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 πŸ’†πŸΌ

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 πŸ˜‚πŸ‘ΆπŸ»πŸ’™ 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 πŸš—πŸš•πŸš™πŸšŒπŸ’¨πŸ‘¨πŸΌβ€πŸ’»πŸ€΅πŸΌπŸ‘» 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 πŸ˜‰
 
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 πŸ’™ 

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” πŸ™‚ 

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! ✨


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.

Sing.

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

Floss.

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.

Stretch.

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.. 

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.   

  


A weekend

is a time I use to reflect what I’ve done and gotten 5 days before, and plan another excitement 5 days after. 

Is a time when I can spend sometime with mom, lil bro, and dad. 

Is a time when I can sleep and wake up a lil bit late.

—– 

  
Anyway, I enjoyed my weekend! 

On Saturday, I had enough sleeps, breakfast with mom, coffee with baes, drove parents to a party and ate good stuffs there. 

On Sunday I watched Tom Cruise in MI5, saloon time with mom (and now having a super good smell on my hair), had a good sandwich while preparing work for Monday and enjoyed Tohpati songs on my way home. 

Oh I got succha good one. Alhamdulillah. Nggak cuma weekend-nya. Weekday-nya pun banyak hal penuh lessons, fun reminders and excitement. And between those lessons, here’s my fav:

“If you wanna get something you’ve never got before, do things you’ve never done before”

Kalo lagi hitung-hitung berkah gini, berasa deh kalo Allah sayang banget sama diriku. πŸ™πŸ»


The Importance of Repetition

“Jangan lupa set rhythm-nya ya, Ika”, begitu kata Mas Aries, my direct supervisor at the office. He is an amazing person. He gives me lotsa lessons. And one of them is: the importance of doing things repetitively.

By writing this post, I wanna remind myself that having a rhythmic life is essential. Memiliki sebuah keteraturan, keberulangan yang disiplin, adalah penting. 

Marbot masjid akan selalu menjalankan tugasnya untuk azan ketika matahari terbit. 

Matahari, secara disiplin akan terbit pada waktu yang hampir berulang setiap tahunnya. 

Keberaturan. Adalah yang membuat hidup ini menjadi cantik. Menciptakan sebuah pola. Sehingga memudahkan orang-orang seperti saya untuk belajar. Saya jadi lebih menerima saat tubuh dan emosi jadi ringkih setiap bulannya, ada ritme 25 hari yang membuat saya tidak bisa mengelak dari bekerjanya hormon di tubuh ini. 

Dari pola. Saya belajar banyak hal. Saya jadi tau, bahwa teratur dalam belajar, membuat pintar. Teratur merokok, membahayakan paru. Teratur beribadah, menyehatkan jiwa. Saya jadi mengerti, pola.. adalah titik-titik kecil. Yang ketika dirangkai, akan membentuk garis, ataupun gambar, apapun itu — a bigger picture. A bigger purpose. 

Saya jadi ingat filosofi batik. It always starts from a dot. Satu bentuk, berulang, dengan rupa dan jarak yang (diusahakan) sama. Do we really have a perfect pattern? No we won’t. Bahkan pembatik terampil sekalipun mungkin menitikkan malam di luar pola. Mungkin saat itu dia lelah, kurang konsentrasi. Dia tetap mencoba menjalankan rutinitas saat sedang sedih melihat anaknya yang tidak kunjung mendengar nasihat. Mungkin. Saat titik keluar pola, maka terjadilah perubahan. 

Change, darling. Is inevitable. 

Namun pembatik yang teguh akan sadar dengan segera saat dia membuat kesalahan. Menghirup nafas sejenak, melihat kain batik dari kejauhan — untuk memeriksa sudah sejauh mana pola-pola itu tersusun. Mengukur dampak kesalahan kepada hasil akhir batik nantinya. Lalu berstrategi, untuk melanjutkan ritme kembali, menyelesaikan kain batik hingga akhir. 

Batik tulis tak akan luput dari alfa. Namun itulah yang membuatnya bernilai. Memiliki jiwa. Dan cerita. 

Ritme. Membentuk degup. Merangkai nafas. Memberikan rasa pada setiap inci proses yang kita lalui. Kita boleh senang saat nanti kain batik sudah rampung dibuat. Tapi ada yang manis untuk dikenang, saat melihat lagi titik-titik yang keluar pola. Mengingat momen di baliknya. Ada yang manis untuk dikenang, ketika ingat masa lelah itu. Saat kita memutuskan berhenti. Menyimpan kainnya. Lalu menemukan semangat untuk membuka kembali. Mengulang ritme dari nol — dan sungguh berat mengumpulkan lagi semangat menitikkan malam berulang-ulang. 

Ketika ritme berhenti. Maka hukum Newton berlaku. Ada percepatan yang harus dihadirkan. Untuk menggeser massa. Agar dia tidak diam. 

