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Friday, November 19, 2010

Congratulations to Me!

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Today I checked out Icha's blog and was surprised to know that she awarded my blog with first place on her honors list.. yay!! thanks dear!

It is truly great to know that others read your writing then appreciate and acknowledge it to such an extent. Sharing the words itself is a pleasure... I hope to inspire others, and this is a step toward that goal.

So according to the instructions on her blog blooming edelwiess, im supposed to post these links:

  1. Oku Timur News
  2. Akoey's Blog
  3. Coretan-Coretan di Blog
  4. Ladida's Blog
  5. Ocha's Blog
  6. Saidi's Blog
  7. Farah Rizkiah
  8. Firman Fulcrum
  9. Icha's Blog
  10. Me;)

As for the awards I'm going to give to my fellow bloggers (i guess this is the catch... hehehe) I haven't decided. Mainly because I haven't followed many blogs yet so I gotta find more^^

I'll announce it in another post.

Anyway, I really appreciate the works of bloggers out there. I admire their consistency and creativity.

Keep posting guys!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Kukuh Raharjo: An Obituary

Kukuh Raharjo. Born on ............. . Died on .................... he was .... years old.

Kukuh Raharjo was a senior in STAN English Club. He was the Minister of HRD for the year 2008/2009. The members said he was a visionary person, a person who brought new ideas, new programs that were a big contribution towards the club. He was a great leader, caring towards his fellow members.

Kukuh Raharjo was also a member of BEM, IMAN, and who knows what else. He was active. He saw his college life not as the routine of classes, assignments, and exams. He liked doing many things at once, as long as they were worthwhile.

Kukuh Raharjo was a friend – to many people. Some called their relationship with him as a brotherly friendship. He gave great advice and was a great person to confide to. Others would call it “colleagues - type” because he was a friend who you could have a civilized discussion with a high standard of intellect. He was also considered a teacher – friend; someone who could inspire and urge you to explore various types of knowledge.

...

Sigh. That’s rather dull.

...

My friends, it is quite frustrating to write about someone, who has touched many people’s lives individually, in a holistic and objective manner. I have collected testimonials, both verbal and written, but I still don’t have a clue about how to write about him.

Mind you, it’s “how” to write, not what to write.

As I have said, I have lots of material. There’s a lot to say about Kukuh from myself and from his friends. But how are you supposed to write about someone’s death, a kind of obituary, when it seems... he’s not gone at all?

I know very well that if Kukuh were here beside me, he’d laugh at me, shocked at how I couldn’t write. I remember the time when he asked me to help manage The Writing Club, a new program he formulated in STANEC’s HRD. He liked writing structured articles and wanted to teach that to the students in the program. I preferred “free-style”. After some discussion, he decided to include both in the program. Yeah, even though it was his idea and he had already constructed a curriculum, he was open to ideas. Even from an amateur junior such as myself. After that, I couldn’t believe that he asked ME to give suggestions on his writing.

That wasn’t the only time Kukuh gave in to his juniors. He always knew, or rather realized, when he had to put aside his pride and show humility. I guess it was his way of making us feel welcome. He always believed that fresh new ideas existed and those ideas were everyone’s privilege, for anyone to voice out.

I also cringe to imagine what Kukuh would say if he knew I put off writing for too long just because I didn’t have any idea of how to write it. He would probably get frustrated because I procrastinated – something he despises. He really valued time. He was almost always the first one present in the meetings I happened to attend. Not because he was unreasonably early, but because everyone else tended to be late. He usually made the most of time at those meetings. He didn’t like babbling too long about technicalities, for example. He liked to thoroughly address the main issues and made sure everyone understood. Other than that, he didn’t like rushing through time blindly without plans. He could plan to the greatest details. He was organized and consistent. I guess those are some of the traits that made him a great leader.

Oops, do the points above make him sound too serious? I knew I’d have trouble describing him in words. Hmm...

Kukuh loved to laugh. I remember that in his weird-happy-mood times he could laugh about anything slightly comic; things I, or the others, didn’t find funny. His giggle would erupt in a hearty laugh, and the serious business-like demeanor he usually wore at meetings would vanish. Sometimes he would look like a young boy, his eyes full of pure merriment.

Kukuh also loved to eat. He’d sometimes meet us in the middle of the road, say hi, and asked if we had eaten. If I hadn’t, he’d ask if I wanted to eat together with him. He usually made it his treat because I was his junior. He’d talk about food in such a hearty manner. He also confided about his passion for cooking. I remember a funny incident when he recommended me to read a great book. To my utter bewilderment, it turned out to be a recipe book with detailed and full-color pictures of the dishes. Actually, he turned out to be a pretty good cook. He once made a special treat for some of the Eduplus STANEC members at a meeting. He made chocolate pudding, which was quite delicious.

He used to tease me and some of the other girls about how we couldn’t cook. He told us we had to try and learn. It was a valuable skill and quite useful. I guess it was his idea of a good wife. We’d always argue that we had time ahead to learn. If not, there was always catering these days, so we shouldn’t have to bother too much. He’d always respond with a laugh.

I know that Kukuh has taught me lot of things. I don’t have the brilliance to conclude all of them.

I do know that he was the one who showed me that there is so much that we, as students, can do for other people. He made a program for unprivileged children, which continues to this day.

