The Amazingly Mixed-up Indonesia (Position among the Stars-Part 1)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc3TZd57CVE&w=420&h=315]

I had no Saturday night plan and there a tweet of Diki Umbara caught my attention. He mentioned SBM Golden Lens Award at Erasmus Huis, a free documentary movie to watch, and (most importantly) a free meal for everyone. I made up my mind. This could be something fun to watch. The last time I missed a public free occasion at Erasmus Huis, Jakarta, it was a music performance whose performers/ singers I had never known of  before. And this time, I decided to go out for this. As everyone knows, I’m not a huge fan of going out late wandering around somewhere. For God’s sake, it’s Jakarta! You’ll never know what is going to happen to you.

I’m proud to claim myself  a staunch supporter of walking, for two reasons: I love my planet, and I can’t afford a car, a personal one. And this time, as usual, thanks to the proximity of Erasmus Huis, it only took me 30 minutes to get there. I got the house just in time.

When I rushed as if I were the late comer, I discovered almost no one there. “Ok, it said 7.30 PM, and why is it too quiet around here?” I half cursed by heart. I tried to catch my breath, scanning the entire venue for someone that at least I could talk with. None…

I saw some Dutch (pure guess, actually), sitting on the yard, discussing something with a laptop at a sunshade. As they seemed to be involved in warm exchanges of ideas, I felt like I didn’t want to interrupt. Some committee members at the entrance ignored me. Great!

I went in after asking them if it was allowed to get into the theater first. They allowed me, which was good because I had no idea what to do. The foods were served there yet no one was around me eating. So I guess it was  a bit early. I sat down, posted some pictures and updates on Facebook and Twitter, and all of a sudden, there they came. It was like a couple of minutes only after I left the banquet table and moments later the queue  grew long.

Everyone took a seat in the yard. Chairs were already set there, a roofless setting for the diners. We were eating and munching and swallowing and chatting, until drops of water started to fall down. The outdoor dinner setting was ruined in a second. Everyone ran from the drizzle, saved themselves and their dear foods and drinks.

A not-so-thin guy came to us and let us come into the theater to continue enjoying dinner. I finished eating the broccoli as quickly as I could and dashed into the theater. And the drink, which looked like fresh water, turned out a glass of soda. I was dehydrated till I got home.

And oh,  before the movie (the title of which I had known before) started, there were awards for The Best Documentary “Rumah Multatuli” by Sapto Agus Irawan, The Best Student Documentary “Sop Buntut” by Deden Ramadani , and The Best Audience Choice “Hidupnya Bocah Ondel2”by  Mega F. Yohana. What we were abut to watch that night was “Position among the Stars”, the winner of the best documentary of Golden Lens Festival.

Being directed and produced by Leonard Helmrich et. all, this documentary movie was beyond my expectation. Documentary movies are generally ‘serious’ stuff. I didn’t expect to see something enriching and candid here but I did. As Leonard, who also was there, greeted the audience and gave a brief foreword telling how the movie was about, I thought I would leave my seat after 15 minutes (30 minutes tops!) but I was there sitting for like 2 hours straight. The movie, Leonard said, was inspired by the conflicts related to different faiths in Indonesia (in this case, Islam and Christian). It was nicely portrayed by the crew when the star-and-moon topping of a mosque minaret and the cross of a church were shot in the same frame altogether.

The movie started with several random scenes showing the chronicles of Indonesia: BLT (Bantuan Langsung Tunai : cash for every poverty-ridden household in the country) riot, Soeharto downfall, an angry, threatened cobra being surrounded by peasants. Finally it was focusing on one central character: an old lady (whose named I forgot). She, apparently from Central Java, is a Christian while her one and only son left is a Moslem.  Theresia, or Tari, is her grandchild, a typical teenager with her long hair and high school life style.

It mostly tells about the harsh life that the family has to live both in the merciless Jakarta and the less promising hometown. Too many cute scenes to tell here. The fact is the movie does explore my emotions. I laughed, cried, stunned and it led me to much deeper understanding on my being Indonesian.

Laughter

In spite of being called documentary, it’s not another serious, brooding National Geography trip to watch. Lots of funny scenes are scattered throughout the movie.

The first that caught my attention most is when the old lady tried to stop the train moving towards her She stood just right in the middle of the railway in hope that the train would stop like she wished. It was pretty much scarry as the train seemed to keep moving while the old lady stood still with arms wide open. People might think she wanted to commit suicide but she was doing that so as not to have to go to the nearby train station. What happened next is she and her son had to take an extraordinary mode of transportation. Moments later, the two passengers were on a board moved by motorbike but what made it cute is the fact that the driver had to face and drive backward to get to the station. And the laughter broke as we saw these people moving backwards on the railway. They moved with a mountain as the background. Lovely indeed!

