Friday, January 28, 2011

Server Down


Disconnected.
Reconnecting...

Disconnected.
Reconnecting...

Disconnected.
Reconnecting...

Reconnected!

"Hi there how are you?"
"I'm fine here, how bout you?"
"Glad to know, I'm good too."
"Glad to know, do take care, toodle-loo!"

Warning: You have been disconnected.
"What? How can that be?"
"I just said hi, and so did he!"
Warning: You have been disconnected.

Reconnecting...
Failed.

Reconnecting...
Failed.

Reconnecting...
Failed.

Connection lost - cannot be found.
Connection lost - burried underground.
You have just been disconnected from the past.
Notice: Some things just don't last.

Notice: You are fine synthetically.
Warning: You have lost everything, in reality.


**Poet's note:
We have become slaves of technology, socialising more like androids than humans.  Go hug a human today.  

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Animal lovers unite! Let's send a dog abuser to hell, shall we?


If you've been glued to Facebook for the past couple of days, you'd know about the infamous sick bastard who abused his toy poodle puppy.

 


In a span of just a day, hundreds reported to SPCA, including myself, and it's already making headlines in the interweb and local and international news.

Which I'm so fucking glad of.

But let's add fuel to fire, shall we?

Let's sign this petition to get this sick dude ass raped in jail, and his girlfriend look like an old witch in jail.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Story of A Damaged Girl


**Disclaimer: It is not my intention to defile anyone or any body.  I am merely channeling my frustration into a creative ficticious work based on a true story.  And as an educator who sees real issues everyday that are not published in the papers, this post is also to urge readers to be aware of issues like this that are prevalent in our society.

***

This is a story of a young, brilliant girl.  She was a good kid - the apple of her daddy's eyes, her mom's golden child.  But nothing stays gold.

Her parents didn't seem to hug each other more, what more talk.  No more than a grunt nor a curt reply.  Daddy her hero, she realised, was starting to be friendly with women who are not her mom.

Before she knew it, a strange woman entered her house, and into her life.  A few kids, younger and older than her seemed to be taking much of her room, her space.  She was also told to call them Brother and Sister.

Everyone was friendly to her, she sighed with relief.  Especially Brother.  Maybe these strangers could be her new kin.  Till one day Brother asked her to do something she knew wasn't right.  But how could it be wrong when nobody had never told her that it is or isn't?  Even Brother said it was okay, don't be afraid.  She loved Brother.  She didn't want Brother to go away if she didn't follow what he asked of her.

And so he touched her.  She was afraid a little.  Worried a little.  But it felt good.  Weird, but good.  Then he placed her hands on him.  She was afraid a little.  Worried a little.  It didn't feel any good, but Brother seemed to like it.  Weird, but as long as he is happy, she thought.  Then she felt a sudden sharp pain.  She was very afraid.  Very worried.  She started to cry.  But Brother promised her it's going to be okay.  It will only be for a while.

Brother kept his promise.  She was no longer afraid.  She was no longer worried.  And it felt really good.  Really, really good.  There was nothing weird about it.  She felt happy.  She felt loved.  Like her family had never fallen apart.

Brother soon needed to go somewhere far.  She was devastated.  Who is going to love her now?  Caress her?  Touch her?  Make her feel good?  And above all, to make her forget?

Soon, she found a boyfriend.  Boyfriend gave her the love that she needed.  Every day, whenever she needed him.  But sometimes, he was not always there.  What was she going to do?  Who is going to fill her longing?  Who is going to make her feel loved when her boyfriend is not around?

Friends suggested they go to a place where there's loud music, dim lights and possibly free drinks.  You just have to smile and wink at them.  If they place their hands where they not ought to, respect it.  Ignore it.  She inhaled the intoxicating sweet smell of cigarette and cheap perfume.  She savoured the poisonous taste of alcohol on her lips, and felt her world spin under the burning sensation in her stomach.  There were even vitamins that her friends offered to her.  It was truly magical.  It made her dance under the flashing lights and she could hear people cheering at her.  She never felt so beautiful.  It was a beautiful world, that place.  'Coz it made her forget.


