Dari peron Stasiun Kalibata,

Selamat malam dari peron Stasiun Kalibata. Malam ini hujan deras, jenis hujan deras yang akan membuatmu basah kuyup, berpayung atau tidak. Dan ini pasang sepatu terakhir saya.

Hujan di Jakarta itu selalu panas menurut saya. Hujan yang lembap. Aneh. Hujan di stasiun kereta lebih aneh lagi. Kemeja dan jins saya menempel lekat ke kulit, dan udara di stasiun kereta adalah udara lembap dan berkeringat.

Kereta jam enam sore adalah kelindan lengan dan punggung dan dada dan keringat di udara dan napas orang asing di belakang kepala. Ruang-ruang kosong adalah hal yang tabu dan stasiun perhentian adalah pertaruhan untuk memperebutkannya: desak dan sikut dan decakan kesal dan selorohan nada tinggi adalah senjatanya.

Bagi manusia, perjalanan punya pemaknaan yang mendalam. Ia dapat mengubah pemikiran, memberikan momen kontemplatif kehidupan, menelanjangi watak setiap orang. Bicara perjalanan, kita berpikir tentang banyak hal: liburan keluar dari perkotaan mencari pemandangan dan pengalaman, berkendara jauh bersama teman untuk perbincangan dan lamunan-lamunan di jalan, ekskursi spiritual untuk berpikir tentang Tuhan.

Stasiun ini bukan stasiun yang akan saya rekam sebagai bagian dari "perjalanan". Tidak seperti Lempuyangan atau Gubeng, misalnya: stasiun-stasiun itu adalah bagian dari perjalanan dua belas jam di kereta, stasiun yang memberi momen kontemplatif, atau kenangan berbincang bersama kawan atau bahkan sandaran pundak seseorang. Stasiun Kalibata selalu saya lewati dengan langkah terburu-buru dan napas yang lega setelah lepas dari kerangkeng gerbong-gerbong kereta. Saya tidak berpikir tentang perjalanan. Saya hanya berpikir tentang pulang. Pun, bukan jenis "pulang" yang konteksnya romantis.

Duduk disini membuat saya berpikir tentang perjalanan harian jam enam sore melewati rute stasiun Sudirman-Kalibata ini. Perjalanan harian, sederhana, tanpa romantisme dan signifikansi momen kebersamaan. Tapi mungkin bicara perjalanan, tak akan ada yang lebih signifikan bagi kehidupan daripada perjalanan berdesakan di kereta ini.

Pagi tadi, saya membaca sebuah artikel tentang hubungan perjalanan harian dan kebahagiaan. Orang-orang yang menghabiskan waktu lebih sedikit di perjalanan cenderung lebih bahagia dari mereka yang menghabiskan berjam-jam untuk perjalanan. Membacanya, saya tak bisa tak teringat dengan sikutan dan desakan, selorohan dan sindiran, bahkan sekali dua kali kegaduhan besar-besaran di peron dan gerbong-gerbong kereta. Ia tidak romantis, dalam permukaannya tak terlihat seperti momen kontemplatif, tapi seperti yang kita selalu pikirkan tentang perjalanan, ia begitu signifikan dalam mendefinisikan diri kita.

2015 in Pages

What makes the otherwise uneventful 2015 quite memorable to me is that this is the year I actually rediscover my love of reading - and actually trying to kick it up a notch, in that I actually tried to be more adventurous with my book choices instead of staying comfortable in my usual lane.

I started the year by joining a yearly Goodreads reading challenge and set my reading goal at 40 books - quite plentiful but doable (or so I thought). I ended the year with a measly 24 titles - though it doesn't include the short stories, articles, or magazines I picked up during the year. Quantity wise, I didn't live up to the challenge, but as far as reading experience goes it was quite a good year for me.

So, after quite a slow, unproductive first day of the year, I'll try to kick off my 2016 archive with something less ponderous: a few pointers of what made 2015 in pages quite an amazing year. This is where Goodreads and Path come in handy; thanks to the site and app I am able to keep track of my reading history and some little reviews I wrote on a whim (I posted it on private in Path in case you're guessing, dear Path friends). Here goes!

Starting the year with a bang

In the end of 2014 I borrowed this absolute classic from my friend (or to be precise, my friend's grandfather). Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace had been lingering on my to-read list for some time, but I had not quite worked up the courage to seek it in bookstores due to the monstrous size (haha), but when I discovered my friend('s grandfather) actually had this book, I thought why not?

I'll just quote myself from my path post since I actually wrote quite an extensive review on it back then:

Appreciations to Tolstoy: 1) His very, very realistic depiction of Napoleonic wars featuring so many historical characters, including Bonaparte and Tsar Alexander themselves, so tremendously well-written that you can't tell them apart from the fictional characters. 2) An excellent character development to the central characters of the book (especially Pierre!), something essential in a novel written on a very expansive time-setting. 3) His philosophical take on why things happened the way they did, why the wars unfolded the way they did, what had been the driving force, ponderous things like that - his narrative was quite frankly challenging on those closing chapters, but it gave me a very satisfactory feeling when finishing the book.

