Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Curse (Synopsis by Chapter 1-12)

The Prologue

An Indian rubber tapper has woken up late and is whistling his favourite tune and as he is walking, he stumbles upon something. He is horrified to learn that it is a dead body.He lets out a scream and runs away asa fast as he can.

Chapter 1

Azreen hurriedly leaves her studies in England to return home after receiving news that her sister had died.  Her coursemate, Julian Ng, tries to offer his sympathy and condolence but she was not in the mood to talk about the matter.

Chapter 2

On the plane home, Azreen experiences flashbacks of her early days with Madhuri and how Madhuri was well-liked by people.  Madhuri was beautiful and soft-spoken compared to Azreen, who was an obstinate child.
 Chapter 3

Back home, on an island south of Langkawi Island, Pn. Kamsiah was talking with her daughter Siti about their neighbour, Normala, who is spreading rumours that Madhuri was murdered and she spilt white blood. Datin Sharifah and her husband were ready to fetch their adopted daughter from the airport. They were trying their best not to talk about Madhuri’s death.

Chapter 4

Mourners gather at Azreen’s house to pay their last respects to Madhuri before burial. The women folk gossip among themselves that Madhuri was murdered and she had put a curse on everyone on the island.  Azreen arrives late to pay her last respects to her late sister.  Azreen brings her sickly mother to the burial ground to bid farewell to Madhuri. She meets Mohd. Asraf and flashbacks of her schooling years fills the scene.

Chapter 5

Azreen meets Asraf.  She enquires about Madhuri’s death but is only given vague details of the incident.  Normala, the rumour monger, spreads rumours about what had happened to Madhuri.  Awang, the bomoh, makes an appearance as he dreams that a disaster is about to hit the village soon.  Awang recalls the incident when he stole a chicken at Encik Mohan’s farm causing a bull to escape.  Asraf was blamed for the fiasco but Azreen bravely took the blame on his behalf.  Back to the present, Azreen  looks for the Old Lady in the jungle to catch up on old times.  The Old Lady discloses that Madhuri was murdered. 

Chapter 6

The Old Lady relates to Azreen that she saw Madhuri’s lifeless body and the wound on her.  She suggests that Madhuri’s murder was covered up as investigation into her death would reveal more secrets.  Puan Fatihah, the village headman’s wife recalls how her life changed forever when her husband, Haji Ghani, became attracted to Madhuri. 

Azreen recaps how Madhuri tried to defend her from her father’s wrath for stealing mangosteen and the good times she spent with Madhuri. In a flashback, Azreen admitted her folly for letting the bull go in order to save Asraf from Encik Mohan and his son’s wrath.  The escaped bull knocked into the motorcycle that her parents were on and caused her mother to be paralysed. The Old Lady reveals her past life with her abusive husband who drove her to kill him in self-defence.  She made herself a home in a deserted house in the jungle. 

Chapter 7

Asraf is concerned about his grandmother’s deteriorating health.  At the same time, Hj. Ghani, mourns at Madhuri’s tombstone.  While deep in thoughts, he almost saw someone, a woman in a flowing white dress, strolling past the trees. At home, Azreen’s father reprimanded her for not latching up the chicken coop. A chicken carcass, with its neck broken, lies on the bottom step of the coop.   

The next morning, Azreen reads Julian’s letter about the examination week in college.  Then, she reads Madhuri’s letter of her marriage and relationship with Kak Fatihah (Haji Ghani’s first wife).  The letter also hints that Madhuri has a secret to be revealed to Azreen when she returns home for her holidays.
Chapter 8 

Azreen’s mother dies.  Meanwhile, Mohd. Asraf continues to worry over his sickly grandmother. Mohd Asraf goes to the market to look for medicinal plants for his grandmother but fails to find any.  In desperation, he goes to the Old Lady’s house for help. The Old Lady hesitates at first but after much persuasion from Azreen and Mohd. Asraf, she finally agrees to go over to Mohd Asraf’s house to help his grandmother.

Chapter 9

Siti keeps an eye on  Mohd. Asraf’s grandmother (Nek) while he goes out to get her medicine. Pn. Kamsiah and Normala  are curious at the Old Lady’s presence at  Mohd. Asraf’s house. The Old Lady tries to cure Nek.     

Azreen is puzzled to discover a university prospectus that reveals Mohd. Asraf’s intention to pursue his studies in Kuala Lumpur.  When Azreen returns home, she sees the bomoh scampering behind the bushes.  As she confronts the bomoh, he informs her about the mob incident at Mohd. Asraf’s house. 

She immediately runs to Asraf’s house.  Normala blames Azreen for bringing the Old Lady to Mohd. Asraf’s house and causing heavy downpour to hit the village.  An argument starts and Azreen’s father intervenes to stop the commotion.  Meanwhile, Nek is beginning to recover and Mohd. Asraf is extremely relieved.  They thank the Old Lady for bravely coming over to cure Nek and the rain finally stops.

Chapter 10

Azreen awakes to a flurry of knocks on her door. She finds out that Nek has passed away and Mohd Asraf is heading towards Nek’s house with a few men for revenge.   Azreen tries to stop him and in a struggle, stabs him at the foot with a spade.  The torch that he was holding fell onto the wall of the house and soon the house was on fire.  Azreen finds Nek, barely alive lying beside the stove and she advises Azreen to learn to forgive before it is too late.  Azreen’s father saves her before the whole house crumbles. 

Mohd  Asraf  confesses to Azreen that he loves Madhuri and they were planning to abscond from the island when he was offered a teaching course in Kuala Lumpur. Madhuri wanted to confess to her husband, parents and Azreeb about her affair with Mohd. Asraf.  

However, Madhuri was found dead at a rubber plantation.  Azreen then meets Awang, the bomoh, who tells her that Madhuri was not her real sister.  Awang also confesses that he was the one who left the gate open that led to the motorcycle accident that paralysed her mother.  Awang also confirms that he had seen Madhuri and Mohd Asraf together several times in the rubber estate.  The chapter ends with Haji Ghani, the headman thinking about his young wife meeting her lover on that fateful day when she was killed.
Chapter 11

Azreen  delves on the bomoh’s words that Madhuri was not her real sister. She encounters a shadow of a woman from behind the wooden fence again that directs her to a woodpile a few feet away behind her house. Azreen and her father walk towards the woodpile and see a “parang” that Saleh used to chop wood. There is white and sticky stain at the edge of the parang.  Azreen immediately recalls Normala’s words “She had white blood” and she stares at her father in disbelief.   

Saleh recalls how fond was he with Madhuri and how he found her as a baby at the paddy field. He stumbles upon Madhuri and Mohd Asraf together at the rubber plantation. In his fury, he kills Madhuri and her body knocks over the latex-filled container. Upon hearing this revelation, Azreen runs away from her father.
Saleh suffers a heart attack and dies.  Meanwhile in the village, a rumour spreads like a wildfire that a woman who looks suspiciously like his dead daughter had been wandering about at the time of his death.

Chapter 12

Azreen visits her family’s graves. She leaves a flower on each grave and leaves quietly.  She leaves a flower at the hillside where the Old Lady was buried, too.  As Azreen leaves, she sees a smiling figure which resembles Madhuri’s smiles.



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