Sunday, August 29, 2004

Schumacher F1 World Champion - Michelin Ngeselin!

Ubber Alles!
Fabulous!!! Although finishing his race in the second place after Kimi Raikkonen, Michael Schumacher made it getting his world championship title in today’s F1 race in Spa. After battling 44 laps to the finish line, Schumacher was finally able to score his 7th title of the world champion, which was also the 7th for Ferrari team. He actually would have been able to finish in the first place had he geared up during the start and not lost his position to number four. It was said that it happened because the car Schumacher was driving in was carrying a lot of fuel which made it more difficult for him to speed up the car. Another commentator said that it was Schumacher’s wisdom to slow down a bit so that he could prevent his car from colliding with another car.

Whatever the reason is, I truly admire him for his cool disposition even though he didn’t manage to become number one in the race. At first I thought he would be disappointed for not succeeding on being number one. But when the winners took their position in the podium, there was no trace of such disappointment in Schumacher’s face. He showed his smiley face as usual – although it was not as wide as when he became the number one champion, I think – and merrily burst the champagne and sprinkled it to his team.

Later at the press conference, Michael confessed that he would have been happier had he finished the race in the first place, but he couldn’t have asked for more. With such rough start he had to go through, finishing the race as number two was the best result he could get and he was very thankful for that. Schumacher also said that the result was satisfying for the whole team as Barichello who was left far behind during the start, turned out to finish in the third place, so it was joy to everyone. Wow, I said to myself. Had I been in his place, I would be disappointed, I guess, because that was the way I felt when the result came out.

Surely I was being emotional. It felt as if I was the one behind the wheel, and it was so depressing to know that you’re just inches away from being number one. Well, I suppose I have to learn a lot about mastering my emotion from Michael after this :) . I say, Michael, you’re one true champion.

Full of Drama
The race itself was full of drama as one tragedy after another took place in the Belgium race runway. It was begun with Schumacher slowing down and letting Coulthard steal his position, which forced him to race from the fourth position. Meanwhile, cars behind Schumacher were fighting each other to become ahead of the others, and crash! Suddenly all I know, debris of the front wing of a car (I’m not sure whose car it was) were anywhere and Sato (or was it Button?) was sent out of the track. Not far from Sato (or Button), Pantano’s car crashed into errm, whose car was that?

Hahaha, I’m not making a good report, here. What I’m trying to say is the start was something you don’t want to miss because of the major drama taking place. Barichello, for an example, was made to do an early pit stop so that he could get some parts of his car fixed. It was so unlucky of him as it made him drop his position down from top 10 to the 17th. Finishing the race in the third position indeed signified the fantastic and great job Barichello had been doing during the race.

Anyway, the drama did not stop there. Half way through the race, several cars had a puncture due to overheating. Coulthard, Button and Montoya were among those who experienced such incident. The interesting thing is that all those drivers had been using Michelin tires. If those drivers knew Bahasa, I’m sure they would have said: “Michelin ngeselin!*%@!!” The term itself is perhaps not enough, because the low quality of the tires had endangered the drivers’ safety, let alone their racing position. I wonder whether Michelin would still be regarded the tire of choice by the racers after this.

Overall, I was contented that I followed the going of today’s F1 race all the way from the start to the finish. Tomorrow, there’s another race to go through; the race where I get to be the person behind the wheel. So buckle up, drivers in Jakarta, for here comes Metty! ;))

Sunday, August 22, 2004

And She Cried

Although my prediction was proven to be true, still it was eerie watching the turn of the show. What I’m talking about here is Nania’s failure to continue to the Grand Final of the Indonesian Idol singing contest.

The Kedirian singer Nania Kurniawati Yusuf had become many many people’s favorite of the three remaining finalists. The competition was tight between her and Joy, the other female finalist, but when it came to her and Delon “Melon” – that’s the name his aficionados as well as people favor against him have been using to cheer or mock him – the difference was great. It was Nania who won the juries’ compliment most of the time. The only critics she received was mainly regarding her stage appearance and sometimes her unability to put her high voice in the right place.

