Junior Win – A Tribute to U Thet Htun (1926 – 2012)
U Thet Htun, was a retired ambassador of France, Switzerland, and a writer of ‘Waves of Influence’ which won the National Literary Prize in the category of English language books in 2011. I came to meet him as neighbor-friend when he worked as a Chairman of the Htun Foundation. It was 2008 – my translated book ‘Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland’ won a Children Literary award from Htun Foundation. It so happened to meet him for the first time in person.
He lived at our neighbor-road. I went to his house to introduce myself, and give him the copy of my winning book. But I was so afraid to meet a great man! His house was surrounded by big and small trees, and followed by narrow sandy road, and I saw some coconut trees in his garden. Such a natural green surrounding comforted my fears. Aw…. natural beauties can smooth the human’s mind!
He was tall, and handsomest old man I had ever seen. His kindly voice gave me courage to sit near him. He accepted my book, and we had a good chat that I would never forget. He was humble, and kind-hearted. I was so proud of being a friendly talk with him. I missed my grandpa so much, because his kindly way of talking reminded my grandpa. Whenever I had a chance to see him at some event, (although I was still afraid to go near him), he was so pleased and always returned his warmly kindness.
(I sat beside him on the awarding day of 2008. My father stood behind us.)
Later, I celebrated a small party among my friends for my winning book. I dared not to invite him to come to my house. So I brought foods, and snacks, and went to his house on the very day. I remembered he had a guest when I was there, but he welcomed me warmly, and introduced me with his guest. He said it was a nice meal I brought for him today, and invited his guest that he could join this lunch too. Oh! The more I met him, the more I missed my grandpa!
When I heard the sad news about his passing away, I felt so unhappy that the one whose way of talk and style looked like my grandpa now left the world. It was 3 years today. When I was requested to write remembrance for him to this 3rd anniversary book from his family and the publisher, I could not forget this kindly way of requesting; it was too grand for me to take a part among this tribute book. Kind, warm-hearted, gentle was he as I remembered for the rest of my life.