Ketupat

Honestly, I doubt if this can be categorized into my ‘walk-offs’ as when I wrote the category I was thinking about the places I would go or a museum or a unique shop or a beach or a mountain… But then I think while writing this title, it happened to associate with a place I went, the traditional market.

Last Saturday, a few days before the Moslem in my country celebrate Eid Mubarak, I went to the traditional market near my house to buy some fruits, vegetables and fish and I saw these Ketupat hanging on a long bamboo rope at almost every stall that sold vegetables and spices. Aha, that was a sign for the coming Eid Mubarak ( Lebaran day as it’s known in my country ).

This kind of food we always have at the celebration of the Eid Mubarak, though we could have it at any time of the year only it will be difficult finding the seller for this ketupat.

Ketupat is made from rice that wrapped in a woven palm leaf pouch and boiled. The use of the palm leaves are only the young leaves. 

The tradition on preparing and consuming ketupat  during lebaran is believed to be introduced by Sunan Kalijaga, one of Wali Songo (nine Muslim saints) that spread Islam in Java, as it contains appropriate symbolism. It is believed that kupat  ( in Javanese language ) means ngaku lepat or “admitting one’s mistakes”  in accordance to asking for forgiveness tradition during lebaran. The crossed weaving of palm leafs symbolizes mistakes and sins committed by human beings, and the inner whitish rice cake symbolize purity and deliverance from sins after observing Ramadhan fast, prayer and rituals. As well as in Java island, ketupat is well known throughout all parts of Indonesia. (*wikipedia)

During the lebaran, ketupat , as the replacement of steamed rice, is usually eaten with satay, rendang ( traditional stewed beef from Padang , West Sumatera ), sayur papaya ( young papaya that is cooked with coconut  milk ).

Here I took some pictures of the ketupat and its condiments that my neighbor sent to our family. That’s another tradition in our country where our neighbor who celebrate lebaran would send the food to their close neighbor who doesn’t  celebrate lebaran, to enjoy the ketupat time.

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Fantasy

She shyly smiled while arranging the ironed clothes. She couldn’t wait till the afternoon . The very dry and hot temperature stung into the house, pierced through the thick wall and the wide opened windows, stroke every naked skin ; the face, the arms. But it seemed the sultry weather that annoyed everyone didn’t bother her a bit . Though she continued to wipe her forehead with a hand towel that was always in her pocket ( mother told her to be clean and neat all the time ), her whole body felt cool, like it was sprung with cold water every 10 minutes.

Her smile grew wider when she remembered that face with thick eyebrow and Neymar’s hair style, said hello to her for the first time.

One morning when she was walking Jupiter with Mbak Tya * , they met that young man with Neymar’s hair , near the pool at their neighborhood complex. When they met, the man stopped, smiled at them and said “good morning.”

At first, Ina didn’t pay much attention to the man but because of Tya stopped and replied to his greeting, Ina glanced at him whose face was sweating. Ouch. Suddenly Ina felt her heart beat faster when he gave her a hand shake and said his name.

“I am Ru. What a beautiful Golden you have here,” he bent down and stroke Jupiter’s head. Jupiter who enjoyed a stroke on his head immediately sank down to the ground

Ru. Cute name, thought Ina.

She and Tya said their names.

“Marianna. Just call me Ina.”

Neymar eh Ru smiled. What a nice smile . Again she felt her heart beat went on a sky rocket blast .Dooh , what is it ?

“Beautiful name. Why just Ina ? “

“It easier to remember ,” Tya laughed softly. Ina did too.

They chatted briefly while Ru affectionately stroke Jupiter’s head. Jupiter was starting to feel sleepy. Ina pulled off his chain so Jupiter would not fall asleep. If he did, who would be able to drag his big and heavy body ?

“We are neighbor then. I live two blocks from yours, “ said Ru.

“Apparently yes. But two blocks are not really neighbor, just close by,” Ina laughed.

They parted. They wished to see each other again. Ina wished hard. She had taken Jupiter for his morning walk for almost 4 months but just today she met that friendly good looking man . She thought of being more eagerly to walk Jupiter.

And it seemed like their fate had crossed. They met again, incidentally . She was looking around the book shelves when she heard a familiar voice behind her.

“Hi, are you a fan of   Bernard Batubara ?”

Ina glanced over her shoulder , a little bit surprised but then smiled softly. The good looking man with Neymar’s hair was smiling at her. This time his face and hair were sleek. His face was clean, a bit tanned. And his hair was neat. Perhaps he used pomade . Looked more attractive.

“Hi. Ehh, not yet. This is my first time,” she held Surat Untuk Ruth in her palm.

“You should read this. Good novel,” Ru showed up his right thumb .

“You’re a fan ?” Ina looked him curiously . It’s quite odd that a young man like Ru loved love stories.

“Kind of,” Ru laughed. “His love stories are beautiful and sad. Anyway, if I tell you then what’s the need to read the novel ? It won’t be fun. You should experience it yourself.”

