Monday, July 25, 2011
rarely found his books there. That's why for reading more new books
relied on my friends. Now I received 'Fahrenheit 451', 'The
Illustrated Man' and 'the collection of his short stories' from my
friend A. I was so happy with these books and I was reading them with
Here was the story of how I became interested in stories of Ray Bradbury….
His short story 'Usher II' was included in the book of 'The United
States in Literature', seventh edition of 1985. My parents bought it
at one of the old-book sales in 1989. There were many short stories,
poems and plays of old or new writers in it. At that time, I only read
poem and biography of famous people and I never tried to read the
short stories in it.
In 2009, my friend xxx bought 'Short Story Volume I' of Ray Bradbury
for my father. I took it and read his short stories with interest. I
told my father how I was interested in his short stories he then
showed me our old book of 1989 and suggested to read Usher II. It was
the first time I saw his photo and his biography. After reading Usher
II, I wanted to read 'Fahrenheit 451' because my father said 'Usher
II' might be a sequel of 'Fahrenheit 451' (1953). So, I asked my
friend A to find it for me and I received them now.
I wondered if I read 'Usher II' in 1989, I would have to wait for more
than 20 years to read 'Fahrenheit 451' because of the small number of
book shops in our country?
Thursday, July 21, 2011
1996. I began writing articles about my experience of University life,
but I thought it should not be long. I believed I was to be a
mathematics teacher. Writing was just a part time work for me at that
moment! My ambition was to be a teacher like my grandfather or my
father. I never envied my grandmother at that time. I obtained the
M.Sc degree in mathematics in 1997. But I triply failed the entrance
examination to apply for the job of full time tutor at the University
of Yangon. So, I gave up hope of becoming a teacher.
I had no choice but stayed at home since 1997. But I had a chance to
look after my grandmother who was suffered arthritic pains made her
spend most of her time in bed. It was 'blessing in disguise' as my
grandfather' saying for reading many books accompanying with her. She
taught me how to read poems and she suggested books for reading. When
my grandmother passed away in 1999, I was very satisfied with reading
Sometimes I thought what if I got the job at the University, I would
become a teacher or a writer?
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
quoted these words when we met unhappy or disappointed situations.
When I was very young, I had an accident playing football with my
brother, my feet was injured badly. I could not walk properly. At that
time the final examination was held. I was very upset about my injury
and it was difficult to go into the examination room. My grandfather
encouraged me with his saying, 'blessing in disguise'. I did not
realize how I would be blessed with that injury!
On the final day of the examination, the students were called for
meeting at head of our school master' school assembly for choosing
some school girls with good height to prepare training for celebrating
one of the school' events. The chosen girls must take these tiresome
exercises during our holiday. It was sure for choosing me because of
my height. But I was lucky that I took excuse for having injured feet.
When I returned home, I told my grandfather how lucky I was. My
grandfather smiled to me and reminded me that saying; blessing in
disguise. My unlucky injury was a blessing in disguise for resting at
home in our holiday by reading books or playing with my brother!
Thursday, July 14, 2011
U Khin Maung Latt
English teacher and Writer
(1915 – 1996)
There was already mentioned about him in the biography of my
grandmother in the previous post. So I want to add as he always loved
to teach and he had been an English teacher for the rest of his life.
He was very patient with his students.
On his life time, there were three books published. Two of them were
about English language as 'Current Essays' and 'Everyday Expressions
in English'. On the third one , my grandparents wrote together on the
subject of 'English language' and 'Reading Books' in Burmese. He also
wrote many articles about his experience of teaching. He and my
grandmother worked as an editor of the Family' magazine called 'Pyaw
Taw Zat' in 1965 for one year. I heard that although the magazine was
very popular among public, it was ended tragically stopped by the
As a grand daughter, I think that my grandfather was very humble and
I never saw him proud. When he was in stroke , unconscious in the
hospital for 4 days, he died in peace on 1 August 1996.
'Any fool can do it, even I can do it.' was said by my grandfather. It
was very popular in our family circle. But difficult to explain, but
it maybe easy to understand! Any fool can understand, even I can
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Dr.Khin Maung Win (only son of my grandma)
KHIN MYO CHIT
writer and journalist
La Grande Dame de la Myanmar Writing
Very few people know thqt her real name is Ma Khin Mya. Her close
relative andfriends call her by her real name.Young people call her Ma
Ma Mya or Aunty Mya.Older people call he Ma Khin Mya.But to most
people she was known under her pen name, Khin Myo Chit.