Another is when they lived in Galur, Jakarta. The entire neighborhood was sprayed with the insecticides (as dengue fever prevention). The son, who loved breeding Cupang fish, tried as best as he could to save the mosquitos larva around the house because he needed the larva to feed his fish. In fear of losing his sole income stream (this man was jobless, he lived from breeding cupang fish as fighters and bets) , he got into the house while the white fog of insecticides covered the entire house. To avoid being choked by the fog, he grabbed his wife’s bra (yes, BRA) to cover his nose and mouth while running frantically to save the larva and fish from the evil insecticides. Everyone giggled and laughed to tears.

Compassion, homesickness and being home

I must admit I cried. I DID cry several times because of the touching movie scenes (Thank God it was so dark anyone wouldn’t notice!). Seeing the old lady and her friend simply reminds me of my own two grandmothers living in my hometown. They’re still alive (though not kicking) and I really wished to come and see them. I mean, we’ll never know how long our time on earth is. It’s really saddening me I can’t be with them but that’s how life should go. We can’t be with our beloved ones all the time, whenever, wherever we want. Each and every one of us is in fact a solo traveler, so separation is supposed to be no stranger to us. Nothing is as fresh as the pain caused by being  or having to go away from our craddle, our comfort zone, and experiencing homesickness. Something hollow inside us and we have to endure the emptiness.

Back to the movie, it was the compassion that made the old lady buy a Nokia camera phone for Tari, her granddaughter. It cost her IDR 600,000 , not a meager sum of money for the family. Tari finally got what she desired somehow. The grandmom wished Tari would study harder with the phone in hand. But that was such a huge mistake. The phone was derailing her from the right track. Once Tari came into contact with the virtual world, she changed. Even Facebook was presented here as one of the factors responsible for the drastic behavior and mindset change of the younger Indonesians, as far as I’m concerned. Tari, like most high school students these days in big cities in Indonesia, uploaded tons of photos with her so-called boyfriend and those were taken by the camera phone the grandmom bought her. Sounds familiar? To me, yes it is. Spoiling kids with gadgets never works, never! They have to earn those PlayStation, Blackberrys, and iPads!

And one more scene about being always attached to home is very well reflected by the old lady’s obstinacy as she argued with the son about how important it is for her to come back every 2-3 months to her hometown. “How on earth can I leave my hometown and stay in Jakarta for good? This is my home, I can’t leave it no matter what!” she yelled at the son when he talked her into living permanently in the capital on the train heading to Jakarta. Typically Javanese way of thinking, ain’t it?


The theater was packed with around 200 people!

…..

Arab boy (7)

Frantically I searched for his name, that God-damn reporter name. his name sounds like a star constellation. I’d called him for like a thousand times but what I could talk with was his coworker, “Where’s he? What? Just go get him, knock on the rest room’s door if necessary. NOW!!!” The elderly pundit seemed restless, while I kept trying to get connected with this guy. “Why the hell is he is so long???”

The pundit had been whining since yesterday, as if he would’ve died once the reporter didn’t get the instruction he wanted to give. I don’t know why, he really insisted calling and talking to himself on his own.  This tiny young man is a pain in the ass, what’s taking him so long?

My cell phone vibrated, I felt it and immediately viewed the message. It was from him, saying he was away for a while for afternoon prayer. Afternoon prayer that took him 45 minutes? What kind of prayer was that? He must’ve asked lots of things with that much time.

I without delay dialed the phone. He answered the phone, I was relieved very much, “Hello, what was it that made you call me??”

I gave the phone to the pundit. He charismatically addressed the reporter at the age of his grandkids, “What’s his name?” he asked me. “Aldebaran, sir” I responded. He turned to the phone and drew it closer to the mouth,“ Hi Aldebaran, how you doing? Your name sounds like Arabic, are you one?” I could hear nothing but as far as I know, he’s not an Arab at all. Clean shaven, short, tiny with a bony facial structure, not much flesh , thin hair. An Arab should at least have sideburns, or a line of facial hair, but this is definitely nearly hairless.

“Arabic is usually shrewd,” he went on the ice-breaking part of the chat. Great to start a warm, heart-to-heart conversation. The next chat flow sounded blurred, he mumbled some words I could barely understand. With his fatherly tone, he began addressing the issue, “Why weren’t you coming yesterday?”