Suddenly, a man approached her.  He smiled at her.  She smiled back.  He told her she was beautiful, and offered her a sweet drink.  She thanked him - for the compliment and the drink.  He reminded her of Brother, though a bit older.  But the way he talked to her, it was like Brother.  She missed Brother suddenly, and she missed her boyfriend.  She missed being loved.  The man smiled at her again.  In his eyes she read, he was going to show the love that she needed.  She left with him.

She woke up next morning, reeking of stale cigarettes and alcohol, with her makeup stain on the pillow.  She reached for that loving arms, but the only thing she felt was a piece of paper.  It was a 50 dollar bill.

She just had love, and cash.  She could get love and cash.  She never knew how simple it was.  She didn't need Brother nor her boyfriend.  She could get love anytime, plus with some extra cash.  She never knew how simple it was.

She learned Science in school, and she knew what could happen to her.  There is always a way out.  Abortion is a normal thing.  Everyone is doing it.  HIV?  That would never happen to me, she thought - so why are all these old men so crazy about condoms, she thought, since the younger men enjoy it without the gloves.

So here she is now, waiting at a back alley somewhere.  Waiting for someone to give her the love and attention that she needs.  Waiting for someone to make her forget.

The apple of her daddy's eyes, her mom's golden child.

She is only 15 years old.


Nothing gold can stay. ~ Robert Frost

***

Teen prostitution and sex addiction are serious matters.  They are real issues that need to be addressed by the authorities.  However, we live in a culture where we need to care for other people's feelings, for example, the parents' feelings.  How can you break it to their parents that their child is an ill, promiscous being who goes out every night for sex and money - when they think they are out at a friend's place to study? 

I am sadden by this issue, frustrated with the authorities, and burden with guilt.

'Coz when the child dies of HIV, who is to blame?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Curse by Lee Su Ann (Part 4/4: Themes)


*Dear faithful readers who are not an English teacher who will teach this novel in school or a student who will need notes on this, you may want to give this a skip.


Okay, so there's a new novel that our Malaysian Form 5 students need to cram in their heads for exam learn.  Since it is new, there are no reference books in stores for this novel yet.

So yours truly has taken the initiative to do it for you, whether you are a clueless English teacher or a clueless Form 5 student.
 
Please note that I didn't double check my work for grammatical errors 'coz I'm just too damn lazy to do it by the time I was done - so do/fix it yourself.  I've already done 99% of the work for you.

Also note that everything here comes from the works of my brain alone, so you may agree or not agree on my point of view. 

Copyright notice:
If you plan to turn my notes into those reference books that are yet to be sold like hotcakes WITHOUT acknowledging me and giving me some share of the big bucks pie, I'm gonna sue yo' ass.  I'm serious.  'Coz I really need money right now.

And with that said, YOU'RE WELCOME.  Now go knock yourselves out. Go here for plot summary, here for characters and here for settings. 


Themes
JEALOUSY
The jealousy that occurs when one is favoured than the other.

Azreen is jealous of Madhuri.  She is always being compared to her, especially for the things that she is not, or does not have.  She doesn’t have her sister’s grace and beauty, and it seems like her parents favour her sister more.

“She could not stand it when her parents and friends compared her to her sister.  No matter what she did, no matter how hard she tried, she could never match up to Madhuri.” Pg. 8

“It was that particular sentence that her mother had uttered in her frustration…She was not Madhuri. She was different.  Why couldn’t they accept that? It was always Madhuri this, Madhuri that.” Pg. 107

Puan Fatihah is jealous of Madhuri’s existence in her marriage with Haji Ghani.  Even after her death, she still cannot get her husband’s attention, what more his care.

