Thursday, January 31, 2013

Why I am Writing Again

We just finished a huge proposal and I have some spare time after lunch so I thought of writing. Before that, let me share you a photo taken a couple of days ago during the sunset from the balcony of my home.

Being in Afghanistan, you value your life more than anything because you will never know what will happen the next minute.

A couple of weeks ago, there were some bombings and gun fire that lasted for almost 8 hours just around 2 km from the place I live and I could be one of the people who stuck in that area when the bombings or gunfire happened and I would have gone without trace. Of course I had thought about that before I came here but when I came to think of it, the only thing I have if such thing has to happen would be my words and memories ... so here I am, pouring my words, experience, and thoughts on this blog.

Sometimes people wonder why I want to be here. It's quite complicated actually but if I could say it in simple way. In my life, I always wonder how my life would be if I have a man figure other than thatha... because I don't have brothers nor father. I felt that sometimes it would be very warm and nice to have an active man in the family who can be responsible for some heavy things, but some incident happened that I finally decided to make myself so strong that a common man would lay his cards and leave.

The moment I made my mind for that, two men came in my life, a friend and his father. They, with trust and love said that they want me to be a part of their life and want me and mom to be with them... Yes, I work for them and at the same time I am also a part of the family as they always say. How long I would be here?? Only God knows.

It's not easy to find people with sensitive heart, but I find them here... People who care about my mom. It's like finding a place where even without my existence, mom would be taken care even better than I could. That feeling is just magical. It's like a part of my burden has been unloaded, unpacked and I can't thank enough for that. It's like despite my hard and man-like exterior, they have the ability to see that I am also a woman, with all the sensitivity, gentleness, and expectation, and all the drama that a woman could create with anger and tears. I am just that woman and they accept me along with those traits.

I have been an introvert when it comes to speak-up about what happened in my life. I do not talk about the problem so easily, unless with really close friends. I used to jump hard on the person I have issue with. I used to be a drama queen. I couldn't pick a random person and start talking the issue, but I found that useless. It just made me feel worse so I think it's time for me to start talking about what happened and how I felt about it rather than being silent and keep contemplating the issue like a broken record in my mind.

In India, I used to hang around with a group of friends. I say that they are my close friends whom certain issues could be discussed with. Since it's quite a big group containing of more than 5 people, conflicts between one member to another prone to happen. Fortunately, it never last long because the troubled members would say it to other neutral members and these neutral members would find a way (at any cost) to resolve it. In our group, the worst had happened and so did the best... but it has never been broken. I hope it last that way.

I learned from that system and I still apply it. It wasn't easy in the beginning, but then I get used to it and for now, being far away from the people I value the most whether in Indonesia or in India and stay in a secluded community, I find that writing is my only cul-de-sac.

I am writing this because in my opinion, I find my life is interesting; my love story is extraordinarily interesting and full of lessons, the place I decide to be is not a place any men would choose, my friends are wonderful, the academic life of mine in India was full of surprising incidents (I will talk about that later), and still so many other things. I want all these things to be exposed so that at least someone out there who read this blog could learn from the mistakes I did and may have a better decision making in her/his life and MAYBE learn from something good that I have done... because I know for sure, I am not 100% good, but I am not 100% bad either; except for one thing... there is a saying "bravery & stupidity come in one package", in that case, I am 100% complete hahahaha...

See you in another posting folks. Have a bright day ahead. God bless you!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Me & Mom

Tonight I will talk about me and my mother. Our relationship is somehow different from what is called as "regular". Since we left dad and come to thatha's house, our bond gets stronger by the years passed. She was and still is persistent not to remarry and I don't have any uncle from mom's side as all the children of thatha are girls and that means that all of them have their own lives without having the ability to take care of my mom in case I got married or live in a far away place. I had thought about this when I was around 13 or 14 years old and I decided that I don't want to get married. I thought that I want to serve my life for the people around me. Some people found that a joke, some people said that I won't have money by doing such charity work, some said that I would change my mind once I met the right person. Well I did change my opinion. The reason is not because I found that a joke nor because I was afraid I won't have money... but coz I met a man who changed that. But unfortunately, it wasn't for long (I shall come to that part later).

