qU>mya;

eza\gjI

His Spouse

By

Zaw Gyi

Translated by U Win Pe (Mya Zin)

 

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1

esj;qv\m mePa.qv\ kuiSc\% mya;`Ps\qv\''

mePa.qv\ #mi>qui>tk\& kun\sim\; erac\;el.RuHira nMnk\tuic\; bjp\kuiRQk\& #mi>qui> ts\muic\nI;pf;Kn\> e`Kkjc\qQa;rqv\\'' Aerac\;rtQc\lJc\ esaesa `pn\latt\&' Aerac\;rTuic\;lJc\ enesac\;mH `pn\latt\qv\'' `pv\latuic\; eKjac\;kiu`Pt\ka RQaBk\qui> kU;Ta;eqa wf;tMta;qui> erak\lJc\ lc\sit\' qa;qmI;sit\tui>qv\ Aluilui epFlatt\~kelqv\''

1

Ma Paw, the wife of Ko Hsin, worked in the market. Each morning she walked a mile to town with greens on a tray. If business was brisk she returned early, otherwise only when the sun had declined. Whenever she reached the bamboo bridge that crossed the stream beside the village on her return, thoughts of her husband and children arose in her mind.

sound.gif (2534 bytes) mePa.qv\ Arp\ eTac\eTac\emac\;emac\; `Ps\qv\'' SMpc\qv\ nI~kn\>~kn\> `Ps\& ts\TQa qaqaelak\ RHv\qv\'' qQa; Atn\cy\ eKfqv\'' qui>ratQc\ ARup\Sui;hu mSuiqaeKj'' kiuSc\qv\ Aim\| Tuic\sa;qma; `Ps\qv\'' Aui Tuic\sa;qma;qk\qk\lv\; mhut\pfep'' Aim\mHa Tmc\;Aui; tv\rqv\'' qa;cy\ qmI;cy\mja;kui Tin\;rqv\'' kuiSc\qv\ cy\sV\k qame?Bw| kui;NHs\Kn\> enKE.PU;qU `Ps\q`Pc\. saep| Atn\cy\ eKfk\miqv\'' sit\Ta; qeBaTa; ekac\;qv\'' ry\ry\emaema entt\qv\'' AlHOmgClapQEmja;tQc\ eRH>tn\;k pftt\qv\'' qU% Arp\Aemac\;mHa mya;elak\ m`mc\.lH'' SMpc\ ekac\;qv\'' N:t\Km\;emW; er;er; RHiqv\'' rc\Aup\ kjV\;qv\'' Tui;kQc\;kui dU;ATi Tui;Ta;qv\'' She was tall with reddish hair and slightly protruding teeth, but it could not be said that she was ugly. Her husband Ko Hsin was a man of leisure who sat and ate at home. It was not wholly true that he did nothing. He had to cook the rice and look after the children. Ko Hsin had been a novice in the Buddhist Monastic Order for nine years and had some learning. He was good-natured, fond of laughter and was the prime mover at charities and weddings. He was not as tall as his wife, was small-chested, had a fine crop of hair and a thin strip of moustache. he was tattooed to his knees.
sound.gif (2534 bytes) qUtui>NHs\eyak\ va;~k& qa;cy\ts\eyak\ r!pI;qv\ATi mePa.qv\ esj;erac\;lv\; TQk\qv\'' kuiSc\kuilv\; #psuRHaqv\'' qa;ts\eyak\ enak\Tp\ tui;laeqaAKf mePa.qv\ esj;erac\;qa TQk\Nuic\ RHaeta.qv\'' enak\ts\Pn\ qmI;ts\eyak\ tui;la`pn\eqaAKf mePa. AlQn\ emapn\;latt\qv\'' kun\R:M;eqa AlHv\.NHc\. $kMqv\.AKf qna;PQy\qa `Ps\eta.qv\'' qui>ratQc\ mePa>qv\ vv\;qv\mRHi'' When they were married and after they had a son, Ma Paw kept shop and ministered to Ko Hsin's needs. When the second son was born she could only keep shop. After the birth of their daughter Ma Paw often became very tired. Once when she was pitiable. But she did not complain.
sound.gif (2534 bytes) AeRH>puic\;k mgClaeSac\mHa vv\;eyakj\a; mgCla~qBaska; e`papuMkui vv\;la`pI; na;eTac\es.Kjc\ty\ qUcy\Kjc\;mrE>' AlQn\ Kn\>ty\'' vv\;eyakj\a; pva`pv\.pfepty\eA. hu mePa. qUcy\Kjc\;mts\eyak\k kuiSc\kui KjI;mQm\;PU;elqv\'' TuiAKf mePa.qv\ AlQn\ Aa;rqv\'' qU% sit\TEtQc\ kjk\qerAepfc\;tui> `pv\.lJm\;eneqa lc\% mjk\NHakui `mc\laTc\laqv\'' ts\Kfts\rM ts\Sy\.el;NHs\ARQy\ qa;A~kI;k tMta;mH SI;$ki& Aem. bjp\etac\; sqv\tui>kui kUqy\ep;%'' TuiAKf mePa.qv\ Aa;r`pn\qv\'' emac\mc\;~kI;qa;e~kac\. dIqa;kel; Aa;Ta;repty\ hu etQ;miqv\'' She was heartened when one of her friends told her, "You should listen to your husband deliver Minglar Awba speech at a wedding in the village. Magnificent. He is a learned man." She was heartened when her fourteen year old son sometimes met her at the bamboo bridge and relieved her of her try and basket. At these times her thoughts turned in gratitude to her husband. 
sound.gif (2534 bytes) ts\Kfeqa\ Aim\cy\eRH>qui> Tn\;ermU;qma;ts\eyak\ erak\ la& Aim\eRH>k`pc\| ska;e`pa en~keqa mePa.tui> qa;Amikui mTImE.`mc\ #pluieqa mjk\si`Pc\. ~kv\.elqv\'' TuiAKf qa;Amiqv\ Aim\tQc\;qui> e`p;wc\~kqv\'' Aim\tQc\;k kuiSc\qv\ Aim\eRH>qui> kpjakya TQk\la& k`pc\| Kf;eTak\ka rp\enluik\qv\'' mTImE.`mc\ #pluieqa mjk\luM;tui>qv\ KjaknE lHv\.qQa;`pI;enak\' yim\;Tui;qQa;~keqa e`Ktui>NHc\.AtU yuic\yim\;ka pfqQa;~kqv\'' TuiAKf Aim\Kn\;tMKf;mH eKfc\;`pO ~kv\.eneqa mePa.qv\ emac\mc\;~kI;qa;mRHilJc\ dukKA`Ps\pE hu etQ;mi`pn\qv\'' Once when she and her children were talking on the open veranda of their house a tipsy drinker of toddy appeared on the road and made insulting eyes at them. The mother and children ran into the house in fear. Ko Hsin hurriedly appeared from within the house and stood with arms akimbo on the platform. The drunkard's eyes turned and whirled, leading away his tottering feet. Ma Paw was thankful. Were it not for my man we would have suffered great indignities, she thought.
sound.gif (2534 bytes) mePa.qv\ yKu quM;Sy\. KuNHs\NHs\AtQc\;qui> wc\`pI'' kuiSc\qv\ mePa.Tk\ e`Kak\ NHs\mJ~kI;qv\'' Ma Paw was now in her thirty-seventh year. Ko Hsin was six years older.
sound.gif (2534 bytes) kuiSc\qv\ ^Aqk\ARQy\Ti mv\qv\.Alup\kuimJ `Ps\`Ps\e`mak\e`mak\ mlup\KE.PU;;eKj'' TmIna; Kuisa;qv\ hu mluiqUtui>k kE.rE>~klJc\ Alui ewqNtaramc\;~kI;etac\ mddIrE> lup\sakui Tuic\sa;eq;tapE hu ry\qlui emaqluinE> `pn\eKjel>RHiqv\'' kuiy\.kuquil\nE> kuiy\`Ps\ta mnaluituiRHv\ m`Ps\~kNHc\.el hu enak\Tp\ Sk\luik\eq;qv\'' qui>ratQc\ sit\TE|ka; nakjc\miqv\'' napc\ na`ca;eqa\lv\; narmHn\;mqi'' ska;Nuic\lu& e`paluik\reqa qU>kuiy\kuipc\ qU KjI;mQm\;luik\qv\''

