Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ma Thein Shin - Chapter Four

(On 6 January 1966 General Ne Win’s Revolutionary Socialist Government stupidly prohibited the civilian populace from transporting, storing, distributing, and trading of 460 basic commodities including the staples such as rice, peanut-oil, and salt. Hta-nyet (jaggery) was one of those restricted commodities and a large scale smuggling trade of Hta-nyet had developed overnight in Middle Burma where most of it is produced.)

Year 1969

As a train clerk I used to do the day-to-day jobs of selling tickets and checking tickets on the train for the passengers and their cargo only. But now I was forced to do the horrible jobs of searching and arresting people and their cargo if they were found transporting the commodities generally prohibited by the military-controlled Socialist government.

I also had to work with many train conductors. Whenever the alcoholic conductors San Yee or Mya Ohn or Chit Swe were on the trains the smell of hard liquor was unavoidable in the Guard Car. Especially the days with Conductor San Yee happily went through real quick.

“Hey, Yin Maung, listen to me! Actually, we should all be living like that three monkeys on the match box. Have you ever seen Three-monkey match box before? Nope, how could you have seen it? You must be only a baby back then. Like that three monkeys from the match box, one closing its eyes and another one blocking its ears and the last one shutting its mouth, we should behave. Aren’t we? I say, what you know?”
“Say it in Burmese?”
“I’m a bit drunk and I want to say by English. Can’t you know?”

He then almost fell asleep sitting while kept on saying Can’t you know …… Can’t you know. The train jolted and I fell on him. I tried to take a sip out of my glass as I leaned on him.


(Coming Very Soon.....)

(Prominent Burmese writer and poet Naing Win Swe (1940-1995) was killed in a jungle on Thai Border in 1995 by Burmese Army after he took to the jungle in the aftermath of failed 8-8-88 Uprising.

The legend is that, as he lay dead on the battleground his comrades picked wild flowers and covered his remains with the flowers before they retreated as they didn’t have enough time to bury him.

This fictionalized semi-autobiographical novel vividly depicts the utter sufferings of a society under the brutal Socialist System as both the rulers and the ruled become the hapless victims of that Evil Ideology called Socialism where State Controls almost everything and People Starve.)
Ma Thein Shin – Chapter 5