The third series from Look Mai Khong Phor Series, Saeng Dao Khang Jai (starlight in my heart), premiered Jan 1, 2014. Episode one was interesting enough. There were cute men in uniforms, beautiful forest scenes and mysteries that sounded promising.
Phet (honestly, not sure how to pronounce his real name) as Akin Akira, a forest ranger
Yardthip Rachapal as Napdao [nap-dao], the owner of Rai Saeng Dao (Saeng Dao Plantation)
The cloth sign reads Pha Mok Forest Ordination Ceremony (Pha Mok, a village). The boy asks Napdao (he calls her Pee Nap or Sister Nap) what she’s praying for. Nap says she prayed for a peaceful forest and may it stay with them forever, and that no one would come to destroy it. Kam Noi says he will help taking care of the forest too.
Nan, a Border Patrol Police, shows up. Por Lieng (a title calling a wealthy man mostly up in the North) greets him. Nan says he didn’t come to join the ceremony but came to take the villagers to the police station as someone reported that the villagers encroached on the national park area.
Napdao steps up and tells Nan that the villagers are only protecting the forest. He can’t just arrest them like that. Nan says what he can do when there’s an official notice came, he must do his duty.
Another pick-up truck joins them. This time it’s the forest rangers. Nap asks Nan who informed the police. Akin walks to her and says it’s him. Nap calls him a newly transferred forest ranger and asks if he wants to impress his boss with a good work. She suggests him use other methods because all the villagers here have been taking care of the forest. She tells him to withdraw both his forces and his notice to the police.
Akin says the villagers may not know they’ve been going against the law. She counters that what about an officer whose duty is to take care of the country but threatening civilians instead, will that also be called against the law? He warns her to take nicely, he doesn’t want to report her on slandering too. She calls him ‘Khun’ (Mr.) so he tells her his name is Akin.
Akin tells Nan (calling him a Police Lieutenant, POL.LT.) to do his duty. The villagers are getting on the truck while some are running away. Kam Euai asks Nan if she has to go, she didn’t do anything wrong. Nap tells her not to beg him. Nan begs Nap to understand him. She tells him to arrest her too or others will say he selectively do his duty.
Nap walks to Akin and asks what he will do with the villagers. He says he just takes them to hear the charge. She says it’s the charge he came up just to persecute the villagers. She says their village was peaceful until he’s transferred here. He says he’s only enforcing the law which has been neglected for so long.
Akin: “You are getting used to breaking the law that when the authorities strictly enforce it, you are saying you are victimized.”
Nap insists that they love the forest and didn’t encroach on the nation park area.
Akin: “You didn’t encroach but you are growing field crops in the national park area. Or, was it you who’s the leader bringing the villagers to encroach on the forest?”
She says they have been living here since ancestors, even before forest rangers become interested enough to declare the area a national park.
Nap: “Let me ask if we are encroaching on the forest or the forest is encroaching upon us?”
Akin says he will believe her if only….Kam Noi runs to Nap and tells her the fire broke out. Kam Noi runs into the burning house so Akin follows him. Kam Noi is trying to get out of the fire hugging a picture frame to himself.
Akin carries the boy out. Kam Euai asks her son why he went in there. The boy says he wanted to take his study books but could only grab this. It’s the portrait of his beloved king and queen.
Nap is treating the boy’s wound. Kam Euai wants to wait for Mor (an herbal med doctor) Kam Pan, Nap’s father, to come back first. Nap tells her to move in with them tonight, no need to wait for her dad. Kam Euai smiles and agrees to it. Nan calls Nap and tells her that the fire was surely not an accident. He shows her an empty oil gallon that he found.
Akin and his men are discussing about the incident that there’s something unusual about it. Nap shows the evidence to them. Akin says simply one oil gallon isn’t enough to accuse him. She asks if is it not too convenient when the chasing-them-out fire broke out when he came to inform them encroaching on the nation park area, and wanted them to move out of here.