Meanwhile Delon had to face critics – harsh ones, a lot of times – almost every week. It was because the juries and a great many people thought that the guy made it to join the contest, let alone survive to this very day, owing to his handsome look only. Cynically, Indra Lesmana - one of the juries – had even said once that Indonesian people should have looked beyond the physical quality if they wanted a good quality singer to represent the country in the World Idol singing contest.

So it was a bit surprising to see Delon kicked other contestants out the contest stage week after week and survived to the semifinal round. Yet many people and the juries still put on high hopes considering the best contestants namely Joy and Nania still hung around to save Indonesian Idol from losing its glamor and attractiveness. The Delon’s phenomenon did not escape attention, nevertheless, as the show hosts -
Ata and Irgi - had to remind people to send their vote sms or make vote calls for their favorite singer unless they wanted to see the singer get to be sent home.

I myself partly agree that Delon counted more on his looks than on his singing capability to win his fans’ heart and support. Lately somehow I see that he has been making great improvements. His voice was no longer flat during his performance in the last two weeks and I actually began to enjoy it. I believe a lot of people felt the same way I did, and as more negative talks cast over him, at the same time Delon gained more pity and support from people who saw him to be the “abuse victim” of the juries and the anti-Delon society’s sarcastic remarks.

At least that was what I learnt from people’s opinion on the radio and blogs. I remembered someone commenting that Delon perhaps right now felt sorry for having a handsome visage that for the first time in men’s history the guy might have thought of having a plastic surgery on his face so he could have the face of Shrek instead of the current one, just to get a more objective judgment!

Of course, that is an extreme comment, but hey, we couldn’t see this guy with one eye’s shut! Wasn’t it clear that Delon had successfully brushed off the other Indonesian Idol contestants, some of them were better than him? Not only that, he was never in the danger of being in the two most bottom positions. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I think the guy has a strong support not only in the matter of the number of fans but also the ring a chink chink, clink clank, jingle jangle of money poured out to ensure his steps to the following week’s performance. No proof so far to back up my opinion, but it all makes sense, doesn’t it?

That’s why I predicted that Delon would overcome Nania. It’s not cool and I actually did not want it to happen, but when rationally pondered upon, it was what would likely to happen.

And the dreaded thing did happen. Nania would not go back to the stage next week and duel with Joy in the Grand Final, for it was Delon who would join the big event. And people, a lot of people cried. The first jury I noticed sheding tears was
Dimas Jay. Commercial break cut off the show for a moment, then it was apparent that Indra Lesmana and Meuthia Kasim, with their hands over each others’ shoulder, just broke into tears. I don’t know what was in the head of Titi DJ, but I think she was also emotional at that time.

In the mean time, the person these people had spilled their tears over looked calm and quite in control. It all changed when she got to sing the finale-goodbye song, Ruth Sahanaya’s Ingin Kumiliki. The mental siege she had built was slowly tumbling down into pieces as she reached the refrain; Her voices trembled … and she cried.

(Nania Dear, I think I owe you an apology for having not sent any sms to vote for you. I should have, shouldn’t I? Well, I guess I made the mistake a lot of people often do: Relying on other people to get what they want. Sorry, Nania.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Selamat Hari Ulang Tahun Kemerdekaan, Indonesia!

Hai Indonesia! Selamat ulang tahun kemerdekaan ya!

Euleuh, euleuh, udah 59 tahun yak, kita merdeka. Tapi kok aku nggak gembira ya? Rasanya ada yang ngeganjel gitu. Abisnya kalo keluar rumah terus liat lalu lintas yang macet, orang-orang yang seenaknya aja di jalan (well, that probably includes me, sih), anak kecil di jalanan ngamen atau minta-minta padahal mestinya mereka pergi ke sekolah dan main, trus senior mereka yang melakukan hal yang sama; orang-orang yang ketika aku turun dari kereta di sore hari di stasiun Pasar Minggu Baru, aku lihat lagi baringan di bangku peron stasiun atau lagi duduk di pelataran peron sambil berbagi sebungkus nasi; pedagang asongan yang jualan pupuk tanaman di dalam kereta (ya Allah, apa bakal laku jualan barang seperti pupuk?), atau buku peta dan buku doa-doa... rasanya bukan seperti ini Indonesia yang aku atau para pendiri negara ini inginkan.

