Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tapestry of Colors, the Pieces of My Childhood

I’ve always loved the book “Toto Chan” because it recounts stories of someone’s childhood in a simple but special way. I can always relate to the stories and it gives me flashbacks of my own childhood. It has given me the initiative to try to recollect some pieces of those early years. You know those memories that make you smile in spite of yourself…

I had been thinking of ways to do this for a long time. I came up with ideas and dead ends simultaneously until I wondered if I should abandon the project altogether. Then, out of the blue, the opportunity just came up.

One night, dad asked me to find the driver for our HP DeskJet F2480 all in one printer. He had lost the driver and told me to download it from the internet. So I went to the site and had no trouble downloading it. The thing that took a long time was installing it. I guess being the family technician isn’t the best job for me. After several frustrating ordeals, I succeeded in making the printer work with our PC. We can now print, scan, and photocopy with no trouble.

The next task I had was scanning some old family photos. So, as soon as the printer was installed, my siblings and I started the task. It was a moment of nostalgia. Between the processes of arranging the photos on the scanner, scanning, saving, organizing, and cropping the images into individual photos, we came across some funny, cute, and heartwarming photos from our past. It was this occurrence that provided me the means to start working on that almost forgotten project.

So now I have so many photos to choose from. Each photo has a story of its own. Thus, I have so many stories to share and I hope that they will make readers relate to some special memories of their own childhood. Let’s finally begin, shall we? ;)

un, deux, trois…


The beginning should start with… the beginning, right? I have been looking for a photo of myself when I was a baby. This is the best I could get.

As you can see, in the photo above is my mom holding a slightly-confused-looking me. It is my birthday – a statement easily deduced from the balloons, streamers, and “Selamat Ulang-Tahun, Naya” poster on the wall. There seems to be quite a few people there to celebrate that day but, unfortunately, I have no memory about this day at all (I didn’t expect to have any). Well, the picture is almost as old as me. It’s practically an artifact (laughs).

At least I can comment upon a few details in this picture.

Firstly, my expression hasn’t changed. Judging from various candid photos over the years that follow this one, this expression is one that shows up often.

Secondly, It is so special that my mom and dad could actually manage to hold a birthday party for me at that time. Mom has told me plenty of stories about their struggle in the first few years of marriage. We weren’t exactly millionaires. However, with the help of friends and family, they could hold a simple gathering to celebrate their daughter’s first year.

I think Mom is wearing the golden dress that she made herself. Mom is so good at sewing. And cooking… and cleaning, and singing, and plenty of cool skills I can’t seem to get a hold on to. Anyway, I wish she would start sewing again. She used to make us (me and my sister) a lot of pretty dresses (I’ll save that for another post). But after a while, she became busier. We moved around a lot too and we haven’t acquired another sewing machine.

Lastly, I remember there was a time when I was petrified of balloons. I wonder if it started that year. Who knows if one of the balloons popped into a million pieces that day and became the starting point for my fear of explosions. ;)


Here is another picture someone took that day. This time, Dad is holding me, wearing a batik shirt that matches my mom’s dress. I like the goofy smile on his face.

My expression is still the same: wide-eyed and confused. But it seems that I know what to do when a camera is near. Look.

I like that there are a lot of little kids around. I wish I recognized one of them though. I could then look him/her up on Facebook and say “Thanks for coming to my first birthday!” Maybe it’s 22 years too late but oh well.

Behind Dad there is a stack of pink boxes. It is probably filled with yummy food that the guests can take home. I wonder if Mom made them herself. For as long as I can remember, Mom always made the food for our parties, with the help of a couple of friends and family.

I wish I could tell you more about this picture. I’m sure my parents have a lot to say about it but I haven’t interviewed them yet. I don’t know if I will since they might have some objections about me uploading these pictures in the first place. One of them might be an embarrassing photo for them. (laughs)

But I like that the photos look old and antique. As I have said, they are images that are almost as old as I am. I am so lucky to have it and preserve it like this. Later, when I have my own kids, I can show them this picture and tell them tales about the early years of their mother’s life. My mom likes to do that often. It is a shame that she doesn’t have any pictures to show me while she recounts everything.

Do you have pictures of your childhood? Keep them and treasure them. Preserve them anyway you can. They are pieces of your history.

That’s why I’m labeling this type of post “Tapestry of Colors”. The photos are pieces of my childhood, my life, and my history. Together, those pieces form a tapestry with so many different patterns and designs. Just like the aspects and events in life, as God’s grand design. As we live on, we keep weaving that tapestry with new patterns and designs.

And life is full of colors. As I walk through the past, I am discovering colors that I never knew existed

I want to continue painting with pretty colors today… Who knows what colors I’ll discover tomorrow.

