Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Soul of Malaya

I am reading this book now - The Soul of Malaya by Henri Fauconnier.

I have not finished reading it yet, for I am a slow reader. It took momentum for me to read and due to my excessive mass, my inertia is also slow. So I decided to put up a short review of series of excerpts to share with you.

Basically this book is about a french guy who came to Malaysia in the year 1901 as a planter. He started as a manager in a rubber plantation in Bukit Sampah. I am not sure where Bukit Sampah is.

The book has illustrations of photos and sketches. This is just fascinating, looking at sketches of our country where the forest was still dense.

It is about a french man's love-hate relationship with a British friend, and him learning about life in Malaya. French were not popular here in Malaya. They colonised Indo-China instead during those days.

This is a novel with accounts of social commentaries of what Malaya was like in the early 20th century, at least in the author's view.

Anyway, I just like to share this particular excerpt with you for now

"Stark had engaged a tall bearded Bengali who represented public authority and marched about the plantation like an Eastern King. I discovered that the principal task of this superb specimen was to see to it that the coolies disposed their excrements elsewhere than in the middle of the road. The Tamil does not like exposing his skin in sheltered places where demons and mosquitoes lurk. He prefers the open. All day long the Bengali concentrated his eyes and his mind in the search for exhibits, for each of which he received a reward of ten cents when he was able to denounce the perpetrator. So he was constantly on the look out for his exhibits and also for the Estate Manager whom he delighted to honour with a grand military salute.

One morning, a break of dawn, I saw him squatting, in the middle of the road, after which he dissapeared. A coolie passed. The Bengali leapt upon him. Accusations, protests, and an uproar.....

The Eastern King was later dismissed."

My conclusion : Not all work should be rewarded with commissions.

What's yours?

11 comments:

CikNi said...

wah.. macam true story tapi benda macam tu (sendili buat-tuduh orang-dapat reward) rasanya sekarang pun byk berlaku

A Babe Of Very Little Brain said...

You should read the trilogy Moon Over Malaya by Anthony Burgess. Mr Burgess was once a teacher in MCKK and he wrote the first parter based on what he experienced in K.Kangsar which he hilariously named as Melanchap. Bacalaaah ... pergi cari kat Kinokuniya. part 1 and part 2 in K.Kangsar or Bandar Melanchap the royal town, part 3 in Kelantan.

lollies said...

cik ni-sebenarnya buku ni is part novel and part social commentaries so ada sikit-sikit betullah. kira aku ambik mana yang jernih i.e. ikut citarasa aku. kalo aku rasa omputeh ni kulang ajaq..aku tak ambik portlah

babe - oh best best..recommend me more babe. sampai 3 part ni yummy..multiple orgasm macam ni..tak payah melanchap

Leen Ash Burn said...

Wah your books and Babe's recommendation make me want to go to Kino NOW and getting them books. Malangnya nasib gue, ini hari gaji kamek sik kuar lagi.

lollies said...

leen - minggu depan gerenti kuar.

atiza said...

ya lor..make me want to any buy all those 4 book like a.s.a.p b4 it's running out of stock..(tentu2nya 2 sets dah kena beli dgn leen n lollies)

atiza said...

ehh sorry la grammar n spelling tonggang langgang

CikNi said...

wah semalam gambar nyonyot hari ni gambar ABC

lollies said...

alamk..buku soul of malaya ni aku beli kat UM sebenarnya..tempat lain tak sure ada ke tak. Kat kino tu..hmm bila lah agaknya aku dapat pergi

cik ni - adakah anda terliur?

Captain Barbell said...

malaya ni kat mana?

lollies said...

malaya ni adalah sebuah negara kayangan dipenuhi oleh wanita berkemban dan lelaki memakai sarong. ianya sudah tiada lagi