A Year of Your Return

  • Tidak menyangka, setahun sudah berlalu. Ketidaanmu menorehkan titik hidup yang berliku. Tak tajam kurasa. Tapi berbeda.

Kebiasaan dimanja, dimasakkan, disiapkan, diceritakan, didengarkan oleh setumpuk kisah di area perjuangan pelan-pelan hilang. Seketika. Kecepatanku beradaptasi pun tidak sebagus yang kubayangkan. Aku sedikit tertatih. 

Kisah membekas itu, bulan Ramadhan pertama tanpamu. Aku coba siapkan bekal untuk mengganti peranmu di rumah. Dari mulai menu masak harian sampai menyiapkan suguhan untuk lebaran. Tapi malam itu, kumandang takbir sungguh mengingatkan jiwa-jiwa yang berpulang. Puing-puing kenangan mulai muncul membentuk satu kesedihan. Aku tak sanggup menahan. Tak kuasa air mata jatuh perlahan.

Ibu, engkau sudah pergi ya? Padahal aku masih membutuhkan banyak hal darimu. Banyak hal yang belum kuwujudkan, banyak hal yang belum tersampaikan, banyak hal yang belum kupersembahkanKebahagiaanmu di dunia juga belum terpuaskan. Semoga engkau damai di pangkuan Tuhan. 

Allahummaghfir la haa, warham haa, wa ‘aafi haa wa’ fu’an haa ☺


Demak, 28 Des 2017/9 Ba’da Mulud 1439H


28/07/2017 – My letter for Father

Dear Father,

This is my third week in Jogja after I met you from Idul Fitri celebration. At the first week, I had a class with a student from US. He is a musician. He has a band with underground music. What I love from him is his adventurous nature. Just like an animal person who really likes animal. That is why he is vegetarian. He has lived in many forest for many nights to live with nature, to hope nothing from a life, to pull away from a crowd. That is what I could interpret from him. 

Talking with him about being vegetarian reminds me about my friends and I while we were on fasting from animals-bilaruhi fasting-for 40 days during Idul Adha celebration. What I could say being vegetarian here is not easy. Almost food sold in warung were already obviously or invisibely contained by animals. Thus, the solution is we cook our meals by ourselves or actively asking about the ingredients of any foods we eat. 

You can assume him as Mas Rosi, coming from one concert to another in groups. We even talk about hitchhike that he often does in Indonesia. Just like me, when scouting group of UGM (Pramuka UGM) and I were hijacking right after tracking many hours to be finally arrived at our campus. It was one of amazing experiences I have with Pramuka UGM in tracking, just like him. He has travelled many places from this archipelago. Oh, how I want to travel these islands too. 

At the weekend, collegues and I were cooking together. I made ice tea and oseng-oseng kangkung among many other delicious dishes successfully provided on the table. I just remembered when Risma suprised to know how simply to put seasoning but creating a good taste on kangkung. I am very happy to have such a good time in cooking, as well as in home. Other enjoying parts are taking photos and chatting with people there. 

But the next week, I have no clear idea of what I am going to do here. My first skype class was cancelled and I turned to be free for a week. That was very terrible! I felt like I am losing my crowd. Something empty. The same situation, when I have no schedule to meet people will be always terrible.

In fact, it makes me remember random things which my bad mood comes. I remember mom and you, that I do not do important things here. I supposed to do something here. As well as your story. How you feel so sad when Risma wanted to move from her new school. I just cannot imagine your feeling is. You certainly did not want to be strict at her that always remind you to Mother, but letting her choose she wants. Thankfully she finally realize that she just needs to adjust herself in a new place around new people with new strict rules.  

Same like me, new condition without having clear plans is unconvenient. But it challenges me to do things I want. How I commit to realise my plans.  How I create creative things to do in a row. How I manage self-consistency with my big enemy, pleasure. By all the distraction on plans I make, being around people here is a gift. Even though I have no agenda to do but people here, together we move in the same mission for an increadible teacher-Pak Kyai. We walk through one duty to another in one reason. 