Belum lagi korupsi dan pungutan-pungutan liar di mana-mana... Duh, mau jadi apa negaraku ini? Aku jadi pingin tinggal di negara lain yang lebih manusiawi terhadap masyarakatnya (Kanada kayaknya asyik ya, Mbak?). Tapi nanti dibilang nggak setia ama negaranya karena nggak mau ikut ngebangun negaranya. Serba salah.

Bukannya kurang bersyukur. Alhamdulillah, kita bisa belajar, bekerja, dan melakukan aktivitas apapun (almost) tanpa takut diberondong peluru atau dikekang oleh jam malam. Listrik, tivi, air, komputer, Internet, semua cemepak (di Jakarta dan kota-kota di Pulau Jawa sih. Kalau di luar Jawa, ya nggak semewah dan selengkap di Jakarta. Jadi inget pemadaman listrik yang sering banget di Metro Lampung waktu ke sana untuk nikahan Om). Tapi susah buat merem dan tidak melihat kesusahan yang dialami orang lain yang notabene adalah saudara sebangsa kita juga. Aku takut, semakin lama aku hanya ngomong "sedih", aku jadi mati rasa dan hanya jadi salah satu dari corporate slaves (Ah, bahkan budak pun punya perasaan. Lebih tepat lagi corporate cyborg, mungkin).

Yah, mudah-mudahan Allah mencatat niatku deh, untuk berbuat sesuatu. Masalahnya: Berbuat apa dan mulai kapan? Semuanya kok terasa terlalu rumit untuk diatasi. *Menghela napas

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Weekends = Eternity

What do you usually do on Saturday nights?

Duh, what an annoying question! People usually ask this kind of question to dig information whether the person they ask:

  • is single/married/in a relationship/in threesome relationship;
  • is somewhat boring/interesting/dorky, judging on the activity she/he’s doing every saturday nights;
  • still has much money (to judge how much money's left) at this period of time (tengah bulan, bouw) / already penniless, judging on the activity she/he’s doing at specific Saturday nights of the month;
  • other reasons which accidentally do not pop in my mind by the time I'm writing this.

  • For someone who prefers to stay at home during the night, has not much money in her pocket , and rather single like me, Saturday nights mean torture (actually because I got no money, like it or not I have to stay at home more frequently than I want). No interesting show on TV (AFI? Sorry, I’m over it.); No body to talk to since my sister has already gone somewhere since 5 pm with … I don’t know whom she’s going with tonight, and my mom is busy chatting on mIRC (yup, that’s my mom); Feels like going out but you know, with the state of broke I am in right now, staying home is a definitely healthier option...

    Wanna go browsing over my comic books again, but I already learn them all by heart (haha, I’m exaggerating there); Surfing the internet? Well, you know my mom is already taking the lead; Working on my thesis? Hm, shouldn’t I deserve a fresh air today, after battling for almost a week to get a chapter done?; Baking a cake? Okay, let’s save that for another Saturday; Going to VCD/DVD rental? Nah, it’s taking much time for me to wear my jilbab. And duh, it's like I have plenty of money to spend :P

    So… *Sigh What can I do? Most people can’t wait to get to Saturdays. For me, Saturday feels like eternity, yet Monday is a dreadful reality. Ya udah lah, enaknya tidur aja kaleee :))

    Saturday, August 07, 2004

    One Phone Call and Gone's All Your Happiness

    Uhh, kenapa sih elo pake kasitau gue, Bal, kalo gue ternyata dipanggil buat tes?
    Gue kan jd kesel dan nyesel kenapa gue taunya telat.
    Setelah gue nulis application form-nya yang berhalaman-halaman itu dengan penuh darah, air mata, dan sekian lembar puluhan ribu, hiks hiks :(

