Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The December Note

Bulan Desember hampir berakhir. Januari tiba sebentar lagi. For some reasons, to certain extent, January seems a bit unfriendly. Tapi postingan ini tidak akan membahas tentang Januari. Tidak dengan suasana hati yang seperti sekarang ini. :)

Banyak sekali yang terjadi sejak terakhir saya menuliskan postingan terakhir di sini. Tidak semuanya penting, tidak semuanya perlu dan bisa dibagi di sini. Ada beberapa draft yang sudah dituliskan judulnya, atau sekedar dibuat outlinenya. Entah saya super sibuk atau super malas sehingga akhirnya blog ini tidak diupdate sejak Agustus. Padahal saya pernah berjanji menulis 3 posting setiap bulan. :p #hestek #shameonme

Saya hanya ingin bercerita bahwa begitu banyak yang harus saya syukuri di 2013 ini. I will definitely count my blessings before January 1st, as in previous years. Tapi ada tiga hal yang terjadi bulan Desember ini yang mungkin terlihat kecil dan tidak berarti, namun entah kenapa ingin saya rekam di sini, untuk mengingatkan saya sendiri betapa Allah menyayangi saya. :)

1. Pada suatu malam, saya pernah meninggalkan tas ransel LPEM-FEUI saya (yang warnanya sudah pudar dan talinya sudah dijahit ulang :p) di luar rumah. Semalaman. Tanpa sengaja. Padahal tas ini berisi harta berharga yang bukan hanya milik saya. Tapi alhamdulillah ransel dan isinya selamat sampai pagi. Tidak terbayang apa yang akan terjadi jika ransel itu digondol orang. Saya tiada henti mengucap alhamdulillah dan berjanji untuk melakukan sesuatu yang serius untuk menghentikan kecerobohan diri. #hestek #yeahright T_T

2. Pada suatu pagi, saya pernah bangun dalam keadaan sedih sekali. Mungkin sudah lama sekali saya tak pernah sesedih ini. Tanpa diduga Allah mengirimkan dua orang kawan ke Taman Suropati, yang fit perfectly untuk memberikan dukungan dan wejangan mereka. Allah juga menyambungkan saya dengan seorang kawan lagi, yang melalui udara menyampaikan nasihatnya yang selalu masuk akal dan menguatkan hati. Hari itu saya berterimakasih sekali atas kebaikan Allah (dan 3 kawan itu).

3. Pada suatu siang, saya pernah tersandung semen yang belum sempurna dirapikan di tepi Stasiun Pasar Minggu. Kereta sudah memasuki mulut stasiun. Namun saya tidak jatuh dan terjungkal. Padahal sangat mungkin sekali itu terjadi. *saya memang dari kecil sangat takut kepada kereta api T_T* Tak henti-hentinya saya mengucap syukur masih bisa pulang ke rumah.

Jadi, itu yang ingin saya bagi malam ini, catatan kecil sekaligus #notetoself untuk menyambut Januari. Catatan yang saya harap akan selalu mengingatkan saya, there are more reasons to smile, to be grateful for, to move forward, and to be happy. Despite everything. :)




 *ps: my fave facebook account "Muslim Speakers" mengupload foto ini satu jam yang lalu. Coincidence? probably not. Bukankah tiada selembar daun pun yang jatuh tanpa sepengetahuan Nya? ;) 
*source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=563918520357865&set=pb.349408568475529.-2207520000.1387990291.&type=3&theater

Monday, August 26, 2013

Re-Post : My UK Ramadhan Reflection

Few days ago I discovered that the original page in the British Embassy's website is no longer available. So, I decided to post it here, for this writing is quite historical for me. :)

Originally written for the FCO in Indonesia as part of my Chevening duty to share about the Ramadhan experience as a student in the UK, this writing has been reposted on UCL SPP's website, and it was also featured in the printed/online version of SPP's Tavistock Times. Thanks to David Hudson! :D

So, here I am re-posting in my own blog without revising the grammar mistake I found since its first online appearance (and its rather ridiculous picture of mine :p). I hope you enjoy reading it! :)

