melepaskan balon-balon.

time to release the balloons and watch them disappear again – @beradadisini

Ketika kamu ingin melepaskan sesuatu, visualisasikan gambaran ini: ikatlah sesuatu yang ingin kamu lepaskan itu pada sebuah balon gas, kemudian lepaskan balon gas itu, dan saksikan ketika ia naik semakin tinggi ke langit dan akhirnya hilang dari pandanganmu.

Saya lupa di mana pernah membacanya. Tetapi saya pernah mencoba hal ini beberapa kali. Tidak berhasil untuk semua hal, tetapi cukup berhasil untuk beberapa hal. Ada saat-saat ketika saya ‘melepaskan balon-balon’ itu ke udara (biasanya saya memvisualisasikan hal ini sebelum tidur di malam hari) menyaksikannya menghilang di langit, dan setelah itu perasaan saya menjadi lebih ringan. Seakan sebagian beban sudah terangkat dari pundak.

Melepaskan harapan adalah salah satunya. Berpegang pada harapan bisa jadi hal yang menyenangkan, sekaligus memberatkan. Ada kalanya kita melihat hal-hal yang belum tuntas, impian-impian yang belum sempat diwujudkan, keinginan-keinginan yang belum terpenuhi, semua yang kita harapkan akan terjadi, tetapi tidak—atau belum menjadi kenyataan. Terkadang ini menjadi beban tersendiri. Seakan kita punya setumpuk pekerjaan rumah yang harus diselesaikan.

Terkadang kita lupa bertanya: apakah kita perlu mempertahankan semua ini? Ataukah kita perlu melepaskan beberapa ke udara sehingga kita bisa melangkah dengan lebih ringan? Ini sama halnya dengan terus-menerus membeli baju-baju baru; sampai lemari pakaian kita penuh sesak, hanya karena kita tidak tega membuang baju-baju lama yang hampir tak pernah dipakai lagi. Sama halnya dengan keinginan. Harapan. Cinta. Angan-angan.

Sebelum daftarnya menjadi semakin panjang, mungkin ada baiknya kita menarik napas sejenak. Melihat dengan lebih jernih. Bayangkan bahwa dalam satu periode waktu, kita hanya bisa menyimpan 3 buah balon harapan di tangan. Apa saja yang akan kita genggam, dan balon-balon mana saja yang akan kita lepaskan?

Belakangan, saya merasa balon-balon saya mulai memenuhi ruang. Ia berceceran mulai dari kamar tidur, koper, kolong tempat tidur, meja kerja, jalan raya, sampai sudut hati. Jadi, nanti malam, sudah saatnya saya melepaskan beberapa ke udara dan menyaksikan mereka naik, naik, naik terus… sampai hilang dari pandangan.

We can’t have everything we want. Dan saya masih belajar pelan-pelan, untuk bisa menerima kenyataan ini dengan lapang dada. Sulit, memang. Dan mungkin masih akan selalu ada sedikit air mata yang tumpah. Tapi tak apa. Esok mungkin masih menawarkan kejutan-kejutan yang akan membuat saya tertawa bahagia.

Yang penting saya sudah menyediakan ruang. Ruang untuk balon-balon baru yang masih akan berdatangan dari waktu ke waktu.

6 tahun beradadisini…

Enam tahun meninggalkan banyak hal di belakang, sekaligus menjanjikan banyak kesempatan di depan. Perpisahan dan pertemuan yang diabadikan di sini menjadi semacam catatan atas hidup yang tidak pernah bisa ditebak bagaimana bermulanya, atau bagaimana berakhirnya.

Enam tahun yang lalu, saya menulis karena saya tidak bisa tidak menulis. Karena saya cinta. Karena hanya itu yang saya pikirkan ketika membuka mata di pagi hari dan menjelang tidur di malam hari: saya ingin menulis dan merekam hidup dengan jari-jemari saya di atas papan ketik, tak peduli apakah ada yang membacanya ataupun tidak.

Enam tahun yang lalu saya menulis karena saya sedih. Karena saya kecewa. Karena saya marah. Karena saya bahagia. Karena saya patah hati. Karena saya jatuh cinta.

Enam tahun yang lalu, catatan-catatan ini dimulai. Dan bagi mereka yang selalu ada sejak saat itu hingga kini, maupun bagi mereka yang hadir di tengah-tengah atau pada perjalanan masa kini, terima kasih. Terima kasih banyak.

what if.