mluiqUtui>qv\ ska; Atc\sI;KM~krq`Pc\. qa& mliusit\ epFepfk\la~kqv\'' AKQc\.rtuic\; em;ecf.~kqv\'' mE.RQE>~kqv\'' Tuiqui> em;Aecf.KMKE.r' AmE.ARQE> KMKE.reqa d?\ramja;qv\ kuiSc\ Aqk\ARQy\ ~kI;laeqaAKf kuiSc\%sit\tQc\ epFla~kqv\''

Ko Hsin, for all his years, had never really worked. When people said of him that he supported himself by clutching the hem of a skirt he would reply jokingly: "Even Wethandaya lived on what Maddi could get for him." He would add: "I am able to live in leisure as I live now because of my past meritorious deeds. Don't be jealous." Though he said this, in his heart he was hurt. But the pain was almost forgotten in the pride of his brilliant repartee. Because of his replies the others frowned on him or thrust their chins at him in decision. In time these acts of his neighbors stirred up the old pain in his heart and spurred him to action.
sound.gif (2534 bytes) Tui>e~kac\. kuiSc\qv\ Akuiwm\;kQE ts\eyak\TMmH ecQeKj;& wf;erac\;qv\'' wf;esj;kjKuik\ $kMq`Pc\. KQk\KQk\ln\eAac\ R:M;pfelqv\'' enak\ts\NHs\ mui;VI;kjeqaAKf kuiSc\qv\ ly\AcHa; Sc\;TQn\`pn\qv\'' TQn\qQa;Tiq`Pc\. e`KqluM;tQc\ eqQ;sk\sk\NHc\. `pn\larqv\'' Anakui Sy\.cf;rk\elak\ kuyUrqv\'' S0 Ko Hsin borrowed money from a cousin and entered the bamboo business. He lost heavily. The next rains he went down to the fields to plough. He returned home with blood dripping from his foot where he had run in the plough-share. It took fifteen days for the wound to heal.
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2

