Pembebasan dan Redefinisi Bahagia

Sudah lama sekali saya tidak menulis di sini. Banyak hal yang lalu lalang dalam pikiran, hingga terlalu rumit untuk diungkapkan. Sampai beberapa hari lalu, saya bertukar sapa dengan sahabat lama saya. Singkat kata, meminjam kalimatnya bahwa menulis adalah sarana pembebasan. Ya, saya merasa tertohok. Berapa banyak tokoh bangsa (dan dunia) yang merelakan dirinya dikurung karena tulisan mereka? Pramoedya Ananta Toer (alm) misalnya. Beliau menghabiskan hampir separuh hidupnya dengan status tahanan, dengan maupun tanpa pengadilan. Beliau lebih rela raganya terkurung, namun jiwanya terbebaskan. Sudah bahagiakah seorang Pram?

Bisa saja orang berpersepsi terhadap gagasan, tindakan, maupun tulisan kita. Tapi kemudian, benarkah kita perlu memusingkan memenuhi harapan semua orang? Bahkan Tuhan pun yang Maha Kuasa tak melakukannya. Mungkin memang semestinya semua yang kita lakukan berasal dari diri sendiri. Menyampaikan pendapat, meski tetap dalam koridor kesantunan. Lalu, bagaimana koridor kesantunan itu diatur? Artinya, kalau masih ada aturan maka tidak benar-benar bebas dikatakan pembebasan? Read the rest of this entry

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Cantik itu Luka [Book Review]

It’s been a while I didn’t write since my last post. A lot of things happened in between. Actually, after Still Alice I also read some novels, but Cantik itu Luka by Eka Kurniawan is the one which kinda left a big hole in my heart. *ouch* 🙂

Before I talked about this novel, I warned you that this article is definitely spoilling. This novel is also available in English, entitled “Beauty is a Wound”, and also some other languages (Japanese is the first foreign language version). This novel has reviewed by The New York Times, and even won a World Reader Award 2016. I thought there were some really promising reasons to read this novel between my extremely tumbling-apart world (dramaaa~).

Cantik itu Luka in several cover versions

Cantik itu Luka in several cover versions

First thing to say “holy brother pucker” (imitating Ross-Rachel)! 😀 Eka Kurniawan has successfully stirred the readers’ feeling by its tragic and satire love story. A curse has been made by a broken-hearted evil spirit to Dewi Ayu and all of her children. As usual, love is always the main reason of all kinds of happiness yet misery. Well, this book is mostly tells about its misery. Dewi Ayu is an incest “product” of Anneu and Henry Stammler who are children of Ted Stammler from different mothers. Dewi Ayu had given birth to three exceptionally beautiful daughter and one ugly (even described as malformed) last daughter as the paradox.

Read the rest of this entry

What makes you (look) smart?

Hi guys! How are you? I’m really in the mood today, since I’ll be watching the premier of Star Wars VII The Force Awakens for a less than an hour! While waiting, I would like to ask you something’s hard. Hahaha. How do you define your intelligence? What’s your good at? Are you now living your life? *crap, it’s too hard!* 😛

Well, this has became my concern since I was a teenager. First, I’d like to share about my childhood. I grew up in a quite typical (Asian) family whose parents are really concern about our academic scores and achievements at school. My mother, especially, was never passed a single day ordering me to study. Can you guess what’s the most frequent subject she mentioned over and over? It’s easy! Yes, Math! She thinks (until today) that Math is the God of all knowledge, and I would not be succeed if I didn’t master Math in school.

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Image courtesy : http://www.efictionindia.in

The truth is, I really really love to read since I was in elementary school. At the beginning of every semester, after we got textbooks from school, I was always read Bahasa Indonesia book and I could finish the whole short stories in a single night. Then I began to love read novels. You know, when my mom saw I read stories, she would be upset and asked me to stop and continue to study other thing such as Math (mostly) or science. Well, don’t hate my mom, she just got it wrong like a lot of other people. She just wanted to see her daughter became a successful woman in the future by becoming a doctor (mostly) or engineer. Hahaha. Read the rest of this entry

Listen and Behave or Behave and Listen?

Misjudgments, rumours, gossips. Have you ever heard one about yourself? Why is that? Why they’re talking on your back? There’s a thought whether people should behave like what other want to see, or should we just be our selves and walk away? Actually, it’s hard to decide, or maybe, I just let my self being what I am, because our life cannot be easily determined like we choose black or white.

Have you being your self everyday? Are posing of someone? Does your society hope that you should behave in a certain manner? Communities are often mean to us, they occasionally misjudge our behavior. What we thought as a joke, might not be considered as one to other people, that’s an example. How we dress, how we speak to others, our gestures, some took a serious attention to it. Oh yes, you are too bright for them.

To me, I am being what I am now. Yes, we should learn to know how we should behave in some different occassions. But people will keep judge no matter what. Well, maybe we can use their judgementas our reminder, so we will not behave like what people thought we shouldn’t do.
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Whatever we do, people will see, they will judge no matter what. If we’re bad, they will surely talk behind us about how awful we are. On the other hand, if you’re good, people will also have the same possibility to think bad ideas about you. So keep your head up! People who truly respect you on daily basis will stay, and that’s what you really need. While others who only know you in surface will fade. Try not to take things personally; what people say about you is a reflection of them, not you! 🙂

Still Alice : A Short Heartbreaking Journey to Dementia

This was a book I read recently. Telling about the life of a 50 yo psychology professor at Harvard who diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Lisa Genova was briliantly success to move the reader, how hard it would be if we have a family member who suffer from this disease.

Suddenly, she forgot what see’s going to say in a speech at the conference, a subject that she knew very well. Then she got lost when running at campus where she worked. She forgot people who she just met. Forgot a recipe that she used to make every christmast. Disoriented in her own house, which made her peeing her pants because she couldn’t find the bathroom. It sounds horrible. Until one day, she made a reminder, when she’s not able to answer certain questions, she would like herself to swallow a whole bottle of sleeping pills………

According to wikipedia, this chronic neurodegenerative disease usually starts slowly and gets worse over time. On the early stage, AD sufferer often find difficulties remembering recent events (short-term memory loss). Time over time, they might also have language problems, disorientation (getting lost even in a familiar place), mood swings, loss of motivation, not managing self care, and any other behavioural issues. People with AD often withdraw from society and even family as they sense their declining condition. This disease is very dangerous, because when the body fuctions cannot work properly, like losing balance, it can lead to death.

AD often begins in people older than 65 yo, and there are 4%-5% people with early-onset cases begins earlier than 65. The lost of coordination and balance can cause death. In 2010, dementia resulted in about 486,000 deaths. This disease is also the most expensive one in the developed countries. The novel said, a cost for one day care center is around $ 200!!

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Pictures above illustrates comparison between a normal aged-brain to a brain with AD. Patient is characterised by loss of neurons and synapses in the cerebral cortex and certain subcortical regions. It has been identified as a protein misfolding disease (proteopathy), caused by plaque accumulation of abnormally folded amyloid beta protein, and tau protein in the brain. Plaques are made up of small peptides, 39–43 amino acids in length, called amyloid beta (Aβ).

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How to deal with family member who gets this disease? Yes, it is heartbreaking if we imagine that the our beloved people starts forgetting us, forgetting their spouse, children, and everything. But as Lisa’s book, the family should be understanding, supporting, and never being tired of reminding, and yes a looot of patience. I personally want to thank Lisa Genova for this beautiful book, which opened my eyes for this disease. We talked a lot about cancer, but we casually forgot there’s a torturing disease which still cannot be cured. A disease that makes us lost the one we love even before they passed away…