People say: Talents and virtues are the nation’s sap. The Chinese’s sap in thousands of years just has only a person like Hui Man-keung. That talent youth had a legendary love and career, but his life was full of misfortunes (1). He loved Fung Ching-ching – the most beautiful girl in Shanghai Bund.
The scene at Beiping (called Beijing these days), Chinese students in a big university stood in a long line to demonstrate against Japanese. Hui Man-keung led student movement, appealing for boycotting the goods of Japan. The police came and barbarously suppress. A girl died at once because of being hit on the head by the police, she was the first lover of Hui Man-keung. He kneeled down the road, elevated his dying lover on the arm, laid her head on the thigh and had a choky cry. The police came and drew him out, detained him 3 years. This was the first time he had carried out revolution.
Getting out of the prison, he came back to lecture-hall and continued studying and graduating. Then, he caught the train coming to Shanghai to seek out Fong Yim-wun, one of friends in university having joined in demonstrating for years. Scarcely had he came to Shanghai when meeting Ting Lik who sold pears. While two gangs had been fighting with each other, Ting Lik took Hui off place to lurk, both of them got out of death. Ting Lik saw Hui had been a tenderfoot coming to Shanghai bund but he was a student with a bright force, so he immediately admired and invited Hui to come to his house to take Hui in as a lodger overnight. They became friendly with each other.
The next day, Hui sought out his friend – Fong Yim-wun. It’s a little unexpectedmess when Fong Yim-wun became a high-grade prostitute, this fact made Hui sad. Fong Yim-wun had links with personages at Shanghai bund, so she applied for a good job for Hui easily. The boss found Hui’s talent and ability to work unlimitedly, he treated well and let Ting Lik work with Hui. Unfortunately,his boss was killed by inferiors, Hui Man-keung killed them and he was nominated as small master. The big master of Shanghai bund is Fung King-yiu who paid special attention to this two young people. One day, Ting Lik and master of a gang scrambled for a beautiful girl and Ting Lik killed him, that means he made enemies of gangs in seaport. The representative of gangs came and met Fung King-yiu to petition for revenging. Fung King-yiu kept two young people alive, the gangs divided their properties together. All of their inferiors were killed, they escaped (but they didn’t know it was arranged). Fung King-yiu sent a person for getting round them to work under him. Ting Lik revered the power of Fung King-yiu when he was young, so he immediately accepted and Hui also enlisted for the biggest baron in Shanghai bund. Fung King-yiu was very satiate because he led Hui to work under him. Once, Fung King-yiu sent Hui for coming to train station with him to pick his daughter attending school far from home. That was Fung Ching-ching, an innocent and pure girl, she had refined good looks. But in that train, the enemy of Fung King-yiu sent killer for going nearly Fung Ching-ching to catch her in order to force Fung King-yiu to cede the business interests at Shanghai bund to him. When getting off the station, the killer was nervous, the gun fired by accident but it’s missed, he forced Fung Ching-ching to come to a room in the station. Hui Man-keung was agile, so he rescued Fung Ching-ching despite dangers. In addition, he had the ability to cope with the fact and brilliant intelligence, he thought the way to drive to get the killer out of the station and spared his life, released him (2). Fung Ching-ching had fondness for him – the hero saves beauty, she was also moved and fired by his willing to do good (he saw the killer was a intellectural who had to be in the gangland because of his fate), so she loved him at once from then. There has difference from the other couple, where men come to women’s house to flirt, Ching-ching found Hui. She looked for him everywhere, pretended to be in the same road to talk with him. Then, they fell in love with each other intimately.
Fung Ching-ching was the most beautiful young lady in this city, Hui Man-keung was tall and handsome, he was eminent youth in China at that time. They were approved by father-in-law who was a businessman, the most influential baron in Shanghai bund. Those who thought that they would be happily married for evermore.
However, Hui Man-keung joined with Chinese youths to struggle against Japanese while Fung King-yiu traded with them. Because of being patriotic, Hui had to go against his father-in-law. He intercepted a forbidden goods of Japanese that contained weapon and hav ticket with the Fung’s chamber of commerce, in the fire and sword, Hui Man-keung killed the lieutenant general of Japan – a woman led Japan’s army with a gunshot. The Japan’s army were determined to revenge, they chased Hui over Shanghai bund. His father-in-law sent a person for persueing closely. Ting Lik obeyed Fung’s orders but he spared Hui’s life in the last moment, he just asked for a Hui’s finger, then, he went his way, Hui went Hui’s way and asked him not to return Shanghai bund again. Ting gave Hui some money and arranged for him to go to HongKong in order to start a new life.
Hui found a job and was accepted to work in a eating-house, a rustic native girl fell in love with him. She knew he had been a hero but he was in straitened circumstances. Her family includes grandfather, brother and she, they invited Hui to be in their house and cooked rice for him to eat. For a long time later, his life didn’t have many choice while the girl loved him so much, he married with her and lived with her family. But he couldn’t conceal his sad expression.
