A Journey Back Home – Catatan Ramadhan 2017

Hei! *bersih-bersih debu* 

Ehm ehhhm.   *checking the mic* 

So, I’m gonna try to start moving my long post on Path or other socmed here. So this should be a quick blogpost — pardon all the mixed language as I wanna type super fast before the idea vanished from ma head 💆🏼

The objective is pretty simple: just as a note to my future self that I’ve once had the thought. If you, accidentally be here and now reading this, may this will be a beneficial post for you. 

Ramadhan tahun 2017 ini sudah berjalan 8 hari. Satu hal yang saya bisa syukuri, 3 Ramadhan terakhir saya mencoba lebih ngulik dan mempelajari tentang Islam dan spesialnya Ramadhan. Setiap tahun berjalan, setiap tahun juga saya terus belajar hal baru. Seperti malam ini: saya belajar bahwa hidup di dunia bisa diumpamakan seperti perjalanan pulang ke rumah.  I will try my best to share  what I’ve learned. 

Adam. Tau donggg siapa.  Our great great father was once created in heaven. This concept implies that heaven is a place where human belongs. A home. Andddd, you know the story continues.. that iblis came and Adam fooled by him, so Adam fell to Dunya. 

Side story about heaven creature, jadi karena kita adalah makhluk surgawi, maka ruh kita juga kebiasaan jadi penghuni surga. Kebayang ya penghuni surga kaya apa: baik, tidak sombong, cantik, cakep, gak pernah sedih, and all the perfect things we could’ve imagined. 

Which is so logical why Allah azza wa jalla said that He got us every good things we need when we were born. Makanya bayi baru lahir masih dibilang suci banget, he/she still got everything: baik, ceria, murah senyum, pembelajar, tidak pendendam, lovable. Semua ciri anak kecil sebelum akhirnya terpengaruh lingkungan dan orang tua, imo, mirip sekali dengan ciri penghuni surga. He/she just left home. Bayangin aja kalo kita keluar rumah masih wangi dan makeup masih rapih 😂👶🏻💙 and this also explains why we crave for stable positive state in life. Misal, cita-cita hidup: bahagia, punya istri cantik, pinter masak, body kece dan sehat, banyak uang, anak sholeh :)) those all above are heaven-things. Namanya juga makhluk surga, wajar kalo jadi nggak move on dengan hal surgawi. But this where the problem starts, we’re now living in dunya. Bukan di surga lagi mamennnn. Wakeup! 

Here in dunya, we start a journey. It’s like a trip. Ada pilihan untuk kembali balik ke rumah lagi, bisa nyasar nggak balik2, bisa menemukan rumah baru. The end is  yours to choose. But of course ideally, after all the long journey, we should go back home. 

Entah di video Nouman Ali Khan yang mana, I remember he explained about houses in Jannah. Jadi, tiap orang di surga udah punya kapling. Some can make it going back home, some can not. Some chose to live back home, some did not. Kaya lagi pergi liburan aja. Idealnya habis pergi liburan kan pulang lagi ke rumah. Kembali ke rutinitas. 

Kalo mau pergi liburan juga tujuan dan temen tripnya bisa milih (maybe in some cases we can’t really choose ya). But hey, you will always have a choice if you wanna make it a good journey or not. Misal nih ya, worst case-nya adalah kita gabisa milih tujuan trip dan travel companion-nya. Contoh, trip ke Bekasi sama bos yang galak 🚗🚕🚙🚌💨👨🏼‍💻🤵🏼👻 tenangggggg, bernafasssss, kita selalu punya pilihan untuk mengusahakan itu jadi perjalanan yang menyenangkan kok. Bisa misalnya pasang standup comedy selama dalam kemacetan, nonton dan ketawa bareng, breaking the ice with your mad boss 😜 

So the idea is, how to make a good journey. It’s just a trip. It’s temporary. We will go back home eventually. 

You know when you travel abroad and you find sambal belibis or Teh Kotak and you’re really excited about it cause you’re missing it so much and it suddenly feels like homeee? Allah azza wa jalla mentioned it also in quran, He explains that heaven has trees, rivers, milk and honey. Things we appreciate here in Dunya. We’re tasting a glimpse of it and deep inside we’re missing it from our original home. ihdinas siratal mustaqim, may He guides us to the straight path. To the light, that ignites our bones and will guide you home — eh kok jadi lagu coldplay 😉
Btw, in this Ramadhan I just watched a very good reminder from Nouman’s lecture. Bahwasannya untuk kembali naik ke atas, pulang ke rumah, kita butuh tali untuk naik. And the rope is being sent in this month — quran. 

