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Yes. I wrote in burmese too. I released my first short essay collection at 2008 and second collection at 2010. This one is for my university’s yearly magazine.
I know I should have typed the whole thing with Myanmar font but you can blame it on my phone. So there I screen – shot them as I finished writing it. My burmese hand writings could be miserable though. This one is especially for those of you who can read Burmese. Enjoy….
It gives me an awful chill whenever I heard some parents saying “I gave you life. You should be eternally thankful” to the kids of their own. Is it true? Is it what every parent had in mind right before they jumped on to beds and do some penetrations? So you were thinking about your baby’s first day of school or having a father and son quality times fishing in a lake, right before you take off your partner’s clothes? That kinda thoughts could even turn out to be contraceptive agents. So you’ll probably focusing on boobs and what else.
Yes we gave them life intentionally or unintentionally. But is life good? Did you really really believe that your life was so full of good stuffs that made you wanna create someone on your own so that they could have the same good feelings you had?
The answer will be sadly no. We knew that there’s more pain then happiness in life. Life itself is nothing but pain/suffering since the beginning. Think about it, if you were a “baby-to-be- seed” and you know that you were gonna spend next 9 months in a tinny little sack inside of a random woman whom you never met before, would you do that if you have other choices? I recently read a funny article line saying “life is a sexually transmitted disease” which I can’t agree more. It’s right metaphorically and physically. Life is a disease. DIS-EASE. NOT ease. Means not easy. It’s difficult and it’s rather uncomfortable.
One might say “isn’t there any pleasure in life at all?” Then you can say yes too. Of course there’s pleasure but again pleasure is always something in between one pain and another. its a mirage. It doesn’t exist without pain.
I’ll show you an example. Do you see two dots under this?
So you see the space in between them yea? And what if I remove the dots?
No space can be seen without the initial dots. So what I’m trying to say here is this so called pleasure is only felt when there’s the pain to relief or let go. You’re happy only until you see the next problems.
So what the fuck are we gonna do? Now we already made this little one come into our lives which is full of suffering! I kinda regret that when I saw my second daughter’s face for the first time. It’s weird that one side of me is extremely happy and the other quite feels like shit. Cos that other part of me made me think that this little innocent one ,who just came out into the world, will have to go through sickness, sadness, worries, relationships, labor pain and all that jazz. But by the time I’ve come conscious about it, it’s already too late right?
So I think my responsibility as a father is not only to make good things happened to my daughters, but also to make them resist sufferings. Just because pain is there doesn’t mean you have to suffer. There must be a loop – hole as there always is.
I’m not saying that I found a away, but I’m trying to start a search. Buddhism teaches a lot about the nature of pain and how to overcome it peacefully by accepting the things as they really are. I don’t understand much yet but I’m trying to do my best because even though some parents expect eternal thankfulness from their kids, we ever can’t give them eternal protection….yet.
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My self-esteem must be pretty low that I started doubting my own existence very recently. Actually it’s not even about self esteem. It’s about the questions that I started to shoot myself since the beginning of 2013. This time it’s not about death. Instead it’s about birth.
My problem is that I started realizing there’s not enough data that can prove that I was actually and clinically born out of my mother’s birth cannel. In that case, You, also, don’t have that too. It’s sad that You cannot prove that you were born without depending on the information that the people around you provide you.
Firstly, We didn’t have a chance to remember our lives in mother’s womb. Not even in the third trimester or either the seconds you’ve been pushed out into the world, you’d never remember. But of course there’s a foto album containing your first hospital days, your first steps or your 1st birthday party and moreover , your birth certificates seems pretty official. So lots of people don’t bother. They don’t question about the things which they think they already had the answers. But what if the answers weren’t true since the beginning? What if everything you think you know is just what “They” want you to think?
