The March 31st Funeral

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Autodidacticism: Learn on Your Own for Yourself

“You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself sitting alone in a room.” -Dr. Seuss

That describes pretty much perfectly my approach to any passion I have now. My linguistic cum literary pursuit and then yoga have always been approached like this.

That said, one needs to apply strict discipline while adopting this method because based on my experience, it is harder to guide yourself than others while learning. There are always excuses and justifications to make, that tells you,”It’s ok not to practice now. It’s ok not to be the best. It’s fine not to ….” And suddenly you find yourself a total failure. Stuck and sucked by your own feeble mind.

Belah Pinggir Kembali Hit!

Menemukan iklan Toyota pagi ini di surat kabar nasional, saya gembira. Bukan karena saya akan mengetahui bahwa Toyota sudah sadar tentang pentingnya keselamatan konsumen daripada nama baik brand mereka. Tetapi karena model pria di iklan itu memiliki belahan rambut yang sama dengan saya! Di pinggir!


My Life Wisdom

Doing what we want makes us free. Doing what we must do makes us successful.

A friend asked if she wanted to be free and successful. Well, of course she can! If she owns her life, she can do whatever she desires. Just like you and I.

Yoga Gurus are as Messy as You are

“We are as fucked up as you are.”- Sex in the City

That sounds like what a yoga guru should say to his or her students, too.

Nobody is fully immune to this. All of us are fucked up in some way. Some are terribly, some are slightly. The degrees are many.

So the next time you assume your yoga guru is a saint or a sage or a demi god, remember the quote.



Berjalan pagi tadi menyusuri sebuah jalan kecil. Bangkai tikus yang sudah tipis, garing bagaikan dendeng atau yang masih mengeluarkan darah segar bukan pemandangan luar biasa di sini. Namun kali ini bangkai itu lain. Warna bulunya putih bersih. Mungkin tikus albino, pikirku. Tetapi kakinya empat dan terlalu besar untuk ukuran tikus got. Anak kucing rupanya. Apakah itu anak kucing yang sama yang tempo hari kulihat di sini juga? Saat itu ia tampak kurus kering, jalannya gemetar, mencari induknya yang entah ada di mana. Kecil kemungkinan sang induk mengabaikannya. Bisa jadi pemiliknya yang menelantarkannya begitu saja. Sebentar lagi tubuh mungilnya akan dikerumuni ribuan semut dan belatung. Hingga dagingnya tandas. Bulu-bulu putihnya akan kering tertimpa sinar matahari selama berhari-hari lalu terbang tersapu angin. Tulang belulangnya menyatu dengan tanah. Dan aku pun berlalu, seperti jutaan yang lain yang berlomba dengan waktu.

Feel, Feel and Feel

“Don’t overstretch. Just feel your body.”- Bryan Jones

Exactly, sir!

I am called a bendy boy by most of my friends because bending my body is so easy, much easier than packing some extra pounds. Sadly enough, I am not so proud of it.
Because my bendiness is also my weakness. I cannot feel my body properly. That way, my skills of being a teacher are questioned. By whom? Myself! How can I teach when I cannot explain and tell them what I feel? What sensation do I feel when I for instance do a forward bend? This is all because I manage to do that quite effortlessly. I didn’t know how I possibly came into it. It just happened. Poof! Abrakadabra! I experimented aimlessly, having no clear expectation from my yoga practice and all is coming without me asking.

Thus my homework is now to figure out how to control my bendiness so as to make me feel better. I am welcome to any sensations, even that means pain.


Once upon an Exam

Pada suatu ujian.

“Ini kelas ribut sekali! Mana dosen pengawasnya? Hei kamu, malah jalan-jalan di belakang!”

“Iii iyaa..”

“Dikerjakan tesnya, malah berdiri di situ!! Mana ini pengawasnya?”

“Sa sa saya pakkk…”

“Oh maaf pak.. Saya tidak tahu. Saya kira…”


Meeting Saras “Effectual” Sarasvathy

With Saras Sarasvathy, an Indian professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.
She is known for her passion in entrepreneurship and education, which later on led her to inventing the effectuation theory. You may find her as a keynote speaker on TED Talks and Big Think.


Frances Chan, A Girl Whose Feelings I can Totally Relate to

“Too much of something is bad enough […]
Too much of nothing is just as tough …”

Like overweight people, underweight people are also unhappy because people think they are having problems. And somebody needs to rescue them from the disaster of being overly skinny. Like me, and Frances Chan.

According to some reports, Chan – who is a Yale junior – has to defend her rights to have a genetically skinny body. Isn’t that as bad as skin color discrimination? Even not all these skinny people really want to be that skinny you know! Because of the silly pressure like one given by the Harvard officials, hard gainers are likely to fall prey of the unhealthy diets. As put it, Frances Chan will “no longer have to cram her body full of ice cream and Cheetos in order to put on weight.” Ridiculous! No one should eat that much only to please other people or only to look fuller but not necessarily healthier.

Yale officials argued that Chan stands 5’2” but merely weighs 92 lbs.. They stated that her body mass index was too low. That said, they began requiring her weekly weigh-ins and urine tests to prove she didn’t have an eating disorder.

“It felt really bad to be this powerless,” Chan told the New Haven Register. “I ate ice cream twice a day. I ate cookies. I used elevators instead of walking up stairs. But I don’t really gain any weight.”

She preserves calories taken and tries to be as sedentary as she could and eats junk foods like that. What is the point of it all? She is healthy and functioning. That I cannot understand.