Poor man, he wasn’t invited. “How come you had no idea? I had invited your boss. There is no excuse you didn’t make it. The email was sent earlier. Ah, I know you’re in the bottom of this food chain.  Almost no one cared about you. But hey I still think they’re obliged to pass this on to you.”

Smalltown Boy

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PE5-caq4ezs&w=560&h=315]

You leave in the morning with everything you own
In a little black case
Alone on a platform, the wind and the rain
On a sad and lonely face

Mother will never understand
Why you had to leave
For the answers you seek will never be found at home
The love that you need will never be found at home

Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away

Pushed around and kicked around, always a lonely boy
You were the one that they’d talk about around town
As they put you down

And as hard as they would try, they’d hurt to make you cry
But you’d never cry to them, just to your soul
No, you’d never cry to them, just to your soul

Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away

Cry boy, cry, cry boy, cry, cry boy
Cry boy, cry, cry boy, cry boy, cry, cry boy
Cry boy, cry, cry boy, cry boy, cry, cry boy
Cry boy, cry, cry boy, cry boy, cry

You leave in the morning with everything you own
In a little black case
Alone on a platform, the wind and the rain
On a sad and lonely face

Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away
Run away, turn away, run away, turn away, run away


"9 Summers 10 Autumns": An Epic Familial Memoir of Iwan Setyawan You Can't Miss

I read the novel from cover to cover on this yoga mat all day long.

It’s 16.55 pm. I’m staring outside and witnessing the raindrops falling on mother earth. At such this hour I should be working for my last left energy to stroke the keyboards in the cooled office down there but today I’m not. I’m taking my day-off. It always feels great and refreshing to take time off , spending time on your own, undisturbed, unperturbed.

As I woke up, I suddenly had an urge to email all coworkers and boss that I’d be leaving office today. And yes, I think they’ll understand, they must. So, unlike the other days, I wanted to enjoy the time for myself, entirely. I without doubt switched the cell phone into offline mode since this morning (after someone called I afterwards thought it’d be much better to get away from the hectic outside world for a while).  I leave the online world, social media, which recently has been driving me crazy, and lose focus quite easily. And for your information, I’m typing this blog post offline on the word processor in the fear that an email notification or chat invitation may pop out on the screen!

After the final grading of the papers, I proceeded to weigh on several plans for today around 10 am. The weather has turned worrisome since last week. You can experience different weather phenomena in a single day; starting from a warm, sunny morning, a cloudy noon, a smoldering hot afternoon, to a rainy after-work  hour.

But what matters most today isn’t all those things. Today I spent my whole day, curling up with a great book in my room. This is a book I started read weeks ago but wasn’t read from cover to cover. But today, all alone in my room, I finished reading Iwan Setyawan’s “9 Summers 10 Autumns” on a yoga mat (and feel asleep on it around 3 pm! An invigorating afternoon nap).

Not until months ago I never thought there is someone named Iwan Setyawan. Really, who’s he? He might be invited to the nationwide talkshow “Kick Andy” but as I’m no fan of TV, it’s pretty much useless for someone to convince me he’s well known. I have no TV and am reluctant to have one in my small room. I think I would never trade my floor space for a cumbersome TV.  Most of the space’s either for my bed or my blue yoga mat or my carrot supply.

The longer I drench myself into this vicarious exploration , the more I can relate myself to the author’s emotions, feelings. And let me start this casual and personal book review of Iwan Setyawan’s.

 

“Untuk Ibuk, untuk Bapak”

“Ibuk” , that’s how I – a Javanese boy – too usually spell or type the address form of the woman who gave labor to me. “Ibu” sounds too Indonesian. “We Javanese can’t omit the ‘k’. So it’s quite surprising to me to find this spelling in this very book.

 

Being the one and only son

Iwan tells in the 12th chapter titled “Kelahiran Seorang Lelaki”  (The Birth of a Man) , which basically narrates  how he was born and how the surrounding responded to his appearance on earth, how inseparable he was with his mother in the early childhood.

I don’t know exactly how my childhood was but I guess I’m not that attached to my mother. Not that I don’t love her but she had to take care of and breastfed my younger sister, who was at the time born untimely. I might be the first male offspring to my parents and the first grandson to my grandparents but I felt a bit abandoned after she was here. Jealousy? Probably, but I get used to. Well, how could a less-than-one-year-old kid manage his feelings to his new-born sister? I might’ve screamed, “I don’t want to share my mom’s breast with you!” But that doesn’t necessarily I hate her. I love my sisters but we just sense an atmosphere of ‘rivalry’, not literally, without being triggered to do so.

