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My friend Sima's love story of Shirin and Farhad had aspired me to write this story. The Legend of Mahsuri is a famous Malay legend which had been told and retold countless times and became a myth. I never read any of English version of this story, if any. I'm writing this story after gathering information from various local sources and trying my best to stay true to the legend.
Mahsuri - The Legend
According to the legend, Mahsuri was a beautiful Malay lady who lived in Padang Matsirat, Langkawi Island sometimes in 19th century. Her family was from Phuket, Thailand (or formerly known as Siam). Langkawi is an archipelago of islands, north of Malaysia. It was said that Mahsuri was the most beautiful lady in Langkawi.
She was married to Wan Darus, a warrior. At one time, Wan Darus had to leave Mahsuri alone when he had to go to war. During his absence, Mahsuri befriended a young man named Deraman. Due to her beauty, Mahsuri was envied by most women in the Island, especially Wan Mahora, the wife of the village chief who was also her sister-in law. She started a vicious rumour saying that Mahsuri was having an affair with Deraman in the absence of her husband. Soon, the entire village people turned against Mahsuri and believed the rumour. Mahsuri pleaded her innocence but no one believed her.
The village then condemned her to death. She was tied to a pole and stabbed repeatedly with a keris, (a keris is a traditional Malay weapon), however she did not die. Mahsuri kept on pleading her innocence, but the people did not believe her words. After several failed attempts to kill her, Mahsuri told the people that the only way she can be killed was by using the family keris.
When she stabbed with her family's keris, a white blood flowed from her body to signify her innocence. The villagers were shocked and regretted their action, but it was too late. With her dying breath, Mahsuri cursed the village to have bad luck for seven generations.
When Wan Darus came back from the war, he was shocked to hear his wife had been killed. He decided to leave Langkawi with his young son, and his family in-laws.
Many locals of Langkawi believed the legend to be true, citing decades of bad crops and various wars between Siam after the death of Mahsuri. At the last invasion by Siam, the local burnt their rice field rather than allowing the field to be fallen in the hands of Siamese soldiers. The place is still known as "Beras Terbakar - Burnt Rice".
Only at the end of 20th century; supposedly after seven generations, that Langkawi begun to prosper and became a tourist destination. Beras Terbakar and Padang Matsirat until now become popular places being visited by locals.
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