My First Championship (Part Four)

“The first person in the Oppenheimer Project was Robert Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein was the second and the third person in the project was Enrico Fermi.”

I began to understand my mother’s conversation.

“Enrico Fermi was an Italian nuclear physicist.” then she continued. “He graduated PhD from University of Pisa at the age of twenty-six years.”

“From his name was your name taken by Eyang Kakung, Mit.” so says my mother. Eyang Kakung are a common way to call grandfather in Javan family like us. There is something to prop my heart of this story.

“Why not be chosen the first man, Mom ?,” I asked the mother, “Why he chose the third person ?.”

Mother laughed at my silly question.

“So, are you always want to be the number one,aren’t you Mit ?.”

“The name of Fermy is really strange, do you want Oppenheimer name,” she said with a chuckle.

“Therr … therr,” the pedicab driver honking his rickshaw bell. He wanted a grannie who cross the road did it quickly in order not to get hit immediately with his pedicab. How embarrassed when up getting hit by a pedicab, more prestigious when hit by Mercy. Even though the consequences might be more severe if until hit by a Mercy.

After a holiday for two weeks, I entered the school again. This time, I was not alone. I accompanied by my number two sister. She entered the small zero this year. She attended TK-1 as me. I myself certainly have gone up to big zero class. Bu Tutik now taught small zero, while I in big zero returned held by Mrs. Yati.

There a bit noisy at the class that day because from Irvin and Nenen, we’ve got a story that Rudin had died due to his illness. At that time, we only have a vague concept of death. Friends grieving over the Rudin’s passed away, as well as me. Pictured in my eyes lame horse image made by Rudin when drawing lessons long time ago.

Mrs. Tutik and Mrs. Yati catched a different impression of us at that time. They tried to calm us. Bu Tutik talk to Siska and Vita, trying to explain as best as she could about where was Rudin. Siska could not understand how she could no longer possible to meet Rudin.

Mrs. Tutik told us to calm down and take the sweet posture. This was done without going through the ritual which we normally did. We all like an enchanted and followed Mrs. Tutik’s order. We sit tight and wait.

Mrs. Yati then spoke.

“Children, Rudin has been called by the Lord.”

“Rudin is no longer sick.”

“Rudin is already happy beside God.” said Mrs. Yati to us.

pict by Emile Seno Aji

My First Championship (Part Three)

It was Saturday. No lessons walking on the streets that day, because it was the day of the distribution of our report. We, the students, playing in the school yard. Our parents came and had social time with the teachers. Rudin did not go to school, he reportedly ill. From Siska and Dian, I got the news that Rudin was hospitalized. I wonder what was Rudin illness.

We immediately huddled in front of the classroom door as report were distributed. Name called by the teacher one by one. The parents sat on the bench which very small for them. I saw my mother was among the parents who sit on the small bench. She sat on the Zainul’s bench.

“Fermy Nurhidayat.”

The name was not familiar to me. I never knew my friend named thus name. I had had not lost my astonishment yet, but it was my mother who went to the front of the class and receive report from Mrs. Yati. Then they chatted briefly and shook hands.

Then she went out of the classroom and called, “Come on Mit, we go home.” I felt strange with that name. Who was Fermy Nurhidayat?. I was only knew that my name was Mimit.

We then trooped out of the school complex. I was just with my mother at that time because my brother and sisters were deposited at a neighboring home. My mother and I met the a pedicab driver who has been ordered by the mother to wait on us. Mother raised me with care for the pedicab’s bench. At that time the pedicab’s passenger seat were still too high for me. The pedicab driver turned down the front part of his rickshaw so I and mother could more easily get in it.

On the way to the house, I guess, who the Fermy Nurhidayat ?. As far as I knew, my name was just Mimit. But, aha, I suddenly remembered something. Nenen once told me that her full name was Nur Aini Hidayati, Nenen was his nickname. Perhaps Fermy Nurhidayat was my long name, Mimit was my nickname. Perhaps.

I asked my mother, “Is my full name Fermy Nurhidayat, Mom ?.”

“Yes, your grandfather gave it to you.”

I furrowed my brow. Apparently the mother aware of my astonishment. My name did not like the name of Indonesian children in general. Above rickshaws that were walking on the pretty bumpy road, then my mother told me.

“In the past, when the Second World War raging, the Allies wanted to create a weapon of mass destruction that may soon put an end to the Second World War.”

I frowned again. I’m trying to understand what the meaning of the Second World War and Mass Destruction Weapons. But I had not managed to understand it. But I became interested in the story of my mother.

“Since then the United States decided to establish the Manhattan Project, or by another name was Oppenheimer Project, to examine the possibilities of making nuclear weapons and use it for the purpose of war.”

I was getting more interested. I know that the United States is a developed country, far away. My mother then continued.

(photograph by Astungkara Wiguna)