Wow. One more good point for this Neymar, thought Ina. Good looking, polite, and he was not reluctant to admit that he loved to read love stories, not only watched football game. Wait, was he a fan of football as well ?

“Bernard’s got some other books. Milana, Cinta, hmm what else ? I forgot. I’ll let you borrow if you like . Actually they’re my sister’s” he whispered . “But you may borrow it. I borrowed the ones I have read from my sister .”

Ina smiled blissfully. “ OK. Sounds good.”

“How is Golden ?” asked Ru by the time they have seated at a café beside the bookstore , enjoyed their mixed fruit ice and tape bakar.

“Jupiter ?” He’s fine and still fall asleep instantly if someone stroke his head.”

Ru laughed. His laugh sounded nice, Ina thought. It’s crispy like eating potato chips , kriiuuk. Suddenly Ina felt uneasy.

“It’s strange that we haven’t met again since that morning at the park,” said Ru.

Ina blushed. Hmm, he seemed to remember their meeting. No wonder, it was only 3 days ago. Ina felt silly.

“I have morning classes. I don’t have much time taking Jupiter for his morning walk.”

“You do ? Where do you go ? My schedule is mostly at noon this semester.”

“Japanese literature at Atmajaya,” said Ina.

“Interesting. You look like you belong there,” Ru teasingly looked at her.

Ina felt her cheeks blushed. “ Why is that ?”

“Your face is like Japanese’s. Porcelain skin, small eyes with straight black hair,” Ru laughed. “Sorry, sometimes I talk harshly but I am just teasing you.”

But Ina didn’t get upset or annoyed. Her face flushed and her heart beat faster than normal. Ru was attractive. His gesture, his voice, the way he talked. It felt good just being with him for hours.

“In fact, you are the one who should be a Japanese. Your name sounds like one,” joked Ina.

Ru laughed. “I am, am I ? Actually my name is Rudolf.” “

“May I call you sometimes later ? Do you mind giving me your pin number ?” Ru asked plainly.

Ina felt flattered. Actually she hoped that they would exchange their phone number but she didn’t know how to say it. Luckily Ru had made the first move.

Since then they called each other often and some Saturday mornings Ru would pick her up to have a morning walk with Jupiter. Ina felt that she had a deep crush on Ru and she was pretty sure that Ru felt the same for her. It’s only they had not talked about how they were feeling for each other.

And today, Ina felt that her wish would come true . Yesterday Ru called her and asked

“What are you up to tomorrow ?”

“Not much. I just want to finish Bernard Batubara’s LOVE, get lazy at home. Or maybe see a new good movie at 21.”

“Well then, what if I ask you out ? If there is a good movie then we see it. Call it a date. What do you think ?”

Ina felt her cheek flushed. She smiled gaily. They had never had a date before, just few times walked together at the park. It seemed like something good would happen between them . Her heart was carried away in a blissful feelings. In a flash she forgot she was talking to Ru on the phone .

“Heloo. Ina ? Are you still there ? If I bother your date with Bernard then it’s okay. We can go out next time .”

“Oh, you don’t. Not at all. I am glad we will go out tomorrow.” Ina said nervously. Stay calm, Ina, stay calm. But Ina could not hide her happy feeling and her pounding heart.

“Ok then, great. I’ll pick you up at 5. “

“Ok. See you.” By the time she had not heard Ru’s voice over the phone, Ina jumped out of the couch and called out for Tya in a vibrant happy sound she did not try to hide. She did not mind even if Jupiter knew she was very happy .

***

“Hey,“ Tya tapped her arm slightly. .

Ina jumped in a shock. . “Duuh Mbak Tya. You scared me. “

“ You should be. You are staring at those clothes with your eyes beam. Who are you thinking of ?”

“No one . I am not thinking of anyone, Mbak,” Ina smiled shyly.

“What do you think of this ?” Tya smiled at Ina happily, showing her beautiful peach dress to Ina. Ina was still holding a basket full of clean clothes she just finished ironing.

Ina nodded and smiled. “You are pretty, Mbak. Very pretty.”

All her fantasy about the man stumbled into pieces. That’s enough to lie on herself with the fantasy . It’s time she woke up from her dream . A dream that would not be a real one.

Mbak Tya was very lucky. In few minutes she would be picked up by the Neymar guy who had a lovely smile. Ever since they met at the park that morning, Ina wrote her own fantasy about Ru in her mind. Ru’s face flashed in her eyes every time Tya told her their meetings and calls .

She knew she was just a housemaid even though the whole family treated her like their own, especially Tya who had no sisters. She was only one year older than Tya. Tya loved to talk with her and taught her many things . Tya asked her mother to enroll her into short courses like cooking, sewing so that she could have practical skills . Five years ago she came here from her small village in East Nusa Tenggara to live with Tya’s family.

Tya said though she did not go to college, she had to have some skills so one day she could make a better living than just being a housemaid. Tya always reminded her to take goof care of herself and be careful to befriended with men . Tya did not want her to be fooled around by men as Ina had a pretty face .