    Thursday, August 05, 2004

    AMRO: Murder Next Door

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Hepta Sangkan Nugroho []
    Sent: 30 Juli 2004 8:34
    Subject: Mohon Bantuan ...... Tolong Forward - TOP URGENT -
    Importance: High

    Dear all,

    Minta bantuan dengan sangat, …. Atas nama Keluarga Bp. Sapto dan Ibu Anik. Mereka mencari anak perempuannya bernama AMANDA yang sudah 2 hari tidak pulang. Dia mahasiswi Elektro Universitas Trisakti.

    Rabu 28 Juli, dia terlihat pulang cepat diantara teman-temannya sekitar pukul 11.30. Kamis 29 Juli, dari pelacakan sinyal Telkomsel diketahui posisinya ada di Cipayung Puncak pukul 13.00. Setelah itu hp mati.

    Ciri-ciri per Rabu 28 Juli:
    Tinggi badan kurang lebih 165 cm, kulit sawo matang, rambut panjang. Memakai baju warna pink dan celana jeans. Mengendarai Nissan Terrano warna Silver No. Polisi B 1167 QU.

    Tindakan yang dilakukan:
    Sudah menghubungi Polisi per kemarin. Saat ini, keluarga bersama beberapa teman kampus sedang menyusur di daerah Cipayung.

    Jika ada yang tahu informasi mengenai Amanda, harap hubungi:
    1. Bp Sapto : 0811 950 793 (Ayah)
    2. Ibu Anik : 0812 923 1015 (Ibu)
    3. Hepta : 0811 106 318 (Kakak Sepupu)

    Tolong forward email ini ke milist dan komunitas Anda. Kami mengucapkan terimakasih sebesar-besarnya atas bantuan Anda, semoga Tuhan memberkati selalu.



    When I first read the above e-mail a friend of mine had forwarded to me, honestly I did not pay too much attention to it. I thought the family would soon find the missing girl, so I soon engulfed myself in reading other incoming e-mails.

    Last Sunday (August 1), a feature news on the bottom part of Kompas Minggu’s first page was titled this:

    Tersangka Pembunuh Itu Ikut Mencari Amanda

    Interested by the title, I read the whole story.

    HARI Kamis (29/7) kegelisahan Ny Sri Andiani dan suaminya, Sapto Hartoyo, semakin menghebat. Anak sulung mereka, Amanda Devina (22), yang berangkat kuliah sejak Rabu (28/7) pukul 06.30 belum pulang ke rumah. Padahal, biasanya Amanda langsung pulang ke rumah begitu kuliahnya di
    Universitas Trisakti usai siang hari.

    Keluarga ini berikhtiar keras mencari. Semua teman dekat Amanda dihubungi, tetapi yang dicari tetap tak ditemukan. Polisi, media massa, internet, termasuk radio, keluarga, dan kerabat, juga sudah dimintai tolong untuk ikut memantau, tetapi belum tampak hasilnya.

    Ny Sri Andiani dan suaminya tak putus asa dan terus mencari. Ny Sri, yang berbagi tugas dengan suaminya, pergi mencari anaknya ditemani beberapa teman dekat Amanda, termasuk seorang lelaki muda bernama Ronald. Namun, pencarian tak menemui hasil, dan pada pukul empat sore, Ronald minta diturunkan di kampusnya, Universitas Trisakti.

    Pencarian atas Amanda pun memasuki fase-fase menentukan. Keluarga tersebut mencari hingga keluar kota, termasuk di sekitar kawasan Cibinong, tetapi tetap nihil.

    Lalu datanglah kabar yang pahit itu dari petugas Polsek Bojongloa Kidul Bandung dan Polres Jakarta
    Barat. Petugas mengabarkan bahwa telah ditemukan mayat di sebuah mobil Nissan Terrano, di Jalan Soekarno-Hatta, sekitar 150 meter ke arah timur perempatan Jalan Kopo dan Jalan Soekarno-Hatta, Bandung.

