Yang pergi ke Pusara

Perlu beberapa menit sampai aku benar-benar paham akan maksud pesan singkat itu. Dua baris kalimat yang berjarak satu enter.

Ketika aku paham maksudnya beberapa detik kemudian, seakan-akan langit menjadi gelap. Mungkin seperti itulah rasanya duka.

Kesedihan yang paling sedih adalah saat seseorang bersedih tapi kamu tidak dapat berbuat apa-apa. Atau, lebih-lebih, kamu hilang dalam pemikiranmu. Berusaha mencari kata-kata yang tak ada. Di saat seperti ini, kamu merasa kesal karena seakan semua kata tidaklah cukup baik dan sopan untuk mengutarakan perasaan.

Tepat pada waktu seperti ini, aku seperti titik netral. Mati rasa. Hanya saja di saat seperti inilah aku merasa bahwa eksistensi seorang manusia lain adalah satu-satunya penenang. Sebuah usaha untuk sejenak lena dari duka. Hanya itulah yang ingin aku sampaikan, bahwa wahai teman di tempat yang jauh disana, aku menjamin sebuah ruang yang buka 24 jam dari 24 jam yang ada. Sebuah ruang yang kau bisa datangi kapan saja.

Aku paham bahwa kata-kata tidak cukup luas untuk mengerti makna bahwa seseorang tak pernah kembali dari pusara.

Bahasa yang paling baik untuk memahfumkannya adalah ruang sunyi tak bersuara.

Sebaik-baik cara agar duka dapat dipahami oleh raga, ialah memejam dalam diam.


Untuk Girish, yang kudoakan setegar karang untuk melewati kepergian sang amma.


The quarter life crisis : “All the Fuss about Turning Single to Double”

It begins with the question that is persistently asked to us, the quarter-aged human being, by family, friends, and relatives in many gathering occasions,” So, when are you getting married?”.

This question makes me feel uneasy, not only it is because of unnecessary excessive curiosity  of the person who asked, but also because I feel that I need quite a lot of time to explain the answer. It won’t be just the simple answer of the time, but it will be a well-defined one as a result of a deep contemplation, which will take maybe at least half an hour discussion to explain. I really doubt that people who dare to ask the question will spare their time to sit and listen.

But, today I guess I am open enough to share my answer. The question begins with” when are you getting married?” My answer will be when I am ready. Then, another question which will definitely follow is, “When will you ready?”  I will answer with “when I find a person with qualities that match with my qualities.”

So here it comes the big discussion. I personally think that  a life-time decision, such as marriage, worth a careful thought before it is decided. It is a big misconception to think that marriage is a finish line or a goal after series or years of dating. The misconception is there because a lot of examples of dating which ends up in marriage is everywhere around us. And it is a pity if we don’t know why it is completely different thing. Dating itself is just a process of two people getting to know each other qualities and values. Marriage is a decision when both parties are match with their qualities and ready to reunite their values to the next level. It is a big disaster if the people who date don’t know what is the purpose of it. They may spend a lot of time together without digging and finding out what information they are actually looking for. Dating is not only a series of fun time and making memories. These days, dating is not the only way to get the information about the potential partner. There are a lot of much more efficient process, time-wise, such as simply by having a straightforward-mature talk.

The first step to get married is to find a partner. And before starting the search, it is important to know what you are looking for. It applies to both, single and people with couple as well. If you are single you better begin with listing what are the qualities you seek in a person. Think deeper. Don’t just make a list of adjectives. You should ask why you want certain qualities and start prioritize them. A person can’t have it all.

Define the most important qualities of a person you want to live with. This is a long and quite confusing step I presume, since in this part of thinking, you want to relate it with your qualities and values as well, further with your life goals. Be critical of what you want to have in a partner, what you want to do in life, and what you want to achieve together. It will be a tough and dizzying journey to think about it all, be patient. It will take sometime. At the end, you will know yourself more and have a big clearer picture of your upcoming journey. Here is one example. If patient, kind, and responsible are in your list, it means you are not thinking deep enough. Basically a lot of people will have those general qualities.

To help you being critical on the qualities you want, start think of an example of a difficult or challenging situation in your life or things that important to you, and imagine how your future partner will handle it. One little example, if family is important to you, imagine that you and your partner sitting in a big family gathering discussing a family matter. Start imagining what you expect him to do in that situation. Or another great example is if you are a high-achiever alpha-female, begin to think what  response do you expect from your partner when you are proposing to continue your study to Phd?