For some people, mother will be just someone who nag around, a woman who demands this and that from the children, a person who will demand the child to be the first and beat them up or shout at them if the child is not the first in school or any other thing. Well, my mom is different.

She's a lion-hearted person who has the exterior of a woman in the late 60s and 70s, who focuses on the clean house, orderly furniture, timely food and rest, gentleness, patience, shrewd, humbleness, but with a lot of faith in God, in herself, in me.. She's a 100% woman, a 100% mother.

She has taken care of me in a different way. She won't shout at me if I make mistake, because most of the time she already said things that I shouldn't do and if I still do it, all she would say is "See dear, this is what I was afraid to happen, that's why I said don't do it. But now you have done it, it's ok... now Fix it" and in some cases, the situation is too bad that I can't fix it alone. In such situation, she will say "Get up. Let's do it together."... She's my strength. I am a short tempered person. I take quick step. She's the one who always slow  my rhythm and makes me think before I take an action. But she also knows that once I am committed to something, I will be like a drunken bull who will cross all the boundaries and chase what I want to and I will not give up until I get it or until I know it's no longer worth it to chase it.

I never know what a father would look like in my life, his roles, his influence... nothing. All my life was shaped by thatha and mom. Other people are also there, my aunts, my aunts' husbands, my grandma, but it's funny that my ideology and belief are shaped only around these 2 people.

Since thatha passed away, I have become the man of the house for mom. I am the one who takes the final decision, but sometimes I feel that I am just dummy, coz she will be the one who show me the horizon, weigh all the options for me and let me take the decision. She always show me only the ways, but which way to go, it will be my choice. She has strong faith that I will never lead us to the wrong way. When you have someone beside you with such faith, you will also not take any wrong path that goes against your heart.

It's like a saying "A bird knows its nest, so let it fly high and low, fast and slow coz when the time comes, it will know its home and it will be home safely". In my mom's case it's true. She let me be the bird. She is never scared that I will go astray and let her down.

Approximately 2 weeks ago, mom's right hand was burnt in the hot water, it was not a big wound, but the skin was a bit peeled off and due to that, she can't wash clothes, she can't take bath on her own. She keep shouting "This small wound is making me sit all day without being able to do anything". I had to wash the clothes, was dishes, and bathe her in the evening after office, feed her during lunch and dinner. The one who put the medicine wasn't me, though. One of the new family member did that, let's call him Mr. N. He's the one who handle the wound when I was in the office. I am thankful to have them around her when I wasn't around.
Suddenly a few days ago, she said "You are an adult now hm? You took all responsibility. You are no longer that helpless little girl now." Thank God I didn't fall off the chair. I am almost 6 feet tall, stubborn, and fight like a bull and just today she realize that I am no longer a little girl. I am happy to take that responsibility to give back to her the responsibility she has taken to raise me until I become what I am today.

My life may not be as normal as other girls that I often see around me. Sometimes I want to be normal like them, have a dad & mom who always nag about silly things, have a brother to take some huge chunk of responsibility... but I am not that normal girl. I am the extraordinary girl. I am forged to be a man on the outside and still have that spoiled little girl who wants attention in the inside. I don't know it is just my feeling or not, but here, I feel that everyone is treating me like a little girl. They see through me hard exterior and find that I am also a woman and inside this woman, I am also just a little girl who likes to be pampered once a while.

I am blessed to be this way. It's a bittersweet journey that I have to take wherever this life I make is taking me. I will see you tomorrow on "Why I am Writing Again". Good night and Golden dreams folks. May the blessing be with you!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Childhood as How I see It

As I mentioned in my previous post that my parents divorced when I was around 7 years old and I have to live with my maternal grandparents from then on.