    Jenazah korban ditemukan pertama kali oleh seorang tukang becak yang sedang melintas di samping kendaraan korban. Ketika itu dia mencium bau menyengat yang berasal dari dalam mobil tersebut. Tukang becak itu lalu berhenti dan mengajak orang yang ada di sekitar lokasi itu untuk memeriksanya.

    Mereka melihat sesosok tubuh di dalam mobil tersebut. Setelah dipastikan sosok tubuh itu telah tewas, sejumlah warga melaporkannya ke petugas kepolisian setempat. Petugas Polsek Bojongloa Kidul segera menuju lokasi. Polisi terpaksa memecahkan kaca pintu bagian tengah kanan
    mobil tersebut untuk mengidentifikasi korban.

    DRAMA atas peristiwa
    pembunuhan ini rupanya masih panjang. Hari Jumat malam polisi menciduk teman Amanda, Ronald, di rumahnya. Polisi yang sebelumnya sudah memeriksa dan mencurigai Ronald, langsung menahan pemuda itu.

    Kepala Kepolisian Daerah Metro Jaya Inspektur Jenderal M Firman Gani yang dihubungi Sabtu malam menjelaskan, polisi menahan Ronald dalam kapasitasnya sebagai tersangka. "Polisi menemukan bukti-bukti permulaan yang cukup kuat, dan karena itu langsung menahannya. Ada, misalnya, beberapa bukti di rumah dan juga di tubuh tersangka. Polisi menduga, ketika hendak dibunuh, korban melawan sekuat tenaga, termasuk mencakar leher dan dada tersangka. Maka, tersangka Ronald
    langsung kami tahan," kata Firman Gani.

    Kepala Polda Metro Jaya menyatakan, polisi tengah mengembangkan kasus ini kepada beberapa orang yang diduga terlibat dalam kasus ini.

    Dihubungi secara terpisah, Kepala Polres Metro Jakarta Barat Komisaris Besar Suhardi Alius mengatakan, penetapan Ronald sebagai tersangka itu setelah dilakukan pemeriksaan.

    "Sebenarnya ia sempat diperiksa bersama empat-lima orang temannya sebelum ada kepastian korban meninggal. Tapi, setelah Amanda ditemukan meninggal dan ada konfirmasi dari ayah Amanda, maka saya perintahkan anggota untuk menangkap Ronald di kediamannya karena dalam pemeriksaan sebelumnya ia sudah nervous. Dan ternyata ia mengakui perbuatannya," ujar Suhardi Alius.

    Mengenai tersangka yang menemani ibu korban keliling Jakarta mencari korban, menurut Firman Gani, itu memang taktik lazim yang dilakukan para tersangka. "Sekitar 70 persen sampai 80 persen pembunuh mempunyai kedekatan dengan korban, dan untuk menghilangkan jejak, ia pura-pura ikut mencari korban," kata Firman Gani.

    Seorang sahabat dekat korban yang tidak mau disebut namanya, yang bersama Ronald menemani Ny Sri membantu mencari informasi mengenai keberadaan Amanda, sama sekali tidak menyangka jika Ronald yang menjadi tersangka kasus ini. Ia menceritakan, saat berkeliling mencari informasi
    mengenai Amanda itu, wajah Ronald biasa-biasa saja.

    "Saya tidak menyangka, bahkan teman-teman saya dan juga dosen saya tidak menyangkanya sama sekali," katanya.Sementara itu, ibu korban, Ny Sri Andiani, tampak amat terkejut ketika disampaikan bahwa tersangka pembunuh anaknya adalah Ronald. "Akh, jadi dia...?" cetusya. (RAY/J11/GUN/NIC/AS)

    Wow, it’s like reading a murder story! But my interest in the case came to that point only, that the murder was like in detective stories.

