Tuesday, November 22, 2016

SHE

Year 2016 is coming to end. One of the best thing happened to me is one of my short stories She from my book Bitter  has been turned into a short film. Thank you James Lee for liking my short story and turning it into a short film. And big thank you to the actors for giving a very emotional performances. I am sharing some of the stills from She 







If you want to watch the video of this short film you can do so as below 







Thursday, August 4, 2016

All About My Mother

I am highlighting a short story from my book 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. 

*****
“Nobody loves her the way I love her. My love will bring her back,” my father said. 
My father worshipped 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. 

*****
Twenty years have passed. My mother has not returned home. The doctors have found cancer in my father. His days on earth are numbered. My father said: “I want to die in the arms of your mother, the woman I love. I must pray harder so God will fulfil my last wish.” 
All of our friends and relatives had given up hope that my mother will return home. Not my father. 
“I have faith in God,” he said. 
“God is not cruel. God will not let me die with a broken heart.” 
Out of the blue, to everyone surprise, my father’s prayers were answered. My mother was standing in front of our house door, with her two suitcases. My mother had tears of regret.She begged for forgiveness. My father did not waste any time. He immediately hugged the woman he loves with all his heart. He said: “I forgive you. The past is the past. Do not talk about the past. Let us start a fresh life with a clean slate.” 
My father’s dream came true. Thirteen months later, my father died in the arms of the woman he loves. Before dying, my father said to me: “I told you that God is not cruel...God is great...God performed a miracle...God did not let me die with a broken heart.” 
But God was cruel. God was not great.God did not perform any miracles. God did absolutely nothing. God is just stood there like some useless statue and silently watched my father in misery.  
I went to see my mother. “I want to hire you.” 
That was my first sentence to my mother who I had not seen for two decades. She was still a prostitute and a proud owner of a brothel.  
I told my mother about my father’s illness. I said: “His last wish is to die in your arms. I want to hire you to play the good wife to my father. Make my father a happy man before he dies.”
“I can only love a man if I get paid and my services are not cheap,” my mother said. 
“I will pay whatever you want. My father must never know that I hired you. You must convince my father that you came home on your own accord, feeling regret over what you have done,” I said. 
A week later, my mother was in front of the doorstep of our house with her two suitcases. She had tears of regret.... 

******
The money I spent on my mother was worth it. My mother played the part of the good wife brilliantly. She brought back happiness, love and laughter into my father’s life. My father died with a smile on his face. My father did not have a clue that everything my mother did was a charade. 
The moment my father was buried, my mother started packing her suitcases. She was ready to go back to her old life. 
“You are leaving so soon,” I asked.
“My job is done here,” my mother answered. 
I said: “You could stay if you want. I will pay you to be my mother.”
She stared at me for the longest time. She said: “I can play any role my client wants except a mother. I do not think I will make a good mother.”  
I was furious. I was angry. I did not expect my mother would refuse my offer to be my mother. I shouted: “Mother, tell me why you abandoned my father? Why did you choose to abandon your son? Why did you choose the filthy road that you had chosen?”
Calmly, my mother took my hands in hers and gently kissed them. Looking into my eyes, my mother said: “When a girl is born, everyone teaches her to be a good daughter...To be a good wife...To be a good mother. But what if she doesn’t want to be a good daughter? What if she doesn't want to be a good wife? What if she doesn't want to be good mother? What if she doesn't want to be good? Do you think a woman has a choice not to be good?”
I did not have any answer for her.There was long silence between us. Then, slowly, she kissed my cheeks and whispered into my ears: “Not all women want to be good. Some women are born to be a woman with no morals." 
Carrying her suitcases in each hand, my mother slowly walked out of the house. ( To read more grab a copy of Bitter) 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Breakfast in Bed

I am highlighting a short story that is featured in my book 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 man drove 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.”  

*****
My mother did not attend my father’s funeral. She said: “Everyone in the funeral will see me as the culprit who drove your father to take his own life. I cannot stand the idea of everyone staring daggers at me at the funeral. I have done nothing wrong. I am not in love with your father anymore. But society expects me to play the suffering wife and stay with him.No one is going to forgive me because I chose happiness over sadness.” 

*****
At my father’s funeral, my sister stood like a beautiful lifeless statue. Everyone thought my sister was too grief stricken to show any emotion. They never stopped hugging my sister. They never stopped consoling her. In reality, my sister couldn’t wait for the funeral to be over.She whispered into my ears: “Nobody told me that funerals can be so boring. Remind me never to attend another funeral again.” 

*****
A year after my father’s funeral, my sister had her first art exhibition. One of the paintings that she displayed was of our dad hanging from the ceiling. She had titled the horrible painting Breakfast in Bed. The darkness and the bleakness in the painting grabbed everyone’s attention. Breakfast in Bed brought fame and fortune to my sister.
 In a television interview, my sister told the reporter: “Breakfast in Bed is based on a true experience. A daughter wanted to surprise her father by serving him breakfast in bed. But when she entered the room, she found that he had hanged himself. Out of sadness, the tray that was in her hand had fallen on the floor. The daughter is not in the painting. But if you notice carefully, you will see the fallen tray in the painting.”
The reporter asked: “Is this story based on your experience?” 
My sister chose not to answer him and instead gave the reporter a sheepish smile. 

