The Princess’ Birthday Present: A Story Book by Ibu

Yes, no sad posts tonight, although I am in so much mood to down some much-needed adult beverage, but nope.

Instead, I’m gonna tell you what I did for my kid’s birthday. Prepare to judge and call me indulgent, as if I care LOL

The whole thing started back in May this year, when I was watching old episodes of Jimmy Fallon on YouTube. You know, the one where he announced that he’s launching a book called “Your Baby’s First Word Will Be DADA”. I was watching while doodling, and this idea came into my head.

Hey why don’t I try to draw and write a story book for my kid for her birthday present?

You have to know that the only person I love competing against is myself, and Shera’s birthday is beginning to be a personal competition event every year where I made it a must to bake her birthday cake and sew her birthday dress myself. First year: my own first buttercream cake and clown-neck dress, second year: fondant Mickey-Minnie cake and a matching dress to go with, third year: cookie monster dress, cake and cupcakes.

Seems like I like to top things up each year and have no plans of stopping. Making her own personalized story book, starring her, with a matching dress and a matching cake sounds like a cool project this year.

So I turned off YouTube and started making character sketches.

And much like four years ago, Princess Shera was born.

I mostly documented the process on Snapchat and being the Gen-X that I am, I of course forgot to download the videos because who would erase videos 24 hours after they were posted? Yeah, Snapchat and millennials I guess. But wait a minute, I found my first drawing.

A video posted by Asmara Wreksono (@miunds) on

Anyway, I started off drawing the scenes I had playing in my head. Storyline? Nope, I didn’t have any. I thought I’d just deal with it later. The most important thing is the drawing. I might be violating all children book-writing rule here (if there’s any), but I felt like drawing first before doing anything else, so I did.

This is the third drawing I did. Yeah, because the second one and most of the rest… you know what, I blame Snapchat. LOL.

A photo posted by Asmara Wreksono (@miunds) on

I used watercolor because I am an impatient person, and also because Copic markers are so darn expensive. But it turned out pretty ok. Still far from the likes of Oliver Jeffers, but I thought, as long as I’m keen and have perseverance, I’ll make it.

A video posted by Asmara Wreksono (@miunds) on

And this is me, coloring. Excuse my poor skills. LOL.

So yeah, I kept on drawing and drawing, slowly putting the storyline in my head. Amazingly I managed to stay consistent in drawing the characters (there aren’t too many, thank God). Reminds me of the days when I used to do comics in high school.

When do I draw? Mostly after work and before bed. Yep, what used to remind me of school assignments turns out to be my salvation from work and stress. Drawing is the cure to my tiredness. I didn’t even care of the sluggishness I feel in the mornings when I worked on this personal project. Didn’t care at all because I was having fun.

A video posted by Asmara Wreksono (@miunds) on

In this part I was almost finished with the raw drawing. My lines got careless and rushed only because I couldn’t wait for the book to be finished.

September came and my dad died. The drawings were all finished but I was paralyzed. The storyline embedded in my brains was still there, but not yet written. October came and I forced myself to write things down, and for some reasons, my head was only working in English that time, hence only English is used in the book.

My best friend, Marisa, was an angel, she help me layout the book until it was ready to print.

The labour of love was finished exactly 4 days before Shera’s 4th birthday, and here’s a sneak peek.

A video posted by Asmara Wreksono (@miunds) on

Yep. That’s the final product. Shera, of course, gets the hard-cover version while her friends at school got the soft-cover ones. I get asked a lot by people whether I’m going to publish the story book. Truthfully I don’t know, but if it can spread some joy to children everywhere, then I don’t see why not. 

Being the indulgent mom that I am, I didn’t stop there. I made sure her birthday cake featured her character from the book. Unlike the previous years, I surrendered to the help of professionals and ordered a fondant-covered chocolate cake from @belle_kitchen. They surprised me with a cake featuring Princess Shera herself, standing on one feet! I almost fainted when I got the cake. They took cake decorating into a whole new level.

Of course, with the cake comes the dress and this year, I had to give it to my mom. She was the one who sew my princess’ birthday dress, inspired from Isla Fischer’s “Confession of a Shopaholic” pink bridesmaid dress. The colorful tutu lining screamed fun and Shera was excited to put it on.

One more detail: If I was going to give out books for her friends, how was I going to do it? Aha. Goodie bags! Ordered a batch from @sugar_souvenir, and was I glad they can personalize each bag with each kid’s name.

In short, here’s how things turned out.

A photo posted by Asmara Wreksono (@miunds) on

All in all, the only thing that mattered was Shera’s happiness. Here’s her reaction when she first really got into the book.

A video posted by Asmara Wreksono (@miunds) on

That was all I need.

Oh well, I hope she’ll look back to this when she’s older and see how much I love her. :-*

Now, what shall I make next year?

Karena Hujan Pagi Ini

Kapan itu sudah pernah menulis tentang berduka.

Kali ini saya mau menulis tentang betapa berduka nggak cukup sehari-dua hari saja.

Sudah dua bulan sejak Papah berpulang, saya pikir saya sudah kembali normal. The truth is, nothing has been normal since he died. Apakah detik-detik terakhir saya melihatnya bernafas masih terputar terus setiap saya bangun pagi? Masih. Adegan itu terekam sempurna, dan seolah sudah ditonton ribuan kali, semua masih jelas, kadang terlalu jelas.

Masih banyak ketakutan yang menghantui saya saat ini, dan kalau dipikir-pikir, mungkin tidak ada hubungannya dengan Papah.

Saya masih takut tertawa. Sejujurnya ini menyiksa karena walau semua tes psikologi berkata saya introvert, pada dasarnya tertawa adalah adiksi yang belum pernah saya temukan obatnya. Saya masih takut terlalu bahagia. Hidup saya saat ini dipenuhi rasa curiga, dan sebagai orang beriman, ini salah. Lha gimana enggak, ada kejadian bagus sedikit, saya langsung bertanya-tanya:

“Mau ada apa lagi, nih? Kok bikin hepi banget? Mau digimanain lagi nih gue?”

Curigaan kok sama Tuhan. Asmara, kok kamu jadi gini amat? Mana percayanya? Mana imannya?

Nggak tahu.

Lalu saya jadi super cengeng.

Elah, nonton anjing beranak di feed FB, nangis. Lihat anak kecil lari pegang balon, nangis. Laper, mau pesen GoFood nggak dapet-dapet driver, nangis (iya ini karena laper, but still). Mau jadi apa hidupmu, Asmara?

Telek banget lah bilang bolak-balik ke diri sendiri, “Jangan cengeng, kasihan Mamah kan kalau lihat kamu sedih terus. Yang kuat, buat Mamah.” Who am I kidding, I think she’s handling this way better than me. Or hiding this better than me. Embuh. Do I want to know? No. I should, but no. Not now.

Katanya akan ada serangan-serangan sedih yang luar biasa tanpa kita tahu sebabnya. Dan serangan ini bisa muncul di mana saja, kapan saja. Sejauh ini, Puji Tuhan, munculnya di momen-momen private aja. Paling sering di mobil, di tengah kemacetan. Kasihan Mas Yono, supir tersayang, karena dia pasti awkward denger saya mimbik-mimbik bahkan sampe gero-gero sendirian di bangku belakang macem anak kecil minta balon nggak dikasih.

Cuaca Jakarta juga gak dukung, sih. Kenapa coba hujan terus begini. Kenapa coba mesti macet lama-lama di jalanan kayak gini? (Iya, ini ngetik di Grab Car menuju kantor, dan saya sungguh khawatir air mata akan jatuh lagi padahal gak bawa tisu dan mas Grabnya nggak tipe yang nyediain tisu gitu walau mobilnya bersih sekali)

“Jangan sedih terus, kasihan Papah kan pasti sedih juga lihat anaknya sedih.”

