City’s Chess Champion (Part Four)




I was put by Mr. Imam Rofi’ie as editor of the student magazine was not without reason. When in classes below the sixth grade, I often filled the column provided by the magazine. Starting from a section of poetry, short stories until the rubric of humor. My work got attention sufficiently from friends. Almost all of the students who knew me.

There were also my school lifting who active and had post on the Student Magazine “Derap”, but they did not play a role as redactor. All of my y three friends had position as illustrator. They are Galih, the star class who was also good at drawing, Amil, and Arie Sidharta. Drawings they made was special.

Unfortunately, after coming on as redactor, my writing productivity was actually decreased indeed. I was less eager to do anything. But I retained as redactor of the student magazine “Derap” until I graduated on eighth grade.

At that time, I was notorious for my skill about playing chess. It could be said that almost no one can beat me on that game at school. Whether it among teachers who love this game, or ordinary student like my pal.

I knew this game was originally due to be introduced by my father. Initially I was reluctant, but my father forced me to fight him on his spare time. Finally, I could not resist any longer. It started since I sat in the first grade of elementary school.

Originally I always lost by father in this game. Until one day, when I managed to hold my father stalemate. I already knew that there were stalemate ending party in this game. It happened after ten parties who all won by my father.

“Golly, stalemate, Mit,” my father said.

“What’s the meaning of stalemate, Father ?.”




Here’s The Circumcision’s Pain (Part Eight)




When I got home, I read books that I bought with my sister. My younger sister was also pleased to read story books. It was great to read a book of my own. Did not borrow at the library or friends at school. So engrossed we read. The world seemed to belong to me indeed.

The next day my father knew that I had bought the book from Gramedia Bookstore. He got very angry and asked my books just purchased. It was not my father’s money to buy them, but a love sign of the guests when I was circumcised. Indonesian society literacy level was still very low. Even recently. Supposedly he was glad that his children love to read. Moreover, my father was a teacher. A weird dad.

Once the books were collected, my father immediately took them to the kitchen and burns all my books in front of the stove. Leafed through them the books to ensure that no pieces can read from there. When burning my books, my father was still swearing,

“Gramedia Publisher.”

“This is christian publisher.”

I knew that my father was just about only reasoned. I knew that any reason out of his mouth was clearly not had quality. My father was not a good Muslim. He never prayed except ‘ied praying. That’s because everyone will be seen that he was praying as well. My father did not really believe and care about God.

For him God was himself, the truth came out from his mouth, and good deeds were his deeds. If my father having affairs, then it was right and good. If my father beat my mother and me, then it was good and right. Because my father was the source of all the truth. His attitude was expressed that sort of thing. As the Javanese philosophy was often he recalled, the parents was a seen god. And Gods can never go wrong, how rotten was him. And he was acting like God in his own house. He determined everything, and could not possibly be wrong. His word was law, and his behavior was the truth that must be obeyed by all.




photograph by Astungkara Wiguna

The Hell On My Own Home (Part Three)




We practiced dancing with excitement. Almost every day we practiced dancing with the guidance of Meta. I often left the house to attend the dance rehearsal. Usually the exercises were held in Dewi’s house on Simpang Bogor Street or Vita’s home at Adisucipto Street. Usually I went home after Maghrib praying time at the afternoon.

Because of the excitements practicing dancing, my job at home to draw well water to fulfill the tub and keg for cooking becomes dormant. Dad blocked my way when returned home from practice dancing with friends,

“Where have you been?.”

“Exercise dancing.” I replied with fear. My father often hit me with his own hands. It took many years before I realized that my father was actually crazy. He did not want to see his children got ahead in life.

Then it happened as I expected before, Dad hit me until staggered. He slapped and hit me on my cheek and head thoroughly. Sometimes forehand, either with his backhand too. Totally inappropriate conducted by an educator or teacher. Surprisingly, none of his fellow teachers could advise him not to did so. Because of that his madness became so worsen.

“From now on you should not join the dancing !.”

“I forbid you to do so, STUPID !,” he continued while did cast final blow. It was a forehand as well.

“Leave, draw water out there.”

“You are not filial to your Dad, you know STUPID !,” I heard his scream having got crazier.

With head still dizzy and spinning eyes I then walked towards the well. When I was drawing water from the well, again my father hit me from behind. I was used to my father’s beat up. That’s why I did not cry. My tears had dried indeed.

On the next day, I told Dewi that I could no longer following dance training. Dewi usually indeed became a leader for any event conducted by our class. I looked sadly to her and said,