While Iwan is the one and only son, I am the first born and the only son in the family. To put it bluntly, my position is even more burdening than Iwan’s. He tells us how the challenge of being the only son:

Memasuki SMP, aku merasa semakin dekat dengan “tantangan” bahwa seorang laki-laki, apalagi anak laki-laki satu-satunya, harus bisa mandiri dan kelak bisa membantu nafkah keluarga.” (9 Summers 10 Autumns, p 68)

But one thing that sets us apart is the awareness of contributing to the family earning, being the second bread winner, an assistant to our father. I never gave it a thought.

I’m not bragging but both of my parents are government civil servants, a profession which is highly valued in Iwan’s family and in most of Javanese families (mine as well). We may not be the richest around the neighborhood but very rarely did my family and I experience hardships, particularly in terms of finance or education. This explains perfectly why the urge to provide another source of income to the family is very little in my case.

If there’s someone in the family can best relate his life to Iwan’s, that must be my father. My father’s story could even be tougher though. Being the first born son and having 5 younger brothers, my father already lost his dad as early as teenagehood. My grandmom was left a widow and raising her 6 sons while she herself never got married ever since. It was horrid a phase of life but they somehow managed to do that. To my 5 uncles, my father has been their second father. They respect him almost like they do their deceased father.

 

Longing for a male sibling and holding on to the past

At first I don’t know why this imaginary boy wearing white and red outfit makes a very frequent appearance along the story. As I read on, he turned out to be the alter ego (correct me if I’m wrong). It’s an imaginary buddy the author creates in his own mind. This may be the biggest reason why the novel is named “The Best Fiction Book” by IKAPI DKI Jakarta at Jakarta Book Award 2011. Although the ‘material’ of the story is real, it’s told in a typically fiction style of narrating.

If you’re the only son in the family, you’ll know how you really want to have a male sidekick, someone who isn’t as old as your father or your uncle. You can be looking out there for a male peer you can share your boyish passion with but that still feels different. No matter how close you’re with him, he isn’t your brother, biologically speaking. That’s why being the only son makes us alienated to a certain extent especially during childhood:

“Aku penakut. Aku takut dunia luar. Ketika anak-anak lain berlarian dan bermain, aku menyendiri. Entah kenapa. Aku mulai membaca dunia dan aku tak ingin di dalamnya. Aku merasa, aku berbeda.” (9 Summers 10 Autumns, p 63)

The status of a sole son makes you different. You’re simply unlike your female siblings, and you accordingly want to be treated differently. This might be the case when Iwan states he wants a room of his own (not in the living room), in which only he himself could sleep without having to worry about the frigid temp at night.

Why did Iwan choose a younger version of him to be his companion throughout the story? If I really have to guess, it’s because of his insecurity. Being homesick, being part of the minority in the Big Apple, being unprotected and feeling lonely amidst the super glamorous and worldly New York.

 

Yoga, Iwan, and I

A couple of months ago, I changed my Twitter avatar. It was not an ordinary avatar that showed my face. I uploaded an image showing me practicing Vrischika Asana (scorpion pose) near the wall in my room. A moment afterwards Rhein Mahatma – a friend actively involved in Startup Lokal community- tweeted a sentence filled with envy.

He mentioned both of us and said what a coincidence that we had avatars showing quite similar yoga poses. Iwan’s pose was Pincha Mayurasana (peacock pose). Both are inversion poses which according to some are responsible for restoring youthful looks (Now you know why we look like teens!).

We then somehow bumped into each other at Devi Asmarani’s book launch. At the moment we met, I only knew him as an author but what I hadn’t realized was the magnitude of his fame. Really, I had no ide at all! Iwan enthusiastically shook my hand as the book launch was wrapped. “You should try Jivamukti yoga!” he half-yelled at me with zeal. And before I blurted my silly questions as a beginner, “But what the heck is Jivamukti? What makes it different with Ashtanga, Hatha? I don’t even know it exists, I’m almost completely clueless about yoga schools, sir,” Iwan had to haste, greeting many other yogis and yoginis or…a yoga enthusiast like me. I don’t know but it still sounds wakward to call myself a yogi. I’m learning still.

Now we’re still making the time for a sharing session and yoga class in Taman Suropati. And that will be hopefully in November, I suppose. Considering how often he gets invited as a public speaker at various universities, public events, etc, it’s almost inconceivable to picture him as an inconfident, bashful young college student or an executive working on Sudirman Street and New York.

And hey, how can I write this long???

 

23.10

Satrio, South Jakarta

Andrea Corr on Taking a Break from Her Passion

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g47e9xkIOkk&w=560&h=315]

A deeply inspirational video of the youngest of the Corrs. Too my eyes, Andrea looks a bit older, especially her eyes and some lines on the forehead. But that’s not what matters most. She is definitely more mature in terms of everything. Really like how she answered when asked about her taking break from singing, her passion that took her to the international fame.