Helping each other. I was asked by mbak Ana to replace her in elementary school for a Quran class-TPA. I met incradible people on her own. Also, practicing my teaching skill in a big class is always interesting. One student, who cannot be silent, instead of hitting and annoying his friends during the whole class, catches my attention. It turns out that his background and daily life shapes him. His parents, both are working to earn money. Thus, he gets along with high school students to play around. Unfortunately, he sometimes becomes their assisstant to help themselves. A family, which must have more compassion rather than material, is every kids’ right. He deserves to get more attention and compassion.  

You and mother had worked hard. When I was in elementary school, to be honest, I was sad to know you being busy with your stuff rather than asking me if I have homework or not. But now I understand, making money is not easy. Running out of money is such a normal condition before end of months. However, a principal that withdrawing your transferred money is impolite. Graduated student from a university, economically, must be tough.

Besides that, pesantren, is the best place to share anything. We have lots of things to do together including food, time, story etc. We celebrated friends’ birthday. We came to a final paper presentation of our college student. This makes me know more people here and situation on how to get the rhytme to be socially connected. Furthermore, knowing how my spiritually goes so far is the other better. Not only praying for a duty but a call from the heart.  

Princess Zahra’s Final Presentation

Just like this night, a friend of mine, shared with me and other friends after my three years ignoring her so well because of her first worst impression. However, last night is the great time to know each other. We shared our story, how past shapes us. 

Deeply sharing without borders

At the weekend, I spent my time with my roomate, mbak Lian, who knows me well right now. With her, I try to build the best relations to learn mistakes from one another, to share compassion, to give a trust. It is not easy but I believe this time is the right time to the better. Soon I realise that to be always positive thinking is the key out from a conflict. 

Weekend on Opick’s concert

Today, I write this letter inspired by my lecturer, Angela Arunarsirakul, as my source of inspiration. Releasing my motto “coloring the world with my own patterns” is not a new one. It has been many years but I haven’t told anyone what the meaning is. That means, my life is colors (impression, message) for people in their life with my patterns (characters, actions) on my own. Having no idea when my life would end, thus, story is the only thing I can give to this world.
Always happy there.

Your daughter, Wirdatul Aini.

Yogyakarta, 28 July 2017

Satu Tahun Berjalan, Bisa Berkunjung ke Negara Jepang

Akhirnya keinginan itu terwujud. Aku pergi ke Jepang. Aku tak percaya. Kupikir ini sebuah mimpi belaka.

Sudah hampir satu tahun aku belajar di UGM. Katanya, universitas ini adalah universitas sangat bagus  di Indonesia. Aku patut berbangga. Tapi, hura-hura itu hanya sementara. Aku tidak mau hanya berkuliah saja-belajar, berkegiatan dan sudah. Padahal, aku punya impian besar. Aku ingin go international. Ah, tapi nyatanya tak banyak kesempatan. Kesempatan ke luar negeri hanya untuk mereka yang belajar di program sarjana. Aku kan diploma.

Ini tentang mimpi. Ini tentang keyakinan.

Di suatu hari, leptop daringku tertuju pada satu halaman. Aku buka pelan-pelan. Ada sebuah kesempatan di kancah internasional. Ya, kesempatan itu untuk mahasiswa diploma. Syaratnya tidak menyulitkan. Tapi ternyata, itu sudah melewati batas deadline. Bagaimana ya? Sekali lagi, ini tentang mimpi yang perlu segera diwujudkan. Aku mantapkan hati untuk mendaftar dan konfirmasi ke narahubung yang tertera di informasi halaman.

Pemberkasan yang bisa dibilang mudah, sudah lengkap. Aku mulai kumpulkan tekad untuk sesi wawancara dengan wakil dekan. Ternyata, wawancara tidak sesulit yang aku bayangkan. Aku yakin, aku  bisa menjadi salah satu dari tiga orang yang berangkat ke Jepang.

Cukup singkat. Siangnya, aku ditelpon bahwa aku akan berangkat ke Jepang. Dua mahasiswa lainnya adalah Tiffany (Rekam Medis) dan Lydia (D4 Alat Berat). Kami mengurus paspor dan visa bersama. Waktu yang tidak banyak tidak membuat kami putus asa. Hanya 3 bulan, persyaratan kami ke acara International Student Organizing Committee (ISOC) di Jepang akhirnya lancar.

Sampai di Jepang, kami menjumpai banyak hal menarik yang berbeda dari apa yang biasa kita lihat. Sesudah berjalan-jalan di sore hari, kami bersiap bertemu mahasiswa lainnya dari Taiwan, Hongkong, Malaysia dan Jepang.

