Monthly Archives: August 2012

All the Sorrys

What does Eid or Lebaran mean to you?

Many will nod along the religious convention being the most anticipated day after one does fasting for a month, thus calling it a victory day. 
Some others may make use of the day to reunite with family members, especially the distant ones.
But for me, and perhaps a few others, may see the day as the time to revisit the idea of being sorry.

It began a few years ago, when my old time buddy Fay told me, “Why do we have Lebaran? It is because we need a reminder on the importance of forgiving. You know, we don’t need to wait until Lebaran to apologize for our wrongdoings or whatever mistake we make. But there’s gotta be one special day in a year when we acknowledge, and glorify a little, the necessity to say “I am sorry” for all mistakes we’ve made.

Think of it this way: you don’t need Valentine’s Day to love, or to show your affection to someone. But there is one day in a year when we are reminded the importance of love, regardless you celebrate it or not.”

The lengthy explanation sticks with me for good, and as years go by, I find it more relevant each time. ¬†Especially during the said public holiday, in which more often than we’re not, we are forced to say we are sorry to people we are not close to.

In the spirit of festivities, we relent to the habit. But the real, true “I am sorry” takes over time to finally being said with sincerity.
Thus, each celebration feels like a cumulative of all the sorrys we have gathered over days, weeks, months, and years. 

And in the spirit of putting importance to that, perhaps these are some of the confession, statement of apology, or whatever you like to call it, that I have finally realized I haven’t been able to say in person:

– Sorry for not returning your Interview With the Vampire OST cassette I once borrowed;

– Sorry for missing your transit time on your route to married life in Africa, because I overslept;

– Sorry for not being a good son with tons of skeletons in my closet that I have chosen not to open it to you, ever;

– Sorry for having doubt on your relationship, because I refuse to believe I won’t spend the rest of your life with as a friend;

– Sorry for keep forgetting the names of aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews;

– Sorry for being a distant brother who never gets to spend much time with each one of you;

– Sorry for not being able to forgive you yet, let alone forget, but acceptance is the key, right?;

– Sorry for not saying “I love you” yet;

– Sorry for saying “I love you” too soon.

Now what are your long delayed sorrys?

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Posted by on 08/20/2012 in English, Personal


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On the last day of fasting month

Jakarta, 18 Agustus 2012.

Hari ini adalah hari terakhir puasa Ramadhan 1433 Hijriah.

Sebelum tangan ini mulai membuka laptop untuk menulis blog entry ini, tiba-tiba pikiran saya melayang pada awal Ramadhan tiga tahun lalu.
Di hari pertama puasa itu, tanpa saya sadari tiba-tiba saya menangis. Bukan menangis keras dengan jeritan dan sedu sedan, tetapi menangis dengan rembesan air mata pelan-pelan mengalir di pipi tanpa saya sedari, sebelum pelan-pelan terisak lirih.
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Posted by on 08/18/2012 in Bahasa Indonesia


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Post Sunday Dinner Unexpected Talk

X: “Hey!”

Y: “Hey!”

X: “Finally! Haven’t heard from you for a long time.”

Y: “Really? It doesn’t feel that long. Besides, you haven’t really looked for me, have you?”

X: “When one had done the searching at first, then one is entitled to being … searched, or found. No?”

Y: “No, not really. One’s gotta keep looking.”

X: “Is that so? Then what if the object of search has disappeared all of a sudden without a trace?”

Y: “Then one doesn’t search hard enough.”

X: “How do you know if the effort to search is hard enough, or not?”

Y: “No, I don’t know the answer to that, really. Because to me, it doesn’t feel like you look for me or reach out to me. Why? Because I kept thinking about you. I know, it sounds weird, considering we barely meet, but it kinda feels good to think about you in the morning when I’m on my way to work, or sometimes at night when I finish my dinner. Crazy, right?”

X: “And you did not hit the reply button.”

Y: “Yeah, well, I’m sorry. I can’t justify that. Nor I can justify that so-called hard search in one email in every four days. One short email of less than fifty words! But in my defense, a weak defense, having you in mind does not make my days feel long.”

X: “I guess we keep each other in mind differently then.”

Y: “What’s the point of being the same? I don’t love myself that much. I’d rather love someone else completely different from what I am. That’s the point of falling, right?”

X: “And who’s the person then?”

Y: “Why don’t you find out? You’re on the search, aren’t you?”

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Posted by on 08/12/2012 in Blog, English, Personal


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An Adult Goes Rambling About Falling and Staying

What I don’t like being an adult or a grown-up man is the need to be safe.
Suddenly as we reach a certain number of age, we prioritize safety and security in everything at equal terms. For every saving we make in investment, insurance, foreign currencies and many other kinds, we expect the same applies to our daily diet. Everything has to be measured to exact or close to the exact designated point that we create on our own.

This leads to the subconscious effort to whatever else we do in life. We tend to avoid surprises or being surprised at, opting for planned events because we can control what we are going to get. We choose comfort food over newly arrived cuisines nobody has heard of before. We stay at familiar hotels based on reason to accumulate reward point instead of newly opened lodgings.

And little do we realize that when it comes to falling for someone new, we take different extreme measures to prevent from being hurt.
Gone are spontaneity in running against the rain and brace traffic jam to pick him or her up, or making lyrical poems and notes that prompt us to stay up all night. Instead, we take a rain check whenever rain starts falling, opting to talk on the phone, or texting. We cannot afford to stay up late, because staying up late on one night requires three night of 8-hour sleep replacement each.

What starts as a cautionary act slowly becomes a barrier. Not even an obstacle, but a fence we build to protect ourselves from experiencing high-risk joy of falling.
Even the note carries similar tune, don’t you think?

When we start falling for someone, we immediately occupy ourselves with scenarios of both possibilities: being accepted or being rejected. Unfairly we label this acceptance as happiness and rejection as, simply, unhappiness.
What we forget is that, along the way to discover the new person, we are happy to do things we don’t normally do. And that’s when the journey makes a happy chapter. Even happier than the state of being together as declared with so-called status of boyfriend or girlfriend.

When we start falling for someone new, we don’t want to fall hard. We busy maintain the flame to last as long as we’d like to keep it last, so much that we deceive ourselves in getting spontaneous, or exuding joy. We bury ourselves deep in thought of endless “what if”s. What if there’s someone else he or she is thinking of? What if all these are annoyance instead of fine reaction? What if these worries come true? What if they don’t?

There is nothing greater than staying in love, but for love to stay, we have to find and eventually fall for it first. Falling in love is the key to have love stayed. And for love to stay, God knows how many times we keep falling in and falling out, until the right one comes along, often unexpectedly.

If you have found one, consider yourself lucky. If you haven’t, consider yourself even luckier, because you have no idea how strong you are to keep believing in yourself.

Besides, I always believe that it always feels good to love first, to spare a space in heart and mind solely for one other person and no one but this special person that gets us up and about every single day, to think of nothing but giving our utmost thought effortlessly, selflessly, smoothly, and willingly, to initiate help without being asked to, to give without wanting anything in return, to wait in vain without knowing, to anxiously look forward to each and every clue and hint that brings joy, all of those without realizing that maybe, subconsciously, we don’t want anything back. When you have given your love with all your might, perhaps you don’t care about being loved in return.

What I don’t like being an adult is the lesser chances to experience what I write above.
But what I do like is that when the moment, that precious, rare one moment come, I will tend to the moment with my utmost concern. After all, it’s worth the long wait.
And thus, we are safe.


Posted by on 08/12/2012 in Blog, English