Here’s the interview:

Anchor: “The headline saying “ I  never wanted to sing again”.Is that true?”
Andrea : “It sounds so dramatic. haha. Well you know I wanted to wait, I wanted to be really enthusiastic about it. But it wasn’t really the singing thing, it was everything that went with it. I want to, when I sang again, I wanted to have all the enthusiasm.”
Anchor: “There’s a period where you didn’t sing. How long was that?”
Andrea: “That was like when I was in France. I didn’t (sing). A year maybe. You know I did a few things.”
Anchor: “Did you miss it (singing)?”
Andrea : “(pause) Errr, no I don’t think so. You know I was brought back into it kind of just before I have got to miss it. I think sometimes you have to walk away from something to find that you need it. And I was kind of pulled back into this and doing this record has just… you know.. ignited my passion almost more than ever. So it’s been quite a turnaround.”
Such a shrewd answer she had provided!

Parodi Yoga: L o k a l

Pengantar

 

Beberapa hari lalu saya dihubungi Respect Magz untuk bekerjasama membuat event di Taman Suropati. Majalah kecil ini giat mempromosikan makanan organik sehat dan peduli pada kesejahteraan petani lokal. Ajakan itu saya sambut dengan semangat ’45 karena toh TKP, tempat kejadian perkara-nya di ruang terbuka biasa saya membuat Yoga Gembira.

 

Secara coincidence, ajakan itu seperti keinginan yang sudah saya rencanakan jauh hari sebelumnya, bahwa saya akan merayakan ulang tahun saya dengan mengajar yoga ke teman-teman komunitas Social Yoga Club di taman itu dengan mendedikasikan uang hasil donasi Susu Tante (Sumbangan Sukarela Tanpa Tekanan) itu untuk disumbangkan ke Klinik Bumi Sehat di Ubud, Bali. Dan untuk acara itu saya akan membawa tumpeng, nasi+lauk berbentuk genung yang biasa dipakai masyarakat Jawa untuk acara slametan, tolak bala, syukuran, atau keriaan lainnya.

 

Ada tiga kata yang menarik perhatian saya yang nanti segera akan jadi tulisan parodi ini, yaitu organik, lokal dan tumpeng. Tiga kata itu kalau dipaksa-paksa dihubung-hubungkan bisa saja ada benang merahnya, tapi koq kayaknya njlimet mencari alasan filosofisnya. Dari pada njilmet dan bikin pusing saya sendiri, saya tulis Parodi Yoga ini saja. Dan, begini jadinya…

 

 

L o k a l

 

Kita sering mendengar pidoto bapak-bapak pejabat, baik yang ada di kementerian sekitar istana atau yang ada di gedung DPR, sering kali kita mendengar kalimat seperti ini: “Mari kita terus giat membangun agar kita bisa sejajar dengan bangsa-bangsa yang maju….”. Kalimat seperti itu akan terasa inflatif kalau kita hidup di jaman Orde Baru. Mari kita telaah kalimat pidato masif dan seragam itu.

 

Kalau kita perhatikan kata-kata dalam pidato seperti itu, sepertinya mengandung ajakan “mulia” untuk giat bekerja dan memprovokasi untuk tetap semangat. Tapi kalau diulik lebih dalam, koq aku merasa orang-orang yang berpidato itu, walaupun mempunyai jabatan prestisius dan uangnya buaaanyak benerrrr, sepertinya tidak berseri, dia masih dihinggapi perasaan minderwaldeg, kata orang Belanda, rasa rendah diri, gak pede, alias minder. Minder apa? Mungkin Anda bertanya begitu. Ya, minder karena dia kan bilang “agar kita bisa sejajar dengan bangsa-bangsa yang maju….”  artinya dia menilai dirinya sendiri rendah. Ini bukan masalah kerendah-hatian, humble, wong dia-dia itu udah jadi pejabat publik dan duitnya bejibun, bukan juga karena berpendidikan rendah, karena coba ajainga-inga waktu kampanye jadi calon anggota legislatif, DPR, mereka berlomba mencantumkan gelar akademiknya bederet-deret. Aku koq lebih melihat, orang-orang itu sepertinya berpikir bahwa segala sesuatu yang datangnya dari luar, yang asing, khusunya dari Barat, dianggapnya pasti hebat dan lebih unggul, sambil, nah ini dia, parahnya, memandang rendah segala sesuatu yang sifatnya lokal, karena takut dianggap kampungan.

