Once upon a time, more than half a century ago…in Mandalay

Pho Toke was in a cap with a star. I was talking to him. Their younger sister, my aunt cum younger sister, (because their mother breast-fed me sometimes together with Pho Toke as he was one month only older than me) Ma Nwe came to visit us. Her two sons are working in Singapore. We were neighbours at 29×83 junction. I was born there and continued to stay with my grandma when my parents transferred to Rgn. My grandma opened a grocery shop there and U Thein Mg had a Sewing Machine Repair Shop, side by side.

My late grandma Daw Daw Kyawt, her younger brother, U Nu‘s AFPFL Thant Shin faction Municipal Councillor U Thein Mg’s children. Pho Toke was one month older than me but passed away few years ago with Ca Lung.

Pho Toke and Nwe Nwe were too fair and even the neighbour Chinese Children mistaken them as Chinese and teased them during Chines New Year times. They thought that they were Chinese but could not celebrate with new clothes because of poverty. But the eldest Mamu Shin (Hashim) and youngest Wai Wai have darker skin like us. By the way I called their parents as A Par and A May, following the way their children called, although they were my grand uncle and grand aunt.

ညီအစ္ကိုေမာင္ႏွမေတြက အျမင္ကပ္ေလာက္ေအာင္
က ်ြန္ေတာ့္ကိုခ ်စ္ခဲ့တဲ့ အဖြား
က ်ြန္ေတာ္က အေမ လို႔ေခၚခဲ့တဲ့အဖြား
သမီး တေယာက္ထဲေမြးထားၿပီး
ေျမး ၈ေယာက္ကို ရင္အုပ္မကြာ ထိန္းသိမ္းေစာင့္ေရွာက္ ခဲ့တဲ့အဖြား
-အလႅာဟ္အမိန္႔ေတာ္ခံယူသြားတာ ၁၆နွစ္ ရွိသြားပါၿပီ-

ယာအလႅာဟ္အရွင္
နာနီနဲ႔တကြ အာရ္ဝါမ ်ားအားလံုးကို
အျပစ္ဟူသမ ွ်တို႔မွ ခြင့္လႊတ္ေတာ္မူပါ
ကဘရ္တြင္ က ်ေရာက္နိုင္သည့္ အသာဘ္ျပစ္ဒဏ္မ ်ား
မွ လြတ္ၿငိမ္းခြင့္ ေပးသနားေတာ္မူပါ
ကဘရ္၏လင္းဝင္မႈ ကဘရ္၏က ်ယ္ဝနး္မႈမ ်ား
ေပးသနားေတာ္မူပါ
အာေခရတ္၌ ဂ်ႏၷတ္တြင္ အျမင့္မားဆံုးအဆင့္အတန္း
ေပးသနားေတာ္မူပါ
(အာမီန္း)

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3 Responses to “Once upon a time, more than half a century ago…in Mandalay”

  1. Alan CY Kok Says:

    Nice down memory lane. It’s virtuous to remember and pay tribute to one who breast fed you when you’re an infant. Glad to know some of them found themselves living life in singapore. But homeland needs rebuild and the populace need care and concern with lots of help,
    material and financial aid and correct thinking for human
    rights issues and democracy. Believe you’ve done all
    that by writing your blogs. Regards,

    Aaln Kok

  2. drkokogyi Says:

    Second thought…The person with Pho Toke could be his brother U Myo Lwin (MD Hashim). The one with my grandma is more likely to be I.

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