SHORT STORY | A Parable of The Sky and The Soil by Evelyn Philip

Photo by Ramin Khatibi on Unsplash In the land of Serotolia, the soil was crusted, brittle and fragile. The drought had done it. Disappointed and dejected, the soil hardened. Whenever anyone walked over it, it grumbled bitterly and lamented its fate. As the weeks passed, the grumblings turned into cynicism. The soil began to vent out frustration at its surroundings. There was only one thing the soil yearned for; the rain. The hardened the soil became bitter at the sky. Bitterness soon turned to rage. It began cursing at the sky. Hearing the terrible words, the sky began to feel gloomy. Instead...

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Malaysians among the world’s biggest spenders when it comes to books

The Big Bad Wolf Books sale by The National Looks like Malaysians have been spending their hard earned monies on the right stuff: Books. According to Polish e-commerce platform, Picodi, Malaysia is ranked sixth globally for being among the world’s top purchasers of books. Even more than Singapore! The below statistics you’re about to read does not reflect the reading habit among Malaysians, rather, their exercise in purchasing power online when it comes to books on Picodi’s website and the websites of their affiliates. Speaking of books, support these local indie publishers. There’s more here too.  ***Edited: These figures were derived after...

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POETRY | Classroom Blues by Anuradha Chelliah

Image by Cole Stivers from Pixabay Sitting at the desk, Looking at the board, Staring at the textbook, Copying and writing the questions, Discussing with friends, Completing the written work, Handing in the exercise books, It is the classroom blues. Presenting at the front, Standing with a mah-jong paper, You do it, no, no, it’s your turn, Passing the ball game starts, Standing without opening the mouth, Move … presenter presents, Done … comes the comments, The next classroom blues. The class is in a mess, Who is on duty? Clean it before the teacher comes, No responsibility, No...

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SHORT STORY | A Teacher’s Journey On A School Bus by Lo Sin Yee

School Time by Jed Villejo Since my father was taken ill, I have been taking a school bus to work.  Every day, I have to wake up very early in the morning, do my ablutions in a half-asleep fashion before waiting outside the gate for the bus. Surrounded by darkness, except for the dim street lights, most of the residents are still in slumberland. The morning air is cool and the stillness is occasionally punctuated by the sound of housewives stir-frying rice and the slow trickle of traffic plying the road in the dis­tance.  I stand drowsily at the gate,...

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How did Nazri Noor top Amazon best sellers lists through self-publishing?

All images by Nazri Noor. I have to admit. When I first read Says’ piece on Nazri Noor I was a little skeptical. Is this guy for real? Does self-publishing really work especially for Southeast Asians? Turns out, it not only works, but there are meticulous ways to go about it. But first, a little introduction about the 37-year-old Sabahan born. Nazri Noor is the author of the Darkling Mage series. All five of his self-published books have topped numerous categories on Amazon’s Kindle stores in three countries: Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. If this doesn’t floor you, this...

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POETRY | The Love Song of a Middle Class Woman in Blue by Catalina Rembuyan

Asian Girl Vol. 1 by animegamer001 The interior design of a Kuala Lumpur café is a language that alters its geography. It is a capsule that seals its patrons in a country of make-believe-in-dreams, in an elsewhere in a town. I will demonstrate an example by naming one: La Parisienne, Bandar Biru Damansara, Kuala Lumpur – Thursday evening, Friday night; small on the ground floor of a skyscraper still against the strong winds kicking up city dust, solid and minute beneath the armies of clouds, black and voluptuous, rolling in the sky, witness to the crows and the crowds...

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SHORT STORY | The Touch of Rebab by Atiqah Nik Ghazali

Malaysia’s Guardian of Mak Yong, the Goddess Zamzuriah Zahari by Sukhbir Cheema The alarm broke the silence of the dusk. She slipped from her bed, careful not to disturb her sister who was sleeping and cousins who were staying here for a week. Tiptoeing her way out of the sardine-can room, she walked slowly down the stairway into the kitchen to start the morning routine she had established a couple of months ago; something she hoped would become a permanent habit. Her fingers clumsily tore the new packet of ground Arabica beans and dispensed it into the espresso machine....

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How to be funny in a serious country such as Malaysia? Brian Tan reveals.

All images credit Brian Tan In the world of stand-up comedy, the one-hour show is the gold standard for any comedian. To be able to stand alone on stage and make the audience howl with laughter for more than 15 minutes takes some serious skill. People’s attention spans are dwindling and there are so many distractions in the form of social media. So how can one single person on stage with just a microphone in hand hope to compete against all this? Brian Tan thinks he can do it and here’s why.  And he feels others can too. All...

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POETRY | Catch The Rain by Azlan Shah Fadzil

there was rain by amirzand Catch the rain, let your hand wet, Listen to the sound of thunder. Hold the pain, don’t let go yet, Return it to the sender. Clench your fist, fight to the end, Don’t let your foe go faster. Punch the beast, With only one hand, Let it perceive disaster. “My name is Azlan Shah Fadzil and I’m a freelance translator. During free time I like to write poetry, short stories and flash fiction.” Follow Azlan on Facebook. Love this poem? There’s more poetry here. Have poems to share with us? Send em over to editors@eksentrika.com. Do include...

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SHORT STORY | Manis by Rowan W.

Artwork by Karin Taylor. Please support the artist here. Please, I beg you. Just leave me alone. That’s all I ask. The streets in this bustling city are crowded with motorbikes, a lot more than where I come from, though this is not really a cause for concern. At the moment, I have other more pressing issues to worry about. Living in fear day by day, for one. As daunting as it may seem, I try to prepare myself for the inevitable. Perhaps talking about it will somehow lessen this gnawing fear. How did I end up here? I...

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Making sense and more sens out of ringgits through short stories

All images were provided by Suraya Zainudin of Ringgit Oh Ringgit.  Ringgit Oh Ringgit started out as a humble chronicle of a Malaysian millennial’s journey into personal finance. Four years on, the website has gained a sizeable niche following and founder, Suraya Zainudin has carved a reputation as a finance blogger, often quoted on subjects related to money and personal finance. Finance might seem a boring subject, but for Suraya, it’s her passion. Even on holiday at historical locations, the 30-year-old communications consultant finds more interest in the financial portfolio of olden day kings and the capital it took to build...

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BOOK REVIEW | Soulless by Rozlan Mohd. Noor

There is a sense of bleakness that permeates Soulless: Inspector Mislan and the Faceless Girl, the latest of the Inspector Mislan novels, a bilingual series of whodunits written by retired Malaysian policeman Rozlan Mohd. Noor. The novel begins with a scene of destitution and despair: a drug addict named Aden Kho, living in the squalor of downtown KL, encounters the rotting corpse of a mutilated murder victim – she has no face. Thus begins a lengthy and exhaustive investigation to uncover the truth surrounding the death of an individual who is faceless in both the literal and figurative sense...

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