Another well-made lakorn from channel 3…liked.
“Always remember how much this land has done for you, and be a tiny dust but precious to this land.”
James Ma as Hem
Matt as Lumduan
(the kings’s names are omitted)
“The City of Sumut Prakan or Pak Nam had been an important port since Ayutthaya period. There were foreigners such as the Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Westerners from several countries coming to trade here. The city became even more important come Rattanakosin period. During the reign of …..(King Rama I), …(a name)…Yuan king’s grandson fled for his country through this city. Krom Phra Ratchawang Bowon Maha Surasinghanat himself went after him but couldn’t catch him in time. It then caught the king’s attention the strategic location this city had, so he commanded that fortresses be built to protect the city from any invasion coming through the sea, and more added constructions occurred many times until the reign of …(King Rama III).”
Up in the sky, a game of kite-fighting is going on. The winning party cheer and SaMing, the team leader, asks the defeated team if this is so much skills Pak Nam people had. He says his kite had brought down more than hundred kites from Amphawa to the capital, and now the City of Pak Nam. He thought he would find his match (in skills) here but it has been three days and not even a scratch on his team. He tells them to hand him the winning money.
Suddenly another kite appears on the sky and SaMing’s teammate wonders whose kite it is.
“Who’s that?” SaMing asks.
A man enters the scene holding a jute rope in his hand controlling his kite. SaMing accuses him of daring to challenge him. The man asks if he didn’t challenge Pak Nam people just now and now he’s challenged back, will he accept it?
A man throws a bag of coins on the ground for the bet and says if SaMing doesn’t accept the challenge then just return the money.
SaMing’s friend checks the weight of the coins and says it’s a huge amount and tells SaMing to accept it. SaMing calls the newly arrived a calf having no fear of a tiger.
“Give me jute rope!” SaMing shouts.
They both do their best trying to win the game, and in the end, Pak Nam team wins. Pak Nam team leader says according to the rule, if Pak-pao kite (diamond-shaped kite) wins over Kula kite (star-shaped kite), the Kula team must pay double.
“You brother had been winning from Amphawa to the capital, so obviously you must know this rule.”
“Young man, what’s your name?” SaMing asks.
“Hem…my name is Hem.” our hero answers loud and clear.
Hem comes to give some winning money to uncle Ree and says he’s the one taught him the tactic to win over that Kula kite, so half of the money belongs to him too. Uncle Ree laughs and says it’s just an easy tactic, crush some shattered glass with sticky rice then rub it on the jute rope. Ree says Hem doesn’t have to give him the money. Hem says Ree’s tactic saved Pak Nam people’s faces from that Mon man, so he should accept the money.
Hem’s servant pats his shoulder and asks for his share. Hem asks what effort he put into it when he didn’t help him even crushing shattered glass so how he could ask for his share. Hem shows him his fist and asks if he wants something else. The servant says no, he doesn’t want it.
Hem asks Ree how teacher Mam’s condition is these days. Ree says she doesn’t get any better and he feels sad for his farang (westerner) boss who tried many doctors but to no avail.
Hem comes visit his teacher. She says, “Just seeing you, I’m recovered. Thank you very much for your concern.”
Hem says, “You’re my teacher so I should look after you. If only my father permitted, I would have taken better care of you…”
The teacher’s husband says he understands that so Hem doesn’t have to worry about it and he’s happy enough that he came spending time with Maria.
Hem’s servant wonders what the heck they are talking about, he couldn’t understand a thing. He sees a female servant walking by and says, but about this, he knows so well. He follows her down the stairs. LOL.
A man shows up so the husband tells Hem to stay chatting with Maria and he will be back soon.
Hem and some men jump down a bridge then Hem offers them a reward whoever can beat him swimming faster. Hem’s mother see them and is exasperated that Hem still plays like a kid when he already shaved off the topknot on his head (to signify that a child reached a certain age in the past).
In a small boat, a wife asks if it will be long before they reach their house. The husband says just after that curve of the river. He says Thun Chao Praya Phichai, her elder brother, arranged a nice big house for them and even better, it’s next to Chao Khun Borirak‘s house. He says if they need anything, they can rely on his help, so the fact that they left their home to here, they won’t be in any difficulties.
A lady, Tub-tim, sitting behind them suggests that they pay him a visit since they are neighbors now. Mom praises her for coming up with such good idea then after she gets married with Meun Phipit, she won’t be an embarrassment for him.
In another boat, two girls get excited seeing fish in the water. A lady, Bua, turns to say they are so naughty and asks if the canal in Amphawa (where they left) have no fish why so excited. She warns Lumduan not to lean over the boat like that and what will happen if she falls overboard.
A girl, Hun, whispers into LumDuan’s ear so LumDuan tells her sister that her friend wants to pee. Bua scolds her for using an impolite word and tells her the way to say it more politely.
They make a stop to let the girl pee. Bua tells the girls to ask for permission from the spirits protecting the area first before they attend to their need (pee). Lumduan assures her sister that they will do that.
Hem pops up from the water next to the boat which startles Bua and she screams. Hem is mesmerized by her beauty while Bua smiles shyly. Lumduan shouts to ask her sister what happened. Hem swims away and disappears. Bua looks around then lets out a smile.
The servant (Butra) asks where Hem went and he thought Hem come back before him. Hem says he had a good time swimming around and they just didn’t notice it. (I must say James Ma is so cute!)
