Episode 2 : Kopitiam Oey


Matahari sudah sepenggalah. Pukul 9 lebih. Kami masuk ke sebuah kedai makanan. Bukan kedai makanan biasa. Ini milik om  Bondan “Mak Nyus” Winarno dan anaknya Gwen.

Aku sudah pernah masuk dan bersantap di sini, bersama teman-teman yoga juga. Kami makan bersama kala itu sehabis latihan, seperti saat ini juga. Seorang teman bernama Wayan Sudira hendak pindah ke Bali dan mendapat pekerjaan baru di sana. Kupikir bekerja di Pulau Dewata adalah ide yang sangat menyenangkan, tetapi kemudian aku berubah pikiran. Bekerja di mana pun tetaplah bekerja. Kita tak bisa menikmati keindahan sekeliling kita atau menggerutu karena carut marutnya lingkungan sekitar kita bekerja. Kita hanya harus fokus. Seperti itulah yang aku rasakan di Jakarta. Tak peduli banjir, badai, asal kantor dan kos baik-baik saja dan aman, tak masalah. My life goes on as usual.

Kedai makanan itu sangat khas dengan warna merah menyala mendominasi. Entah apa namanya, aku kurang bisa menggambarkan. Tetapi harus kuakui suasanannya amat lain dari kedai makanan sekitarnya. Seperti ditransfer ke masa lalu, saat Ca Bau Khan masih hidup. Aku suka sekali novel Ca Bau Khan itu. Karya Remy Silado yang narasinya sangat mengalir. Buku setebal itu bahkan aku lahap dalam 1-2 hari saja. Itu rekor, karena aku bukan tipe orang yang suka menghabiskan bahan bacaan dalam sekali duduk, kecuali untuk buku-buku yang begitu menarik.

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5 Types of Yogis/Yoginis You Need To Know

Devi Asmarani, a yoga practitioner I look up to, wrote this piece titled “The Changing Path” on her blog containing her journey stories in India. In her mind, the yoga arena (especially outside of the classical Indian scene) is a packed one with practitioners who can be divided into these major groups:

1. The blind followers of gurus or traditions, who – like in the movie “The Guru” – would drink tea from the neti pot poured through the nostrils of their teachers, or would continue to do extremely deep poses even when their bodies have been broken (meaning injured) in many different places, or who would blame themselves instead of seeking accountability when the teachers’ strong adjustments cause them injuries.

2. The trendy bourgeois bohemians and the urban warrior(esses) type with their lithe, super flexible bodies; their cute Lulus outfits that accentuate strong arms toned by the thousands of chaturanga they’ve executed; and their strings of yoga jewelries.

3. The fitness buff gym yogis who glorify handstands and arm balances.

4. A combination of any two or more of the above.

5.  The recovering yogis who love yoga, believe wholly in its physical and mental benefits, and can’t live without it, but who feel a little out of place in the scene.

Into which category do I fall?

Umm, that’s hard. Assessing oneself objectively  is not easy. But if I had to pick one, I’d choose none of the 5 mentioned above. I’m a poser. I love pleasing my constantly hungry ego. I feed it continually by going deeper in the backbend asanas I practice. I even once admitted, “I’m no yogi. I’m a gymnast. I fold and bend, yet it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m a yogi”.


Happy Birthday to Myself!

Carla, the short-haired seasoned art contributor of the Jakarta Post I saw today. She's been to Venice, Paris, just to cover arts.

The great day is today, October 27th 2011. No words can exactly depict my gratitude to God. It’s my birthday.

I started my day around 5.15 today. Slightly chilly, no wonder it was raining in torrents last night. Not as usual, after subuh/ early morning  prayer, I suddenly had an urge to grade the students’ papers. I should’ve gotten it done months ago, but well.. every weekend it seems my brain can’t handle demanding tasks. Need to take a break, seriously. No, don’t get me wrong. I love my job but when you do the same things repeatedly, boredom strikes and that sounds pretty normal. You’re no machine.

