Mrs. Indra’s Angerness (Part Eight)




One day, when I was in seventh grade, Mrs. Indra provided a puzzle to us. She asked us a question in English instead of Bahasa.

“I have six legs when I’m walking, but I have four legs when I’m running. So, who am I ?.”

Thus the content of puzzle questions from Mrs. Indra. We all sat silent and thinking. What was the answer of Mrs. Indra’s puzzle question?.

The class was quiet for a moment. Minutes passed, and no one of us dared to raise hand to answer our beloved English teacher. Mrs. Indra waited and smiling on front of the class. Her face was covered with a triumph looking.

In the eerie silence, suddenly I giggled in a few seconds.

“Why are you laughing, Mit?,” asked Mrs. Indra to me.

“Do you know the answer of Mrs. Indra puzzle question?.” she continued.

“Maybe Ma’am.” I said not sure. I was afraid my answer would be wrong indeed.

“What’s your answer Mit ?,” asked Mrs. Indra to me. Her face seemed curious. I was increasingly pounding and awkwardly. Actually, I was not sure with my answer as well.

“Man riding a horse, Mrs. Indra.” I replied with a hesitant voice. Of course I answered with Bahasa instead of English as well. I was not clever enough to speak English indeed.

Afterwards, unexpectedly Mrs. Indra laughed and told the class,

“Mimit was right, the answer is a man riding a horse”, said Mrs. Indra giggled. I was shocked by the fact that my answer was correct. I chuckled at the end of Mrs. Indra’s statement. Then the class was sullen and grumbling to me because they could not answer Mrs. Indra’s question.

Then she moved to the blackboard and write the answer to her riddle herself. On the board immediately posted Mrs. Indra’s round and sweet handwriting, ‘A man riding a horse’. Then she left us out of class for a while.

Apparently she headed to the school office of Administration. She wanted to see my mother who had been a clerk of the school’s BP3. BP3 was the association of students parents on our school.

“Damn Mimit, Mrs Toha!.”

“What’s going on, Mrs. Indra?,” my mother responsed anxiously.

“I’ve questioned a puzzle for three classes students, none of them could answered my question except your boy, Mimit.”

“Damn that Toha’s son.”

“Aparently, Mimit’s so clever indeed,” she continued with a giggled.

Then Mrs. Indra return into our classroom and continued her lesson with us.




(pict by Iwan J Prasetyo)

Healing Pieter (Part Seven)




The second question is given by our beloved teacher, Mrs. Etty Ratnawaty. This time Dian Sushanti answered correctly. She shouted and clenched her hands in front of her body. “Yes!”, she exclaimed excitedly. Dian then quietly exit the classroom after greeted Mrs. Etty politely. As a child, Dian was polite and friendly as well.

Then, Mrs. Etty exclaimed her third question, I almost did not believe on my ears.

“Seven times eight.”

Several small hands outstretched onto the air. I was late a split second after Utje’s. Mrs. Etty invited Utje to answer her question. Utje answered with a stutter. Apparently, she was so nervous, so that her answer was incorrect.

“Unfortunately your answer was wrong my dear, you are not allowed to answer the next question, do you understand Utje?” said the teacher repeated the rules in this game.

Then the eyes of my beloved Mrs Etty switched to me. I was so pounding.

“You had I see raised hands after Utje, Mimit,” she said.

“How many is seven multiplied by eight?.”

Of course I had already knew the answer without any difficulties. That was the only item that I knew by heart from a multiplication table given by Mrs. Etty.

“Fifty-six, Mrs. Etty,” I couldn’t hiding my excitement.

“It’s correct, Mit, you are allowed to go home”.

I screamed and ran out of the classroom. Turns out that I did the same with the others, happy to be out of class at the early chances. It feels so manly that time. I included was the earlier to answer the multiplication tables’ question by Mrs. Etty, thus I allowed to go home. But, the more important things to me was, my reputation as the smart kid beside Mrs. Etty Ratnawaty was saved. She was my dearest teacher along the time.




photograph by Emile Seno Aji