Ali Imran K
Just before the advent of his 30th birthday, Ali felt completely and utterly lost. He was in an unfulfilling job, his friends were moving away, getting married, progressing with their lives and here he was, stagnant and alone. For the first time in his life, he had to deal with his own company and not really knowing how to, he decided to go surfing. Since then, nothing has ever been quite the same. Realising he had nothing to lose anymore; he quit his job, sold his car and left everything behind on a journey to find answers. His travels take him round parts of India, Padang, the Mentawai Islands, Java and Bali. But it wasn’t up until the remote corners of Java, after feeling God’s overwhelming presence out in the ocean time after time, did he accept himself for what he truly is and learned to live a life decisively happy.
King of The Sea took Dina Zaman (the author of I Am Muslim) about 13 years to complete. The stories began as part of her MA project at Lancaster University in 1998, inspired by her homesickness, and her longing for the ‘ Terengganu air’.
She explores themes of love, grief, loss and longing, and the magic in our lives. A young boy, grieving for his late father, meets a ghost who tells him that he is the king of the sea. Alia, a missing child, comes back as a chicken to bewildered parents. A daughter witnesses an affair by her unfaithful mother, but she is not sure if she was hallucinating. A young man arrives on an island, and marries a jungle spirit, a bunian. Hell breaks loose in a small village when a brash modern city woman decides to live there. A teacher who longs for a more glamorous life, literally, disappears into a movie screen.
Dina Zaman, a survivor from the I Am Muslim tsunami, has been writing in the Malaysian media for over 17 years. Her first book, a collection of short stories, night & day, which was part of the Black & White series, was published by Rhino Press in 1997. She has had her works of fiction, and non-fiction, published in many journals and periodicals, locally and regionally. She is currently studying saints, and other holy men and women, and their impact on Malaysia for her next book Holy Men, Holy Women under the API Fellowship 2012-2013 programme that she has just been awarded.