Juggling between two jobs is definitely a challenge. Getting richer? For sure. Getting wary? Don’t ask.

Carla taking pictures.

And the morning ritual proceeded. This time I started my morning yoga session late, around 6.40 am. But better late than never. I didn’t sweat a lot this morning. Perhaps it’s because of the cool air. In the meantime, several texts arrived in my message inbox,congratulating me on my 28th birthday. Oddly, none of these texters’ numbers is familiar to me.

FYI, I deleted my actual date of birth on Facebook only to learn how many people remember my birthday WITHOUT the help of Facebook’s reminder. And I’m glad some still congratulated even my birthday wasn’t on the alert. Technology is great but it’s not when it comes to personal feelings. You can’t automate sincerity, care, or gratitude.

Then the routine continued, getting myself prepared to go to the office, with all my properties in the backpack. “Never leave anything precious in the vacant rented room in Jakarta” is one of the best lesson learned after a case of burglar last few months.

Stepping my feet on the office at 08.27, I rushed into the prayer room. Dhuha prayer was done and copywrote some articles before my late breakfast around 10.10. The breakfast was my old style meal: oatmeal, honey, and 2 apples.

While peeling the apples, a coworker named D came into the pantry. And suddenly we were discussing about foods, health, and I found myself preaching about balance, why people don’t have to stick too much to a strict diet to get healthy. Cheating may sometimes be needed to stick to what we want to achieve in the long run. Eating mindfully is what is great to the body and mind-controlling works best when it comes to curbing ‘evil’ appetite.

Split headstand, a pose I used to think very challenging months ago. I think yoga is for me.

As I realized we talked too much, I got back upstairs, only to be told I had to go to the gallery. “A press conference you need to attend,” the m*d*s* said. There I went.

It turned out a tour in the gallery for some journalists invited. It was a tour and because there was no one appointed a tour leader, everyone seemed scattered every where they wanted. It fell apart, to me. Too few people came as well for an art exhibition this huge.

What  I will remember most about today is the conversation I heard between Clara, an experienced art contributor I several times spotted here, and the art center director. In short, she opened my eyes about how vast the potential of becoming a writer and a traveller. So it popped out on my mind, “Someday I’ll follow her track, going around the globe and writing every single thing I see on the trip.” I want to follow the passion yet the fear holds me back.

I tweeted last Wednesday an idea of backpacking, learning yoga and writing a book at the same time. Iwan Setyawan replied , saying that was a great idea. He suggested me to Mysore, India. It turned out Shri K. Patthabi Jois’ yoga sanctuary. Jois is a yogi , a guru so renowned for his ashtanga yoga teachings. I clicked on the link Iwan gave (kpjayi.org) and randomly combed the photos of young Jois doing yoga. Clearly stated by the pictures, yoga is for slim, flexible people hardly having flesh like ..me? And yes I think so. Everyone has their own propensity and limitation. To me, I can’t be as muscular as the bodybuilders but I later concluded that this body frame is what some people are looking for! They’re dying night and day only to be as thin and flexible as me. So be grateful please, Akhlis!

Speaking about passion and the challenges arising after deciding to follow it, I recall Soegianto. This 30-year-young man  really hit the bull’s eye. I talked with him for one and a half hour for an interview we arranged a week before. What stunned me is the fact that this seemingly mild-mannered guy can go as outspoken as one can be when it comes to explaining his passion, his startup: Sedapur. A man with a load of noble missions and visions. Interesting and aspiring.

And recently I listen to Shania Twain’s songs again after a while. This song below is titled “Today is your day”, pretty much her personal story about how to weather a devastating betrayal. As for me, today is my day too. Because I get tired of setting goals, let me simplify how I want to be remembered when I someday die:

“An obituary of MYSELF”

I ……………………………………..



[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMciyWyugKY&w=560&h=315]