--------

Every Muslim is a walking ambassador of Islam

13 October 2011
The following article appeared at http://ukinindonesia.fco.gov.uk/en/
© British Embassy, Jakarta, Indonesia

Dyah Widiastuti
Dyah Widiastuti, Chevening Scholar 2010/2011, Student of MSc International Public Policy, School of Public Policy. 
On Ramadhan and on being “a walking ambassador of Islam”

“Every Muslim is a walking ambassador of Islam.”
That was a sentence I heard from a Canadian religious teacher in my 13th day of this holy month, my first Ramadhan here in London, the UK.
His words reminded me of my reason to come to the UK. I wrote in my scholarship application over a year ago that I wanted to communicate with the world about the benevolent face of Islam, and to learn about multiculturalism from the UK (of course, besides becoming a full-time student!). The intention was getting stronger as one of the scholarship interviewers said (responding to my question): “Being British is about being proud of the British multiculturalism.”
So, there I was, listening to an inspiring advice about Ramadan. The teacher talked about the importance of good characters of a Muslim, and he mentioned three important good characters: tolerance and forgiveness; indiscriminate generosity; and self-reflection. He said that the point of Ramadhan was to transform ourselves to have good characters.
On tolerance and forgiveness, the cleric gave example when Prophet Muhammad conquered Mecca. As he arrived in the city gate, the people of Mecca were terrified with what would happen. To everyone relief, the Prophet said: “No blame upon you and may Allah forgive you as He is the most merciful.” No bloodshed happened.
That was not the first time I heard the story, but I felt happy to listen to it again. Having studied international relations for the last 10 years, I am always interested in the emphasis on tolerance in religious teaching. And thankfully, this is often the main theme of religious speech here.
The advice was special because I listened to it in my university, known as the first secular-based university in England, the first to treat people from different religious background equally, which is also mocked by some rivals as the home of “the Godless scums of Gower Street”.  And it was a “National Ramadhan Conference” that I attended; now you can see the paradox with the “Godless-ness”. My university has been a place where I learned about British multiculturalism, in the class as well as in its social life. It held events that I had never even heard of before, such as public debate between a Muslim and an Atheist on the concept of God; Islam Awareness Week where everyone can ask anything about Islam; and a lecture about cultivating multiculturalism.
I start recounting every blessing I have received as a Muslim in the UK, not only during this Ramadhan, but since my very first day. Unlike what I thought before I came to the UK, I feel that living a Muslim life is not difficult here. Five-time prayers (shalat) are easy, as the university provides a contemplation room. Also, I will never forget the shalat that I did in two historic churches in the city of Oxford, when I could not find anywhere else to pray (thanks to the generosity of their people!). I also find no problem for wearing hijab (Islamic headscarf), as surprisingly there are so many hijabi London! I have never experienced any negative treatment about it. I am also thankful to the thoughtfulness of my classmates, both British and international students.  My dissertation submission deadline will arrive together with the end of Ramadhan, so the pressure is imaginable. Some of my classmates were amazed with the 18-hour length fasting, and they kindly showered me with various suggestions on how to deal with it. Some of them suggested to “pay it back” another time, some suggested to work at nights and sleep during the day. They also asked me “How’s Ramadhan?”, by emails and texts, as I started isolating myself for the dissertation deadline. I simply feel blessed.
These experiences are real example of tolerance and generosity, two important ingredients of healthy multiculturalism. They make me realize how this place has made easier to see how we can embrace these two good characters.
Every Ramadhan is always special for me. But this Ramadhan in London will be unforgettable. It reminds me about the transformative aim of Ramadhan and inspires me to accomplish the mission of being a good “walking ambassador of Islam”.

sources:

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/spp/spp-empa/131011
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/spp/news/tavistock_times/SPPnewsletter_Jan2012.pdf

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Ujian Keikhlasan

Allah yang maha pengasih dan penyayang, jika ini adalah ujian keikhlasan bagi saya, maka ijinkanlah dan mudahkanlah saya untuk melakukan yang terbaik, dan lulus. With distinction, hopefully. :D

Aamiin.

30 Ramadhan 1434

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

That Quote of The Month

I've tweeted and shared this quote on facebook. However, I still feel the need to post it here.
Yep, yep, this quote is THAT important. :p I hope to be inspired. One day. 

