Some random prompt...

You met this person in a hospital room. Well, your family is not rich enough to be able to afford a first class room, so you just agreed when they put you in a shared room for two. There were two beds on both sides of the room, and you choose to sleep on the bed the nearest to the door. You were alone at first; the other bed next to the window were empty, though, until one day this person came and gave you company for a while.

Then you learned that he's not a nice person. He's too talkative. Too talkative that it always irritated you. And he said negative things like, "It's a nice weather, my ass. Fore castings are lies, it's just a way to attract people to watch the news and get themselves money." Or something like, "Kids from my school come here because they sympathize me, oh that's just as expected." And other insults which sometimes he threw to you like, "Oh poor you. So poor that you can't get the best of treatment in this crappy hospital?"

Overall... He had this annoying aura in himself that made you want to lock him in a soundproof room and ate the key so that he won't be able to go out forever.

Yet, because you two were in the same room, you learned about him more than you want to. The first day he was hospitalized, the nurses had not given him IV. He had looked healthy, hadn't even seemed as if he's sick or something. He walked around a lot and sat on your bed as if he's just a mere guest, not a patient himself. In other side, you had been in a pretty bad shape; couldn't eat yourself, couldn't sleep at night, coughing like mad, etc.

One day, a nurse came and installed the IV to the back of his hand, when you caught the sight that might be beyond your expectation; considering it was this irritating man you're looking at. You pretended sleeping because you didn't want to hear his blabbering about how useless IV were, and IV only made someone gain weight, but he's such a bean sprout that it looked like only skin that stuck on his bones so it actually needed and all. But that day was different.

When the nurse left, he just sat there, staring at the needle entered into his artery, expressionless. He looked empty. But the orange light from the sunset brightened him, and you thought you saw a heavenly portrait. He looked adorable; all with his too pale skin and his short, jet black hair, his thin eyebrow and his sharp nose and his lips, those lips might feel soft that you wanted so bad to touch them. He sighed, and he looked so much more fragile than a piece of glass.

The day you got better was the day when he got a bad fever. He could even barely wake up, or just to sit on his bed. He could just moan painfully and all. He wasn't himself that you've got to know; the talkative, annoying person. In return, the room turned back into its annoying silence when he was taken to the emergency room one night, and didn't came back for a week.

A month after, and you're healthy enough to set free from your own IV. You had a nice chat with him. Just a chat, some insults were present of course, but not his usual insults that burn your anger. You learned more about him, more that it scared you to no end, finding that this guy was something else. That he's beyond empty, and the fragile glass that you imagined him to be had actually been scattered. He'd broken, he's incomplete.

"Where's your family? I barely see them." You talked, and you regretted it. You realized you went a bit too far, feeling like you had hit his wall of privacy, as those deep brown eyes grew wide.

But surprisingly, he didn't get mad, not at all.

"I have no family." He said, answering your spontaneous question bluntly. He stayed calm, even expressionless. "You saw those two couples I called Mom and Dad when they came visiting me, they're not my parents. I'm adopted."

You assumed that he's used to your presence, so he's not afraid to show you his most vulnerable face. He averted his gaze to the floor, as if it became horrifically interesting more than your funny expression.

"Don't sorry, Patrick Star. I won't staying here any longer." He said as he chuckled.

After all, he did look better the time he said so. You thought that he would no longer need hoses linked to his body because he seemed healthier than the time after he passed out. Still, he seemed like looking for a shelter, as if he needed someone to hold him. But no one was there, and even though you wanted to so bad, you were no one for him. You just knew him for some times.

"Get well soon."

You were finally allowed to go home. Yet, you kept coming back to your room to look in him, giving him company. He kept being as the person you hated for his fussiness and his annoying, negative utterances, but you stayed anyway. You began to learn his jokes and understood what he's criticizing. Both of you laughed together, spending every seconds together, and all.

But then...

The time you realized that those hoses had been unplugged was the time that you realized that he meant so much more.