Hal utama yang kami kerjakan adalah membicarakan acara International Symposium on Technology for Sustainability (ISTS) dan keberlanjutannya. Itu mengapa, fakultas Sekolah Vokasi (SV) UGM mengirim 3 mahasiswanya ke sana dengan beberapa tujuan. Pertama adalah networking agar bukan hanya pihak SV yang sudah resmi bekerja sama tapi juga dari mahasiswa. Kedua adalah diskusi. Di sana, kami berdiskusi tentang persiapan acara ISTS di Taiwan. Ketiga adalah friendship. Di acara ISTS nantinya, panitia dan peserta tidak hanya dari satu negara melainkan dari beberapa negara yang punya budaya dan pola pikir yang berbeda. Itu mengapa, acara ISOC ini diadakan agar mereka bisa mengatasi benturan budaya yang sangat mungkin ada.

Jadi, bukan seberapa sulit tapi seberapa siap mewujudkan mimpi. Keberhasilan itu akan datang jika ada kesiapan dan kesempatan. Namun, energi negatif beruapa sikap pesimis dan menyalahkan keadaan bisa jadi mucul, tanpa disadari. Itu semua adalah penghambat. Buang jauh-jauh, fokuskan apa yang sudah terprogram di pikiran.


Joint Internship with Melbourne Students

Today is the fourth day of our internship in PT. YPTI in Kalasan, Yogyakarta. The good atmosphere, we started to build among us. Gani, the guy who feel he was in the wrong place, tried to convince himself that he was in the right place which has to use all his capability to interact with others. Maya, my two other partners, looks better to express her idea. She seems more comfortable now. Me, I am trying to improve everything in my social interaction with those three Deakin students.

Starting from the first day, I feel like I am not a person who could be able awesome at the first impression. Then the next day I learn how I blend in a diverse group. I tried to arrange words to ask while working the project about the marketing research. The group analyzed the marketing of PT YPTI, particularly in mold division. We helped to add some ideas about the marketing strategy. Mr. Heru, the director of mold division, didn’t tell ask clearly about our duty. However, we kept on arranging some analysis and questions to ask the director, Mr. Petrus.

After scheduling to the director’s secretary, Mr. Pertus brought us to the factory that we could look around to see the worker, machine, and product. For me, it is the first time to be in a factory with big machines producing small parts of items with precision. By that time, the group got more information about things to do with the project. To complete the project, we would make a design of educational toys that has not existed yet. We were planning to visit one or two kindergarten to observe what educational toys they used to teach the students in a class. At the first week, we have made several ideas of educational toys and cultural merchandises.

The second week, we visit Al-Azhar kindergarten to conduct an observation. We were hosted very warm with the teachers and staff there. Mr. Dedi, the library staff, led us to look around the school. Students looked shy to see us but the teachers seemed very exciting. What a nice experience to be around the cute kindergarten children! No more tired but happy with them, but then we decided to cancel visiting Brilliant kindergarten as the next school.

Of course, we got trouble to leave without any permission before. Instead of visiting the next school which has been scheduled by UTY, we went back to the YPTI only to have lunch and play around. Personally, I felt I was mistaken to be in that such a fool situation to leave without any confirmation. However, Mr. Eko, our supervisor looked patient to solve the problem. I asked if we should reschedule to visit the next kindergarten but he recommended to cancel it.

In fact, we kept visiting the Brilliant Kindergarten as they have prepared anything for us. At that day, the teachers hosted us very amazing, They looked so exciting and full of smiling to interact with us. We were explained about the school and the classes they had as well as the educational toys they used to teach the students. Of course, taking photos was the most exciting part. The teachers were very happy to have guests like us, from overseas.

We spent our good time in a different language and culture. We might understand each our culture even though sometimes it is hard to tell why I could not give a hug or an only cheek kiss goodbye for them. The warm feeling of saying goodbye does not have to represent in that way because of a commitment and responsibility. For me, this program is the real life of my future dream. Now, I still remember my teachers’ words what to be like as a Moslem. But later, in that truth culture, who’s gonna keep me in that belief that I have been holding as strong as I can. No one could guarantee it unless God who keep and save me from all those temptations.

