, Selangor Malaysia from now till Feb 8 ( this weekend)... To promote my book, I will be showcasing a snippet from one of the stories that is featured in Bitter. 


All About My Mother 
By Bissme S

“You are too beautiful to belong to one man.You should become a  prostitute.”

The first time I heard those words, I was only thirteen.I was  having a dinner with my parents in a restaurant. A tall man in a blue jacket sat at the table next to us.The tall man in the blue jacket had been staring at my mother from the moment we entered the restaurant. 
When we finished our dinner, the tall man in the blue jacket stood up and approached our table. Looking at my mother, he said: “You are too beautiful to belong to one man. You should become a prostitute.”
There was complete silence at our table. None of us knew what to say to him. We just stared at him.
The man in the blue jacket had big smile on his face. Slowly, he
turned around and walked out of the restaurant, laughing loudly.
After the strange incident in the restaurant, our lives were never the same again. My mother stopped being a wife. My mother stopped being a mother. My mother abandoned us. My mother became a prostitute....... to read more, grab a copy of Bitter 

Monday, February 2, 2015

25 Quotes From Bitter




My publisher Merpati Jingga has done their job - publishing my book, Bitter. Now it is my job to promote the book Bitter. So I am highlighting 25 quotes from my book Bitter. Currently, my book Bitter is selling at Pesta Buku Selangor, till February 8. Grab a copy of Bitter at Rm 21. Enjoy these quotes.  

1) We are not meant to love one person for the rest of our lives.

2) It is not every day you get a chance to paint a man who hanged himself.

3) Some people will see what I have done as cruel and utterly mad.But most people don’t understand that every great art must have a touch of cruelty and madness.

4) Tragedies have shaped some of the best artists in
the world. You should make good use of your tragedy.

5) I was depressed. I missed my husband. I missed my friends. I
wanted to kill myself. But killing yourself is not easy. You need tremendous strength to end your life

6) Give a man a fish and you will feed him a day but give him religion and he will starve to death while praying for a fish

7) Save your tears, Madam. This is only the beginning of your tragedy. You have more tears to shed.

8) She should understand nobody should be put on the pedestal of perfection. Not even God.

9) You are too beautiful to belong to one man. You should become a prostitute.

10) I learned that there are some enemies you cannot defeat in fairness. You have to stab their back

11) When you have no friends, you must have books to keep you company.

12) Never underestimate anyone. Everyone has the potential to be a vicious murderer, including your own mother.

13) I always tell the truth even when I lie.

14) Why are you so obsessed with the truth? My darling, the truth is overrated. The truth is not important

15) Slowly, I was beginning to hate the woman I love. What do you do when you hate the woman you love?

16) It is a job of every son to make his father happy.

17) I told you that the Devil will not let us down.

18) I should have known there are some mothers you cannot trust.

19) My parents soon learned a bitter lesson that kindness is not always rewarded with kindness.

20) God is my enemy. If you love God, then you are my enemy, too. And my enemies are not welcome in my house.

21) They saw what they wanted to see. They heard what they wanted to hear. They smelt what they wanted to smell. They believed what they wanted to believe. The bitter truth was not important to them.

22) Madness is necessary when you cannot handle the truth.

23) We could have been happy. Why did you choose sadness?

24) Sometimes, to be truly happy, one needs to be a little selfish.

25) She taught me what love is. After her, I cannot bring myself to love anyone else. Love begins and ends with her.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

BITTER



Bitter, my new book publish under Merpati Jingga features a collection of  my short stories. My publisher, Faisal Mustaffa informs me that Bitter will be a selling  at the Pesta Buku Selangor at Pusat Konvensyen SACC Shah Alam, Selangor Malaysia from Friday January 30 to Feb 8... To promote my book, I will be showcasing a snippet from one of the stories that is featured in Bitter. 

1) Breakfast in Bed 
By Bissme S

My father used every trick in the book to save his marriage, from tears to begging. But he failed miserably. 

“We are not meant to love one person for the rest of our lives,” my mother said. 

Carrying only her handbag, my mother walked out of our house, to a waiting car. The driver of the car was a young man clad in a yellow T-shirt. He was my mother’s new lover. As soon as my mother got into the car, the young mandrove away quickly. My mother did not look back. My father, meanwhile, locked himself in his bedroom. 

I said: “Father, please open the door. In times like this, we should be together. You can always talk to me.” 

My father answered: “For now, I want to be alone in my sadness. I want to grieve in peace.We can talk tomorrow. We can have breakfast together.”

The next morning, I entered my father’s room with a tray of toasted bread, two half boiled eggs and a cup of coffee. I wanted to surprise my father. I wanted my father to have breakfast in bed.

But the tray did not reach my father’s bed. I dropped it on the floor. My father had hanged himself. Tears streamed from my eyes. 

"Do not call the police yet, Malena," my sister said.

My sister took an empty canvas and started painting my dad. 

“It is not every day you get a chance to paint a man who hanged himself,” my sister said.  

I was speechless. I did not know to how to react to what was happening infront of my eyes. My mother has just abandoned my father for her young lover, my father had just killed himself, and my sister was calmly painting him hanging from the ceiling. I felt as if I was in a surrealistic movie which had no head or 
tail.After two hours, my sister had completed her task.

“Now, you can call the police,” she said. 
“Some people will see what I have done as cruel and utterly mad. But most people don’t understand that every great art must have a touch of cruelty and madness.” ......

( To read the rest of the story please get my book Bitter at Pesta Buku Selangor....) 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Dog


I am highlight a story that was featured in my book Doubt published under Merpati Jingga. Doubt is being sold for RM 21.   

Dog  By Bissme S 

"Have you ever eaten dog's food before," she asked him. 
He looked at her strangely and answered: "No. Never." 
"Neither Have I," she added. 
Slowly she got up from her seat and went into the kitchen, In less than ten minutes, she was standing in front of him with a bowl filled with dog food. She ate everything that was inside the bowl and gulped down a glass of wine. 
Then, he asked her :"Have you ever eaten a dog before?" 
She looked at him strangely and answered:"No.never." 
"Neither have I," he added 
He got up from the his seat and left the house. He was gone for hours. When he returned, he had a roasted dog in his hands. 
"I hope you did not kill Rocky," she shouted. 
"Rocky is like a family to us. I will never kill our dog," he said, 
"Then, whose dog is that?" she asked furiously. 
'It is our neighbor's dog," he answered 
She was no longer angry. She smiled. Then, she gave out a huge laughter. She moved closer to him and gave him a passionate kiss.   
"Eat your roasted dog before it becomes cold, darling." she said. 
As he was eating his roasted dog and enjoying his wine , she looked at him and asked him: "Have you ever eaten a human before?" 
He looked at her strangely and said: "No, Never" 
"Neither  have I," she added. 
She got up from her seat and left the house. Holding an axe in her hand, she was heading towards her neighbor house.....

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


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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