Suu Mie Aung,
I was born as a fourth child in the family of
seven siblings.My father is U Aung Than (Leprosy Inspector,retired)and my
mother is Daw Khin May Thit(writer- Florist). My native town is Pyinmana. In my
youth, my favorite interest was music - playing guitar. I was
inspired to become a musician in my future.
I was graduated Bachelor of Science-Chemistry at Yangon University. I played guitar as a professional musician at Mr.Guitar coffee shop. While singing and playing guitar at coffee shop, I met blues&jazz guitarist Ko Nyi Nyi and later married with him. I was baptized as a
Christian.My husband's father did not like singing and playing guitar in public, that's why I quit that job at the coffee shop.
My youth dream was thrown away.Then I wrote down that dream and all of my feelings with my beloved guitar on the papers with open-heart. As time went on I entirely became a writer.
Now I love my life of writer more than food.
In 2004, collection of short stories "Green Curtain" was published.
In 2008, collection of short stories "Women and other" was published.
I worked as an editor from 2002 to 2010. In 2011, I quit from editor work, I am existing as a writer and writing novel, short stories, poems, essay, documentary continuously. At the same time,I am writing
by"Junio" ,another pen name in Christianity books as well.
I decided to write down true stories based on "the truth shall make me
free"as I believe in.
I Am A Writer
Let me tell you one thing! I am a writer. The only thing I can do in this world is writing. I can’t do anything else. Because I can die if I don’t write anything, I have been writing any and everything whatever I see and however I feel continuously one by one.
I admit that I have been writing about my wife, my parents, my pet fish at home, my pets dog “Kot Kot”, “Mel Tu”, “Toat Toat” and parrot “Ah Byae”. And then the two cats, Nancy and Pussy staying at my home without raising, also mice, cockroaches, spiders, lizards, squirrels, scorpions, ants, red ants, mosquitoes, termites, bugs and flies that come to my house from nowhere. I’m sure I have also written about my neighbors.
I have also written about people I like and people I don’t like, children who do not listen to me and children who respect me very much, a taxi driver who I sometimes meet, the drivers and conductors of buses that I take every day, sleepy trishaw drivers who often park in front of my house but whose trishaws I never ride.
Though I could have written about films, music, drama, painting and other arts, I want to tell you that I’m interested in them superficially. Let’s say, you are one of my neighbors and you will start acting in a movie today, I’m sure I’m going to write about you tomorrow. What I want to write about is moving beings that are in the range of my eyesight. To put it simply, I just want to write about you and other people who are near me.
Baseless rumors? No way! Why should I do with them? I would rather die than writing about them. There are many gossipers writing them. Wonderful technologies that can’t be applied? No way! I’m not going to write about them. They are not important for life. Is there anything else more important than human beings in life?
That’s why what I want to write about is people around me. Think about it. If I don’t write about my neighbors, who is going to write about them? You know about them because I am writing about them. Isn’t it so? Who is going to write about me and people around me if I don’t write? So you, here I write down, on purpose intentionally this.
Why should I write about Myanmar? There are many writers who know about Myanmar more than I do. Why should I write about history? There are many historians who know history more than I do. Why should I write about America? There are lots of people who have been to America. They will compete in writing about it while boasting their experience.
How could I write “Self-help” books? I’m not “P.Moe Nine”. How could I write journalism ethics? I’m not “Ludu Sein Win”. How could I write about the sea? I’m not “Mi Chan Wai”. How could I write “For my daughter”? I’m not “Kaung Thant”. How could I write funny stuff? I’m not “Akyi Taw”. Am I right?
Actually I am nothing. I am not a big writer like them. I’m an awful writer who writes about the people around him.
The problem is people feel often alarmed by what I write about them. That’s what I don’t understand most. Let’s say you are a writer and I do something in front of you full of activity. If you write about me, I just have to accept it. But what you write must be true. Isn’t it so? I went from south to north. If you write that I went from East to West, that’s not right. I drank tea with friends at Lei Htan Kon. Can you flatter me by writing that I drank coffee with Thinzar Wint Kyaw at Sedona hotel? Can you insult me by writing break up like this, I was begging on the streets? You know what I mean?
I am never afraid what you are going to write if you write the truth. You also don’t need to be afraid of what I am going to write. I am sure that I will do write about you as long as you are near me. How could I write about you if you go to a place where I can’t see you? If you do something in front of me, I’m certainly going to write about it. How could I write about you if you sit like a dead person doing nothing? What could I write except a sentence saying “my friend is sitting stiff like a dead body”. I cannot make a still person a story, can I?
If you are angry, I can write about it. If you are happy, I can write about it. If I saw that someone had hurt you, I can write about it. If I saw that you had hurt someone, I can write about it. Though I write true story, I will never use your name, exactly and candidly about you. You can rest assured! Not using and hiding some true facts, I create a story. The problem is that people just want to get angry. They don’t know how to analyze my story. Of course, they may feel very bad like a drop with a drop with a stick injury. In fact, this is not the result I want.
For example, a neighbor of mine stole my coat. And I write about it in a story. The real result I want is to make that neighbor never steal from other people. I don’t want him to return my coat beg me and he founded my calves, for what he has done. But what I now get is the opposite. He holds grudges against me the whole day bearing in mind “That guy disclosed me, Yes, Yes, Stay alive! You have to know about me soon!”
Even my wife got angry with me when I wrote about her. You don’t know about that! She said, “You always write bad things about us”. I replied, “Hey, I’ve been writing bad things about other people, why I shouldn’t write bad things about us? I should have written more”. Then she did not talk to me a whole week.
