The Art of Pretending

Do you believe in a perfect world?

A world so perfect that you believe you are the hero / heroine. The story, no, the world will revolve around you. You will face a lot of challenges, from the small one to the impossible one. But all those don’t matter, because as the hero, you will be able to solve it.

A world so perfect that everybody will act or think the way you want it. Even everything, every single event are going exactly the way you want it. No bad thing whatsoever. No bad people. No evil intention. Every single people, if not pretty helpful and kind, will mind their own business and won’t hurt another.

Well, that world doesn’t exist. I’m not acting as Mr. know-it-all. Just read your newspaper. What I see is pretty much chaotic. Politic biased news beats substance. While I still believe in President Jokowi, but more and more people start doubting him. Blaming another for our misfortune, that’s how it works around here. When the economy goes bad, when we got less money, there must be someone (not me) responsible for it. This world is full with a lot of me. 

Well, this world is definitely not a place I used to imagine. But I’m no hero either. I’m not proud about how everything went recently. I have a lot in my mind on how to contribute to society. Imagining how I can push myself toward what I wanted to be. But I couldn’t. And when everything doesn’t go as well as how I wanted it to be, I start to blame the imperfect condition I’m in.

Pretending. Most people are really good at it and that’s how they choose to act against the imperfect world. The world is full of actors, and this big ball called planet Earth is a giant stage for us to act.

Let’s pretend to be happy, say some.

Let’s pretend to love being with someone, say another.

Let’s pretend to love what we do.

The world isn’t a perfect place, but pretending isn’t the way to deal with it. I’m not in a position to tell you what to do. I told you, I’m not a hero. Yet. Just give me some time to get myself back on track, and when I’m done let’s try to change it together. It’s an open invitation.

P.S. Just a piece of my mind. Good night.


Hey Old Man!

This sudden urge for blogging came from a movie. It’s titled “Flipped”. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you to look it up, either in iTunes, DVD shop or even torrent. The movie is really great, not in a full throttle action movie nor a super hilarious movie either. This movie is beautiful.

I watched this movie on my flight back home from Jakarta to Medan (actually not that important) several weeks ago. I don’t mean to spoil the story, but basically it revolves on a relationship between a boy and a girl which houses located across the street. At first, the girl fell at the first sight with the boy ever since he moved to her neighborhood. But as the girl got to clingy, the boy got embarrassed by the way his friends teasing him, so he decided to ignore her. But as they grew up,the feeling got ‘flipped’. The girl started to hate the boy because the way he always treated her, yet the boy strangely started to see her differently, slowly realizing that she is really unique and appealing. I found this movie really interesting because it pictures the human feelings beautifully.

But my focus of story isn’t about these 2 people relationship. It’s about the othfrom movie, Flippeder character, the boy’s grandpa. Back when the boy still ignoring the girl, his grandpa was the one questioning why his grandson won’t play with this girl. When the grandpa saw the girl across the street digging holes and mowing her garden, he decided to help her. He talked to her, helped her, telling his old stories, and they both became best friends. This particular grandpa is amazing for me, because so many old people I know are so distance with youngster. My grandma never actually talked to me. While my grandpa died when I was a baby (although I do hear that he loved me so much and always played together with me). So, I always longed for that feeling. Someone far older than you, willing to listen to all your problems (without judging) and you know that he will have your back whatever problem that you face. Luckily, I met these 2 amazing gentlemen that changed me for better.

Rob, the Canadian Professor

It was 3 years ago, during my exchange program in Germany. I came directly, with almost no preparation or experience of living abroad so I was kind of afraid and anxious. As an additional curriculum, the university where I was in made a German class for all exchange students which was mandatory. So on the very first day at school, I went to the language class and there I met people from all around the world. American, Mexican, Chinese, Korean, Indian, South African, and Canadian. While most of them were people from places where I’ve never been before and so attractive, but something weird caught into my attention. One old man was sitting together with us, in the first row of the class and I don’t think that he fit the description of an exchange student.