Again it is said in spite of her efforts, the 20-year-old was only able to gain two pounds. Chan says her whole family is slight of frame, and naturally thin. That explains!!!

Frustrated with the situation (well, who isn’t??), the history major penned a piece for the Huffington Post detailing her struggles with Yale.

“No more weigh-ins, no more blood draws. I don’t have an eating disorder, and I will not let Yale Health cause me to develop one,” Chan wrote. Well put, dear!

“If Yale wants to kick me out, let them try — in the meantime, I’ll be studying for midterms, doing my best to make up for lost time.”

Harvard, our weight is absolutely none of your business!

Chan also wrote a letter to Yale President Peter Salovey. “At Yale, you’re taught to be the change that you want to see in the world,” Chan said. “Well, this seems like an easy thing to change.”

On Friday, Chan was allowed to see a new physician. “So she trusts that I do not have an eating disorder and admitted that ‘we made a mistake,’” Chan said.

She agreed to continue being monitored by Yale Health, but only has to check in once per semester.

[New Haven Register]
[Huffington Post]

Read more:

Indonesian Politics and Me: A Love-Hate RelationshiT

Indonesian politics in 2014….

Enough said about that! I tell you I can never say proudly:” I like the country’s politics.” The politicians and their maneuvers are even more disgusting to me. The news is getting worse just to show how cunning these folks may become. The media outlets are super biased and can hardly publish objective pieces of news worth reading. Metro TV belongs to Surya Paloh, TV One Abu Rizal Bakrie (the investor of Path, to remind you), and so on.

And you don’t know how much my gratitude I feel inside me is when I learned no one in my immediate families is a politician. Even though he or she runs for a political vacancy, I hope he or she will lose after all. Because I strongly believe that no human beings on earth can be saved from the destructive effect of prolonged.

You can liken Indonesian politicians and rulers to Frodo Bagins (correct me if I am wrong in the spelling, I haven’t read it). Aside from their petite figures just like Frodo, Indonesian politicians are often inclined to forget the reason why they have to work: Indonesian people. When Frodo wears the ring, he feels he turns into someone else. Someone with enormous power. Something he never has imagined before as a midget. But the ring names him the Lord of all. That ring is influence, power, authority that politicians are now fighting for. One can insult their peers, mock their colleagues, sacrifice their longtime friendship or even blood ties just because of different political views. Sickening? It might be.

However, that is so natural. Nothing is odd about being zoon politicon or animals who do politics (unless you are an amoeba or a solitary single cell creature).

Well, even in yoga, there is some degree of this political stuff going on on and off the mat. You have to believe me there are yogis and yoginis who hold grudge to each other and make scenes at our very supposedly pacifist teacher trainings. They literally want to grab one another’s students. I saw with my own eyes how two yoga gurus were making scenes and how I too become one victim of one yogi’s unexplained, groundless hatred. Simple jealousy or envy may be too childish but what else can you come up with in your head when someone refuses to talk to you even a single word?

Oh I said “love-hate”, and that was the hate part.

Now, let me continue with this sweeter chunk of story.

So that was March last year when I had to let myself be adultnapped abroad by my employer to the neighboring country Singapore. As we touched down, we were amazed by the landscape which looked considerably cleaner and more well organized. Indonesians, I must tell you, can never love Singapore more. It is a place to spend their meager amount of bonus and salary and savings. A place of prestige, because Jakarta gets too affordable for them to buy things in.

A fellow Indonesian journalist ( I can safely say I am a journo as well, the much tamer and more sedentary version nevertheless) who works for a newspaper business led by Dahlan Iskan said,”I love to see and enjoy Singapore but…”she sighed,”if I have to work here as a journo, I could be stressed out.”

I frowned,”Why is it so?”

“You can imagine, in the country as small, relatively crime-free and stable as this, there is not much cool thrilling stuff to be reported to our readers. Reporters may end up writing news about power outage in an apartment block or trivial accidents causing brief traffic jams in some streets,”she told me while gazing through the taxi window, leaving the magnificent and hectic Changi International Airport.

So if you want to write more stories or start a new media business, Indonesia could be a good place to start. There is evidently endless supply of political dramas, ethnicity-related tensions, natural calamities, regional conflicts, family feuds and bloodsheds, injustice, social madness, economic discrepancies, and the list goes on…

Speaking of Indonesia presidential election this year, my comment would be:
“May the best man win.”

I don’t pretty much care about the possibility that Prabowo may be with the Islamic hard liners prohibiting yoga practice in public (because my practice is really private; on my own, from and for myself) or the likelihood that Jokowi would be the puppet president of our legendary former female president Megawati Sukarnoputri. Despite that, I commit to myself I will vote on the D day no matter what happens.

Atasan dan Bawahan

“Nasib jadi bawahan. Diinjek-injek terus ya pren…” (Muka nelangsa)

“Ho’oh gak enakkk!!” (Emosi, gebrak meja)

“Tapi menurut gue sih bawahan itu lebih penting daripada atasan.”(manggut-manggut)

“Betul! Gue setuju banget itu. Tanpa bawahan, siapa yang mau kerja emang? Ya kan??!” (Antusias karena merasa dimengerti)

“Bukan gitu.” (Kalem, nyedot rokok)

“Lho??Terus maksud lo apa dong?” (Nyolot)

“Pikirin deh… Orang mau pergi ke luar rumah, pake bawahan doang, ga bawa atasan juga masih pede. Ga malu-malu amat. Lain kalo ga bawa bawahan, cuma atasan doang. Ya nggak?” (Ngisep rokok dan pegang jidat ala Chairil Anwar)

“……” (Hening)