Yet, life is not fair, and it will always be. No body seems to care that he's gone; actually gone. No body shows their emotions, not even his parents. No tear is falling, and nothing seems right. You are angry, you want to throw anything to anyone because you're pissed off. But you cannot do anything. You cannot change anything.

You attend his funeral and only see very few people.

You realize that you love him, but it seems like you're the one who love him because everyone seems to hate him, dislike him, cut their emotions to him. It doesn't feel like attending a funeral at all; even cats got better burial than him. It shouldn't be like this. They don't know him, they don't know who he actually was. Why are they so stupid, so blind?

This pisses you off even more, and you do something so unexpected.....

[Fiction] Demons - 1/1

Title : Demons
Author : Pudy Kusumaningrum
Chapter : 1 - The Ocean Sovereign (01/01)
Word count : 2214
Genre : supernatural, alternate universe, friendship
Rating : T / PG
Disclaimer : Pudy's work of fiction. The storyline is Pudy's. The definitions and information belong to Wikipedia and Yahoo! Answer.
Warning : Do consider that this is just a work of fiction. Whether there's any similarities in names, or content offending one party or another, it is just coincidence.
prolog ]
He had faced the more complicated relationships compared to these three’s ordinary story. He had witnessed massacre, murder, and suicide, in result of releasing the desire of envy, throughout the world. But these three boys’ friendship was too plain, yet at the same time complicated and unpredictable. It was the first time he felt that way, even though he felt very stupid about it. Maybe, just maybe, what would happen in the future could be pretty much interesting.

Demons
First Encounter
Chapter 1 : The Ocean Soveregin

Even for Leviathan, neither Hell or Tartarum, the Underworld, is a pleasant place to stay. In his opinion, seeing dead people scream and cry over the torture of the devils in the most horrible place named Hell, which is a level deeper than Tartarum itself, asking forgiveness from whoever, or the view of Tartarum, where low-degree demons, such as Incubus and Succubus, kneel before his brother, Lucifer, is incredibly boring. Moreover, as one of the highest demons of Seven Princes of Hell, Leviathan used to be obliged to stay on the throne, in which he found useless. Therefore, Leviathan, one of the first angles who descended from the Seraph, decided to go out of the world that had been doomed for him, and chose to spend his immortal life in the oceans.

For thousands of years Leviathan inhabits in the palace he built at the deepest of Pacific. He loved that certain ocean, so he decided that it would be his home. He had been there since approximately the time when continent of Eurasia split into millions of tiny islands, and felt that the salty ocean water slowly blended with his cells. He pretty well knew about the downfall of Poseidon, the previous sovereign of the Ocean, at the same time with the lapse of Atlantic, along with the adherents of polytheists worshiping the Ancient Greek’s Gods and Goddess that were decreasing dramatically. He also heard the story that Poseidon himself had moved to the eighth planet in the Milky Way, known as Neptune, which has icy water all over its surface. He saw giant fishes slowly turned small, as well as dead bodies floated in the ocean for shipwrecks and the like. Sometimes, he went a little too far by tethering something crazily large that even the biggest ship couldn’t escape; resulting in the ships sinking and thousands of innocent lives falling. Sometimes Leviathan himself appeared on the ocean surface as a big scaly monster, which later known as the Water Dragon.

In a certain time, Leviathan set his foot on the mainland as well. He chose random countries all around the world which drew his interest, just to kill his boredom. He took advantage of his power to manipulate human’s memory, so that he could easily play a role as a human—this idea would later be followed by his brothers, a few hundred years since Leviathan’s first encounter. Still, he is the first demon who took the risk to make friends with humans. This long time interaction made him the brightest among the other Seven Princes of Hell. Sometimes he played the role as antagonist; creating schemes that ended in someone killing their closest friends because of envy, in which create the interpretation that Leviathan is the representation of the nature of envy itself. However, it’s not seldom for him to play the protagonist in his own drama.

In addition, wherever they live, in whichever country, what region, what religion they believe, human beings are still very interesting.

