Lae Win Kyi (Cho)

Lae Win Kyi (Cho) was born of the parents U Hla Shein (Thadumyae Bone Shein, the writer) and Daw Khin Win Kyi on the 29th of June, 1971 in Kamayut township, Yangon division. Her real name is Cho Mar Win, the 5th daughter of 6 siblings.

She passed her Basic Education High School exam from No.4, State High School, Kamayut and earned a B.A in Geography from Yangon University in 1996 and a Diploma in Statistics in 2000.

Her literary debut is a short story entitled, ‘A Serial smile’, published in ‘Shwe Ahmyute Illustrious Magazine’ in 1999.

The short story, ‘A Serial Smile’ was her first and foremost attempt to be contributed to the magazine and her first printed short story. This is the short story that gives birth to the pen name ‘Lae Win Kyi (Cho)’.

While writing short stories for some magazines, journals, and memoirs, she won a prize for her short story entitled. ‘Theory of the continuation of phenomena’ in the 3rd short story contest of Okkakyaw Company Limited. In the same year, she also won the literary award for her short story entitled ‘The melody of Pollen’ in the literary contest held in honour of the Tenth Anniversary of the Late great writer, Linyon Thit Lwin.

While contributing short stories to the magazines-Shwe ahmyuté, Style Thit, Kalayar, Beauty, Nweni, Yanant Thit, Pephuhlwar, Yokeshin ahmyute, Hsekyawthet, Padauk Nwe, Thaungbyaunghtwelar, Mandalay Icon, April Star, Pan Ahlanka, Teen and Fashion, She won the Best short story Award for 2010 for her short story entitled ‘The Hyacinth among the lavishly grown lotuses’ in the 5th Shweahmyute Literary contest.

After her writing career for ten years, she has written about 100 short stories and has contributed to 7 books of collective short stories as she is very fond of conveying her ideas in the form of short stories in literature.

Her concept is that a short story is the art of unveiling age, system, and the nature of humanity with an objective exploration. She is working with the co-operative department, Lanmadaw Township under the Ministry of co-operative and lives at Building 14/104, Aungmyethasi Housing, Kamayut Township, Yangon Division, contributing to the local magazines.

THE VIEWERS OF THE AGE

BY DRAWING BACK THE CURTAIN OVER IT

Lae Win Kyi (Cho)

I’d like to say that short story is the art of viewing the age, the system, and the nature of the mundane world by drawing back the curtain over it for the one who enjoys reading a short story.

Short story is a literary type that promptly makes thoughts, experiences, feelings, benevolence, and suffering accessible to the reader. What the young readers mostly read is short story. Almost every enthusiastic young reader likes to try out short story-writing. The art of writing a short story is, however, the one that cannot be tried out as it is an outpouring from within oneself. The works of every short story writer are not merely based on fantasies. It is the art that is awakened by varities of places, men, minds, events, and experiences and that is primarily a couception that is later transformed into emotion. A short story gives the reader the feelings of flexibility, attraction, toning down, restraint and exaggeration through the heart of a sculptor. With no subjective outlook, a short story objectively depicts egotism and naturalism of humanity, leaving the reader to work out. It opens our minds and makes us thoughtful. A short story is not to be didactic. Most of the present day short stories become realistic ones  in literature by reflecting miscellany, disarray, subsequent issues of the confliet between socially wholesome and unwholesome activities, and egomania through artistic skills. In writing a short story, the writer gives rounded pictures of the characters through wise and artistic embellishments without parodying. Naming is an art in a short story. The words and behaviors of the characters are not to be or cannot be digressed. The juxtaposition of characters gives us aesthetic flavour.

A short story is not like aphorisms, passages or words that attract the attention of the reader. Short story writing is an art that is created only when one gets inspired. Every short story that is worth writing cannot be said to stir up the reader as the short story writing is a technique. Every story, forcibly sprung from experienced hands relying on their skills, is not kept within the heart of the readers. The readers had no feeling towards them. Only the prototypical role is given to those short stories. Only aesthetic beauty and emotional attraction can take root within the heart of a reader.