Ina glanced down at the floor, feeling a little bit sad. If she met a man like Ru , she would not mind being a fool. She had noticed how good Ru treated Tya when they met. But Ina was happy for Tya because Tya was a very kind girl.

“It’s time I get rid of my crazy dream about this Neymar guy. I hope one day I meet another good Neymar guy.”

Ina lovingly looked at Tya who was walking toward the front door . Ready to welcome her special guest whom she had been waiting for the whole day.

Note : * Mbak Tya.

In Indonesia a young person calls an older woman as Mbak ( Miss ) or a housemaid calls the daughter of the house.

    ********************************************************************************************** 

INDONESIAN VERSION

Dia tersenyum-senyum sendiri sambil merapikan baju setrikaan. Rasanya tidak sabar menunggu sore tiba. Udara Jakarta yang sangat panas dan rasanya menyengat sampai ke dalam rumah, menembus lapisan tebal dinding dan ruang terbuka jendela-jendela yang sengaja dibuka lebar, menyambar setiap kulit telanjang yang dilewatinya, wajah, lengan. Tapi sepertinya kegerahan yang menghinggapi semua orang di rumah tidak mengganggu Ina. Walaupun sudah berkali-kali dia menyeka peluh di dahinya dengan saputangan handuk yang selalu dikantonginya ( pesan Ibu dia selalu harus bersih dan apik ), seluruh tubuhnya terasa sejuk, seperti disiram air es setiap 10 menit.

Senyumnya makin lebar ketika mengingat wajah cowok dengan alis tebal dan rambut ala Neymar itu menyapanya pertama kali.

Dia sedang membawa Jupiter jalan pagi bersama mbak Tya ketika mereka bertemu dengan cowok berambut Neymar itu di taman dekat kolam renang kompleks . Ketika mereka berpapasan, cowok itu berhenti ,tersenyum dan ber ‘selamat pagi’ kepada mereka.

Mulanya Ina tidak terlalu memperhatikan cowok itu tapi karena Tya juga berhenti dan membalas salamnya, Ina mulai memperhatikan cowok yang wajah tirusnya bermandi keringat di depannya. Duk. Tiba-tiba saja Ina merasa jantungnya berdebar cepat saat cowok itu mengulurkan tangannya sambil menyebutkan namanya.

“Saya, Ru. Bagus sekali Goldennya,” cowok itu jongkok dan mengelus-elus kepala Jupiter. Jupiter yang sangat suka dielus kepalanya langsung selonjor duduk.

Ru. Namanya lucu, pikir Ina.

Kemudian dia dan Tya menyebutkan namanya masing-masing.

“Marianna. Panggilannya Ina.”

Neymar eh Ru tersenyum . Cakep sekali. Ina tambah berdebar. Duuhh, kenapa ini.

“Nama yang cantik. Kok jadi Ina ?”

“Biar gampang ngingatnya,” sahut Tya sambil tertawa. Ina juga ikut tertawa.

Mereka berbincang sesaat sambil Ru asyik mengelus-elus kepala Jupiter. Lama-lama Jupiter mulai tertidur. Ina menyentakkan talinya agar Jupiter tidak benar-benar tertidur. Kalau tidak, siapa yang sanggup menyeret tubuhnya yang gede dan berat itu.

“Kita berarti tetanggaan ya. Aku dua kompleks dari rumahmu,” ujar Ru.

“Iya ya. Tapi dua kompleks sih nggak tetanggaan, dekatan kompleks ,” Ina tertawa.

Mereka berpisah dengan saling berharap bahwa mereka akan ketemu lagi. Ina amat sangat berharap. Dia tidak menyangka sudah hampir 6 bulan ini dia rajin membawa Jupiter jalan pagi, baru hari ini dia ketemu cowok ganteng yang ramah. Dia akan jadi lebih rajin membawa Jupiter jalan pagi.

Dan sepertinya nasib sudah menggariskan bahwa mereka akan bertemu kembali, tidak di sengaja. Dia sedang mencari bacaan ringan untuk menghabiskan weekend nya ketika suara yang serasa dikenalnya menyentuh pendengarannya.

“Hai, suka Bernard Batubara juga ?”

Ina menoleh dengan sedikit kaget tapi kemudian tersenyum sipu. Cowok berambut Neymar itu sudah ada di hadapannya. Kali ini wajah dan rambutnya tidak basah karena keringat. Wajahnya bersih, agak kecoklatan , dan rambutnya tertata rapi . Mungkin diberi sedikit pumade. Tambah menarik.

“Hai. Ehh, belum jadi fansnya. Baru mau baca,” ditimangnya Surat Untuk Ruth ditangannya.

“Musti dibaca. Bagus,” Ru menunjukkan jempolnya sambil tersenyum.

“Fannsya ?” Ina menatap selidik. Tumben cowok kaya Ru suka bacaan tentang cinta .