Anakjk\eqaen>tQc\ kuiSc\% Aqk\ el;Sy\.quM;NHs\ `pv\.`pI'' Aqa;Anaqv\ ekac\sQa kjk\ep%'' qui>ratQc\ sit\ Anaka; yV\;s#pla`pI''

2

He was forty-three on the day he got well. The wound of the flesh had healed but the wound of the heart had swollen.

sound.gif (2534 bytes) mePa.qv\ Kftuic\;kE.qui> esj;qui> tk\qQa;%'' TuiAKf qa;A~kI;qv\ Bun\;~kI;ekjac\;qui> qQa;qv\'' qa;Alt\NHc\. qmI;eTQ;tui>qv\ Aim\eRH> mn\kjv\;pc\eAak\| ksa;~kqv\'' kuiSc\qv\ k`pc\| lk\Pk\rv\ APn\ eqak\qv\'' Atn\~kaeqaAKf eKfc\;rc\;Aim\k qa;qmI; e`Kak\eyak\tui>% APqv\ lk\qma;eqttakui Tm\;& TQk\qQa;qv\'' e`Krc\;Aim\k mya; mI;yp\qv\m% eyakj\a;qv\ DniKut\rn\ Da;kuiyU& tPk\km\;qui> elH`Pc\. kU;qv\'' mjk\NHaKjc\;Suic\Aim\k ABui;Auipc\lJc\ tedfk\edfk\NHc\. eyak\m Kut\enqv\'' Ma Paw had set off to market as usual, the elder son had gone on to the monastery-school. The other two children were playing beneath the tamarind tree in front of the house. As Ko Hsin sat on the veranda drinking a pot of tea he saw the carpenter father of six from a neighbor's house set out with his box of tools. The man from next door crossed the stream to cut dhani on the other bank. Even the old man from the opposite house whittled a piece of wood to make a puddle-stick.
sound.gif (2534 bytes) lk\VI;tQc\ kuiSc\qv\ lk\Pk\rv\ APn\kui ts\KQk\`pI; ts\KQk\ cHE>eqak\Kf' Aim\eRH>| ksa;en~keqa qa;NHc\. qmI;tui>kui ~kv\.& ~kv\NU;enqv\'' qui>ratQc\ Aim\nI;na;Kjc\;tui>k tl:p\l:p\ tRQRQ Alup\qQa;~k Alup\lup\~kqv\tui>kui `mc\reqaAKf qa;qmI;tui>kui ~kv\.& m~kv\NU;Nuic\' Tmc\;Aui;tv\rmv\`Ps\eqa qU% Alup\kui qU qtirlaqv\'' em;ecf.~keqa mjk\NHa' mE.RQE>~keqa mjk\NHatui>kuilv\; `mc\eyac\eyac\ `Ps\laqv\'' Tui>e~kac\. eKfc\;cuM>enluik\qv\'' Tuimjk\NHatui>kuika; m`mc\r'' qui>ratQc\ qU>`Ps\eRH; tqIttn\;~kI;qv\ qU>mjk\sitQc\ epFlaqv\'' RHc\lUTQk\qv\. AKfmHs& pui;puwf tqqNHc\. lUepFe~ka. lup\laKE.puM' mePa.NHc\. va;puM' kun\R:M;puM' e`KqluM;| d?\rarpuMtui> `Ps\qv\'' qU wm\;nv\;la%'' RHk\la%" qv\BwNHc\. qUmenKjc\'' qU Run\;TQk\Kjc\qv\'' qUetQ;qv\mHa rhn\;wt\rlJc\ ekac\;mv\'' rhn\;`Ps\lJc\ qU Tmc\;Aui; tv\reqa.mv\ mhut\'' rhn\;`Ps\lJc\ nibban\kui qU mjk\emHak\#pNuic\mv\'' mya;' qa;qmI;tui>qv\ qU>kuimHI& kuquil\r~kmv\'' qU kYt\Kjin\tn\`pI'' qUBura;Supn\mv\'' qU rhn\;wt\eta.mv\'' qU>AetQ;ka; ^qui>eptv\;'' At first Ko Hsin was filled with a sense of ease and pleasure as he drank cup after cup of tea and watched his children at play. But when his neighbors began to stir to work his pleasure faded and remembered that he had yet to get the pot of rice on the fire. He suddenly recalled the taunts of his neighbors and the procession of his past passed before his eyes. His foppishness since leaving the monastery, his marriage to Ma Paw, his business failure, his hurt foot. He became sad and ashamed. He desired to break out of his way of life. He thought it would be good to become a monk. Then he would not have to cook rice. He would be able to turn his eyes towards Nibban. His wife and children would gain merit by him. He felt certain that the time for his release from the sorrows of samsara was at hand. He would pray for the Buddha-hood. He would endeavor first to become a Buddhist monk, a Celibate. Thus did he think.
