It is true that the words we utter or write have certain impacts on other people. This is the reason why Sok Chanphal decided to pen words about inspirational ideas and concepts that opened doors for depressed people to be deeply understood and accepted.
As a well-known songwriter and novelist, it was hard for Sok Chanphal to reveal his own depression to the public. But he bravely wrote his own experiences through his recently published piece, ‘Mano Sanhchetana’. A combination of short stories and articles about various topics, the book contains nine main chapters focusing on depression, love, gratitude, work, time, self, Vipassana and life’s end.
In the first chapter, Chanphal tells about how depression has remained a taboo in a conservative society such ash Cambodia. He writes about people resorting to suicide to end their struggles. Though Chanphal’s story on suicide is fictional, readers can certainly feel that the moral of the story is to appreciate what life has given to us and enjoy every little thing that comes. Aside from the short story, this chapter also has some short motivational articles that explain about the symptoms and solutions to depression.
And as a famous man himself, the author also talks about how other people influence those around them. He courageously recalls his personal experiences on dealing with haters and standing up for himself when people try to push him down. He also digs deep into relationships between friends and lover through a short story.
‘Love’ is the main theme of chapter three. The book highlights love – the feeling one can have towards his family, partner or nation. Chanphal also reveals the setbacks he faced when he first published his story on a local website. He says that he received a lot of bad comments and hate messages. More importantly, in this chapter, Chanphal includes beautifully sad poetry that can bring readers into tears.
As I read the book, I never let anything or anybody disturb me. Sok Chanphal truly has the gift of words, and I, for one, got hooked. I even felt that his story was closely related to mine, as if he was writing the words in my head.
What I like most about this piece is how Chanphal uses the words of Buddha as his guide in making tough decisions. Truly, Chanphal is a source of inspiration especially for those who are going through a tough time.
If you want to feel that you’re not alone in your journey in this messy and complicated life, read Sok Chanphal’s ‘Mano Sanhchetana’.
Author: Sok Chanphal
Publication: Khmerwriter, 2019
Sok Chanphal earned the SEA Write Award in 2013 through his philosophical short stories and novels. Aside from being an acclaimed novelist, he has written a lot of songs – most of which are about youth –for Rasmey Hang Meas production. He has published Nightmare, 14 Days of Love, Winter Love, Gentleman’s Love (Sneha Sopheap Boros).
Chanphal is also known for his films, Wallet and I Have Extraordinary Sense. Currently, Chanphal manages Antriy Film, which has adapted one of his books to a romantic film.