Do you remember the first day you recognized your own existence? What if it never happened at all in the real world and it’s just a fragment of made-up memory that was uploaded into your brain? Let’s talk about the video game called “Temple run” shall we? The runner we chose as our character in the game wasn’t born from anyone but that wasn’t his problem. When the game starts , he has to run the shit out of himself in that never ending loop without knowing why. Ring any bell? Look at us. Look at our daily lives. Do we actually know why we have to do the shits we are doing everyday? What if we are in a giant game like that? I know you get this all the time esply these days. “life is a videogame hypothesis are everywhere on internet. So you might think this blog is just another spam telling you to like a bookstore link or forcing you to enroll a silly online cult which sends you 2000067456 mails per day. But no. fuck no.
Let’s say there was a boy who’s preparing a science project? He wrote a simulated computer program or he started a chemistry lab project . And he set some voltage wrong or there’s an error in that program he’s been running but the school dismissed and he went back home. But what if the mess he made in the lab leads to a tiny bigbang producing life that become us? What if this is all gonna end when he comes back to school after weekends? In that case we wouldn’t even know who the fuck that reckless boy is. Because he is something out of our knowledge. Everything we experience in life is limited by our senses and perceptions. We don’t know shit beyond that. For example, the gold fish in the glassbox on your shelf wouldn’t know the expire date of the last condom pack you bought last Sunday. Even if you explain him what an expire date, a condom and Sunday is there’s no way the poor gold fish can get you. Because they have not enough database to build and visualize the things you mentioned to them.
We are almost the same as that gold fish in 3” x 8″ tank. So what if you’re just an avatar being used by something what is so much bigger than us and so much beyond our reality? They made you. They chose you as a character of the game they play or the show they watch everyday? If they do that, of course they’ll make you think that you were born and you had parents. It would be so easy for them to do so. They just need to install a few bits of memory in ur brain. If they wanted to start playing you as an 8th grader, they’ll start playing you right away from 8th grade age. You popped up in the world and you found yourself in a high school writing notes , surrounded by some friends you seemed to know them since preschool. Then when the school bells rang, your parents , two other characters they already synced as your parents come and pick u up and…… there you go. The game successfully started! The next day you have exams at school and a girl next room asked you to take her out as a prom date.
See what I mean? We have shit loads to deal with everyday and these things look so real that makes us think we are real.
A recent neurological experiment shows that our brains knows what you’re doing in next 6 seconds. The incredible six seconds. And some scientists noted that brain is just a receiver that receives the signals from an “unknown source”. What source? Fuck if I know.
So let’s say, you’re in an ice cream shop, confusing what to choose between two flavors, then suddenly you chose a certain flavor. You think you made that decision spontaneously but no. Your brain has picked the flavor you chose 6,7 seconds ago while you were thinking of it. So it’s obvious that “the field” or the “Source” or whatever it is, it wants you to think that you have free will.
Some of you might say “this is bull shit, I pulled out my daughter out of my wife’s vagina by myself, she is real!!” but trust me I pulled out one myself already and will pull out another one soon. But that doesn’t mean that the same theory applied in your case. This too is a part of the scenario.
End of message.
Sorry for partyrocking.
I miss my 90’s days.
I remember the day I’ve been introduced to the video games. I was in first grade and somebody who was really rich in neighborhood had the idea of starting video game business in the center of the small town I lived in, Taungoo. My town was really really small that everyone knows everyone and if something new came to town, it’s well interested by everyone. People gathered around in no time and started playng videogames at that only gameshop. Yes. Game-renting-shop to be precise. People came and played by hour. A few kyats per hour I think.
That was when I only “HEARD” of videogames though. I didn’t have a chance to play it because when you’re a 1st grader you’re mostly broke. But I heard the theme sound of battle city and contra almost everyday and I kinda like them. They were really catchy tunes. My video gaming days started during summer of 1993 when I passed 3rd grade. At that time the first gameshop wasn’t the only gameshop anymore. Many shops with more TVs opened in town. The shop i mostly went to charged 15 kyats per hour and 8 kyats for half an hour.
