If you check the chinese name like mine in the internet you will find a little book written in malay language called ‘topeng’ which literally means mask. You will also find a postgraduate thesis entitled ‘Exact calculation of the flavour changing quark-higgs vertex’.
One has to do with literature work.
The other has to do with the intriguing world of physics.
They are oceans apart. In terms of language.
With respect to itâ€™s content.
Yet both have something in common.
They were both written by me.
And none others.
Some of my friends found the malay novel however they usually never believed it was written by me. When I gave this little book of mine to a very close friend for her birthday many moons ago, she asked me who really was the writer. It didn’t take me by surprise and I laughed all the way. The only way to convince her was to get her to look at the page where the book was dedicated to some very important individuals who have shaped my life in one way or another.
I started writing malay short stories during my teenage years. I found writing a rejuvenating experience. One where I could stretch my creativity to unfamiliar territories. Writing feeds my hunger for freedom in totality. Penning my thoughts allows me to be the master of the universe.
The puppeteer yet not the puppet.
My first short story was published in a magazine when I was in my teens.
I went to the bookstore to check the monthly magazine. And to my surprise, I saw none other than my short story inside.
I was very elated.
I could still remember that moment as if it was yesterday.
Hence my thirst for writing short stories grew exponentially.
I usually write at night.
When serenity fills the atmosphere.
Where my imagination could work wonders.
I typed using old fashioned type writers.
So you could imagine how noisy it is at night.
With good neighbours, that really helps. Nobody really believes that I can write in malay. Yet that was never the deterrent factor.
When you believe in something, you never let anyone tell you that it is otherwise. After collaborating with other writers to publish a few books on short stories, I yearn for the book of my own.
Nothing means to me more than to have my very own book.
‘Topeng’ took me two weeks to write.
It was written many many years ago.
Yet it felt like yesterday.
Our most memorable moments will always feel like yesterday.
Most of the inspirational moments happened when I take my bath.
So if I’m taking longer than usual during my bath, chances are I’m deep in my thoughts. I remembered when the book cover was ready, I was requested to have a look. My most important mission was to make sure that my name was spelt correctly. As this is my book. It belongs to no one else.
And the rest is history.
Will I write another book?
Only time will tell. In Malay?
If you happen to have my book, I would like to say many thanks.
If you wish to have my book, my heartfelt gratitude for believing in me.
That I can articulate my thoughts.
In the way I deemed appropriate.
This book is my prized possession.
This very novel represents a teenager’s dream.
Or doing something that he can really be proud of.
For many more moons to come.
Never let our dreams be compromised.
Or due to anything else in life.
For when all fails, it is our dreams that will still stand tall.
We are who we are.
Only if we stand by what we believe in.
Our dreams shape our life.
And when we reflect many moons ahead, we will rejoice in our choices.
For we dare to dream a dream.