I guess I have heard of this book about a year ago. One of my friends said that the pagoda in this novel may be near Magway and to look for it. I have also been wishing to read this book as all my seniors recommended me. However, I finally got a chance to read this only these days.
Before starting to narrate the story, let me share you about some funny misthinking of mine when I read this book. I have read no review about the book and there is also no prologue in the book. As a result, I know nothing about the story. When the author states about A-Saw-Lat town, I thought Nan Nwe is a girl. It is not surprising I think like that as his friend’s name also is Saw Phyu. I guess like “Aww…two girls go and roll around the carnival.” So the scenes when the two friends go and drink alcohol and what Saw Phyu said made me feel like “Hmm…how were the girls in that town behaving?” and I started to feel like the novel is unrealistic. As I read on, I reached the scene when they watched zat-pwe. Only after reading the lines “Among the audience, the majority are the young men like them.”, I realized that both Nan Nwe and Saw Phyu are the boys. I laughed a lot when I knew that I misthought them.
Let’s continue the story. This story’s backdrop is set against the love of Nan New. The one who started this story is Saw Phyu. After watching Zat-Pwe, they both noticed the leading actress in Zat, Yamin Thuzar, and fell for her. Out of five perceptions, sight, sound, smell, taste and touch, that girl possesses one unique and unusual perception. But she thought of it as the result of her wrong prayers. Her one and only wish is to build and worship a 108-cubit high pagoda and to pray for gaining release from suffering. To build such a high pagoda, a lot of coins are needed. So Yamin Thuzar tried to earn money and have been suffered from all ways of the mundane world in life. Saw Nwe, a young and rich man from A Saw Lat town, tried to protect Yamin Thuzar whom he truly loves by using all his money.
Here, I blamed Nan Nwe for a bit. His way just made him all his money but could make nothing last. “How foolish this man is,” I mumbled myself. At last, however, he found the best way to protect the girl he loves. This protection even lasts for ages and love and will are very powerful. These facts were proved by using the character “Soe Kyaw.”
This novel has a lot of facts that caught my attention. The traits of the characters are clear-cut. The author used every little detail he needs imperceptibly to bring out the shape of the figure he wants. The leader of the Zat-tha-bin, Thaung Tan, Master A Ri Ya, Saw Phy, Than Pyin Prince and evry character in this novel fit in their places. I even noted carefully the concept of colours described in the story. The part which draws me most was where the author interpreted about the power of will. Interpreting the fact that the art continues to be alive based on the feelings and fervour of the creator definitely made me have goose pimples.
Nan Nwe taught us that true love has nothing to do with lust. Yamin Thuzar character proved that when you truly love someone, you try to keep the promise you made with that someone even if it is to give your life. We can know that the power of will is the strongest power in the world by the Master A Ri Ya character and the princess’s palace.
I am a fan of Sayar Thoe Saung but I have to admit that this book is really different from all the other books he wrote. The writing style, the storyline and the words he use are totally different. Readers must acknowledge that the author really focuses on this book and wrote every little detail thoroughly. A kind of feeling will remain in your mind after reading this book. The readers will have a chance to see and consider love in different views such as Nan Nwe’s love, Yamin Thuzar’s love, Than Pyin prince’s love and so on. Praying for Nan Nwe, who could protect the one he loves from lust and desire but not from swords and death, to be able to protect Yamin Thuzar in all the way he can if he were to meet her again during the cycle of rebirths.