Intersection of Destiny

It was February 12th, 2009. A day before the closing event of Olimpiade V ITB. I was the head of the closing ceremony, so I had the responsibility to make sure everything is under control. The night was clear and the weather was nice. It was a little after dinner time, and I had to announce to the bands that we would have a late sound check. I was standing under the tree in the CC Basketball Court, and so were you. Atis came to me and said that she’d like to introduce me to her friends in the band, and you were one of them.

I did notice you that time – the feeling like “there’s something about this guy”. Years later, you told me that you’ve known me for awhile before that. What was that vibe the moment we shook our hands? Maybe it was something called ‘mutual attraction’.

I apologized to you and your band, I said please come again at midnight if you guys don’t mind. You simply said that your band will go out for dinner and come back again – meanwhile the liaison officer will be in contact when the stage’s ready.

I can clearly remember that I wore a red, baggy sweater and jeans but I can’t remember yours. But I can remember the exact place we first met, and the exact place we spoke to each other for the first time.

Some hours later you came again to the court, getting ready for your sound check. It was a little before midnight. I was exhausted, got scolded by other band (it was nice that you didn’t scold me), and forgot my important notebook somewhere. I remember walking out of the secretary room, and met you and your friends on the stair. I was humming something like “Halo, Mas” – can’t remember it clearly. But i am pretty sure that i smiled. You did too, and you asked, “Pusing, mbak?”

I grinned and said yes. Of course I was, the sound check was supposed to start hours ago – it was prettly late. But you did keep your cool and wait for your turn.

What I did not realize was that your friends intentionally left you behind so that you can strike some conversation with me, but I wasn’t aware of that. I was too busy thinking about something else.

Fortunately, everything went as planned on the day of the event. It was Friday night, and I observed the closing ceremony on the side of the stage. I was worried that nobody will come to watch, but I was so surprised that a lot of your friends came to see your performance (I know a lot of people from your faculty, I wonder why I never know you before?) So you must be pretty well known around your friends, I guess?

Other people came too, and they full-filled the court. I was so happy, I didn’t expect this event would have so many spectators. The guys from publication team has done their job well.

You were the third band to perform. And you wore batik on stage. Hahaha. I wondered what kind of music you sing.

And then I heard the song.

They told him don’t you ever come around here

Don’t want to see your face, you better disappear

The fire’s in their eyes and their words are really clear

So beat it, just beat it
You better run, you better do what you can

Don’t want to see no blood, don’t be a macho man

You want to be tough, better do what you can

So beat it, but you want to be bad
Just beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it

No one wants to be defeated

Showin’ how funky and strong is your fight

It doesn’t matter who’s wrong or right

Just beat it, beat it

Years later I knew that you’re an avid fan of Michael Jackson – that when you were little you’d jump and dance to his song with “good morning” towel in your neck haha. Also the fact that you did forget some of the lyrics that night.

But I did not notice that that night. I was stunned with your voice, so I spoke to your manager who stood beside me, “Mas, vokalisnya suaranya bagus banget ya?”

Ucup, your manager, just grinned proudly.

We didn’t talk when you’re off stage. I was busy, of course. The event was successful, and some days after that, you sent me a friend request on facebook.

I saw your picture. The guy with super huge curly hair and batik on stage. Oh, this guy. I accepted, of course it was nice to have more friends from across the college.

Months later Atis told me that you did asked Atis about me, but I was seeing someone else. Nothing happened some month after the day we first met.

Until one day, a conversation happened between us.

You said something like, “Halo mbak, apa kabar? Masih inget saya?”

You still used that picture, so I remembered. I replied something like, “Temennya Atis kan? Yang kemarin di closing? Panggilannya siapa ya, maaf lupa…

And then the conversation continued.

Off course you did strike a conversation. Years later I found out that Atis leaked to you the news that I broke up. And you just didn’t want to miss a chance.

The conversation escalated quickly. We regularly chatted on SMS and Yahoo Messenger (have a guess about how old we are? Hahaha). But the last time we met face to face was on February, I started to forget about how you look, so I did think I need to put a face on your name (1)

I did asked about you to your friends, “what do you think of this guy? What’s he like?” But most of the answer I got was, “Oh, him? He’s in the band.” That’s all. I started to question whether you’re on the league of good guys or bad guys.

It was your 20th birthday – seen that on facebook. I saw you leading a meeting with your student organization in Campus Center – so you were a legislative member.. I always fall for smart, leadery type of guy, and I think you have the plus point for that.