Pro tip on reading Russian literature: keep notes on the names! They are long, tongue-twisting, and one character can have 3 or more nicknames depending on whom they're talking to, so it can be very confusing!

Getting out of my comfort zone

So... I've been a fiction girl. I've always been a fiction girl. From those princess diaries and similarly cringey teenlits that helped me survived elementary and middle school, the chiclits and metropops the girls always loved to read in highschool, getting to know the absolute classic books in college (though to be fair till this very second I'm really still in the getting-to-know phase). I've been on the trashy end and the classy end, but bottomline is I've always been a fiction girl.

Orwell was my turning point. I read 1984 in the end of 2014 and fell in love with it, absolutely in love. But what was most intriguing is that I thoroughly enjoy the lengthy essay in the book, the one where Goldstein's talking about politics and language and those heavy stuffs. I thought it wasn't my alley, but I enjoyed it. So after War and Peace, guess what book I read? Orwell's Essays. A collection of Orwell's essays, covering a wide range of topics but mostly on literature and politics. I didn't absolutely enjoy all of the essay, but it helped me take a liking to nonfiction books.

So in 2015 there were Heidegger's Poetry, Language, Thoughts, Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel (which is my currently-read book), Monocle's extensive edition on liveable cities rankings, and Goldman's short anarchist essays to go with Orwell's Essays. I also tried to encourage myself to read more in-depth news features and op-eds on a daily basis - cue more news account on my twitter following-list. Not really much, but quite an improvement to my previously very fictitious reading list.

Discovering where to look and what to read

It's important - to get the right recommendations, to be acquainted to the right names. Getting to know classic books was fairly easier because, well, they're classics. Their names are going to be popping up in nearly every recommendation lists or absolute must-read list. Trying to move past Austens or Dickens or Murakamis (not that I've read enough of those classics tbh, but still, I'm feeling adventurous!) and try to discover less best-selling authors was the thing I was trying to do in 2015. It didn't help that the average bookstores I'd come across at malls always sell the same names.

This is where I found out literary twitter accounts (again thanks twitter my eternal saviour) that always namedrop some authors that I hardly knew anything about earlier. I discover Intan Paramaditha's account which led to her truly amazing short stories (eerie and feminist is what her works are often referred as), the independent bookstore at Pasar Santa, the most well-curated bookstore I've come across in Indonesia, the literary journal themurmurhouse (I had been lucky enough in 2015 to feature in one of their collaboration project!), and so many, so many more.


I've always had this love of reading. But before, it always felt that it came with an asterisk -- I was very particular in regards to genres, book-length, themes, and so on. 2015 was all about trying to become a more versatile reader. I haven't fully succeeded, but it's still a start. So, here's to an even more adventurous (and knowledge-expanding, and eye-opening) 2016 in pages!

So is this how it feels to receive a Christmas gift?

This song is just so perfect. I'm immediately hooked. Sold. This is absolutely blowing Sam Smith out of the water (nothing against you, Sam). By this time I've probably already played this for 20+ times already. I risked the possibility of getting sick of this song in immediate future but the hell I don't care. My current dope. It never quite hit me how.. very Bond-esque Radiohead's music actually is, if that makes sense? It would've been so, SO perfect for a James Bond movie score. This is perfect. So glad they're releasing it anyway. THANKS RADIOHEAD.


A soirée for the bride-to-be, first of the bunch to pretty soon marry. Surprise's surprise; she's always been the most childlike one of the bunch, too. So childlike I used to scold her off "Grow up dong, Na!" How time flies, eh?

Merriest celebration is of course always the privilege for the first one. Just look at those decorations! It might be scrumpy and very last minute-ish but we definitely pulled it off, ladies. Proudly DIY-ed by yours truly the whole gang.

Sometimes it's just surreal to look back, reminisce of where we were the first time we hung around together, and see where we're at right now. Marriage seemed so grandeur back then, wasn't it? But then so seemed college, and we survived it. Then so seemed work, and we're living it. Eventually those so called grandeur things turned out to be just the next turn on the road, and now you're about to take the marriage turn. One that still seemed massive to some of us (ehm me! me!) but a decision that nonetheless would've seemed natural to take for you. We're sending you off to that turn with a bang, being the ribet-ibu-ibu-esque friends that we are ;)

So, here's to you, Na. See you at the wedding!

So, guys,

how have you been?

Can't believe almost half a year had passed since the last time I've posted something here.
(Though to be fair, I quite liked the poem I posted last time around. More than pleased to have it greeting you on top of the posts.)


I am taking forever to measure the distance
between your fingers; counting miles
that stretch across the peaks
and valleys,
the crooks and scratches on the
sea of life that is
your fingers.