“Bisa dibilang begitu.” Ru tertawa. “ Kisah cintanya indah tapi juga sedih. Anyway, kalo aku cerita nanti kamu nggak mau baca. Musti ngalamin ceritanya sendiri baru seru.”

Wah, satu point lagi buat si Neymar ini, pikir Ina. Ganteng, sopan dan tidak malu mengakui dia suka baca kisah cinta yang indah, bukan hanya nonton bola. Apa dia suka bola juga ya ?

“Ada bukunya yang lain juga. Milana, Cinta, apalagi ya ? Aku lupa. Nanti aku pinjamin deh kalau kamu mau. Sebenarnya koleksi adikku,” bisik Ru perlahan. “Tapi boleh kok dipinjam. Aku aja bacanya karena pinjam ke dia.”

Ina tersenyum geli. “Ok, boleh. “

“Apa kabar di Golden ?” tanya Ru ketika mereka sudah duduk berdua di café sebelah toko buku sambil menikmati segelas es campur dan tape bakar.

“Jupiter ? Baik masih tetap tertidur kalau dielus kepalanya.”

Ru tertawa . Enak bunyi tawanya, pikir Ina. Renyah kaya makan Chips, kriuuk. Ina tiba-tiba jadi salah tingkah.

“Kok kita nggak ketemu lagi sejak di taman pagi itu ya ?” celetuk Ru

Ina tersipu. Hmm, dia masih ingat rupanya pertemuan mereka pagi itu. Ya pastinya. Kan itu baru tiga hari lalu. Ina jadi geli.

“Aku kuliah pagi, nggak keburu kalau musti bawa Jupiter jalan.”

“Oya ? kuliah di mana ? Aku kebetulan kuliahnya banyakan siang semester ini.”

“Sastra Jepang Atmajaya,” sahut Ina.

“Menarik. Sepertinya kamu cocok kuliah itu,” Ru menatapnya menggoda.

Ina merasakan pipinya panas. “Memangnya kenapa ?”

“Wajahmu sudah mirip orang Jepang. Kulit putih, mata kecil dengan rambut hitam lurus ,” Ru tertawa. “ Sorry, aku emang nggak nyeni kalo ngomong,” lanjutnya.

Tapi Ina tidak marah atau kesal. Dia malah semakin tersipu dan deg-degan. Ru benar-benar menarik. Orangnya. Suaranya. Ngomongnya. Rasanya betah aja kalo ngobrol lama-lama sama dia.

“Harusnya kamu yang jadi orang Jepang ya. Namamu sudah mirip orang Jepang,” balas Ina.

Ru tertawa. “Harusnya ya . Tapi sebenarnya namaku Rudolf .”

“Boleh kan kapan-kapan ngobrol lewat telpon ? Minta pin mu atau nomor hp mu,” ujar Ru terus-terang.

Ina tambah salah tingkah. Sebenarnya dari tadi dia berharap mereka bisa saling bertukar nomor telepon tapi dia tidak tahu bagaimana caranya. Syukurlah sudah didahului oleh Ru.

Sejak itu mereka rajin saling menelpon dan beberapa kali Sabtu pagi Ru menjemputnya untuk jalan pagi sambil membawa Jupiter. Ina merasa dia mulai jatuh cinta sama Ru dan dia yakin perasaan Ru juga sama dengannya. Hanya saja sampai hari ini tidak ada seorangpun diantara mereka yang berterus-terang tentang itu.

Dan hari ini, Ina merasa penantiannya akan terjawab. Kemarin Ru menelpon dan bertanya .

“Besok ada acara apa?”

“Nggak ada. Pengen nyelesaian Cinta-nya Bernard Batubara.Leyeh-leyeh aja di rumah. Hhmm kalau rajin nanti liat ada film bagus nggak di 21.”

“Kalo gitu aku ajak jalan sorean, mau ? Skalian kalo ada film bagus kita tonton. Gimana ?”

Ina merasa pipinya memerah. Dia tersenyum lebar. Sebelumnya mereka belum pernah jalan bareng kecuali jalan Sabtu pagi. Mereka hanya rajin telponan. Sepertinya ada sesuatu yang indah bakalan terjadi besok sore. Saking senangnya, dia tidak menjawab pertanyaan Ru sampai cowok itu berujar.

“Heloo. Ina ? masih di situ ? Kalau aku ganggu acara mu bersama Bernard, nggak apa-apa. Lain kali juga bisa kok.”

“Ehh..oh nggak . Nggak sama sekali. Aku senang kok jalan bareng besok,” Ina terbata. Tenang Ina, tenang. Tapi Ina tidak bisa menyembunyikan rasa hatinya yang berdebar-debar.

“Ok kalau begitu. Thanks ya. Kujemput jam 5 besok ya.”

“Okay. Sampai besok.” Begitu sudah tidak terdengar suara Ru di ujung telpon, Ina melompat dari duduknya dan meneriakkan nama Tya dengan rasa senang yang tidak disembunyikannya. Dia tidak keberatan sampai Jupiter pun tahu hatinya amat sangat senang menunggu besok sore.