But, his frequency of being ‘innocent creature’ did not make Leviathan a good demon. When he got bored with his little play, he would erase the memory of humans that he knew before returning back to the ocean. A time when he’s acting like a total evil, he would deliberately make people remember who he was so that they would record ‘Leviathan’ in their theories of demonology.

Of course demons are demons, no one really knows what they want.

Especially, the Seven Princes of Hell.


*-*-*

What the hell with that name. So boring. Leviathan, or this time, Shou, grumbled to himself, as he rolled his eyes. He propped his chin with the palm of his hand, lazily listening to the chatter about theories of demonology disputed by his 'childhood friends'. Oh yeah, of course he already knew all the truth of those nonsense uttered by short-living humans all the time. But he didn’t really expect that these people he choose to be friends with now had interest in such matters.

“Che. Give me a break.” Shou muttered, with a dismissive tone, almost as if whispering to himself. But his murmur was actually long enough to make of one of his friends, Ryouta, to turn.

“What? You don’t believe that they really exist? The Seven Princes of Hell?” Ryouta asked, shoving his body forward and glaring at him hyperbolically, acting as if he was shocked and almost had a heart attack. Ryouta’s reaction caught the other two’s attention, who then turned their eyes on Shou as well.

"Saa*." Shou shrugged.

Ryouta, the blond boy, looked as though he might lose his lower jaw for being too busy gawking. Meanwhile, the other boy, the shortest among the four, named Kai, was still sitting upright. He just tapped his black rimmed glasses, as if nothing happened. Kai did not talk much, although he was the most brilliant student in the school. He preferred to just listen.

“Shou’s an atheist, I bet he didn’t even believe in Hell.” Marumo replied. The black haired boy raised his legs up on his chair, then hugged his knees, as if he’s sulking. He pouted his lips slightly, and it really looked annoying.

At least, for Shou, Marumo was annoying. Even if Shou had explained that Hell and Tartarum were different, these ‘ordinary people’ wouldn’t have understood, much believing what he said. All of the dictionaries translated jigoku* as Hell, and Hell is synonymous with Underworld, in which Tartarum is located, which is actually a level above the Hell itself, which is in the core of the earth. They won’t understand this ravelment, because they are human.

“The hell are you guys talking about. The theory of demonology doesn’t fit to be discussed in Japan. We live in a country where Buddha rules.” Said the blue eyed boy lazily. Why did I end up be friends with these stupid people? he grumbled. “If you want to talk about demons, just go with anime you watch as you always do.”

Ryouta narrowed his eyes, as if mocking the demon. “You said that as if you’re not Japanese, Shou-kun.”

Shou didn’t answer. He just shrugged his shoulders and closed his eyes while playing with a pencil with his right fingers. Meanwhile, Marumo sighed frustratedly.

“Shou’s got relatives in Austria, Stupid. See, there is no way a Japanese has such weird blue eyes like that. He is not pure.” Marumo pointed his finger towards where Shou’s eyes were. “Besides, don’t you remember, he often left us in Summer to go to some Europe countries, yet never brought home a single souvenir? He's so mean.”

Hearing that, Shou only grinned half-heartedly.

“And there is no airing anime about demons neither this season nor the next!” Marumo added, suddenly changing the subject. Though Marumo was popular as one of the most good-looking guy at their school, he was an otaku. He spent his time with games, anime, manga, and stuff like that. Recently, Marumo had been obsessed with demons, and it was he who began the discussion about demonology at the first place that afternoon. “Ao no Exorcist movie released in December last year, I had watched it a couple of times already.”

Yeah, yeah, as if I cared.

Shou averted his gaze out the open window. The city of Chuo was pretty hot and moist, even though it was spring underway. The sea breeze blew across the city, sweeping through the almost empty classroom this afternoon, making his milky brown hair dancing in a random rhythm. Although ocean was his actual home, the wind from the ocean somehow always felt refreshing. The wind seemed to want him to go back to the ocean, because there’s where he’s supposed to be. But no. This was his first time experiencing a life as an ordinary high school student; particularly as Shou, a high school student in Japan, a country that only once or twice Leviathan had stopped by.