When mom & dad divorced, my health condition wasn't very good. Since I was 3 years old, I develop some kind of cold which made me cough regularly and had to miss school quite often. Thank God I never failed due to my regular absent. When my lungs were scanned, the Doctor found that I had mucous in  my lungs and it was predicted that it happened because I wasn't flipped upside down right after my birth. No one ever knew. I went for medication and I almost faced death once as all my respiratory channels were blocked. I couldn't breathe properly and my breathing frequency was very low. I stopped breathing for some time and it happened at home before they could even started the car to get me to the Emergency Ward. Everybody was panicked but all of sudden I gasped a big intake of air and started breathing normally again. 
How it happened, only God knows.

This problem keep happening until I was 7 years old. Then one day one old Chinese Traditional Medication expert helped me to get rid of all those mucous and since then on, by the grace of God, I am cured now. That old man who helped me, had died in an accident many years ago. I felt sorry for that and I hope that he is always blessed for he had given peace of mind for my mom and my family.

Since then, I have been an active person and learned a lot of things in my early life. I performed well academically, I learned how to play an organ (a musical instrument), I learned swimming that now I can swim in all 4 styles and porpoise like a dolphin in the water ;), I learned knitting (still amateur though), I became a cheerleader in high school and I am into Belly Dancing which I don't plan to perform in public, I paint (even until now I still have that hobby), I play badminton, I play football (most of my friends were boys, can't help it), I play basketball, I play volleyball (even though now I sort of lost the moves), and I did basic gymnastic.

My teenage-hood was filled with all these activities and I am grateful for that. The only things that haven't been fulfilled are "Guitar", "Horse", "Gear  Bike", "Car". YES, I want to learn how to play a Guitar, I want to learn how to ride a horse (here in Afghanistan, I have people around me who are ready to teach me anytime, but my mom freaked out each time I talked about it, so I think I have to butter her more), I also want to learn how to ride Gear Bike, so far I could only ride it on First Gear; the moment I change the gear, the bike always stop. A friend in India literally pulled his hair due this clumsiness of mine with Bike. God knows how I could improve that :), and I want to learn how to drive a car without banging it here and there... Since I am not very good with car, I will opt for lower level which is...a double cabin truck and drive it off road so that no one complains on how bad driver I am ;). Very soon I will ride it... Bless it be! Amin.

And by the way, I remember that thatha used to say "Why can't she sit still?". He used to say that I was "kutti shaitan" which means "Little Devil". He used to say it even after I have become a big girl.. Well, he is right I guess ;)

Then I got entrance to one of the top 5 university in Indonesia without testing because my final marks in High School was above 80%. I was selected for Architecture Study. I was in that university for 2 months when I finally realized that I won't have any time for other activities if I keep myself enrolled in that course. I had to stay in campus until night time & I didn't find that convenient. I talked to my mom and thatha about dropping out. They asked me if I really can be accountable with the decision as once I leave, there's no turning back. I said "YES" and the next day, I was off the hook. I never regret that decision. I joined computer managerial course for a year as it was too late to join other college in the month of September. Then the next year, I get in private IT college when I was 19 and graduated 4-years later with above-average performance. During my college life, I became an English teacher in one of the private English Institution in the evening time. I got this opportunity because of my TOEFL score that has led me to become a certified TOEFL teacher. I paid my own college fee since then, I bought my own books, I bought my own cellphones, I ate out with my friends with my own money and never disturb mom or thatha ever again :)... even though I still always get pocket money from them, which has always gone to savings :). And by the way, all this money that I saved had gone in the wind. HOW?? Well, my stupidity is the answer :)... I will talk about that later.

Well, I think that's all for tonight... I will continue again tomorrow with different story and Night Night folks, wish you a good sleep and wonderful dreams. God bless you!

Monday, January 28, 2013

My Birth & My Childhood with Grandpa

I was born in Indonesia as an Indian origin and I was born in a dignified family. I could tell that my family was dignified in the society because of my maternal Grandfather (I call him thatha). A man of his words and a man with honor. His name is D. Renggayya.  When he was still alive, he was honored in the society for his knowledge, his ability in Tamil language that was quite seldom to find in the young generation in our community, and his practical views about things.... and still he is honored after his death.