***

“Heh, melamun. “ Tya menepuk lengannya .

Ina melaonjak kaget. “Duuh mbak Tya. Kaget nih. “

“Habisnya melototin baju-baju itu sambil matanya menerawang. Melamunin siapa sih, Na ? “

“Nggak ada siapa-siapa yang dilamunin , Mbak.” Ina tersenyum malu.

Gimana ? “ Tya tersenyum sumringah di depan Ina yang masih memegang keranjang berisi baju yang sudah rapi di setrika.

Ina mengangguk-angguk sambil tersenyum . “Cantik, mbak. Cantik.”

Seluruh angannya tentang si cowok berambut ala Neymar itu luruh seketika. Sudah cukup dia membohongi dirinya sendiri selama ini dengan impian yang sungguh mustahil untuk jadi kenyataan.

Betapa beruntungnya mbak Tya. Sebentar lagi dia akan dijemput oleh si Neymar yang senyumnya manis itu. Sejak mereka bertemu di taman pagi itu, Ina menulis angannya sendiri tentang Ru di benaknya. Wajah Ru selalu terbayang setiap kali mbak Tya menceritakan pertemuan-pertemuan dan teleponan mereka kepadanya.

Dia sadar, biarpun dia hanya sebagai asisten rumah tangga di rumah keluarga mbak Tya sejak lima tahun lalu ketika dia pergi dari kampungnya di NTT , mereka semua menganggapnya sebagai keluarga sendiri. Terutama mbak Tya yang tidak mempunyai saudara perempuan. Umur mereka hanya terpaut setahun.Mbak Tya suka mengajaknya ngobrol dan mengajarinya banyak hal dan meminta ibunya untuk memberi berbagai macam kursus agar dia mempunyai banyak keahlian untuk dirinya.

Kata mbak Tya, biarpun dia tidak kuliah, dia harus berpengetahuan banyak agar suatu saat dia bisa buka usaha sendiri. Dan mbak Tya selalu berpesan agar dia berhati-hati kalau berkenalan dengan cowok karena dia berwajah cantik dengan hidung mancung dan mata besar seperti kebanyakan perempuan dari daerahnya. Kata mbak Tya dia tidak mau kalo Ina dibodohi oleh kegombalan cowok yang ditemuinya.

Ina menunduk sedih. Kalau cowok itu seperti Ru, dia tidak berkeberatan sama sekali, karena dia bisa melihat caranya Ru memperlakukan mbak Tya kalau mereka bertemu. Tapi dia berbahagia untuk mbak Tya karena mbak Tya seorang gadis yang sangat baik.

“Sudah saatnya aku menghentikan angan gilaku tentang si Neymar itu. Semoga suatu hari aku juga bertemu dengan seorang Neymar yang lain.”

Ina memandang dengan penuh kasih mbak Tya yang berjalan sambil sesekali menoleh sumringah ke arahnya, menuju pintu depan yang sedang dibunyikan belnya oleh tamu yang telah ditunggunya.

Please stop for a minute ?

photo

**  A friend sent me this pic and told me that she never knew there were beautiful flowers at her porch because she never had time to sit at the porch and enjoyed the plants. One morning when she was off, she took time to sit at the porch and found this flower among the other plants, a flower that she never noticed before because she didn’t take a time to pause from her busy schedule and just enjoyed some beauty around her. I think her experience reminds me as well to stop for a while sometimes , to just notice simple beautiful things around me **

The sun still curled up in her dreams

the smell of wet dust dominated the air

You left a glint of sweet scent

when you said goodbye

to the young man with beautiful brown eyes

you were just a few steps from where I was

Hey…

Please stop for a minute ?

but you kept going away

you rushed to catch the train

to take you to your morning meeting

 

There was no moon tonight

and the street lamps were worn out

failed to shine up in their best light

It’s time to replace them with new bulbs

few nights ago the street went totally dark

the sky in this city had not dressed herself up for long time

like a grieving person , dressed in black gown

with no bow or glittering stones

 

You arrived…

I squeezed myself through Zebra’s big posture

Ahh, the wind was not affectionate tonight

she preferred to play with the thick leaves of acacia

she used to love swinging with me

and gave me her tender strokes

but not tonight

Hey…

Please stop for a minute ?

you didn’t look back

you lovingly called out the young man’s name

the sound of your voice echoed your love your longing

for him

I wish…

 

I do not hear anything

I do not see

I do not want to wait any longer

or counting the days pass me by

I have been here since the Zebra was only a little pod

and today, if I don’t  move away

I could die within her crush

or should I just let myself dying ?

so when I am not around , you would never know about me

your sweet scent touches me

in a minute the scent would fade and vaporizes to the air

just like the passing days

but today your scent stays, it gets closer

you stop

look at me for a while

then put your fingers on my cheeks

you caress me softly

brush your nose on my face

I am blushed, you smile

suddenly you whisper ;

“Where have I been lately ? I have not noticed there is this beautiful flower at my porch.”