A lady servant says Khun Hem came back then informs Chom, Hem’s mother, that. Phraya Borirak, Hem’s father, shows up and asks angrily if his troubled son come back. “Bring him to me now!”
Hem comes to his dad and says if something he did offended him, he’s willing to accept punishment and please don’t let him be the reason of his anger.
Dad asks if he thinks trying to please him first, will help him from getting punished. Dad asks did he not tell him not to mix with those westerners. Dad mentions several nationality such as…, Portuguese, Americans and especially those English, and yet Hem dared go against his order. He asks if Hem thinks of converting to their religious.
Hem gapes and assures him that he never thinks of doing that and his lady English teacher never tried to persuade him to do any other way, she only taught him her language.
Dad yells if it’s just language teaching. He says those people teach language but in fact want them to convert to their religious. He says Hem still mixes with them, and asks if he wants him to choke to death.
Hem says he sees him work so hard so may be learning language could help with his work of ship passage-tax (toll) paying, and he doesn’t think of something else at all.
Mom says what Hem said is also correct, because these days his government work doesn’t go smoothly, it’s due to talking in different languages, so if Hem could help him with that, it would be a good thing.
Dad couldn’t argue about that but says even though that, he still doesn’t want Hem to mix with them. Dad says besides worrying that they will ask Hem to convert, he doesn’t trust them. He says that time when they helped them fight with Burma, and after the battle was over where they should have handed over City of Mottama to them, they refused to do so.
Mom gives him another choice, sending Hem to study with Thun Phra Khru Po at Thai-nam Temple, Maha Wong Canal. Thun Pra Khru Po’s is so knowledgeable that about half of Pak Nam people are his disciples, so Hem will learn and have knowledge which will be good for his entering government service (serve under the crown) in the future.
Dad slaps his lap and says she talked like she was reading his mind. Dad agrees to do that and come an auspicious day, he will take Hem to Thun Phra Khru Po and ask that he take Hem into his care, to sleep and eat at the temple.
Hem makes face like it’s not fun at all. Dad says that way, Hem will stop making contact with those English.
Hem is chasing Butra wanting to kick him. Butra’s dad asks Hem how his son offended him. Hem says Butra’s player side caused trouble. He went to see teacher Mam only a short while and already Butra courted her servant, which angered a man who has been courting her, which led to that man went to see his father and tell him about it.
“Butra, I have to go stay at a temple because of you!” Hem yells. He asks Butra’s dad does he not deserve a kick. Dad agrees with Hem and says he will do that himself.
Dad kicks Butra’s butt so hard that he cries out and protests that he too has to go study at a temple with Khun Hem, so it’s not like he will have a good time so why kick him.
Dad is so glad that his son will get to study with Hem. Butra says he doesn’t want to go but it’s Hem dad’s order.
Hem says it’s good for him to study and if he does well, his father will appoint him a chief of steward, and will that not be good. Butra bites his nail wondering. Dad holds Butra and tells him to study well so that he will live a comfortable life in the future.
Butra argues that if he stays at the temple then what about the girls…(he lists the names to him) and other men will beat him to it. Hem yells at Butra that if he doesn’t think about his future and only cares about girls then don’t go. Butra is so glad to hear that. Hem adds that then he will report it and tell them to tattoo numbers on him to get into a division instead. Butra runs after Hem begging him not to do that.
Hem’s mom asks her husband if it’s the day after tomorrow, and why so soon. Dad says that is the auspicious date he got, and asks is it not the sooner the better so that Hem will stay away from those English. Mom says of course, it’s good, but she feels sad that suddenly Hem will leave home to live in a temple. Dad reminds her that Hem has already shaved off topknot on his head, and if it’s other families, he would already have a wife, yet she still treats him like a little kid.
Mom says no matter how much he grown up, he’s still her son, so how can she not worry about him. Dad says she doesn’t have to worry and Wat Thai-nam (Thai-nam Temple) isn’t that far so if she misses him, she will be able to visit him any time.
Dad says Hem almost reached the age to be ordained (become a monk), and after he leaves monkhood, he intends to take him and ask that he be put into government service. Mom asks whom he thought of taking Hem to, to help him getting the job. Dad says Thun Chao Phraya Phra Khlang (equals to Minister of Finance, I think).
A man sits down and greets Thun Chao Khun Borirak (Hem’s father) and says he finished reading the ledger of passage-tax. He praises that it was done in detail, so it didn’t disappoint his trust on him at all.
Borirak greets him and thanks his praise. The man asks what he was talking with Chuang just now, and if it’s about some western knowledge. He says Chuang (his son) is highly interested in it. Chuang says he’s interested in it for the country’s benefits only.
Borirak suggests Khun Chai Chuang not to respect those westerners so much, they are a distrustful lot and love to gloat. Chuang asks how they gloated. Borirak gives him an example how they gloated about ships, that ships in their countries made from steel and could sail without (ship’s) sails and rowers. He says since he was born up to this age, he never once seen steel that could float in water, so how it could be made into a ship, and if it’s true like they said then would they not have conquered all the land. Chuang and his father seem taken by that.
Hem thinks about how he met Bua and smiles. Lumduan is up on a tree. “Help! Help me!”
Hem looks around. “Young man, I’m up here!” she shouts. Hem laughs and says, “Wow, this loris could talk!”.
“My name is Lumduan and I’m not a loris!” she trips then cries out.
[T/N] some words needed to look for similar words/meanings in present language or it could be that I didn’t hear correctly the first time, may edit when I have time laterrrr 🙂