“She’s very pretty, and very sweet-tempered and respectful to her elders.  And very young.  She added the last sentence with a trace of jealousy which escaped her husband’s eas.” Pg. 79

“She had lost everything to Madhuri.  Her silk, her husband and her life – her sanity!” Pg. 80

Asraf is jealous of Haji Ghani as he married his love, Madhuri.  He couldn’t do anything though because he had nothing at that time.

“I’ve loved her ever since I met her.  Then that Haji Ghani came and took her away.” Pg. 204

PREJUDICE
People are prejudiced when they are different from what others expect of them, or when they made past mistakes.

Azreen behaves like none of what is expected of her.  She is outspoken, aggressive and daring.  She does things that make people think negatively of her.  For example, being friends with the Old Lady.  

“Don’t touch me.  You’re cursed.  You’ve been affected ever since you made friends with the witch. But you refuse to let that rest.  Instead you have brought her here and now the curse is spreading all over the village.” Pg. 186

The Old Lady had killed her husband years ago.  Because of that, the villagers deemed her evil, and even think she is witch.

“I’m sure your witch friend has never told you that she stabbed her husband to death.  Do you wished to be murdered along with the rest of us in our beds?” Pg. 187

IRRATIONALITY
Irrationality due to rage can cause people to take extreme actions that can endanger the lives of others.

Saleh Abdullah murdered Madhuri out of rage, upon seeing her in  a private place with a man who is not her husband.

“Insolent, ungrateful child.  He saw red. The blade flashed in a flurry before his eyes.  A cry escaped Madhuri as she fell, knocking over the latex-filled container.  Saleh pulled away the parang.  But it was too late.” Pg. 225

Asraf, enraged with the Old Lady for thinking she had poisoned his grandmother to death, led a mob of people with torches to kill her.  Azreen tried to stop him, but eventually the house was caught in fire and the Old Lady was trapped in the burning house.

“He, too, held a torch in his hand.  In the other, he held a hoe.  He was much nearer to the house than the other men… And most importantly, loss and anguish fuelled his action.  His eyes burned wildly like the fire of his torch.” Pg. 198

The Old Lady murdered her husband as she could not tolerate any longer his abusive ways.

“He was holding her by the shoulder, shaking her hard and yelling curses at her.  He called her all sorts of names.  He kneed her in the stomach, and kicked her when she went down... As he started to force herself on her, her hands reached for the knife and she struck.” Pg. 103

SUPERSTITIONS
Belief in the supernatural is still prevalent in small villages.

Almost all the villagers believe in the supernatural.  Puan Normala especially, believed that Madhuri bled white blood and thought that the whole village is cursed.

“I saw it.  It was white.”  Her grip tightened.  “Did you hear me?”  She had white blood.  We have all been cursed!” Pg. 13

Most of the villagers believed that the Old Lady is a witch.  They do not dare to enter her compound in fear of being cast a spell.

“Azreen realised they had not dared to move closer to the house.  Superstition and fear of the supernatural prevented them from physically hurting the Old Lady.” Pg. 198

People of the village seek help from bomohs or witchdoctors to cure sickness or for charms to get what they want.

“Was it a bad thing to want to win back her husband’s affections?  What was a little charm from the bomoh to push things in the right direction?” Pg. 148

SOCIAL OUTCASTING
People tend to be cast out when they don’t follow certain norms of a society.

Due to Azreen’s outspoken, unlady-like behaviour, the people in the village tend to dislike, as she is not the type of girl who is supposed to act like one.

“It’s not easy to be like that.  Socially accepted, I mean.  Look at me.  Everyone hates me.” Pg. 38

The Old Lady was casted out from the village after they found out that she killed her husband.

“It’s true.  That’s why I’m here.  Because the villagers cast me out after they found out what happened.”  Pg.101

Bomoh Awang would have been cast out from the village if Azreen didn’t pretend to be responsible for the incident that caused her mother’s accident.

“But Cik Adik,  if it hadn’t been for you, the villagers would have cast me out long ago.” Pg.211

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
A person’s background, or what people think of them does not matter when it comes to unconditional love.