To those who have partner already, don’t ever think that those things can only be applied to the single. You may think it is too late to think about all of that since you are now already had a partner to marry soon. You still can do all the thinking game, and evaluate your partner. Is he or she actually the one you are looking for? Whats lacking in them, and is that okay or not? Can you change it or compromise with it? It is better to be done before it is too late. A marriage is sacred and it is not a toy to play with. Once you make the decision, you can’t just back off like you are ending up a relationship. That is just inappropriate.

It may sounds like I am being too logical here. Talking about it like a strategy. However, it is undeniably true that I left out the feeling part in the earlier discussion. I really agree that this won’t work without involving the feeling as well. The chemistry, the spark. Sometimes, you see example that people have found what they are looking in someone but not ending up together,just because there is no spark between them. This is the external factor I can not explain, but it has to be incorporated with. Finding a right partner is an art to combine it together, the feeling and the logic. You agree with me now that marriage is not a simple thing to do, don’t you?

Another thing to solve is the decision to be married itself. Let’s say that you have a potential partner already. The decision making process can be very intriguing and complex. Start asking if you want it or not, and why do you want it? Many factors can affect the decision process. Dan Ariely in one of his TedTalks session titled “Are we in control of our decision?” stated that a different decision can be made when we take out the least appealing option. For example, if you are having three options:  being single, being in a relationship, and being unhappily married. It will be obvious that the last option will be least chosen. But, if we take out the last option, and now you just have two option of being single or being in a relationship, the confusion will be there. Maybe for some they will prefer to stay single, maybe for some they want to be in relationship, maybe for some they don’t know what they want. The decision will also change if the options are modified to being happy single and being married. What will you choose? Maybe you will ask first, how happy is it to be single, and how happy is the marriage. You will need to start to ask yourself why do I want to be single or why do I want to be married during the decision making process.

Prof. Daniel Kanheman stated that decision-making is also situation-driven process. On his mind-opener lecture in Harvard Main Brain Behavior about  decision making and rationality, he said that the people tend to change their action under different situation or circumstances. Really relate-able to point out an example on decision making process about marry or not to marry. When your social circle and friends are mostly married and having a baby already, you have to urge to marry as well. You will tend to think that marriage is a good idea because everyone is having it. It is a completely natural response, but it is dangerous if the person don’t really evaluate about what he/she really want as well. The decision not to marry or postpone a marriage will also there if you are in a high-achiever-career oriented-single group of people. Once again, situation really influence the decision. Under different circumstances,it is always important to ask yourself what do you want and how you want it. Don’t let yourself trapped in the ‘Neighbor’s grass is greener-syndrome’. It is okay to have different life choice, or it is okay to have the choice which everyone in your circle has as long as you are fully aware of it.

So, these all are my thought to address the quarter life crisis of when to marry. So, next time people ask me when will I be married, I will send this blog post link. Haha. Maybe you find it useful, or to the extreme opposite, you find me boring for thinking too much. Anything is fine. I hope you are all living your choice, whatever that is, happily. Having no regrets, live your only chance of life to the fullest!






After a while.
A shore is now seen.
The boat is about to let the anchor down. Heavy.
Will one be ready to get over seasick? Or is it the smell of grass and land which make one overwhelmed?
A change is need to be made.
Let the wander begin. Once again. In a new land.

#poetic #throwbacktime #ayearago #scheveningenbeachcoast

View on Path

Young and being a mom

Recently, I often stumbled upon my friend’s post in social media about their new experience in their early marriage stage or their exciting-yet-scary-yet-still-so-fun motherhood experience. I am so happy for you girls, I hope you and your little family are blessed in every way.

I guess in this middle twenty age are the age of being settled. I personally agree with that, since in this age, we are mature enough, either financially or emotionally to take a greater responsibility to share life with another human being, and even raise one when the time comes.

But, as always, my wild mind asks questions. I just had a thought. Particularly about early marriage. I just want to know, how does it feel to experience all of that in such a really young age? What I mean by young age is like in the early 20, maybe in your late teenager time ( not the twenty something age when you at least got your bachelor degree). Because I know several people are so brave to start a marriage and motherhood life just after their high school time ended. Willingly or unwillingly. With a full consent or by accident.

I am curious on how does it really feel.

Is it overwhelming? Do you feel is it the right decision or the other way around?

Does it feel like your world is stopped while other’s is moving fast?