“My name is Rob. I’m Canadian, and I’m an ‘exchange professor’!” so he said. Exchange professor? Weird. What does an exchange professor do in a language class full of students around 21-25 years old? Let’s say if he’s an expert on one subject and called for teaching in a class, I can’t think of a reason why he will want to come to this class, as it’s full of young people coming to Germany mostly for having fun. (Later I found out that he was the one insisted on joining that class).

As time passed by, Rob also became more interesting and hilarious. Maybe because as people say, the older you are, the harder for you to learn a language. That’s why I found Rob was really slow at learning German. He was the slowest learner on the classroom and had the worst mark in almost every exams. But what’s more interesting, he never gave up. He didn’t care if on grammar class he was left behind, he will slowly learnt by himself until he understood. After class when most of the students would directly go the cafetaria, he will stay in the classroom to discuss problems that he couldn’t understand. Back then, I was a quitter. Whenever I faced problems, usually I will just quit. At that exact moment, something that Rob did unconsciously, taught me something valuable.

After half a year, Rob and I became good friends. While most students prefer to sit next to the beautiful blonde girl or the handsome latin guy, I prefer to sit next to Rob, on the first row. We talked a lot. About his families back in Canada, his job as a professor, about Canada which country I always dream to go, and I talked about mine. Sometimes our discussion went really interesting I skipped my lunch. I asked him once, why won’t he become a businessman, someone with lot of money and success.

“Peter, you are still young. I won’t hope that you understand it now, but in life, thereis something more important than money. Than something that you describe as ‘being successful’ now. I found something in teaching that I won’t hand it over for a lot of money. It excites me when I think how my teaching can change a lot of bright students life. I hope you find it as well, later when you are older. Because success and happiness aren’t about money. You will understand.”

On the last day of our class, before we went back to our home countries, Rob came to the class holding a big paper bag. “These books are my favorite books. I’m giving it to you because I know how you love to read. Thanks for this one year and I hope you find your thing of happiness.” And that’s Rob, the ‘exchange professor’.Deutschkurs A1

Budi Permadi

That’s the name of my lecturer in SBM ITB, my thesis supervisor, and also the name of the best teacher I’ve ever had. After I returned to Indonesia after I finished my exchange year in Germany, as a last year student, I have to quickly finish my thesis if I want to graduate together with my other friends. So after I arrived, I directly went to Mr. Budi, together with my half-finished thesis I wrote back in Germany. “What’s this?” he said, after he read my thesis for around 5 minutes. “My thesis sir. It’s about tourism and what I want to write is t..” “I didn’t asked you that!” he said before I could even finish my sentences. “Why are you writing this nonsense? What actually do you want to write?”

He saw right through me. I understood what he meant from the very beginning. What I wrote was trash. All I wrote was just nonsense, halfheartedly written just so I can pass with decent mark and graduate with my friends. He knew and he rejected it.

I was really angry and at the same time scared at that time. It was only 2 months before the graduation, and if I want to graduate on time, I have to finish it in 1 month, something seems impossible back then. Yet, he mercilessly rejected my topic and told me to wrote another one, something I really want to research about. After that meeting. I hated him so much and I swore on him so many times in front of my friends.

One month after that meeting wasn’t easy. He pushed me so hard on the new topic and it seemed like he didn’t care whether I could graduate in 2 months or not. That one month was full of swearing and I wrote my thesis almost 18 hours a day… everyday. He was hard headed, strict and temperamental. But if I think about it right now, he was always there for me. I just realized that sometimes I faced difficulties in uncommon times of a day. Sometimes I will call him at 11.00 pm, yet he will still pick up my call and discuss it together with me. I realized later, that even though he was strict, he will be there for his students whenever they needed him.