At first, Leviathan came to this mainland because he was interested in Ryouta’s, Marumo’s, and Kai’s friendship. The friendship is too ordinary, actually. The three boys lived close to Tokyo Bay, which connects directly to the Pacific Ocean. In addition, they used to play with the sea.

Inagi Ryouta and Kakihara Kai were just ordinary kids. Just like Kai, Ryouta didn’t live in a big house, though they lived in the heart of the big city of Tokyo. Kai lived only with his mother and his younger brother in a small apartment. Meanwhile, Ryouta lived in his parents’ house not too far from their high school building. Ryouta’s parents weren’t working too busy. They always had time for him, as he was the only child of Inagi. It’s just that, both Ryouta and Kai were raised to understand that their parents were not always able to grant their wishes due to family financial. Although Kai wasn’t really affected about it, on the contrary, this matter had made Ryouta harbored his feeling of envy towards Marumo, who always got what he wanted.

Arata Marumo, lived the closest to Tokyo Bay. More precisely, he lived on the 21st floor of an apartment right on the edge of the bay. From his own room, Marumo could see the view of this infamous bay with ease. But he prefered to spend his time with his collection of DVDs, manga as well as his PSP and Nintendo Wii he had, or went to Akihabara with Ryouta and Kai. Marumo’s parents always delivered what he wanted, because they had important job and always left Marumo and his older sister home alone.

Kai, Ryouta, as well as Marumo himself knew that Marumo wasn’t the Arata’s biological child. Marumo and her sister, Yoshie, both were adopted by Arata couple since they were babies, because Mrs. Arata couldn’t have one. Marumo and Yoshie had no blood relations themselves. It made Marumo think, sometimes, why would his mother and father bothered to take them in, if they rarely made time just for dinner. In the end, Marumo were envy of Kai and Ryouta. Especially Ryouta, because it seemed that the bleach haired boy got all the attention from his parents.

Their little story of friendship were ordinary, indeed. But even for a high-leveled demon like Leviathan couldn’t predict what would be going to happen later on with the three of his new friends. That’s why he decided to leave the ocean for some time, as well as to relieve his boredom. Leviathan manipulated their memories; creating a picture about Shou being one of their childhood friend circle, whom they had known since the 5th grade of elementary school. Though his knowledge is infinite, he let Kai remain on top of the rank in school. After all, he just wanted to know what would happen to the three of them. Among those three, envy was a very strong feeling. Yet it was as strong as the bond of their friendship that had been built since they were younger.

In the end, it’s the envy itself which pulled Leviathan to make an approach.

Shou, you coming?” Kai asked, shook the demon’s shoulder a little. Oh, that boy with glasses finally spoke after a few hours of silent.

Shou turned his gaze from the window to Kai, then to Ryouta and Marumo. Somehow, the three of them had gotten up from their desks. Marumo had been standing on the threshold of the classroom door, looked very high spirited. When Shou’s awareness came back to him, he found Marumo grinned widely, before leaving the classroom. The demon got up, picking up his belongings and putting it into his school bag, before hooking it to his shoulder.

“Where are we going?” He asked.

Kai had been running after Marumo, leaving Shou and Ryouta behind.

“My place.” Ryouta sighed, annoyed, while slightly pouting his lips, and massaging his shoulders as if he were very tired—as exaggerated as always. “You know, ‘til now I still don’t understand why that stupid otaku loves to have dinner at my place! I so have to ask my mom to cook more portions! Moreover, he doesn’t even contribute anything, even a penny! Ah that reminds me, I have to contact Mom if you guys are staying for dinner.”

Ryouta took out his old-fashioned orange phone from his uniform pants’ pocket, still muttering irritably. His thumbs danced on the keypad so fast, making Shou could hear its click clacking sound.

“It’s so annoying!” Ryouta continued grumbling, while they walked down the school hallway, which was illuminated by the orange light that evening.