Does it hard to juggle the school time with family time?

Do you miss having the freedom to hang out with your female friends?

Do you feel judged?

How do you cope with all of that and still hanging on there being the best daughter to your parent, wife to your husband, and mom to your kid?

How about your dreams?

Aren’t you envy with your friends that do this and that, working and studying to be a career woman?

Aren’t you worried that you may gave up many things that you can do in these age and won’t get it back?

Ultimately, are you feeling fine?

I am so sorry if my questions offends you. Make you feel judged. I am not. I am just purely curious. All this time I guess I am being to cynical towards early marriage. It is just because I don’t agree with it makes my mind is close-minded about it.

I know now, that you girls are really brave. Really, I mean seriously. I think I couldn’t do it if it was me. I am too selfish of giving up my early adulthood time in exchange with all the responsibility. You girls rocks! Hats off!

You girls gave me such an insight that being fully woman can start in any age. Even the start was tough, bumpy, or even include many things to sacrifice, it will be always worth it at the end. I hope that you can be a good and responsible mom to your children, because you know, they depends on you. You let them come to the world because of you, and you are the light to guide them here. I have a sincere wish that your child will have beautiful soul, strong, and brave, just like their mom.


Education (n). An enlightening experience.

Perjalanan Mengenal Aku

Sebuah kontemplasi di Hari Pendidikan Nasional

Delft, 2 Mei 2015

… I don’t mind if I have to sit on the floor at school. All I want is an education and I am afraid of none… – Malala Yousafzai.

Sebuah quote yang saya baca pagi ini di timeline social media dari penerima Nobel Prize laurete termuda. Seorang gadis aktivis dari Pakistan penggiat pendidikan untuk wanita. Di usia yang sangat muda (11 tahun), dia menulis blog dengan nama samaran kepada BBC urdu, untuk menceritakan kisah hidupnya dibawah tekanan regim Taliban yang melarang wanita untuk pergi sekolah. Lewat tulisannya dia membagikan kisahnya tentang bagaimana ia mengajak gadis-gadis dan wanitanya untuk tetap mengeyam pendidikan dalam keterbatasan. Semangat yang luar biasa, pengingat untuk kita semua bahwa pendidikan adalah salah satu senjata terampuh untuk memperbaiki keadaan dan taraf hidup.

Saya setuju bahwa pendidikanlah yang dapat membuat seseorang dapat menaikkan taraf hidupnya ke tempat yang lebih baik. Namun, saya ragu, bahwa pernyataan itu valid untuk diterapkan dalam segala kondisi.

Benar adanya pendidikan adalah jembatan, yang menghubungkan ketidaktahuan dengan informasi, membuat yang tidak tahu menjadi tahu, yang terkadang bisa menjadi penyelamat dari perkara hidup dan mati. Contohnya, seperti pengetahuan akan penyakit  AIDS untuk saudara-saudara kita di Afrika. Tanpa adanya edukasi seksual, penyakit AIDS dengan mudahnya menyebar dan merenggut nyawa orang-orang di Afrika. Di kasus ini, pendidikan adalah mutlak. Harus diberikan karena manfaatnya.

Di situasi yang lain, peran pendidikan agaknya sudah menjadi bias. Sudah terlampau sering kita mendengar harapan bangsa ini diletakkan pada kita, sebagai penuntut ilmu setinggi-tingginya, meniti jejak pendidikan sarjana, magister, maupun doktor. Ini merupakan pertanyaan besar bagi saya. Apakah benar bahwa pendidikan dan impactnya adalah berbanding lurus, semakin tinggi tingkat pendidikannya, semakin tinggi manfaat baiknya? Kok rasanya bagi saya tidak mutlak seperti itu.

Saya berpendapat, bahwa terkadang pendidikan tinggi adalah pedang bermata dua. Ia dapat memberikan manfaat namun juga dapat menjadi bumerang. Ya memang, pendidikanlah yang dapat menaikkan derajat dan mengubah nasib. Tapi pendidikan di mata saya ada dua macam. Pendidikan intelejensi dan pendidikan karakter. Inilah yang menurut saya, terkadang dilupakan. Pendidikan intelejensi sudah dianak-emaskan, digembar-gemborkan, sehingga pendidikan karakter terlupakan begitu saja.