In our family, he was a man who stands his opinion and a man with a great sense of humor. I was born in his family, I was born for his first daughter. My mom is the eldest daughter of thatha. But, unfortunately my father was not a very responsible person that my mom had to divorce him when I was seven. Life was never the same anymore after that.

The man figure that I grew up with was thatha, a figure that not all men can come equal to. There are lots of things that I remember about him when I was a kid. But some things that I will always remember are, first, the scrambled eggs that he used to make for me. I love it when he made it. The scrambled eggs that he made looked like a stack of Jasmines in my bowl - soft and white with some yellowish hue. It was always perfect when he made it for me. Second, the mutton fry that he used to chew first before giving it to me. I was too small and maybe he was afraid I wouldn't be able to digest that properly. I loved the taste after he chewed it. I don't know whether it was his cigar or what, but the smell of that chewed mutton fry is something that I will always miss. Third, his cheeks - when he carried me in his arms, I used to play with his cheeks. If I rubbed it down, it will be very soft, but the moment I rubbed it upward, it will be coarse due to his evening stub. I used to rub his face with mine whenever he carried me in his arms.

I also still remember when I stand on his back and give him a massage while steadying myself on the bedstead. And there was one thing also that my mom ever told me (I don't know about this as I was too small) -- One day I poured all the powder on his face, hands, legs (the way my mom used to put on me) when he took nap one afternoon and that afternoon one of his colleague from office came and he came out of the room with all that powder confidently. He didn't even clean it as he didn't feel shy to be my "doll for the day". Only a gentleman could do such thing. He had a good position in his company and yet I came first for him, his family.

Since mom & dad divorced, my life philosophy, the way I study, the discipline, my thirst in books, my handwriting, my ability to read, write, & speak Tamil, my window to the outside world... was all him. He is the man figure that I have in my life and I am proud to be born in his family. 

After I grew up to a young adult, even though I am way too young for him, he always listened to my opinion. If I stand against something, he never brushed me away... he always think for a minute, digest my reason for being super stubborn, get my point and say "If Melly says it, then it will be correct". He did not always say that though, because sometimes I also make mistakes, but when I am right, he will say that I am right. He calls a spade a spade.

Wherever I go in my birth community, if someone ask who I am, I will say that I am the granddaughter of Renggayya and people will know. It's funny, but I never mentioned my dad's name. I mentioned mom's name sometimes, but not many people know her either, unless I told them that she's the daughter of thatha...

That's all for tonight folks... I will continue tomorrow from different angle... Good night and sweet dreams. Bless it be!

Return Note

Wonderful Morning Folks!

After 3 years, I am reactivating this blog again :)... It's good to come back.This blog was named "Blackrose" which is now changed to "The Jungle Queen" and the content would be different from what had been there 3 years ago. This blog was born from different mind-set and now will be re-written with different mind-set, with changes in values.... as human changes because the only thing which is constant is "change".

This blog will now on talk about The Story of My Life, The Story of My Love, and The Story of My Thoughts. Any content in this blog will be authentic. Any copyrighted posts or my own post would be made known to public without any conflicts regarding the IPR.

The stories that will come along will show me as a woman who behaves like an angel (as some people ever said), who behaves like a bitch (as few people ever said), who behaves like a devil (as very few people ever said), who behaves like a human (as quite many understand).

And for now folks, I will be "airing" from Afghanistan.
As far as I know (not sure it is right or not), I and my mother are the first Indian Indonesian women setting our feet in Afghanistan. If this information is wrong, please claim so as there won't be any objection from my side.

Why we made the choice to be here today. What I am doing here. What the background story of what I have become today is. Whether I am scared or not. What my values are. Whether I value my own integrity or not. Why I start writing again.
All will be answered by me and judged by you from the stories that will come along from today. Stay tuned ;)