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395 Section V, C. THE MIGHTY DRAMA “The Mighty Drama” reproduced from Maung Maung, Burma’s Teething Time (Rangoon: Bamar Publications, 1949); first printed in The Burman, 29 May 1949, pp. 75–77, by permission of Daw Khin Myint (wife of the late Dr Maung Maung). Iwent to Insein two days after the Union Armed Forces had taken occupation of it. With me were Khin Lay Maung with his inevitable camera, and my doctor friend who was anxious to find out if his Karen sayama was safe. We passed the famous Saw Benson’s garden, U Set Kain monastery, the hillock number 112 etc, all bearing the scars of the meaningless battle that had raged there only a few days earlier. Once we entered Insein we at once felt that we were not in the ruins of a recent battlefield only, but were looking into an important chapter of free Burma’s history. History, when written, will have a sad tale to tell, but we did not have to wait until history tells us the tale; we saw for ourselves in the drooping trees with their torn-off branches, in the buildings that bore the cruelty of the battle on their face, in the roads where broken glass, brick and shrapnel lay littered, and in the heaps of charcoal and twisted zinc sheets that had once been 05C DrMaung.indd 395 2/28/08 2:47:08 PM Reproduced from Dr Maung Maung: Gentleman, Scholar, Patriot by Robert H. Taylor (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2008). This version was obtained electronically direct from the publisher on condition that copyright is not infringed. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior permission of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Individual articles are available at 396 DR MAUNG MAUNG: Gentleman, Scholar, Patriot homes in which happy families passed their happy days, the evidence of tragedy. There, at Insein, a mighty drama had unfolded itself; we could not stop it from unfolding, we could only watch it and gasp at the mightiness of it. It was neither the Karens nor the Burmans who unfolded the drama; it was the drama which unfolded itself, and it was sheer accident that it had to be Karens and Burmans. They were ready at hand and it was convenient to have them play the different roles in that mighty drama; so the drama chose them for its players and all that happened, happened. x x x x x There at Insein I met some of the players of the mighty drama. There was, for example, my uncle and his wife and their little sons. I could see three months of servitude and hunger clearly written on their faces. They had a rough time. My uncle had a chance to run away but he stayed to look after his wife and her aged father. The wife and children were offered a safe conduct to Rangoon by the Relief Missions sent out by the Indian and the British Embassies but they stayed back when the KNDOs ordered that my uncle must remain. So they stayed together to face the future, devoted and loyal to each other, they settled down as best as they could to pass through that long nightmare. The wife was with child and late one night she announced that the time had come for she could feel those little stabbing pains which she knew so well from yearly experience. No doctor could be fetched at that time of the night; even the KNDOs were afraid of the night and they kept indoors till the sun came up to give them courage. But the wife would not wait till the sun came up and my uncle did what he could to effect safe delivery of the baby. It might have been a miracle which came to the assistance of my uncle, or it might have been his clever and experienced handling of the delicate situation, but the fact remained that all went well, the baby was delivered without any difficulty, and mother and baby slept peacefully through the night. My uncle has become a clever midwife now and flushed with the success of his first case, he is thinking if he should turn to midwifery as a profession. x x x x x 05C DrMaung.indd 396 2/28/08 2:47:08 PM The Mighty Drama 397 Then there was that Chin Captain whom we persuaded to give us a...


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