One cloudy morning, a friend of mine left a link to this short movie in my Twitter timeline. I opened the link and my eyes fell instantly to the movie description at the bottom. It said: Every day, so many opportunities to connect… what if you took just one? Even before I watched the movie I knew that it would bring some tears into my eyes. The what-if. The saddest word in the world.

– SPOILER ALERT –

A guy shyly stole a glance at a woman sitting across him on a train. When their eyes met, he pretended looking at another direction. When the woman got off at a station, the guy realized that she had left her pocket camera behind. He brought the camera home, and started looking at the images the woman had captured. From the shots he found out that apparently, the woman had just had a farewell party. She was going to move to another city. And how surprised he was, when he found several candid shots of himself, taken by the woman during the train-ride! Startled, he tried to find the woman. Following some clues in the woman’s pictures, he finally managed to locate the woman’s apartment—only to find out that the woman had gone.

What if he said a simple hello on the train that day? What was the worst thing that could happen? What was the best thing that could happen?

I used to live with lots of what-ifs, especially when it comes to relationships. I was naturally shy—and back then, glancing a smile or saying hello to a guy was definitely not something I would do. Not to mention starting a conversation and exchanging contact details. I always thought that I wasn’t good enough, not attractive enough, not interesting enough. I was afraid of being rejected, afraid that I would humiliate myself. And because of that, I chose to live my life in numerous what-ifs, because it was a saver option. Because I didn’t have to hear ‘the painful truth’—and not knowing the painful truth means: I still had hopes. What didn’t register to me at that time was the fact that there were happy sides of truth! The kind of truth like that-guy-actually-liked-me-but-he-thought-I-was-not-interested.

I lived in what-ifs until I was 25. That was when I decided to find out about the truth—the truth I had been avoiding to hear for years. After a long time, what-ifs became really suffocating. I couldn’t breathe with it, and I just have to let it out. Surprisingly, when I finally found out about the truth, it wasn’t a painful truth! It was more or less standing on the happy side of truth! And I couldn’t stop cursing myself. Why didn’t I find out about the truth sooner? So I can live my life happily, not having to be burdened by the question: what if?

We only lived once. And I was lucky that I could survive to 25 (and now 28), to find out about the truth; to discover the answer behind the what-ifs. But again, what if we only have today?

Things like being rejected or being humiliated don’t scare me as much these days. I know that the worst will pass, and the best sometimes appear only once. Lately, whenever I found a reason to connect, I decided to take the chance. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still shy :) But recently, I met a guy that I found slightly attractive—and I, shyly, asked him to write down his contacts before we parted. I couldn’t believe that I actually did that, and I was surprised knowing how liberating it felt! :) At the time, I thought: maybe I’ll lose interest in a week, maybe he’ll find me annoying, maybe I’ll never contact him again, maybe he won’t reply if I drop him a line or two…

But, came to think about it: who cares? We only live once, and it was great knowing that we have no regrets; that we don’t have to spend all our lives questioning: what if?

sequence

So, this is my first short movie video project with Nanath, called “Sequence”—that falls under our independent movie project Sunday & Sunflowers. I did the shots with my Canon 550D camera and developed the story/script, while Nanath took her part as the heart-broken girl in the movie and did an amazing effort in editing and deciding on song selection.

The song is Wish You Well by Katie Herzig (which was suggested to us by Nia). And the lyric is just awesome:

I, I want to wish you well
I didn’t watch you go
Cause I suppose I don’t know how
I, I will remember you
Not the way you left but how you lived
And what you knew

I, I want to feel your hands
I want to feel your fire burning
Right from where I stand

I’ll find my way
Cause you showed me how

I, I want to know it’s you
When I hear your voice inside my head
Inside my room
I, want to touch the sky
I want to see the stars twinkle
Like they were your eyes

I’ll find my way
You showed me
I’ll find my way
Cause you showed me how

I, I want to smell your scent
I want to breathe the air I did before
Before you left

I, I want to wish you well
The only reason my heart beats
Is cause you showed it how

I’ll find my way
You show me
I’ll find my way
You show me
I’ll find my way
Cause you showed me how
You show me how
You showed me how

Also, thanks to Daniel, our own national rugby player, for his performance as the heartbreaker :D

love, too, shall pass.