So, here's the quote:
"I never place demands on him because I think he’s a really talented man and he’s putting something good into the world."
It was Gwyneth Paltrow who said this, about husband Chris Martin, the front man of Coldplay , a "mad-scientist, genius song writer", who is also a UCL alumnus. :P(teteup narsis)

Please note that my emphasis is on "I never place demands on him" and "he's putting something good into the world", rather than on the phrase "he's a really talented man". :) It's about the trust that I want to underline. And the whole article from which this quote was taken actually talks about "terrible times" in Chris-Gwyneth's marriage. You can see it here.

And here's a picture of this beautiful couple. I've added some instagram effects on it. :)

Friday, May 31, 2013

7 Years Living with The Scars and Stitches : 27 May 2006 - 27 May 2013

Here comes the final day of May 2013. Before June arrives, I'll share another story why I'll always tell you (and myself, more importantly) that May shall be the month to remind myself to be grateful for life, in its most fundamental way.

27 of May, seven years ago,I experienced my closest-to-death moment by far, the Jogja earthquake. It was 5.55 in the morning, and occurred on the Richter scale of 5,9 or maybe 6,2. It was pretty huge, unanticipated natural disaster and has cost 5,782 lives.

I wrote a pretty extensive email about the detail of my experience that day to my exchange friends from all over the world (I participated in an exchange program in Japan from 2004 to 2005), and thankfully, I also copied it here, so that you can read it today.

That day was probably the bloodiest day I've ever experienced. Probably the only day that I ever felt the feeling of "almost fainted". (In my life, I have never fainted, so it was pretty new and strange experience) I remember I did not cry for the injuries I suffered . I cried when I've heard that it was not a volcanic quake, which confirmed that my parents and my brothers who lived around 20 kilometers from the volcano were safe and sound. The earthquake has left me some souvenirs, some scars and stitches. Oh, and the stitches were made in some tents outside a hospital without anesthetic help. Ouch.

Seven years living with those "souvenirs", I've realized that the Almighty has been so generous to me. If you were there that day, witnessing how terrifying the quake was, how devastated the house was, and that there were several died neighbors, you would see I could have easily been one of those 5,782 casualties.

But no. I survived to reach that hospital, met my tearful mum there, was carried by one of my bros on his back to the parking lot, and arrived safely in my own room. It is true that I remained helpless (and super cranky!!!) for almost a month, became very dependent on others for I could not walk, but apart from this, I recovered just in time to catch up with my undergrad thesis writing! It was just two days ago that I came to realize how much ease He has given me, when a friend of mine who graduated in the same day as mine told me that she has done her thesis prior to the earthquake. I had not even finish my social service when the earthquake occurred, and probably was in the middle of nowhere on thesis writing. Yet, I was eventually able to graduate at the same day as hers.

I could recall that despite my imperfectly-healed foot I would ride my War Machine (yes, that's how I named my old AB3400CY!:p) to meet my supervisor in the university, discussed about the revision, and finally presented it to my supervisor and the examiners, exactly on my birthday that year. It was not the most brilliant thesis (I wish I had paid attention more on the methodology!), nor most impressive presentation, but they kindly granted me an A (I suspiciously think that this particular A stands for "A-tasbelaskasihan" a.k.a pity-based :p) , and I proceeded to the graduation in August! The following months that year granted me no complaints. I got an interesting job before even graduated. I was not even applying for job vacations, literally. There were ups and downs, pitfalls, confusions, and broken hearts (#uhuk) during the following years after, but overall, 2007 to 2013 have been equally interesting and full of countless blessings. :)

Seven years living with those little scars and stitches, I really think I should have nothing but gratitude. I'm grateful for the Lord has decided to given me my life despite what happened that day, and I'm grateful that the people around me have been the kindest and the most supportive with their utmost patience during those difficult days of recovery. You could imagine how someone, who dubbed him/herself to be mr/miss independent, could be very frustrated and cranky as he/she could not even walk to the bathroom by him/herself. Those scars and stitches have taught me that the experience and the feeling of helplessness (especially at the very moment when others need your help) only strengthen my conviction that I need to be more thankful for my current state. For the life that I often take for granted.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

15 Years After The Reform...Piye Kabare?


I've told you once, May is the month that will always remind me to be grateful. Now I'm telling you why.