She was born at the time when people generally had low expectations of
women, when no parent would hear of a young respectable lady entering
a profesion anda humanitarian education may be permitted , but only to
be able to write B,A under one's name and make impressions on people.
'What a pity she 's a girl' that's what she always heard people saying
all the time.
Her grandmother had been a maid of honour at the court of King
Mindon.Many timesshe recounted to her the events leading to the mass
excution of King Thibaw's royalrelative by the Queen Suphayalatt.'It's
a blot on our hitory'.She used to say.She then related to her how the
great warrier prince like Prince Kanaung,the Thonsaire Minhagyi
(literally translated the great Prince Thirty, so named because he
could climb up a wall ofthirtyyards in height using his bea hands and
feet) and many others were executed duringan internal intrigue.'We lot
all the great warrier princes, so that when the Britishmarched to the
capital city of Uupper Myanmar , there was not even one personto throw
a stone at the invaders.'
She asked,'Do you mean to say, grandma, that if these warriior princes
were there, Upper Myanmar would not have fallen unde the british Rule
?' 'No' , said her grandmother.'We would still loe the war, for, at
that time, no one could stop the riing of the British Empire.But at
least the batle of Upper Burma could have earned a place in the annals
of war like Hnnibal's fight against Rome, or King Arthur's fight
against the Saxons, or KingHarold's fight against the invading
Her literary career began in 1932 when she translated a poem of Sir
Walter Scott and sent to theYangon University magazine.But she didn't
put her name, being kind of shy to do that. The poem was about
Patriotism and when it was published , the editor put the pen name –
Khin Myo Chit (meaning lady who loves her country or Miss Patriot).
That was how she made her debut in the literary field,and arned her
pen name.But all was not well at home. With her father's
obstructiveness and her mother's disapproval of 'clever girls' ,
thingsgot from bad to worse.She was not allowed to do any writing in
peace . Her mother scolded her more and more.Her father threatened to
burn her pjapers.She had to hide them and do her writing when everyone
was in bed.
I shall not dwell too ,uch on the story of her unhappy childhood and
her ecape from the tyranny of her father.It could have made something
torn from the pages of a Dickens novel and could hzve eaned her a
nick-name like 'female David Copperfield'.
Regarding her meeting with my father, U Khin Maung
Latt(1915-1996),whom she refered to as 'Ko Latt', she wrote in her
autobiography as follows :
''He was theboy next door.He had left college, an undergraduate, not
being able to continue his studies because of the decline in family
fortunes.He was having a short lull at home while looking for a job.
He was a voracious reader and we sharedthe same interestsin books.I
read the books he recommended and he returned the compliment . We read
'Little Women' , one of my favourite books and he called me teasingly
'Jo'.We had a fine time talking of books.It seemed that we had
launched on a long and timeless talk which could lead to one thing a
Regarding her political invilvements of 1937 and afterwards, she wrote:
"Had this even tenor of our way gone on for a few months or so, Ko
Latt and I might have sipped quietly into mqrried life. My rosy dreams
of the future during the interval of a few months before our marriage
tuned out to be a nightmare of tormy incidents.It was the fate of the
country that swept most of our dreams away.By a cruel trick of fate,
we became part of that mighty tidal wave which we were but a tiny
She recountd the part she played in the demonstration of 1938 as follows;
"Three girls and I happened to be in front of line right after the
standard bearers.It was a rude shock when we found ourselves confonted
by baton weilding policemen, some mounted on horseback.All of a sudden
like a sequence on a cinema screen everything became a confusion of
horses'legs and batons.To my horror, I saw girls falling in pools of
blood.As I tried to pick them up, blows fell on me."
She lived through the stormy times of the British Regime; the Japanese
Regime;the Struggle for independebce;sharing the joys and sorrows of
the political figures .
Also in her autobiography , she recounted a difficult phrase of her
life in the following way.
"Now,I have come to oneof the most difficult chapters of my life,for
it was then that my misadventures strayed into the realms of faith and
I was prejudiced against meditatio of wny religious practice which I
took to be only for people who had nothing better to do or those who
wanted to put on ais of holiness or those who had no change to face
The story of how her meeting with two monks changed her outlook and
made her regain her faith in Buddhism cannot be told here, for that
alone would have made treatise on Buddhism.