Chuckled, Leviathan just followed Ryouta’s steps. He had faced the more complicated relationships compared to these three’s ordinary story. He had witnessed massacre, murder, and suicide, in result of releasing the desire of envy, throughout the world. But these three boys’ friendship was too plain, yet at the same time complicated and unpredictable. It was the first time he felt that way, even though he felt very stupid about it. Maybe, just maybe, what would happen in the future could be pretty much interesting.

Moreover, he hadn’t decided whether he should be the a protagonist or even an antagonist this time. He just let it all flow like rivers from a high mount down to the ocean. His ocean.


- To Be Continued -

* Saa = who knows
* Jigoku = hell

A/N : See... I'm creating a nonsense again...

[Fiction] Demons - Prolog

Title : Demons
Author : Pudy Kusumaningrum
Chapter : Prolog (00/01)
Word count : 423
Genre : supernatural, alternate universe, friendship
Rating : T / PG
Disclaimer : Pudy's work of fiction. The storyline is Pudy's. The definitions and information belong to Wikipedia and Yahoo! Answer.
Warning : Do consider that this is just a work of fiction. Whether there's any similarities in names, or content offending one party or another, it is just coincidence.

Some beliefs stated that devils are much stronger than demons, and demons are just devils' subordinate. That is why demons are easier to exorcise, though demons are totally stronger than human, they say. 
... No one knows.

Demons
Prolog

Hell, believed to be the place where sinners would be punished after their death, was perhaps not ruled only by one name. People know Hell and its sovereign with different epithets, depending on which point of view those commoners see it; whether it’s based on their tradition, their religion, or the like. In many of those stories, one cursed creature living in Hell, which has no interest other than to mislead people, is the devil. However, until the very moment there’s lack of information whether the devil and the demon are the same being, or two creatures which are completely different. Just as old as the legend of the first human on Earth, the theory of demonology had sprung. It started from a simple believe, then grew into different interpretations about both devil and demon, and also different classification of demon itself. Some beliefs stated that devils are much stronger than demons, and demons are just devils' subordinate. That is why demons are easier to exorcise, though demons are totally stronger than human, they say. The certain thing is, theories of demon were found different every century.

One of the many theories of demonology was explained in 16th Century by Peter Binsfeld, a German bishop who lived in the Catholic area in Eifel. In his book, Binsfeld stated that there are seven demons who seduce men, and every single one is representation of one of the seven deadly sins; pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth. They are called the Seven Princes of Hell. Nearly half a century later, Father Sebastien Michaelis, a priest from France, categorized demons into three hierarchy. Meanwhile, some theories suggest that demons live in Hell, yet some others say that they live in the underworld, which is totally different place from Hell alone. The demonology continues to grow all the time, being put forward by different leaders of different religious beliefs. However, just like other myths and legends that exist on Earth, the truth is not very clear.

Not very clear, especially for common people. Because theory is just a theory.

Of course demons are strong, though there are much stronger creatures other than them. Demons are immortal; they live the eternal life, as well as angels and devils, and Egyptian gods and the gods of Olympus that has lost its strength bit by bit. But where do demons live? Do they rule Hell? Being immortal creature, what do they actually do? What makes them different from devils? Are their bodies dense? Who exactly Seven Prices of Hell are? More importantly, do they really exist?

... No one knows.


- end of prolog -



A/N : I once wrote similar story but I mixed all mythologies into it, so it's rather confusing and doesn't make any sense. So here I am, trying to rewrite one part of the myth and to test myself in writing series once more. I don't care if this one will become more nonsense, I just have to write this.