May 1998, was a month that changed the whole face of the country, Indonesia. Every Indonesian may have different memory on what they can recall those days around the day when Presiden Suharto finally stepped down, but the world and the history books noted that it was a fundamental milestone that changed the fate of the nation. The 1998 Reform, the decision to take democracy as the new national consensus replacing authoritarianism (whatever the Orde Baru defenders call it), I believe should be one reason for me to be grateful today.

However, some other Indonesians disagree. These people think that Suharto's New Order is better compared to the current era. They started to put on this banner/posters/murals, with Suharto's fatherly smiling face, waving his hand as we all can remember, captioned with these sentences: "Piye kabare? Enak jamanku, tho?" . Two sentences, literally translated as: "How are you? My era is still better, isn't it?" Few days ago, a former finance minister from Suharto era convincingly argued on TV talk show that the majority of Indonesians today would opt for Suharto's era rather than today's so-called democratic era. His arguments were mostly anecdotal, such as premanisme, worse quality of public service, gini ratio, the quality of infrastructure and more news on corrupt and lavish bureaucrats and politicians.

I choose not to stay silent on his argument.

I have mentioned here that democracy has been the safeguard of many positive changes in Indonesia. And until today, I haven't changed my mind.

Although it is still far from ideal, nobody will disagree if I say that we have so much more freedom nowadays that in Suharto's era. And wouldn't you agree that freedom is one of quintessential sources of happiness for every human being? Even in Islam, freedom is cited to be one of 3 most fundamental blessings given by God Almighty (see it here).

Freedom has improved in various fields of life: freedom of speech, freedom to choose in elections, freedom to celebrate our identities, freedom to critise the government, and so on and so forth. Indeed, problems still emerge here and there, particularly related to the freedom for the minorities to express their identities. But really, we should remind ourselves that few years ago, saying something like "duduk, diam, dengar, duit" (a criticism to the legislature who simply became the rubber stamp for government's policy) in the House of Representatives would instantly cost you your life. Your very life.

Is it true that the quality of public service today is generally worse than in Suharto's era as argued by that former finance minister? I wonder how many examples of public service samples that he analyze to come to this conclusion. It seems that either he's been lock inside a closed ward for several past years or he simply picked the failure E KTP project as the only supporting argument. Clearly, there seems so many problems, and there are indeed sooo many problems regarding the quality of public service in this country, but it is largely due to the freedom of speech where the people now can voice their complaints, critiques, and frustration to the public service. As for the quality of public service itself, I'm pretty confident to say, we have improved, as you can see innovations are emerging along with the decentralizing governments and in response to the more "demanding" customers, a.k.a the people.

Speaking about the public service, I often consider myself as a real evidence of the difference between the two eras. I did not pay any cent to get into the public service, nor I knew anyone in the ministry. I doubt that this could happen if there was no 1998 reform movement. I believe that the public service recruitment system is something that will continuously improve.

As for the former finance minister's argument on infrastructure, gini ratio and the very loud noises on rogue bureaucrats and politicians, we have to admit that to certain extent they are real problems. Less authoritarian government often take longer to take decision that may result in slower physical infrastructure progress. But hey, consultation with more stakeholders are often necessary for a better decision, no? As for the gini ratio, I'm not an expert on this. Maybe it is true that the economic disparity in our society is widening...but please keep in mind, that the authoritarian regime of the new order were very good in manipulating numbers and data for no one were able to hold them accountable for what they said.

The critics of democracy also often argue that democracy hampers the economic development. Well, I have(i think) a good counter-argument for this that I've coined on a BBC debate that you can see here (part 3). An essential consequence of democratic system is the bigger guarantee for peaceful-non violent political succession through elections. Do you remember that we had two bloody political transitions caused by the authoritarian regimes in 1965 and 1998? Please kindly compare with the 1999, 2004, and 2009 elections. Maybe the elected president sucks and the legislators are dumb by your standard, but the number of violent incidents were so much lower compared to 1965 and 1998. I believe the stability resulted from such process is more likely to guarantee the economic development.

