Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas News

The Christmas Mass
After more than 6 years, we went to Bartolommeo’s Church, this year we went to the church of my parish, Keluarga Kudus.
The reason was so simple, just because my lovely little daughter be an angel during the Mass.

She’s so cute and funny. Both of us, her sister, and me smile when she passes us. Instead of gave her smile to the manger, she gave her big smile and her cute face to us. The funniest thing was, this time we went to church with her Santa’s puppet. Lucky that she didn’t push people to shake hand with her Santa

Christmas Eve Dinner
As usual, every Christmas Eve, I always prepare the dinner for my family.
I started this since I was in college.
My mom always mad at me because I always made my decision in the last minute, and she must order her staff to buy all the things that I need.
The worst part was, after gone back from the Church, my family have to wait until the dinner ready.

But not this time, for the 1st time in my year, I could prepare my broccoli cream cheese soup, tenderloin steak with brown sauce and spaghetti bolognaise, right on time. The dessert, Hazelnut and Chocolate ice cream from Walls ….

And when all my children and family were in their dream, I was busy with all the presents. Wrapped it with a bunch of memory of their request for their Christmas presents. No one knows that Santa came and visit me couple of days before.

Christmas Day.
Hm … this is little bit different since my in-laws are Moslem and they can't stand to have Christmas lunch with European menu.

Therefore, as usual, the menu always the traditional one, mix of Manado and Sunda. As my daughter said, “Hahahaha… tomorrow we will have lebaran menu”.

And like others, Christmas Day is always the day when family get together, make plan for the New Year, gossiping, laughing, remembering the funniest thing, the children playing, watching a DVD, and … eating …

What a wonderful Christmas this year……

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Eve

I'm dreaming tonight
Of a place I love
Even more than I usually do.
And although I know
It's a long road back
I promise you, I'll be home for Christmas.

You can count on me.
Please have snow and mistletoe and presents under the tree.
Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love-light gleams.
I'll be home for Christmas, If only in my dreams.

I always have a dream to be home for Christmas…
A wish that I always whisper in every Christmas Eve…

Until last night, during the Christmas Eve Mass
When I looked my beautiful little daughter be an angel
When I watched her pretty sister sat nicely along the Mass
I realized that He actually made my dream come true ..

He gave me the most precious gift I’ve ever have in my life.

And during my Christmas prayer,
All I asked only the strength to hug, to trust and to love

And to live with my dream, .. be home for Christmas

... Christmas Eve, 24 December 2006

Thursday, December 21, 2006

My Christmas Song

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Jack Frost nipping on your nose,
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir,
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe,
Help to make the season bright.
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow,
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.

They know that Santa’s on his way,
He’s loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh.
And every mother’s child is going to spy,
To see I reindeer really know how to fly.

And so I’m offering this simple phrase,
To kids from one to ninety-two,
Although its been said many times, many ways,
A very Merry Christmas to you

… Hm 3 days more to go before Christmas eve, before I go to church and wondering my preparation of celebrating the Joy of Christmas, the Joy of knowing that Jesus was born to save us…

And it has been more than 7 years when the first time I heard Fourplay play this song. The song that remembering me of white Christmas, the song that remembering me of a cup of jasmine tea more than 7 years ago at Bats, Shangri-la.

The song that could awaken me from my dream of the old days, when sharing a story is part of our live.

The song that could take my mind fly away to a place called “dream”, to a place called “reality”, to a word name “memories” …

So nothing much I can say, only Have a very Merry Christmas to you …

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Water - a Deepa Mehta film

The widow should be long suffering until death, self-restrained and chaste. A virtuous wife who remains chaste when her husband has died goes to heaven. A woman who is unfaithful to her husband is reborn in the womb of a jackal.

The Laws of Manu, Chapter 5 verse 156 – 161Dharmashastras (Sacred Hindu texts)

This is a story of Chuiya, an 8-year-old girl who is widowed by the untimely death of her husband and Kalyani, a beautiful 20-years old woman who has been a widow since the age of 9.

In accordance with India tradition, Chuiya must be sent to a home – for not to say an ashram for widow – in Varanasi, where Hindu widows live in penitence to atone for their sins. Her feisty presence influences the lives of other widows.

During her stay in that Ashram, she quickly makes friend with Kalyani, who radiates a child-like innocence. The only beautiful widow whose hair is not shorn, as a nod to her profession that was forced upon her at an early age by the powerful head widow Madhumati, as a prostitute.

Kalyani spends her day either playing with her puppy Kaalu, or talking to the small statue of the God Krishna she has in her room. Her nights though are surreal. Gulabi, friends of Madhumati the powerful head of widows, took her across the water to a Brahmin house in Rawalpur. Instead of feel sorry of herself, she accepts this as her karma.