Tau nggak sih, ini kalimat paling ngeselin yang orang-orang bilang ke saya. Secara logika aja nggak masuk banget. Tiga puluh tujuh tahun kurang sebulan saya hidup sama Papah, lalu mesti pisah untuk selama-lamanya. Ya masa nggak boleh sedih?

Lalu pikiran kanak-kanak saya protes keras, “Kalau Papah nggak mau sedih liat saya sedih, kenapa meninggal?”

Tapi sayangnya saya orang dewasa yang katanya beragama, sehingga kalau ngomong begitu kan nanti dikira gila.

Terus saya udah apa untuk mencoba tidak sedih terus?

Mencoba hidup ‘normal’, jelas.

Mencoba bangun pagi setiap hari dan bersikap seolah saya nggak apa-apa, kerja seperti biasa karena ya harus bayar tagihan dan cicilan. Yang saya rasakan apa? Pengen tidur terus, nggak pengen ngapa-ngapain. Eh pengen deng, pengen beli kanvas besar, lalu bikin gambar monster. Monster yang bikin saya kayak gini.

Mungkin jadinya nanti foto diri sendiri. Nggak taulah.

Tapi angan-angan ajalah itu. Cita-cita kok beli kanvas. Nggambar di kertas aja saya nggak napsu. Angkat pensil bawaannya pengen banting karena nggak ada inspirasi. Nyoba ngewarnain pake kuas jadinya jelek banget. Forget a huge-ass canvas, I can’t even draw properly on paper.

Terus nulis ini gunanya apa?

Saya cuma lagi ngetes aja, benar gak sih kalau kesedihan ditulis akan sedikit berkurang? Dan sampai paragraf ini, kok enggak. Menolongkah kalau saya share di social media? Banyak pukpuk yang akan datang, banyak kalimat-kalimat penghiburan yang akan saya terima. Tapi apakah cukup? Sepertinya bisa bikin saya bangun pagi dan kerja tandanya cukup sih, walau pagi ini rasanya tetap nggak enak banget. Kirain minggu baru artinya semangat baru seperti biasa. Ini masih begini bahkan rasanya memburuk.

PMS kali, kamu?

Ah fuck PMS lah, itu hanya alasan yang digunakan perempuan agar dimengerti marah-marah dan sedihnya. Saya nggak perlu dimengerti kali ini.

Penakut kamu, Asmara.

One of my worst nightmares came true, of course I am deathly scared of anything remotely close to losing those I love.

Nov 28, 2016.

Dialog dengan diri sendiri ditengah kemacetan, semoga masih dalam batas waras. 

About Death

Let’s talk about death, shall we?

You know, death, the concept of human expiration we are taught as early as three years old when watching Mufasa’s tragic end in the stampede in The Lion King or witnessing a relative’s passing.

The very concept that we know is inevitable but spend our lives avoiding it to happen, in a variety of ways: eating healthy, spending hours at the gym, doing everything necessary, holistically, all in the name of longevity.

The concept that we know will happen anytime to anyone doing anything. It can be slow and painful, or quick and painless. It can shatter a community, a nation, or may not have any effect to anyone.

You know, death.

The word that becomes some kind of a word that should not be mentioned or in an easier term: ’Voldemort’ to Indonesians in general. We almost never say, “Put on your seatbelt, it’s to avoid you being dead in a traffic accident.” Instead, we say shit like, “Put on your seatbelt, so if anything happens, you’re safe.”

If anything happens.

For all we know, this ‘if anything happens’ term is intended to be broad, although there’s a silent convention that it does mean ‘death’ in most cases. And for some reasons, we are gullible enough to think that if we don’t say the actual word, it will never happen to us or those close to us.

I have been thinking about death since the first time I really saw someone close to me died, my grandfather from my mom’s side. Sure I was two years old at the time and did not realize what was going on, but being half Manadonese, whose entire family think it’s normal to document death in the form of photos, I grew up accustomed to sometimes flip through a blue photo album consisting photos of my grandpa’s open casket. I remember thinking, yeah death happens. Ok.

And then pause, for quite a long time, as I didn’t have to think about it much as no death of close relatives happened much.

My next encounter with eternal farewell was with my grandpa from my dad’s side. I was older then, almost in junior high, when he was hospitalized and sick for quite a while. When he died, I saw my dad cry for the first time in my life, and it was not a sight I liked. There I learned that death is not a happy event, no matter what the Bible says; that the one who departs will be in God’s kingdom and will live a happy eternal life. I learned that death releases the suffering of the deceased, but causes sadness to those left behind.

My grandma from my dad’s side died a few years after, when I was already in my teenage years. It was sad, but again I learned a valuable thing which plays a huge part in my future: that I have to take care of my parents until their old age as my parents took really good care of their parents as such. I learned that the phrase “no regrets” is very important and that as a child, I need to be able to say so when my parents die someday, as it will give me peace of mind.

Just a little while after Mbah Putri died, Oma, my grandmother from mom’s side passed away. I was a bit older, ready for university. We were close in her last days, so it was kind of a big blow when it happened. But soon, I was in Bandung, leading a new life as a university student so as much as I don’t want to admit it, Oma’s passing saddened me, but I was distracted. Looking back, I now feel really guilty as my mom must have suffered, not having me around for support.

However.

Death happened very recently in my family, and it took my father away from me for good.

And when it happens to you, to a person so dear and so close, it feels so different. It feels like a claw reached into the innermost part of your entire being and took out half of your soul. It feels like a part of you died with them, a part you try everyday to revive but just couldn’t. The same way the doctor and nurses tried to revive my dad but the line on the monitor stays flat in front of my very eyes. He wasn’t coming back while only hours earlier we were still talking and laughing together.

Unlike the previous deaths in my family, this one affects me the most. Although I think I’m learning something from it, I know I’m still picking up the pieces. I don’t know what lesson to learn from this because all I feel is pain. Pain. And more pain.

Yes, I can say now, that I know what raw pain feels like. All the heartbreaks in the past does not matter. All the failures in class, in my career that I cried myself to sleep about does not matter. This is all the pain in the world known to man, combined. This is why my parents stay up late waiting for me whenever I go clubbing. This is why they call me twice a day when I was studying in a different city. They wanted to avoid feeling what I feel now if something happened to me and I die.

This is why we all worry about things we should not worry about. Because we know, at the back of our minds, that being separated forever will produce nothing but sadness.

But we’re either too proud to admit it, or too scared for it to happen that we deny it by saying “It’s gonna be ok, don’t be so paranoid.” Or maybe in a more religious way, people would say, “Why are you thinking like you don’t have faith in God? Don’t think about death, God will watch over you.”

Do you know that whenever we say this, we dismiss the fact that God has the power to not only watch over us, but also to take our lives whenever He pleases? Do you even realize that by promoting positive thinking a.k.a not talking about the possibility of death, you automatically dismiss the fact that He’s our maker and has the very power to give as well as take lives?

So yes, let’s talk about death openly. We cannot treat death as the huge pink elephant in the room. That it exists but let’s just not talk about it until it finally happens. Because it will happen one way or another, and as much as we avoid the subject, it’s there.

In my religion, death is described as the thief in the night time who would come and take those nearest and dearest to you when you least suspect it. And I stand by this bible verse, because death stole my dad in front of my very eyes, in broad daylight. He was taken when I thought his illness was not serious, as he went through worse phases before. He was taken away from me when I was not as worried as previous incidents.

Indeed, a thief, death is.