sound.gif (2534 bytes) e~qa\ Tmc\;Aui;tv\sra RHipfeq;%tka;'' mtv\lJc\ qU yen> Tmc\;ct\mv\'' qU> qa;NHc\. qmI;tui> cui~klim\.mv\'' Tui>e~kac\. kuiSc\qv\ sa;Puiqui> wc\rel%'' TuiAKjin\| #mi>esj;tQc\ esj;erac\;eneqa mePa.qv\ kun\sim\;mja;kui erpiu& SQt\qv\'' Ael;Kjin\ pui&sI;lJc\ A`mt\ecQ pui& rsraRHiqv\'' rlJc\ kuiSc\Pui> eS;epf.lip\ ekac\;ekac\; wy\qQa;mv\hu mePa. sit\kU;enqv\'' But he remembered again that he must prepare the rice or he would have nothing to eat and that the children would cry. He arose and entered the kitchen. Meanwhile in the market, Ma Paw was adding water to her greens to make them heavier whereby she might earn more. With that more she earned she intended to buy some nice cheroots for her husband.
sound.gif (2534 bytes) kYm\;kjc\qv\.Aeljak\ kuiSc\qv\ Tmc\;kui ekac\;sQa Kjk\Nuic\qv\'' kjk\eqaAKf kel;mja;kui eKF& men>venk Kjn\Ta;eqa hc\;NHc\. sa;~kqv\'' sa;`pI;eqaAKf kel;mja;qv\ eSa.!mEtuic\; eSa.~k`pn\qv\'' kuiSc\lv\; Aim\Kf;pn\;| e`KtQElE Kj& eS;epf.lip\kui lk\~ka;vHp\ka yKc\AetQ;kui `pn\& ekak\qv\'' qU rhn\;`Ps\lJc\ mePa.Aim\qui> nMnk\esaesa qU SQm\;KM~kQmv\'' mePa. eZ;qui> mqQa;eq;q`Pc\. mePa.% mjk\NHakui qU`mc\rmv\'' mePa.qv\ samtt\'' tra;mtt\'' eqlJc\ mePa. Apfy\kjeta.mv\'' mePa.kui qU qna;lHqv\'' mePa.kui qU tra;`pmv\'' Ko Hsin was skilled at preparing cooked rice. He called the children and gave them the rice with the remains of yesterday's curry. When the children had gone back to their play he sat with his feet dangling from the veranda and returned to his thoughts. When he became a Buddhist monk he would come with his begging bowl to Ma Paw's house every morning and get chance to meet Ma Paw and the children. Ma Paw was illiterate and ignorant of the law. When she died she would pass to the lower worlds. For this he pitied her. He wanted to open her eyes to the law.
sound.gif (2534 bytes) Tuiqui> etQ;& ekac\;entun\;' qa;NHc\. qmI;tui>% cuiqMkui ~ka;luik\ra AetQ;Sk\ `pt\qQa;qv\'' vImcy\k Akui% mjk\NHakui kut\SQEq`Pc\. Akui cuiqv\'' tPn\ Akuik vImcy\ SMpc\kui SQEluik\q`Pc\. vImcy\ cui`pn\qv\'' The quarrel of his children returned him to realities. The sister had scratched the brother's face; in retaliation he had pulled her hair. Now both were crying.
sound.gif (2534 bytes) nc\tui> cf.kui AlQn\ duk(ep;ty\'' Aim\TEkui laKE.~k'' nc\k qv\mHaTuic\' nc\k huimHaTuic\'' mT~knE> hu kuiSc\qv\ @kim\;emac\;& enraKjep;qv\'' kel;tui>qv\ mjk\rv\qut\& ttuic\sImHa Tuic\~kqv\'' kuiSc\qv\ Tuic\!mEenramHa `pn\Tuic\& AetQ;kui `pn\ekak\qv\'' ekak\& mreta.eKj'' Atn\~kaeqaAKf kel;tui>kui ~kv\.luik\qv\'' kel;tui>qv\ cuik\en~kqv\'' kuiSc\qv\ qm\;Kjc\laqv\'' Ko Hsin called the children into the house and made them sit in different corners. He then try to return to his reverie but could not pick up the chain of thought. He glanced at his children and saw their heads nodding into sleep. He felt a yawn rise in him.
sound.gif (2534 bytes) By\kuimH TmqQa;~knE>'' Tuic\mHaqa Tuic\en~krmy\ hu e`pa!pI;enak\ kuiSc\qv\ tuM;luM;lHE& mjk\situi>kui mHit\luik\qv\'' kuiSc\ mjk\simHit\qv\NHc\. t#pic\nk\ kel;tui>% mjk\simja;qv\ pQc\.la~kqv\'' teyak\% mjk\NHakui teyak\ ~kv\.qv\'' mjk\simHit\eneqa kuiSc\kui ~kv\.~k`pn\qv\'' kuiSc\ Aip\epja\lJc\ qUtui> Sc\;ksa;~klim\.VI;mv\'' "Don't move," he commended the children and laid himself down for a nap. The moment his eyes were closed the children opened theirs. They threw speaking glances at each other at their father. They agree to run down to play as soon as he fell asleep.
sound.gif (2534 bytes) mv\mJ ~kaqQa;qv\ mqi'' kuiSc\ Nui;eqaAKf mePa.% AqMkui ~ka;rqv\'' mePa.% AqMe~kac\.lv\; kuiSc\ Nui;la`Kc\;`Ps\qv\'' mePa.qv\ mn\kjv\;pc\epFqui> ema.&

