Of Bunga Telur & Bally Shoes – Che Husna Azhari

Che Husna Azhari hails from Melor, Kelantan, a village town between Pasir Puteh and Kota Bharu is the setting frequently used by Che Husna in many of her short stories.

Che Husna’s first collection of short stories, Kelantan Tales was published in 1992. This was followed by Melor in Perspective and The Rambutan Orchard. Che Husna also wrote a collection of poems in Malay and English entitled Puisi Ambo (My Poems) which was published in 1996. Many of her short stories are published in journals. Her latest publication, The Man Who Built Gul-e-Stan, forms one of the collection of short stories in Voices of South East Asia recently published by SEAMEO, the Regional English Language Centre, Singapore. Two of her poems have been recorded in casette entitle Suararasa produced by the Cultural Unit of the National University of Malaysia. She is also one of the Panel of Judges for the National Science Poetry Competition since 1995.

Opening lines:

It was that time in Jamal’s life. Marriage time.

Last line:

Jamal looked at his sister, drew a long breath and asked, “What Bally shoes?”

Amazing line:

Jamal had left the whole rigmarole of choosing a wife to his mother and sisters.

Typical male archetype lines:

“Why so long, Cik?” queried Jamal. He had already spent a few sleepless nights thinking about his bride.

The layman’s plot: Man is getting married and needs money – fast. Despite revising the budget, he is still short on money for the bunga telur. But there are his leather Bally shoes…

Verdict: Simple story but the irony is not lost. To pay for a tradition of serving bunga telur at his wedding, he has to sacrifice something he did not think would have been a necessity for the wedding itself!


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Zaharan Razak
    Feb 12, 2008 @ 22:55:56

    Read her earlier writings but since then hard to find her new books in the bookstores.

    Husna does for Kelantan as Awang Goneng does for Trengganu and Rehman Rashid for Malaysia and what do I do …

    For Terengganuphiles, see also Mubin Sheppard’s musings on the state.

    nylusmilk: thanks for leaving a comment. 🙂


  2. Chet
    Mar 17, 2008 @ 13:46:58


    I have just started a website called Malaysian Writers on the Net (www.my-writers.com), and would like to include what you wrote about Che Husna Azhari in the Writers section. I will credit you with the info and link back to this post here.


    nylusmilk: uh, okay, i guess. i didn’t write much except what i thought about the story in the verdict. the rest were basically quoted from the text itself.


  3. Jean Jihel
    Oct 20, 2009 @ 20:50:12

    Hai, I love this story as it is of our Malaysian background. Proud to have a talented local writers and hope that more writers will add colours to lovers of stories.


  4. patungcendana
    Feb 09, 2010 @ 10:53:26

    this is hillarious…love it. 🙂

    would like to use it in critical thinking through literature clsss….may I?

    nylusmilk: sure – would like to sit in the class myself!


  5. ahmad bakhtiar
    Sep 22, 2010 @ 14:57:27

    she is my lecturer!!!!!
    shockingly she teaches engineering materials!


  6. nona
    Jan 05, 2011 @ 14:20:22

    Is there anyway that I can purchase this book online?


  7. azeeman
    Feb 23, 2012 @ 01:01:38

    do you have the text of this short story…………………..
    please reply ASAP


  8. hamzah
    Aug 29, 2015 @ 02:02:19

    Hey guys, any info on the writer? Would love to know more about her


  9. hanifarhanah zulkifli
    Dec 14, 2015 @ 15:20:46

    i want the full of the story. for my assignment. please.


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