 

Kejadian hampir sama terjadi juga di dunia peryogaan di Indonesia tercinta ini. Kita semua tahu lah, kepopuleran yoga di NKRI ini datang belakangan, dari India lewat dunia Barat, karena marak diberitakan di media bahwa para selebriti Hollywood ramai-ramai berlatih yoga. Orang-orang yoga di negeriku, tanah tumpah darahku ini, baik guru aka pemilik studio, apalagi yang cuma murid aka anggota, seperti aku ini yang anggota komunitas Yoga Gembira, silau memandang guru yoga dari luar negeri, apalagi dari India, apalagi Bule! Padahal, sekarang ini guru-guru yoga lokal gak kalah kualitasnya. Ada Olop Arpipi, guruku yang juga sudah ngajar di luar negeri. Ada kawan baikku, Koko Yoga yang waktu di acara Yoga In The Park di Central Park bikin kawan Akhlis Purnomo bilang, jaw dropping, terbengong-bengong kagum lihat koreografi yoganya. Dengan kata lain, guru-guru yoga lokal gak kalahlah. Guru yoga lokal seperti juga buah-buahan lokal, pepaya, pisang, mangga, jambu yang dibawa dari Pasar Minggu dan di Kota banyak pembelinya, yaa, seperti lagu itu, gak kalah kandungan gizinya, bahkan karena sumbernya dekat, gak perlu shipping yang makan waktu, kadang buah lokal lebih fresh, dan yang pasti gak pake wax, lilin biar gak dimakan rayap dan lebih mengkilap.

 

Banyak dari kita mencari-cari, bahkan rela menghabiskan uang puluhan juta untuk berguru jauh-jauh ke luar negeri hanya untuk merasakan belajar langsung dari guru besar, guru ngetop. India adalah negar yg jadi DTW, daerah tujuan wisata utama bagi praktisi yoga ini. Sementara kalau duitnya sedikit kurang banyak, menunggu-nunggu workshop yang diajar oleh orang asing, guru import. Ada kebanggan sendiri kalau pernah belajar sama orang asing. Gengsi pun akan naik. Lumayan buat dicantumin di CV buat nglamar ngajar di studio-studio yoga. Asyik juga bisa foto bareng guru-guruimport untuk kemudian diupload di facebook atau twitter. Dan, studio-studio yoga pun menajwab keinginan dan animo pratisi yoga yang sedang bergairah dengan rajin membuat workshop atau teacher traning guru bule.

 

Sedang asyik aku mengomentari kelakuan praktisi yoga lokal ini, eh suara dari dalam hati ini yang emang suka nyinyir, menimpali: “Bukannya eloe pernah begitu juga mas. Kan eloe pernah ke India juga. Pernah juga loe takjub, pake nyembah-nyembah ke guruloe di India itu? Mikir dulu lah loe, mas, jangan asal njeplak ngomongloe…”. Segera aku tersadar, dan kubilang dengan tersipu: “Ah eloe, masih inget aja…hehe….” , kemudian kutambahkan : “Yaaa… itu periode gue masih di alam mimpi yang berjalan-jalan…, masih perlu guru-guru idola. Ah eloe mbuka aib gue aja…”. Kujawab begitu, yang di dalam hati ini nyolot, “Ah, gak ngerti apa omonganloe mas, tapi, selain ke India, kan eloe mas pernah juga belajar ke negara-negara barat, ke guru-guru bule, muna’ loe mas!”.

 

Sebenarnya kalau dipikir, dalam hal spiritual, dimana yoga ada di dalamnya, Indonesia ini dahsyat juga, bahkan sejak jaman dulu. Ketika jaman Sriwijaya, guru-guru Tibetan Buddhist, kaya guru-gurunya Dalai Lama pernah ngangsu kawruh, belajar ke wilayah NKRI ini. Aliran kejawen, salah satu “agama asli” suku-suku Indonesia banyak ajarannya yang dengan filosofi yoga, demikian juga, mungkin, locals wisdom dari suku-suku tradisi di Indonesia lainnya, suku-suku di pedalaman yang sangat erat dan selaras hidupnya dengan alam, itu kan udah yogi….