Ada percepatan yang harus dihadirkan. Untuk menggerakkan kembali tangan ini, membentuk titik-titik, untuk merampungkan pola pada kain batik. Nilai percepatan, tidak nol adanya. Dia mungkin bernilai besar, mungkin saat mengingat sang anak akan mengenakan kain ini saat wisuda nanti. Atau membayangi bahwa kain ini akan menemani cucunya tidur setiap malam. She may even have a really good mood while working on the pattern, so everything seems just.. Easy and enjoyable.  

Mungkin saja, pola besarnya tidak tergambar sejak awal. Sang pembatik, hanya tau membuat titik dengan jarak dan bentuk yang sama. Tapi di satu hari, saat batik itu rampung dikerjakan, saya yakin dia tetap bernilai tinggi, dan sesuatu yang bernilai, pasti cantik dikenakan. 

I like how Coelho puts repetition as a lethal way of life. It indeed kills. 

  
 

 


Layangan Putus

  
I took a cab just now. And the driver, was just hilarious! 

Obrolan dimulai saat lewat pasar tradisional. Which is only around 10 mins from my house. 

Driver (D): wah ini pasarnya rame ya kalo malam. 

Ika (I): Kalau siang lebih heboh lagi pak. Biasanya saya lewat komplek gamprit, tapi banyak polisi tidur sih. 

D: biarin aja tidur, jangan dibangunin 

I: hahahahahahahahaha. Iya pak. 

D: orang kalo jatuh cinta, jauh lho mbak dari penyakit! 

I: *eh kok ini obrolannya gak nyambung* 

oh ya pak? Hahahahaha 

*ketawa sopan. Biar terlihat menyimak. Padahal udah khawatir ini bakal diajak ngomong nggak juntrung ngalor ngidul* 

D: iya mbak, demam-demam gitu pasti hilang. 

I: emangnya bapak lagi jatuh cinta? 

D: wah, saya mah selalu sedang jatuh cinta mbak. Aneh ya. 

I: wahhh. Hebat banget. Sama istrinya kan? 

D: iya dong. Sama istri saya. Dia itu hebat mbak. Selalu bisa bikin saya jatuh cinta. 

I: waaaaw. Apa rahasianya? 

D: nyebelin dan suka ngomel. 

I: hah? Tapi bikin bapak terus jatuh cinta? 

D: lha iya. Hebat lho. Saya selalu bisa kangen sama dia. Ya sama omelannya. Nyebelin. Tapi kangen. 

Namanya juga pernikahan ya. Nggak romantis terus. Tapi ya itu anehnya. Orang ini bisa bikin saya jatuh cintaaaaaaa terus. Bahkan dengan omelannya. Aneh kan. Saya juga sebel kenapa bisa gini. Tapi seneng juga. Ya kayak jatuh cinta tiap saat aja. Hidup rasanya enteng, demam-demam hilang. 

I: hahahahaha bisa gitu ya pak. 

D: ya bisa. Saya sadar kok. Orang kayak saya ini nggak banyak. Terlalu banyak orang di luar sana kayak layangan putus. Kesana-kemari, nggak jelas apa yang dicari. Kok bisa ya. Saya itu, kalo udah malem gini ya kangen. Pengen pulang. Bukannya saya nggak suka cewek cantik. Ya tapi, itu lho. Udah kebanyakan layangan putus di dunia. Dan dilalah saya selalu kangen kok sama yg nyebelin di rumah itu. 

I: waaaawww hahahaha. Hebat pak. Bapak udah lama nikahnya? Udah punya putra/putri berapa pak? 

D: sudah tua saya iniiiii. Sudah aki-aki. Istri saya juga sudah nenek-nenek. Anaknya jangan kaget ya. Banyak. Ada lima. 

Maaf nih ya. Kalo di ranjang, istri saya tuh selalu bisa memuaskanku, mbak. Nggak pernah nggak puas. Makanya anaknya banyak. 

I: hebat yaa istri bapak! Bapak juga hebat sih. Nggak banyak orang yg dikasih rejeki skill kaya gitu lho pak. 

——–

It was a very short conversation, but it gave me laughters and lessons. 

  1. Feeling abundant. Duh. Bapak ini, skill bersyukurnya luar biasa. 
  2. Istrinya!!!! Kok bisa sekeren itu? Sounds like she could manage and balance everything. She indeed deserves a man like this. Dan selalu bisa muasin di ranjang? Wawwwww. That’s really a skill. 

Berdoa dalam hati semoga bisa punya keluarga kaya gini suatu hari. Suami yang pandai bersyukur, dan gue bisa jadi istri yang gak pernah lelah berusaha lebih baik. Amin!

Ramadhan 2015 hari kedua. Got lots of rizqi already. Alhamdulillah.