Because of Chuyia’s innocent antics, Kalyani meets Narayana, a young Brahman Gandhian idealist, who has just passed his bar exams for law. Narayana fall in love with Kalyani at the first sight and propose to marry her, even though he knows that Kalyani is a widow.

When Narayana find out his father’s relationship with Kalyani, whom Narayana has just asked to marry, he becomes disgusted with both his traditions and his father, but still he resolves to marry Kalyani. In the meantime, Kalyani, afraid of the fact that Narayana will discover her dark secret, drown herself in the Ganges.

Soon after the death of Kalyani, Madhumati send Chuiya to replace Kalyani as the ashrams’ prostitute. Chuiya, because of her innocence, thought that Madhumati would let her play for a while before sent her back to her parents home. While in fact, Madhumati send her to visit Narayana’s father, who then rapes Chuiya ……

… It’s a beautiful, funny, sadness, ironic movie, I’ve ever seen. I was so speechless for almost 114 minutes. I feel that I was there with no strength to help them.

While at the same time, I’m questioning the reason of that law. Trying to understand of Gandhi speech at the railway station, “….before I thought that God is the truth. But now, I know that the truth is the God…”.

The truth …; The truth is questionable; it depends on the person who get the benefit of it.
Like the conversation between Shakuntala, an elderly brahmana widow, and the Pundit.

Shakuntala : “Punditji, you have studied the Holy Scriptures. Is it written that widows should be treated badly ?

Pundit : “The scriptures say that widows have three options. They can burn with their dead husband, or lead a life of self-denial, or, if the family permits, marry their husband’s younger brother. However, a law was recently passed, which favors widow remarriage.

Shakuntala : “A law ? Why don’t we know about it ?”

Pundit : “We (men) ignore the laws that don’t benefit us.

And I have to agree with Gandhi, the truth is the God. Because we tend to choose, the truth based on the benefit for ourselves and keeps the truth as our belief.

I believe that every human being has their own path of life, has their own destiny. But to take the freedom of someone’s life is something beyond my understanding. To believe that be a widow means that half of their life’s dead and don’t have the right to live as a normal people …. Is something I cannot accept ….

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Where have you been ?

Yeah … where have I been lately ? Looking back into my life for the past three weeks, nothing much can I say, only I’ve been busy with the system changes plan of my company.

For almost three weeks, my office moved to Borobudur Hotel, the well-known hotel for their Oxtail Soup. We had a meeting with the Korean vendor, exchanged ideas, listened to their presentation based on our requirement, fight for the implementation phase, listened to the schedule of integration. Put a lot of the energy and emotion into that lovely project.

But I don’t want to share the discussion, too much pain there ….; I just want to share the Hotel, more interesting story than discussion with the Korean who could not speak English plus their smell of alcohol.

Oow…almost had forgotten….the Hotel …yes ..It’s been a long time ago, when I went to this hotel, just for dinner. My mom took me there almost every weekend to teach me table manner. During that time, she will notice all my bad habit, like watching people, the way I hold the knife, everything. What a nightmare ! Now, I have to thank her, for what she did.

It’s been a long time ago, when I used to swim in their swimming pool, stay at their room, feel and touch the smell of beautiful and clean hotel.

Now, after three weeks with the well-known hotel for the oxtail soup, I have to say that I will not visit that hotel again, except if I want to taste their oxtail soup.

The toilet, my standard of cleanliness, was way much of the five star hotels. Can’t believe it, the cleanliness standard like the 2 star hotels. Seems that they were lack of inspection, waste bin full of used toilet paper, the toilet was dirty.

The food, not more than 3 days, I could predict the menu. Seems that they don’t have enough variety recipes for vegetables, fish, chicken and meat. For not to say that their quality of meat was below of standard. I know that import meat is expensive but at least they can use our local meat with the highest quality.

However, I have to say “excellent” for their dessert. Hm …..the chocolate mouse, mango mouse, strawberry cake, caramel pudding, coconut pudding ….; all of them boost my weight up to above my standard….( have to reduce my weight after that .. )

The meeting room, this was disaster, they have to use fan because their air con did not work well. With more than 30 peoples bring their own laptop, you can imagine how hot the temperature in the board meeting room. Both of us sometimes loose our patience.

We have changed our meeting room several times, but still we felt like we were not in the 5 star meeting rooms.

I felt pity for this hotel. It’s hard to compare my childhood experience and the recent experience. Like heaven and hell. Walking along the lobby, my mind always tries to bring my childhood memory but every time it has vanished.

As somebody says, you have to live with the present …..