Return of Bo Bo Aung


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Illustrations from an adapted story of American writer O. Henry’s “Elsie in New York”
in a Burmese fiction magazine called ‘Shumawa’ in 1955 as ‘A country girl met Bo Bo Aung’. The prolific Burmese romance writer, Tint-dae (1917-1980), adapted more than 100 stories of O. Henry in post-war Burmese press.

“Bo Bo Aung” is a legendary mystic from the late Kongbaung era, a friend of Bodaw-phaya. “Bo Bo Aung song by the late Kin Maung Yin” The Japanese invasion, communism, democracy movement and lastly, even Obama’s horse riding in Rangoon were expected and exhausted as a return of Bo Bo Aung to save the nation from grave misery, or as a messiah’s to bring peace and prosperity. Are they a symptoms of a moribund hallucination of a deep-rooted tragedy?

The country girl expected to meet her bo Bo Aung in Rangoon for life safety but O. Henry’s signature twist took her to a brothel in the end. A similar title by the same Burmese author is ‘The Girl got a kiss’! (ဂ်မ္းဘုံတေယာက္ အနမ္းခံရသတဲ့) I wish Burmese people will get more kisses from the west and miss a fate to become a brothel nation as Aung San predicted.

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