The meeting’s on break. You saw me and walked to my direction. You said hi. I said hi too. We did talk. I said happy birthday to you in the most casual voice I could manage – although that moment, it was far from casual. We did talked about some small things, but not long. There’s plenty of days, months, or even years to talk with you later (2). I realized that all of your friends’ eyes were on us, and it was pretty clear to the world that we were attracted to each other.

Eight years later.

I opened my eyes. Adzan started to echo in the dark, it’s shubuh already. I saw a little girl still asleep soundly beside me. Our daughter. Our son slept soundly in the other room.

I shook your shoulder softly, said to you that it’s prayer time. You woke up, walked slowly to the bathroom to get your wudhu. Then you wore gamis and got yourself ready for the shubuh prayer in masjid.

You’re not the band member anymore – I realized that your voice sounds far better echoing adzan or reciting qur’an. We don’t quite into music anymore. Things change in our life, mostly from the moment you said the pact about taking me as your wife.

As one of the perks of our marriage, I think your soul look finer each day from the moment we first met.



(1) Disadur dari novel “Critical Eleven” karya Ika Natassa

(2) Disadur dari novel “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows” karya JK Rowling.



Apa yang kamu khawatirkan, manusia? Khawatirlah pada dirimu sendiri

Khawatirlah pada sifat syaithonniyah yang masih tak terbelenggu oleh cadar dan gamismu,

Khawatirlah pada dengki yang melintas pada lirikan matamu

Ujianmu, manusia, apa kau pikir kau bisa berbual bahwa kau telah beriman tanpa diuji?

Apakah Saya Menyebalkan?

Tentu saja saya menyebalkan. Sepertinya saya bahkan tidak mau berteman dengan orang seperti saya.

Dan pasti akan selalu menyebalkan, karena tidak mungkin dong menyenangkan semua orang.

Mungkin yang tidak menganggap saya menyebalkan hanya Allah, karena sifat rahman & rahim-Nya, dan betapapun menyebalkannya saya, kehidupan saya bagi-Nya mungkin hanya seuprit mikrometer tinta yang sudah mengering di lauh mahfuz.

Kuliner Kenangan

Pernahkah kita pergi ke suatu tempat wisata kuliner yang sedang hits dan kemudian merasa “Paan nih! Biasa aja ah!” ?

Saya sering 😂

Pernah makan soto kudus di Kudus langsung, ampun gusti kuahnya tawar banget masih enakan juga soto kudus blok M yang gerainya ada di tebet 😛 Bahkan almarhum mertua yang die hard fans soto kudus juga kecewa waktu itu, katanya nggak seenak biasanya kalau pergi ke sana.

Kue Bandung sesuatu yang antriannya konon luar biasa itu, akhirnya saya mencoba (itupun karena dibeliin), rasanya? Kemanisan, giung, suami yg makan juga cuma komentar “dasar manusia”, sambil geleng-geleng kepala.

Out of curiosity pernah juga nyobain suatu fine dining high end di sebuah gedung high rise ternama di Jakarta, dan yang ada malah mules karena nggak tenang mikirin harganya. Honestly untuk rasa… Come on, untuk harga segitu awas aja lo kalo nggak enak. Jadi ya harus enak 😂 

Kalau selama di kota-kota yang pernah saya kunjungi di Indonesia, seringkali pengalaman mengantri untuk mencoba suatu kuliner yang sedang naik daun berakhir tidak terlalu menyenangkan… Karena sebenarnya rasanya biasa aja 🙂 Mungkin jadi enak karena ditambah bumbu antrinya itu… Hahaha.

Pada akhirnya, saya berpikir pengalaman berkuliner istimewa itu seringkali bukan karena “makan apa”, tapi “makan dengan siapa”dan seluruh memori yang menyertainya. Itulah mengapa lumpia basah dan susu murni jalan ganesa rasanya kayak yang enak banget, sementara bagi non kampus gajaher mungkin lumpia basah ya hanya sekedar lumpia basah 🙂

Itu juga mengapa saya sering kangen dengan makanan gelap nyawang yanh sudah tenar dengan ketidakhigienisannya, mungkin chance untuk kena sakit tipes cukup masuk akal demi sebuah memori 😂

Kalau di Bandung, tempat makan favorit saya dan suami adalah ayam bakar ********* di dekat Unpar. Di tahun-tahun terakhir kami kuliah, kami sering banget makan di sini. Sate kulitnya enak tapi gak sehat, haha. Bahkan suami bisa memesan suatu olahan bakwan yang bahkan ga ada di menu :p

Kalau saya bilang ayam bakar itu adalah tempat makan paling enak sebandung, mungkin banyak yang nggak bersepakat – itu hanya suatu tempat makan loksem dengan beberapa meja lesehan, tapi yang membuat lezatnya makan di sana adalah kenangan saya dan suami saya di sana. Mulai dari zaman sekolah, menikah, beranak satu, beranak dua, kami selalu menyempatkan diri untuk makan di sana. Lucu juga melihat kami dengan dua anak bersanding dengan mahasiswa-mahasiswa gondrong yang sedang asik ngobrol tentang kegiatan kampusnya 😂

Juga indomie pak kandar di gedung arsitektur, masih banyak warung indomie di dunia ini yang mungkin jauh lebih enak dan sophisticated daripada buatan pak kandar, tapi hanya indomie pak kandarlah yang setia menemani kami melalui setiap rapat himpunan.

