Category Archives: Personal

Note on a Thursday Afternoon

One of the great unfortunate elements of falling in love is that you don’t remember the exact moment.

You don’t remember the specific time.
You forget the precise dotted point on the clock when you start falling.

By any means, it is perfectly fine.

We are swept by the excitement of having someone new in life.
We are thrilled by continuous discoveries we unearth of each other everyday.
We are overjoyed by the sheer sensation of living on clouds number nine.

But then the law of gravity plays its part.

For everything that is put up above, eventually it will come down.
For every moment of falling in love, it will soon be followed by falling out.

We are busy questioning everything, not enough with just accepting.
We are keen on interrogating and investigating, not enough with just asking and believing.
We are dwelling on anger, bitterness, confusion and disappointment. The ABCD of emotional fallout.

We forget that once, we were alive.
We forget that once, we were happy.
We forget that once, we were in love.

Thus, if you ask me when was the last time I fell in love, I can only meet your eyes and say, “I don’t remember”.
But ask me if I ever want to love again, and I let my smile say, “always”.


Posted by on 08/06/2015 in English, Personal


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Day 19

“What’s together like?”
“You and me, right now.”

“What’s happiness like?”
“You and me, right now.”

“What’s forever like?”
“You and me, later.”

“What’s ours like?”
You smile.

What’s love like?
You and me, no longer.

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Posted by on 07/25/2015 in English, Personal


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Forgiveness in a Day

It does not take Eid to forgive. That is true.

Forgiveness, after carefully processed time and self acceptance, shall be done at any given moment. When one is ready, one shall forgive.

But just like any other big days covered in celebration, we need to glorify the importance of one thing that makes us celebrate the coveted day. Today, that thing is forgiveness. Eid is one day that serves as a reminder, that no matter how hard it is, forgiveness prevails. Forgiveness takes time. Forgiveness needs our great willingness to do. Forgiveness shows us who we really are.

Forgiveness should come from the heart.

And when all is done, all is forgiven.

Forgiveness (Courtesy of Huffington Post)

Forgiveness (Courtesy of Huffington Post)

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Posted by on 07/17/2015 in English, Personal


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Another Birthday Note

I don’t think I have ever been comfortable with myself. Has anyone ever?

Years ago, that actually seems like centuries ago, I was bullied by many as I was obese. Gradually I lost weight, and I lost more weight to the point of being accused of anorexic. I loved food, and still do, too much to throw away, let alone after eating. Then I gained a few kilos, people started saying that I looked fine, not fat nor thin, and it made me feel good. Gotta be honest about this.

Then I worked hard to maintain the seemingly proper weight. It was not easy. My weight kept fluctuating. I could go from looking plump to looking thin within a relatively short period of time. I tried applying a particular mantra “the thinner, the better”, but where did it get me? Nowhere. The body kept moving across like average stock index at any given month. I began losing track when I actually felt good about myself.

And how we concern about our physical attributes always affects how we think and perceive ourselves.

On top of that, a certain past relationship kept me wondering why I bothered to stay while the other party often made inappropriate comments about how I looked like. Of course, at that time, the comments passed of as jokes, albeit unfunny ones if I look back at it now.

Taking comments from other people about our physical appearances can take a toll on our mentality. We’re afraid to try new clothes. We keep getting obsessed with being perceived as “good” by others. We’re scared to eat. We think ourselves as unworthy.

All those sad notes, while we still have to make a living. We are stressed out. We are often feeling guilty over nothing.

Then suddenly, it all stops.

At least for me, the worrying stops.

It takes a while before I could just smile when someone greeted me with, “Do you gain weight?”, and still silently judge the other’s communication skill as other kind of greeting can easily be used. It is not easy at first. I take it personally, very personally, and you should, too. It is easy being superior over others albeit for a few minutes. But the effect on the other party? We always have no idea.

We have no idea, too, when we already lose weight, we still want more. We are still not satisfied. Once the flabby tummy’s gone, the wrinkles are still there. More people call us “sir” now than two years ago. Grey hairs are impossible to hide.

We are never satisfied.

I am never satisfied.

But I can accept.

Gone is the time of submitting photos 10 years ago in dating sites or for official purpose. Gone is the habit of reducing age as we press buttons on treadmill.