Art lies in reality. Honesty encompasses art. Art exists in emotion. When there is a link between those co-existing parts art and honesty; honesty and emotion. There arises an artistry of the writer. The writer never persuasively makes the reader believe in his. Instead, he gives artistic ability that helps the reader to extend their scope beyond the end of the short story. A short story is mainly based on nature and attitudes of humanity and life related issues rather than events or storyline. Sometimes a short story writer never portrays the character and the story even to a lesser extent. He draws the attraction of the reader by touching on the momentary emotion and eventualities.

Here, I tend to say that short story writing is the art of veiling what will occur at the end of the story. By virtue of the artful writing, a short story causes the reader to subsequently ruminate what had happened at the end of the story. The art of a writer does not lie in duration and being experimented, but lies in artistry and seeking the truth. Short stories, based on pseudo feelings and pseudo beliefs under an influence, can be said as poisons though they are not labeled poison.

Grasping at the idea of literary short stories, that keep abreast of the age, play a leading role in current issues, draw the attraction of the reader in suspense, what I want to share is a writer, talented in this art.

I owe much gratitude to prolific men and women writers as I am the one who is very fond of reading short stories. The writers tirelessly swimming across the pages of magazines, are richly endowed with ideals and admirable qualities. The simplest truth for them is that they establish their writer’s life through their blood in artists’ veins. They dare to accept a writer’s life by considering the honorarium for a short story written by a writer for aesthetic flavor as a test of how much he can forbear from his artist’s life. They seek pleasure and idea in acquiring the concluding words of his story or even the whole story that spring from argumentative conflict between the writer’s thought and the creation of characters.

‘Do you have any idea of writing?’

They tiredly said so, taking their completed manuscripts out of their bags burdened with multifarious stuff. I feel pleased to see such women writers as if I have an icy painful heart blood. I haven’t so far heard of those, saying, “I’m going on a trip for the purpose of writing’ as they stay far from their families as led by their own ego. Such cases will not occur in the future because I have realized the mind and strength of the women writers, the creators of aesthetic literature. One of the glories of women writers is the ability to write or contribute the literary works by blending their mundane outlook or thought about life and artistic feeling while doing the washing, taking care of children shouldering the burdeus like the routines of a housewife, maternal and family responsibilities, extracting the literary flavour from within the shopping basket, the duty of helping children go to school and come back home, aesthetics within the kitchen, feelings that spring up from fulfilling the requirements of the husband one will have to reckon with, and the household works like ironing and pounding chilli with mentally burdened breast.

Among such women writers, I would like to cite some paragraphs of a short story by a women writer who quietly sighed when she learned how the children vendors see their lives and what their aims are.

‘After buying from a rather young girl flower vendor for the second time, the girl recognized me as a regular customer. One day she said, “I am going to work as a vocalist next year. I’ve known some vocalists in my neighbourhood. They earn a lot of money. The don’t have to invest anything. So I’m now practicing how to sing. If I get a lot of money from singing, I’ll send my younger sister to university until she graduates. I’ll ask my father not to work any more. I’ll try to be like that, Aunty. Those sisters I said about can spend a lot of money. They often give me clothes and pocket money. But my dad doesn’t like this show biz. But when I grow up later, father will not be able to stop me.” This is an excerpt from the short story subtitled ‘Dailia that never comes to an end.’

The writer simply and clearly mentions the mind of a fragile young plant. How much is the percentage of such aims in life for the survival of young girls in this region or how much will it be? The young girl has already chosen the way that helps them survive in their future by merely saying, “father will not be able to stop me.” The writer, not being a politician, a saviour, a creator, or a social reformer by making speeches, tries to objectively write by carving the outlook of how they feel in the form of an art.