From all the heartbreaks in the world, this one takes the cake. Those who are close to me know I bounce back from sadness very quickly, as I am a cheerful person. However this is the one I don’t think I can bounce back from. Ever. This is rock bottom. For the first time in my life, a couple of weeks ago, I uttered the words, “This is fucking hard,” referring to my current life state and actually freaking meant it.

My cousin said to me just now at dinner, “Nights must be hard, huh?”

Nope. It’s the mornings. For the first time in my life, the morning sun only envelopes me with more grief because every single time I wake up, I only realized everything is real and this whole shit is not just a bad dream. I have a hard time falling asleep because I hate the fact that when I wake up, I’d be blue again. It’s a vicious circle, it hurts and I cannot have any medication for it because it’s not physical.

Time will heal, people say. I want to believe it, but I just couldn’t.

Being a normally positive person, I say to myself often: You have two options, to drown yourself in misery or to hold your head high and move on. It worked when I got a C on that project I worked very hard on all semester. It worked when I heard my ex-boyfriend was getting married and I was still single. It worked when I got out of a loveless relationship. It worked when I didn’t get accepted into that company I want to join so much.

But it does not work now. It just doesn’t because it’s my dad. How can I move on from losing him?

People say I should send prayers. I do pray, but will it work effectively if I find myself constantly talking to him in my head, “Oh look Pap, Ahok is losing popularity. Eh Pap, I think Donald Trump is a creep. You know, Pap, I’m gonna try to sleep. Got an early meeting tomorrow.” And I still talk to his photo, “Morning Pap,” every morning before I leave for work, and “Nite, Pap,” every night before I go up to my bedroom to… well, keep myself busy until I finally can fall asleep.

You have to learn how to let go. Ikhlasin aja. These are the most common phrases I hear these days.

Easier said than done.

How can I let go of the memories? I have let the person go physically, and memories of him are all I have. Is it so wrong to hold on to that? Please don’t deprive me of them because they’re all I’ve got now.

I am thankful for technology as now I don’t have to be afraid to forget how he looked like. I can just take a look at his picture and let my chest swell inside, making me breathless because I miss him so much and now have to just be happy with this two-dimensional form of his headshot.

I also curse technology for Facebook, every morning, comes up with ‘Memories’ from years ago. Old photos surface without my consent, and what normally would make me laugh and re-share them, now only puncture my open wound on a daily basis. Yet at times, I feel comforted. It’s a mixed-feeling thing.

So yes, let’s just try to replace ‘if anything happens’ with the word that actually represent the real situation. Maybe if we say it out loud and not treat it like ‘Voldemort’, we’d be more prepared when death approaches those near and dear to us, and maybe ourselves.

I don’t know if I’m making any sense, but it is something to ponder about. I’m asking you to think with me.

It’s entering week 5 without you, Pap. Today is one of the better days, but I still have that lump in my throat, and blurry vision at every mention of your name, whenever I pass places I used to go with you, food we used to share, even TV channels we used to watch and every single silent moment whenever I’m alone.

But it’s ok, I’ll be fine. Eventually.

Demam Berdarah Dengue: Pengalaman Sangat Tidak Menyenangkan

Ada yang pernah kena Demam Berdarah Dengue atau DBD?

Saya pernah, dan enggak mau lagi.

Kenapa? Karena jujur aja, saya belum pernah merasakan sakit sesakit dan se-menyiksa DBD. Sore itu saya sedang berhadapan dengan deadline yang mendesak karena malamnya tim kami di kantor akan meluncurkan produk baru. Sekitar pukul dua siang, mendadak saya merasa kedinginan padahal pagi harinya masih baik-baik saja.

Rasa kedinginan dan demam nggak enak itu berlanjut dan tambah parah di sore hari. Karena udah nggak bisa mikir, akhirnya saya memutuskan untuk pulang. Seiring perjalanan pulang, tiba-tiba seluruh badan terasa sakit. Sakitnya seperti pegal tapi nggak habis-habis dan nyeri sampai ke tulang dan persendian. Rasanya kesenggol aja pengen teriak saking sakitnya.

Semalaman itu saya demam tinggi, 39 derajat. Nggak tahan, saya ke rumah sakit tapi disuruh pulang lagi ketika tahu baru hari pertama demam dan tes darah di lab tidak menunjukkan keanehan. Ya karena virus dengue belum bisa dideteksi sebelum tiga hari, kata dokternya. Oke, pulanglah saya dengan dibekali obat penurun panas.

Keesokan harinya, nafsu makan saya hilang total, karena bayangkan saja, untuk minum air aja sulit karena perut terasa mual sekali. Hampir dua hari penuh setelahnya saya cuma makan sepotong roti, itu pun muntah dan hasilnya ya perut kosong dan nyaris dehidrasi karena minum pun rasanya sulit.

Saya ke rumah sakit dihari ke-3 dan sesuai dugaan, trombosit saya tercatat hanya 60.000. Langsung dirawat inap selama 4 hari.  Titik terendah trombosit saya adalah 15.000. Saat itu dokter sampai bilang kalau sampai turun di bawah 10.000, maka saya harus transfusi darah. Beliau juga mewanti-wanti agar saya tidak sikat gigi, tidak (maaf) ngupil, atau mengorek-orek luka di jari, misalnya, untuk menghindari pendarahan. Karena jika terjadi pendarahan, bisa fatal akibatnya. 

Terus saya mesti apa? Istirahat, minum yang banyak, jangan banyak bergerak. Sounds simple tapi kenyataannya bahkan buat orang yang hobi leyeh-leyeh kayak saya, istirahat di saat sakit itu nggak enak banget.

Puji Tuhan akhirnya trombosit saya naik juga, sesuai dengan pola pelana kuda demam berdarah dengue. Saya pun diperbolehkan pulang di hari ke-4, dalam kondisi yang masih lemas luar biasa. Saat menimbang berat badan, saya ternyata kehilangan 6 kilogram. Enggak, itu nggak baik banget lho, jadi walau ‘kurus’, tampilan saya sungguh tidak sehat. Mata celong, muka pucat dan recoverynya sampai dua minggu lebih.

Lalu benarkah saya sudah terlepas dari kemungkinan kena DBD sepenuhnya? Nope. Masih ada tiga kemungkinan lagi untuk terkena demam berdarah karena kalo saya lihat di www.denguemissionbuzz.org/id, ada 4 strain virus Dengue yang berbeda yaitu DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 dan DENV-4. Kalo boleh saya kutip di sini, seseorang yang terinfeksi oleh satu strain virus Dengue, tidak akan memiliki kekebalan jangka panjang terhadap 3 strain virus Dengue lainnya.

Ngeri banget, bukan?

Dengue ini makin gila lho penyebarannya, karena dalam 50 tahun terakhir, Dengue sudah tersebar dari beberapa negara hingga menjadi endemik di 128 negara, tempat 4 miliar penduduk tinggal. Dan peningkatan kasus dengue sudah sebesar 30 kali lipat.

Inget gak sih jaman dulu di TVRI ada iklan demam berdarah yang digambarkan penderitanya dari keluarga yang ada di tempat tinggal yang kumuh? Well, that’s not the case anymore. Lingkungan tempat tinggal saya tergolong di daerah non-kumuh dan nyaman, tapi toh kena juga. Karena nyamuk Aedes betina (itu lho, yang ada tanda belang putih di kakinya) terutama nyamuk Aedes aegypti akan terinfeksi ketika dia menghisap darah seseorang yang terinfeksi virus Dengue. Gimana jelasinnya, ya, coba lihat video ini deh biar lebih jelas.

