The Palace of Illusions, A Draupadi story

Image taken from : Here

“Through the long, lonely years of my childhood, when my father’s palace seemed to tighten its grip around me until I couldn’t breathe, I would go to my nurse and ask for a story. And though she knew many wondrous and edifying tales, the one I made her tell me over and over was the story of my birth. I think I liked it so much because it made me feel special, and in those days there was little else in my life that did.”

– From First Chapter “Fire” –

I’ve always been a big fan of Mahabharat’s story since its Indian adapted soap opera was aired in my elementary school days, so this novel of course would really interest me much when I first spotted it on Google (I didn’t remember the exact point where I found the title actually, but I guess it’s when I randomly searched for new novel for reading). Published on 1st January of 2008, it tells Draupadi’s point view about all events in her life, from her extraordinary birth to the worst moment of her life such as the legendary Swayamwara which made her a wife of 5 Pandu’s children and Pandavas’ lose of gamble game. What I really like about this novel is, that I’d never imagine that Draupadi who’s always been phrased as one of the only love for Arjuna could have a twisted plot as someone who loves another man while being a wife of Pandavas. And to the top of that, Chitra had chosen a phenomenal character like Karna of all people, who I’d never give much respect for.

In this novel also, I begin to see Draupadi not as a woman who’s praised by history for all her good qualities, but as someone human enough to have desires she can’t fulfill even when all people rely on her wisdom and kindness. The way its writer tells the story almost makes me feel like Draupadi was a modern-born woman, in contrast with actual description about her from the original story. Pretty unique in its own way. Especially in the first chapter, Draupadi tells how she took advantage of her unique appearance (having a black skin almost to the point of blue) and charms everyone with her beauty. In Indonesia something like this would be rarely seen since our standard of beauty is still all about white skin. But in this novel, you’ll realize that even the Holy being such as Krishna Dev is loved by all his thousand wives not because he’s strikingly white as milk. After all, He’s named after the colour of his skin, right?

Few days ago when I started writing this post draft my brother (who’s a big fan of Game of Thrones) talked about one character from this serial who seems so Modern-like with her feminist act while the series itself set in medieval age where women didn’t act like that. I failed to tell him the similarity because my brother isn’t interested in Hindu mythology, but telling him instead that it’s something people will always add when they make some stories. I myself don’t actually agree with that kind of ideology though my personality seem to lean that way. I just don’t understand the way women seem too eager to express themselves, it only looks like to me that they are too independent and not accepting men’s role as the leader. Well, it’s only my thought so it’s to all of you to accept feminicity or not. 😊

Sebagai orang yang udah berkali-kali nonton cerita Mahabarata dari adaptasi paling jadul sampai ke yang paling modern tahun 2015an lalu, aku termasuk hafal sama seperangkat kisah klasik ini baik alur maupun para tokoh yang ada di dalamnya. Menurut aku sih penulisnya kepingin menghadirkan sosok Drupadi seperti seorang yang berpikiran kritis dan modern di tengah kehidupan para wanita tradisional di masanya. Cumaaa entah kenapa yaaaa…., meskipun aku suka dengan bagaimana Draupadi diceritakan di novel ini, aku ngerasa aneh aja kalo tetiba Draupadi dikisahkan dengan banyak pemikiran kritis seperti itu. Jatohnya jadi ga cocok, kayak bukan Draupadi banget gitu. Apalagi dengan plot twist dimana Draupadi diceritakan malah jatuh cinta sama Karna, bikin aku ngerasa agak-agak keki sekaligus penasaran selama ngebaca Pallace of Illusions. Rasanya agak rancu seorang Draupadi sampai bisa mencintai Karna yang jelas-jelas mempertanyakan kehormatan dan martabatnya sebagai seorang wanita bangsawan cuma gegara dia nikah sama 5 orang bersaudara. Kalo aku dihina begitu, mau awalnya cinta kayak manapun aku ga bakal sudi lagi lihat mukanya. Soalnya meski aku bukan feminist sejati yang apa-apa bicaranya tentang hak dan kesetaraan gender, kalo orang sudah menghina pribadi seseorang itu ga pantas buat di cintai. Yah.. tapi untuk segi ide cerita memang cukup bikin aku ngerasa lega pernah berpapasan dengan novel ini. Nora Roberts pernah menulis di salah satu novelnya bahwa Jantung wanita terdapat pada rumahnya, dan Draupadi mengekspresikan dengan bagus banget betapa kehilangannya dia ketika Istana indah yang ia cintai harus dirampas akibat konspirasi. Makanya ya guys, ada alasan kenapa perjudian dalam hukum Islam sangat dilarang karena banyak sekali bukti yang menjelaskan dampak buruk yang diakibatkan. Buatku sendiri yang sudah pernah ngerasain kehilangan harta dan keutuhan keluarga akibat perjudian emang cukup relate sama cerita Mahabarata yang sarat moral dan nilai kehidupan.

I got this E-book version via Google so there’s not that difficult to read the novel for free. Or ypu can contact to have the E-book and I’ll email it to you. Aku kurang tahu apa versi terjemahan Indonesianya sudah ada atau belum, tapi kalau ada, aku rekomen banget buat kalian yang senang dengan kisah kolosal terutama Mahabarata.