Nasi uduk kebon kacang zainal fanani, saya nggak tau apa iya ini nasi uduk paling enak di Jakarta, tapi saya hanya tahu bahwa almarhumah nenek saya tiap ke jakarta maunya makan nasi uduk ini saja. Kue ranginya juga enak – satu dari sangat sedikit tempat di mana kita masih bisa menemukan kue rangi.

Perihal kuliner.. Sebenarnya masalah rasa bisa direkayasa, tapi kenangan yang menyertainya adalah bumbu yang membuatnya lezat tak terkira.

Sepenggal Masa Lalu

Terlepas dari bahagia atau tidaknya masa kecil saya, mungkin saya akan tetap berpikir bahwa saya adalah anak yang beruntung – Saya adalah satu dari sedikit anak kota yang dibesarkan bersisian dengan alam.

Pulau Seribu. Di era 90-an, resort dan golf di sebuah pulau di sana sedang jaya-jayanya, dan kedua orangtua saya bekerja sebagai dokter di sana (mama saya bahkan pernah naik private jet nebeng salah satu wisman 😄). Masa kecil saya sangat akrab dengan kapal, angin laut, dan pasir. Saya ingat dalam perjalanan panjang dari marina ke pulau Bira, saya versi kecil selalu duduk di geladak kapal sembari mengayun-ayunkan kaki saya bergelantungan, dan tidak ada yang melarang – papa adalah tipe orangtua yang ‘tega’ dan cenderung membiarkan saya merentangkan batas keberanian saya. Tak lama setelah itu biasanya saya akan menyelinap ke ruang nahkoda dan tertidur pulas dengan tiupan semilir angin laut yang membuat rambut lengket saat sampai ke tujuan. Setelah kapal merapat, terkadang papa membiarkan saya memanjat dermaga (yeah, saya nggak turun di tempat yang ada tangganya – toh kalau jatuh ke laut tinggal berenang ke pantai, dekat ini :p). Dalam satu kesempatan saya ingat papa pernah melempar saya ke kolam renang… Hahahaha…

Di tengah kesibukan kedua orang tua saya, biasanya saya bisa ditemukan sedang sendirian di tepi pantai, bermain dengan batok kelapa yang ceritanya adalah rumah untuk para semut. Terkadang saya minta selembar roti ke dapur resort dan memberi makan ikan-ikan di dermaga.

Sendirian… Nggak takut hilang? Entahlah, mungkin karena pulau itu luasnya cuma sepetak jadi tidak ada yang terlalu khawatir juga saya akan hilang.

Saat saya kecil di Bogor juga saya sering ke suatu tempat bernama Gunung Mas. Saya ingat ada lapangan rumput luas, dan di sana saya bermain layangan. Beneran, saya bisa main layangan. Lalu setelah bosan saya akan mencelupkan air di sungai kecil yang dingin, lalu berusaha mendaki bukit sejauh yang saya bisa, dan kemudian turun lagi.

Mungkin itu sebabnya motorik kasar saya sangat terasah. Di sekolah, saya selalu bagus dalam pelajaran olahraga (sampai saya kuliah dan tiba-tiba jadi malas olahraga.. hahaha). 

Kalau dipikir-pikir, melihat anak-anak saya dibesarkan di lingkungan sekarang, semua itu menjadi kemewahan yang mahal. Memori saya tentang mall sangat sedikit. Sementara anak-anak saya kok rasanya terlalu sering ya diajak ngemall… Ah, semoga keluarga kami selalu dimudahkan untuk hidup bersisian dengan alam.


Hello, there, there, I’m calling out

I know You’re there, there, but your voice’s without

Overswept by the noise I made, I let them in

Hello, there, there, but I know You can hear me

Should’ve shut it out,

All the noise that I am better without

Hello there, can we talk?

I turning off the noise.

I’m running back to You,

Digging my head deep in the silence of the night

Hello there, something’s wrong with my heart

Is it the noise, or is it just me?