An Old Love Song

Years after you’ve settled down to a lustreless routine, you suddenly found out that somebody cried on your wedding night. How would you feel if not even in your wildest dreams could you imagine that this old friend had been secretly admiring you? What if decades later, when all your youthful fervour has burned out and you feel your life amounting to a pile of ash, you discover a piece of work – a touching song, a poem, a story dedicated to or inspired by you? You are shocked beyond words. Your heart had not beaten so fast for a long time.

What if this person is still contactable? Would you call him/her to talk about the good old days and then spend sleepless nights wondering how things might have turned out if you had known?

Dewdrop Books – Fiction and non-fiction with a focus on the colourful and exotic Asian realm. Check out our titles.

Kicking The Japanese Ass

The Chinese are fond of making war movies and that’s mainly because the audience loves it. I can understand such emotions during Bruce Lee’s days. The Chinese felt defeated and bullied everywhere they went. There was a strong desire for poetic justice in the virtual world. That’s why Chinese martial arts actors from Bruce Lee to Jet Li played on these emotions and scored numerous box office hits.

Yip Man starring Donnie Yen, a very recent movie, exploited the same plot and theme. It was still a huge success – so much so that even Westerners were interested in Wing Chun.

We know from historical records that Yip Man was not saint. As a policeman, he took bribes and was an opium addict to boot. All this is not important because when you fictionise a character and make him a hero, the audience suspends its disbelief.

All these movies are like candy for the injured pride. What I can’t understand is that after all these years, the pride of so many Chinese people remains wounded. There is still a market for such “kick Japanese ass” movies. What is it going to take for the Chinese to finally move on? Well, maybe after the film-makers go too far.

China is still making low-budget dramas featuring brave Communist fighters standing up against Japanese oppression. They may not succeed in throwing the Japanese out, but they always die gloriously. One recent drama 一起打鬼子 featured Ge Tian, the wife of former Olympic athlete Liu Xiang.

Liu Xiang@Columbia 1

In the final scene, Ge Tian visited her badly beaten lover in jail. The injured man fondled her and pulled a bomb hidden in her crotch. He ignited the bomb and they died together with their Japanese captors. Chinese viewers were not impressed with the lame plot. They went on social media to ridicule it. They might as well have done it for many other dramas that portray the Japanese as devils and trumpet the heroism of the Communist Party. It is quite likely that dramas like these will fade into oblivion as the real Communists peter out.

But I believe a mega production like Yip Man or featuring Jet Li can still sell a lot of tickets.

Dewdrop Books – Fiction and non-fiction with a focus on the colourful and exotic Asian realm. Check out our titles.

Looks Like Nothing Changed

Our love wasn’t strong enough to conquer the opposite directions we took. You pursued your dreams in the corporate world. I renounced a world of riches and frolicked in the arms of Mother Nature.

It has been years. I know you have fulfilled your dreams. Success sparkles in your eyes but loneliness discolours your cheeks. You look languidly at my images captured in the worthless wilds; my clothes bearing the signature of the earth, my hair fluttering in the untamed wind. You no longer deride my choice of poverty over wealth. You have learned to admire my passion with fake interest.

I have not changed. My heart is still with the hills and fields. And I know that nothing has changed for you either – except that you don’t want to be alone. And that is all. Yes, nothing has changed and just like years ago, we should still go on separate ways.

Dewdrop Books – Fiction and non-fiction with a focus on the colourful and exotic Asian realm. Check out our titles.

Late Night ATM

I can’t sleep on debt
Or an upset stomach.

So I set off
Towards the nearest ATM
Under an imperfect slice
Of a brilliant moon.
No more buses or trains.
The traffic flows smoothly now
Like thinned blood
On a weak pulse
And a weaker assumption
That no one would cross
At this witching hour.

I reach the bus interchange.
Fully lit and guarded
By two elderly men,
One sleeping,
The other flipping through
Yesterday’s news
Waiting for his turn on the bench.
I make my withdrawal.
I’m not alone.
The beeps from the machine
Then from another machine
Are shrill cries
In the dead of the night
Like calls to predators
Hungry for easy cash.

I shuffle along
Towards the safety of home.
And I’m still not alone
At this unfamiliar hour.
As strangers cross my path
I wonder
If they’re friend or foe.
If they are returning late
Or leaving early.

Dewdrop Books – Fiction and non-fiction with a focus on the colourful and exotic Asian realm. Check out our titles.