There were times in life when love took off, leaving you behind. No matter how careful you’ve been, it seems like there’s always something that manages to slip through the cracks. All of a sudden, love—the love you think you’ve known so well, had gone. And there, you were left alone: sad, depressed, confused, angry, disappointed, brokenhearted…

You kept on questioning what went wrong, when things started to crumble, how come you didn’t notice the signs earlier. And there were moments when you felt as if this was the end of it. That you won’t be able to forget the one who left, that you won’t be able to love again, that you would never feel the same way about someone new ever again, that you won’t be able to move on.

But the truth is: love (like everything else), too, shall pass. It might take an excruciating 6 months, a year, five years, or even fifteen to fifty years, but it’ll pass. Either you’re moving on because you feel like the time has come, or because it’s the only thing you can do to survive, it really doesn’t matter. It. Will. Pass. At one time gently, leaving lovely memories; other times painfully, leaving scars you’ll bring along with you through life.

But life is always full of endings and beginnings.

One day, you’ll wake up in the morning realizing that your pillow is no longer damp from last night’s tears; understanding that this is it. This is the day when you’ve let love pass through you, to let it transform and give life to something new. Something fresh. Something yet unknown—some love that is still waiting for you at the other side of hope.

hujan semalam.

Probably bokeh gives you a mellowy feeling because it represents the blurry sight you get when you see things through teary eyes | @beradadisini

Saya ingin mengirimi kamu hujan. Hujan yang sangat lebat jika saya sedang terlalu kangen. Hujan rintik-rintik untuk menyapa kamu dari balik jendela ketika kamu penat. Saya ingin meniup awan hitam ke atas kotamu. Meninggalkan bayang-bayang gelap di atas pucuk kepalamu ketika kamu berjalan pulang; lalu membasuh wajahmu dengan rintik pertama ketika kamu sampai di ambang pintu.

Saya ingin mengajakmu memandangi hujan. Melihat tetes-tetesnya dekat-dekat dari balik kaca yang berembun, berlomba menggambari jendela dengan jari-jemari kita yang tak pernah berhenti bergerak selagi kita berbicara. Lalu ketika tetes-tetesnya semakin menderas, saya ingin menyeretmu ke jalanan yang basah. Kita akan berlarian di bawah hujan—tertawa-tawa ketika pada beberapa kesempatan kita nyaris terpeleset di sisi-sisi jalan yang licin. Kita akan bermain: menjejakkan kaki kuat-kuat di atas kubangan agar bisa menciprati satu sama lain.

Ketika dingin sudah merayapi kita lambat-lambat, saya akan mengajakmu menepi sebentar di sebuah kedai kopi yang buka 24 jam. Ada dua cangkir kopi hangat di atas meja, kertas-kertas tisu, serta suara kita mengisi celah-celah di udara. Malam berganti pagi—dan kita bahkan tak menyadari bahwa sejak lama, hujan sudah berhenti.

soundless.

In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.

You came to me like a glimpse of soundless rain in the middle of the night. It would resemble those nights—the nights when I was already in bed, with my pajamas on, reading Murakami while sipping a cup of hot sweet tea, waiting to drift off. And then I felt as if something had changed. Like the atmosphere had shifted. It was the feeling of being embraced by something warmer. Something brighter. Something serene. Something beautiful.

So I crawled lazily from my bed, stood in front of my bedroom window, opened the blinds, and realized that it was raining silently outside.

Do you find it beautiful? The contrast view of the silvery drops of rain, glistening under the mercury lamps, pouring down from the pitch-black sky. I breathed the fragrance of the wet soil, the cold wind, the stillness… like I was never going to have enough of them.

You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you.

You came to me like an old friend, like nostalgia from a distant past. There was something inside you that captivated me in an instant: it was as if we’ve met before, as if we’ve known each other for years. I knew that you’re the kind of person who would appreciate silence; and we could just sit side-by-side in a deserted beach somewhere, gazing at the horizon for hours, saying nothing. We’d be too immersed in the beauty of what lies in front of us. At the same time, I knew that shall we had a chance to go out together—attacking street food and one litre of ice cream somewhere, we’ll be cheerily and comfortably talking to each other about almost everything, leaping from one subject to the next, non-stop. The conversation would flow naturally like a stream in monsoon season, and the range of topics would just be endless.

but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art.