That’s the map. That’s the rope. That’s the guideline we can learn from, on how to enjoy the journey, and go back home. This is the month not only to celebrate the time when He sent us the ropes, but also the month when He will listen our hopes (hey it rhymes!). Gimana2?

Giniiii. Jadi di bulan Ramadhan sebenernya intinya adalah merayakan quran-nya (bukan cuma puasa dan THR-nya). Ceritanya kan semua kata-kata Allah dibukukan dalam Quran tuh. Satu arah kan? Nahhhh it becomes a conversation when He talk to us (thru Quran), and we send our hopes (thru Dhu’a).  This is the best time to talk to Him. Send your hopes. Whatever far you’ve traveled awayyyyyyyy from Him, believe that He is indeed close and actually listen 💙 

May we all have a wonderful journey ya bokkkk, and always make it back to our home sweet home 🏡 

Have a joyful joyful Ramadhan! 

Future Light Exhibition in ArtScience Museum, Singapore 2017. 

Hello 29!

Picture 1: I like how my colleagues put the product I managed as my last name on a birthday cake. And oh, picture was taken by my boss. 

Picture 2: I like how my Indian girls says “Ika, in Indian culture we need to feed you the first bite of our cake, it’s a symbol that we share the sweetness of life” — after that one by one people were putting their spoon on my face. I’m opening my mouth sincerely. 🍰 

Picture 3: I like how my SF besties were calling me at 11.45, in the middle of my 1:1 meeting with ma boss. Then buzz me with picture “we’re on our way. Go PP. now!” They were having back to back meeting. And in the middle of their super busy Wednesday, they would drive jakarta’s road for having a quick lunch with me. 

Picture 4: it was the second meeting of the day. My colleague took a pict of me, candidly. I was giving directions to the new telesales team, sharing them bullets to go to the cloud war ☁️ He posted that on our MS-love-to-eat-gengs. 

Picture 5: another colleague sent me a happy birthday line with the link of my fav band’s latest tunes. Later at night I found their gig sched on a weekend. How the universe conspires to greet me “Happy Birthday” 🙂 

Picture 6: blew the candle. Came home so tired. And all peeps at home were waiting for me to had dinner together ((heartmelt)). It was almost 10 PM — Jakarta traffic’s not really nice tonight. We had nasi kuning ayam bakar together. 

I thank you for all the prayers and wishes. I want you to know that I read every words carefully, wholeheartedly. So happy to acknowledge that soooo many of you were thinking about me. Gave a time to pause from your busy routines — just to threw me a greet, wish, even questions like “how was your birthday?”, “you had a blast?”. Once more, I thank you all. 

I thank You. For all greatness and challenges I got. For presents that never fails to amaze me. For hope and faith, to face what awaits. 

Welcome, 29! ✨

A great year within


This is the time, when almost everyone are making the reflection. Page 365 of 365. December 31st just couple hours before a new calendar will be hanged.

Just like everyone, I’m taking a bit of me time. At the corner of a good cafe gallery. Near my Yoga class will be held in 55 mins. I leave a bit early from my fancy office. Have a bite of choco-lava cake. And remember all the sweets that I had within a year. Here are couple things I should grateful of this year.


Great playground to learn.

I spend more than 8 hours a day on the most popular office building in the city. Challenge myself to give ma best performance to an IT company. This industry isn’t slow at all. There are always new things to absorb — sometimes in super fast period of time. So lucky I work with great teams. Most of them have a-can-do-atittude, as well as willingness to learn and to collaborate. Can’t imagine to run these kind of business without those mindsets. As a newb in an office life, I can say Imma lucky bastard.

Work has helped me a lot in learning a rhythm. To put things that I need in the future at  a good sequence. To get prepared for any unpredictable things that could’ve happened. To manage the unmanaged. They’re not easy. Couple of times I smiled when leaving a meeting room, couple of times I cried too. But, you know, it’s a playground. It’s suppose to makes you happy while playing. sometime’s you fell from a swing, or getting hit by a bad friend, but you still come to the same playground the next day. You try another vehicle. You make friends with a new comer. See if you can still find the fun you wanna get on there.

Great friends along the way.

