Sunday, 16 October 2011

12. Brief Biography

1966
      I was born.
      England defeated West Germany 4-2 in London to win the World Cup of soccer.
      American poet Adrienne Rich publishes her fourth collection of poetry, Necessities of life, written almost entirely in free verse.
      Indira Gandhi became head of the Congress Party and the first female prime minister of India.
      General Suharto took power after bloody coup and civil war, and then Indonesian forests became open for foreign concessionaries resulting widespread deforestation.
  
      1967,68,69,70
      My body, mind and heart were nurtured by my dad and mom.
      My body was developed.
      My mind was raised.
      My heart was cultivated.
      Latin American author Gabrei Garcia Marquez completed his epic novel ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’.
      South African surgeon Christiaan Barnard carries out the first human heart transplant.
      American women organized marching to protest Vietnam War.
      Apollo 11’s American astronaut Neil A. Armstrong became the first human being who stepped onto the moon surface.
      Golda Meir became the first female prime minister of Israel.
      British and American medical researchers develop the CAT scan, which integrates thousands of X-ray images into a detailed picture.
  
      1971,72,73,74,75,76,77,78,79,80,81,82,83
      My several birthdays had been passing through.
      My hairs’ birthday.
      My eyes’ birthday.
      My ears’ birthday.
      My mouth’s birthday.
      My throat’s birthday.
      My right hand’s birthday.
      My left hand’s birthday.
      My body’s birthday.
      My legs’ birthday.
      My mind’s birthday.
      My heart’s birthday.
      Women in Jordan got the right to vote.
      World’s population was over four billion.
      In Berlin, the World Congress for International Women’s Year opens with almost 2000 delegates from 141 countries.
      Labour minister Tina Anselmi became the first women in the Italian Cabinet.
      Margaret Thatcher became the first female prime minister of Great Britain.
      The firstbirth of a human child conceived through in vitro fertilization, a technique pioneered by British doctor Patrick Steptoe and RG Edwards.
      The World Health Organization declared that smallpox had been eradicated three years after the last known case.
      Internet was invented.
  
      1984
      Ma Thida (sanchaung)23 was born.
      In Bhopal, India, a union carbide chemical plant explosion killed 3300 people and injured thousands seriously.
      American researcher Robert Gallo and French researcher Luc Montagnier announced independent discoveries of the virus, later named HIV.
      Desmond Tutu, later Archbishop of Cape Town and head of the Anglican Church in South Africa, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his leadership in the national struggle against apartheid.
  
      1985, 86, 87
      My right hand, tongue and heart were reborn on the pages.
      My right hand prominently developed, tongue repeatedly fluent, heart constantly warm.
      My brain, right hand and tongue were regrown-up at the hospitals.
      My brain prominently developed, right hand repeatedly active, tongue constantly warm.
      Nigerian playwright and novelist Wole Soyinka wins the Nobel Prize for Literature.
      An accident in one of the atomic reactors at Chernobyl in the Soviet Ukaraine led to the worst disaster in civilian nuclear power.
  
      1988-89
      I was born by myself.
      My right hand, tongue, brain and heart were no longer developed, active and became burnt.
      However a new “me” was reborn from rest of the organs from original “me”.
      Deforestation rate in Brazil’s Amazonia region peaks and attracts increased international concern.
      Benazia Bhutto became prime minister of Pakistan.
  
      1990
      Dr Ma Thida was born by myself.
      But I was slowly frail.
      My right hand was no longer developed, tongue no longer fluent, heart became boiled.
      My brain was no longer developed, right hand no longer active, tongue became burnt.
      Some parts of “me” were died.
      I got the opportunity to attend the funeral of my body parts.
      I didn’t offer a bunch of red roses.
      I didn’t light the honey candle.
      I didn’t show my portrait picture.
      But I was silent as I was in other funerals.
      World population became over five billions. (It means that in other part of the world, there might be several births and developments.)
      In Saudi Arabia, women drove cars in Riyadh to protest laws preventing them from operating motor vehicles.
      Violeta Barrios de Charmarro is elected president of Nicaragua.
  
      1991,92
      Some of my body parts were still dying.
      I was still attending those funerals.
      Didn’t offer a bunch of red roses.
      Didn’t light the honey candle.
      Didn’t show my portrait picture.
      I tried to hide my shameful mind behind my crossing hands as I usually did at other funerals.
      There was Hindu-Muslim riots in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
      Erwin Neher and Bert Sakmann, two German cell physiologists won Noble Prize in medicine.
      Someone won prizes.
      Someone offered prayers.
      Someone didn’t get their wishes true.
  
      1993
      I temporarily died.
      My hairs’ funeral.
      Freely flying and never pony-tailing hair was tied with the black hair band.
      My eyes’ funeral.
      Usually far and wide seeing eyes were limited to see the distance just over the eyelashes.
      My ears’ funeral.
      My ears which, prefers knowledge and information than ear-ring, were corkscrewed by ever hearing tune of “How are you all?”.
      My mouth’s funeral.
      My mouth which, prefers worth and right words than sweet and pleasant ones, was mute by a tradition of grinding teeth and biting lips.
      My throat’s funeral.
      My throat which, is ready to vomit while it doesn’t want to swallow, was swallowed by a tradition of absorbing the vomitus.
      My right hand’s funeral.
      My right hand which, ever tries to reflect physically of mind and heart, was tired by messaging forehead and neck.
      My left hand’s funeral.
      My left hand, which tried to support older ones and help youth, was captured by spending days with resting position on knees.
      My body’s funeral.
      My body, which was opening up chest and heading up, was pressed by forcing lying flat throughout days and nights.
      My legs’ funeral.
      My legs, which tried to walk until the horizon, were tired by running closed circle.
      My mind,
      My heart,
      Never die.
      Never die.
      I never ever attend the funeral of my mind and heart.
      Tony Morrison became the first African-American woman to win the Noble Prize for literature.
      Tonsu Ciller became first female prime minister of Turkey.
      Kim Campbell became the first woman prime minister of Canada.
      After 40 years dilemma, the world greatest dam, Three Gorges, was built near Yantze river of China.
  
