The Three Musketeers

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Two kids approached a stray dog that stopped in front of a restaurant to beg for food. The little girl mumbled something to her brother. Big brother came closer, giving an example. The dog let the total strangers pet him. Without words, those three quickly became friends.

Minutes later, the three musketeers turned into a crowd of six.

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Sometimes, it takes two little kids and a dog to remind us, adults, of the purest form of love and trust we lost a long time ago.


A (Belated) Birthday Note

I met her few months ago at my former office and instantly knew we’d become friends. For the next month she came to the office twice a week and we ALWAYS knew when she arrived. Her laugh filled the air in such a way that you would instantly smile when you hear it—unless you just killed a baby panda the previous night or something.

She reminded me of Kathryn Kuhlman, a female preacher I used to worship years back. She was very popular as she was anointed in such a way (hardcore Christian fellows, you know what anointed means, do you? If not, let’s grab a beer!) that every time she walked into a place, she changed the entire atmosphere and people would look at each other and say, “She’s here.”

That’s Michelle. Or Maya. Many times she introduces herself as Michelle. Sometimes as Maya, which reminds me to …Maya, the adorable daughter of Dr. Doolittle who can speak to animals. (Yes, that’s a Hollywood movie, and a good one—IMDb it for Christ’s sake). She already speaks 3 freaking languages before she decided to learn Indonesian. And she’s probably the only person around me whose French I can really understand, because she speaks with American accent.

I remember that afternoon. My head was filled with details of what happened the other day with a horrible guest that stayed at my place for 3 nights. He was not evil, he just had annoying habits, weird attitude and strange behavior, not to mention a very annoying smell. And I just didn’t have the heart to kick him out because d’uh, he’s in a strange country. Whatever. The rain was pouring when I met Michelle who was making a cup of hot tea. I made a cup of coffee and 5 minutes later found myself spilling every detail of what happened during those 3 days to her.

I’ll never forget her reaction. “Honey, you’re too kind!” in a thick American accent. I laughed out loud and suddenly felt better. A LOT better. It was my first laugh that day. We chatted some more, and more, and I forgot that I had a pile of work waiting for me. She left an hour later. I stared at my abandoned papers and that’s how I knew I got a new friend.

Many weeks later, we had lunch, exchanged Facebook messages nearly every day talking about random stuff, went for a vacation, shared a coconut, abused high-speed internet at a café to download TV series and basked in a comfortable silence together. She cooked me lunch and I slept on her couch. Looking back, it’s truly amazing what a simple conversation can bring. I guess I should thank my horrible guest.

Here’s to my dear Michelle, or Maya, who just celebrated her birthday 2 weeks ago (what? 2 weeks is not too late unless it’s your period!): I am grateful that you are here in this world. I can’t be happier seeing how beautiful our friendship has grown, as much as I enjoy your presence, every talk, every silly thing, and every laugh we share together. Here’s to abundant happiness and blessing coming your way. Here’s to endless joy waiting to multiply in your life. And thank you for being in my life. I’m glad we met. I just am.


Suara Hati Ibu Petani

Dua petani bekerja bersisian. Lengan-lengan mereka yang tersaput butiran garam laut berkilau ditimpa cahaya mentari. Keduanya bekerja dengan cepat dan cekatan, tak punya waktu untuk menikmati keindahan yang ditawarkan laut dan gunung terbentang.

Petani berikatkepala, yang rupanya perempuan, berhenti untuk meluruskan punggung. Keranjangnya penuh terisi rumput laut berjuntai-juntai. Tanaman yang bakal jadi penganan enak di restoran Jepang, hotel bintang lima, atau dijual di supermarket dalam kemasan cantik, baginya tak lebih dari sumber mata pencaharian yang menghasilkan uang tak seberapa.

Petani satunya, lelaki muda yang otot-ototnya masih liat, ikut berhenti bekerja. Keranjangnya hampir luber. Menoleh ia ke sang ibu, yang kemudian dihampirinya sambil memanggul hasil panen hari itu.

Mereka bercakap sejenak, sebelum si lelaki memindahkan beban berat ke pundaknya. Tak tanggung-tanggung, dua pikul sekaligus. Dengan gagah dipanggulnya ikat-ikat rumput laut sambil berjalan tegap seolah memamerkan, “Lihat, Ibu, tak sedikit pun aku oleng.”

Sang ibu tersenyum tipis. Pandangannya tak luput mengikuti gerakan gesit putranya. Dalam diam matanya berbinar, seolah ingin berujar,

“Mudah-mudahan nasibmu kelak lebih baik, Nak. Biar punggungku saja yang habis ditempa matahari dan digerus angin, sebab jalanmu masih panjang dan usiamu masih terlalu banyak untuk dihabiskan di tempat ini.”


Rest in Peace, Coco

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I wish I could turn back time to save you. But I’m happy that I fed you your favorite sausage on your last breathing day.

I wish I had brought my camera to take decent pictures of you.

I wish we had spent more time together. Every morning, every lunch break and every afternoon.

I wish I had let you lick my hands, feet and arms longer.

I wish I told you that you were loved. Even if your owner didn’t. And that you wouldn’t have to worry because I would never hit you the way they did.

I wish you were still here.

On Getting Used To

“Eight people died in Afghanistan,” my friend told me.


That was my only response.


What’s the first thing that comes into your mind when you hear the word?

“Eight people died in Afghanistan.”

Why wasn’t I surprised?

And now, take a glimpse of this beautiful country.

When was the last time you felt the sickening agony of the killings done by some people who called themselves the servants of God?

When was the last time you were shocked by the news about someone who jumped from the 5th floor of a shopping mall?

When was the last time you felt the painful stab on your chest when you saw the polices bringing out a package that contains bomb out of a building?

We are getting used to it. And that’s the scariest thing of all.