She became a mother-in-law in 1967, a grandmother of twins,a boy and a
girl,in 1968.In an interview with a writer,Alex wood,in 1970,she
said,"I am proud of being a good grandmother and housekeeper,but I
have never let this interfere with any of my cultural interests.I am
glad that I rediscovered the art of Myanmar Zatpwe(a kind of a mixture
of play,concert and opera)in time to stop me from becming an
intefering mum-in-law and an over doddering granny.Friends rubbed
their hands when the twins were born and said it would be the end of
my freedom.But of course,it wasn't.I'm organising myself better and
witing more than before."
The landmarks of her literary career may be summed up in the following way:
Khin Myo Chit was born on may 1, 1915 in Sit Kaing(Upper Burma).
1932…………….Patriotism(a poem that earned her pen name)
1963…………….Collge Girl(a novelette for serialization in 'The Sun' a daily paper)
1963 to 1968..: Heroes of Old Burma ,
…………………. : Quest for Peace (an autobiography)
(Both serialized in 'The Working Peoples'Daily.')
1970…………....:Her Infinfite Variety
(a prize-winning short story in the 'Horizon' magazine short story competition.)
…………………….:The Four Puppets
(included in 'Folk Tales of Asis',UNESCO)
……………………:Anawrahta of Burma
(publication of 'Heroes of Old Burma', which was later re-printed
under the titles,
'Anawhta' and 'King Among Men')
(a pratical and poetic guide for the visitors who wants something better than
a tourist view of Burma.Later reprinted under the 'Colourful Myanmar'.)
1977…………..:Flowers and festivals round the Burmese Year
(a short history of Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda,published in the Asia magazine)
1981…………..:A Pagoda Where Fairy Tale Characters Come to Life
(A tale-loke description of Mai La Mu Pagoda in the outskirts of Yangon,
published in the Asia Magazine)
1984………….:A Wonderland of Burmese Legends
(published by the Tamarind Press in Bangkok , later reprinted in Burma under
the title 'A Wonderland of Pagoda Legends')
1995…………:Gift of Laughter
(on the picturesque speech of the people of Hla Daw,
A village in Central Burmam , selection of which have been published
In the 'Pyinsa Rupa ' magazine)
During the last years of her life, deblitating and disfiguring
arthrithic pains made her spend most of her time in bed.Regarding her
fight against the spasms of pain , she remarled,"Sometimes I lose,
sometimes they win".Quite surprisingly, compared to what she suffered,
she died in peace.
Monday, July 11, 2011
from my home. I read it as I was waiting my friend who came from
airport. I was there to meet my friend. As my friend was late, I took
a chance to read the book. After finished reading upto page 40, my
friend and I met. I told my friend I liked this book and if she could
find this book , buy it for me and send to me. My friend promised it.
After that we never meet again. She had never a chance to visit our
I longed for this book very much. I asked my friend M.M to search
this for me. She found it and bought it. When she visited our country,
she gave it for me. So, this book, I have been wanting to read for
almost 2 years is now arrived! I am so happy with the book now.
I am a writer in Burma.
AtwayAmyin(thought) magazine is like Readers Digest magazine. It
contains about 30 articles published monthly.
I have now 7 books published in Burma. All are in Burmese.
My published books contained about Science, Science and Technology,
history of planes, Myself, Translations of my grandmother' books,
dictionary of mathematics and so on.
I obtained Children Literary Award for translating "Alice in
Wonderland" by Lewis Carrol into Burmese in 2008 from Htun Foundation
Awards in Burma.
My grandmother was a famous writer. Her name was Khin Myo Chit. She
wrote many books about Myanmar culture, legends, pagodas and short
stories. She wrote both in English and in Burmese. I envy my
grandmother very much. Her famous books are Colorful Burma, A
wonderland of Burmese Legends and Anawrahta of Burma (also known as
King Among Men).
I create this page not only for myself, but also for my family.
I also want to write about my grandfather (who was
not only a English teacher but also a writer), my grandmother (who was
a writer), my father (who is not only a mathematician but also a
writer), my mother (who is not only a housekeeper, but also a children
books writer) and my twins brother (who is not only a BE electrician
but also a Cartoonist and writer). As for me I myself a mathematician
once but now my work is writing.
After writing, I love reading. My grandmother always said, 'Read books
like eating." So, I give at least 1hour or more for reading time a
day. My grandparents and my parents always believe the slogan 'Read
for pleasure'. So, I always keep it in my mind that I read books for
One thing I want to add is for my friends who are patient to search
books for me. I thank them somuch. I cannot repay their kindness and
understanding to me; bookworm– bookeater!!