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) 

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
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)

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

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) 

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.