I finished my thesis on time, and I got an A+. After the thesis examination, I came to his room, wanted to say my gratitude for his supervising. When I entered, he smiled. Something I rarely encounter. And then he said,

“Petrus. Sometimes life isn’t ideal. It won’t always be easy for you, and sometimes, in that un-ideal times, you will be faced with choices. Do something just to pass that problem, or doing your best to achieve something that you will never forget. Something you will be proud of for the rest of your life. I hope this thesis taught you that. Congratulation, you’ve done a great work.”

As a person, I’m so lucky to have met these 2 old men in my life. They taught me so much, they changed me for a better person and I couldn’t stop thanking God for letting me to know these 2 amazing gentlemen.

The reason I wrote this post on my blog isn’t only to share this story with others. But also I want to wrote this thing so that I can read this post when I face difficulties ahead. And I can read it again what they taught me about. Thanks Rob and Pak Budi. Hope you both are doing fine…

Ibu Terbaik di Dunia

Kubuka album biru
Penuh debu dan usang
Ku pandangi semua gambar diri
Kecil bersih belum ternoda

Ada satu lagu yang setiap aku dengar selalu membuatku terharu. Sepenggal liriknya ada di atas, Bunda by Potret. Entah mengapa, setiap ada lagu mengenai kenangan tentang sosok seorang Ibu, hampir semua orang akan tersentuh olehnya. Sosok seorang Ibu, adalah hal yang mutlak berbekas di hati semua orang, baik orang tersebut jahat, baik, kaya maupun miskin.

Semua orang selalu berkata bahwa Ibunya adalah yang terbaik di dunia. Hal tersebut adalah satu2nya hal yang paling sulit dibuktikan. Orang terkaya bisa dicari, pemain basket paling hebat pun bisa dipilih, akan tetapi sosok seorang ibu adalah mutlak di hati masing-masing orang, tak tergantikan. Setidaknya begitulah perasaanku tentang seorang wanita, yang tangguh, cerdas, tegas dan bagiku adalah orang yang paling penting dalam hidup. Ibuku.

Tangis dan Tawa

Mama, begitu aku memanggilnya, adalah sosok yang mendukungku di setiap persimpangan kehidupanku. Sepanjang usiaku ini, sosok yang selalu terbayang di benakku akan beliau adalah sosok yang tangguh. Sebagai seorang ibu, dia bukan hanya berperan sebagai ibu rumah tangga. Selain memasak dan mengatur pendidikan anak2nya, dia juga turut membantu dalam bisnis keluarga. Masih sering teringat sosoknya di pagi buta yang setiap hari bangun pukul 5 pagi untuk memasakkan sarapan untuk aku dan kakakku. Selain itu, kenangan di mana beliau menyempatkan diri menjemputku sepulang sekolah di tengah kesibukan toko dan bersama2 makan bakso di dekat sekolah tetap menjadi highlight masa kecilku. “Bagaimana tadi di sekolah?” Ucapnya. “Mah, aku tadi dimarahin di sekolah gara2 ketiduran.” Lalu kami pun tertawa bersama-sama.

Seingatku sampai saat ini sudah 3 kali aku dibuat menangis oleh mamaku. Yang pertama adalah ketika aku duduk di bangku TK. Saat itu aku menolak permintaan mamaku untuk mengambilkan air minum sehingga dia memukul tanganku. Seharian aku menangis dan hingga saat ini, hal tersebut menjadi salah satu hal yang paling dia sesali, memukul tangan anaknya.

Hal kedua adalah ketika berada di SMA, keluarga kami sempat ditipu besar-2an oleh seorang rekan bisnis. Saat itu, bangkrut bukanlah hal yang tidak mungkin. Akan tetapi yang membuatku menangis bukanlah kemungkinan untuk hidup miskin, tetapi karena orang tuaku bertengkar begitu hebatnya sampai2 kata cerai sempat terucap di antara mereka. Berdua dengan kakakku, kami bersembunyi di kamar paling pojok sambil mendengarkan cekcok di antara mereka. Untunglah hal tersebut kami lalui dengan baik.. Sungguh, harta bukanlah hal terpenting dalam hidup.