*****
My mother no longer wants to stay in this country. 
“This place has too many bad memories for me,” my mother said. 
My mother and her young lover moved to Bali where they run a small motel near a beach. 
“Maybe I will paint again,” my mother said. 
“Your sister is not the only artist in the family. I was an artist, too. Your father was a difficult man to please and being his wife kept me very busy. I did not have time to pursue my passion for painting. Now, I have all the time to pursue whatever my heart desires.” 
My mother was on a creativity roller coaster, churning out one painting after another. But all her paintings had one thing in common. Her young lover was in every one of them. Her young lover without clothes on...Her young lover with his clothes on...Her young lover taking a shower... Her young lover reading a book... Her young lover eating....
“You are obsessed with him,” I said.   
My mother answered: “I do not have obsession for him. I have an obsession for love. He taught me what love is.”  

*****
I was a tortured soul. The image of my father hanging from the ceiling haunted me.I had a hard time digesting that my mother and my sister felt no sadness over my father’s death. 
I have been seeing a psychiatrist over my depression. I told the psychiatrist everything about my life, including the fact that my sister calmly painted my dad hanging from ceiling. There was shocked look on the face of the psychiatrist. 
“Maybe you should ask your sister to join in our sessions,” my psychiatrist suggested.
“I do not think she will do it,” I said. 
“You have not asked her. You cannot make assumptions. Just ask her,” my psychiatrist said. 
I did what my psychiatrist wanted.And I was surprised that my sister agreed to take part in the session without any hesitation.  
“I do whatever it takes to make you happy,” she said. 
“Your happiness is my happiness,” she added with a sweet smile. 
In the session, the psychiatrist brought up the subject of my sister painting my father hanging from the ceiling. Laughing loudly, my sister said: “Do you really believe I will be that heartless to draw my father hanging from the ceiling? Doctor, I have one word of advice. You have to take whatever Malena says with a pinch of salt. Malena has an active imagination.”
My sister has a way of making people believe what she wants them to believe and my psychiatrist was no different. My psychiatrist ended up saying: “I will give Malena something to stop her from having more hallucinations.”

******
My heart could not take my misery any more. One night, I walked towards the ocean. I took off all my clothes and folded them neatly. I placed my clothes on the sand. Naked, I walked into the ocean.When I opened my eyes, I was hoping to see my father. But I did not see my father anywhere. I was in a hospital. I had been saved from drowning and now, I had been committed in a psychiatric ward. 
My psychiatrist said: “You tried to kill yourself. Do not worry. We will rescue you from your madness.”

*****
My first visitor in the psychiatrist ward was my mother, who had flew all the way from Bali. My mother said: “I have done a painting about us.I will hang it on your wall. It will add colour to your room.”
The painting had my mother and me sitting on the beach, enjoying a sunset.My mother’s young lover was in the painting, too. He was sitting between my mother and me. My mother said: “I could not leave him out. He taught me what love is.”
The next day the painting was no longer on the wall.
My mother said: “How could a painting just disappear into thin air?” 
My mother was certain that one of the patients from the hospital had stolen the painting. 
She said: “I will find the painting at all cost. Nobody steals from me.”  
My mother never found the painting. The painting did not disappear into thin air. The painting had not been stolen. The painting is in my stomach. I tore the painting into a thousand pieces and I ate every piece of it. 
 To read more get my book Bitter 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Born to Laugh




I am highlighting a short story that is featured in my book Bitter. Get a copy at your nearest book stores 


Story 2 
Title: 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. 

*****
I am envious whenever I hear the sound of laughter.  They do not know how lucky they are because they are able to laugh.  Once I was eating at a restaurant, I could hear laughter from the table next to mine.  The people who were laughing were a married couple celebrating their fifth marriage anniversary. Before leaving the restaurant, I approached the couple in love and said: “Never take your laughter for granted. Cherish your laughter. You will never know when God decides to be cruel and snatch away your laughter.”
The couple was stunned and had no idea how to react to what I had said. Slowly, I walked out from the restaurant. 

*****
Am I the only person in the world who cannot laugh anymore? Are there others like me? I wondered. Years later, I met someone who also was unable to laugh anymore. Never in a millions years did I imagine that someone would be my own daughter.  
She loves to laugh. Like me, the moment she had a child, laughter disappeared from her life. Motherhood had robbed her laughter. Her life has become a carbon copy of my life. 

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

My granddaughter was only 10 when she asked my daughter this question. Hugging my granddaughter close to her heart, my daughter said: “Some people are born not to laugh.” 
My daughter lied. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

All About My Mother


Today I am highlighting a snippet of a short story that is featured in my book. 


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 worshipped 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. 