He taught me and my friends how to speak up. The STANEC Conversation Club was his idea. I know that we were blessed with many lasting friendships through that club.

He taught me that fun could be derived from any activity. He used to ask me and some of our friends for a jog early in the morning. I never knew that exercise could be enjoyable.

He taught me how to care for others in a way that didn’t always have to be so obvious. Sometimes he got angry at us for mistakes I thought were too trivial. But then I realized that it was his way of protecting us. In the end, he decided to tackle the burden for us by himself.

He taught me about being passionate about anything you believed in or enjoyed doing, whether or not others would laugh at you. What’s important is that you believe in yourself.

He showed me how life was so valuable by valuing his own and manifesting his gratitude for life by helping others.

For me, Kukuh was a great person. I believe many others would agree.

That’s why I didn’t write about the events of his death and what happened afterwards. I have no intention of making this writing a depressing obituary. I think some of us have shed enough tears.

So even though I didn’t know how to express the collection of thoughts about Kukuh, I knew this short essay would not be about how he died. This is about how he lived.

* * *

I still have trouble comprehending the fact that he really is gone. To me, he was a person who was really “alive”.

A wise senior told me that the least we could do for him is help his continue his work and fulfill his dream in helping others. That way he’ll always live.

His spirit will never die.

May Allah always bless you, my dear friend.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Pictures: In The Shadow

This is a piece of artwork that my friend, Harvin Ahmadiharjo has made. I think it's really good, thats why I posted it here. It's called "In the Shadow". You can see the main link at Harvin's Photos.
harvin art

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Tribute to Death


 

I’ve never been quick at comprehending someone’s death. When I hear the news of someone dying, it is sad, but I rarely cry. When my grandmother died, I did cry a bit. Those few drops of tears at came at last when I saw her body being lowered into the earth, the place she would rest and her body will wither, consumed by the forces of nature.

I acknowledge death as a phase in the cycle of life. It’s both the end and the beginning. In scientific and biological terms, it’s completely normal and practical. Maybe this is why my mind chooses not to value it as such a big deal. But I do know, from the teachings in my religion, that death is the end of our brief time on earth to finally meet with our creator and enter the eternal world where heaven and hell exists. After we die, we enter a new consciousness in the realm of the afterlife.

I am actually really grateful for this fact. I can’t face the concept of a final end to everything, where someone’s nonexistence becomes adamant. I have faith that my body is indeed a temporary vessel that will, in the end, terminate. But this consciousness – this soul that I call me – is eternal.

Maybe that’s why I’m not very emotional about death. I admit it is sad, not being able to see someone anymore. But I really believe they do still exist. So while I’m in my dimension of time and space I believe my grandmother still exists somewhere, either as an invisible force in the same dimension living things exist , or in another concept we do not know of.

Islamic teachings do describe the afterlife concept as “alam kubur” (the realm of the grave) where we would be asked questions of what we did in life and suffer some of the consequences of those deeds  while we wait for “kiamat” (the end of the world). But the specific characteristics of this concept are still debated upon. Some believe that this place exists right there inside the graves, below the earth. Others believe that the place is not within the boundaries of earth, that it takes place in another dimension only Allah knows of.

I don’t really mind where “the place” is. What matters to me is that we still exist after death.

***

I do miss my grandmother. It’s been about three years since she died. I remember all the stories she used to tell me about her experiences when she was young. She used to have this pretty dress she really liked to wear. She had many friends. She was a strict but loving mother. She was smart and beautiful. She suffered many hardships. She still had to take care of so many problems at an old age. She battled with pride and honor and everyone who knew her admires her patience and strength until this day.

A couple of days ago, on the 1st of Ramadhan, my uncle passed away too. He suffered lymphoma, a cancer that cost him so much physical pain and loss for months. He had to give up his job and a lot of his wealth. He lost the chance to study again, abroad, with a prestigious scholarship. But I never got the chance to be by his side, even during his last moments. Life at campus was getting more and more hectic. I had to finish my final paper and also my exams. The board won’t give you a pass unless it’s for your parents or your guardians. I wanted to go home badly.

My uncle was a great person. He was quiet but had an aura of authority and great dignity. He had a high position at the bank where he worked so he could support his family well, adopting a child from a needy family in the process. He was generous and charitable. He had a great wife, my aunt, who he loved dearly. My family loved to go to their house. There was a big pond where you could fish while enjoying the beautiful garden behind the house. There, we would have barbecues and my aunt and my mom fixed delicious traditional food to go with the fresh fish. Sometimes I went there with my buddies. We were always greeted warmly and we had a great time. I used to sit by the pond, just looking at the pretty colors of the fish while listening to the flow of the water. It was so peaceful. But I heard from my mom that the house might have to be sold because of the medical expenses for his various treatments.

I rarely talked to him. But when he spoke to me, it was always with interest in how I was doing. He asked me how school was, mostly. I used to think that he spoke so little to me because he didn’t really like me. I asked mom about it once. She told me I was wrong. She told me my uncle did like me. I was one of his most prided nieces. He just didn’t talk that much. I wanted to believe her. He was the type of person you really wanted to impress.

I wished I had the chance to see him. I wanted to be a good niece and help him through those hard moments. I wanted show care and at least repay his kindness. But he’s gone now.