Tak sedikit saya melihat pendidikan jenjang formal untuk mengasah intelejensi telah merugikan. Ia kadang membuat seseorang merasa superior, merasa bahwa pendidikan telah memberikan standar baru pada hidupnya. Jadi semua-semua harus diukur dalam besaran itu, seperti gaji dan teman bergaul. Di kala S2 or S3 telah di tangan, ketika kinerjanya dihargai dengan gaji dibawah dari ekspektasinya, dia merasa gusar, “Masa pantas S2 or S3 digaji segitu, apalagi lulusan luar negeri. Pengetahuan yang saya miliki terlalu berharga untuk hanya dinilai segitu.” Sangat lucu ya mendengarnya. Mungkin ia lupa filosofi padi yang diajarkan guru SD kita.

Lebih parah lagi, sekarang pendidikan intelejensi telah mengkotak-kotakkan kita para wanita. Memojokkan, bahkan cenderung mendiskreditkan. Masyarakat telah berubah sangat drastis, dulu, wanita tidak boleh sekolah tinggi-tinggi. Yang diidamkan adalah wanita rumahan tak perlu pendidikan muluk-muluk. Sekarang, yang didewikan adalah wanita-wanita pintar, pengenyam pendidikan tinggi, lulusan perguruan tinggi bergengsi atau luar negeri. Seolah-olah perempuan-perempuan dengan pendidikan intelejensi pas-pasan tak ada artinya. Seorang gadis lulusan Madrasah Aliyah dengan pendidikan karakter kuat, berbudi dan santun mungkin akan kalah pamor di depan para laki-laki  dengan mbak-mbak lulusan luar negeri dengan gelar S2 di kantong meskipun si mbak-mbak bergaya hidup bebas. Katanya, carilah calon istri yang pintar, because if you educate a woman, you educate a generation. Propaganda inilah yang semakin menyisihkan perempuan-perempuan lugu berkarakter kuat di masyarakat kitta, hanya karena ijazah mereka hanya sampe SMA atau SMK. Edukasi sudah jauh disalahartikan dengan hanya ukuran ijazah. Ini hanya contoh. Dan salah satu yang ekstrim. Bukannya saya mengeneralisir, toh saya juga sekarang mengeyam pendidikan tinggi di luar negeri.

Inti yang ingin saya sampaikan adalah, seringkali kita hanya melihat tolak ukur pendidikan hanyalah pendidikan intelejensi yang terukur dalam kertas ijazah, mengesampingkan bahwa ada bentuk lain dari pendidikan, yaitu pendidikan karakter. Mungkin selama ini lebih sulit utuk mengukur proses pendidikan karakter, sehingga ia sering dianggap tak ada. Lebih muda mensyaraktan ijazah untuk berbagai macam tes mulai dari tes cari pekerjaan sampe mencari pasangan hidup.

Janganlah minder, saudari-saudariku di luar sana yang mungkin takberkesempatan bersekolah tinggi. Aku dan kamu sama-sama wanita. Calon ibu para penerus generasi bangsa. Tanggung jawab dan hak kita sama sama besar. Untuk menanamkan nilai-nilai kemanusian kepada calon anak-anak kita nanti. Mari tetap belajar untuk menjadi manusia yang bijak, jujur, dan bermanfaat untuk sekitar, dengan pendidikan apapun itu.

Manusia yang terdidik tidaklah nyaman berada lebih tinggi dari yang rendah, mereka akan berdiri di belakang yang rendah, yang rapuh, yang papa, untuk mendorong mereka bangkit.

Manusia yang terdidik tidaklah canggung berada di antara yang awam, tidak menggurui dan mendahului, melainkan memberi contoh dan membukakan jalan.

Manusia terdidik tidaklah mencemooh, tidaklah menghina, tidak tertawa akan kebodohan orang lain.

Manusia terdidik adalah seorang yang santun, merunduk dan tidak mengumbar kelebihannya, namun mampu berkata bijak, mendamaikan dan mengubah lingkungan sekitar dengan segala yang ia bisa.

Manusia terdidik adalah harapan untuk sekitar, lampu penerang dalam gelap.

Bila kaum muda yang telah belajar di sekolah dan menganggap dirinya terlalu tinggi dan pintar untuk melebur dengan masyarakat yang bekerja dengan cangkul dan hanya memiliki cita-cita yang sederhana, maka lebih baik pendidikan itu tidak diberikan sama sekali” – Tan Malaka, Madilog.

Selamat hari pendidikan nasional rekan-rekan sekalian.