I also want you to taste some excerpts from the short story that strikes and awakens my heart whenever I hear a luseious vibrant sound of a prayer brass gong and a loud reminder of the time to offer almsfood.

‘On sabbath days during the Buddhist lent, it was a happy moment for the children like Mg Chit. All adults as well as young people have to fear U Kyan Tine Aung for his wealth and being an individual donor of the Dhamma Yone, the community hall for religious purposes. Mg Chit dared not raise his eyes. The donors from the middle quarter poured pork dishes into Mg Chit’s bowl. The pork with two layers oil and flesh. Mg Chit felt like giving it to his mother. There was U Kyan Tine Aung, ahead of him, striking the prayer brass gong. He said, “They are involved in going on an almsround not for the purpose of stealing offered dishes. But they haven’t had such dishes for loug. So there is no choice for them. Young people are mentally spoiled. Unless I watched it, the pork dish is going to be snatched in such a moment of offering”. Mg Chit only dared to follow far behind the voice of U Kyan Tine Aung.

When Mg Chit reached the Dhamma Yone, the whole place was silent. The door was slightly ajar. Was gloomy the inside. Mg Chit pulled the door and entered it. Goodness. U Kyan Tine Aung was eating a meal. Though he was a wealthy person, he was using a big almsfood plate, specially used for offering before the Buddha’s image, on which were the best of the Sabbath dishes offered by the whole quarter. What he could do was to stop, brooding.

“I didn’t snatch it like you before others. First, I offered those dishes to the Buddha and then I removed them from the shrine. Only after that I am eating now. Other executives have known that I always eat like that. If you are at odds with what I say, you know who I am.”

Sayama (writer) Yin Yin Nu (Mandalay) skillfully and artistically weaves the image of Mg Chit, bearing a grudge and trading on the earth and the world full of men with superficiality who put the blame for his selfish motives on the age into a short story entitled,  “The story of The Internally spoiled”.

There is another short story I have tasted. Whenever I come across my friends, the primary teachers who are bringing up the children who have fresh and pure hearts that can be easily blemished.

‘A child came and complained that he had lost his compass box. As I’m a children’s teacher, I had to solve the problem.

“All stand up. Fold your arms. Stand still. When I look at your faces, I immediately know where the compass box lies”, I said so, staring at the faces of the children one after another.

I found a face that seems strange to me. His temple was covered with beads of sweat. Tears welled up in his eyes. His folding arms tightened with clammy sweat. His two legs were trembling. His lips quivered as if to say something to me. I turned my face to somewhere else. While I was thinking out a way of getting back the compass box without hurting the child’s feeling, the child spluttered a word. I hurried near him. When I got close to him, he spluttered some words. “Teacher …..my….my….abdomen”. He stopped on the way. He was shedding tears when the smelly, thick, yellowish liquid substances streamed down from his short pants. I grabbed his hand and rushed to the toilet.

We, the reader, do not pay attention to how the young teacher finally found the compass box. In reality, the problem cannot be easily solved by only grabbing the school boy’s hand got him washed at the toilet whenever or how often we see this issue of the relation between teachers and students, adults and youths, parents and children from the aspect of strict and dogmatic rights, decisiveness and responsibilities. By pointing out this fact, Sayama Aye Ayeyar Mon (Maths) created the disarray of natural character of a school teacher in her slightly humoured short story entitled, “We’ve judged this wrong”, pointing out that the school teacher as well as the reader may judge something wrong.

Another short story I want to refer to is the one entitled, ‘A pinkish Poem Excerpted from The Book of Life’, beautifully written by Sayama Moe Nyein Aye, that attempts to examine less critically and narrowly framed scope of conventional social out looks in seeing things with blinking eyes due to the opposite sexes who are just inclined to rely on each other.