Keep weaving your tapestry. Cherish your life.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Recollection of Thoughts About My Birthday

More than a week ago, on the 18th of June, precisely, was my birthday. The special, or rather extraordinary occasion that took place, was not in relation to the day. I had no party. No treats. No outings. I have no resentment towards the absence of any form of celebration. I had every intention of treating it just like any other day and it wasn’t as if I never held any celebrations on normal days. Everyday could be a birthday if the main criteria were the fulfillment of any of the occasions above.

The special thing about this year’s birthday was that I totally forgot it. I would have never thought such a state of mind would ever be possible in my case.

When I was little, my birthday was always a big deal. I guess it’s one of the blessings as well as curses that come to you if you were a first child to parents like mine. My birthday was always celebrated with the typical cake-and-candy scenario until I was about 11 years old. After that, as I became supposedly more “grown-up”, the fun and games transformed into outings and treats with family and friends.

As I got into senior high school, the occasions became less festive but more religious (in search of a better word). My family and I prepared gatherings at home for our close friends and neighbors. We would serve traditional food and drinks for the guests and ask one of my friends or neighbors to lead us into a prayer to Allah to thank Him for His blessings. It was a nice change.

When I got into college, the occasions became a lot simpler. It was usually in the form of treating my friends to food we all like. One of the great things at that time was, my friends liked to make birthday surprises for me. I remember the times when my dorm friends pretended to forget all day and surprised me with cake and presents at night. I remember when my friends from STAN EC came to my dorm at 1 am, also with cake and presents. I remember when my class mate and also class captain poured a bottle of water on my head on my 19th birthday.

After college, there were no more celebrations. The occasions that signaled it was my birthday were the Happy Birthday wishes through calls, text messages, and Facebook. I still got some presents too. It’s not that I did not like treating my friends and holding gatherings, but the change suited my condition. I have been living far away from my friends and family during the last two years. Distance makes some things difficult to do. Among them, celebrating my birthday.

Anyway, the most important thing these days is celebrating every day that I can be with my family and friends. Those times don’t come easy anymore. So whether it is my birthday or not, when I am together with them, it is worth celebrating. Consequently, I don’t feel like celebrating my birthday when they aren’t with me. That was the case this year. I guess the feeling kept building until my mind decided that the memory wasn’t worth keeping. Other than that, I got busier so I always had a lot of things on my mind. My focus was divided as it was.

I wonder what birthdays are like for other people. Is it the non-stop occurrence of festive celebrations? Or does it slowly transform as time goes on? Do some people not celebrate it at all?

I don’t know what my birthdays would be like in the future, but I regard them as checkpoints – like in those video games. It is a parameter for evaluation and introspection. So I can be in a mood for celebration or mourning depending on the results.


In this self-indulgent quest, sometimes failures might seem more evident than achievements. Sometimes age might seem more of a curse than blessing. But I think time itself, as the dimension given, is a blessing and a test. A test itself is a chance, a challenge, and an opportunity.

So let’s just try our best, shall we? “,

Good luck!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Home Again!

home sweet home

It feels so great to be home!

I can never get tired of saying that.

It feels so great to be home after days of exams, weeks of projects, and months of lessons.

It feels so great to be home after scurrying after the most affordable ticket, 12 hours on the bus to reach Soekarno-Hatta Airport, 2 hours on an airplane, and a 1-hour-queue for the immigration check.

It feels so great to be home after months of being so far away without daily communication and being jealous for all the family outings spent without me.

Nonetheless, this blog still comes to mind amidst all the joy and overwhelming relief. I have neglected it again, due to the exams, projects, and tasks that have to be tended to before I could go home with a good conscience. Consequently, now I am safe at home but with a guilty conscience caused by this blog.

Thus, on my second day at home, I thought I could spare some time away from the inhabitants of my home to conjure up some words for my beloved blog which, to my astonishment and bewilderment, has managed quite well on its own in socializing with readers.

A couple of weeks ago I was very surprised to see the amount of views gained, even though I haven’t posted anything in such a while. Obviously, I am glad for this because more people are visiting and it is likely that more people are reading my stuff (no matter how nonsensical the contents may sometimes be). Many thanks to all the visitors, especially the readers, for this lovely surprise! Keep visiting! ^-^

I promised to myself that I would write a couple of interesting posts during my stay here. You can expect a recount of mystical experiences from a writing challenge by Seagate (keep ‘em coming, guys!). After that, a few of my slightly obnoxious and intentionally sarcastic articles about some interesting issues. Then, maybe a story and some poems just for fun.

For the meantime, before that… I’ll enjoy my holiday.

Happy holidays everyone!