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) 

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