I will tell you a funny thing. Once I felt ill. My wife became worried and took great care of me. I felt great joy about it and wrote a story. After reading my story, my wife, with her impishly face, kept asking me all the time “Darling, what do you want to eat? Where shall we go? …And then..
In fact, whenever I write bad things about her, I don’t mean to condemn her. I don’t mean to support her acts whenever I write good things about her. Based on the true facts, I just write down my feelings. Even my wife doesn’t understand that. So do other people. They are like my wife. When I write good things about they, they will invite me with big fondly, “Hee hee! Hey my friend let’s have tea. It’s on me”. If I write one bad thing about them, they will pretend not to see me deeply cast a side glance, and say “That guy is no good for everybody, writing about other people. Why doesn’t he write about people at his house?
I just wanted to laugh. I’ve already written about each and every one at home. Even then, things to write about my family keep coming up, so I still can’t finish writing about people at home. But they don’t know about that. Because they don’t read much. Only when they heard someone say about them in my stories, did they just read my stories. I know that very well. They don’t know me. I’m interested in people. I just want to write about people.
There is also a 9-years-old artist, from Myanmar, who is interested in people like me. His name is Vincent Minn Lwin. I once asked him a question persistently. I have never seen trees, plants, tables, chairs, cars, houses, schools among his pictures. When I asked him “why don’t you draw paintings about trees?” he said, “they are trees. They are not humans”. Look! What he said is clear. Isn’t it obvious that he wants to draw paintings of humans? I am also like him. I just want to write about human beings. If a child like him is interested in people and eager to draw paintings of people, why should an adult like me, who is interested in people, suppress my desire to write about people?
You don’t know that people are very interesting. It is not very strange if they exist by themselves. The nearer they are to me, they more interesting they become. Therefore, my wife who is nearest to me is the most interesting for me and the one who I can write most about. Now, she has realized very well. That whatever – good or bad- I write about her is true. She is no longer sulky whenever she reads my writings about her. But she snaps asking “Isn’t there anyone but me to write about?
In fact, people are like clouds. They are never the same. So, there’s no reason for them to become boring to me. As you can see many things about the shapes of clouds as long as you can watch their changes, you can also see endless changes of people’s mind as long as you can stay closer to them. I will have nothing to write about them if they go on constantly without any changes.
For example, if a person is always good to me, I can write only one story about how he is good. That’s all. But a bad change to a person who is always good will be a good reason for me to write. The more changes in people’s mind, the more stuff I get to write about.
Sometimes I come across a kind of person who has no god and bad things. With expectations to see something I made friend with that neighbor. I found nothing unusual in him. I managed to write “A boring man” about him. I showed him the story when it was published in the magazine.
When I told him “Hey, I’ve written about you here!” he said “Is it? Hm..hm..Ok..ok. He didn’t even touch the magazine I showed. Bored with him, I left him hurriedly. I will not get any material to write from him.
Whether they pay attention to my writings, I will keep writing about them. For, they are people in my view.
Once my father told me when I wrote true things about my family.
“My son, you wrote too much. Don’t write like this again!”
“Isn’t it a story, father?”
My father looked at me with puzzled looks, raising his eyebrows.
“Just tell me if what I write is not a story. I don’t care if it’s too much or right or wrong.”
“You shouldn’t write whatever is true.”
“I just know to write true things. I can’t write untrue things as true and bad things as good. Well, father, will it be fair if I write lightly about my own family? I must write about me as much as I do about other people.”
“Now, your brothers and sisters are angry with you. Is it good?”
“Is there anything good about me? I also wrote about myself. My job is to write stories, isn’t it? My father gave me up. I never wrote only good things about me. I’ve repeatedly written bad things about me. But what people want is just only praise. I will be satisfied if I get a small remark like “the writer who wrote true things” on the day I die. I never expect to be famous in the whole country, across the world or to get very rich. I will never have those expectations in the future.
I have a heavy heart for them when I think about them. They are afraid of my stories based on true facts but they don’t know what they really should be afraid of. They also don’t notice this.
What they should be afraid of is “words”. They have never thought which are more frightening, alphabets and words. They are just afraid of my stories without any reason. What they really should be afraid of is the words that come out from their mouths. I don’t trust inconsistent words, exaggerated words, bullying words, undisciplined words and unlimited words. If I were an artist than a write, I would draw the picture of a human like this. (Maybe, the modern artist who wants to draw pictures of people only will like my idea). On the picture of a human, I will add one ear, one eye and mouths all over the body. I will definitely do that. The less confidence in the words in the air, the more I write on the paper. That could be the reason I became a writer.
In fact, I am nobody. I am not a big writer thinking big and writing big. I am just an ordinary writer who writes about the people near and dear. The only thing I can do in this world is writing. I can’t do anything else. Because I can die if I don’t write anything, I have been writing whatever I see and feel continuously. Whatever it is, you can’t deny the fact that I am a writer, can you? So you just have to accept it willingly. Don’t you think so?
Well …. I have frankly told you what kind of writer I am. I will continue writing about me. I will continue writing about people near me and about you.
So long as people are near me and I near people. So long as you are near me and I near you.
Su Mie Aung,
(Padauk Pwint Thit Magazine, Sep’ 2008)
P.Monin - The first Myanmar short story writer.
Ludu Sein Win - Journalist, Writer.
Mi Chan Wai - Novelist who’s mostly writes about sea.
Kaung Thant - Translator, Writer.
Akyi Taw - Writer who writes funny stories.
Lei Htan Kon - Tea shop, where’s Myanmar writers normally meet.
Thinzar Wint Kyaw - Model girl, Actress.
Vincent Minn Lwin - Young, Modern Artist in Myanmar.