I know that my whole family is really sad that he passed away. He was still young for a father and he had a promising career with so many opportunities. But Allah has plans for all of us. Death is but a fate, a matter of time that cannot be shifted from its course.

But I still have not cried.

Sometimes I think, am I really so heartless? I cry over many other things, but why not this? Isn’t the loss big enough? Maybe I have to go home and visit his grave so I can cry.

But I know for sure that he still exists, somewhere. I pray for him everyday, wishing that Allah gives him a wonderful place by His side. I hope he knows his family and friends are thinking of him and praying for him too.

***

I read, in Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol” that there is a special branch of knowledge called “Noetic Science” that studies human thoughts. There’s a proven theory that thoughts have mass and therefore can produce power or force. If focused and concentrated enough, thoughts can have immense power to affect the world around us. I think prayers are concentrated forms of thoughts. Because it has mass, it can move and maybe others somewhere far away might hear them. Maybe he can hear them.

 

Or maybe my uncle, or my grandmother and anyone who’s passed away aren’t that far away at all.

Isn’t death just a step away from us?  

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Insatiable


This game is just for fun. Check this out!

Rules:

  1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
  2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
  3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS.
  4. Have fun!


My Answers:

1. IF SOMEONE SAYS 'ARE YOU OKAY' YOU SAY?

Broken Wings - Alter Bridge

"On broken wings I'm fallin and it won't be long
the skin on me is burnin' by the thirst of the sun
on skinned knees I'm bleedin' and it wont be long
I've gotta find that meaning that I've searched for so long..."

-wuiiiih.... dalem banget-,-"  such a lost soul... LOL

2. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF?

When I look at you - Miley Cyrus

"everybody needs inspiration, everybody needs a song
a beautiful melody, when the night's so long
'coz there is no guarantee, that this life is easy

when my world is falling apart, when there's no light to break up the dark
that's when I, I look at you
when the waves are flooding the shore and I can't find my way home anymore
that's when I look at you

I see forgiveness, I see the truth..."

- Am I a compass?? ;p

3. WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?

Unforgivable Sinner - Lene Marlin

"You know where you've sent her
You sure know where you are
You're trying to ease off
But you know you won't get far
And now she's up there
Sings like an angel
But you can't hear those words
And now she's up there
Sings like an angel
Unforgivable Sinner"

- haha... I know what I want. Do I like the rebels that much??

4. HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?

Wherever You Will Go - The Calling

“if I could, then I would
I'll go wherever you will go
way up high or down low
I'll go wherever you will go"

- I'm such a stalker...-,-" As if I have nothing better to do, ckckck...

5. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?

A Thousand Miles - Vanessa Carlton

"making my way downtown
walking fast, faces passed
and I'm home bound

staring blankly ahead
just making my way, making my way
through the crowd"

- Yup, just streaming through life, searching for truth, no matter how much it  takes. I like this answer;)

6. WHAT'S YOUR MOTTO?

Lemon Tree - Fool's Garden

"I wonder how, I wonder why
yesterday you told me 'bout the blue blue sky
and all that I can see is just a yellow lemon-tree
I'm turning my head up and down
I'm turning turning turning turning turning around
And all that I can see is just another lemon-tree"

- haha... this is so random (crazy...)

7. WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?

My Immortal - Evanescence

"when you'd cry I'd wipe away all of your tears
when you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
I held your hand through all of these years
but you still have, all of me"

- awww.... so sweet. Yup, you have all of me guys, luv ya^^

8. WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?

I Believe I Can fly - R. Kelly

"I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly"

- Ouch, I know I'm the oldest child but isn't that too high a target? you put too much pressure on me folks;) LOL

9. WHAT DO YOU THINK VERY OFTEN?

Like Toy Soldiers - Eminem

"step by step, heart to heart
left right left, we all fall down
like toy soldiers
bit by bit, torn apart
we never win, but the battle wages on
we're toy soldiers...

I'm supposed to be the soldier, who never blows his composure
even though I hold the weight of the whole world on my shoulders
I ain't never 'sposed to show it, my crew ain't supposed to know it
even if it means goin' toe to toe with the Benzino
it don't matter, I'd never drag 'em in battles that I can handle
'less I absolutely have to, I'm supposed to set an example
I need to be the leader, my crew looks for me to guide 'em
if some shit ever does pop off, I'm supposed to be beside 'em..."

- Now isn't that an exagerration-,-" Yeah... we're not perfect...

10. WHAT IS 2+2?

I'll Be Missing You - Puff Daddy

"every step I take, every move I make
every single day, every time I pray
I’ll be missing you
thinking of the day, when you went away
what a life to take, what a bond to breakIll be missing you"

- eh? now this is hard to rationalize, haha... "2+2" hm... family and friends, I guess? Anyone got a better analogy?

11. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIENDS?

You'll Be Safe Here - Rivermaya

"just why we're here
could it be fate or random circumstance
at the right place, at the right time
two roads intertwine
and if the universe conspired
to meld our lives
to make us fuel and fire
then know
where ever you will be, so too shall I be...

close your eyes, dry your tears
'coz when nothing seems clear
you'll be safe here
from the sheer weight of your doubts and fears
weary heart, you'll be safe here"

- A tribute to u guys, my best buddies;)

12. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?