Datin Sharifah and Datuk Zul treats Azreen like their own daughter, not caring what the other villagers think about her.

“In fact, they treated the girl very much like their own daughter.” (pg. 27)

Saleh Abdullah and his wife loved Madhuri like she was their own child the moment they found her crying alone in paddy field.

“All they cared was to keep the baby as their own.  And they had loved her like their own.” Pg. 224

FORGIVENESS
Forgiving is an act that can free a person from burden and achieve peace.

The Old Lady was abused and badly treated in her marriage, which drove her to kill his husband.  But in the end, she forgave him.

“Once you’ve forgiven – sincerely forgiven – the weight is lifted from your chest, and you’re finally free.” Pg. 161

Azreen had always feelings for Asraf, but Asraf loved Madhuri instead.  Asraf has also caused the death of her dear friend, the Old Lady.  The Old Lady’s last words to Azreen were that she learns to forgive.  Eventually, she did.

“From her heart, Azreen wished him all the best.  She smiled.  Had she learnt to forgive?  The Old Lady would be so proud if she knew.” Pg. 231

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Curse by Lee Su Ann (Part 3/4: Settings)


*Dear faithful readers who are not an English teacher who will teach this novel in school or a student who will need notes on this, you may want to give this a skip.


Okay, so there's a new novel that our Malaysian Form 5 students need to cram in their heads for exam learn.  Since it is new, there are no reference books in stores for this novel yet.

So yours truly has taken the initiative to do it for you, whether you are a clueless English teacher or a clueless Form 5 student.
 
Please note that I didn't double check my work for grammatical errors 'coz I'm just too damn lazy to do it by the time I was done - so do/fix it yourself.  I've already done 99% of the work for you.

Also note that everything here comes from the works of my brain alone, so you may agree or not agree on my point of view. 

Copyright notice:
If you plan to turn my notes into those reference books that are yet to be sold like hotcakes WITHOUT acknowledging me and giving me some share of the big bucks pie, I'm gonna sue yo' ass.  I'm serious.  'Coz I really need money right now.

And with that said, YOU'RE WELCOME.  Now go knock yourselves out. Go here for plot summary and here for characters.


Setting

PLACE
1.     London – where Azreen studies
2.     A village in Langkawi Island

TIME
1.     Modern day
2.     Flashbacks of the past

SOCIETY
1.     Traditional –
·        Way of life – Tough life to make ends meet, depend on the weather for good crops i.e. represented by Pak Cik Huzaimi

·        Way of thinking – Backward

o   Patriarchal – The men of the family makes the ultimate decision i.e.
                        represented by Saleh Abdullah
                    – The women are subordinates to the men i.e.  
                        represented by Haji Ghani and Puan Fatihah

o   Behaviour – Women are expected to be polite and soft-spoken i.e. 
                       represented by Madhuri

                   – The village folks love to gossip i.e. represented by   
                        Puan Normala

o   Women’s role – Women are expected to marry after school and
                              become caregivers i.e. represented by Siti

2.     Modern –
·        Way of life – Education, working in the big city i.e. represented by Azreen, Datin Sharifah and Datuk Zulkifli

·        Way of thinking – Outspoken, daring, individualistic i.e. represented by Azreen

3.     Polygamous – Men taking more than one wife i.e. represented by Haji Ghani

4.     Superstitious – Believe in curses and witches i.e. represented by most of the villagers

The Curse by Lee Su Ann (Part 2/4: Characters)


*Dear faithful readers who are not an English teacher who will teach this novel in school or a student who will need notes on this, you may want to give this a skip.



Okay, so there's a new novel that our Malaysian Form 5 students need to cram in their heads for exam learn.  Since it is new, there are no reference books in stores for this novel yet.

So yours truly has taken the initiative to do it for you, whether you are a clueless English teacher or a clueless Form 5 student.
 