Yang terakhir adalah di bangku kuliah. Ketika itu, mamaku menderita akibat penyakit gangguan saraf tulang belakang. Setiap malam beliau merasa kesakitan hingga akhirnya beliau terpaksa dibawa untuk menjalani sebuah operasi besar. Perasaan malam itu, malam sebelum operasi di mana sosok tangguh yang biasanya terpancar dari dirinya mendadak hilang, digantikan oleh sosok letih menahan sakit. Malam itu menjadi malam paling buruk sepanjang hidupku. Segala ucapan dan tindakan beliau yang seolah pasrah terhadap hasil operasi tersebut seolah memperkeruh suasana. Seharian itu pikiran buruk membayangiku, tanpa pernah terpikir sebelumnya bahwa kejadian buruk bisa menghampiri kedua orang tuaku setiap saat. Seharian, semalam suntuk aku berdoa kepada Tuhan sambil menitikkan air mata. Belum saatnya Tuhan, kataku. Tolong jangan renggut beliau sekarang. Aku belum membalas budi baiknya sama sekali….

Cinta Pertama

Layaknya seorang anak perempuan kepada sang ayah. ibu adalah sosok cinta pertama seorang anak lelaki. Aku tidak tahu bagaimana kehidupanku akan berjalan tanpa beliau. Pengorbanannya, cintanya yang tak terbalas, segalanya. Apakah akan ada kemungkinan bahwa kita, sebagai seorang anak, dapat membalas budi baik seorang ibu? Nonsense!

Hey Mom.. I want you to know, i’m nothing without you. All i did, and all i’m trying to do, everything is just to make you proud of me. Can you wait a little more? I’m not perfect, but i’m trying my best to make you happy.

Selamat ulang tahun ma!

dari putramu..

It’s a windy road out there…

*this is dedicated to all my BI friends…

The Meetup

*ddddddtttttttt, tingg!* (lift door opened)
It was my first day as I stepped inside the Tipikal building  since I knew that I was accepted in Bank Indonesia. I didn’t even know what I’m doing over there. Previously, I had worked for a multinational company, and although the benefit was an average, but career was picking up. Pretty sure that in a few more years, I will be in much better place. But as the hype about working in BI is enormous, all my friends were saying all that nice things about it, I decided to took the chance… And there I was, standing in front of these new people. I saw some familiar faces, my beautiful friends, Indah Vira and Desita which faces calmed me down a little bit. But I’ve never been good with new people, so nervous is a common thing.

Slowly and cautiously, I’m looking into each faces standing / sitting over there. First thing that I realized, there were sooooo many girls.. And most of them wore hijabs. Wait, did I went to a Moslem boarding school or what? But then Indah was standing beside me, so I reassure myself. Then the second thing I realize is that there were only 11 other guys inside the room. SO, out of 65 people joined, less than 20% were dudes. Shit! But well, to made a great impression, I have to act as friendly as possible,so then I walked to the dudes standing together and introduced myself. Hmmm, Aji, Misas, Miftah, Danang, Fadil, Novan, Sarwono (what an old school name), Edi, Aldo, Gerry, and Cahyo. Some people looked like they just got here from their hometown and recently graduated, while others were previously worked somewhere. Well they looked like fun (and they do, dudes are awesome… and unique… and weird…) After some chitchat I started looking towards the girls area. There was this small girl, busily playing with her cell (which is Sonya, soon becoming one of my dearest friend), the girl which looked a little bit like Dian Sastro (Gessa si Sunda pisan), and the one who in the first day already being all loud and screaming, Tyas. While for other girls, I felt awful but with all the hijabs, I couldn’t really differentiate all of them. hahaha sorry. Then we moved to another room and straight for the the contract details.

Ada kasus begini juga nih....

Ada kasus begini juga nih….