Only One - Yellowcard

"broken this fragile thing now
and I can't, I can't pick up the pieces
and I've thrown my words all around
but I can't, I can't give you a reason

I feel so broken up, and I give up
I just want to tell you so you know

here I go, scream my lungs out and try to get to you
you are my only one
I let go, but there's just no one that gets me like you
you are my only, my only one"

- Pathetic-,-" rather abitious, though (only one?)... haha

13. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?

Little House - Amanda Seyfield

"to light the night
to help us grow, to help us grow
It is not said I always know"

- Uh... what kind of analogy can I come up with now?? Maybe I want to help people... So humble (hammer). ;p

14. WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?

Not Afraid - Eminem

"I'm not afraid to take a stand
everybody come take my hand
we'll walk this road together, through the storm
whatever weather, cold or warm
just let you know that, you're not alone
holla if you feel that you've been down the same road"

- Am I that agressive? Or are the people I like fearsome?;p

15. WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?

Goodbye My Lover - James Blunt

"did I disappoint you or let you down?
should I be feeling guilty or let the judges frown?
'cause I saw the end before we'd begun
yes I saw you were blinded and I knew I had won...

goodbye my lover, goodbye my friend
you have been the one, you have been the one for me."

- Whaaaaat??? wah... bahaya nih... hahaha

16. WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?

Malam Biru - Sandy Sandoro

"suatu malam yang biru tanpa dirimu
berjuta juta rindu ku padamu"

-Yeah... It's a blue atmosphere for all;p

17. WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?

Somewhere Over the Rainbow, What a Wonderful World - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

"somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
and the dreams that you dream of once in a lulaby
somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
and the dreams that you dream of really do come true"

"and I think to myself... what a wonderful world."

- Am I "high"? LOL

18. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?

My Sacrifice - Creed

"when you are with me, I'm free
I'm careless, I believe
above all the others we'll fly
this brings tears to my eyes
my sacrifice

I just want to say hello again, I just want to say hello again"

- Aw... I don't want to lose you... (coward)

19. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?

Lost Without You - Robin Thicke

"I'm lost without you, can't help myself
how does it feel?
to know that I love ya baby
I'm lost without you, can't help myself
how does it feel?
to know that I love ya baby"

- Hahahahaha... (speechless)

20. WHAT DO YOU WANT RIGHT NOW?

You Lost Me - Christina Aguilera

"oh, I feel like our world's been infected
and somehow you left me neglected"

- Yeah... you lost me there... haven't an idea what to do now;p

21. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?

Don't Speak - No Doubt

"you and me
we used to be together
everyday together always
I really feel that I'm losing my best friend
I can't believe this could be the end
it looks as though you're letting go
and if it's real well I don't want to know"

- Really? Oh no...

22. WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?

Insatiable - Darren Hayes

- I don't wanna post the lyrics for this, it's atrocious... hahaha

 

glossy-smiley-icon


Cheers!!

Try it guys, I had a lot of laughs;))

Friday, August 6, 2010

I Hate Crying


There are times when I feel so mellow… Like now, when it’s raining so hard, and there are troubles that keep piling up and I don’t know how to solve them, and who to confide to. Most of the time I don’t confide to anyone.  I just keep all the thoughts cooped up in my head.

But I hate crying.

Aside from the fact that it makes my eyes puffy and nose red, crying is a symbol of my vulnerability. All the emotions I tried to hide and keep secret inside of me are suddenly exposed to the world. I hate the fact that anyone has to see me in such a condition. I take pride in my independence and strength, especially as a female (who are considered weaker than males, in the conventional sense). Crying just ruins everything.

But I do cry. As hard as I try not to, I do, sometimes. Lately, I do it more often.

I thought that the older one gets, the stronger one should be. I have experienced things that aren’t easy to go through. I have faced pressure and obstacles. So, now, when I’m more experienced, why cry more?

Sometimes I get teary over little things: a call from my parents, my youngest brother’s voice, nasyid (Islamic songs), Al-Qur’an being recited beautifully, mellow songs, sad novels, drama films, birthday surprises, and nostalgic memories. But the thing that affect’s me the most is the last: memories. There are some memories that aren’t so great, that I regret so much it is painful to think of them.

Yes, I did some things I shouldn’t have done. I feel sinful and dirty. I try to repent, but fail pathetically. Sometimes I feel like I’m in Limbo. I don’t feel alive. The events in life are just a blur.

But someone always wakes me up.

My family. My best friends. And me.

A loving word from my parents can always put a smile on my face, and the happy tears clear the fog that had been obscuring my sight from the blessings I should be thankful for.

A friendly hug or pat on my back from my best friends can bring back the hope that I needed to face the day and continue trying.

And me. Sometimes the small voice inside is heard when everything is quiet, and loneliness gives its hint of despair. It’s rebelling against the strength that wants to crumble down, yelling at me: “Go get a grip of yourself!”

So in the end I will stand up. The tears will stop. Anyway, I do hate crying. If I do, I punish myself by trying to focus on my tasks with intensity higher than before. So at least I become productive^^

It takes more strength to stand up after a fall. And I’m so clumsy, I have fallen quite a lot of times. But I find content in believing that I become stronger every time I get back on my feet.

Maybe, crying isn’t so bad…

But I still hate it!!! No more mellow me please!!!

