To The Man of My Life

5:33 pm, Friday. Just wrapping up a few things in the office, before I head back home. From the large glass window of my office room, through the water streaks and the mist from the rain: a glimpse of Jakarta’s skyline.

I don’t know what it is, but maybe the mix of grey skies and that silence that you get during heavy rains just brings a reflective pause in my Jakarta rat-race life. So I pause. I look around. And always my memories come back and takes my breath away…. and I stood in awe of my life. And that’s not me boasting — in fact, it’s safe to say I’ve done nothing awe-worthy in my life… but I’ve experienced a very awesome life.

You have done the amazing things, and I just tagged along.

So let me count the ways I owe you, you son of a tailor (“tukang jahit”) in one of Indonesia’s thousands of traditional wet market (“pasar becek”) and of a shopkeeper owner (and by shop here, the appropriate Indo word is “warung”, i.e. small shop (usually measuring 2 x 3 m) selling lil household/toiletries items and chocolate bars).

A deadly combination of brains and hardwork (I’m afraid “good looks” doesn’t factor in :p), you gained admittance to an academy (I know you only applied to academies, instead of universities, because tuition was free and they even gave living allowance) where, if I remember correctly, you scored 2nd highest amongst thousands of applicants.

Then obtained a scholarship for your Masters to go the US at the young age of 20-something… and this was back in the 1970s — I can only imagine the competition for that! A PhD soon followed, but not before I entered into your life and started accruing my debt to you… (and you to me, as I’m sure I’ve brought great moments in your life too, right? Wait, this post is not about me….)

Long story short, I travelled the world, gained formal/informal educations around the world, tasted some of world’s finest cuisine, stayed in breath-taking hotels, saw many of the world’s amazing wonders, and through it all never had to worry about the $$$. And most importantly, I either did all of those things with you by my side or at the least with your love and moral support behind it.

You’ve come a long way: from having to remember all the teacher taught you because notebooks (the paper kind, not the one equipped with wi-fi and bluetooth) were too expensive, to getting me my first car (brand new, and automatic). Thanks for taking me along with you.

And sorry for forgetting it was your birthday. But I think we’re even now, considering you left me (and sis) on the curb once when you went to get the car and then just drove off without looking back… only to realize a good 500 meters later that we were not in the backseat 😉


One response to this post.

  1. Just read this. Happy B-day om! 😀


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