kv\.sm\; hE.ekac\el; Sc\;KE.'' `mn\`mn\ Sc\;KE.'' lim\.kjrc\ mKk\pfla;'' vImel; By\mHalE

huikm\;na;mHa

Akjio;nv\;kun\pf!pIeta\'' kuiSc\ RHc\dIluipE kel;etQkui ps\Ta;rqla;'' ty\eta\tE. AePpfla;RHc\''

TuiAKuik\ qmI;qv\ RWM>epeneqa lk\mja;`Pc\. Aem.TMqui> e`p;laqv\'' qa;qv\ mn\kjv\;pc\epFmH Sc\;la& e`m`pc\kui nc\;mi!pI''

Ko Hsin awoke to Ma Paw's voice calling to her son in the tamarind tree.

"Get down from there at once, you'll fall. Where is your sister?"

"At the steam side," the boy replied.

"Woe betide us," Ma Paw cried. "Ko Hsin, do you leave your children unattended like that? A good father you are!"

The daughter appeared with muddy hands and the boy climbed down from the tree. 

sound.gif (2534 bytes) kuiSc\qv\ kel;tui>kui mjk\esac\;Tui;& ~kv\.%'' kel;tui>qv\ Aemkui kQy\en~kqv\'' era. kuiSc\ eS;epf.lip\ hu mePf.qv\ e`paep;ep;& kel;mja;kui sa;PuieSac\qui> qim\;RuM;eKFqQa;qv\'' kuiSc\qv\ sa;PuieSac\Bk\qui> luik\&~kv\.qv\'' mePa.qv\ qmI;% lk\mja;kui ereS;ep;qv\'' Tui>enak\ mimiwy\laKE.eqa mun\>pEtui>kui kel;tui>Aa; Tut\ekY;qv\'' Tui>enak\ ~km\;epFtQc\ e`KSc\;& SMpc\kui e`Pqv\'' Kf;kui eRH>qui> kun\;luik\qv\'' TuiAKf ts\TQaqaqaRHv\qa SMpc\tui>qv\ eRH>qiu> Pf;lja;kjla& e`KqluM;epFtQc\ wEen~kqv\'' Aem.ekjakui tetac\nE> @kit\sm\; hu Suiq`Pc\. qa;qv\ pf;sp\TE| mun\>kui kuik\ljk\ Aem.ekjakui tetac\`Pc\. @kit\enqv\'' ekjaqv\ tetac\eAak\tQc\ yuic\yim\;enelra mePa.kui ~kv\.rqv\mHa qrE Ae`Kak\KMenrqv\NHc\> tUlHelqv\'' Ko Hsin looked daggers at his children. They hid behind the mother. "Here's cheroots for you," said Ma Paw and thrusting them on him she headed children into the kitchen. Ko Hsin's eyes followed them. Ma Paw washed her daughter's hands and gave the children pea-cakes to eat. Then. sitting down Ma Paw spread her legs on the floor, untied her hair, bent forward and let the hair hang above her legs. "Message my back with your elbows," she told her son. He did so while keeping his cake between his teeth. The quaking of the back under the pressure of the elbows and the swing of the spreading hair as her head swayed made Ma Paw appear as though possessed by the devil.
sound.gif (2534 bytes) kuiSc\qv\ mePa.kui `mc\%'' qk\`pc\;@kI;Kj& cf qkCn\;wt\mH `Ps\my\ hu AetQ;ehac\;tQc\ AetQ;qs\ elac\;luik\qv\'' qui>ratQc\ mya;kui eta\eta\NHc\. me`pawM.eq;'' NHs\qs\kU;Kjin\erak\mH e`pawM.&' qU>A@kM ATe`mak\qQa;qv\'' Ko Hsin looked and heaved a deep sign of disgust. I must adorn the yellow robes, he thought.