    And then everybody started to talk about it. At first, it was my mother who told my sister and me that the girl was killed because she asked for the guy’s accountability for having made her pregnant. Being an mIRC-freak, she found out about it after conversing with someone who happened to go to the same university as Amanda, Sunday night. She went on telling that Amanda was in her 4-month pregnancy (later I read in the papers that it was 5 months, not 4) when she died.

    On Monday afternoon, I opened messages coming to my alumni-mailing list and was pretty much surprised seeing that my college buddies were all talking about the murder. One of them even forwarded the friendster link of Amanda
    and Ronald, the murderer. Provoked by a friend’s comment “…what an irony. Liat favorite booksnya.”, I checked out the friendster page of both of them. There, I read that her favorite books was books about ‘murders and chicklits’. It is truly an irony.

    The next day, conversation about Amanda and Ronald kept going. Up to this day, people still clamored about it, though the topic started to take turns to silly subjects. Many question and wonder why the topic did not slip people’s mind easily although it had been days after the incident took place. Here’s my analysis.

    Firstly, of course it is the media that has successfully raised the story and grabbed everybody’s intention. Printed media, TV, to online publication, all covered the story and the progress day to day. As long as the media keeps on squealing over the topic, we’ll never find the end to the discussion over Amanda & Ronald.

    Secondly - and this I believe is the most logical explanation - the use of e-mails and mailing list to announce the search for Amanda and inform the links to Amanda-and-Ronald’s friendster page have brought everyone closer and felt more intimate with the subjects of the story. People discuss about Amanda and Ronald like they were just next door neighbours, like they exactly knew all along who these two unfortunate souls had been. Well, it is actually not a magic wonder considering the existence of Internet has connected almost anyone on earth and made it possible for two persons living on far away, different places – one in Alaska and the other one in Capetown, for example - to communicate as if they were neighbours. When I checked the friendster page, I found out that my sister’s page is linked to Amanda’s and Ronald’s page via her friends. So, somehow all of us are linked one to another. Amazing, huh?

    Moreover, this AMRO (that’s the way my friends have been calling Amanda and Ronald) case took place in Jakarta, which made the attachment and the chain of links to the two persons go stronger. Combined with continuous expose by the media, no wonder the discussion resists to die away. It’s no wonder too, why Ronald even bothered to make a press conference to make explanation and apologize to Amanda’s and his family and to everyone. Some people think he behaved like an artist, but my guess is because Ronald understood well that with the power of Internet, almost everyone in Jakarta by this day had gotten to know him much better and consequently would pay much more attention to what he had done and would do.

    Lesson to learn? Behold the power which the Internet possess to move people. It may move people to do something good/to think of something in a positive perspective, or the other way around; It can encourage people to make a negative act/judgment. My wish is that more people will use it for the sake of the well being of the majority of the community (sorry if the line has too many 'of's and make you dizzy as you read it). Me, for example, I wish that by using the links of friends available on the net, I could bring people in Jakarta to collect Rp 100 each person every day. The money collected then could be used to educate more people and educate people better. Whoa! What a passionate daydreamer am I! :D

    By the way, what am I talking about? :P

    Wednesday, August 04, 2004

    Oleh-oleh dari Prambanan (3)


    It was on the second day of the AG and we were just dismissed from the last activity we had that afternoon so we could get ourselves ready for the gala dinner, a special event which the Sultan himself chanced to come (and I was busily taking pictures of my friends instead of listening to his speech, hehehehe). Suddenly Fitri, my college buddy, tapped my shoulder and said: “Ke jembatan situ yuk, kayaknya seru deh di sana.” I glanced toward the bridge and tried to see what was going on there. But I couldn’t get a clearer view until I reached some kind of a valley near the bridge. There I could see around six fellow scholars – all except one were men - and trainers staring at a person standing on this roofless tree house set up on a tall tree across the river. The guy’s all wired and buckled up, his hands hanging onto a pair of ropes, ready to lurch and glide all the way across the river to the place where the devoted crowd had awaited for him to jump into action.