On the the news on corrupt politicians and bureaucrats...the former finance minister actually brought a very interesting point, that there are increasing exposure on these corruptions. Which is to some extent good. Why? Because in the past the situation was probably equally ugly, or even worse, but just because there was no freedom of press or freedom of information in general that the public did not know what happen.

This is also what Pandji underlines in his book, Berani Mengubah. We often think that the current post reform situation is so much worse than the New Order era just because we hear and see so many bad things on the news, but often forget that the New Order government were so (much more :p) manipulative, AND there was no freedom of press
in Orde Baru.

I still remember what my Conflict Resolution lecturer said few years ago. The people in Aceh and North Sumatra know exactly the different between the Suharto's era and the current era. He said that in Suharto era, it was impossible to drive at night from Aceh to North Sumatra. You would surely be killed. While in post Suharto era, particularly after Helsinki process, people could travel safely from North Sumatra to Aceh, even at night. Did you, especially the Indonesian people living in the island of Java, know about this? I did not know either. And I believe that we should not leave the judgement on which era or system is better to those who live around the center of power.

Finally, I would like to note what one of my favourite foreign ministers said. Hassan Wirajuda once said that we often underestimate what we have achieved from the reform movement in 1998. The changes that I've mentioned above are the sources of recognition in the so-called "pergaulan internasional", of course minister Wirajuda knows best about this. I've read his speeches in the UN General Assembly, that reflected how much the international perception have changed on our country. From a country that once was considered as authoritarian, human rights violating country, to so-called "the next Balkan", potentially-failed state, into finally the third largest democracy, an emerging economy. Many countries are queuing "to learn" from the Indonesian experience. An Indonesian diplomat told me that now they have so much lighter burden in doing their tasks, as they no longer need to lie (as much as in the past :p) about the human rights violations and many other things about their country. (If you're interested in this issue, please read this book :D).

I want to conclude this post by reinforcing my argument. Anyone who thinks that the New Order era is better and more preferable than the current era should really think twice. Do you really have the idea of living under the government who will not hesitate to kidnap, torture or kill you when you disagree with them? Our frustrations with our "homeworks" should not be enough reasons to return to the darkness that we could only imagine as a better place. Oh, and thank God, another person invited to the talk along with that pro-Suharto former finance minister said that actually a survey said that the bigger percentage of Indonesian people still prefer for the current era. Hah!

Echoing what former minister Wirajuda said, we need to be grateful for what we have achieved this far. On the other hand, being grateful does not mean that we have to stop thinking critically. We are on the right track, but we have to struggle to stay on the right track and to be better.

So, happy 15 Tahun Reformasi, my fellow Indonesians. This poster below sums up the whole point of this super-long (but i hope not boring :p) writing. This is a brilliant response to the original Suharto poster mentioned above. For you who doesn't speak Bahasa Indonesia, it says: "How are you? My era is still better, isn't it? Everything was cheap...including YOUR LIFE!"

Just brilliant.



Saturday, May 18, 2013

17 Years of Inspiration: A Farewell




“You started in United when I was 3. Your team caught my heart when I was 13. And now you say "it is the right time", when I'll be 30. I've just realised that I've been taking you for granted along the way, thinking that you'll always be there, yelling at your players, chewing gum, checking at your watch, regardless the changing from Cantona, to Keane, and to Vidic. On May 8 this year, I've finally realised that it has been a great 17 years of inspiration. I know I will miss you so much. :( Thank you, Sir Alex, it has been an utmost gratitude to know you, and to be in the same Old Trafford with you and your team at one point in my life. You will definitely be the most important part of the Manchester United that I will remember. :')”

That paragraph above summarised my feeling ten days ago, 8 May 2013. I submitted the message to the Manchester United’s facebook page under the #thankyousiralex section, hoping that the old man himself read it, and smiles, thinking that there is someone whose name he can’t even (correctly) pronounce, from a land far-far away, who cares about him. Oh, and maybe he will also read and recall that the message comes from the country he and his team once failed to visit, due to the bombing.