However he did not dare to tell his wife till the year had turned.

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3

e`pasV\k ts\lelak\ qkCn\;wt\luie~kac\; e`pa& qkCn\;wt\qv\'' qui>ratQc\ quM;lnI;pf; RHila!pI'' kuiSc\ lUmTQk\eq;eKj'' kel;mja;kui ~kv\.ePa\R:ePa\ A`Ps\`Pc\. laerak\enTuic\eqa mePa.% edQ;el;qv\ qU% qmI;mja;kui eAak\em.lH!pI'' qU RQaqui> `pn\Kjc\!pI'' ts\en>eqaAKf edQ;el;k VI;pVsc\; By\eta. lUTQk\mHalE hu em;qv\'' VI;pVsc\;qv\ Aem;kui me`P' qkCn\;% Arip\Aawfq eA;`me~kac\; AsKjIka pfligfTamja;kui RQt\& tra; ehaeleta.qv\'' edQ;el; Kk\!pI'' edQ;el;na;qui> Tuitra;eta\ mwc\' qU>kui mtra;q`Pc\. Aim\mHa eKFTa;qv\hu eAak\em.& sit\TEtQc\ edfqUpun\Telqv\'' VI;pVsc\; ~kQqQa;eqaAKf edQ;el;qv\ eh. RHc\ePa.' cf`pn\Kjc\!pI' vv\.Aim\mHa kYn\KMmenKjc\BU; hu mePa.kui @kim\;qv\'' mePa.klv\; VI;pVsc\;kui lUTQk\esKjc\lH!pI'' ts\KfNHs\Kf elJak\~kv\.pf%' tra;Aehaqa KMKE.rqv\'' wflv\; wc\lu!pI' edQ;el;klv\; na;pUlH!pI''

@kMramrq`Pc\. mePa.qv\ qUcy\Kjc\;m ts\eyak\NHc\. tuic\pc\qv\'' !pI;eqaAKf NHs\eyak\qa; twf;wf;ry\~kqv\''

3

It was now three months though Ko Hsin had said that he would wear the robes for only a month. Ma Paw's aunt who had come over to help look after the children began to yearn for her own in her village.

"When will the Upazin returned to lay life? she had asked the monk one day.

The monk had not replied. Instead he had quoted sacred verses extolling the life of a monk. The sacred verses did not enter the aunt's ears. Only anger arose in her because she felt that she was being kept here unfairly. When the monk had departed she called Ma Paw to her, "Ma Paw, I want to go back. Tell your Upazin to cast off the robes. I cannot stay no longer as a servant in your house," she threatened. Ma Paw too wanted her husband to return home. She had alluded the matter once or twice only to have been turned back with sermons. Now Waso was near when the monks would go into retreat for three months. And here the aunt was nagging her.

Not knowing what to do Ma Paw conferred with her bosom friend. After some talk they burst into laughter.

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4

Tuien> nMnk\Kc\;qv\ enerac\e~kac\. wfTin\enqv\'' mn\kjv\;pc\Tip\k Kjio;kUqMqv\ Sk\kaSk\ka `mv\enqv\'' mePa.qv\ #mi>qui> eZ;erac\;mtk\'' Aim\tQc\ kuiy\tuic\ Kjk\#pt\ e~ka\elHa\enqv\'' !pI;lJc\ ermui;Kjio;& qnp\Kf; lU;qv\'' e`KATi lU;qv\'' mjk\NHamHa Kp\pf;pf; Kp\m:n\m:n\ Ruik\qv\'' qU>tkiuy\luM; emW;$kic\enqv\'' SMTMu;kui eqqp\sQa TuM;qv\'' SMsu quM;eKjac\;mJ eraepfc\;Ta;q`Pc\. SMTuM;NHc\. mjk\NHatui>qv\ AKjio;Asa; kjqv\'' mjk\KuM;kui eka.eneAac\ SQEqv\'' nPU;k mRHimE.RHimE. SMsmja;kui Kuietac\kjeAac\ Atc\; qim\;SQETa;qv\'' kQm\;wf;& N:t\Km\;tui>kui nIesqv\'' AkCjIA`PO pf;pf; Aqs\NHc\. pn\;pQc\.AnIRuik\ qrk\Tv\ TBIAqs\tui>kui wt\qv\'' kel;NHs\eyak\kuikv\; wt\ekac\;sa;lH Sc\Ta;qv\'' Aim\TEtQc\ AKjio> Aim\eTac\ pssv\;mja;kui qim\;Sv\;Tup\pui;Ta;qv\'' Aim\eRH>tQc\ lHv\;ts\sI;kui ASc\qc\. `pc\Ta;qv\''