No dear, you didn’t go anywhere. You just didn’t take a minute to stop by

 

INDONESIAN 

Matahari belum sepenuhnya bangun dari mimpinya

Dan bau tanah basah masih memenuhi udara

Semburat wangi tubuhmu menyapu

Ketika kamu berpisah dengan pemuda bermata indah

Beberapa jengkal langkah dari tempatku berada

Hey..

Berhentilah sejenak

Tapi kamu terus menjauh

Kamu bergegas mengejar kereta

Menemui janji pagimu

 

Tidak ada bulan malam ini

Dan lampu jalan dengan tidak berdaya

Mencoba memberi sinar yang sia-sia

Sepertinya sudah waktunya diganti

Beberapa malam lalu keadaan jalan gelap gulita

Langit kota ini sudah lama tidak berdandan

Seperti berkabung, mengenakan gaun hitam

tanpa pita dan kilauan batuan gemerlap

kamu datang…

Aku menyeruak di antara himpitan badan lebar si zebra

Ahh.. angin juga tidak bersahabat malam ini

Dia lebih suka bercengkrama di antara rimbunnya akasia

Biasanya dia berbaik hati mampir sesaat

Membelai tubuhku dengan lembut

Tapi tidak malam ini

Hey ,

Berhentilah sejenak

Tapi kamu terus menjauh

Melantangkan nama pemuda bermata indah itu

Penuh cinta, penuh rindu

Seandainya…

 

Aku tidak mendengar

Aku tidak melihat

Aku tidak ingin lagi menunggu

Atau menghitung hari yang terlewat

Aku sudah ada di sini ketika si zebra masih sepucuk

Dan sekarang , kalau aku tidak pindah,

Aku bisa mati dalam himpitannya

Atau aku biarkan saja tubuhku melayu ?

Sehingga ketika aku tidak ada, kamu tidak pernah tahu tentang aku

Wangi tubuhmu menyapu

Sesaat lagi akan menjauh dan hilang, seperti hari-hari yang lewat

Tapi kali ini tidak

Kali ini tercium semakin kuat dan mendekat

Kamu berhenti…

Memandangku lama, lalu menyorongkan jari jemari ke arahku

Membelaiku lembut

Menyentuhkan ujung hidupmu ke wajahku

Aku sumringah, kamu tersenyum

Tiba-tiba kamu berkata ;

“Kemana aja aku selama ini ya , sampe nggak tau ada bunga seindah ini di teras rumah? “

Kamu tidak kemana-mana.

Kamu hanya tidak berhenti

God’s plan

In God’s construction plan

I was built

as a piece of puzzle

and I have to fill in

all the missing pieces

before He gives my time a . ( stop )

 

 

Dalam rencana konstruksi Tuhan

aku dibangun

sebagai sebuah teka teki

yang harus kupasang tiap kepingan yang pas 

sebelum waktuku diberi tanda . ( titik )

Fiction

Charmed

in a voiceless room

at an empty stage without audience

there are only players

I let my heart and my mind

captured in a colorful feelings or just black and white

living in a circle of time

A story

I choose

to be the characters I desire to play

I

and

My fiction

Tersihir
dalam ruang bisu
pada panggung tanpa penonton
hanya ada pelakon
Kubiarkan hati dan pikirku
dipasung dalam rasa penuh warna atau cuma hitam dan putih
dalam pusaran waktu
sebuah kisah
Kupilih 
Yang akan kulakoni
Aku
dan
Fiksiku

I’m gone just for a while…

To all the lost souls in the MH17 tragedy. You all will always alive in the memory and heart of your loved ones.

 

I left you a message

That I kept in your sparkling eyes

So you could always see me

Every time you look at the big sky

 

I left you a message

That I kept in the magic of your smile

So you could enjoy my presence

Every time you hear laughter around you

 

I left you a message

That I kept in your tender embrace

So that you’ll know I smile

Every time you give a tear your comfort hug

 

I left you a message

That I kept in every breath you take

So that you could smell the sweetness of my soul

That is already free from all the pains

 

I left you a message

That I kept in the melody of your words

So that you could feel me

Every time you say “I miss you”

 

I left you a message

That I kept in your heart beat

So that you know I will always be with you

Every time you put your hands on the chest

 

I left you a message…

I’m gone just for a while

Yorkshire Puddings

ingredients preparation

ingredients preparation

result looks good

result looks good

this is yummy

this is yummy

Saturday. Always a good day to have something nice to spend the afternoon break. At a friend’s house, we made a recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.A simple and quick yet mouth watering treat was decided to be re-made. It’s supposed to go along with roast beef as in Jamie’s but we thought having it as a snack ( big one ) could be proper as well. Then here we go.