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Medley: Ramadhan

1 Ramadhan:

Aku mencari esensi dari bulan suci. Aku mencari ruh dan semangat dari penantian satu tahun, pulang, bertemu keluarga, berkumpul, lalu bersama-sama meresapi makna bulan puasa. Aku ingin menghela napas lega. Aku ingin meregangkan sendi-sendi tubuhku dan setiap ruas pada tulang belakangku, melumat lama-lama kedamaian alam sekelilingku.

Aku mencari esensi dari bulan suci. Setelah menahan gejolak rindu seorang mahasiswa amatiran, seorang anak mami yang homesick, dan juga sebagai seorang perempuan yang katanya memang lebih cengeng daripada para lelaki (umumnya).

Aku mencari esensi dari bulan suci. Untuk sementara aku telah bebas dari himpitan udara kota. Aku telah mengasingkan diri dari modernitas, hedonisme, dan ironi dunia metropolis. Telah lama kumenanti sunyi. Namun bukan sekedar sunyi.

Aku menanti esensi dari bulan suci. Walau otakku telah sesak oleh pikiran-pikiran “kecil”, dan hatiku terbumbui nafsu.

Aku merindukan esensi dari bulan suci.

Tunggu.

Yakinkah itu rindu?

Karena ku tak yakin ia pernah terasa.

 

5 Ramadhan

Aku mencari udara segar di tempat yang seharusnya menjadi puri ketenanganku, terlepas dari kebisingan realita ala kampusku. Aku mencari penyejuk nurani di tengah manusia-manusia yang sedarah denganku – wajah-wajah yang seharusnya tak asing lagi bagiku. Namun aku mulai meragukan pencarianku.

Aku telah lama mengharapkan perubahan – suatu revolusi menuju perwujudan makna Ramadhan yang hakiki. Aku ingin mencicipi gairah penghambaan untuk-Nya lewat setiap sujud, setiap kalimat dzikir, dan desir dahaga dalam setiap shaumku.

Aku belum menemukan semangat itu di tengah kuliah, kerja freelance, dan rutinitas harianku (yang kuharap bisa membuat materi berpihak padaku). Tak juga kutemukan di dalam jiwa-jiwa mereka yang teramat berarti bagiku. Padahal telah lama kunantikan setiap detik bersama, melepas rindu, sampai aku harus bersabar lagi.

Aku tak ingin lagi sebuah Ramadhan terlewati, tak berarti. Hambar. Izinkan aku mencicipi RamadhanMu, ya Rabb! Berilah aku setitik saja!

 

Pertengahan

Ramadhan itu belum juga "wujud". Sekarang yang harus kuhadapi adalah malas dan bosan.

Ternyata aku malas tarawih karena bosan mengajak mereka untuk tarawih. Tak mungkin aku yang bosan tarawih. Bagaimana aku bisa? Toh kami jarang sekali melaksanakannya bersama-sama.

Ternyata aku malas makan karena aku bosan menyuruh mereka untuk sahur dan makan. Padahal makanan itu selalu ada. Lebih baik kubuang ke jalan agar diambil mereka-mereka yang lebih bersyukur daripada kami.

Ternyata aku juga malas tadarus karena aku bosan mendengar suara-suara dari masjid melantunkan ayat-ayat suci, sedangkan di rumah kami bising dengan film-film atau sinetron di TV.

Sudahlah. Aku sudah jenuh padamu, Ramadhan. Lebih baik kau berakhir saja!

 

Final

Ramadhan, akhirnya kau akan pergi lagi. Sayangnya, aku tak dapat merasakan kehadiranmu.

Kau memang diobral di televisi, seolah-olah mereka benar-benar menginginkanmu. Tapi kau hanyalah ladang untuk mencari untung. Mereka buat acara-acara atas namamu, mengagungkanmu... Tetapi aku melihat mereka berbuat dzalim kepadamu. Aku melihat tubuh-tubuh setengah telanjang berparade untuk menghabiskan waktu bersamamu. Lalu banci-banci yang berbangga hati atas kebancian mereka yang entah mengapa selalu membuat kami tertawa.

Ramadhan, aku kasihan padamu. Bilang saja kepada Tuhan bahwa kau tak perlu datang lagi! Karena ulah manusia, kami tak dapat mengenalmu lagi.

Ramadhan, tanyakan kepada Tuhan kapan kiamat datang. Agar kau mengetahui sisa kontrakmu dengan manusia. Agar kau mengetahui kapan kau bisa terbebas dari haram yang kami tumpahkan diatasmu.

Pergilah, Ramadhan. Bawalah kenangan tentang mereka yang benar-benar mengagungkanmu. Ingatlah sejuknya rasa syukur mereka yang bersujud bersamamu. Sampaikan kabar baik tentang mereka pada-Nya. Sedangkan untuk kami? Sudah cukup untung bila dapat menyaksikan engkau datang lagi.

Sayangnya, kami tak tahu diuntung.

 

Ramadhan, 2008

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Living Up to Expectations (2)

Anime_schoolgirl_fav638_edited… High school in Indonesia was so different.

In Indonesia, it was okay to be smart and nerdy. If you were smart, almost everyone wanted to be your friend. If you could speak fluently in English – which was something they wished they could do – you were totally cool.