Si nyamuk Aedes ini biasanya cari makan di pagi hari dan sore hari sebelum hari gelap. Perkembangannya pesat banget dibanding manusia (yaiyalah), karena nyamuk Aedes cuma perlu 7 hari untuk jadi dewasa dari tahap telur. Nah berkembangbiaknya di mana? Di genangan air.

Denial 1: alah rumah gue mah gedongan, mana mungkin ada genangan air?

Fact: cek dulu deh, genangan air itu nggak perlu besar macem banjir Jakarta. Kalau suka simpen-simpen barang di gudang, misalnya, lalu si gudang bocor saat hujan yang kita ga tau, mungkin ada genangan air yang tidak kita sadari. Atau suka pelihara bunga di pot? Punya talang air? Coba bersihin karena telur nyamuk seneng banget sama genangan-genangan model begini.

Denial 2: Tapi bener deh rumah gue tuh bersih banget, kering pula, gak mungkin!

Fact: lha kan tadi dibilangin, nyamuk Aedes itu bisa menularkan virus Dengue ketika dia pernah menggigit orang yang terkena DBD. Jadi bisa aja di sekitar kita ada yang DBD, dan nyamuk menularkan dari orang tersebut.

Ribet ya? Terus gimana dong biar nggak ada nyamuk?

Cara paling familiar yang udah dikenal orang banyak adalah pengendalian vektor nyamuk. Nih saya rekap, ya, biar gampang:

  1. Kalo ada wadah air di sekitar rumah, bersihkan dengan teratur biar nyamuk nggak bertelur di sana.
  2. Pengasapan (fogging), dan semprotkan insektisida agar nyamuk dewasa terbasmi.
  3. Kebetulan hobi pelihara ikan? Bagus banget nih, soalnya ikan akan memangsa jentik atau telur nyamuk. Rumah jadi lebih cantik dan perkembangan nyamuk bisa terkendali.

Catatan buat saya pribadi terkait Dengue ini, yang mau saya bagi di sini adalah: jangan pernah remehkan demam. Perhatikan siklus demam dan kalau sampai hari ke-3 masih demam aja dan belum ada perubahan, please, jangan tunggu-tunggu, segera ke rumah sakit terdekat. Terlambat membawa pasien demam berdarah dengue bisa berakibat fatal, lho. Demam Berdarah Dengue bisa menyerang siapa saja mulai dari anak-anak, orang dewasa sampai manula. Yuk saling mengingatkan!

Tulisan ini adalah opini pribadi penulis. Penulisan artikel didukung oleh Sanofi Indonesia

Selfless good deed is a myth

I would have to agree with Friends’ Phoebe Buffay that there is no such thing as a selfless good deed. People do good to feel good, and doing something so you feel good is a selfish act.

Well then I’ve been really selfish in the month of May this year, because I said yes when my good friend, Shanti Persada, asked me to be a campaigner for a crowdfunding charity to help a 1 year-old child named Aleena who was initially diagnosed with tongue cancer, but is now looking to be re-examined.

Aleena 03

Aleena went through an operation to remove a tumor from under her tongue when she was three months old,  undergone six times chemo session, but there’s no change in her condition. So she needs help to get better, see more doctors, be examined thoroughly until they can find what’s really wrong with her and why that other tumor just won’t go away.

So along with the great people behind Kitabisa.com (Kita bisa means ‘we can’ in English), we started the campaign on May 8th (or 7th, I don’t really remember). I was a bit skeptical: will people actually help? They know nothing about this baby. Will they believe this campaign? Won’t they think this is a scam? If they do help, how do they know it’s legit?

I kept quiet and let all those questions remain inside my head. Because I was also curious.

Day one went by, and suddenly we’re on the 10 million mark. I mean, wow. People DO donate. And most of them are strangers. My Twitter followers, a friend of a friend’s friend, some distant relative I know for about 5 seconds… ok, basically they’re all strangers.

Almost at the end of the first week, we reached our first goal and of 50 million rupiahs. I went bananas, because I didn’t expect so many people to immediately donate.

I guess I’ve been living with cynicism for way too long.

So we upped the target and aimed for 100 million rupiahs. This time I wasn’t anymore skeptical, I was excited. Every morning, the first thing I do when I woke up was refreshing Aleena’s donation page at Kitabisa.com. And guess what? The numbers kept rising.

There was a moment where I almost cried in the office when I refreshed the page at lunchtime, touched deeply by the kindness of strangers. And by the third week, we reached Rp. 100,465,961.-, a wee bit over our target of Rp.100 million.

And I did feel good, happy and thankful that I am involved in the helping process.

So Shanti and Vikra from Kitabisa.com arranged for us all to meet Aleena’s family to symbolically hand over the donation -yes symbolic because Shanti will help manage the funds for Aleena’s treatments. We decided to meet at the Lovepink headquarters, Sunday, May 29, 2016.

I took my daughter to meet Aleena and her family that day, because I want her to know that there are sick kids out there who need help. As somebody healthier than all of them, Shera should know that it’s part of her duty as a human being to help those in need.

In the car, on the way to Lovepink HQ, Shera asked, “Ibu, why are there sick kids? Why should they be sick?”

The question instantly brought tears to my eyes because honestly I don’t know the answer and that’s what I told her.

She asked me one more thing, “Ibu, what is cancer? Is it contagious? Can I shake hands with Aleena?”

I tried explaining that cancer is a bad illness but not contagious so she can shake hands with Aleena when they finally meet. Ok experts, please help me out, how do I explain cancer to a three year-old? Hm.

We met Aleena and her mother, Asri, and were immediately drawn to the young cancer patient. Aleena has a tube attached to her nose to help her eat, and a hole on her neck to help her breathe. At one year-old, she’s quite tiny, but already walking. She hasn’t been able to eat through her mouth due to the tumor under her tongue, and she hasn’t been able to talk as well.

But is she a sad girl? Nope. Aleena enjoys company.

Aleena 002

Aleena 001

When I saw her picture, helplessly lying in her bed with all sorts of medical tubes around her, I felt pity. But when I saw Aleena in person, I felt hope. She’s an active little girl and I truly feel she deserves the chance to get the right and appropriate treatment.

And so with this post, although a little bit late, I would like to say thank you so much for every one of you who have shared your blessings with a little girl that you don’t even know. Thank you, good Samaritans, you helped a great deal because it’s more than just money. You’ve given Aleena and her family something more valuable: hope.

I will keep updating you with Aleena’s conditions and treatment results. Meanwhile, do head over to Kitabisa.com where Vikra and his friends are doing an awesome job gathering do-gooders from all around Indonesia to help shoulder others’ burdens.

Still think that selfless good deed is a myth? Your call, really.

If doing good really counts as a selfish act, like Phoebe Buffay said, then I encourage all of us to be selfish! I encourage us all to feel good by doing good. Because isn’t that what life is all about? 😀

Seriously, me.

I have a serious issue about seriousness and being taken seriously.

The above is not word play, it’s plain and simple, I’m talking about a major concern I’ve been having since back in 2000. When people were freaking out about the Y2K, I was freaking out about whether I would ever be taken seriously in life.

The year 2000 was the year I delved into a hobby that would soon bring me to a realization that I could never be as ‘deep’ as most of my fellow hobbyists. The hobby in question was writing poems, and writing in general.

Back then we didn’t have blogs yet, well some internet ‘elites’ do, but not me. I write for a small independent magazine called Trolley Magazine, and it was an in-and-out thing. The editors were my seniors in campus, who were kind enough to let a young, inexperienced girl like me write about things that amused me: humor.