Day 2 – anxiety and excitement in between

Perjalanan Mengenal Aku

Delft, 29 April 2016

Sudah hampir jam makan siang di sini. Jam 12 tepat biasanya orang-orang Dutch sudah mulai makan siang. How early right? Aku suka impressed dengan lifetsyle orang Belanda menjalani hidup. Punctual, well-scheduled, efficient, straightforward. Bahkan untuk urusan makan siang. Jam 12 teng! cuma beberapa tangkup roti, butter, cheese atau ham, dan segelas susu atau jus. Kenyang, hemat, ga pake efek ngantuk setelahnya. Tapi tanpa rasa! Kadang aku merasa iri dengan how they can live simply. Tapi kadang juga suka kasihan, kok hidupnya so flat, tanpa rasa, ga ada asam manis pedas. Tapi yah that’s kind of a wasteful thinking karena ya mereka puas dengan hidup mereka dan kita puas dengan hidup kita. So why bother to compare it? (ngomong sendiri, nanya sendiri, dijawab sendiri, kind of efficient juga toh? :P)

Anyway, intinya hari ini aku mau berbagi how does it feel to live as a Shani today. Hmm, today, I feel a bit anxious because I will have midterm presentation about my thesis soon. Three hours from now. It gives me chill in my back of the neck. You know how I get easily scared on people right. I know, it is bad. But I am just born with it. I know that I care too much of how other people see me. Not like if it matters to me, but somehow I always want to be accepted by everyone.

Hmmm, other than that, I am feeling excited today because it is Friday. Weekend always brings my mood up. Nanti sehabis presentasi akan pergi bowling sama teman-teman. I am too excited for that!!!! How contrast is it, I am the one that get easily scared with new people, really like to spend my majority of time with people but (yes there is a but), only the one that I find comforting.

What I learn about my self today : Shani gampang banget anxious and nervous when it comes to communication with other. But, today I also learned that at the end, they are also human, like me. So, relax and enjoy.

Today’s line : “Only the one that has the same frequency can be synced” 

A start which begins at the (almost) end.

Perjalanan Mengenal Aku

Delft, 28 April 2016.

Hmm, rupanya agak susah untuk memulai. Setelah sekian hari habis dijalani dan dinikmati tanpa sesal di kota kecil di Belanda selatan, akhirnya kutemukan juga dorongan untuk kembali menulis. Entah apa gerangan yang tiba-tiba mendorong kemauan untuk kembali bertutur dan berbagi dalam bentuk tulisan. Mungkin kebosanan, mungkin cuaca yang tak bersahabat, mungkin kenangan, mungkin rasa iri melihat orang lain,atau mungkin rasa rindu yang tak tersampaikan. Ah, ya yang terakhir rasanya.

Semua berawal dari garis start. Dan tulisan ini adalah tanda dimulainya cerita-cerita ke depan. Tentang sebuah kisah untuk mengenal aku, secara menyeluruh. Tanpa celah, kepura-puraan, dan ekspresi yang takterluapkan. Ini adalah caraku jujur untuk kepada diri sendiri, yang mungkin selama ini tak bisa terealisasi.

Oke, kalau begitu, mari kita mulai dengan kejujuran pertama hari ini.

Sejujurnya aku merasa bosan akan rutinitas. Aku kangen personal interaction dan deep conversation tentang makna hidup, cita-cita dan ambisi. Aku rindu berjalan tanpa arah sambil bertukar pikir membahas hal-hal remeh temeh tapi bikin senyum.

Aku jadi berkhayal, kalo saat ini ada Jin dalam botol yang bisa mengabulkan satu permintaan, kira-kira apa yah yang bakal aku minta?

hmm, lets think. I think I’d like to summon Imel, then being in Paris and spend the evening with a cup of tea alongside the Seine river, talking about every details on her life that I’ve been missing in the entire two year. How nice is it, just having that kind of thought excite me already. Mel, how I miss your sharp thinking and deep curiosity in random things. I really miss listening to you, absorb your enthusiasm that shine bright like a sun. And look at your wide smile which shows your braced teeth (they are still braced right?). I am always a bit sad having the fact that we are sharing everything in short time and being parted. And somehow, I am not a text person. I cannot keep up to exchange stories with you like we used to do before.

You know, mel, I’d like to tell you something. I am actually need you for me being honest. I don’t know why, but I just know it. If you were here, it will be so much easier to kill this boredom. I hope to see you real soon. Wish you are happy, healthy, and radiant as usual. <3