Please note that I didn't double check my work for grammatical errors 'coz I'm just too damn lazy to do it by the time I was done - so do/fix it yourself.  I've already done 99% of the work for you.

Also note that everything here comes from the works of my brain alone, so you may agree or not agree on my point of view. 

Copyright notice:
If you plan to turn my notes into those reference books that are yet to be sold like hotcakes WITHOUT acknowledging me and giving me some share of the big bucks pie, I'm gonna sue yo' ass.  I'm serious.  'Coz I really need money right now.

And with that said, YOU'RE WELCOME.  Now go knock yourselves out. Go here for plot summary.




CHARACTERS


Azreen Saleh
Azreen Saleh is the daughter Saleh Abdullah.  She is the total opposite of her sister, Madhuri who is pretty, sweet, polite and obedient.  Hence, she was always compared to her and she hates it.  She was a tomboy when in school, and she often got into trouble.  Her bestfriend in school was Asraf.  She would do anything to help him, even if it meant taking the blame for his faults.  She did had feelings for him, but Asraf was in love with someone else.  She seems not to get along with her father.   She joined a foster programme and met her foster parents, Datin Sharifah and Datuk Zulkifli, and they remain close even when the programme ended.  She was offered a scholarship to study in UK, and she hadn’t gone home for a long time – not until Madhuri’s death.

·        Jealous of Madhuri
“And oh, how Azreen had despised her! Madhuri was always the pretty one.” (pg. 8)

·        Short, wears glasses, fiery tempered and outspoken
“Who would want anything to do with a short, bespectacled and fiery-tempered girl who always spoke her mind, no matter how improper the ideas were? (pg. 8)

·        Obstinate
“Who would love an obstinate child who was such a contrast to her beautiful and soft-spoken sister? (pg. 8)

·        Hates being compared with her sister 
“She could not stand it when her parents and friends compared her to her sister.” (pg. 8)

·        Fond of her sister anyway
“Perhaps she had not always despised her sister.” (pg. 8)

·        Independent
“If she can find her way around London by herself, I’m sure she can find her way around the airport.” (pg. 15)

·        Prejudiced
“Azreen, according to them, was a troublemaker.” (pg. 26)

·        Outcast
“Socially accepted, I mean.  Look at me.  Everyone hates me.” (pg. 38)

·        Determined
“She must gather her strength and face this.” (pg. 39)

·        Stubborn
“Why must you be so stubborn?” (pg. 88)

·        Confident
“She was confident she  could beat half of those scrawny boys.” (pg. 88)

·        Loyal
“But her loyalty to her friend was greater than her self-preservation and so she took the blame calmly and bravely.” (pg. 95)

·        Brave
“She was fearless.” (pg. 163)

·         Aggressive
“Like how you’d beat up the bunch of kids who threw stones into her home and burnt her crops?”  (pg. 173)

Madhuri Saleh
Madhuri Saleh is the adopted daughter of Saleh Abdullah who has kept it a secret.  He found her seemingly abandoned at a paddy field.  He fell in love with her immediately and raised her as his own.  She married  Haji Ghani, the village headman and was his second wife.  She had an affair with Asraf though, and they planned to get married and run away together.  But she was murdered by Saleh when he caught them together at the rubber estate.
·        Pretty, charming and filial
“Madhuri was always the pretty one.  The charming one.  The filial one.” (pg. 8)

·        Beautiful, soft-spoken
“Who would love an obstinate child who was such a contrast to her beautiful and soft-spoken sister? (pg. 8)

·        Well-liked
Madhuri was so well-liked by everyone.” (pg. 8)


·         Protective
“She stuck by you and even tried to shield you from your father.” (pg. 50)

Saleh Abdullah
Saleh Abdullah is the father of Azreen and Madhuri.  He seemed to love Madhuri more than Azreen.  But he knew that Azreen’s characteristic is very much like him, and that is why they don’t really get along.  He blames Azreen for his wife’s accident that caused her feet to be paralyzed – a fault that Azreen claimed to do but actually didn’t.  He caught Madhuri with another man and killed her out of rage.