And then I got into this whole new circle of friends, consisting of… poets. People with great literature knowledge, all very active in discussions in a wondrous thing called ‘mailing lists’ (google it, millennials). What do they discuss about? They talk about other people’s poetries, the feels they get from them, the raw emotions they caught from the choice of words, the beauty, the eeriness, the anger…

Basically shit I know nothing about.

But I want them to take me seriously.

And then I began to try getting my hands on books I thought I should read. I won’t name the books here due to the fear of being judged (nah, I’m kidding. I’m just too lazy to type them all down.), but yes, I got all the books I thought all writers should read.  Did I read them all? Nope. Just two and then I got drowsy, slept and never thought about reading them again.

I tried to give comments on things I didn’t really understand, read every analysis there was about so-and-so’s work and why is it very important, with ‘Friends’ playing in the background on my VCD player. Before I knew it, I was rooting for Monica Geller’s boyfriend Pete Becker, played by Jon Favreau, when he competed in the UFC. All discussion about poetry? Gone.

What about the ‘fake it until you make it’ thing?

If there’s anything in life I suck at is to fake something. Trust me, you’ll know when I fake it. I’m a bad liar like that, so that was not an option.

Did I give up eventually?

Yes. I gave up learning something that doesn’t fully interest me. I loved writing poetry, but to learn more, apparently was too hard.  And sadly, the giving up didn’t come hand-in-hand with the guilt. The guilt of not being interested in things that are ‘deep and meaningful’.

Things that are serious.

This bothers me a lot, apparently, all throughout my adult life. I mean, I was able to sit through a whole new television show, writing down the segments and figuring out the show’s structure just out of curiosity, but couldn’t seem to find the time to just read a passage of a certain serious book.

I was able to name all the cast of the Taiwanese drama F4, but can’t seem to wanna watch a political debate -which probably was more enlightening so I would have been aware about what’s going on in my country.

I was also able to write funny TV scripts, funny stories, and draw funny-looking characters. But never ever could manage to read a full book about the author’s struggles of life, which makes me a really sad clown. I want to relate and appreciate but I just could not. What kind of a person am I?

How the hell is the world going to take me seriously if I can’t appreciate serious issues?

And in the midst of my restlessness, I was founded by the morning (humorous) radio show and fell in love with stand-up comedy -which sadly I don’t do anymore. Not exactly the ideal things to do if you want to confirm you’re a serious person who wants to be taken seriously, now is it?

This kind of worry comes like sudden relapses. Most days I’m my own self who gives zero fucks about what people think about me, however some days I question myself:

If I feel this guilty about not wanting to know more about the serious issues going on around me, then there must be something really wrong because nobody is pressuring me to even want to know these things. Politics, business, economics, and the god-awful mathematics, I feel guilty if I’m ignorant about these things. What’s wrong, then?

In one of my soul-searching moments, came an epiphany:

If all human beings are created to be the same, then what’s the point? Some people are designed to be serious, some are designed to be clowns. As sad as it may sound, if my destiny is to become some sort of clown, then I better take clowning seriously. I can’t afford to forget how to clown. Because the world depends on me. There can’t be too many lawyers and politician, there should also be clowns to balance things out.

I’m still trying to accept myself and my purpose in life. One step at a time. Maybe I won’t be fully able to, and will always seek to be taken seriously, but I now know that I should not be regretful about my interests, the things that keep me happy.

So what if I like humor? And so what if I understand TV more than the average viewer should? So what if I am happy the way I like to be happy?

People have their own dark sides, and mine probably is too far back as I often use humor as a defense mechanism. Or has my dark side gone away due to the lack of use? I don’t even know.

Maybe nothing is wrong.

The only thing wrong about all this is giving it too much thought, and deciding to post it as a blogpost. Maybe this is the dark side talking.  The deep, dark, serious and elusive side of me.

But seriously, I have no idea.

Tentang Menjadi Cantik

Cantik? Eh, jadi perempuan itu yang penting pinter dan baik hati. Nanti juga inner beauty-nya kelihatan.  Yang paling penting dari diri seorang perempuan itu inner beauty. Percuma cantik mukanya kalau nggak cantik hatinya, orang nggak akan respek.  Jadi daripada dandan melulu, lebih baik kamu belajar, karena mereka yang doyan dandan itu SHALLOW, gak bakal jauh langkahnya dalam hidup. They won’t shine.  You will.

Sounds like what I would tell my daughter? Yes.  But is it really what I want to tell her?

From what I’ve been through in my teenage years, no.

Sekarang di usia yang sudah mendekati 40 (Iya, masih 3 tahunan lagi, but still.), saya bisa mengatakan bahwa semua hal yang disuntikkan ke benak saya itu banyak benarnya, tetapi banyak pula membuat saya merasa amat inferior.  Nggak enak, nggak hepi dan banyak bertanya-tanya namun nggak berani.  Kenapa?  Mari kita breakdown:

Jadi perempuan itu yang penting pinter dan baik hati.  Nanti juga inner beauty-nya kelihatan.

Pinter, baik hati akan menyebabkan munculnya inner beauty.  Sorry, as idealistic as this might sound, I have to say NO WAY, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Flashback kelas 3 SMP, acara ulang tahun teman. Ada acara joged baris (iya, jaman itu memang joged baris yang hits), semua perempuan yang pakai lipstik dan makeup udah dapet pasangan.  Saya belom, tapi nonchalant aja, duduk di pojokan minum Coca Cola sampe kembung.  Di kepala: ya emang cowok itu bego, yang dipilih cewek-cewek tolol yang pake make-up doang.  Mereka nggak pinter, nggak baik juga, dan ih amit-amit, gak cantik!

Padahal diantara yang sedang seru joged baris itu ada si cantik A yang juara kelas tapi tetap pakai makeup dan dikerubungi cowok-cowok karena dia baik dan ramah.  Si B juga, nggak juara kelas tapi jago banget fisikanya, dibilang baik hati ya baiklah wong anaknya lucu banget.  Cantik?  Pastinya, wong cuma pakai lipstik sepulas aja bikin saya jatuh iri dan cowok-cowok jatuh cinta.

Terus patah dong teori bahwa mereka yang pakai make-up itu cantik tapi tolol dan nggak baik?  Jelas patah berkeping-keping di kepala saya, tapi apa saya berani mengutarakan kepatahan itu dan kemudian pakai make-up terus bergabung dengan geng cewek-cewek manis manja pandai itu?  Enggak.  Kenapa?  Kadung gengsi ngebanggain inner beauty.

Next: Percuma cantik mukanya kalau nggak cantik hatinya. Benarkah?

Flashback: di club. Yang muka rata-rata, dandanan sekadarnya mah mesti antri kalo gak temenan sama bouncernya.  Kalo cantik, penampilan luar biasa, langsung masuk dapet meja pula.  Do they care about cantik hatinya?  Oh come on.

Next: Daripada dandan melulu lebih baik kamu belajar. Ini bener, karena dandan tanpa tujuan juga selain buang-buang waktu, namanya buang-buang uang.  Mending belajar, dapetin gelar sarjana dengan cara-cara yang benar, terus cari kerjaan yang bagus biar bisa beli modal kece yang berkualitas biar muka nggak jerawatan. Face it, ada rupa ada harga.  Emang aturannya begini kok hidup.

Tapi benarkah mereka yang doyan dandan itu SHALLOW dan langkahnya nggak bakal jauh dalam hidup?  That they won’t shine, but you and your untouched face will?  Who are we to decide someone’s future? God?