      1995
      My birthday was celebrated without me but with many people who I have never known.
      I slowly died and gradually reincarnated.
      I attended the funeral of me.
      My birthday was celebrated without me.
      The United Nations’ fourth world conference on women met in Beijing, China.
      965,000 people attended the Claude Monet exhibit at the art institute of Chicago.
      82% of Poland’s forests were damaged by acid rain.
  
      1996, 97, 98
      I was adopted again by the World.
      I was still attending the funeral of me.
      They were celebrating the adoption ceremony without me.
      Protease inhibitors provided a new treatment for AIDS which dramatically improves rates of survival.
      East Timorese Roman Catholic bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 for his nonviolent efforts to draw international attention to East Timor and promote independence from Indonesia.
      In Afghanistan the ruling Taliban government places strict restriction on women, forbidding them from working outside the home and receiving an education.
  
      1999
      I reincarnated but still was attending some funerals.
      There might be a knot when you tied the two pieces of a rope.
      My hair, eyes, ears, throat, body and legs were reincarnated.
      I was still attending the funerals of some of my body parts.
      The AIDS epidemic worsens in Africa as reports indicate that some 9400 people on the continent are infected with the fatal virus everyday.
      Mireya Moscoso became the first female president of Panama and in December oversaw the US handover of the Panama Canal.
      Elizabeth Dole resigned her position as president of the Red to explore a run for the Republican nomination for US president.
  
      1999, 2000, 2001
      The days Dr Ma Thida was restructured piece by piece.
      My hair, eyes, ears, throat, left hand, body and legs were reincarnated.
      Eyes stretched their legs, tongue visited around, throat refused swallowing if it’s potential vomiting, left hand supported elders, helped youths and joined talent people, body laid as trench, legs ran three-sixty degrees direction.
      But I was attending the funeral of me.
      Didn’t yet offer a bunch of red roses.
      Didn’t yet light the honey candle.
      Didn’t yet show my portrait picture.
      Y2K made the world worrying.
      The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, linking the Japanese island of Awaji to the city of Kōbe on the main island of Honshū, opened to traffic. The bridge 3911-m (12,831-ft) long is the longest suspension bridge in the world.
      Al-Qaeda international terrorist network found by Osama bin Laden attacked World Trade Centre in New York. 3047 people were killed. 3152 children became orphans. Most of deceased people’s bodies hadn’t found. Several nationals and citizens including police, fire-workers and medical personnel who rescued the victims were killed. 
      There were serial funerals.
      This was big funeral carpeted with flowers; black and white roses in bunches, bouquets, baskets.
      This was big funeral flamed with honey candles.
      This was big funerals walled with portraits and pictures.
      Tears, sobbing, grief, weak fingers, frail body and pathetic legs shaped sorrowful funeral.
      National flag on the coffin, great sympathy and violent support from the authorities, interviews of victim’s family members, papers and pages for missing notes and poems. All of those manners made the rest ones to accept this funeral evenly.
      They didn’t need to attend their funerals.
      Their funerals were attended by several world citizens including someone whom they never know. Their funerals were attended by more crowd than their birthdays were.
      Actually most of them were not heroes. They were only ordinaries.
      Most of them died without knowing anything. World citizens buried their bodies as they were the dead evidence of result of terror and violence.
      Their funeral was world famous.
      They lost their lives.
      From now every year their death would warm the world about the value of peace.
      Tongue and hands must still alive in stead of their bodies died.
      They didn’t really die.
  
      2002
      Ma Thida-Sanchaung, my pen name, was nearly totally reborn.
      My hair, eyes, ears, throat, left hand, body and legs were reincarnated.
      Eyes stretched their legs, tongue visited around, throat refused swallowing if it’s potential vomiting, left hand supported elders, helped youths and joined talent people, body laid as trench, legs ran three-sixty degrees direction.
      But I was attending the funeral of me.
      My right hand and tongue were not yet reincarnated.
      Didn’t yet offer a bunch of red roses.
      Didn’t yet light the honey candle.
      Didn’t yet show my portrait picture.
 
      Bin Laden was not arrested.
      Terrorism didn’t stop.
      The World is still warming.
   Ma Thida (Sanchaung)
      Written in September 2002.
      That was never published in Burma. That was translated by author herself. That was on University of Iowa’s International Writing Program’s webpage as her writing sample.
      The title in Burmese is “udk,fa&;tusOf; Ko yae akyin”. The whole word means brief biography. But author put ‘koudk,f’ and ‘yaea&;’ together and makes space between ‘koyaeudk,fa&;’ and ‘akyintusOf;’. Then meaning is different. ‘koyaeudk,fa&;’ means ‘I write’ and ‘akyintusOf;’ means ‘brief’ or ‘prison.’

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