Nevertheless, communication and interaction are taught there. Jokes, sometimes dirty and flirty, also are important ones to build a good and memorable time.  And yes, this meeting make me missing about moments I have been done with them. Thank you, Tim, for being like a big brother and sharing as a married man. Thanks, Tegan, for understanding us when those two guys are not and giving us such a brand joke of David who. The last is David, thank you for being a nice guy with coffees in the hotel. Thank you for Maya and Gani, for being my awesome partners to do this job well.

Yogyakarta, 27 November 2016

The Culture Reflection by The Language Used

world_handsMorning light didn’t make me feel okay. Getting up with a heavy body, I was starting this day to spread a good energy. I would have an Indonesian course today without my coordinator. She was taking a vacation while her job is replaced by Mbak Endah, the accountant. Today is a national holiday. Some staff have taken a holiday for two days. However, two students have class with 4 different teachers.

Arriving at Realia, I saw Mbak Endah was sitting at the teacher table, alone. She seemed ready to a course coordinator. Two students did not arrive yet. There was Mas Richards who became the first teacher of Pak Ben while I would teach him for the second session. A new book would be started today but Richards, looked like not ready for his morning classroom because he didn’t update of what the last class happened.

I came to Pak Ben and Mas David when the time was exactly at 8 a.m. However, they were in a good conversation, like always. I asked him, “pagi Pak Ben?” “Pagi Wirda, apa kabar?” “Baik, apa kabar Pak Ben?” “Aku baik.” “Are you on the teacher list?” “Ya, saya guru Anda.”
Just like what I have talked to you yesterday, he is a student who tries to find a learning method based on his ways. He has much talks in the class and has few of practical Indonesian language. He tends to more compare using another language of his to make him noticeable about his new words.

In the middle of our conversation, he was talking about Indonesian people and language. “So, I can conclude that there are only two words I need to live in Indonesia; “habis” and “belum”. Cause when I ordered something in a restaurant, they would say, habis atau belum. Or they would say InsyaAllah. But for me, an InsyaAllah response doesn’t make sense that God will permit to let that happened; because, in fact, he could not provide four cigarettes at that day. What answer I would expect that is “Okay, I am the owner of this shop, so I would make sure that in three days, I would provide four cigarettes. Instead of they say, InshaAllah”.

What I could explain to him was, the word InsyaAllah has become our culture since Moslem is the majority religion in Indonesia. When I explain to him that actually, people would make an effort when they say insyaAllah, he didn’t believe it, because,  he didn’t find an effort to provide the cigarettes.

Oh, language reflects a culture. In fact, not only Moslem who use the word InsyaAllah for to promise but also non-Moslem is one of Indonesian culture through a language. However, the word InsyaAllah which is interpreted to the willingness and agreement has been misunderstood that it is a doubt response instead of yes.

About for two hours in the class with Pak Ben, seems not long for me. I didn’t feel anxious like my other classes before, just because I confuse what topic I would like to talk about. That makes me feel like okay to teach him. And he seems friendly with other people. So, let’s see today of my last class with him because next week, Martha doesn’t give me classes with him.

Yogyakarta, 5May 2016

Go Out and See the World

go and travel the worldhttp://pinterest.com/

This morning, exactly on 8 a.m – 10 a.m, I had a class with Mr. Ben Kramer. I call him Pak Ben for short because it is an Indonesian class. Yeay, I am one of the teachers team for his study in Realia Language and Culture Center. Today is my second meeting with him in a classroom after Friday afternoon class. I remember that day, it was a formal meeting at first minutes of my classroom. But when I went to the book, he told some facts which I considered, he liked talking and an interesting person. However, today is more flowing with many interesting topics and few of personal conversation.

At the first minutes, I asked about his holiday at the weekend. He told it was fine and he said that Jogja is a quite city. He could not find beer in a resataurant. There were no clubs or young people who got drinking or dancing until morning. He wondered where the young people are. I answered that actually in Jogja, there are several clubs and some students go there to drink or dance, but not much.

Going to the exercise about Tidak dan Bukan concept, overall he was okay to understand it. However, he forgot some vocabularies interchangeably. At the question number 2, the sentences states about the cars brand. And I was asked about the cars coming from Japan and Germany. My God, I didn’t really know about it. “Your class is not intersting,” he said.  I was surprised to hear that. I said that I was not interested to find out about the cars. “How come? You are a teacher,” he said. “Okay, I will find about the car after this.” Then, he explained me more about cars in many countries. I just didn’t have any pictures in my mind about it.