 

Walaupun mungkin namanya bukan yoga, tapi dari cerita orang tuaku, tujuh generasi di atasku sudah mempraktekkan yoga, Mereka, selain olah fisik, semacam silat jawa, beberapa gerakkannya banyak yang mirip asana, juga latihan-latihan olah nafasnya, mirip bener sama pranayama dalam yoga. Belum lagi laku batin dengan aneka macam dan jenis  puasanya, bertapa yang mirip retret, semedhi, itu seperti meditasi. Keluargaku nglakoni semua itu. Yaaa itu kupikir seperti jalan yoga, dari Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, atau Karma Yoga juga. “….tapi mas, koq yogaloe gak oke ah mas, kalah lentur sama mas Lentur Akhlis, mas?”, timpal suara dari dalam. “Yaaa loe lagigue kan keturunan kedelapan”, jawabku menirukan iklan XL menjelang Lebaran kemarin…

 

 

 

yudhi widdyantoro

Pengecer Jasa Yoga


Parodi Yoga: L o k a l

Pengantar

 

Beberapa hari lalu saya dihubungi Respect Magz untuk bekerjasama membuat event di Taman Suropati. Majalah kecil ini giat mempromosikan makanan organik sehat dan peduli pada kesejahteraan petani lokal. Ajakan itu saya sambut dengan semangat ’45 karena toh TKP, tempat kejadian perkara-nya di ruang terbuka biasa saya membuat Yoga Gembira.

 

Secara coincidence, ajakan itu seperti keinginan yang sudah saya rencanakan jauh hari sebelumnya, bahwa saya akan merayakan ulang tahun saya dengan mengajar yoga ke teman-teman komunitas Social Yoga Club di taman itu dengan mendedikasikan uang hasil donasi Susu Tante (Sumbangan Sukarela Tanpa Tekanan) itu untuk disumbangkan ke Klinik Bumi Sehat di Ubud, Bali. Dan untuk acara itu saya akan membawa tumpeng, nasi+lauk berbentuk genung yang biasa dipakai masyarakat Jawa untuk acara slametan, tolak bala, syukuran, atau keriaan lainnya.

 

Ada tiga kata yang menarik perhatian saya yang nanti segera akan jadi tulisan parodi ini, yaitu organik, lokal dan tumpeng. Tiga kata itu kalau dipaksa-paksa dihubung-hubungkan bisa saja ada benang merahnya, tapi koq kayaknya njlimet mencari alasan filosofisnya. Dari pada njilmet dan bikin pusing saya sendiri, saya tulis Parodi Yoga ini saja. Dan, begini jadinya…

 

 

L o k a l

 

Kita sering mendengar pidoto bapak-bapak pejabat, baik yang ada di kementerian sekitar istana atau yang ada di gedung DPR, sering kali kita mendengar kalimat seperti ini: “Mari kita terus giat membangun agar kita bisa sejajar dengan bangsa-bangsa yang maju….”. Kalimat seperti itu akan terasa inflatif kalau kita hidup di jaman Orde Baru. Mari kita telaah kalimat pidato masif dan seragam itu.

 

Kalau kita perhatikan kata-kata dalam pidato seperti itu, sepertinya mengandung ajakan “mulia” untuk giat bekerja dan memprovokasi untuk tetap semangat. Tapi kalau diulik lebih dalam, koq aku merasa orang-orang yang berpidato itu, walaupun mempunyai jabatan prestisius dan uangnya buaaanyak benerrrr, sepertinya tidak berseri, dia masih dihinggapi perasaan minderwaldeg, kata orang Belanda, rasa rendah diri, gak pede, alias minder. Minder apa? Mungkin Anda bertanya begitu. Ya, minder karena dia kan bilang “agar kita bisa sejajar dengan bangsa-bangsa yang maju….”  artinya dia menilai dirinya sendiri rendah. Ini bukan masalah kerendah-hatian, humble, wong dia-dia itu udah jadi pejabat publik dan duitnya bejibun, bukan juga karena berpendidikan rendah, karena coba ajainga-inga waktu kampanye jadi calon anggota legislatif, DPR, mereka berlomba mencantumkan gelar akademiknya bederet-deret. Aku koq lebih melihat, orang-orang itu sepertinya berpikir bahwa segala sesuatu yang datangnya dari luar, yang asing, khusunya dari Barat, dianggapnya pasti hebat dan lebih unggul, sambil, nah ini dia, parahnya, memandang rendah segala sesuatu yang sifatnya lokal, karena takut dianggap kampungan.