It didn’t take me too long to fit in. I was “the new kid”. I was a like a brand new, flashy, expensive toy and so everyone wanted to be my friend. I was in the top strata. Unfortunately, I still had too much individualism in me. I had the thought ground into me that I shouldn’t expect much from people and the important thing was survival. So it was typical that some of the kids thought that I was a snob. I didn’t always say hi to people passing by, even though I knew them. I didn’t talk too much. I liked doing things by myself. After a while, eventually, I had to adapt because the snide remarks were getting annoying.

So then I tried again to survive to the current conditions. I became sweet and cheerful. I became accustomed to the culture in how the kids avoided being confident because it was often confused with arrogance. Everyone was so scared of being a snob. So everyone was constantly undermining themselves and acting pessimistic, even the smart kids. It was something contagious… I caught it.

I got through junior high well, being the typical good student again. I competed in a lot of competitions just because the teachers told me to. I didn’t have much of a say. Sometimes they came to class, asking for me, and before I knew it that day I was being escorted to a mathematics competition without any information beforehand to prepare myself.

But I did have a lot of nice memories about my friends. I had a gang of 7 girls. We called ourselves “Grup Pelangi” (rainbow group… hahaha) and we were quite popular, consisting of the smartest and prettiest girls in school (it was what they thought. I thought it was an exaggeration.) . It was just like on TV. When we walked, the others stared and made way. The guys liked to flirt with us and some even made bets about who could succeed in asking us out. It was quite silly actually-,-“. Anyway, those things weren’t really important to me. What was special was how we always hung out together, slept over at each others places, shared stories, and even held parties. There were laughter and tears, we had some fights, but they were the main people who made junior high school a nice experience.

In summary, I had great friends. I didn’t have to be scared of bullying at all. I even felt how it was like to be popular. I was on the top of the food chain.

Senior high school was similar, but with a more distinct flavor…

- to be continued -

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's Not Always Because You Said So

 

action-abstract-painting-silent-memoryhush.

I heard what you said.

the soft breeze slips through your lips, but I see thunder and gray clouds in your eyes.

stop.

I can see you.

your soul slips through the thin membrane wrapping you, exposing what you say is "you".

yes. I can hear and see you. standing there. a hypocrite pretending to look low.

but there you are.

you always stand tall, as if you could hold the world above your head by with your fingertips. getting whatever you want, however you like.

...

huh? what is it you said?

 

no. you can't have me.

absolutely not.

  

*Painting: Silent memory by Paul Pulszartti

Living Up to Expectations (1)

(This is an entry for actualization purposes.^-^ A recount of the events I’ve been through ; pieces that create the mosaic of my life)

I’ve always been a sucker for praise. I grew up trying to please everyone: my parents, my teachers, my family, my friends… I was used to the general good girl image that was smart, friendly, and obedient. My pride came from successfully making other people proud, and that pride was acknowledged by praise. So I came to the conclusion that my satisfaction could only be derived from the acknowledgement in the form of praise.

My first two years of primary school were spent in Indonesia. I was a typical obedient student, always gaining the top three in my class. I never got any red marks. I spent year 3 until year 6 in Australia, because my dad had to get his degree there. I continued my masquerade. I became a straight A’s student. I became the top of my class and got the special award of the year for good students. I proved myself in both academic and art competitions. I joined the school choir. I even volunteered to help out with the school compost project. “Goody-goody-two-shoes” some of the kids called me. But I didn’t care. I was in an unconscious state of depression and trauma from bullying because of things like race, appearance, and my “good student” image. I got my share of physical and nonphysical abuse: cursed, called names, hit, and even thrown rocks at. But I never wavered from my path. I got pleasure in beating those kids non-physically in something they couldn’t retaliate upon. I knew it would also give me support and protection from the teachers. Anyway, I wasn’t the only kid at school who suffered bullying. A lot of kids were victims. I hung out with all these kids. We became a gang and stuck together. Because of our quantity together, the bullies couldn’t touch us.

38284_131955900174359_100000798485879_143595_3730115_n

High school was the same. I spent about three months of my first year in Australia, and the rest of it in Indonesia. There was a big difference in the atmosphere. During my first three months in high school in Australia, I was desperately trying to find a new gang. My friends went to different schools, or were still in the 6th grade. A gang was essential to provide safety. It was also something that determined your position in the high school food chain. I knew I would never get into the cool and popular strata at the top of the pyramid. Maybe I could get into the braniacs and nerds, but I was tired of the label. Or was I really the invisible section in between? I was still deciding what I wanted.

Like all teenagers, I faced an identity crisis. I tried the quiet and cool type so I could still maintain my grades without falling into the nerdy area (yeah… it’s shallow, but it was a survival mode). I tried slang and swear language. I learnt about dark makeup (haha… emo). I involved myself in the arts: drama, abstract art, and music. I even got into detention a few times by deliberately not doing my homework and assignments. I wanted to be able to mingle with the other kids but still retain respect from the teachers by keeping good grades. It was quite an experience. But no, I wasn’t interested in guys yet. My main goal was to go through high school safely and happily with no more bullying.

High school in Indonesia was so different.

