Compassionate letter 12,
“The End of the Saga”
“But not the Dear John letter!”
As Bo Aung Din in Burma Digest
If you could remember, I sent my first letter on our wedding anniversary, that is 12th February (our National day commemorating forming the foundation of our union, the day we signed our matrimonial agreement at Panglon) and that is also your birthday, the Shan National day. And coincidently that is two day’s prior to the Valentine day, the day of lovers. And I wrote the letter to you because your father announced our divorce declaration that is the Shan leaders announcement of the separation from Burma/Myanmar and the forming of an Independent Shan Country.
And another strange coincidence that leads to my compassionate letters was because of a DVD of Sai Kham Leik/Sai Hti Sai’s songs sent by my brother. While I was enjoying my renaissance or daydreaming back the good old young era, my children keep on doing their daily routine even without noticing my favourite songs. So I decided to explain or translate the songs to them. And the rest is the minute history of a saga of these compassionate letters to my ‘estranged wife’.
For the benefit of the readers of Burma Digest who had never read all the letters, here is the ‘Zat Paung Khan’ or the end of a saga explanation. In our Burmese tradition, we copied from the 10 Jattaka and 550 stories about Buddha’s reincarnations, at the end of every story there used to be a Zat Paung Khan, that is ‘who is who’ and ‘who became what later’.
I need to explain my metaphors or glossary.
1. At the end of my first Compassionate Letter 1: “A Valentine Present with Love” as a post script with an apology to Hso Kham Hpa, as he is the leader of Shan Independent State, I used his name as Nan’s father or the father-in-law of Ko Ti Nwe..
2. Ko Ti Nwe represents Burma/Myanmar.
3. Nan Sai Kham represents Shan State.
4. I hope you all remember the famous composer Sai Kham Leik and his wife Nwe Nwe Tin. I wish to explain again that I get the name Ko Tin Nwe from Dr Nwe Nwe Tin and my wife Nan’s name Nan Sai Kham from Dr Sai Kham Leik. (I reversed their gender)
5. Ko Tin Nwe’s step mother or step mother in law of Nan, Daw Than Shwe represent Senior General Than Shwe. (No apology available from me.)
6. Nan’s Uncle Khun is U Khun Tun Oo and represents all the Shan leaders in detention.
7. Ko Ti Nwe’s late father U Aung San represented our General Aung San.
8. Ko Tin Nwe’s Ah Ma Gyi Suu and fighting Peacock princess represents our Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. (I thought about using peahen but I like the word Peacock more because that word is already in my heart firmly carrying a sentimental value.)
9. Ko Tin Nwe’s uncle and adopted father U Nu is our late PM U Nu.
10. Ko Tin Nwe’s late step mother Daw Ne Win represented General Ne Win.
11. I hope, Ko Yazali, Ko Fi Annan, Daw Khin Nyunt, U Thak Sin are self explanatory names.
12. Shwe Bama village tract is the Union of Burma/Myanmar.
13. Shwe Bamas represented all the citizens of Burma.
14. U U Phyu, Daw Daw Mon, Daw Daw Shan, U U Ka Yin, etc are also self explanatory names of races of Burma.
15. U Ta Yoke’s village is China, U Kala village tract is India, Ko Yu Nan’s village is Yunnan State, U Thai Land’s village, Daw Cam Bodia’s village and Daw Ma Lay is Malaysia etc all are self explanatory names of countries.
16. U Asean, Ko Ger and Ma Ni’s villages refer to West and East Ger+many combined forming Germany. U Sa is USA, U Kay is UK United Kingdom and U Eu is European Union.
17. Ko Mus Lim is the Indian President, Ko Pan Char the Indian PM and Ma Italy is Ms Sonia Ghandi of India.
Actually I am inspired by: _
1. “Letter from Burma” by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the series has been published in the Mainichi Shimbun and in the Mainichi Daily News since Nov. 27, 1995. (The Mainichi Shimbun won the Nihon Shimbun Kyokai (Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association) Award on Wednesday, September 4, 1996 for carrying the series)
2. Indian First Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s letters for his daughter, Indra Gandhi has been written as a series of letters and later those letters have been compiled into a book called the Glimpses of World History..
But now because of your (Nan’s) lack of response, I decided to stop writing to you. Actually I thought the history of Burma I wrote; of course my own version is just the ground work to continue writing about the current issues of our country’s socio political problems.
Of course I had already stated at the end of my very first letter “I hope all of you could understand and forgive me for all the above, because I am blinded with the love for our country and Shan State.” I thought or feel that the compassionate letter story-telling format also allow me to write any thing that I wish to mention or discuss without a strict restriction to a specific topic.
Although I have decided to stop writing to you, please do not misunderstand that I stopped loving you, Nan or ‘my’ Shan State. (Please forgive me for using the word my Shan State. Yes the Shan State is not mine but it will be in my heart forever.)
Still daydreaming about the lost Shwe Bama mirage Paradise,
Your estranged hubby,
(Ko Ti Nwe)
BO AUNG DIN
[Ko Tin New, although you’ve stopped your regular correspondence to your Nan Sai, we hope you will occasionally write letters to her whenever you have something to tell her in the future: Editor]
(Ko Tin Nwe’s last present)
I held you close to me
To keep you safe from all harm,
But it was not what you needed.
I wanted to keep you for myself, encircled, sheltered
Instead of allowing you to grow and flourish,
spread your wings, explore your potential.
I now realize I cannot contain you,
and that your happiness is best discovered without me.
To let you go, knowing I must set you free,
This is the hardest task I have ever done.
Fly away Fly high Fly free.
Go from my sight, quickly and do not look back;
For if you do, you will see a smile covering the broken heart.
But the tears of loss are slowly replaced with tears of joy
knowing your happiness will soon follow.
May your wings take you to magical places,
and all your dreams be fulfilled.
Be happy in all you do and may you find your true love.
That is what I have always wanted for you.
Anonymous comment _
new forests would mature.
The forest will rise again,
though we won’t see it in our lifetime.
In myth and folklore, as on mountains,
new life grows from the ashes of the old,
Like in the Egyptian myth of the phoenix,
Rising from the smouldering ashes of its parent;
Both summer and winter solstice are traditional times for giving things up,
Letting go, sloughing off the old season’s skin.
They are also times for making new beginnings.
The old season dies; the new season is born,
the moon waxes and wanes, the great wheel turns.
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