Simply beautiful!

Nothing can replace the enjoyment of spending Saturday with beloved friends. I just experienced that with my old best college mates at Kebun Raya Bogor. We took a cheap economy class train, for just Rp2.000, from Tanah Abang to Bogor station. We had brief lunch then departed to the giant park. It was very worth it!

Needless to say more about this. Let the pictures speak it all. All pictures are the courtesy of Agata Ranjabar and Mery Amelia. And not to forget Ovi Harum Wulan, all of whom are best companions in this trip!

The Inheritance of Loss

I needed some moments to completely absorb what I have just read. Mixed feelings were all over my mind after I closed The Inheritance of Loss.  I can’t specify what I felt at that time. Sad? Not really. Happy? A bit. Confused? Kind of. Angry? At some points, yes. Unsatisfied? May be so.

As confused as I felt, as puzzled as this writing may be for you. The plot of the story is a mixture between past and present. I can hardly sum up the novel into a good summary so I would like to write down a bit of what the book is all about. For those who want to read this, I inform you beforehand to fully concentrate in reading this novel given the jumbled plot of the story.

Jemubhai, a retired judge living in a mountainuos area in Nepal, has his life changed when his sole granddaughter Sai arrived at his home. Both knew very little about each other. She was handed Jemubhai’s address after his parents died in a car accident in Russia. Poor little Sai. At barely 10 years old, she had to accept the fact she was an orphan, flying all the way from Russia to meet then live with her grandfather she hardly knew at all.

Before Sai came to his life, Jemubhai has his cook and his beloved dog as his companions. He was regarded as one of the prominent figures in his village, Cho Oyu, given his good education in the UK. Jemubhai was fortunate to have parents who were well aware of his future. They decided to wed him with a rich girl, just 14 years old, years younger than his age. Few moments after they got married, he left her to live in the UK.

Jemubhai found that he was living a life in shame in the UK. He was shameful with his color, his teeth, everything that made him completely as a stranger. He locked himself in his self-kingdom, afraid of going outside. He did not want to be a laughing stock for passersby. He studied hard, seldom checked his wife’s conditions let alone his family at large.

Despite his lonely life in the country, Jemubhai was lucky in terms of profession. He got a job as a judge in local court and earned his good reputation until he entered his retirement. When he went back home, his extended family welcomed him with huge pride. But Jemubhai seemed uninterested with his homecoming. He now became a foreigner at his home, quiet and witty.

His cold relationship even with his wife led to how he behaved with Sai. Nothing much occured between the two as what grandfather and granddaughter should have acted. The lack of love between Jemubhai dan his wife caused a cracked for overall relationship in the family. Jemubhai was ashamed with his wife, an uneducated woman from the village whom he was afraid of causing him a shame when it came to official affairs of dinner parties.

So you may guess what happens when Sai enters his life. Cold, cold, and cold relationship. Jemubhai even prefered to spend quality time with his dog while Sai came closer with the cook. But never mind. At least, Sai had few good friends at such isolated place and Jemubhai ensured she had proper education. So, Sai was introduced to Noni dan Lola, whom taught her about science until their knowledge could not cope with Sai’s curiosity. That was when Jemubhai asked for Gyan’s help to be her tutor. And that was when Sai fell for him for the first time in her life.

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The cook has his hope high on the sky with his son, Biju, in the US. Little did he know that his son often changed his jobs, from one restaurant to another one, just to make ends meet. And Biju did not tell much about his job as he was afraid he would hurt his father’s dreams. Unlike Jemubhai who was so low about his Indian identity, Biju seemed happy with his immigration. Despite poor acceptance from his bosses, Biju survived and had lots of friends. But still, Biju did not want to tell the truth about his profession as a servant in the strange land to his father. And his father kept believing his son was a succesfull man in the US thus asked for his help to bring in other villagers to the country, too.

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No one could guess that Gyan came from a poor family, like many residents in the village. He was handsome, spoke good English and knew Western food styles, unlike many of his peers. The relationship between him and Sai went well until one day Gyan came across a demonstration of GNLF, a group who demanded the liberty of Nepal from India. Since then, Gyan turned out to such a hater. He hated her because she was a product of Western culture, and his grandfather who studied overseas. He hated everything and everyone who lived like Westerners. You’re such a hyprocite, Sai once says. But he ignored her then continued to support the GNLF; Gorkhaland for Gorkhas!

Slowly but surely, the movement grew bigger and bigger. They raided Jemubhai’s house, Noni and Lola’s, then seized whatever they could find. Such uneducated boys who knew nothing of the movement but they were the drivers of it. They blockaded main road leading to the village, set up shanties wherever they wanted. Cho Oyu was no longer safe and sound.

Sai could not help she was being unfairly treated by Gyan thus decided to search for his whereabouts. When they finally met, they were in verbal fights about political things directly unrelated with their love life. Gyan would not give up. He would not accept that his arguments were shallow and that Sai was correct. Sai went home. With her desperate feelings, she promised to herself she would never seek for him anymore. Despite her tears and dissapointment, she stuck to her vow.

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Biju ignored his boss’s advice not to leave the US then quickly flew to his village to see his father. The news about the riots in the village reached him. He had to leave at once as he found it hard to communicate with his father not even via telephone. After a long flight with Air France, he came home. And what he heard was right. The boys from the GNLF cut road access to the village. The only way he reached the place was by taking a jeep operated by the boys. Surely, Biju knew very well about the consequences of all this. He had to pay a lot of money, in US dollars, for them. Worse, they took all of his belongings with clothes stuck at his body left. No he was clueless at where he was let alone how he could find his father. He was left in the middle of nowhere in his village with nothing but his clothes. Coming all the way from the US, where he could hide his pride when he met with his father under such shameful conditions???