In addition to that message, I want to write a more elaborate note for myself. Partly, this was inspired by Pangeran Siahaan’s rather emotional note that you can see here.

I still can recall vividly the first time I knew his name, as the part of Eric Cantona’s team. It was practically my very first encounter with football, at the end of 1995/1996 season. It was against Newcastle United, and it was not even a real match, a highlight instead. I remember the program was called “English Premier Highlights”. I did not pay so much attention on the stern-looking, gum-chewing Alex Ferguson until the FA Cup final that season. It was the red devils vs the reds. Cantona vs Fowler. Eric Cantona, the initial reason for my loyalty to the club, has scored a goal. Near to the end of the second half, the man in his black suits caught my attention, cheerfully checking at his watch, happily looking at his boys, still chewing his gum. They’ve got the double that year.

Since then, just like what Pangeran Siahaan experienced, I started to faithfully cheer for the team. I compiled and collected newspaper articles about the team, stapled them on papers, wrote extensively in my diary about the matches, in loving details. It may sound slightly crazy, but I felt the overwhelming excitement (rather felt like “butterflies in your stomach”) every time United played. To make it sounds crazier, I started to connect the feeling I’ve got from watching United to my life and its ups and downs. As for my version of “my life” at that period, it would be literally translated as “my academic life.” For some of you it may sound boring and nerdy, but yes, indeed, the team’s consistently best-est performance in the decade may have a statistically significant influence on what I’ve done during my high schools years. :D

Later, after Cantona’s sudden resignation, and with the increasing life burden as a grown-up (:p), I did not spend as much as time watching United as before. However, years later, I was lucky enough (even luckier than Pange!) to visit that very theater of dreams, M16 0RA. That day, Old Trafford was also attended by Eric Cantona, Peter Schmeichel, Ryan Giggs, and Sir Alex Ferguson himself. It was the United that I will remember. I really could not ask for more. It was, indeed, one of the most important days in my life so far. :)
(Later I admitted publicly in a video for the UK FCO, that to be honest, being a United fan was one reason why I applied to study in the United Kingdom. :p )



That day, I actually confirmed that even a dissertation deadline, a lengthy 5-hours London-Manchester journey, and the absence of companions, could not hold me back from witnessing the team for which I’ve developed this particular feeling. Additionally, it was Ramadan and iftar (fast break time) was at 9 o’clock GMT. I even forgot about my anger and disappointment several weeks earlier, when the English media fiercely attacked Ryan Giggs, told the world what kind of man actually he was, with Fergie still stood beside him, furious at the journalists who had the courage to pop up the sensitive question prior to the Champions League final. (That time, I did pray for United to lose, for I was really disappointed by Giggs, and was pretty sick of the arrogance of the United’s alay fans).

Sometimes I still could not believe that I did what I did that day. But after all, love in football is something really hard to explain. It’s often illogical, most of the time irrational.

As I have said in my #thankyousiralex message, most of the time, I have taken for granted for Sir Alex’s existence in the team. I have always been optimistic with the team, regardless news about star players leaving the team behind, because I unconsciously believed that Sir Alex would stay and would always be there. As a democracy believer (and sometimes proselytizer :p), I even believe that Sir Alex should be the only dictator who deserves to dictates (while in any other place, democracy shall prevail :D).

As 8 of May arrived, I’ve come to a conclusion that for this past 17 years, I often overlooked the role of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Maybe it was Manchester United’s consistency in doing the most impressive things that inspire many of its fans, but it is the ethics, the discipline, the commitment for hard work of its architect (for the past 27 years) that plays enormous role behind the consistency.


Dear Sir Alex Ferguson, I thank you.




*I’d like to note that there are interesting numbers in my message: 3, 13, and 30. Another note: the bombing incident in JW Marriott Hotel Jakarta that has made United cancel its Jakarta’s leg happened on my birthday, 17 July 2009.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Almost May

It's April 30th. May is almost here. In only several minutes.

What have I done so far?