Time has never been kind to anyone. But if we are kind enough to ourselves, we get through time in a much more relaxing manner.

I still take way less selfie than anyone. Probably I only take selfie, and still not alone, once every 4 months. I still cringe when I see myself in work photos or videos.

But do I spend or waste my time dwelling on that? Hardly. Not anymore. For there are books to read, films
to watch, places to go, and sports as simple as running to do, we shall turn our utmost attention to those kinds of activities. They make us feel good. They make us feel smart. They make us feel that no time is wasted.

They enrich our lives.

And after some 600 words we read together, I still don’t think I have ever been comfortable with myself.

But I can accept, and live.

Have you?

Feel good (from

Feel good (from


Posted by on 04/11/2015 in English, Personal


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Maybe, Just Maybe.

Maybe, Just Maybe.

Maybe, just maybe.

We never know the answers to the unresolved problems and the unspoken questions.

We never hear sweet words once spoken in soft and tenderness.

We never understand why people do what they do, and we act how we react.

Maybe, just maybe.

There will never be love like what it was.

There will never be life like what was once led.

There will never be lust anymore.

Maybe, just maybe.

Forgiveness remains unspoken.

Feeling remains unshared.

Friendship remains undone.

Fiendship remains unbroken.

Maybe, just maybe.

For once,

Enough is enough.

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Posted by on 04/04/2015 in Blog, English, Personal



The Heart Wants …

“the heart wants what it wants”.

Or maybe:

“the heart tricks you into thinking and believing that the one you want is something, or someone else besides what you already have, or what is readily available for you. but you choose, you want to succumb to the desire for the sake of pleasure that is actually equal to defying logic your mind has already said to you, over and over again. that forsaken joy brings you no security, no roof above your head, and yet you are prone to falling for it anyway, because it is addictive, it makes you feel alive, it makes you excited, it makes you going head over heels, but more often than not, it can easily break you, hurt you, and leave you deserted, with your heart broken into pieces. That is what the heart wants. That is what you get to follow your heart in its full glory and all these … fabricated happiness.”


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Posted by on 02/01/2015 in Personal


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God Only Knows

Do you know how the first part of the song goes?

“I may not always love you / but as long as there are stars above you / you never need to doubt it / I’ll make you so sure about it …”

That one famous song.
This version of that song that actually I played last night.

Do you know that the song played exactly as we had the following conversation?

“Hey, you there? / Yeap. / Don’t fall asleep yet. Even if we’re not talking, I still want to think that you’re there. / I’m here.”

So. Yeah.

God knows when a Christmas miracle should happen.


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Posted by on 12/27/2014 in English, Personal


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Awal Mula, Akhirul Kalam

… bukankah pada akhirnya, bahagia yang tak terbatas adalah rasa bahagia melihat orang lain bahagia, meski kita merana?

… bukankah cinta yang tak tertuturkan dalam lisan jauh lebih mengendap dalam pikiran dan perasaan?

… bukankah tindakan yang berlebih hanya akan membuat kita menjejak di ruang semu angkasa?

… bukankah nalar yang tak terasah menuntun kita pada angan tanpa landasan?

… bukankah hati selalu terdiam saat bersirobok dengan orang yang tepat?

… bukankah kisah hidup selalu dimulai dengan tangisan yang berbalut tawa, meskipun diakhiri dengan senyum bijak yang bermakna?

… bukankah waktu pasti membiarkan dan membiasakan kita bertahan hidup?

… bukankah lamunan pasti akan terusik sebelum jatuh menjadi buaian?

… bukankah kita selalu mencari alasan agar berhenti menggunakan akal pikiran?

… bukankah pada awalnya, kita hanya ingin merasa bahagia, apapun itu resikonya?