Akin praises her for her own imagination. He asks what he will gain by doing that. She says money and his success on the job of moving the villagers out the fastest. He turns to her and says, he’s capable enough to create a good work without resorting to this kind of dirty method. She says who knows, people who claimed they are honest and trustful are mostly the culprits.
He grabs her arm saying she’s looking down on his officer honor. She says there’s no honor in an officer who threatened the people in the first place. He says he will sue her if she won’t stop. She says he’s now threatening a civilian. Akin gets angry. She asks what he will dare do to her. He walks away instead. Nap shouts at him that this matter won’t rest easily and she will sue him back.
His close subordinate, Inthorn [in-thorn], is telling Akin that Napdao is a good person, and she must be mad about what happened so she acted that way. Napdao and Mor Kam Pan are the persons the villagers relied on, so she must feel bad that she couldn’t fix what happened. Akin asks if he’s sure there’s no other reasons because it seems Napdao hate officers.
Inthorn says when Leader Somchai was here, Napdao was very close to him nothing like she’s now. He tells Akin that once Napdao knows that he came with good intention, she will be good then.
Officers are searching the burned house. Napdao chases them out. She says they don’t need to create a good image to hide their crime. Akin says what she said was too much. He asks if it’s not enough to fight only with him. Inthorn asks them what’s the matter. Akin says out loud that she thinks they set the fire. The whole group turns silent. Inthorn asks her how she could think like that. She says not just think but will find an evidence to prove it too.
Akin: “Go ahead and find it, especially the one with our fingerprints on it!”
She says of course, she will. She tells them to leave. Akin says they won’t leave or that would mean they accepted her accusation. Nan stops her saying she should thank them for coming to clean the mess here. He tells her to leave the job of finding the culprit to the police. She says she will find the mastermind behind the arson, no matter what.
Akin: “Lt., please tell the villagers that forest rangers like us cannot (have no authority to) chase anyone out of their land if they can provide us the document of right within 90 days.”
Napdao walks away.
Napdao comes to see the leader of forest rangers (Akin) at his office. She shows him the document of right. He thanks her for her cooperation. She says he should stop wrongly accusing anyone now. She turns back to warn him not to go around arresting anyone if he doesn’t want to lose his face because later the villagers will come here to show him their document.
Inthorn asks Akin how he feels. Akin lets out a smile.
Kam Euai says she really doesn’t have any enemy. Akin asks Kam Euai who she’s suspecting. Nap says it’s him because after he got transferred here, their village has been in a mess. He tells her to stop interrupting. He says he doesn’t want to argue with her, and he won’t sit still and let her accuse him alone. She says he can go ahead and act decent, but she can guess that after a while, things will turn quiet as usual , it’s obviously people from the same bunch who did it. After Nap left, Akin tells Kam Euai to tell him and she doesn’t need to be afraid, he will keep it a secret. Kam Euai says there’s really no one she’s suspecting.
Inthorn says to think about it, this case may be like what Napdao said. Akin says do not tell him he’s thinking that they set fire. Inthorn says he meant they wouldn’t find any traces on it. He says the person who could do this must be a highly influence one around here, so how any villager will give them information. Akin says that means Inthorn’s suspecting someone. Inthorn doesn’t answer that.
They come to see Por Lieng Songpol. Songpol acknowledges Akin as a newly transferred forest ranger leader. They sit down. Akin says it’s his great honor to meet the great businessman of this district. Songpol says he’s not that great, people just said it like that. He loves the development so that he could create more jobs for the villagers. Akin says he heard that Songpol loved the land in Pha Mok village. Songpol says he loves beautiful plots of land just about anywhere. He admits he had offered the price to Pha Mok villagers once but they didn’t want to sell it, so he couldn’t help about that.
Akin says there was an arson happened in Pha Mok. It looks like it meant to chase out the villagers. Songpol says he didn’t know about it, and asks if they came because they suspect him. Akin says no, he came to tell him about it. Songpol says he’s a sincere man, if someone thinks highly of him, he will be good to that person, but if thinks badly…..(staring at Akin).
