Kuali Hitam

Warisan Zurinah Hassan



excerpt:  “Recently Asrul read a short story by a writer
he admired, about
 a good goatherd  who
died leaving hundreds of goats unattended. 
The goats had eaten up the grass in
the area and there was no one
 to take them to a new grazing ground.The cloud
darkened as it was 
 going to rain. They
were frantically looking  for a shelter.
They walked about and came to two sheds
that look good
 for keeping them dry. But soon the goats quarrel  among
and arguing  which shed they
should go to.. Asrul could understand 
 that the writer was not talking about
goats and goatherds. He was 
 talking about his people and their leaders. There
is a terrible rift among his people”.   

– Cerita Berangkai Hulu Negeri, Dewan Sastera 2010. 
When I write a short story my aim
is not to tell a story. The ultimate goal is to discuss issues pertaining to
our society . I need a story to serve as vehicle to transport the issues to
the readers.
When I write a short story I create fictitious characters but they all  symbolised
other  characters  in real live. An imagined situation that
happened to a character manifest a real situation that I thought important
enough to bring up to the readers. I tell  a story with the purpose of discussing
important issues or voicing my opinions on matters of importance in my society

Let us look at one entitled CERITA
among my people (The Malays) had been bothering me.and have been in the minds of many more writers
The split is between supporters of the
ruling party and those who shouted for a change. They quarrelled among themselves
and the quarrel  could be so serious that
it could break up marriages, and create hostility among brothers. It had been
embedded in my mind for a long time and the event that spark up or triggered the
writing  was the Hulu Selangor by election
in 2010. I have also  seen how the
government instantly solved many development problems when an election is
As mentioned above, a short story
is a careful blending of reality and imagination.  Imagination was in the characters and events
that had been created while the reality is seen in the social issues portrayed.
An imagined character Asrul who
help his father in chicken farming is to unfold the real problem of graduates getting
a suitable job and the issue of repaying their study loan, the PTPTN,  which increases in interest and service
charges . Asrul’s father and his uncle Salleh were not on talking term due to their political differences. Salleh is a character who make a living by selling
CDs of election campaign and  speeches by
opposition leaders.  Through Salleh I
could reveal  the phenomena or the new form
of entertainment in my society, that is listening to political speeches through
CDs. The eloquent and witty  speakers of
the opposition parties would attract thousands of listeners to their election campaigns and put  their recorded speeches on good sales. People laughed and enjoyed the speeches but the government could not be toppled
yet.  Other fictitious characters are  Ah Meng a shopkeeper who benefitted by the crowd who thronged  Hulu Selangor since the minute the election was announced and Ah Seng who own a hardware shop because
there were many houses built or repaired  instantly by the government in power and more
buildings are lined up in the election campaign promise.
All the characters are fictional and imaginary but they manifest characters and events that are real.
These are  the reality of our country..

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