 

Kejadian hampir sama terjadi juga di dunia peryogaan di Indonesia tercinta ini. Kita semua tahu lah, kepopuleran yoga di NKRI ini datang belakangan, dari India lewat dunia Barat, karena marak diberitakan di media bahwa para selebriti Hollywood ramai-ramai berlatih yoga. Orang-orang yoga di negeriku, tanah tumpah darahku ini, baik guru aka pemilik studio, apalagi yang cuma murid aka anggota, seperti aku ini yang anggota komunitas Yoga Gembira, silau memandang guru yoga dari luar negeri, apalagi dari India, apalagi Bule! Padahal, sekarang ini guru-guru yoga lokal gak kalah kualitasnya. Ada Olop Arpipi, guruku yang juga sudah ngajar di luar negeri. Ada kawan baikku, Koko Yoga yang waktu di acara Yoga In The Park di Central Park bikin kawan Akhlis Purnomo bilang, jaw dropping, terbengong-bengong kagum lihat koreografi yoganya. Dengan kata lain, guru-guru yoga lokal gak kalahlah. Guru yoga lokal seperti juga buah-buahan lokal, pepaya, pisang, mangga, jambu yang dibawa dari Pasar Minggu dan di Kota banyak pembelinya, yaa, seperti lagu itu, gak kalah kandungan gizinya, bahkan karena sumbernya dekat, gak perlu shipping yang makan waktu, kadang buah lokal lebih fresh, dan yang pasti gak pake wax, lilin biar gak dimakan rayap dan lebih mengkilap.

 

Banyak dari kita mencari-cari, bahkan rela menghabiskan uang puluhan juta untuk berguru jauh-jauh ke luar negeri hanya untuk merasakan belajar langsung dari guru besar, guru ngetop. India adalah negar yg jadi DTW, daerah tujuan wisata utama bagi praktisi yoga ini. Sementara kalau duitnya sedikit kurang banyak, menunggu-nunggu workshop yang diajar oleh orang asing, guru import. Ada kebanggan sendiri kalau pernah belajar sama orang asing. Gengsi pun akan naik. Lumayan buat dicantumin di CV buat nglamar ngajar di studio-studio yoga. Asyik juga bisa foto bareng guru-guruimport untuk kemudian diupload di facebook atau twitter. Dan, studio-studio yoga pun menajwab keinginan dan animo pratisi yoga yang sedang bergairah dengan rajin membuat workshop atau teacher traning guru bule.

 

Sedang asyik aku mengomentari kelakuan praktisi yoga lokal ini, eh suara dari dalam hati ini yang emang suka nyinyir, menimpali: “Bukannya eloe pernah begitu juga mas. Kan eloe pernah ke India juga. Pernah juga loe takjub, pake nyembah-nyembah ke guruloe di India itu? Mikir dulu lah loe, mas, jangan asal njeplak ngomongloe…”. Segera aku tersadar, dan kubilang dengan tersipu: “Ah eloe, masih inget aja…hehe….” , kemudian kutambahkan : “Yaaa… itu periode gue masih di alam mimpi yang berjalan-jalan…, masih perlu guru-guru idola. Ah eloe mbuka aib gue aja…”. Kujawab begitu, yang di dalam hati ini nyolot, “Ah, gak ngerti apa omonganloe mas, tapi, selain ke India, kan eloe mas pernah juga belajar ke negara-negara barat, ke guru-guru bule, muna’ loe mas!”.

 

Sebenarnya kalau dipikir, dalam hal spiritual, dimana yoga ada di dalamnya, Indonesia ini dahsyat juga, bahkan sejak jaman dulu. Ketika jaman Sriwijaya, guru-guru Tibetan Buddhist, kaya guru-gurunya Dalai Lama pernah ngangsu kawruh, belajar ke wilayah NKRI ini. Aliran kejawen, salah satu “agama asli” suku-suku Indonesia banyak ajarannya yang dengan filosofi yoga, demikian juga, mungkin, locals wisdom dari suku-suku tradisi di Indonesia lainnya, suku-suku di pedalaman yang sangat erat dan selaras hidupnya dengan alam, itu kan udah yogi….

 

Walaupun mungkin namanya bukan yoga, tapi dari cerita orang tuaku, tujuh generasi di atasku sudah mempraktekkan yoga, Mereka, selain olah fisik, semacam silat jawa, beberapa gerakkannya banyak yang mirip asana, juga latihan-latihan olah nafasnya, mirip bener sama pranayama dalam yoga. Belum lagi laku batin dengan aneka macam dan jenis  puasanya, bertapa yang mirip retret, semedhi, itu seperti meditasi. Keluargaku nglakoni semua itu. Yaaa itu kupikir seperti jalan yoga, dari Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, atau Karma Yoga juga. “….tapi mas, koq yogaloe gak oke ah mas, kalah lentur sama mas Lentur Akhlis, mas?”, timpal suara dari dalam. “Yaaa loe lagigue kan keturunan kedelapan”, jawabku menirukan iklan XL menjelang Lebaran kemarin…

 

 

 

yudhi widdyantoro

Pengecer Jasa Yoga

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]