Massive Funeral for 24 Victims of Merapi Eruption on October 26th, 2010

courtesy : tribunnews.com




It’s not like the eruption of Merapi in 2010 wasn’t predicted before. People had acknowledged that when Merapi volcano started to show its seismic activity in late September, the Volcano Investigation and Technology Development Institution had raised Merapi’s alert level from Normal to scale 2, on a scale of 1 to 4. It was reported that on September 19th, the quantity of earthquakes raised quite significantly. On September 23rd to 24th, alongside with the recorded 500 volcanic earthquakes, the lava ejected out of the cauldron and flew down the Gendol river. The villagers living around the cauldron, especially Glagaharjo, Kepuhharjo, and also Umbulharjo, had been warned and suggested to move to safer region on September 25th, which was 10 kilometers away from the mouth of Merapi. However, the daily activity of the villagers kept going as usual. Nothing was out of ordinary. Some of them believed they had lived around the danger zone long enough to know that the condition was said not that worse, so they didn’t want to leave the village. Moreover, the Spirit Keeper of Merapi volcano, Mbah Maridjan, insisted to stay rather than evacuating.

It seemed that Merapi vulcano also insisted to rise its activity as well. A tremendous eruption on October 26th was off everyone’s prediction. It happened at 5.02 p.m; the pyroclastic density current flew out for approximately 9 minutes, followed by 3 explosions, and other flows 6 times after, until it subsided at 6.54 p.m. Volcanic materials ejected out glided to the west-southwest and south-southeast direction, wiping out the villages that had been warned. It was unavoidable though; there was no preparation, almost no anticipation at all. In result, after the explosion events passed, 24 villagers, most were Kinahrejo inhabitants, were reported died, including the Spirit Keeper, Mbah Maridjan. Considering the number of victims, a massive funeral was held. Right on October 28th, a small ceremony was led by Sleman Regent, Sri Purnomo, before 20 victims were buried altogether in Umbulharjo village, Cangkringan, Sleman, Special Region of Yogyakarta.

Other two victims of merapi eruption on October 26th, who were also buried in the massive funeral, were Mbah Pudjo and his wife. They were helpers of nature lovers and adventurers who’d like to climb Merapi volcano. The couple also often provided nice lodging as well as food for their visitors. When the news of them being the pyroclastic flow victim, those who often paid them a visit felt a big lost, for the couple was very close to them, including Kapala Sastra, a sodality of nature lovers from Faculty of Arts and Humanities, UGM.

For Nanda Ummul, Mbah Pudjo and his wife were very nice. As a member of Kapala Sastra herself, before Merapi erupted in October, she and her friends often visited them and stayed for a nice rest after a tiring outdoor activity around the mouth of Merapi. According to Nanda, the couple had helped Kapala Sastra a lot. “Losing them seems like we lose our own grandparents.” She said, sadly.

Three of Rani Fitriya’s relatives were also the victims of the eruption, who happened to have close relationship with her family. “It’s sometimes still hard to believe that they’re gone,” She said. Rani is a tennis athlete from Yogyakarta, and a student of English Department, UGM. When Merapi erupted, she was in Jakarta, competing in a national tennis tournament, and didn’t experience the aftereffect of Merapi eruption herself.

Living in Dreams, A Letter for Dina Oktaviani

Friday, March 15 2013
Yogyakarta


Dear Dina Oktaviani,


Thank you very much for your letter. When it was read in Creative Writing class this Monday by one of our friends, the class fell into a silent desert, but it was like a warm yet comforting, gentle autumn breeze blew against our dry skins. It was very touching. Your spirit is no doubt a good example for us, especially English Department students, and it motivates us not to give up to reach our dream as a writer. Not wanting to lose, always looking forward, and taking the risks in order to succeed. Oh, how I was moved by your words.

First off, my name is Pudy. Unlike you, if I were to tell everyone about my past, it would not be interesting at all—not like anyone would really listen anyway. I grew up as a lazy, spoiled brat. My parents spoiled me, always fulfilling my demands and gave me a lot of money to spend, and they gave me a huge trust for me to handle and be responsible to myself, as long as I kept a good track of academic rank in school. I always had good grades, though, but it was nothing but miracle (I never even studied). I did not have many friends, I used to think that I was anti-social— hand phone and computer are all that I had. All I did in the past was nothing but playing online games and gathering friends from online chat (I met many friends in PIGG, a live chat from Ameba Japan, instead of real friends around me in my daily, normal life). Therefore, I became a seriously-too-shy person, not talkative, not attractive, nothing at all.