I’ve known a few things:
the twists and turns, the intricate
engraved on your tips, the little
spaces where your stories dwell—
the telltale of
every subtle touches.

You’ve let out more from your tips
than you ever did from your lips.

I am dying to know, though,
the secrets you kept
between your fingers:
everything that had tangled
and interlocked in the deepest
of spaces.

“This is where I keep things
that I don’t let out,” you once
said, and of course I was never let

But you let me measure the distance
between your fingers, and
when I get to count the depth
of your abysses,
they were impossibly big,
impossibly deep—

Never in my life had I wanted to lock hands
with someone so badly.

I just want to be another secret,
another inch in your abyss,
but counting distances is the only thing

you let me.

Untuk yang merantau,

Pergi itu lebih dari sekedar meninggalkan rumah satu kamar lebih kosong dan membawa jejak ke tempat-tempat yang lebih jauh, tapi juga
memberi ruang bagi orang-orang terdekatmu untuk menjadi lebih besar, lebih lapang.

semoga jarak memberi ruang, dan ruang memberi lapang.

Recollections of 8/8 and 9/8

I wonder if this very corner
was reserved for people who
did not smear blood on their lips.

I thought baring was not a sin;

I have to remember how my name sounds
in unfamiliar mumbles.

Perhaps I'd have caught it spoken
any other time (if any);

There is something fascinating about
wall-facing seating,
no faces and sceneries, colours

I heard the colour orange is best-suited
for dining;

Detours are tolerable when walking
is the last thing you do while you're walking.

I'd never trust maps though, nor will I ever trust
things that turn miles into mere inches;

People make acquaintances
and I don't,
this time not for the usual reason, though;

The better way
to make people leave, instead of burning flames,
they say,
is to leave them cold,

I thought cold would be something I'd withstand,
but they were shutting the wi-fi instead;

This is the way of telling a long story:

*End of chapter 10*;

A zoophilic, a pyromaniac, a masochist, a necrophiliac
and a sadist walk into a bar--
conversation and witty punchline ensue,

I wonder if a group of people telling stories and jokes on
disturbing and weird fetishism are
fetishes themselves;

Serenades and midnight-sharp surprises
were not something to swoon over,

Yet another reason to never be a heartthrob;

I had peed three times
in the last hour alone,

I had had so many things going over my head;

With a voice like yours,
don't ever say, "thank you,
hope we'll see you again."

With a voice like mine, I reckon
it'd be okay, though.

Musik Yann Tiersen beberapa hari ini selalu terputar jadi latar. Terngiang-ngiang terus. Beberapa hari yang lalu aku tonton ulang filmnya, Amélie. Entah kenapa, akordeon Yann Tiersen terdengar terus, suaranya yang ramai bergantian dengan nyanyian sayup-sayup, "What can I do/ What can I say/ Loving you dear like I do". Akordeon yang ramai, terus bergantian dengan lirik sendu.

Hari ini aku pergi ke sebuah mall. Entah kenapa sepanjang jalan aku berpikir akan bertemu seseorang di sana. Tidak tahu siapa, tetapi seseorang yang kukenal. Jarang sekali aku berfirasat, dan aku tidak pernah terlalu percaya pula akan firasat. Tapi entah kenapa malam tadi perasaanku kuat sekali, kalau aku akan bertemu seseorang.

Di mall itu aku bertemu seorang kenalan yang kukenal beberapa tahun lalu; tidak kusapa. Aku lihat saja dia, beberapa anak tangga eskalator di depanku. Orang ini tidak kenal dekat denganku, kecuali beberapa minggu. Entah kenapa aku merasa tepat sekali bahwa orang itu yang berlintasan denganku di hari saat firasatku demikian kuat bahwa aku akan berlintasan dengan seseorang. Orang yang tidak istimewa hingga membuatku menerka (dengan pengharapan?) takdir dari kebetulan, tapi juga bukan orang yang melintas hanya selewat; ia hinggap dan terpikirkan.

Selama beberapa hari dimana lagu Yann Tiersen selalu berputar di benakku, ramai akordeon bergantian suara sayup-sayup sendu, aku tidak pernah benar-benar memutar lagunya di ponsel atau laptopku. Malam ini akhirnya aku putar saja benar-benar lagu-lagu Yann Tiersen supaya terdengar di telingaku, benar-benar di telingaku. Akordeon yang ramai. Lalu nyanyian yang sayup-sayup sendu. "Is it a crime that I'm guilty/ Guilty of loving you."

-entri pertamaku dari ponsel. 12:58.

In Sputnik Sweetheart, when Sumire got a job working for the woman she loved, she stopped writing.

She was a passionate writer. Not a particularly great one, but passionate nevertheless. It defined her; it was as important as breathing to her. Yet she stopped. It wasn't the time, wasn't the business; the words just could not come.

Why was that?
I wondered.