Por Lieng Jom is telling the villagers that he will stand by them. He will look into Euai’s completely burned out document and will send someone to let her know about it. Euai thanks him. He also offer to pay land tax for all of them but he needs their document of right to process it.
Jom is worried about the villagers’ document of right because the culprit can come again anytime so he suggests the villagers keep their document in his safe. He asks his man to be the witness of the matter. Jom stresses that he’s not forcing them, they can keep it with them if they want to. They all agree to his idea and thank him.
Akin tells Inthorn to leave the photo there. Inthorn thinks Akin will replace it with his own photo. Akin says he will leave it there to remind himself to be honest (in his job) like him (Leader Somchai).
Inthorn asks if Leader Somchai is Akin’s idol. Akin says yes, he is. He looks at the frame above. It’s a saying to do a thankless job (will lay gold leaves on a Buddha image from behind). Akin asks if it’s Leader Somchai who put it up there. Inthorn says yes. He says based on working with him, Leader Somchai is a good man, his only shortcoming was that he’s willing to break apart more than to bend, and that’s why he disappeared without trace. Inthorn leaves to let Akin rest on his own.
Boonta brings food to Inthorn. He teases her if it’s for him or his boss. Akin says he only needs a cup of coffee for today. Inthorn insists he taste Boonta food and then runs to get plates and spoons.
Boonta says if Akin likes the food, she will bring it to him everyday. He thanks her but tells her to take care of Inthorn instead. Akin tells the two to eat the food, he will go survey Phu Pha Prai.
Boonta and Inthorn are alarmed hearing the name. She tells him not to go, the place is very far and needs to go on foot for half a day, and it’s quite a scary place.
Akin says he doesn’t believe what the villagers are saying that that place is accursed, and he doesn’t believe Leader Somchai disappeared because of the curse of Phu Pha Prai.
Inthorn warns him not to mess around the matter of Leader Somchai. Akin says he never thinks he will hear such words from him. Inthorn says he’s just worried for his safety. If he disappears because of Phu Pha Prai’s curse just like Leader Somchai, gaining won’t worth losing. Akin gets up and says he doesn’t believe anything about it.
Akin turns back to tell Inthorn to look after the unit in his place, it’s an order. Boonta pinches Inthorn for making his boss angry.
Napdao sees a light coming from the trees so she follows it. She finds a bottle of herbicide so she curses. A reflection of a steel knife catches her eyes. She shouts at the man to stop. She runs after the man.
Akin hears some noise so he runs. He puts his arms around her and they both fall down. He sees her face and lets go. She asks why he caught her. He picks up the bottle saying she gets caught red-handed, and still making an innocent face. She asks if he thinks she used it on trees to make them die. She says she didn’t do it.
She tells him she saw a thief cutting out the bark of a tree, and when the man saw her he ran away. She followed him but he disappeared. He praises her for being good at making up a story. He asks if she thinks he’s that stupid. She gets up and says if he’s really clever he should know he can’t arrest her. He asks why. She says he said himself that merely an oil gallon couldn’t be used against him, so just this one bottle of herbicide, how he could use it against her.
He gets angry. She says if she committed a crime then where is the knife, cutting out barks with bare hands? She asks or may be he has a witness that she committed a crime. He simply tells her not to act clever, he will surely press charge. She tells him to go ahead but if she comes out clean, she will sue him back.
Napdao: “You don’t dare press charge? Then I’ll leave, and don’t meet again, ever!”
Akin wants to contact his men but the radio antenna was bent. He curses.
Napdao looks at the huge tree feeling sad. She says she will find out who did it. Akin walks in the forest looking at the trees. He sees movement ahead and runs. Aww…great shots. He looks around and sees no one.
