Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Myanmar - Tasting Freedom. Literally.

Here's part of an awesome essay by Myanmar-based journalist, Ma Thanegi, who was imprisoned for volunteering with a democracy movement:

After the first few days of prowling and growling like a cat in a cage, after the first few weeks of believing that I would go berserk if I were held for even another hour, after the first six months of constantly hoping to hear the words "You're free to go", I realized I was wasting my time and began to think about how I could benefit from the experience.

"They've put us in prison to make us miserable," one prisoner told me, "but let's not give them the satisfaction." My fellow inmates might have cried silently in private, but I never saw tears.


Still, sudden incarceration is one hell of a calamity. How did we deal with it?

Most of all, we shared food. I was not allowed family visits but could receive a food parcel every Monday from relatives. A typical parcel might contain cakes, cookies, candies, instant coffee, instant noodles, dried prawn relish, fried Chinese sausages, dried salted fish, fried chicken, or fried beef. It delivered a cholesterol and sodium overload, but the food had to last without refrigeration. After our release, none of us could tolerate such sweet, salty treats for at least the next decade.
Read the whole thing here, in Saveur magazine.

1 comment:

Terri the terrific said...

That was an awesome essay, Sujatha. Really enjoyed reading it.