4

The morning was gold with sunlight. Doves cooed in the tamarind tree. Ma Paw did not go to market. Instead, she fried and cooked at home. then she bath and made herself fragrant with thanakha down to her toes. She smeared it lightly on her face. She gathered her features. The meager hair on her forehead was collected into a "pigeon's wing." She penciled her eye-brows in a wide sweep and made red her lips by chewing betel. She put on a jacket of fine white cloth and a new skirt of printed red flowers. The children too were dressed in clean cloths and the household things were packed. A bullock cart waited in readiness in the yards.

sound.gif (2534 bytes) Sy\narIelak\tQc\ VI;pVsc\;qv\ Aim\qui> ~kQla%'' qU>enak\k qU>qa; ekjac\;qa; pflaqv\'' elJak\larc\; cf.kui lUTQk\Pui> e`pa~kVI;mHapE hu etQ;& sit\el;laqv\'' Aim\na;qui> erak\la%'' lHv\;kui `mc\qv\'' Aim\tQc\;qui> wc\%'' ATup\Apui;tui>kui `mc\qv\'' edQ;el;k pc\.ra' Aim\eKfc\;rc\;| Kc\;Sp\eqa PjaepFtQc\ Tk\wy\PQE>eKQ Tuic\qv\'' mePa.kuika; m`mc\req;eKj'' At ten o'clock the monk appeared accompanied by his eldest son who was in his monastery school. As he approached he thought with apprehension, they will ask me again to forsake the life of a monk. He drew near the house and saw the cart. He entered the house saw the packed household things. He sat on the mat the aunt had rolled out for him in the place of reverence in the house and searched in vain for Ma Paw.
sound.gif (2534 bytes) Atn\~kamH mePa.qv\ SQm\;NHc\. SQm\;hc\;bjp\kui KjIka TQk\laqv\'' vHio;cy\eqa mjk\NHakui cMu>Ta;qv\'' cMu>lJk\NHc\.pc\ VI;pVsc\;Aa; SQm\;kp\qv\'' VI;pVsc\;qv\ ts\Kjk\mJ esac\;cE.& ~kv\.%'' mePa. !PI;puM' lim\;puM' wt\Sc\puMtui>kui `mc\qv\'' tPn\ Tp\& ts\Kjk\ ~kv\.`pn\qv\'' TU;`Ka;lHpfkla; hu etQ;milaqv\'' mePa.qv\ sa;PuieSac\qui> `pn\qQa;qv\'' SQm\;sa;rc\; mePa. cf.kui Bae~kac\. m~kv\.pflim\. hUeqa AetQ;NHc\. mePa.% TU;`Ka;eqa RUpfRuMtui>qv\ VI;pVsc\;% sit\TEtQc\ twElv\lv\ `Ps\la~kqv\'' cf>kui lUTQk\Pui> e`pamHapfpE' cf.tawn\keta. qc\;tui>kui tra;`pPui>pE mhut\la; hu e`Pluik\mH sit\!cim\qQa;qv\'' After some time Ma Paw appeared with a tray of food. With sad eyes and movements she offered the food. The monk took a quick glance at her. He noticed how dressed up she was. He took another glance but Ma Paw went back to the kitchen. The monk was puzzled by Ma Paw's behavior but his thoughts were occupied in steeling himself to refuse the request to return to lay life, which he knew Ma Paw would surely make.
sound.gif (2534 bytes) SQm\;kiss !pI;ep!pI'' AKjiopQEkui mePa. yUla`pn\qv\'' VI;pVsc\;qv\ mePa.kui tKjk\ ~kv\.luik\`pn\qv\'' Alui nPU;mHa Kuietac\mja; Kjlui>pfla; hu AM.~qlaqv\'' AKjiopQEkui qim\;qQa;`pn\qv\'' Tui>enak\ mePa. `pn\TQk\la& Kp\lHm\;lHm\; enratQc\ Kp\kjMokjMo Tuic\qv\'' VI;pVsc\;k tra;ehaeta.mv\hu `pc\luik\qv\NHc\. t#pic\nk\\ mePa.qv\ edQ;el; lHv\;Sra@kI; mlaeq;BU;la; hu lHm\;em;luik\qv\'' VI;pVsc\; tra;mehaNuic\' lHv\;SIqui> lHm\;~kv\.luik\qv\''

VI;pVsc\;qv\ tra;ska;kui srmv\.Asa; mePa.tui> Bamja; lup\~kmHatun\; hu em;qv\'' 

The meal was over. Ma Paw reappeared with a few tray of sweetened cakes. As the monk again took a glance at her he noticed the "pigeon's wing" on her forehead. What did it mean? he wondered. Ma Paw reappeared again and took away the tray. Then she came back and sat reverently at a distance. As the monk made to preach the sermon Ma Paw spoke to her aunt:

"Aunt, hasn't the cart-man arrived yet?"

The monk unable to begin his sermon, looked toward the waiting cart.