Nap comes back to her house. She asks if her dad returned. The man says not yet. He praises her father for his kindness. He treats poor villagers for free and troubles himself of finding the herbs in the forest. It’s a tiring job. Nap says he’s happy doing it though she’s now worried for his safety because things kept happening in their village these days. She tells him what she saw in the forest just now. She says if they just keep being calm then the forest is gone, how they will live then?
Akin comes to the waterfall. He slips and falls. He walks into the mist and finds many trees were cut down. He looks around and calls the culprits bastard.
Inthorn is too happy to see Akin come back. Akin tells him he found trees that were illegally cut down. He tells him to prepare the forces, they will head out tomorrow early morning. That night, Akin appears a little drowsy.
The rangers head out into the forest. When they reach the spot, all trees were gone. Akin says they came too late but they must find those trees today.
They stay in the forest until nighttime. Akin stumbles a bit, Inthorn asks if he’s alright. Akin tells them to keep on looking. They come back. Akin gets out of the car and starts throwing up. Inthorn checks his forehead and says he’s a very high fever. He takes Akin to the doctor.
Akin asks where this place is. Inthorn says it’s the doctor’s place. Napdao runs down to see the patient. Akin gapes that it’s her house. Nap sees that it’s him so she says her father isn’t here so they can’t take any patient. Kam Euai says, but Nap can examine and prescribe medicine.
Akin tells Kam Euai that it’s alright, he doesn’t want to be in debt to anyone. Nap tells Inthorn to take him to the hospital. If he doesn’t get well because of her treatment, he will badly complain. Inthorn says it’s 30 kilometers away to the hospital (it’s far for a rural area). He’s afraid Akin’s condition won’t allow it. Akin says he can manage a trip there, and if Inthorn doesn’t go, he will drive there himself.
Kam Euai begs Nap that Akin saved Kam Noi’s life once. Inthorn begs Nap but Akin says if she’s not willing to treat him then don’t ask her to. Nap tells him to go ahead and go elsewhere. Akin means to shout back at her but loses his consciousness right there.
Nap ends up treating Akin. She makes him drink a glass of herbal medicine. Nap tells Kam Euai that he will be alright. Nap leaves to rest and tells Kam Euai to call her anytime if his condition gets worse. Where is Inthorn by the way? Did he just leave?
Nap closes her laptop and wonders how he is. Kam Euai calls her that his fever gets higher than before. Akin starts shaking with fever. He holds her hand and shouts for his father, that he came to him but where he is, “Don’t leave me father!”
They hold him still. Akin cries calling his father not to leave him. Aww…
He holds Nap’s hands all the while. Nap ended up sitting by his bed till morning. Kam Euai wakes her up and tells her to go rest.
Akin wakes up. He sees Napdao and asks what he had. She says he had a fever because he’s allergic to the poison of (a kind of) beetles. He says how it could be. She says his fever was so high that he almost shocked, and he lost his consciousness for 2 days and 2 nights. Napdao brags that ever since she helped her father treat patients, he got the worst allergy.
He thanks her for taking care of him. She says it’s alright, she will just think of it as helping a baby bird. He insists he’s a human. She tells him it’s time to take the medicine. He takes a look and says he won’t drink it, it’s too green. She says she fed him many glasses already. He asks if she did feed him the medicine. She tells him to stop asking and drink it so she can go do something else. He drinks it and cringes. It’s so bitter. She says it’s medicine not sweets. She tells him to drink it all, it’s an order. He agrees but means to throw it away. She stops him and says if he throws it away behind her back, his fever will surely come back again so high. She leaves him to drink it. Akin complains who can drink it, it’s so bitter.
A man says, “Separating plastic garbage and recycling it will help reducing the amount of garbage in the world and help harming the world less. Sufficient is just enough.”
I think I’m slowly falling for Akin. He looks gorgeous in the uniform. Wonder who is the real culprit? Again, not sure will do all the way but at least you get the picture of this lakorn.
The cover of the novel Saeng Dao Khang Jai, ISBN 978-616-500-198-4. There’s also a recent version with the leads on the cover 🙂