Of course I chose 8-kyats-plan.
Sometimes, I was a little short on budget so i asked the shop owner if i could play 15 minutes for 4 kyats , but that cold-blooded-kid-hating-money-hunting chinese guy said no.
But playing at a game shop was such a rip off because nobody could stay there long enough to complete a fucking game. And these old family videogame sets didn’t come with saving device such as memory card or something like that. So once you left that gameshop you had to say goodbye to the victory you just made. Doesn’t matter you killed the dragon that kept mario’s princess or defeated the final gangster of TMNT, when you came back to the shop next morning, your mario had to eat the same mushrooms and get through all the shit you tried to get over with the other day. Long story short, I had to wait 2 more years to finally get my own video game set. My parents decided to buy me a video game set because , I think, nobody wants to play them anymore cause Nintendo’s are in and the old-model family video games became dirt-cheap. I didn’t blame them because I still wanted to play family games eventhough they became so yesterday. I thought I played it the whole day and I fell asleep beside the game console.
Even now I’m still playing Mario and Pac man. And sometimes contra. Comparing to the modern day game technology , the family games are basically shit. The characters in games are so tiny, sometimes they don’t even move only the background does. They were only two dimensional, the theme sound is the sync beeps going on as a loop. But why am I still obsessed with these old games? Because the programmers who created these games were fucking geniuses. They had lots of technical limitations but still they didn’t give up to entertain us. Think about how they created Mario theme tunes or load runners? Or even Mappy? I don’t know about you but if someone wakes me up in the middle of a night and asks what Mario theme tune is, although I could be really pissed off at him for waking me up, I can sing that tune to him. I read that a Japanese musician composed that Mario tune and im sure he was serious as fuck when he wrote that tune. There’s no way it could have been an easy job.
Then think about these action figures. The mushrooms makes Mario bigger. REALLY? Obviously , mushrooms and size-shifting doesn’t sound like a kid thing to me at all. Anyways, family games are awesome. I’m still playing them. I have some other system as play stations and shit like that but I cant leave the family game set behind. It’s been a big part of my life. A few months ago I showed some of my video game tape collections to my 6-yr-old daughter and she just could’t understand the whole system of it. She doesn’t understand why it doesn’t have a CD import or USB ? She doesn’t understand why she has to actually press the A-B buttons. At first she was very excited to play it but 5 minutes later she gave up already cos it was so hard for kids these days. She said it’s impossible. I just told her this thing (family game set) had a lot to do with my childhood before she took off.
That…..And tape cassettes.
I’m sure every kid who grew up in 90’s have the same amount of memory bits as mine with the tape cassettes. I received one as my 14th birthday present. Not directly though. I received 10000 kyats from my grandpa and I decided to buy a tape cassette with that birthday money. It was Panasonic and cost me 12000 kyats that made my mom paid me 2000 kyats. That cassette of mine didn’t have tape A to B recording system so that I couldn’t duplicate tapes. But I had an even better feature , a built-in condenser mic. The minute I realized I could record my OWN voice in-to it, I inserted a free tape, hit record button and played “Heartbreak station” by Cinderella band with my hollow guitar. I reran the tape and listened to what I just played and that was one of the the most amazing moments of my life. It opened a door to a complete new world for me. I started recording the stupid songs I wrote, I recorded my voice and a few weeks later I was starting to make my own mix-tapes which I handed out at school….and that experiences ,I think, somehow pushed me to what I am today. Because It surely gave me such addiction to record stuffs. I like recording sounds and listening to it. I also used to sync my cassette to a VCR player and captured the original sound-tracks of movies I liked. I used that technique long enough that I even remembered I made a mix tape of “Hallelujah” from Shrek movie and gave it to my wife(my girlfriend back then) in 2005! Call me lame or whatever you will but she accepted my proposal in the end so that tape idea seemed to work…. A lot.