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What a Saturday Morning Thinks of

“I want to grow old with you. I do. I don’t know if I love you, not sure if that’s what drives me to say this right now. But I want to … Feel. I want to feel that it’s natural to wake up with you in the morning. To just say “morning” with sincerity. With strong willingness, purely comes from the heart, and not anything else. To just smile when saying that, before the smile disappears into panic as I realize, I have not made you breakfast and coffee yet. To hurriedly leaving for work on weekdays to beat the traffic jam, before thinking of nothing but just cuddling on Saturday morning. Together. Yes, not alone, but two of us. Not you, not me, but this … Union. Made out of respect. Created by my impossibly needy desire to take care of you. To drive you to doctor. To exercise to beat the odds together. To remind you to quit smoking by keeping ashtray ready by your side. To make sure we save our money before we go out. To be honest about our financial status. To nudge when one of us falls asleep in cinema. To offer our shoulder and a kiss when one of us falls asleep on couch while watching TV. Because after all those failed relationships in the past, it seems like you are this … comfort blanket to me. All those years talking my failed relationships to you, and hearing all your failed relationships you told me, you have become my old, well-worn, comfortable pair of shoes to me. I know you. So, allow me. Choose me. Stay with me. Because all I have is the rest of this lifetime. Until the end. With you.”

“What do you want me to say?”

“That there is nothing but us for the rest of your life.”


Posted by on 11/08/2014 in English, Personal



A Probability

Maybe we are never really able to forgive and forget.
Maybe we are made to survive, regardless the said disability.
Maybe time never heals.
Maybe time only makes us used to living with pain and scars.
Maybe time never forgives and forgets.
Maybe time does not allow us to.

Maybe, life just goes on.


Posted by on 10/20/2014 in Personal


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I Love You

Whenever we talk about love, we often talk about it in the context of romantic relationship between two people.
Books are written based on it.
Films rely on it.
Songs are made out of it.
We spend our lifetime marveling it.

What is less celebrated or glorified is the other kind of unsung love between people, often sans romance.

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Posted by on 09/07/2014 in Blog, English, Personal


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Memaafkan Diri Sendiri

Setiap tanggal 1 Ramadhan dan 1 Syawal, ada pertanyaan yang selalu mengusik saya: apakah kita sudah memaafkan diri sendiri, sebelum memaafkan orang lain?

Apakah setiap ucapan “maaf lahir batin” yang kita ucapkan ke orang lain adalah pernyataan maaf yang tulus keluar dari hati, dan bukan sekedar basa-basi?
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The Night Before the Vote

I am writing this some time before 12 hours we, Indonesians, will get to see whoever will lead us as a nation in the next 5 years.
The choice could not be more in contrast of one another: one evokes fear, the other inspires hope.

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Posted by on 07/08/2014 in Blog, English, Personal


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It Takes Big Heart and Greater Mind to Be on Social Media

Have we got what it takes to stay (and survive) in social media?

I asked the question myself recently. Such a seemingly simple question turns out difficult to answer. It is even more difficult when matters of heart are involved in attempting to answer the question.

Let me share my experience with you.

I started this year with several personal downside events, one of those was a very messy breakup. The first thing to do was to disconnect myself with the other party, meaning Twitter block, Line block, WhatsApp block, but remained “friends” on Path at the time. If you are not familiar with those names of applications, consider yourself lucky.
However, having still been connected in a social-media application where people tend to be more freely throwing their opinions, expressing their thoughts and preferences, it began to sink on me the danger of having a lack of clear mind while participating in social media. I often lamented my mellow state of mind through song I posted, through long-winded status I wrote, while the other party seemed unfazed in seeing my posts. I began to think, did I really write the posts from the heart, or simply to attract attention?
Then, as the other party starts a new relationship already, people start commenting on them and whatever they share in common together.
For weeks, I’ve gone berserk, crazy, mad. Finally, we unshared each other.

Talked to a very few friends about what I felt, and one of them offered this blatantly truthful comment: “It is even hard these days to break up and be connected in social media. People in social media take sides. Friends take side in social media. Unfortunately, sometimes what people choose to side, they may not be in your favor.”

He further told me that it’s best to step back, while digesting slowly the bullet I had dodged while dealing with hard-hitting facts.
I translated stepping back as quitting, thus I took a sabbatical leave from Path, despite already having unshared one another. I thought, while not being a “friend”, but we still have friends in common, and we might “see” each other when we posted comment in these common friends’ posts.

I took the leave for slightly more than a month, on which by the 3rd week, I began receiving texts, like:
– “Hey, where have you been? Haven’t seen you on Path recently!”
– “Are you okay? You haven’t posted anything on Path!”
– “We miss you on Path! How are you?”

Come to think of it, this is funny. You have been away from social media, and people presume that you’ve vanished completely from life.
Quite the opposite, I managed to have lunch with few friends, went out to dinner, caught up with latest events and films in town, all through simple personal chat or texts.