*****
Twenty years have passed. My mother has not returned home. The doctors have found cancer in my father. His days on earth are numbered. My father said: “I want to die in the arms of your mother, the woman I love. I must pray harder so God will fulfil my last wish.” 
All of our friends and relatives had given up hope that my mother will return home. Not my father. 
“I have faith in God,” he said. 
“God is not cruel. God will not let me die with a broken heart.” 
Out of the blue, to everyone surprise, my father’s prayers were answered. My mother was standing in front of our house door, with her two suitcases. My mother had tears of regret.She begged for forgiveness. My father did not waste any time. He immediately hugged the woman he loves with all his heart. He said: “I forgive you. The past is the past. Do not talk about the past. Let us start a fresh life with a clean slate.” 
My father’s dream came true. Thirteen months later, my father died in the arms of the woman he loves. Before dying, my father said to me: “I told you that God is not cruel...God is great...God performed a miracle...God did not let me die with a broken heart.” 
But God was cruel. God was not great.God did not perform any miracles. God did absolutely nothing. God is just stood there like some useless statue and silently watched my father in misery.  
I went to see my mother. “I want to hire you.” 
That was my first sentence to my mother who I had not seen for two decades. She was still a prostitute and a proud owner of a brothel.  
I told my mother about my father’s illness. I said: “His last wish is to die in your arms. I want to hire you to play the good wife to my father. Make my father a happy man before he dies.”
“I can only love a man if I get paid and my services are not cheap,” my mother said. 
“I will pay whatever you want. My father must never know that I hired you. You must convince my father that you came home on your own accord, feeling regret over what you have done,” I said. 
A week later, my mother was in front of the doorstep of our house with her two suitcases. She had tears of regret.... 

******
The money I spent on my mother was worth it. My mother played the part of the good wife brilliantly. She brought back happiness, love and laughter into my father’s life. My father died with a smile on his face. My father did not have a clue that everything my mother did was a charade. 
The moment my father was buried, my mother started packing her suitcases. She was ready to go back to her old life. 
“You are leaving so soon,” I asked.
“My job is done here,” my mother answered. 
I said: “You could stay if you want. I will pay you to be my mother.”
She stared at me for the longest time. She said: “I can play any role my client wants except a mother. I do not think I will make a good mother.”  
I was furious. I was angry. I did not expect my mother would refuse my offer to be my mother. I shouted: “Mother, tell me why you abandoned my father? Why did you choose to abandon your son? Why did you choose the filthy road that you had chosen?”
Calmly, my mother took my hands in hers and gently kissed them. Looking into my eyes, my mother said: “When a girl is born, everyone teaches her to be a good daughter...To be a good wife...To be a good mother. But what if she doesn’t want to be a good daughter? What if she doesn't want to be a good wife? What if she doesn't want to be good mother? What if she doesn't want to be good? Do you think a woman has a choice not to be good?”
I did not have any answer for her.There was long silence between us. Then, slowly, she kissed my cheeks and whispered into my ears: “Not all women want to be good. Some women are born to be a woman with no morals." 
Carrying her suitcases in each hand, my mother slowly walked out of the house. I never saw my mother again. ( To read more Get a copy of Bitter) 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Kosmo Coverage

Recently the Kosmo newspaper covered me and my book. Below is the article that published 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Ugly Truth About Beauty



I am highlighting a short story from my book Bitter that features a collection of my short stories


Title: 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.”

*****

My daughter was not always ugly. When she was born, she was the most beautiful baby I had seen. She looked like an angel that had fallen from the sky.
“She will grow up to be a heart breaker,” said a nurse with a huge smile.
Everyone was in awe of her beauty. But I was insanely jealous of my daughter. I used to be the centre of attention. Everyone used to rave about my beauty.
Since my daughter came along, fewer people were paying attention to me. My daughter had stolen the limelight from me. Her beauty was giving me sleepless nights. It was simply impossible for two beautiful women to stay under one roof.  One of us has to be ugly. 

*****

I have no desire to kill my daughter. I love my daughter very much. I can’t imagine my life without my daughter.  I just do not want my daughter to be more beautiful than me. I was looking at ways to make my daughter ugly. I found the answer in my husband. He was a well-known cosmetic surgeon. He
has made beauties out of monsters. 
I said to him: “You can turn ugly to beautiful. Can you turn beautiful to ugly?”
Laughingly, my husband asked: “But who wants to be ugly?”  
Without a trace of emotion, I answered: “Our daughter. I want you to make her

look ugly.”
There was a shocked look on my husband’s face. My husband was madly in love with me. My husband would do anything to make me happy.  I have my husband under my thumb.
 I said: “If you do not do what I tell you, I will kill myself. I cannot have a daughter that is more beautiful than me.”  
I pushed my husband into a corner. My husband had no choice but to fulfil what my heart desired. Every morning, my husband injected my daughter with some kind of serum. 

The older my daughter got, the less beautiful she became. My daughter was no longer my competition.  Finally, I could sleep peacefully.