Many other90’s things bit the pieces and chunks out of our legs….VCR, Gameboys, Tube-televisions, Phones with cords, touchable buttons, Fans, letters on paper, mail man, film cameras and RedHotChilliPeppers of course. A friend of mine from NewYork wrote me a letter last month and I can’t describe how awesome it was to read a paper-letter with human hand-writings on it after all these years. His hand-writing was still as wrecked as in his 7th grade but these little pieces imperfections made us what we are today and I feel seriously grateful for that.
Yangon’s Parties were a lot lamer back in 2002. People played cheesy hits which wasn’t cool even back then and danced to it. I was at one of those kinda parties in one dry evening of 2002. No dancing. Just checking out what’s happening. (i’m not even sure whether i was invited or not) That’s where I accidentally met the Prophet. He had drunk a lot already when I sat down next to him on the fence or something where we both got unknowingly left behind by the cruel, rich and famous party crowd. I thought I said hi and he said ‘who’re you with’ or may be it’s the other way around. Then we talked about a few random stuffs to get to the point where he said he liked papa roach. He shouted, he yelled, he used body language when I didn’t understand what he said. Then I finally found out ‘the prophet’ was one wasted motherfucker right after he threw up on my legs. Why am I referring him as ‘the prophet’? Because I thought he was sent to me from God to show me how the things should be. He brought cannabis in to my life. I used to smoke joints before I met him though. But not everyday. I wasn’t addicted or anything. I was more like a social smoker. I only smoked just to get a long with others. Prophet had an apartment for his own. There he taught me how to roll joints with rolling papers! That was the first time he impressed me. I’ve never seen rolling papers before. Let alone how to roll it. I didn’t know ‘what’ it was. I thought he was a new kid in the area but he seemed to know every pot-dealer in town!! Long story short, we became good friends. We smoked lots of lots of joints everyday. I skipped lots of classes. We talked about ‘Prodigy’ , Red Akert2, southpark, meditation, Buddha and porn. We went to gigs, got in fights and made lots of troubles. It’s been almost 10 years, now that we’re both married to our beloved ladies who also likes THC. Even Our kids are playing together. We’d made family trips. We smoked on the beaches while watching our kids building sun-castles together. We smoked on the hills while the little ones were playing golf with pine cones and sticks. We’re still hanging out, still smoking pot. He taught me not only how to smoke joint, but also how to live with it. He gave me a few TV shows to watch while baked. He treated his family so nice. He played with his son all day long. I had a kinda hard childhood and I didn’t even know that fathers play with their kids on planet earth before I saw him wrestling with his son. I thank him for showing me the good side of me, i thank him for making my life so much easier than it was supposed to be and most of all showing me the way to become a good father to my daughter. I’m good with kids and I’m better stoned. The prophet is the Shiznizz.
DIE!! AND THAT’S IT
Have you ever thought of “why am I trapped in this body?” while staring at yourself in the mirror. Or even “how did I get here?” or “is it even my body?” Since I was four feet tall, I had this kinda strange thinkings. I’d sit in front of the bathroom mirror for 15 minutes and started wondering “this is not me. This kid appearing on the other side of mirror, he’s not me. ‘I’ am inside him! I’m trapped. I didn’t choose this body.” and worst of all, knowing that I’ll be dragged along wherever this guy’s going, whatever the guy in the mirror’s doing, scared the seven shades of crap out of me and always ended up shaking my head side to side quickly just to shake off this scary happening. Time passed by and now I’m 30. But that particular feeling won’t go away. It’s still haunting me, not every time I look into the mirrors but occasionally it does come back in my head and i still have to shake it off of my head. Why was I scared of myself? Because it definitely isn’t me or myself. If there’s a company making lives, there must be two departments for assembling this process. One makes bodies and the other, SOULS. They don’t get along sometime the bodies and souls. At least not all the time. However, I’m having even worst thoughts now a days. Let’s say we’re trapped in this body, can’t get out, we are destined to serve this bloody good for nothing bodies which give us pain, hunger, toothache, cancer, herpes and all that shits. But it all seems fine compared to my new dreadful assumings.