You came to me like someone who accidentally brushed my shoulder as we walked past a crowded street. You didn’t even realize what had happened—and you didn’t even see me. I was just another girl walking down the street—and there was nothing special about me that caught your eyes, that made you want to slow down a bit, step back, and turn your head around to see me more closely. But I noticed you, probably way before our shoulder brushed on that crowded street. I noticed you because I could feel the atmosphere changed: like those nights when the rain was pouring down silently outside my bedroom window.

You were shining.

And though we might never see each other ever again, and though our lives had crossed path for only a few condensed minutes, I was glad for I have been given a chance to know you.

In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems

You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you.

but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art.
-Rumi-

Slum Child.

Bina Shah, 2011 | 296 pages

Beberapa tahun terakhir ini, saya tertarik pada novelis-novelis India seperti Lahiri, Umrigar, Divakaruni, juga Bhagat. Ada sesuatu yang magis dari tulisan-tulisan mereka, kisah-kisah universal yang dibalut dengan nuansa tradisional yang kental. Sejak saat itu, saya memiliki ketertarikan khusus pada novel-novel dari Asia Selatan. Sayang, tak banyak penulis modern dari luar India yang saya ketahui. Namun sepulangnya dari Pakistan, saya menerima bingkisan dari Bina Shah, penulis novel Slum Child. Begitu membuka halaman pertama dan membaca kalimat pertamanya, saya tahu bahwa saya tidak akan bisa meletakkan buku ini lagi sebelum membacanya sampai habis.

Tidak mudah menjadi gadis Kristen miskin di daerah kumuh di Karachi, Pakistan. Tetapi di sanalah Laila tinggal, di Issa Colony yang kotor dan tidak menjanjikan apapun, termasuk masa depan. Laila gadis yang bersemangat dan cerdas. Hidup bersama ibu, ayah tiri, kakak perempuan yang sakit-sakitan dan adik-adik lelaki tirinya, Laila mencoba menemukan tempatnya di dunia. Kepalanya dipenuhi pertanyaan-pertanyaan tentang berbagai hal, termasuk tentang keberadaan Tuhan.

Ketika Jumana—kakak perempuan Laila—meninggal dunia karena TBC, dan ibu mereka dilanda depresi berat, ayah tiri Laila terbujuk untuk menjual keperawanan Laila. Mendengar rencana ini, Laila pun minggat dari rumah, meminta perlindungan kepada majikan ibunya—sebuah keluarga Muslim yang kaya-raya di daerah elit Karachi. Bekerja sebagai pengasuh anak, kini Laila pun harus bergelut dengan sebuah dunia yang berbeda 180 derajat dari dunia yang ia tinggalkan. Di sinilah ia merasakan debar-debar cinta pertama dan memberanikan diri bermimpi mengenai masa depan; namun kemudian menyadari bahwa pada akhirnya, ia harus memilih ke mana ia hendak “pulang”.

Slum Child merupakan sebuah novel yang sedih, sekaligus kuat. Dari mata kanak-kanak Laila, kita diajak melihat kehidupan di daerah kumuh secara apa adanya, tanpa emosi berlebih. Interaksi Muslim-Kristen, orangtua-anak dan golongan kaya-miskin dikisahkan secara lugas, tanpa terjebak dalam stereotipe. Slum Child menyadarkan kita bahwa kebaikan bisa muncul dari tempat-tempat yang paling tidak disangka-sangka. Dan novel ini adalah salah satu novel yang membuat saya sungguh-sungguh tersenyum, juga menitikkan air mata ketika membacanya.

Banana-Yogurt Cupcake with Strawberry-Vodka Butter Cream

Sunday. My first attempt to make 12 paper cups of fruity cupcakes rather than sticking to the usual safe recipe involving coffee and chocolate. I would say that it’s a successful first attempt! :) Love the fruity flavor and the sour taste of yogurt and strawberry jam combined!

Banana-Yogurt Cupcake Recipe:

  • 90 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 115 g castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 155 g self-raising flour
  • 90 g plain yogurt
  • 2 tsp apple juice
  • 2 tsp peach vodka
  • 2 ripe bananas; cut into cubes around 1 x 1 cm

Beat with electric mixer, add in the banana cubes after the mixer is off, then divide it evenly into the 12-cupcakes tin, bake for around 20 minutes, 180oC.

Strawberry Vodka Butter Cream:

  • 180 g unsalted butter
  • 100 g strawberry jam
  • 50 g sugar
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 4 tbsp peach vodka

Beat with electric mixer until it turned into a perfect butter cream. Wait until the cupcakes cool off before spreading the butter cream on top of each.