Saya sungguh sudah merasa ini saatnya saya dan para orangtua bangun dari tidur ideal dan mulai mengajarkan hal-hal yang realistis pada anak-anaknya.  Realita itu nggak enak banget, sering pahit, kadang manis tapi ada maunya, suka bikin hati mendadak acak-acakan.  Tapi ya nggak apa-apa, itu PR kita sih, kayaknya.  Menurut saya, anak mesti tahu kalau sekolah dan otak memang prioritas yang utama, tapi penampilan dan cara memandang diri sendiri pun penting adanya.  Yakin nih, mau membiarkan anak hanyut dalam ilusi inner beauty sementara nantinya akan dihadapkan pada kenyataan bahwa outer beauty juga punya peran dalam kehidupan?  Enggak kan, ya?

Karena duduk di pojokan nunggu diajak dansa sambil minum soda sampai kembung itu sungguh nggak enak, apalagi sambil mempraktekkan self-defense mechanism yaitu bolak-balik membatin “inner beauty lebih penting lah, bego aja semua yang ada di sini.”  Nggak kok semua yang ada di situ nggak bego. Cantik, tapi nggak bego.

Lalu apa yang akan saya bilang ke anak saya nanti soal menjadi cantik tanpa menjadi bego ini?  Well maybe pretty much this post, with a more child-friendly language.

So, were you a late bloomer like myself, an anti-beauty activist or a make-up addict who thinks inner beauty is a unicorn?  Share yuk 😉

Apa yang salah dengan kata-kata indah?

Ini semua berawal dari saya yang dengerin Payung Teduh terus sebulan belakangan.  Grup keroncong modern ini sungguh mempesona saya sejak pertama kali kemunculannya beberapa tahun lalu.  Nah terus kenapa dong baru dengerin lagi?

Entahlah, tau-tau suatu hari dalam mode shuffle, iTunes saya memainkan lagu “Angin Pujaan Hujan”.  Ih sumpah ya, mana dengerinnya pake earphones kan, jadi semakin jelas terdengar liriknya.  Sederhana banget, cuma gini:

Datang dari mimpi semalam
Bulan bundar bermandikan sejuta cahaya
Di langit yang merah, ranum seperti anggur
Wajahmu membuai mimpiku

Sang pujaan tak juga datang
Angin berhembus bercabang
Rinduku berbuah lara uh lara

Lalu repeat aja terus bagian refrainnya. Ini aja udah mendobrak ‘aturan’. Mana ada sih dari verse 1 langsung refrain, boro-boro verse 2 lalu bridge? Hahaha! Ada siiih, tapi kan gak biasa aja.

Terus saya mendengarkan lagi lagu lain yang setelahnya saya repeat dan akhirnya hapal di luar kepala, macem lagunya Samsons “Aku Lelaki” yang saya hapal gara-gara kudu nontonin 100 orang lebih nyanyi lagu yang sama saat audisi Indonesian Idol tahun 2005 (eh apa 2006 ya). Nah ini lagu sialan yang bikin saya dengerin bolak-balik itu:

Ini liriknya:

Aku ingin berjalan bersamamu
Dalam hujan dan malam gelap
Tapi aku tak bisa melihat matamu

Aku ingin berdua denganmu
Diantara daun gugur
Aku ingin berdua denganmu
Tapi aku hanya melihat keresahanmu

Aku menunggu dengan sabar
Diatas sini melayang-layang
Tergoyang angin , menantikan tubuh itu

Jujur saya nggak ngerti lagu ini maksudnya apa.  Yang tersurat jelas, pengen berduaan sama siapa pun yang dia maksud.  Tapi, coba liat verse terakhir: “Aku menunggu dengan sabar, di atas sini melayang-layang, tergoyang angin menantikan tubuh itu.” Kok saya terusik ya mendengar bagian ini.  Ini maksudnya dia udah nggak fana lagi atau bagaimana? Dan makanya dia nggak bisa lihat mata kekasihnya, sehingga kekasihnya resah padahal dia masih ingin berdua?

Jreng.

Yang namanya lagu, mungkin aja sih lirik yang ditulis ya untuk mengisi kekosongan padahal masih ada melodi tersisa, saya nggak tau karena saya bukan musisi.  Tetapi jika iya, wow, kok terpikir bikin kalimat seperti itu?

Itu contoh yang ‘mengganggu’ otak.  Yang mengusik hati pun ada.  Lagu apa lagi kalau bukan yang ini:

Ini liriknya:

Tak terasa gelap pun jatuh
Diujung malam menuju pagi yang dingin
Hanya ada sedikit bintang malam ini
Mungkin karena kau sedang cantik-cantiknya

Lalu mataku merasa malu
Semakin dalam ia malu kali ini
Kadang juga ia takut
Tatkala harus berpapasan ditengah pelariannya

Di malam hari
Menuju pagi
Sedikit cemas
Banyak rindunya

Bagian yang bikin hati meleleh luar biasa, jelas yang ini: “Hanya ada sedikit bintang malam ini. Mungkin karena kau sedang cantik-cantiknya.” Jujur, straightforward, dan siapapun yang menerima kata-kata ini adalah orang yang sangat beruntung. Denger dari Rahne sih katanya lagu ini ditujukan untuk istri dan anak-anak si penyanyi, Mas Is. Awww so sweet ya?

Tapi ada bagian lain dari lagu ini yang menjadi perhatian saya. Coba lihat verse 2: “Lalu mataku merasa malu, semakin dalam ia malu kali ini. Kadang juga ia takut tatkala harus berpapasan ditengah pelariannya.” Boleh nggak saya interpretasi dengan: apakah dia rindu karena lama meninggalkan kekasihnya dan merasa malu tiap bertemu? Karena. Masih. Cinta?

Bagian “sedikit cemas banyak rindunya” pun menarik. Kenapa dia nggak cemas banget dan malah rindu? Yakinkah dia akan tetap diterima walau sudah lama meninggalkan, jika kembali?

IH GILA SENENG YAAA NEBAK-NEBAK BEGINI!

Siang ini saya ngetwit soal mengapa saya melihat ada ketakutan dikatain gombal kalau bikin puisi. Maaf, gombal itu jaman saya. Mungkin jaman sekarang istilahnya “galau”. Kenapa ya takut dikatain gombal dan galau?

Pertama kali saya suka menulis, saya sering menulis puisi. Waktu itu tahun 2001, di milis Cybersastra. Kenapa di milis itu? Karena nggak ada satu pun teman saya yang bergabung, jadi aman dari hinaan “ih gombal lu”. Yang ada adalah orang-orang serupa yang suka menulis sajak, lalu saya nikmati sajak mereka sambil menebak-nebak, sedang merasakan apa mereka saat menuliskan kata-kata indah itu.

Lalu saya menulis, menulis, menulis dan sampai sekarang saya nggak ngerti kenapa saya meninggalkan puisi begitu saja seperti baju kotor yang sudah nggak enak dipakai, dilihat dan disimpan aja jadinya. Nggak mau dibuang tapi mau dipakai lagi kok macem takut.

Tapi takut apa??? *emosi*

Yaudah itu aja sih keluh kesah siang ini.

Nih, biar afdol, saya lempar kumpulan sajak saya yang ternyata masih disimpen entah oleh siapa di dunia maya ini. Silakan, dan katain aja gombal dan galau.

Because at this point, I don’t care. I just want to start writing poems again.

Outgoing Introvert: Iya, Saya.

 

Jadi gini.