·        Authoritative
“I said, take her home.  Now.” (pg. 31)

·        Cold
“Then he returned to his position and paid no further attention to his daughter.”  (pg. 32)

·        Proud
“We don’t need their sympathies, or their charities.” (pg. 109)

Mak
Azreen and Madhuri’s mother.  Her feet were paralysed in an accident.  Her Alzheimer was getting worse, so Saleh didn’t want to tell her about Madhuri’s death.  She died not too soon.

Mohd Asraf
Mohd Asraf is Azreen’s bestfriend since school.  He works as a teacher.  He had feelings for Madhuri since the first time he met her, and so did Madhuri, eventhough she was married.  They planned to get married and run away, but she was murdered before they could.  He was even more devastated with  the death of his grandmother and he was convinced it was the doing of the Old Lady.  He went there with an angry mob and set her house on fire.

·        Smart, handsome, friendly
“He was smart and handsome and would always give her a big friendly smile each time they met in their editorial club meetings.”  (pg. 34)

·        Well-liked
“But you’re well-liked.  People swarm around you like flies to a garbage can.”  (pg. 38)

·        Handsome
“He was a tall man with thick curly hair, very dashing and charming…” (pg. 41)

·        Superstitious
“Superstition gripped him by the throat.” (pg. 163)

·        Easily influenced
“Somehow Cikgu Asraf is convinced that it is true.” (pg. 197)

The Old Lady
The Old Lady was casted out from the village because she murdered her husband when she was younger.  She was abused, so she could not take it any longer.  She now lives in the middle of the jungle and is very good in mixing herbs to make medicine – therefore, she is rumoured to be an evil witch and knows how to cast spells.  People are afraid of her, except for Azreen.   She helped heal Asraf’s grandmother, but she died a few days later.  The villagers convinced Asraf that the Old Lady murdered his grandmother, and so he torched her house and she died before Azreen could save her.

·        Tall with greyish hair
“She was a tall woman with greyish hair.” (pg. 62)

·        Old but wise
“Her wrinkles were deep but spoke more of strength and wisdom rather than age and frailty.” (pg. 62)

·        Prejudiced
“All the other villagers think otherwise.” (pg. 71)

·        Caring
“I don’t want you to fall sick from this bad weather.” (pg. 156)

·        Sarcastic
“So have you brought me anything?  Like human liver?  Lizard’s blood?” (pg. 164)

Datin Sharifah & Datuk Zulkifli
Azreen’s foster parents during her foster programme.  But their relationship continued after the programme.  They treat her like their own daughter, and even sponsored her to study in UK.

·        Caring
“In fact, they treated the girl very much like their own daughter.” (pg. 27)

·        Kind and generous
“…you’ll see that they’re the kindest and most generous people you’ve ever met.” (pg. 109)

Datin Sharifah
·        Tall, heavily built but efficient
“Datin Sharifah was a tall, heavily built woman but her actions were always very quick, very efficient.” (pg. 15)

·        Restless
“…her husband Zul could not help thinking that his wife was like a lipas kudung, or a maimed roach as the Malay saying went; forever on the move, never still.” (pg. 15)

·        Talkative
“He helped her with her suitcase, and hoped that when they got into the rented Proton, his wife would stop talking.” (pg. 16)


Datuk Zulkifli
·        Workaholic
“Pak Cik insists working through the night.” (pg. 121)

Haji Ghani
Haji Ghani is the village head.  He took Madhuri as his second wife.  Knowing Madhuri had an affair and was murdered, he decided to cover up the murder and make it look like an accident.

Puan Fatihah
Puan Fatihah is Haji Ghani’s first wife.  Her life changed since Madhuri entered their lives.  She felt bitter then, and she even feels bitter now that Haji Ghani is mourning the death of Madhuri and always angry at her.  She plans to get a charm from the village witchdoctor to get her husband back but didn’t when she bumped into Madhuri’s mother who looks like a ghost.

