Love is Humble

8 09 2011

klik disini untuk versi Bahasa Indonesia

When you are being asked, what is love? What would be your answer?

For me, love is humble

Be humble so that the heart may love. As simple as a prayer, love comes from simple things. But, sometimes we forgot how humble to love is. Afraid of losing and arrogance makes us greedy for love; and eventually the humbleness of love slowly fade away.

As the love between Hamid and Zainab blossoms through their humbleness of their heart. By the beach Zainab said to Hamid, “Hamid, bring my prayer with you through your pilgrimage to Mecca, my prayer is to be married to a person that I love (you), and that very person to love me in return,” quoted from a movie based on Buya Hamka, Dibawah Lindungan Ka’bah/Under the Grace of Ka’bah (1978).

Hamid accept his banishment from the village and from people that he love without fear, Zainab waits with courage for Hamid’s return until death do their parts. Zainab and Hamid never unite as lover not because of complexity of the world around them, but the love that no longer humble from people around them.

“God, the Most Grace and Merciful, under the grace of Holy Ka’bah, in the house of God where I lift my hands and pray for your blessing. To whom should I ask for mercy but You. There’s nothing I can hold on to but You, no door shall I close for Your door is always open. Grant me serenity for I to be in Your embrace; to be with people that I love that gone to You before me. O God, for You are the Almighty and to you we shall return…”

Love (prayer) that Zainab and Hamid believe till deaths do their part.

From this novel and film, I understand better that to love is to be humble. Humbleness keeps love live eternally inside our heart, even distance apart. Love is humble and will always be.


Cinta Itu Sederhana

8 09 2011

click here for English version 

Bila ada yg bertanya, apa itu cinta? Apa jawaban anda?

Buat saya cinta itu adalah sederhana.

Kesederhanaan hati untuk saling mengasihi. Sesederhana sebuah doa, cinta datang dari hal yg sederhana. Terkadang kita lupa akan kesederhanaan cinta. Kekhawatiran akan kehilangan dan keangkuhan hati membuat kita serakah akan cinta; dan akhirnya terlupakanlah kesederhanaan sebuah cinta.

Seperti saat cinta antara Hamid dan Zaenab mulai bersemi. Ditepi pantai Zainab berkata kepada Hamid, « Hamid, aku titipkan doaku bila kau pergi haji. Doaku menikah dengan orang yg aku cintai dan orang itu juga mencintai aku. »  Seperti kalimat yg saya petik dari film yg diangkat dari novel karya (alm.) Buya Hamka, Dibawah Lindungan Ka’bah (1978).

Cinta sederhana Hamid terhadap adat-agama membuatnya ikhlas dijauhkan dari orang-orang yg dicintainya, cinta sederhana Zainab menunggu dengan ikhlas sang kekasih hati yang diusir dari kampungnya hingga ajal menjemput. Zainab dan Hamid tidak pernah bersatu, bukan karena kerumitan dunia disekeliling mereka, namun karena cinta yg tidak lagi sederhana dari orang-orang terdekat mereka.

 » Ya Rabbi, ya Tuhanku, Yang Maha Pengasih dan Penyayang, di bawah lindungan Ka`bah, rumah Engkau yang suci dan terpilih ini, saya menadahkan tangan memohon kurnia. Kepada siapa lagi yang saya akan pergi memohon ampun, kalau bukan Engkau ya Tuhanku! Tidak ada suatu tali pun tempat saya bergantung, lain daripada tali Engkau, tidak ada pintu yang akan saya tutup, lain daripada pintu Engkau. Berilah kelapangan jalan buat saya, saya hendak pulang ke hasrat Engkau; saya menuruti orang-orang yang dahulu daripada saya, orang-orang yang bertali hidupnya dengan hidup saya. Ya Rabbi, Engkaulah Yang Maha Kuasa, kepada Engkaulah kami sekalian akan kembali….. »

Cinta (doa) yang dibawa oleh Zainab dan Hamid hingga akhir hayat mereka.

Dari novel dan film ini saya semakin mengerti untuk mencintai dengan sederhana. Kesederhanaan membuat cinta hidup abadi dalam hati, walau sekalipun jarak memisahkan. Cinta itu sederhana dan selalu sederhana.

Bedhaya, Dance As Old As Time

22 07 2011

Dance. A word that has been exist as old as time. A tradition that has always been a part of human existence since long time ago.

And in particular, Javanese tradition is closely related to dances. Every dance has its own grace. It has deep meaning to every movement of fingers to every costume ornaments wore by the dancers’; it symbolized emotions, history, mystery, and even philosophy.

From few Mataram dances (Yogyakarta and Surakarta), some are consider sacred, where it performance are strictly by the presence of the Sri Sultan or Sri Susuhunan, and only selected relatives of the palace (Abdi Dalem) who can perform it.

Bedhaya. The oldest form of dance in every Mataram kingship. Dated to the court of Sultan Agung of Mataram (1613–1645), however the existence of the dance is not clearly documented until the late 18th century.

We’ve been told that Bedhaya has it deep mystical meaning to the Sultans, epitomized the elegant (alus) character of the royal court, and an important symbol of the ruler’s power. Bedhaya is a transliteration of the relationship of the first king of Mataram, Panembahan Senopati with the Goddess of the South Sea, Nyi Roro Kidul.

photo courtesy of

And ever since Panembahan Senopati divided the kingdom into Surakarta and Yogyakarta, both palaces remain to perform the Bedhaya to each court’s special occasion until now. Always performs in odd numbers of dancers, usually 9 (nine) females, although during some period in the nineteenth century, the dancers in Yogyakarta were young men dressed as women. The combination of characteristics of both sexes was thought to have a special spiritual power. Formerly, the nine dancers were the creation of a deity, who were brought to life, and offered the dance to their maker in gratitude. Latter, the dance was created when Kangjeng Ratu Kidul fell in love with the Sultan, and danced the Bedhaya for him; the nine dancers in the modern dance represent the spirit of the goddess.

It sacredness, both the song and the dance associated with it, it is only allowed to be rehearsed every 35 days. All rehearsals, and especially the performance, must be accompanied by offerings; the dancers must fast and undergo ritual purification; they must be in bridal dress and cover the upper part of their bodies in turmeric; and when the text is copied, a few intentional mistakes are inserted to avoid copying a sacred text literally. This is all because during any performance or rehearsal, the deputies of Ratu Kidul are said to be present.

To both palaces, Bedhaya has different forms; Bedhaya Ketawang in Surakarta (Solo), and the Bedhaya Semang in Yogyakarta. In Surakarta, the dance continuously performed at least once a year to commemorate the ascension of the current Susuhunan(prince) of Surakarta. Whilst in Yogyakarta, some Bedhaya dances are kept exclusively to its close relatives and an invitation to anyone outside of the inner circle of the court is a considerable honour.

As the courtesan of Yogyakarta palace from my grandma, R.Aj. Soemartijah, I am well remembered that she took me to the Siti Hinggil (Grand Hall) in 1992 to attend one of the royal occasion and one of the Bedhaya performed there. Latter, I found out that the dance called Menak Nitih Garuda. This dance is taken from The Menak Cina Chronicle (The Ballade of Amir Hamzah), about the battle of two female warriors riding Garuda (mythical creature half human half bird), Dewi Kuroisyin (Persian princess) against Dewi Widaningrum (Chinese princess). This dance was created by HM Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono V (1820-1855) himself in The Royal Court Kraton Yogyakarta.