What if our souls are gonna be still trapped even after the bodies died?
Well , it sounds a bit more serious , doesn’t it? What if the bodies are temporary and minds or souls are forever? Think about it,..you’re dead, someone cover your body with white cloth, put you in a locker of that freezing room along with other bodies and you can still feel every single detail. You can hear your relatives and spouse crying beside you and a minute later you are locked in a cold metal box knowing that there could be another unknown dead body lying in the box beside yours. Then may be they’ll cut-open your belly and chest for post-mortem examinations without any kind of anesthesia. They think you’re dead, in fact you are, but not as dead as you should be and you can still sense every cut and suture. I can keep on writing more details but I’m sure you got the figure. So let’s say they finally burry you, leave you alone in the dark coffin six feet underground, go back home and watch TV while ur body’s probably eaten by worms. I’ve gone too far. You and I both know that there’s no one to assure you this isn’t gonna happen nor true. What if it’s what they call “hell’? There’s no way you can know what’s gonna happen after you die unless you die. And by the time you are dead, it’s too late right? So it comes to my senses that the meaning of life is just to forget about your death while you’re living it because thinking about death and such terrible things everyday is just not right. Life’s something in between one problem and another while death is one of the problems you’ll surely meet. But trying to accept it is not as easy as it seems cause you believed this is your body after all. With or without your will, You’ve taken it. You picked it up and you’ll let it go. Its hard to let something go especially when it’s the body you’ve carried around for decades. For me, it’s not the body which I don’t wanna let go. It’s the MEMORIES I perceived along with this very body that I’m obsessed with. The sights I’ve seen, the smells I smelled, the people I’ve met and even loved.,,they are all too much to let go. After all, it’s just a tiny memory bit saved up in a corner of your head but it takes us a lifetime to reach that far.
I wish I could finish this essay with a bit more pleasant ending but I can’t. Like it or not we’re in this already. It sucks that soul and body come as a package. Not sure which one captured which first, but we are the victims of the stupid process as we noticed it. All the answers seem blur and undefined. Nothing is concrete. We are floating and will keep on floating. So let’s hope there’s nothing after death. Death alone is sick enough already right?What can possibly be worse than that? Toothache? Like it or not, It is our duty to keep our minds and bodies stay in harmony before we die. Life is a gift and death is unexceptional. They come in pairs. You don’t know how you got in but you surely know you’ll get out one day. Living could be a struggle but then again dying ain’t that hot either. Too bad our choices are ridiculously limited. But people said “better out than in” didn’t they?
Years ago, I put a huge chilli in the meatball that I was gonna throw to my dog Lilly. She cought it as I threw it to her like she always did before. Then,….BURN…(I’m not sure if dogs hate spicy stuffs but I’m sure Lilly hates Chillies ) she learnt a lesson not to catch the food I throw to her at sight but to let it drop on the ground first, then sniff it to make sure it’s chilli-free then eat it. My new dog “Sofie” hasn’t learnt that lesson yet. She believes in me. She still trusts me like people having faith in God. I don’t wanna hide another chilli in Sofie’s meatball. I don’t wanna break the bond between me and Sofie like i did with Lilly.
Today I realized that we Burmese people are like Lilly. We don’t jump and catch whatever they threw at or to us. Not a chance. We let them drop on ground, check if anything’s funny or explosive, then still, lots of people don’t even eat them. Because? We’ve been spiced up a lot before. Not only with Chillies. There have been granades, bullets, jail-sentences, lives…you name it. There’s no bond between us and our meat-balls throwers.
Memories are for life. It takes a generation or may be more for our people to be able to catch whatever they throw at or to us without a single doubt. Or whoknows. That day might never come. Not even to Lilly.