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A dog? Hahahahaha. That was what Jemubhai heard when he asked for their help to discover Mutt. People were starving and the situations were getting worse, and you searched for what? A dog???

Stressful Jemubhai was left hopeless knowing he lost his most lovely friend which was carried by a poor woman asking for his legal help but was refused. Now, Jemubhai got the pain. Tell her, I will look for the dog, Gyan told the cook when they ran into each other on the latter’s search. Suddenly, Gyan felt sorry for himself and realized his feelings to Sai.

After his futile search, the cook went home, finding his boss completely at loss about the dog. Beat me! I am bad. It was my mistake!, the cook says. Then the judge beat him, over and over again. Stop it! Sai begs. But they did not care. The beating went on and on.

Sai prepared for tea when she saw a glimpe of a person walking into the gate of her house. At first she thought it was Gyan’s shadow or probably the poor woman who previously begged for his grandfather’s help. But she was wrong. Looking at carefully, she noticed that the cook went outside the gate and hugged his son.

 

Forty-nine

I could not help being sad over the defeat of Juve. Its unbeaten record stopped at 49, in front of its home fans. Worse thing is that Juve lost to its eternal enemy, Inter Milan. Like what happened when I was at school, I am preparing from bad comments from Internisti. And that can be painful. And now, I am avoiding reading news about that match, football in general, if I can say so. I turned off television, I glued to my netbook while filling up my blog. It has been a while I did not do these things. And I added my sorrow by listening to Westlife’s songs. Again, it feels like ages I did not do this thing. After such merry and wonderful Saturday trip to Bogor, now I am dealing with this mellow Sunday tone.

I miss Westlife, I miss old times watching Alessandro Del Piero with Juventus. And I miss… someone in Chicago. Oh life! Being happy and sad can happen almost at the same time. Dealing with my own’s feeling, taming the good and bad side of mine is as difficult as hell! I find a formula to keep myself at a balanced mood; that I must not be overjoy when I am happy and vice versa. I must not be so depressed when I am sad. Easier said than done. Sometimes the hardest part is taking some time to cope with that. To tell myself that the world doesn’t come to an end because of this and that, and such and such and such things…

And I have kept telling myself that the world will not crumble after the loss. And I am trying to remain silent over harsh words from Internisti or everyone who loves seeing Juve’s loss. The journey is far from over. Juve can humiliate and fight back when they face Inter next year. There lay hopes ahead.. this and that thing will push Juve up. But still… needless to say I am still dissapointed. Okay, that’s such small thing, for some people. And my father once warns me not to be exaggerated about this football kind of thing. But Juve is more than just football. It has been part of my dream. It encourages me to dream, shoot everything higher than stars.

Being at the Juventus Stadium, taking pictures with Ale are still my biggest dreams. And I am so very grateful with those things, especially at the moment when I feel so clueless about my future thus the only thing I can aim at is saving a lot of money so that I can go to Sydney and Turin.

I have been living like in a flat line, lifeless tone that I seek for someone or some things that boost my motivations. Juve, Ale, the Chicago temporary man, are those who can slap my face, to wake me up and tell me something very worthwhile await me here and now. They tell me that I must fight for live, enjoy the present, and fight for my future, no matter how small they can be. So, okay! Juve lost yesterday and I was completely sad. I guess that is the consequence of loving it so much with all my heart. And like it or not, I have to deal with this and let time helps me fixing this broken feeling.

Anyway….

What I hate from Juve vs Inter is that their rivalry is no longer about victory or defeat in the field. Call it calciopoli, farsopoli, or whatever that is! Their competition goes ashtray from the field to political thing. Juve is relegated to Serie B and has its league titles scrapped. But now I doubt about the truth that Juve is such that guilty given the fact that the Italian football federation is dominated by Internisti.

I think that Juve reached its fatigue point when it welcomed Inter at the last match. It was playing below its par with some loopholes, being careless at the end of the game, unorganized attack plot, and everything. This was different when they won 2-0 against Napoli, which I think, is not significantly good as Inter.

This season, Juve has to play twice a week not to mention most of its players play for Italian national team. The team is completely exhausted and lacks of grinta, or may be winning spirit. The lost was inevitable.

On the other hand, Inter played better. I had to admit that. They created more chances and performed accurately. I wish all Internisti or football lovers can still have sympathy to other teams’ supporters as triumph and defeat is what football game is all about. But coarse words and unfair responses are things that make sport, or football, can be very loathsome!

I wish Juve can revenge this defeat with their seat at the next round of Champions League. I have been dying to see them lift the most prestigious cup in Europe. I don’t actually care about the revenge against Inter as I still think Juve is much more superior than the team (even after the loss, stupid isn’t it?). I mean, I never think Inter is that good because of the scandal involving it with Juve. Also, I dislike the fact that Inter relies much (at least in the 1990s) on super expensive player. I prefer AC Milan though. It’s more elegant and contributes lots of players in the national team, just like Juve.

Anyway, I hope the loss can push Juve to get up and start again. Never too late to begin everything in positive and hopeful tone. I will always be at your side Juve in ups and downs. I will always support you no matter what happens. In the meantime, lets enjoy this sorrowful tone and hope this will end tomorrow.