    There, he finally made his move. Swoosssh… It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a … scholar trying out an outdoor game called the Flying Fox*. Like a Superman he flew his way straight to where we were standing. “Arrhhhh!!!” An expression of excitement, and a bit of fear blasting out of his mouth. Hm, it seemed fun. Soon all the scholars there, including Fitri, begged for turns to try out the game. But I wasn’t moved and challenged to try it, considering the eagerly-waiting-long line and the time that was approaching night time. I was thinking of the natural view around the game area and wondering whether there was a good place to take one or two pictures of the surrounding. I did so because hey, I was taking my camera and during AG it never went far away from my grip. Yeah, it’s just an automatic camera, but the sense of beauty inside of me was hungry for beautiful and interesting scenes to be captured.

    So, after watching for some people taking turns for the Flying Fox, I decided to walk to the bridge and saw whether the view from there was a good one. The bridge was a cable one, so when one walked over it, it would sway a bit. It turned out the view there was neither as good as where I had been. I stayed there a bit longer though, watching my friends fight their way crossing the bridge and climbing the tree and then ‘flying’ to the landing spot. Not all lurched well. Some ‘flew’ with their feet facing the different direction, not straight as they were supposed to be. But the scream remained the same: They all show the thrill and exhilaration, also a faint fear here and there, hehehe.

    After a while, I got tired standing on the bridge by myself without the company of any single scholar. So, I decided to get back to the landing spot. As I walked my way there, a photographer (he was one of the photographers hired by SF to take pictures during AG) who had been standing on the other part of the bridge all the time, dropped a line: “Nggak mau nyobain? Mumpung gratis lho. Kalau di Bali kayak ginian mesti bayar.”

    Bang! I believe the word ‘gratis’ paced my nerve all of a sudden :) When I got to the landing spot, I had partly made up my mind to try the game. But the line was already a long one. The sun was slowly hiding its ray and I still had to wait for two more people before my turn. It felt sooo long. Finally, when Fitri was up on the tree house, a scholar was ‘flying’ her way to the landing spot. That meant my turn had come.

    As soon as the fellow scholar landed and released all the equipments from her body, I prepared myself to wear those equipments. They consist of a strap of belt which spanned from your joints to your shoulders. We wear them like we wear a jumpsuit, only it’s not a suit; it’s only a kind of belt. Then, we wear a helmet (to protect your head, of course) and a pair of hand gloves (to keep your sweaty hands from slipping off the ropes). But I was a bit nervous at the time that I forgot to have my gloves with me. After I put on the strap of belt and the helmet, I dashed off to the tree. However I think another reason I forgot them was because the trainers had urged everyone to hurry as twilight was about five minutes away.

    Actually there was one thing I hadn’t told. When one by one people were lurching and landing and my turn was coming near, I actually had a moment at which my heart was pounding fast. Darn! ‘I can’t step back. No, not me,’ I said to myself. To ease my nerve, I made myself to think that when my time to die had come, so let it come. Pretty scarry things to think of, huh? But that was the only way for me to overcome my fear. I say, to have courage in our heart, we must let go all feelings and wants, including the wants to live, and surrender ourselves totally to Allah’s will.

    It worked although not instantly. I forgot my gloves, that’s a prove. But there was no doubt in every running steps I took toward the tree and every pulls of rope I groped to reach the tree house (My friends were right; It was a tallll tree). There was no single moment of hesitating. ‘This is it, no stepping back’ was what I said to myself. Yeah, the talks that the two trainers made while waiting for the maghrib call to finish did a big help, yet the most important motivator came from within myself. As a result, when time came for me to lurch, I held tighter to the ropes, whispered goodbye to life deep down inside my heart in case it was my last time on earth, counting one, two, and bismillah …
    I’m flying! I’m flying!

    *The game is named after a kind of bat species because the way our hands spread when we lurch is similar to the way bats spread their wings when flying.

    Pictures shown are courtesies from other websites, due to the absence of pictures taken during the event :D