26 Prajurit. Terlena.

Apalagi yang kupunya selain kata,
Sarana tunggal mencapai makna?
Tapi terkadang tak cukup aksara
mencakup, menerjemahkan; rasa…

26 prajurit tanpa daya, terpaku
Seketika bisu saat asa membeku
Perahu ini sekaligus belenggu
Bungkam anganku dan tumpul jiwaku

Semakin tipis sabarku di sandiwara akbar ini.
Aku ini mengejar mimpi, bukan pundi-pundi.
Sudah saatnya berhenti sembunyi,
tegakkan kepala dan berpindah sekoci.

Mari.

Lunch Break

Sometimes I think I function a little bit better when I’ve had my first glass of the bubbly.
It loosens my inhibitions just a little, allowing me to think more freely and talk more eloquently. I know I may come off as an alcoholic when I say this, but sometimes I wish offices give beer breaks in lieu of cigarette breaks for those who aren’t smokers.

Anyhow, seeing that we’re in Indonesia where even women who smoke are often frowned upon, I think the beer break wish is not going to happen anytime soon. But anyway sometimes I get the next best thing : my lunch break.

You see, a lunch break is only as good as the company you spend it with. You can eat a four course meal and yet leave the table feeling as hollow as a drum if you dine alone or worse, dining with someone you barely know.

In my first year at this office, I was one of the very few young people. The other few are several years older than me, with a background so pristine they could be nuns. These are the prim and proper young ladies of the world, who speak gently and curtsey while they’re speaking (ok, this is an exaggeration, but you get the point).

These ladies hang out and have lunch with the elderly matrons. They talk about children, gossip and almost nothing else. I only endured lunching with them for several weeks, and at the point of dozing off during conversations, I often chose to go alone. To bookstores, salons, massages or browsing the net at my desk.

But several months after, there were more and more people my age joining the department. So slowly but sure we built a tiny revolution.We talk about nothing important, we vent and laugh our asses off, and we *gasp* have fun.

However trivial it may seem to you, but lunching with these people may be the single thing that keeps me sane and grounded during weekdays. These corporate drones who had to give up big dreams because well, dreams don’t pay the bills, do they?

In a couple of years we may turn out to be the group that lunches while talking about diapers, but hey, let’s enjoy the ride -while it lasts.

We Tremble Not Of Fear

On September 30th 2009, an earthquake of 7,6 Richter Scale magnitude hit the Indonesian city of Padang, Sumatera Barat.
The aftermath was simply devastating. Many buildings collapsed, trapping a lot of people inside. The mortality count is currently nearing 500, only 3 days after the incident. Rescue workers are still on the lookout for more survivors, but the prospect is rather bleak as most have been trapped under the rubble for several days without food or water.
Lately, Indonesia has seen far more of its share of natural disasters, with earthquakes being the most frequent. Java, Bali, Celebes and Sumatera have all experienced earthquakes with magnitudes above 5 on the Richter Scale.
Some people connects the occurence to the predicted 2012 apocalypse, calling it the signs of the end of days and the result of mankind’s declining morals. Thus, they say that we need to be more diligent in our prayers to stop all these disasters from getting any worse.
Some people say this is the result of global warming, and man’s irresponsible exploitation and complete disregard for nature. That it’s a punishment for mankind, it’s going to go further downhill from here and there’s nothing we can do about it.
I personally believe that this is simply nature being itself. That the universe is just working as it always has.
However, attributing the cause of this disaster to nature doesn’t mean that we should forget or even give less regard for it.
We are the guardians of planet earth, and therefore we are to some extent also responsible for everything that happens on it.
Maybe the earthquake wasn’t the problem, but rather because we were too unprepared for it. Indonesia is a country more than half a century old, with a history of kingdoms centuries old, and we have known for ages that this location has a large potential of eartjquakes. And yet, buildings aren’t required to fulfill the certain prerequisites needed to withstand earthquakes. Maybe the devastation should be attributed to us, because we have become too greedy and disconnected from our fellow man. Government projects are finished with inferior quality because the funds are embezzled by officials, or building project budgets marked up and largely allocated to the builders instead of for purchase of high quality materials. We sometimes focus more on the aesthetics of a building instead of it’s safety, preferring form over function. But it is not too late to change. It is never too late.
The school of life requires us all to learn from each and every day. As long as we are still alive, there is always still something that we can do to make our lives -and the world- a better place. It may seem utopic and unattainable, but we might as well try anyway.
Right now, our fellow man needs us. And everything we do to help, every little effort, counts. No action is too insignificant, no donation too small.
Let’s remind ourselves that beneath the exterior of the callous and robotic proletarian salaryman, there is a human being. It is no longer every man for themselves, for no man is an island.