·        Bitter
“Puan Fatihah detested that girl, hated her husband for his weakness.  And she despised herself for giving in to him when he asked for her permission to take Madhuri as his second wife.” (pg. 43)

Awang
Awang is the well-known ‘bomoh’ of the village.  He is a rather strange man, but people do look for him for cures and charms.  His actions seem suspicious, but he does it all for good, and he always mean to return the things that he took from the neighbours.  He was the one who revealed to Azreen that Madhuri was not her sister.  He is indebted to Azreen’s brave deed, that is taking the blame of not closing the buffalo’s gate which caused the accident of her mother, as he was the one who did it.  So, he would help Azreen in any way he can since then.

·        Stubby
“He was a stubby little man whose left leg was shorter than his right and so he walked with an unsteady gait.” (pg. 54)

·        Prejudiced
“If you ask me, I think he’s up to no good.” (pg. 57)

·        Helpful
“Whenever I could, I would try to help you out.” (pg. 212)

·        Insensitive
“I am so sorry to remind you of that terrible memory.” (pg. 214)

Siti
Siti is Puan Kamsiah’s daughter.  She is Asraf’s student.  Although people keep telling her that Azreen is a bad influence and that the Old Lady is evil, she thought the opposite of them when she met them.  She is probably the only in the village who holds no prejudice against people.

·        Good-hearted 
“Let’s not call someone mean names.  He never did anything to you.” (pg. 58)

·        Pure-hearted
 “I’m sure the Old Lady wouldn’t have done anything to hurt Nek.” (pg. 197)

Nek
Asraf’s ailing grandmother.  She raised Asraf after the death of his parents.  She was cured by the Old Lady, but died a few days later.

·        Caring
“But come back fast because it looks like it’s going to rain very heavily, and I don’t want you falling sick too.” (pg. 117)

Puan Kamsiah
Siti’s mother.  She is influenced by every rumour that she is told, and wanted Siti to stay away from Azreen and the Old Lady.

·        Judgemental / Superstitious
“Her daughter had been in the same house as the cursed woman.  Nothing good could come out of that.” (pg. 171)

Puan Normala
The village’s biggest gossiper.  She is very superstitious too.  She claimed to see Madhuri bled with blood, and she believed that the whole island is cursed.  The bad weather, people quarrelling and the appearance of the Old Lady in the village were bad signs for her.  When she saw the Old Lady in Asraf’s house, she led a pack of people to get rid of her.  However, they were stopped by Saleh.

·        Gossip-monger
“That Normala! Spreading nonsense again.” (pg.11)

·        Superstitious
“We have all been cursed!” (pg. 14)

·        Judgemental
 “Why must you pollute our peaceful village with a pariah who does not belong here?”  (pg. 187)

Noor
Puan Normala’s daughter.  She is as gossipy and mean as her mother.

·        Mean
“Can’t you respect the dead, Noor, by not speaking ill of them?” (pg. 60)

·        Gossiper
“If you’d spend more time studying rather than gossiping, you’d probably get better grades in your trials.”  (pg. 61)

Encik Mohan
Asraf’s boss where he worked part time.  It was his buffalo that escaped that caused the accident.

Pak Huzaimi
A vegetable seller who suggested Asraf to get herbs from the Old Lady for her ailing grandmother.

Mr Costa
 A Filipino working at Azreen’s university.

·        Fatherly
“Rather early today, love,” he commented, flashing his fatherly smile, his accent more of a Londoner’s than an Asian’s.” (pg. 1)

Julian Ng
Azreen’s coursemate in her university.

·        Tall, amicable young man
“…in his place was a tall amicable-looking young man.” (pg. 3)

·        Likeable, agreeable
“Julian Ng was very likeable – even to the meanest student in the residential hall, he was always exceedingly agreeable.” (pg. 3)

Mr Goldman
Azreen’s boss where she worked part time in her university.