- To be continued - 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Especially for YOU

Already half of my day as a 21-year-old has passed and all I’ve done is reply the birthday messages I got on facebook. Hahaha… So here I am, with nothing specific to do. I was supposed to teach USM (tutoring for the STAN entrance test) but I had a schedule planned earlier to hangout with the members of the STANEC band. Later it turned out that some of them couldn’t attend so I (as the manager) thought that we should reschedule because it wouldn’t be fun if we weren’t complete. Meanwhile, I couldn’t go and teach because I was already replaced. So… here I am writing my blog to kill the time.

One thing I realized today: Facebook makes you vain. How? When it’s your birthday, your notifications gets so crowded with birthday messages it’s impossible to keep up with them. Then you reply to the messages and start feeling like a superstar who’s answering fan mail. LOL. Anyway, this applies to me. Does it apply to you?

Overall, I enjoy reading and replying my “fan mail”. You don’t get the chance to be so popular everyday *laughs*. It may seem pathetic, but I like living in the moment anyway.

While I am taking a break from facebook I am going to start on my newest project. It’s called “My Toto Chan”. Have you ever read the book Toto Chan? It’s a collection of true stories from a Japanese girl’s childhood. I want to make my own collection.

What triggered me to do it? A couple of months ago, my laptop was stolen (hiks). That loss meant that I lost many of my works, my writings, my data, and worst of all, my diary. I was so stupid not to make a back up of it. I lost the urge to write altogether.

But as I recovered and I saw other people’s blogs, I found the urge again. I got the idea for My Toto Chan after having a talk with my roommate about our childhood. She said my experiences were unique and funny I should write them down so I would not forget. I thought it was a good idea.

Anyway, I want to start it soon. I think my birthday is a good momentum. I have high spirits to do something special.

I believe that everyone may have a special story to tell. Everyone’s life is special, full of interesting events that should be shared so that we may learn from them, or at least give us a new idea. Just think: Millions of people. Billions of stories. But Allah still gives us the blessing to feel special in our lives, for example, when it’s our birthday.

The examples may go on and on.

When a baby is born, it’s such a celebrated event. But when we think of it, birth is such a normal and practical thing in the cycle of life. But Allah makes it so special by putting happiness, warmth, and love into the hearts of those who celebrate it.

When a baby says his or her first word, his or her parents rejoice and may even cry at the achievement. But talking is a common attribute of the human being, so what is so extraordinary about it? Again, Allah makes it so special by controlling the emotions parents have for their children.

Humans are small beings. Almost an insignificant variable in measuring the width of the universe. But Allah makes us significant, creating each of us different from the others, with our own fates, with our own tales to tell. Millions of people. Billions of tales. And all those tales come from lives that interlink with each other, that affect  each other in the most accurate way. A single look, a slight glance, and one step can change the course of a life. A second can change the course of a tale.  And there are so many possibilities for just one tale.

Billions of tales. An infinity of possibilities.

***

So, why do we sometimes feel insignificant and that we are not special?

We may be small, but remember that Allah is Mighty. Everything is created in the most accurate sense. We are all special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sooooo lucky to be alive!

Cheers!

Happy Birthday

 

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to me… Best wishes!

I’m 21 years old now – the dreaded number that changes the zero that once was. I dreaded 20, now I’m 21. I feel old-,-“. All the same, I’m thankful.

Firstly I should give thanks to Allah for the blessing of life, the chance to be older and live the life I’ve had. I think I have learnt a lot this year. I have seen the true goodness of the people around me and tried to be thankful for their presence in my life. I have experienced leading in an organization and working together with different people, exercising effort and optimism. I have managed to learn adjudicating and learnt more about wisdom and fairness from it. I have experienced the “motherly” anxiety and care when becoming a manager for a group of talented people. I have taken trips to other cities, discovering new sights and scenes. I have endured the long separation from my family and felt their everlasting love and care even from such a distance.  I have bound the bond with my friends, who were always there for me, giving me such a friendship I feel so lucky to have. I have witnessed miracles. I have learnt how to love.

I feel so lucky. I have so much to thank for. I cannot list all of them, but I plan to find something different to be thankful for everyday.

I am breathing.

I am feeling.

I am alive.

Life is great when you discover all the things that make you so lucky. For example, today, at 1.00 am, my friends (Lia, Icha, Tifa, Tasa, Zahro, Iwan, Hakim, Nabil, Andreas, Nanang, Danang, Aldi, Timy, Mas Halim) came all the way to my dorm to give me a surprise. They bought two cute cakes. I had to give spoonfuls of it to each of them. I couldn’t stop smiling. They were so sweet. They gave me two books that I want to start reading immediately.

I also got calls and lots of messages which were filled with best wishes, hopes, and prayers for me. So many sweet thoughts and sincere prayers. Everyone is so wonderful.

Other than that, I just got another present from my dorm friend. It’s a pretty bracelet with my name on it which fits me just fine. She really knows my taste. I like it very much.

Gosh… I’ve only been 21 for one hour and already I’m so happy… I wish all of those who have been so good to me the best of wishes. May Allah bless them all…

I really look forward to being 21. It’s exciting. I don’t know what’s there in front of me, but I’m sure I won’t have too much trouble when there are great people around me, coloring my life.

Meanwhile, I do realize that birthdays are a sort of reminder that my time is getting shorter. I may not have much time left, who knows. But it’s not something to be scared of. I shall try to make the most of everyday. I know I am moving closer towards my dreams.