You need

3 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

scant 1 1/4 cups milk

a pinch of sea salt

vegetable oil

The making 

Whisk all together ; the eggs, flour,salt and milk in a bowl. Pour the batter into a jug and put aside to rest for 30 minutes . This will give you  wonderfully light and crispy puddings.

Turn the oven up to the 245C and let it preheat fully / as it’s warming up, put a muffin pan on to a cookie sheet and place on the top shelf of the oven / when the oven is up to temperature, remove the pan and sheet, close the oven door , and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to each muffin hole in the muffin pan / pop the pan and sheet back into the oven for 5 minutes, until the oil is smoking hot / slide the shelf back into the oven / bake it for 15 minutes, don’t open the oven door during the time to prevent the puddings end up sunken / after 15 minutes they will be crisp and golden with a soft , fluffy center / if you prefer them to be crispy all the way through, turn the oven down to 150C and cook them for another 10 minutes. ( we ended up with only the 15 minutes ) / remove the pan from the oven and serve immediately.

Since we decided the puddings to be our afternoon sweets, we finished them up with cheese and chocolate sauce. So good .

 

The dance

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She jumps
She twists
She bends
She taps
Her eyes sparkles
Her smile glows
She is dancing her soul out loud

 

She is a Papua girl who is one of the 50s kids between the age of 8 to 16 that got a scholarship to study at an institution in Jakarta. She left her tribe and small village to get a better education for herself and later on hopefully to do some good for her village. I took this picture at one of the event at their dorm in Depok, West Java at http://www.kinasihresort.com . They did a traditional dance with a simple outfit. The dance itself was beautiful, so vibrant so alive.  

First Date

This is the first time I have ever published a short story in English. I have done some but never posted them online except for poems. I still find it quite difficult to do the translation, and I have tried my best for this one though. Please readers, if you ever have a chance to read this, I would appreciate any comments and corrections about this fiction. I want to keep learning and improving and writing especially in English. Thank you for giving me your precious time to stop by and review this. 

 

Her heart was racing slowly. She felt a strong stream of blood flooding on to her face. A bit of hot rush caressed her cheeks. Doooh , now what ? she was startled.

The guy in front of her was still putting his eyes on the menu covering with a unique black and white pictures of travel destinations taken from newspaper.

She just stared at the menu in front of her like a lost person trying to figure out a map.

Thousand red ants crawled her toes, tickled every pores on her skin and stung it with their sharp teeth. One thump of her left foot made Bara and the girl with the pony tail who was serving their table, turned their heads to her.

“What is it, Nad ?” Bara put the menu on the table.

“Ehmm…my foot got numb,” she quickly answered. What if Bara knew what had made her foot got numb ? and she was in panic ? and her face was pale ?

“Hey, you look pale. Are you okay ? “ Bara took her hand.

It’s too late. She was not quick enough to push his hands aside. Now her right palm was in his hands. Bara’s handhold was comfortable. She didn’t mind to let her hands in it for a while.

She hoped she could tell the truth , but how ? It would be strikingly embarrassing. This was their first date and she had counted thousand of romantic feelings that had filled her mind ever since she was waiting for Bara to pick her up. Now it was all gone. Gone with the hot rush that seemed to enjoy licking her cheeks.

“Nothing,” Nadya smiled shyly . She got off Bara’s hold gently. At a glance, she knew the girl with the pony tail smiled slightly at her.

“What would you like to have?” asked Bara

Bang! Nadya felt limp. She could not stop her racing heart beat . Her fingers felt like they were streaming with cold ice. She hated herself when she was panic and clumsy like this. What if she told Bara honestly ? But how could she hide her embarrassment if they knew ? Perhaps she could deal it with Bara, later. But to that girl with a pony tail who seemed to enjoy waiting for their order beside the table , how could she face her ?

“Hey …” Bara touched her hand.

Oh gosh… why did she stare at Bara like that ? Nadya suddenly realized the way she was looking at Bara.

“Ehh…ahhh.. sorry,” Nadya bent down and ran her hands inside her hand bag . I had to be strong. I had to tell him the truth. I could not go on like this and ruined this date. No matter what would happen, I’d take the risk. I didn’t care if they would laugh at me. I just didn’t want to blow my first date with a clumsy and stupid act.

By the time she pushed the send button on her mobile, Bara’s mobile that was on the table, beeped . Bara frowned and looked at her hesitantly. Nadya smiled timidly.

A big smile was covering Bara’s lips. He looked at Nadya lovingly and it  could be said they were sparkling with a little bit of whimsical look. Nadya nervously glanced outside the café window . She wished she could be Susan Storm right this moment, she would make herself disappear from Bara for a while. But what about this date ? what about all the romanticism that had pampered her mind ?

“Well, I would like to have green salad, sirloin with mushroom sauce, make it medium rare, and mashed potato. How about you, Nad ? Or can I recommend something nice ? “ Bara looked at her charmingly and warmly.