"Ma Paw, what's going on here?" he asked.

sound.gif (2534 bytes) {VI;pVsc\;@kI;kui AlMu;sMu elJak\pfres Bura; hu mePa.qv\ eKfc\;kui mema.BE e`paqv\'' edQ;el;klv\; qU>RQakui `pn\Kjc\lH!pI' edQ;el;`pn\rc\ tpv\.eta\mmHa eZ;kuilv\; TQk\r' kel;etQkuilv\; ~kv\.r `Ps\pflim\.my\'' qip\duk(erak\ pflim\.my\'' duk( merak\reAac\ tpv\.eta\mNHc\. kel;NHs\eyak\ edQ;el;tui>RQamHa e`pac\;enpfreseta. Bura;'' qa;A@kI;kuiqa VI;pVsc\;@kI; ~kv\.R:pfBura;'' hE. qa;el; VI;pVsc\;@kI;NHc\. enrs\epeta.'' "I will reveal all to the Upazin," Ma Paw addressed the monk without raising her head. "Aunt want to return to her village. If she returns, I will be unable to keep shop and look after the children at the same time. That is why I beg permission of the Upazin to allow me and two children to go live with aunt in her village. The eldest son will be left in the Upazin's care."
sound.gif (2534 bytes) mePa.qv\ eKfc\;kui mema.BE mjk\rv\skui qim\;qv\'' VI;pVsc\;@kI;qv\ VI;`pv\;kui tim\;ka ec;enqv\'' mePa. Sk\& elJak\`pn\qv\mHa  She turned to her eldest son, "Son, stay behind with Upazin," she said and wiped away a tear from her downcast face. The monk remained silently thoughtful.
sound.gif (2534 bytes) VI;pVsc\;@kI;lE tqk\luM; rhn\;BwNHc\. enpf'' tpv\.eta\mtui>lv\; qc\.qlui ~kv\.enpf.my\'' VI;pVsc\;@kI;rE> BwnE> tpv\.eta\mtui>rE> Bwha kQa`Ka;enpf!pI'' SranE> tkam A`Ps\qa Sk\SMNuic\pfeta.my\'' tpv\.eta\mmHalv\; qa;qmI;NHs\eyak\ RHieneq;eta. tRQatekj;mHa Aa;kui;Aa;Ta;etQ>rc\ lk\KMluipfty\'' hE. Pui;nI huiATup\etQkui lHv\;epFmHa tc\luik\'' dfe~kac\.mui> AKuks!pI; RHc\;eAac\ kisskui sImMep;esKjc\pfty\'' enac\AKf ska; AR:p\AeTQ;`Ps\!pI; RuM;kui merak\pfesnE> Bura; hu mePa.k elJak\qv\''  Ma Paw continued, "The Upazin may continue to be a monk through out his life if that is his wish. His humble lay woman will try to make a living somehow. The Upazin's world and her are different worlds; there is a vast gap between them. Henceforth there can only be the relationship of monk and lay devotee between them. Since she still has two children, if she can find someone to accept him. This is why she wishes to make things clear now so that complications may not arise later.
sound.gif (2534 bytes) hc\ hu VI;pVsc\;qv\ Aael;el;NHc\. `mv\luik\qv\'' mePa.qv\ eKfc\;kui mema.tema.' mjk\NHakui mePa.tePa\ Ta;qv\'' VI;pVsc\;qv\ qkCn\;kui hui`pc\ qv\`pc\ `pc\qlui#p& mePa.% mjk\NHakui luik\~kv\.`pn\qv\''  The monk uttered a cry of amazement. Ma Paw raise her eyes slightly. The monk's hands fluttered about his robes. He looked at Ma Paw.
sound.gif (2534 bytes) mePa.qv\ Aa;tk\la& VI;pVsc\;@kI;Bura; yKului elJak\Ta;rtaha NHs\Bk\ Akjio;kui~kv\.!pI; elJak\Ta;r`Kc\;qa `Ps\pfty\'' VI;pVsc\;@kI;lv\; tra;kui e`Pac\.e`Pac\. Aa;Tut\Nuic\pflim\.my\'' tpv\.eta\mmHalv\; A`Ka; Aa;kui;Aa;Ta;kui etQ>pfk Ma Paw continued: " This is said for the benefit of both. The Upazin will be able to follow the law in freedom, and his humble devotee will be able, should she find someone....."
sound.gif (2534 bytes) ha nc\tui> edQ;el;RQamHa Tn\;rv\qma; AlQn\epfty\h' cf lUTQk\pfeta.my\ha hu e`pa& Aim\mH Sc\;qQa;el%'' "There are too many toddy drunkards in your aunt's village," the monk said. "I will return to the lay life."
  mePa. kuiSc\% mya; `Ps\r`pn\elqtv\;''

eza\gjI

1937

Ma Paw became Ko Hsin's wife again.

Zaw Gyi

1937

Translated by U Win Pe (Mya Zin)