Hui Man-keung was a big intellectural , so he found a job and worked as a journalist easily. His wife was pregnant, two of them lived quietly. Although his wife knew what he had been sad for, she wasn’t jealous. At Shanghai, Fung Ching-ching got news from Hui that he hadn’t ever died and he drifted to HongKong. She immediately came to HongKong to seek for Hui. As soon as they met each other there, she hugged him at once, but he was sad to say that he had married. Ching-ching didn’t believe, she asked him to lead her into his house. Hui led her into house, his wife saw Ching-ching and she understood all things but she was reasonable, she invited Ching-ching to eat with heer family. Ching-ching saw the picture of Hui and his native wife, she was sad and turned her head on the door… She was back to Shanghai bund and she was so sad day by day, Ting Lik took advantage of this occasion to entreat her to marry, she blindly agreed.
Hui’s wife was going to have a baby. It seemed to safe and sound till death, the calamity happened. Fung King-yiu got news from Hui that he was living at HongKong, at once he wanted to kill him somehow. A killer was paid lots of money to come Hui’s house. However the killer didn’t see Hui and he killed all people in Hui’s family, includes his wife, sister-in-law and grandfather-in-law. When Hui and his friend from Shanghai came back home, his relatives died. Fortunately, because of unexpected factor, the killer had his thinking distracted, at once, Hui killed him by cutting his neck little by little. When he saw his relatives were covered with blood on the floor, he felt wretched and he was determined to come to Shanghai bund to kill Fung King-yiu to revenge.
When he shot into Fung’s head and killed him, Ching-ching came in. She realized her father had been died and Hui had a death pale face, she understood he had killed her father. Then, she declared that there was no longer out of having an old scores between she and Hui.
In the next day, Ching-ching, who is in suffering, sold her house an prepared the luggages to come to Paris. Hui came and asked for going with her. Ching-ching said that:
– “You’re not deserve to me!”
When they began falling in love with each other, Hui and Ching-ching, those who thought that they would be apart? And, when Ching-ching didn’t till love Hui, no one had the way to heal the breach between them.
I used to say that I wanted to be a person as like Hui, unfortunately, that speech came true, my life was similar that Chinese youth’s life. Hui saved Ching-ching and had her heart, I also saved a girl and she felt in love with me. Those who in Shanghai bund believed that there had people who had seperated Ching-ching from Hui, when Fung King-yiu, Ching-ching’s father, had absolute power, he also wished their love well. It’s exactly the same as that, the father of the girl having loved me were a boss with high position and had absolute power in an area, and he advocated the love between I and his daughter. Having a person acts as a guarantee like that, I was certain that she would stand by me forever, it’s also like Hui believed that Ching-ching would stand by him forever.
When Hui Man-keung carried out revolution in the first time, he was imprisoned three years, and I had been also imprisonedfor a long time and late for studying at university three years in comparision with friends who are the same age with me. The second times Hui carried out revolution, he lost his fiancée and so did I, just in some days, I lost her. Hui Man-keung adrifted from Shanghai to HongKong and I drifted in a South city. There has a native girl loved me but I didn’t dare accept. I won’t continue to tell anything here. I’m afraid of the last scene of Shanghai bund 1980 happened in Hui’s wife’s family will also happen in my family which are my anchor.
Why I write this story here? Because my close friend heard all of facts, he knew that fact more than anyone, those who are closest with Hui and Ching-ching in Shanghai bund. He said I was Hui Man-keung and asked me to tell future generaions that story. I and the girl had a test with each other and we lost. Those who read this story please don’t put your lover to the test in order to make everything become more easy in the future, if everything was unforeseen to break to pieces, there would be no point in saving the situation anymore. Ching-ching loved Ting Lik because he loved her and looked after her, he also entered to her religion (3), Hui Man-keung believed in religion at first, he diligently went to church but he loved revolution and national more. My girl loved another one, she claimed thatI minded politics and I didn’t care for her, I abandoned her. There is no point in saving when women changed her feelings. But for men, they will hug pains in soul and be deeply sad until they are dead, like me, like Hui Man-keung in “The Bund 1980”. Man-keung would regretted having never given flowers to Ching-ching though he was a romantic person in his lifetime and I did too, although I was admitted to work as a writer good at telling love story, I have never given flowers to my lover. Two youth, one’s in China and the other is in Vietnam, after 40 years, they are strangely similar. Once again, there’s be alike in every particular, when declaring out of feelings with Hui, Ching-ching told him that he hadn’t been deserve to her. I and my girl had broken up, she also told me that: “You are not deserve to me!”
(1) In the end of film, Hui Man-keung and Ting Lik administered Shanghai bund. French colonialism knew that if giving them peace, that two youths will pacify Shanghai bund together. Thus, they decided to kill Hui Man-keung to maintain Shanghai in disordering so as to control easily.
(2) Hui Man-keung droved Ching-ching and the killer to a deserted road, he opened the door and released the killer and gave him some money. When having driven for a moment, he heard the shots and he drove Ching-ching to that place again, then he saw the killer had died. At once, he guessed Fung King-yiu had sent a person for abolishing somehow.
(3) Ting Lik pretended to baptize and enter to Catholic, his aim was just getting married with Ching-ching. After entering to religion, he till maintained the errant lifestyle, he’s still a pillager and massacred. Finally, both Fung King-yiu and Hui Man-keung were shot dead, he seized Shanghai bund by chance.
Original Vietnamese post written by Ton Phi ( https://goo.gl/CKP2Gj)
English translation by Trinh Trinh