Saya lagi kangen-kangennya siaran. Januari kemarin sempat bantu-bantu teman-teman di Female Radio dua kali, jadi ban serep.  Seru, menyenangkan, agak ngos-ngosan tapi bahagia.  Kalau beberapa orang kelihatan ‘glowing’ saat mereka abis perawatan kulit, saya yang nggak peduli kata orang ini merasa ‘glowing’ tiap kelar siaran.  Rasanya seger aja abis ngoceh di depan mikrofon.  Kaya minum multivitamin.

yah kurang lebih gini lah perasaanku kalo lagi glowing *ditimpuk*
yah kurang lebih gini lah perasaanku kalo lagi glowing *ditimpuk*

Tapi se-glowing-glowingnya, saya letih sangat lho tiap kelar siaran itu.  Seger tapi rasanya macem yang… ok everyone shut up, I wanna be alone with my own thoughts. Diem aja di mobil, liat jalanan sambil ngelamun, mikir mau makan siang apa, mau nyalon apa enggak, mikirin kenapa politik itu ngeselin dan sebagainya.  Atau… baca buku.  Yang penting jangan diajak ngomong lah.

Terus, setahun belakangan ini khususnya, saya suka nemu istilah “outgoing introverts” yang mana profilnya kok ya saya banget.  Orang-orang outgoing introverts ini bisa kok berada di keramaian, bisa banget ketawa-ketawa menikmati keadaan… tapi wow, setelah itu recharge-nya butuh waktu sangat lama.  Bisa berhari-hari pengen sendirian, cukup “ngebekal” pensil, kuas, cat air atau… buku yang bagus.

Dan ternyata, ini diamini sahabat saya si Wenni.  “Elu mah emang senengnya sendirian. Kenapa baru nyadar sekarang sih?”  Hm.  Bener juga, ya.  Waktu kuliah, saat Wenni aktif di KM-ITB, saya mah di kamar kos aja, main The Sims sampe bego.  Saat teman-teman lain pada rame ngerencanain naik gunung atau ke pantai, saya cukup hepi dengan pulang ke Jakarta dan berhari-hari di rumah just being my couch potato self.  Iya, seneng ke disko, tapi sebentar aja yah.  Dua jam cukup kok buat joged-joged sambil sapa kanan kiri.  Besoknya biasanya ogah angkat telepon (jaman dulu gak ada socmed amat) apalagi ketemu orang.

Kemarin ngobrol lagi sama si Wenni terus topiknya nyangkut lagi ke permasalahan outgoing introverts ini dan saya bilang, “Eh kenapa ya orang-orang kok bilang gue gaul banget. Padahal boro-boro.”  Wenni tersenyum leceh (LOL) dan menjawab, “Soalnya Neng, elu kalo dateng ke event-event itu selalu sebagai undangan yang mana orang melihat visibility lu jadi lebih besar. Coba geura itung, sejak kita sama-sama kerja, berapa event yang gue datengin dibanding berapa yang elu datengin. Banyakan gue pasti, kan? Tapi elu teh selalu lebih kelihatan karena undangan. Nah gue kan biasanya statusnya kerja, ya jadi ga keliatan gaulnya.”

giphy (3)

Poin lain yang kami bahas adalah betapa Wenni kadang suka sebel sama media sosial yang bising, sementara saya menikmatinya.  Ya jelas dia sebel karena kalau lagi ketemu orang kan jadi gak konsen yaaa kalau ada notifikasi di hp berulang-ulang dari macam-macam socmed.  Sementara saya embrace social media karena, it keeps me connected to a lot of people I care about, yet I don’t HAVE to meet them in person and force small talk yang bikin capek.  Somehow, norma social media jauh lebih rileks dan walau nggak ketemu orang itu berbulan-bulan, tinggal mention aja dan heeeyyy bisa langsung ngobrol lagi.  Gak pake awkward-awkwardan kelamaan, trus saya bisa sambil tengkurep, tiduran, jalan… suka-suka saya aja ngobrol sama orang itu gimana, kan?

giphy (1)

Sisi negatifnya, yang nggak kenal-kenal amat sama saya seringnya langsung berkesimpulan kalau saya emang ‘rame’, ekstrovert, up for anything under the sun dan mudah beradaptasi dalam segala suasana.  Semua karena image saya yang emang suka bercanda di media sosial dan senang mengomentari banyak hal.  Padahal gak tau aja kan, kalau lagi cerewet di Twitter itu tandanya saya lagi nggak sama orang lain yang bisa diajak ngobrol atau ya emang lagi mojok aja dan nggak pengen ngobrol dua arah, layaknya orang introvert.  Egois banget, memang. Ih.

Sisi positifnya, tau gak siih kalau banyak baca, banyak ngelamun mikir itu kita bisa soul searching.  Mencari berbagai jawaban dari apa yang terjadi di dunia ini, yang seringnya bukan pertanyaan. Bingung nggak? Biarin aja bingung.  Terus bisa lebih fokus, nggak ngaco kemana-mana mikirnya.  Kalaupun ngaco, biasanya jadi sesuatu, dan kalo dieksekusi biasanya sih kece.  Amin semoga bisa begini terus.

Mungkin karena personality trait yang begini juga yang membuat saya lebih suka berada di balik layar daripada di depannya.  Siaran radio membuat saya merasa dekat bahkan dengan orang-orang yang belum pernah saya temui.  Tiap hari ketemunya cuma 4 jam (mungkin 2 jam aja in total sih ya, secara dengerinnya kan cuma pas di mobil menuju kantor).  Teknisnya: saya lempar topik, terus dijawab sama pendengar via socmed.  Beberapa jadi temen beneran, lho, dan ini kan unik.  Gak semua orang seberuntung saya bisa punya temen-temen beneran dengan cara seperti ini.

Terus tengah malem gini ngapain juga mikirin soal ini sih?

Ya biarin ajalah, katanya kan Libra itu apa aja dipikirin sampe njelimet. Saya mah masih gak percaya zodiak, cuma ngikut apa kata orang aja dikit.  Nah, berhubung udah berbulan-bulan mikir nggak sempet ditulis, ya pikiran yang ini ajalah ya yang ditulis.  Marilah semua kembali kepada prinsip blog aing kumaha aing beul. Ih cantik-cantik kok ngomongnya kasar.  Nggak kasar kok, nggak cantik juga. HAHAHAHAHAAHA!

And now I want apel strudelnya Inglourious Basterds. Random serandom-randomnya.

 

Dari Sudut Otak, Hari Ini

Sejak dulu saya selalu senang bermain-main dengan logika dan norma di kepala saya. Main-mainnya gimana? Ya melontarkan pertanyaan yang bagi sebagian besar orang mungkin tabu dan jangankan ditanyakan, kepikir aja amit-amit gak boleh amat. Melontarkannya pun cukup sampe ujung mulut, gak berani nanya beneran takut digebuk massa. Misalnya kaya apa? Oke oke saya tulis deh. Jangan dipukulin lah tapi ya. Nggak perlu jawaban juga kok.

Contoh paling gampang: mending mana, ngebolehin gay marriage atau ngebolehin pasangan gay angkat anak walau mereka gak legally married? Kan anak banyak yang terlantar, dan pasangan gay juga banyak yang gak bisa menikah karena gak legal di Indonesia sementara mereka layaknya pasangan hetero pun pengen punya anak. Resources punya, kasih sayang ortu membuncah, tapi karena lifestyle berbeda, apakah perlu dilarang mengangkat anak?

Tuh kan langsung pada ngerenyit sambil “amit-amit jabang bayi jangan sampe anak cucu gue gay.” dan diem-diem ketok kayu dengan gerakan ampir gak keliatan biar rekan kubikel sebelah gak liat.

Contoh lain: Kalo kamu ada di posisi yang memungkinkan kamu korupsi (baca: mengambil sedikit keuntungan dari pekerjaan kamu yang seharusnya milik perusahaan), apakah kamu akan korupsi? Hey, boleh aja menggeleng kuat-kuat sampe leher mau copot sambil nyebut berbagai nama yang manusia ciptakan untuk Tuhan, tapi coba bayangkan dulu. Gajimu cukup untuk hidup sehari-hari, secara ekonomi tidak berkekurangan, eh tau-tau ada kesempatan dapat ekstra. Anakmu pengen sekolah teknik di MIT, itu Amerika, lho. Jauh. Kamu pengen yang terbaik untuk anakmu, kan?