So once again, thank you Allah, for all my blessings. I will try to be a better person who lives with a high spirit and always remembers to be there for others.

Cherish life. Every second of it.

 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hello World! Let's Start Early

Hello world…

I wonder how everyone else started their day? Did they have a lot of things planned for their day? Did they wake up bright and early? I wish everyone well^^

I started my day a little late. I had another night of insomnia so I worked on the layout of this blog until my eyes got weary and I ended up getting a headache (I'm technologically disabled, I don't understand the HTML, LOL). So then I watched two movies ‘til morning: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and Windstruck. Windstruck was so sad that I cried to pieces, hahaha… I guess the tears made me sleepy so I finally got some sleep at 5.00 am.

Anyway, I woke up at a pathetic hour – 10.30 am. Half of my day was gone. On the contrary, I have so much to do today. I have to do my huge pile of laundry (my supply of clothes has run low), I have to do my cleaning chores, and I have to meet some members of STAN English Club later. I also woke up so hungry without any urge to go outside to get any food. My dorm friend, Mira, was also really hungry. She came up with the idea to order food from Rumah Makan Ayam Taliwang.

First I was rather reluctant because I was afraid I’d get a stomach ache from the food so early in the morning. But then I remembered that it was nearing the middle of the day anyway so it would be fine^^. So then I called the restaurant and ordered two “Paket Hemat”. It’s a dish that consists of rice, roasted chicken (ayam taliwang), pelecing, and beberok. Pelecing and beberok is basically a type of salad from Lombok. It’s made from chopped up veggies with a special spicy sauce. It’s delicious and makes me think of home. The restaurant prepares it well even though the ingredients aren’t too easy to find in Jakarta. If you want to try it out, readers, its at Sector 5 Bintaro near Indomaret.

The food was delivered at 11.30, half an hour after we ordered. My tummy was already rumbling loudly. We ate the food together while we watched Alice in Wonderland (great movie!). The spicy food made my nose run.

Now I’m really full and I can’t believe that I’m sleepy. I spent half my day sleeping and now I’m sleepy again.-,-“ But I have to wake up! There’s so much to do. The hardest part of it all is actually getting up to start. When I’m actually doing all the activities, usually I don’t stop ‘till it’s done. Is it the same with you?

I think that too much hesitation and procrastination is what gets me into trouble with time. I usually do things at the last minute with the alibi that my “potential” is optimum when I feel pressured. I don’t know if it’s true, but I have seen my friends who manage their time well, and do everything early. Mostly, their results are better and they don’t get stressed at all. That’s something I need to work on.

So what did I learn today? Start early! The early bird always gets the snatch.

Early to bed, early to rise…           

Makes you healthy, wealthy, and wise! 

(a text message from my favorite teacher in high school)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Simply Rina

Namanya Rina. Mungkin kau mengenalnya. Ia seorang gadis yang biasa-biasa saja. Tak cantik. Tak juga pintar.

Namanya Rina. Ia datang dari keluarga yang sederhana – tak kaya, tak juga miskin. Ia menghabiskan sebagian waktunya di kampus kelas menengah. Temannya tak banyak. Ia tak suka jalan-jalan.

Namanya Rina. Ia tak minta banyak. Baginya, melewati hari ini tanpa banyak masalah sudah cukup. Bukannya ia tidak berusaha. Memang segitulah kemampuannya. Memang begitulah takdirnya. Tapi ia tak apa-apa. Ia tak merasa perlu dikenal banyak orang. Ia tak pernah haus pujian.

Namanya Rina. Mungkin juga kau tak mengenalinya. Ia adalah satu dari sekian yang sudah berusaha, namun merasa cukup dengan apa yang harus menjadi perannya. Ada, namun tak dirasakan kehadirannya. Karena yang hadir bagi kau dan aku adalah mereka yang berparas menarik. Atau mereka yang punya prestasi tinggi. Atau juga mereka yang serba aktif dengan organisasi, demonstrasi, dan ciri khas lain dari mahasiswa terkini. Merekalah yang dapat membuat kau dan aku berdecak kagum. Mereka juga yang dapat membuat kau dan aku iri, mendengki, hingga melupakan peran dan potensi diri.

Namanya Rina. Mungkin kau dan aku bahkan tak sadar bahwa ia ada. Dan bahwa banyak orang yang sepertinya, yang rata-rata saja. Yang sanggup melihat kelebihan orang lain dan menjalani peran mereka apa adanya. Yaitu sebagai komponen pembanding. Sebagai nilai rata-rata yang memberikan orang lain kesempatan untuk menjadi yang terbaik. Akan tetapi, yang terbaik hanya ada karena ada mereka yang ditakdirkan menjadi biasa-biasa saja.

Ada banyak orang seperti Rina, yang berada di dekat kau dan aku. Mungkin kita berpapasan dengannya setiap hari. Mungkin ialah salah satu yang berdecak kagum melihatmu dan melihatku, tanpa mengharapkan apa-apa darimu, dariku, ataupun orang lain. Maka ketika kau dan aku berhasil menjadi yang terbaik, ingatlah bahwa pasti akan ada orang-orang seperti Rina dibelakangmu dan dibelakangku.

 
(September 23, 2009)