At the middle of our conversation, he asked, “when will you get marriage?” “Me?” It was his second surprised question. I answer that I made a plan to get marriage before 25 years old. And then he suggest me that I need to travel and see the world. “You can learn many thing including language and cultures when you are outside your countries.” However, I told him that the problem-probably most of Indonesian people- is the money that we needed to survive there. And we have family that we need to take care of them.

He was the one who had been travelled in many countries and able to speak some languages  “By making a timeline, you can decide when you will learn your job, then you can travel, to Singapore, or  to Saudi Arabia where you can teach English for the women. Being a professional one. Which country next? Then you will tell people around you, that there are a lot of differences in this world.” That is what I could parapharse for his suggestion.

His son is also in the same ages like me, and now he was just graduated. “Now he is in South Africa with his friends. Find a girl and travel again. I let him go. It is your choice. I don’t know it is only my suggestion because I don’t know what is your parents would like to,” he added.

Sounds like it is my part of my own life. Travelling and learning. Staying at the same place doesn’t make me any choices to live unless I have a strong intention why am I there. Probably, it could be happened and God let it happen. But, it seems I need to arrange the path I would like to take. It doesn’t come alone, it comes with your courage and enthusiasm. God knows which ones is better and proper.

Yogyakarta, 02.05.16

To Feel Alive

“You don’t have to change the world in order to have a meaningful life. You don’t always have to do things that are extreme and unbelievable and outside of the norm in order to feel alive. You can feel alive just by acknowledging your own worth and the worth of everyone around you.”


Being out of the box is a dream for some people, including me. But, it makes me trapped on a difficult situation to compare myself with others. Thus, I will not allow myself to be someone else because I have something that cannot be imitated by others. Sometime I consider myself to feel alive as my own without thinking of others’ opinions. As my recent time I have passed, I am a typically someone who cannot live monotony. I want to do things out of the box because I know that it is too common having a life like them.

Fortunately, it does. I make up my life. I am not like people in my village, people in my family even people in my study program. I am different with them. That is one of my ways to feel alive. When I try to interact all the repetitiveness as their own, I cannot feel alive. I feel losing parts of my life. For instance, I was involved all the activities in Scout UGM last year, I felt happy there. But then, I considered that I could not do more than myself challenges. However, when I decided to live in a different way by the monotony in boarding house and college, so did I. Thus, I think I need to integrate all things that make me feel alive. Put things together. All my activities are related to one another.

“Jumping out of a plane is remarkable. So is quitting your job and moving across the country, or traveling the world and living out of a backpack for several months. But these are not the only things that make you brave. These are not the only things that signify that you’re living your life right. These are not the only things that give your life meaning.”

I plan to Featured Image -- 366move across the country every year. I and mostly people think that it is a remarkable. So is my journey to Japan. That is my dream and most people. However, it has changed my mind after coming back from there. It is not about how many times I go abroad, but how many changes I have made for myself and others. Honestly, there are many plans to come back to Japan as my future plans. But, it is not about having a seminar and going around the cities, it’s more about the Muslim life as the minority, that they can take a prayer like here. Not only Japan, but I plan to go to Europe. I am sure, it will not easy as I write and post this story, but that significant dream, I will start by gathering phrases into sentences, like now.

Nowadays, the environment of making achievements are showed up. Students in college will do this and this in order to complete the requirements or just to feel a live. For instance, I, a common student, was challenged to compete with other students in an achievement student awarded or Penghargaan Mahasiswa Berprestasi of UGM. After long periods of dreaming, from a way that I have never expected, I became a candidate to be with them, achievements students in UGM. Pessimistic has changed my life, that everyone life should be surrounded by an optimistic, that you can follow your dream (read: the power of dream). The way you live your life is doing your best, for your life and your surroundings, primarily for Allah, The Most Glorified and The Most High.

In summary, feeling a live by people is different. They can do remarkable or ordinary things that make them alive. However, every option and action that we do, will signify others that we are all part of life in the different ways to feel alive.

Yogyakarta, 14 April 2015