I liked reading, of course, that was one of the reasons I chose English Literature as my major. I did write in the past. However, I am now 21. And I thought I had reached my limit to write beyond limitation. I have not yet been a good writer myself. I have tried to be one; I used to write short stories in my spare time (my writing blog had been seen for 69.433 times until this letter was written). However, I stopped writing since the beginning of the 5th semester. To be honest, as I said before, I am not good in writing, especially writing something in English—one of so many reasons why I stop writing. My grammar indeed sucks, you see? My vocabulary is also extremely limited. When I decided to make a prose or anything written in English, I would likely be stuck in a word and then I would stop writing and abandoned my work, and I would forget about the prompt as I got another prompt and this annoying circle always happened again and again.

Oddly, I didn't feel like giving up in writing. Starting last year, I have chosen to live from writing. The reason was simple—I wanted to have money from my own work, I wanted to be independent without always depending pocket-money from my parents, and to sharpen my skill in writing, of course. I, then, applied for a writing job. But it actually ate my whole spare time, and my short-story writing activity was abandoned, and I didn’t even have time to do important homeworks. It is really hard to be a writer, I see. Being chased by deadlines and can’t even step out of the room just to get myself to eat something sometimes drove me mad. When I was getting sick of having to think creatively for 24 hours, I usually ran away from my job or simply go to sleep the whole day.

Apparently, my weeks are rough. I’m trying to survive. Unfortunately, there are some things that I should give up on—considering ones that are more prior to me. I felt pathetic myself and I was not happy, until your letter came that Monday. Your letter reminds me with my own dream, which had been buried down, deep inside the earth and kept by Hades in his hell. I’m trying to dig it out again, trying to recognize what I really want, what is my goal, my destiny.

Yes, I do. Though even since I started as a free writer I always considered being a writer was my second aspiration, I actually looking forward to the time I could see my names in bookstores. I have a dream, which I’m trying to make it come true now—uh, no, I won’t tell anyone, for I believe if I were telling anyone, my dream won’t 100% come true. Thanks to you, Dina, for giving such wonderful motivation to me, to all of us. I’m sorry for my late reply, but words coming from me in this letter is sincere.


Sincerly,
Pudy Kusumaningrum
A lazy student of English Department who hates flowers


PS. I love the way you write jokes in between serious parts of your letter. I cannot do that, so I always adore writers who are able to do it easily.

A Talk with A Flower

Me : Hello, Flower.

Flower : Good day, Human! Good day!

Me : Finally I can speak to you.

Flower : How can I help you, Human?

Me : Oh, nothing. I'm just... thinking about something... I guess?

Flower : If I am allowed to ask, may I know what is bothering your mind, Human?

Me : I was just wondering, why can flowers be so ugly?

Flowers : [seems to be surprised] How horrible of you! That is very rude!

Me : I am not being rude, you know. It was your own request though, to know what was I thinking. So I'm trying to be honest. Flowers are ugly.

Flower : We are nothing as you said. We are beautiful. People love my kind and our colors! We are the symbol of love. People resemble us too with friendship, cheer! Joy!

Me : Am I not people? I still dislike flowers. Besides, I don't get it why other people resemble you with such meaningless symbols. That is the biggest nonsense.

Flower : Do you have no sense yourself, Human? It is because of my color! My fragrance as well! Here, have a close look to me. There is this beautiful gradient of pink and white in my corona. It is a gift! But you, Human, look at yourself! You are being wrapped in artificial color and fragrance!

Me : Basically it is true; I wear clothes that make me colorful. I sprayed some perfume this morning so that I won't smell bad the whole day. So I guess you're right. But still, I think you have nothing attractive.

Flower : Dear Human, whom I had not yet known this morning, have I done something bad to you? How could you have heart to offend a weak flower like me, so much?

Me : Do you want to know that much? Knowing everything will only hurt you more, I guess.

Flower : I'd better know the painful truth rather than hearing a honey lie.

