Friday, April 13, 2012


The headlines of today's news focuses on the fact that an educational book for children of secondary grades covers a story related to mistress (istri simpanan). Almost all the news was trying to put the blame on the ministry of education for allowing the word and concept of mistress to be that part of the book. Tempo new covers a broadcast on twitter, asking the rational behind the decision to consider it part of education material. The ministry of education was so mad and promised to set up a team to find out who's to actor behind. The head of Dinas pendidikan regrets the incident and put the blame on his subordinates.

This is one among the series of jokes happened in Indonesia. There are many facts that could be cultivate out of this hillarious incident:

1. Have they ever done their job properly instead of condemning their subordinates or trying to to find the scape goat? They must be too busy to cater for their own self interest and forget their responsibilities. They always end up at the same corner, putting the blame on the ghost or on their subordinates.

2. Hypocracy. A mistress exists and it is a real case among the public. Dont they consider the case of AA Gym as part of story that contributes to the education of the children? Dont they think that case of some gay artists speak louder than the school books? Dont they consider that unsettled corruption cases are more the lesson learnt compared to school books? They read the news and listen to the infotainment more than they browse through their school books.

3. Have they ever considered that children have to learn from mistakes. And as far as I know, the story does not put the mistress high on a pedestal, instead they put it as part of an ordinary story out of which you can learn from the mistakes.

4. Female is objectified as always. The devil , which is the mistress, is female.

I stand in an opposing side to the rest. For I support the fact that educational book covers real stories of what is happening within our society. Let children learn through real cases instead of providing them with the life of wine and roses and creating a gap between their mental model and the reality.

Sunday, April 08, 2012


I am old. I was bold. But that was years back to the past. I am going to be 90 this June. My bedroom and the balcony are the only two places in which I spend days, hours and seconds of my life. I sleep most of the time, and if not I sit on the balcony for hours, watching the family come and go. They are all occupied, go to work, do some sport, go to the uni or simply go to school. They come back home late and could probably care less of my existence in the balcony. They do not even see their future in me, sitting here in the balcony, sometimes with the maids and sometimes with some rats that go back and forth.
I realize that I cant catch up with the language of today, and my memory could not accomodate more than a few sentences for a few minutes. I will ask the same question again and again until I notice some of them get impatience and slowly but definitely they leave me there on the balcony. There are times my other grandchildren call me and talk to me. I hear beautiful words flowing, asking about my health and telling me that they love me. Do they really? I dont know for I feel like a forlorn and forgotten old lady. I feel like I am just another burden to the family. If you really love me that much, dont you think you will visit me and accompany me in my old days? Sorry for asking too much. I just want some attention. Make me feel that I exist, talk to me and sit next to me.
When they are home, they are all tired or they have another subject to deal with. Again they ignore me. I used to be there, I used to be in their place. I used to feed the family. With these two hands, I brought into alive all my children. One by one they went away from my life. I faced two of my five children gone away to heaven. I watched the three of them facing the battle of life, each in their own ways. I am happy if you are happy. I am sad if you are sad. They come to me when they are sad, they walk away when they are happy. I will go away and I know you will all cry. Love is not about crying on the curb of my corpse, but love is about showing that you really love me. Talk to me, listen to my repetitive sentences.
I am just an old lady, sitting on this balcony, sleeping when my head is heavy. The balcony is gonna be your place in the future, replacing me when I'm gone. A place where you will shed your tears. Thinking how you wish I will have been there for you, in your sadness and in your madness.