Trust encourages closer relation. Some words, not daringly used with any other strange men, can be spoken out. When the night school was out late at night, the same bus was taken and very unfrequented and gloomy street was passed with no fear. Ko Kyi Thwin did not seem see her as a woman. Do the opposite sexes who are just mentally inclined to each other find themselves easy to be attached? Shouldn’t there be any ties with no lust in the world? Both may have good attitudes towards each other. The one may give the other a hearty hand, stand before him in troubles. He is the one to share her mental pains. Shouldn’t be life companions holding the hands of each other without any sense of being drawn to or without hope of becoming like that.

The writer suggests that truth can be sought in honesty. Truth implies trust. The writer weaves the deep familiarity between two opposite sexes with no lustful attachment and the beauty of their spirits as well as natural character in social relation into a short story that tenderly permeates within the heart of the reader.

Sayama Ma Khin Lay, through her short story entitled, “A Frosty Writer”, portrays the heart of a woman who grasps missing as the natural outcome of loving and the mental suffering of her that is the means of sacrificing for the pains and bitter life of her family and herself.

While sleeping with her mother in the same bed, she hopefully longed for a warmly welcoming breast. Like mother, father fell asleep in the other room. Ni Mar wished she would sleep peacefully with her mother for one night or so. The words, spoken by a drinker father seemed to be a wild animal wading through a deep forest. He never satisfied with mother; he was never on good terms with children; he was not in a mood to communicate with his neighbourhood. As he sought after the truth in vain, she never accorded with the world and finally there was only his family to be accused of. The lover who often promised that he wouldn’t drink any more. The words said by the lover’s mother giving her a cold store: my son never likes to be noisy; ‘there is no difficulty at home as mum, myself, is craving for a daughter:’ the words that the lover’s mother gave her as the most compromising and the most highly priced opportunity. A heavy snow was falling outside. Some young plants died as they were nipped by frost. Though father could exchange his dignity for drinks, the fact that she could not exchange father’s dignity for another man ….

The short story gently stirs up some deep emotions within the readers by writing about the women who can survive by poisning their own hearts to be buried.

As the word, philantrophy, insignificantly and frequently used as an easy job like eating and drinking, is often heard in the social environment of us, the readers, a passage from a short story flashes through my mind and I always feel reluctant to utter such a word, philantrophy.

Looking at the children running bare footed on the reddish road and selling bundles of incensed sticks, please don’t freely say the words, ‘child care’ or ‘philantrophy’. They don’t fully grasp the implications of your lip-service. Since you do not have the least idea of giving your umbrella to a child instead of saying, ‘You all are hot there, go and stay under the shade of a tree’.

I have got the chance to write and speak of it. I also terrifying stretch my neck and I have swallow my spittle when I hear someone talk of ‘parahita’ (para; for the common people and hita; benefit) grandiloquently. The passage from the short story entitled ‘A hundred, forty, seven and one’, written by Hnin Wai Nyein, always the reader not to unconsciously use the word ‘Parahita’.

Although these are many short stories which artistically portray the humanistic opinions and concepts of egoism, nature, and the lokadhamma (the law of the mundane world) also provoke the readers to make their own decisions and make the readers lengthen their thoughts, I can only choose a few short stories within our reach. There are still good ones left. Although there are many distinguished short stories written by men-writers, those of the women-writers are extracted and presented here in honour of their literary energy that drives them to produce their art-works within their bosoms through their unrelenting house-hold routines from dawn to dusk.

Writers for the value of the aesthetic literature establish their penmanship based on only artistry. They never arouse themselves to dance on hearing clapping. They never appear amongst the crowds. Their life is their only defensive warfare. They breathe life into their thoughts that spring up from imagination through art and literature. Those aesthetic literary writers! May I honour them by labeling as ‘the viewers of the age by drawing back the curtain over it as they daringly believe themselves as writers by enjoying unpleasant life as if it were pleasant.

Lae Win Kyi (Cho)

28 August 2010

Translated into English by Maung Win War

3 November 2010

bluewind