Me : Alright, as it is your own demand, then I guess it can't be helped then. Truth to be told, I don't like flowers. I don't like the beauty of your kind. No, I think, flowers have no beauty at any bit. Plus, you are dying the first time you bloom. I don't like your color too, it sickens me, and they make you look weaker. You let people kill you when you are in your perfect shape. Being killed resembles beauty? And you're proud of it? Oh, what a pity. Flowers must be hardcore masochists.

Flowers : [starts crying] What bad things have I done?

Me : Your "beautiful" pink colored corona fell and flew and it stuck in my hair.

Malioboro, Told in Past and Present Tense

Malioboro, is the name of an infamous street, and the icon of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. This street is a part of the philosophical imaginary symmetric line of Laut Selatan (the South Sea) - Keraton - Malioboro - Tugu - Merapi Volcano. Malioboro street itself is divided into two parts; Jalan Malioboro and Jalan Jenderal Ahmad Yani (the name used to be Jalan Marga Mulya).


courtesy of hulaimi-s.blogspot.com



For domestic and international tourists, this street is one of the most favorite places to go when visiting Yogyakarta. Here, you can still see traditional transportation, such as carriages, pedicabs, and many others, giving ride to tourists along the street. So many vendors selling accessories and other ethical souvenirs are also present there; as well as malls and kaki lima. Malioboro is very lively, it seems like it never gets tired. Even at nights, the lamps keep brighten this street and the tire of economy keeps cycling; it never dies. However, did Malioboro look just like we see today; that crowded, bright, and such?

I was trying to do some research on how Malioboro looked like after the World War II (around 1950s), and I found this picture. I didn't get the certain date of when this picture was taken, but it's enough to portray how Malioboro used to be. I'm pretty sure it's taken around 1970s though. To know the difference between the face of Malioboro today and the old days, I make a simple chronology though.

courtesy of yusufzulkarnain


Malioboro in...

1950s
According to Djoko Pratjojo, in 1950, Malioboro was a nice street to walk. The street itself was only enlivened by pedestrians and traditional transportation, like carriage, tricycles, and bicycles. There had been vendors jazzing up Malioboro, but the number was not so many. Vendors, or pedagang kaki lima, usually brought their commodity back to their houses once the day ended.

It is confirmed that even in 1950s, the area of Malioboro was the same with one that we know today, though in some old photographs Malioboro looked larger. The street used to be two-way road, but approximately, even in 1990s this street had become one-way road to any motor vehicles.

1970s
Around this year, Malioboro reached its peak as the icon of Yogyakarta; as the city of art and culture. Artists loved gathering around the street and  the overhang. According to Sutaryo's story, a humanist from UGM, in 1970s, every night many active artists and men of letter would gather together and did creative activities. 1970s was also the time when economical aspect started to increase; but still not as bustle at the very moment. Malioboro in 1970s was still clean. There were also no traffic jams whatsoever.

1990s
The number of vendors in Malioboro increased significantly around 1997, during the monetary crisis. However, the area of Malioboro itself wasn't big enough to accommodate them all. They had to pay to be able to claim some swath for their own. The year 1990s was the year when Malioboro's face slowly changed  from a peaceful street to do creative activity and nice place for pedestrians to a lively, crowded street as the center of the economic circle.

Malioboro Today (2000 - present)
It seems like in the early 2000s, Malioboro lost its face as the center art and culture of Yogyakarta. The significant changes were visible, as the government made the economical aspect more important than the cultural one. Billboards and malls were built. The function of Malioboro switched.

However, in 2012, the government of Kota Yogyakarta launched the idea to restore the face of Malioboro as the center of Art and Culture as in 1970s. Many transversed billboards were cleaned, and the street of Malioboro were reorganized once again. Still, we could see the difference between Malioboro in the old days with Malioboro today, such as: the billboards itself, the traffic lights and traffic signs, and the presence of vendors as well, and the switched function of traditional transportation into transportation to attract tourists.


Citations
National Geographic
yusufzulkarnain.blogspot.com
Yahoo Groups
Indonesian Heritage