Such a torturing question, sometimes. As I look back, and see there's not so much to recap as I've planned early at the beginning of the year. Some people (maybe it was John Lennon) said: "Life is what happens while you're busy making plan." To certain extent, this sentence gives us a good advice on not to focus too much on making plan and forgetting the real life instead. However, I believe that plans often help us with our naturally-rather-messy life. :)

The question now is how to identify the "grand theme" of what our life should be. In the development plan table, this may be the "outcome" and "outcome indicator". :D This, should be derived from our vision/mission in life. What is the vision/mission? It is finding the straight path. How to find it? To be the best servant of the Lord, and to be the most beneficial human for others. That's probably enough to fill up the strategic plan table. :D

So, what have I done so far? Referring to the *imaginary* strategic plan table? Errmmm....still cannot really find good enough answer. :p




Well, I don't know where this post is heading. I think I better stop the rant for now.

Now, I should be ready to welcome the month of May. A very important month, it shall be. A month that shall always remind myself to be grateful for life itself, and not for taking things for granted.


*picture was taken in Hampstead Heath, North London, Summer 2011. The Heath surely represents my gratitude for life. I currently use this pic as my twitter cover picture. :)

Monday, April 01, 2013

Home. Where Love Is



Yep.

Another failure to post 3 blog posts every month has been recorded in March.

I'll try harder in April. And here's my first attempt!:D

Thank goodness I was lucky enough to be back home few days ago. Home, conventionally speaking, means Jogja to me. I even created this particular hashtag #homeisjogja , every time I tweet from my hometown, somewhere on the slope of Indonesia's most active (and probably dangerous) volcano.

However, things changed a bit this time. The home that I visited was no longer the house where I grew up, with a room so familiar to me (still with an AC Milan team photo on one of its wall, with Alessandro Nesta in it), with the most warm-hearted neighborhood that always greet me in the most welcoming way. My mum and dad have just recently moved to a smaller house outside the village. The current house is literally "mewah" (luxurious) a.k.a "mepet sawah" (on the verge of paddy-field), for it once was, indeed, a rice field.

I do miss the old house for some reasons. But I realized that the things I love the most about "home" are still there, in the new, smaller house.

Lucky that I've still got the chance to rest my head on mummy's lap while we're watching TV (and of course we were discussing the President's disgraceful decision to be the head of his rather pathetic political party, who's behind Lapas Cebongan attack, and the Eyang Subur fiasco - Dear Lord!), to spend so much energy to handle the overly-energetic nephew, and to have some (rather meaningful) chit-chat with the bros and the sis in-laws.The highlight of the new house is that I now have better access for the precious morning walk (or supposedly run), with the gorgeous Gunung Merapi view in the background. Yay to that!



Things did change. Definitely we'll miss particular things we had in the past. Yet, life has to be in a dynamic change, to keep us alive.

And as I was celebrating my visit home,a friend came up with a discussion on the concept of home. From the talk, I learned that not everyone has a single, particular place that they refer as "home". My initial definition of "home" was "where the unconditional loves are". But the discussion has shifted my position slightly, because I have to admit that at certain points in my life, I consider Jakarta, or even London as home.

Therefore, home, in addition to the initial definition, also represents a place where (new) love is found.

*pictures taken by Wolverine - the Blackberry, as I've lost Skyfall - the Android

Friday, March 08, 2013

A #humblebrag From Last Month

Hello, 2013. :)


It's March already and no single post since November. Shame on me. And I have a secret. I've written down somewhere safe that "1 month 3 blog posts" is one of the 2013 resolutions. Now, it's not a secret anymore.


So, I've decided to revive the vow regardless the post-less passing first two months.

And for the very first 2013 post, I haven't got the privilege to develop an appropriate, well-structured, grammar-checked meaningful post. Instead, I only want to share a link to my writing that has been uploaded to the PPI UK's Pesan Abang Website. Yay!!

The writing can be seen here.

To me, and I've confirmed with some people, the writing's title sounds a bit like a #humblebrag about me-going-to-heaven-because-i-am-THE-good-girl. But actually it is not. I intended this writing to motivate people to experience UK and all the great (Britain) things about it, without the fear of being a (muslim) minority. :)

Oh, and I owe the photo credit to Mba Rizka and Mas Ade in that writing, which I failed to mention in the PesanAbang website. Apologies, Mba Rizka and Mas Ade.:D