Our Trip

After that first meeting, time flies and many things happened one after another. Most of it were great memories, lots of fun and friendships bonded. We went through SAMAPTA together (what a stupid program) while it was hard but we knew each other better. Some great moments to remember by : Fadil’s viral chest hari, our outbound, and the dudes monk hairstyles. I have to say, I’m not interested to go back to that place again, but in the same time that’s the first place where we really bonded.

Moving forward, then we had the classical (in class training). One thing I realized from that is how actually most of you all guys are geeks! I’ve never been, in my whole life, being in a group where most of the students were all that excited to study, asking tons of questions, and whatsoever heavily ambitious. During the classical, there were 3 peoples who I deemed amazingly proactive. 1st is Cahyos’s super ambitious attitude, answering all questions and questioning all answers (but he is superbly helpful with my study so I forgive him hehehe). 2nd is Rini Juwita ijin bertanya which echoed in every guest lecture., but as she is beautiful and has a great voice, so it’s okay. and the last one yet the most annoying is Mba Wulan’s annoying questions, which is not only a hard question, but also sometimes I’m wondering how can she come up with that question? It was so abstract and time consuming that most of the times I just slept through it. Well, to be honest, that’s pretty much all I did in the classroom, sleeping. The only time I was active was when it’s break / lunch time, or chatting during the class.. That’s why I’m so amazed, annoyed, and at the same time, frightened on how I might be at the bottom ranks (which didn’t happen, luckily).

While it was all a lot of fun, but after that we moved to the orientation months where we were busy with the papers. I’m kind of disappointed when suddenly going out for lunch or catching a movie is a really hard thing to do. But then who can say a thing when we were all busy.

Fake happy faces

Fake happy faces

The Windy Road

It has finally came. The day when we must face the fact, whether we will be placed in the branches outside Jakarta, or will we get our dream job? I’m still questioning how the HR division made these decisions, what factors contributed to this decision? But decision has been made, and I have to be responsible as I made the decision to join in. I will move to Medan tomorrow, and while it’s not how I have dreamed to get, but it sounds like fun with all the great stories about Medan. Also in this moment, I want to pray for the best for my bro, Danang which is going to Kupang, and Gessa which is going to Pematang Siantar. I really think that HR made the worst decision for both of you as I’m really amazed and awed by your qualification, attitudes and skills. I’m really sad when I heard the news as both of you are one of the most talented person I’ve ever met. But as the people here say, jewel will always shine even if covered by mud. And’ I really think you both will.

Well…. I really hope that it’s not a farewell. Sooner or later we will meet again (hopefully really soon) and when the time comes, we will be a different person, better and smarter. I really hate it that I won’t be able to meet all of you guys, especially those who I interact a lot with and getting really fond of you, Sonya, Indah, Gessa, Iona, Danang, Tyas, Cahyo, Gessa, Aldo, Rini, Dinda, Gerry, Ririn, etc…. (I’m not writing all the names down as this will become a list rather than a short story). You guys were a lot of fun, and the biggest reason why I hate going to Medan was because we won’t be able to meet as often anymore.

And now, as I’m writing this story, I looked outside and see that rain is falling. It’s getting more and more of a situation where I should shed some tears, but that’s if this is a teenlit story. Guys, I realize that it’s gonna be a windy road up ahead. All the things that we are afraid of sometimes just came by to us, saying ‘halo’ even though we hate em so much. But I realize, that’s life. It won’t be all nice and easy the whole time. Will we be able to face that situation, giving our best and become our country’s greatest asset? Yes, it’s not our foreign reserve that is Indonesia’s greatest asset, but it’s people.  I’m not sure that I can be acting all mighty and strong as I’m one of the most negative human being. But if it’s with you guys, I think I can.

So guys, whenever you are, be strong and give all your best. I will pray for all our successes and we will soon meet again, stronger and better. Last thing is, I have to say this last 6 months has been one hell of a ride. So, thank you!


The departure..

The departure..