Di sisi lain, mengambil sedikit dari keuntungan perusahaan kayaknya harmless ah. Masa, dari pendapatan usaha yang triliunan itu enggak boleh sih ambil barang sepuluh juta aja. Toh proyeknya kemarin kita juga yang ngerjain. Eh sori, mungkin ini bukan korupsi, tapi ambil komisi dari pemberi proyek. Lha kan ini bikin sama-sama hepi: yang ngasih proyek ada yang bantu, perusahaan ada kerjaan, dapet duit, dan kita sebagai yang bantuin ngegolin proyek ya masa gak ada uang capeknya.

Terus perusahaan diaudit, terus kita ketauan ngambil komisi, dan boom, kita dicap sebagai koruptor.

Kalau udah begini, mana yang benar? Apakah jadi orang tua yang pengen anaknya dapet segala hal yang terbaik itu salah? Dan apakah jadi pekerja yang nggak nyolong tapi dikasih ‘uang ekstra’ demi ngegolin proyek ke perusahaan juga salah? Apakah sebenarnya ini hanya salah kalau kita ada di posisi penonton karena kita dipaksa media menyaksikan ini semua tanpa kecipratan seketip dua ketip pun dari semua transaksi milyaran yang terjadi?

Hayoooo… mau lihat dari sisi siapa?

Sakit perut, ya, baca pemaparan di atas? Iya, saya senang berdiskusi soal etika, moral dan lawan-lawannya, karena kalau dilihat lebih jeli lagi, sebenarnya semua hal itu relatif, lho. Si A membunuh. Apakah si A itu kriminal? Iya. Apa latar belakang yang membuat si A membunuh? Oh ternyata ortunya suka menyiksa dia saat kecil, dan ketika orang yang baru kenal dengannya itu menipu dia, A marah lalu kehilangan kendali dan terjadilah pembunuhan itu. Apakah si A salah? Tergantung dilihat dari mana. Salah karena melanggar hukum, tapi tidak salah-salah amat karena latar belakangnya ya memang nggak kondusif dan nggak bikin dia jadi manusia yang positif. Lalu apa dia perlu dihukum atau lebih perlu terapi? Kalau dihukum, apakah dia akan jera? Kalau jera, apakah selepas dihukum nanti dia mudah kembali ke masyarakat? Apakah kalo nggak diterima masyarakat nanti dia akan kembali ke violent nature-nya dan membuat kekejian yang lebih parah?

Wew. Berat amat ya pemikiran siang ini.

Manusia memang mahluk yang kompleks. Untuk itu saya selalu angkat topi (ok, mungkin bungkuk hormat aja karena kalo pake topi, pipi ini tambah keliatan tembem) sama teman-teman saya yang mempelajari ilmu psikologi. Bagaimana kalian bisa mempelajari cara berpikir orang lain, saya nggak akan pernah tau, karena saya sendiri mengalami kesulitan memahami pemikiran sendiri. Standing ovation dulu yuk buat ilmu Psikologi dan dedengkot-dedengkotnya seperti opa Freud dan lain-lain.

Satu hal yang mengganggu saya akhir-akhir ini adalah betapa banyaknya kebohongan, kepalsuan dan manipulasi yang beredar di sekitar kita, yang sebenarnya kita tau kok itu nggak bener dan nggak masuk akal… tapi kita iyain aja karena: 1. Males ribut, 2. Biar aja bukan dosa kita ini, atau 3. hah emang ada apa sih? <— biasanya yang begini idupnya lebih tenang, damai dan nggak terganggu sosial media :))

Kemudian pertanyaannya:

Apakah kita sebagai masyarakat intelek harus diem aja menghadapi hal-hal yang nggak bener karena kan katanya ‘ih gengsi, jangan turun ke level mereka dengan cari ribut.’ Atau haruskah kita mengkonfrontasi segala ketidakbenaran ini dan berjuang mati-matian macem bung Tomo, Panglima Besar Sudirman dan sebagainya di masa lalu? Atau haruskah kita diplomatis? Kalo diplomatis, klise nggak? Terus bagaimana caranya diplomatis? Atau apatis aja? Seraaahhhh media mau bilang apa… serahhhhh kenyataannya mau gimana, yang penting gue makan tiap hari, kenyang, punya rumah, anak makan, bisa sekolah.

 

Harus jadi manusia sosial atau private? Kapan harus bicara, kapan harus diam? Kapan harus bertindak, kapan harus menunggu?

 

Seperti mereka yang berkoar “Sinetron membodohi bangsa! Stop sinetron!” versus mereka yang sama jijiknya sama sinetron tapi lebih memilih untuk diem aja dan nggak ngasih anaknya nonton TV lokal. Mending mana, capek panas-panasan demo atau telepon tv kabel dari ruangan ber-AC di kantor, minta pasangin di rumah dan menyelesaikan masalah secara efektif, efisien tapi gak kedengaran sama siapa-siapa?

 

Sama seperti kejijikan masyarakat sama para koruptor, kolaborator kriminal yang digaung-gaungkan di televisi, para pengamat yang kayaknya paham banget sama masalah-masalah negara tapi sama sekali nggak tau bahwa orang-orang yang mereka hot banget omongin itu, anak cucunya santai aja di kepulauan eksotis… nggak mikir laaah lagi diomongin senegara. Kalaupun tau kabar berita, well, lebih enak nangis di jet pribadi daripada di becak, bukan? Mending mana, jadi pengamat koar-koar tanpa hasil karena tentu penyidikan korupsi mah gak sebentar yaaah… atau rame aja sendiri di grup whatsapp temen-temen sepermainan mengamati kaum super kaya ini pada liburan setiap hari di saat kita didera lembur. Terus ketawa-ketawa karena khayalan dan becandaan lebih menghibur dan gak bikin stres ketimbang marah-marah di acara talkshow TV. Nggak ada yang nonton sih kalo di grup whatsapp, tapi abis bergunjing, hati ini hepi, hubungan pertemanan pun meningkat kualitasnya, dan kita jadi tau bahwa dari sekian juta manusia di dunia ini, seenggaknya ada lah sepuluhan orang yang bener-bener care sama kita.

 

Eh, benarkah sepuluhan orang ini care semua terhadap kamu? NO. In fact, punya satu yang bener-bener peduli kita aja sukur, ya kaan? Peduli itu beda sama tau. Peduli itu: “Kamu punya masalah sama orang itu? Nih tak kirimin tukang pukul.” Tau itu: “Kamu punya masalah sama orang itu? Oo.” dan nggak lama kemudian, topik pembicaraan toh akan berganti lagi, apalagi kalo ada objek gosip baru atau ol shop baru. Nggak perlu malu, manusiawi aja kok. Paling sakit hati dikit. Dikit.

 

Kok jadi mblandrang, ya? Maaf. Kembali ke pertanyaan utama yang sejatinya membuat saya menulis lagi setelah sekian lama pura-pura nggak suka menulis.

 

Mana yang kamu dahulukan? Akal sehat, norma atau etika?
Mana yang kamu akan lakukan? Bertindak, diam demi gengsi, atau mendingan enggak tau apa-apa. Ignorance is bliss.

 

Jangan tanya ‘dalam hal apa dulu?’ karena pertanyaan saya nggak relatif, pertanyaan saya mentah.

 

Sementah perasaan saya hari ini.