There is no so-called moral of the story to the lengthy post, as I was just rambling my share with you. Sometimes it’s best to disconnect for a while. Yes, social media allows us to get the latest news very fast, to be updated with the latest happenings. But stepping back and smelling the real air outside allows us to greater thinking.
Sometimes, to stay sane in social media, one needs to be away from it for a while.

I have returned to Path for a few days now. Talk about sensory overload on the first attempt.
I still “encounter” my ex on friends’ comments, yet I made no move about it at all. Just let it be.
The recovery is not completed yet at the time of writing, as it takes God knows how long it will be.
But I do know that it is important to stay afloat surviving in this game of social media, and be firm as well as be responsible with things that you share there, because you have no idea if they will work for or work against you.

And that requires a big heart and greater mind to do.

I haven’t gotten it, but I’m working on it.

We’ll see.


Posted by on 06/01/2014 in Blog, English, Personal


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A Talk About Love

A Talk About Love

“I’m falling in love. It’s nothing new.”

“It is new! Every time you fall in love, it’s always a new experience. Nothing, none of your previous relationships are alike. Well … The objects may be similar, like they are all … what, tall, smart, and beautiful?”


“Who’s the lucky one?”

“Someone I met a few months ago, actually, when I was on a business trip. Nothing happened. We had a business meeting, had a group lunch, and that’s it. Then a few weeks after that, we met again, online, followed each other.”


“We met up for lunch. We talked. We met again. We laughed.”

“Laugh? Wow.”

“Yeah. It’s okay to laugh, right?”

“Okay? Beat me! Anyone who can make us laugh on dates, boy, that’s a keeper!”

“Exactly! I mean, you know what I do for living …”

“Tell me about it! Putting on mask of anyone but yourself, fake smile, be charming and charismatic till you sweat …”

“You make me look bad!”

“Hahaha. I am your best friend, and what am I but only being honest with you? But what I’m trying to say is, it’s good to be with someone who can make you be who you really are. You know what I’m saying? Imagine how tiring it must be if you have to charm the other person, one person, sitting right in front of you, for hours. You’re not selling insurance for God’s sake …”

“… but I’m talking into building the future together. Just the two of us.”

“You’re … what?”

“Like what you said, anyone who can make you laugh and feel good about yourself is a keeper.”

“Isn’t this too soon? Are you running out of time?”

“When you know you have found the one, you just know. Can I put the feeling in words? No. Can I feel it? Yes.”


“What did you wear on that second lunch?”

“My loose white T-shirt that you hate, with bermuda and slippers. Hahaha!”

“And look at that! Mr. Dress-to-Impress actually dressed down to … Express himself?”

“It was a Sunday, we had no plan to meet, I was doing a marathon, urm, I mean, watching Friends …”

“Ah! I knew it! Which season?”

“Guess this: The One Where Everyone Finds Out.”

“Season 5! The best! Ok, then?”

“Then came a message alert on Path …”

“You shared Path already?”

“When you know, you know.”

“Okay. Then?”

“Then we asked each other what to eat, only to realize we hadn’t eaten, then we met up for lunch. That’s all.”

“Was it a success? The lunch? With the dress down part?”

“You heard me. We laughed.”

“I see.”


“My turn. What’s new with you?”

“I’m falling out of love.”

“Oh? Oh, no.”

“It’s nothing new.”

“How come?”

“You fall in love, you fall out of love. When you run out steam, you stop moving. We hardly laugh, let alone love. We make love, but it was never with love.”


“It didn’t hurt, actually, this break-up. Or maybe it did, but I didn’t realize. Keeping myself busy, I guess that’s why it didn’t feel bad. Or maybe it was the full cycle like what people say.”


“All’s well ends well. I started the relationship with smile. Somehow, I force myself to smile when it ended. Crazy, but I did.
I’m falling out of love. It’s nothing new.”

“It is new! Every time you fall out love, you will always find a new side of you buried throughout the course of relationship. Nothing, none of your previous break-ups are alike.”

(Deep sigh)

“Love. You step into a new, unfamiliar territory, only to come out of it as a brand new person.”


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Posted by on 05/29/2014 in Blog, English, Personal


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