- Title: Paracosm
- Author: Arina
- Publisher: Tun Suffian Foundation Incorporated
- Release Date: May 6th 2017
- Pages: 177
Never hate yourself. Stop saying you’re not beautiful, it’s like you’re saying that God’s creations are hideous. If you are beautiful inside, no doubt your outside will shine. It just takes the right person to see it.
Paracosm is a heart-felt gem written by 17-year-old Puteri Fateh Arina Merican Megat Suffian Merican, the great-grandniece of Malaysia’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj. A “paracosm” is said to be a detailed imaginary world, often associated to one’s childhood and unfolded by a turn of events.
Arina’s passion for writing and poetry grew ever since she was a little girl, and let’s just say that she has never looked back since. The first thing I noticed when I flipped through this cream-coloured hardback book is the colourful illustrations that filled its pages. Most of the drawings were produced by Arina herself, such personal touch and vibrancy deserves every bit of attention.
Why do you see the surfaceBut not what is withinYour eyes are unfair judgesThey are mirrors filled with sinDark colours displease themDark colours and strange religionsNo cloud is the same shapeNo garden has the same flowersYet they glow with beautyThey glow with prideBeneath the skinSame structures of boneNo matter who tries to destroy youKnowThat you will never fight alone.
Arina writes with a certain level of boldness and persistence which is highly commendable. I can feel her eagerness on every page – the urgency to translate her thoughts into important messages for people of varying walks of life to read. The topics she covers spreads across – she speaks on her relationships with people, dreams, fears and the many challenges she has to face to be heard in a world heavily chained by societal norms.
Perhaps the crown I wear
Is a little old fashioned.
With withered silver leaves
And wilted gold lilies
There are no diamonds
While others wear
A crown of garnets
Mine is an antique
Of ancient legend
With the stories of my ancestors
Now leaving me
To find my own story.
Because I am the ink
On these pages
And the inspiration
Of my own legend.
All in all, this book breathes originality. There was so much thought put into not just the poetry writing, but in putting the book together as a whole. The poetry, visual art, photographs and even Arina’s old handwritten notes when she was just a 7-year-old! – a book to cherish by generations to come.
Sometimes the world is saved by only one good heart, not a million strong arms.
I would like to thank my good friend, Daniel Ariff Tung, for providing me a copy of this book to review. As a past scholar of the Tun Suffian Foundation, he felt that there is a great need to get the word out on this beautiful book – in which I absolutely agree. After all, proceeds from the book sales will be channeled towards awarding more deserving students to pursue their undergraduate and postgraduate studies. So the next time you pop into your nearby MPH or Kinokuniya bookstore, be sure to pick up a copy for RM30! Your contribution will make a difference in someone’s life.
Dearest Tok Mama
“Not all those who wander are lost.” – JRR Tolkien
But I get lost all the time.
Life is full of struggles, but do keep that passion of yours going, Arina. Aspiring to be a human rights lawyer one day, I do believe Paracosm is a huge first step for her to many promising things to come.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★