Nadya smiled gladly. “That would be perfect. “

Ah, Nadya was relieved and embarrassed at the same time. Nothing more could be done. Bara had known why she was panic. Her romantic date would be a silly date that she would fondly remember it. It’s very fortunate that Bara could cover her own embarrassment about the text message she sent to Bara : I cannot read the menu. I forgot my glasses. I am feeling so embarrass to look like a fool, staring at the menu. Please help…

 

Indonesian

KENCAN PERTAMA

Jantungnya mulai berdegup perlahan. Dia merasa aliran darah dengan cepat mengalir deras ke bagian wajah. Sedikit rasa panas membelai kedua pipinya. Duuhh, bagaimana nih? Pikirnya panik.

Lelaki di depannya masih asyik dengan buku menu bercover unik lembaran-lembaran destinasi travel dari kolom surat kabar.

Dia sendiri masih menatap buku menu di hadapannya seperti orang linglung.

Ratusan semut merah merayapi ujung jari kakinya, menggelitik setiap lubang pori yang dilalui dan menyengat kulit dengan sungut mereka yang tajam. Satu sentakan kaki kirinya yang keras membuat Bara dan gadis berkuncir yang melayani mereka serentak menoleh ke arahnya.

“Kenapa Nad ?” Bara meletakkan buku menu ke meja.

“Ehmm…kesemutan,” sergahnya cepat. Bagaimana kalau sampai Bara tahu apa yang membuatnya kesemutan ? dan panik ? dan pucat ?

“Hey, kok kamu pucat ? Kamu sakit ?” Bara meraih tangannya.

Terlambat. Dia tidak cukup tangkas untuk menepis genggaman tangan Bara. Kini tangan kanannya sudah berada dalam genggaman lelaki itu. Genggaman tangan Bara hangat. Dia betah membiarkan tangannya dalam genggaman Bara kalau begitu.

Seandainya dia bisa berterus-terang. Tapi gimana ? Akan amat sangat memalukan. Ini kencan pertama mereka dan dia telah menghitung ribuan perasaan romantis yang sudah ada dalam benaknya sejak tadi ketika menunggu Bara datang menjemputnya, sekarang lenyap. Menguap bersama rasa panas yang makin betah menetap di kedua pipinya.

“Tidak apa-apa,” Nadya tersenyum jengah. Dilepaskan genggaman tangan Bara dengan lembut. Sekilas dia merasa gadis berkuncir itu tersenyum tipis.

“Mau pesan apa ?” ujar Bara.

Duk. Nadya serasa lemas. Dia tidak bisa menahan debaran jantungnya yang melejit seketika diatas denyutan normal. Jari jemari tangannya terasa dialiri rasa dingin yang entah dari mana datangnya. Dia benci kalau panik dan malu seperti ini. Apa dia berterus terang aja ya ? Tapi gimana menyembunyikan rasa malunya nanti ? Pada Bara,mungkin dia masih bisa memaafkan dirinya sendiri , nanti. Tapi pada gadis berkuncir yang masih saja betah berdiri di samping meja mereka ini ?

“Hey …” Bara menyentuh tangannya.

Ampuunn… kenapa dia jadi melotot ke arah Bara kaya gini ? Nadya tersadar tiba-tiba.

“Ehh…ahhh..maaf,” Nadya menunduk lalu mengaduk-aduk tasnya yang disampirkan di kursi. Aku harus kuat. Aku harus berterus terang pada Bara, apapun yang akan terjadi akan kuterima. Aku nggak peduli lagi kalau mereka tertawa mengejek. Tapi aku nggak mau menggagalkan kencan pertamaku ini dengan sikap bodoh.

Begitu dia selesai menekan tombol send pada handphonenya, handphone Bara yang ditaruh di meja , bergetar. Bara mengernyitkan dahinya dan kemudian menoleh ke arahnya dengan tampang bertanya. Nadya tersenyum jengah.

Seulas senyum lebar memayungi bibir Bara. Ditatapnya Nadya dengan penuh cinta, dan sedikit geli.. Nadya menoleh ke arah jendela luar dengan malu. Rasanya kalau bisa saat ini juga dia jadi Susan Storm yang bisa menghilang. Menghilang sejenak dari hadapan Bara. Tapi kencan pertamanya ini ? Semua romantisme yang telah diangankannya ?

“Mbak, satu green salad , sirloin medium rare dengan mushroom sauce, dan mashed potato. Kamu pesan apa ? atau mau aku recommend ?” Bara dengan sengaja menatapnya dengan amat sangat manis dan hangat.

Nadya tersenyum lega. “Ya, kamu aja pilihin.”

Ah, Nadya tidak peduli. Sudah terlanjur. Rahasia kepanikannya sudah diketahui Bara. Biarlah. Kencan romantisnya akan menjadi kencan konyol yang akan selalu dikenangnya dengan amat manis. Tapi syukurlah Bara dengan sangat baik menutupi rasa malunya akan pesan yang tadi dikirimnya ; Aku nggak bisa baca menunya. Kacamataku ketinggalan. Malu deh keliatan melototin menu aja. Gimana nih ?