Not saying that I have a perfect non-office life. I lose friends, get (even better) ones too. They come and go within a year, teaching life lessons. One of good lesson is: don’t get too attached. We never have any of these things at the first place anyway, so always knew that there will be a time to lose them. We just don’t know how and when. Experience the joy as well as hurts they may put. Life won’t be balanced without those.

Great family and home. 

Redefining the word “family” and “home” are not as simple as packed your things into cases and move to a new place (The second one is not easy too, btw). This year, I can say that this is the most difficult challenge that I need to face. This is how I survived:  I ask this question everytime: “Think, Ika: what would you do differently to make this better?”, then I’ll do it, and repeat. “Better things” that I could think of at that time, might not “better enough” — you know, I’m not that smart. But I knew that I took a tiny step towards a light.

After all, every definition in life will eventually change anyway. Not only the definition of Home and Family.

I called Bandung a home in 2013, San Francisco at 2014, and now Jakarta for 2015. Changes will grow you. That’s what I believe.


So, do I survive?

2015 is not an easy year at all. Hustles. Tears. Fear. Scars. All were there. But there were also joy, contentment, and compassion stopped by. A month before new year, and I start thinking already about excited things thay I wanna get next year. Take deep breaths, close eyes, and picture sweet moments that will come.

Will do more travel. Will pray harder. sleep better. Exercise more often. Eat nice fruits. Put bigger smile. And most of all, live happier.

Happy new year, readers! I do hope you had a great year as mine. See you on 2016!


Ps: Pics are from our last 3200KM road trip, ended in Bali. We celebrated 30th annivs of Mom and Dad. Saw nice places. And got bonded for sure.

Wear Sunscreen

Just one other day in the office where I tune up the radio for chillout music, accompanying me to catch some errands. Then this song came out. Which is pretty interesting and.. lovely.

Here’s a bit a bout the lyrics:

Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young“, commonly known by the title “Wear Sunscreen“,[1] is an essay written as a hypothetical commencement speech by columnist Mary Schmich, originally published in June 1997 in the Chicago Tribune. The essay, giving various pieces of advice on how to live a happier life and avoid common frustrations, spread massively via viral email, often erroneously described as a commencement speech given by author Kurt Vonnegut at MIT.

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Sore di Jakarta

Ada banyak cerita di tiap sore kota Jakarta. And it is interesting for me to see every details, especially when I’m on the bus. 

Ada suara Taylor Swift yang bocor dari earphone. 

Ada halaman al matsurat yang diterangi sinar seadanya. 

Ada sticker line kecup bibir yang membuat pembacanya tersenyum. 

Ada genjreng gitar yang ditemani suara (yang entah kenapa hampir selalu) mirip iwan fals. 

Tepukan abang kenek yang mengingatkan penumpang yang tak update tarif baru.  

Pesan terkirim berisi pemberitahuan “sudah dekat ya” pada penjemput setia. 

Aroma soto yang dibungkus untuk makan nanti di rumah.. Dan banyak cerita lainnya yang terlihat kasat mata. 

Cerita yang tak terlihat, mungkin lebih seru. 

Mungkin ada rasa kangen pada peluk dan sapa dari anak perempuan di rumah. 

Ada lapar yang ditahan karena tak sempat pergi makan siang. 

Ada resah karena ayah yang tak kunjung sembuh di rumah. 

Ada rasa enggan pulang karena tengkar yang belum reda bersama kekasih. 

Ada rindu pada dia yang kembali terselip saat sibuk kantor sudah lewat. 

Ada luka yang sakitnya masih perih di hati. 

Ada bangga akan “terimakasih” yang terlontar dari pemimpin di kantor. 


Ada banyak lagi cerita, ada yang terlihat,  ada yang tidak. I don’t need an HBO to make me stay and watch these moments. This somehow gives me a routine me-time. To just sit, see, and eventually feel grateful about the day I just had. 

When I had a bad day, I knew I’m not the only one who have one. These strong people would still try to have a better day, tomorrow. And I should do the same, even try better. When I had a superb day,.. Well I like to throw smiles to random people. Just to pass a good energy that I have. I start to enjoy the rhythm. Seeing these moments is wayyyy better than driving alone, or texting on a cab. 

Ps: someone really cool made an amazing Jakarta playlist. Easy listening dengan suara gitar akustik yang simple dan gak banyak efek macem-macem. Ringan. Cocok didengerin sore-sore di atas bis. Suka banget.