Beautiful and Surreal

For recents years I haven’t been into K-pop music though I sometimes still see few names on youtube such as CL or those cute boys like BTS. And there’s no doubt that I’m in love with their dramas so getting in touch with Korean taste isn’t that far. A few days ago, CNN Indonesia showbiz reviewed about BTS’ performance and it somehow made me recall about my chat with workmates before. I talked about “Goblin” rerun on local tv and one of them said, “I don’t really like watching Korean dramas, they are too beautiful and making me feel surreal.” Honestly, I laughed because long time ago I also felt the same. Before Korean wave stepped its feet in Indonesia, almost all local TVs aired Taiwanese dramas and movies which also gave a bit same effect as Korean did. Beautiful actors and actress have always been a fascinating sight to watch, so hence the reason why us Indonesians always are so into white and smooth skin. Now, with Korean wave invading our life style and every other aspects, just watching them on tv would give some surreal feeling and wonder why such those creatures could exist. You might find what I said sound funny, but that’s what I’ve always thought every time I watched Korean dramas.

These days I begin to feel some matureness after experiencing independent life living as a worker and alone renting a room in small boarding house. No idea if  it influences my view about beauty and such, but somehow I don’t even feel too much awe like I did before when watching them again. They’re still beautiful and surreal but not in the way that makes me blinded and faint. I just watched BTS’ “Dope” video few minutes ago to prove my theory  and was like “Oh, this is good. Okay. But no need to follow them”. So that’s it. Years ago I would almost scream if Super Junior was on the screen, and now I only see them as good performers and nothing else. When thinking about this, I feel like I’m actually behaving like an adult should be; stick to the realistic facts. And the fact is, they are selebrities. Only fun and entertaining to watch. (Btw, I like this song so I’m kinda their fan heheh..)

I don’t say this to discourage K-pop fangirling since I was actually in the same league years ago. But in my experience a person’s view can change in the matter of time and deep down I already know that beauty shouldn’t be something to pursue too much. I mean, Korean selebs are all beauties and sexy and fashionable but those are just for temporary. When I watched “The Return of Superman” on Youtube, I saw a father of a son who was an ex-boyband member aged into someone so much different. Though still had some fine feature, the difference didn’t go unnoticed . And that’s what I’d always think every time I watch Korean selebs; will they always be that beautiful and surreal Until they age? It might be too much but someday I’d be happened even for beautiful people like them. 
I wonder how CL would be when she ages, lol..

My New Inspiration : Oshin

Have you ever watched Oshin? Since watching some of old Japanese drama “Oshin” on Youtube a few days ago, I begin to feel a bit encouraged to do works in workplace and even chores at home. I really adore Oshin as a strong and spiritful woman who worked fully hard for her family without complains. I also begin to realise that all things happened to me recently in fact are far too easy compared with the life Oshin had been through, but can’t stop complaining and blaming the faith though the truth is not always that bad.

Recently these days aren’t the best time of my life. A lot have happened that they really depressed me; pressures from work, unstability in my finance and my father who has been ill and needs support for his recovery. Those happened to be a very big burden on my shoulder that I would often find myself crying and sulking alone constantly. Though I could always share my problems to workmates, they can’t do much as being listeners. That’s why I usually keep them to myself, because I rarely feel satisfaction by sharing my problems.

I watched the drama of Oshin’s hard life and wondered, “Is there a person who can work and live like Oshin did?” Not even my mom, who has been my inspiration in life could ever reach the dedication that Oshin showed. That’s why I said to myself that even though I can’t be as strong as Oshin, I will follow her example to be able to smile and feel spiritful even in the worst time. I think those kind of people are very charismatic. It’s a great drama to be watched by our generations, so we can understand what a hardship truly is. The people in those days were so wonderful. I hope I could be as dedicated as them one day.

Please watch this drama on Youtube because it’s far more interesting and educating than those on channels you usually watch.

Friday’s Talk : How Gadgets Could Affect My Life

The first gadget I had ever afforded was a mobile phone bought with allowance money I saved for several months plus addition from my mom as gift. Of course it wasn’t fancy brand thing since at that time mobile phones were expensive, at least for a junior high shool student. While other students were already with two mobile phones, I was content enough with what I had. As long as I could use it to communicate well then why should mp3 player or camera be important?

My habit of saving money to buy things I want has been continuing even after now that I get a job and could afford to buy things with my salary. Last year I bought my android phone with Idul Fitri bonus, a local brand which of course can’t be compared with popular names you must have known such as Samsung or Iphone. Still, I’ve always been a contented person and never really complain of what I have (if it’s satisfying enough, heheh). I had asked my mom first because I didn’t want her thinking I wasted my money for unnecessary purpose. She said, “It’s your money, not my responsibility to order what you should do with it.” At the end I’m still a girl who can’t do a thing without parents’ allowance. (laughing) Nowadays I use my gadgets for work. I rarely use phones for texting and calling time is only for family and Ikhwan. I mostly talk with friends via BBM or socmed, which are the cheapest and fastest ways to communicate. I even send weekly report via BBM to my supplier or manitaining my shop items’ dropping or rolling with brand office admin via said app. At least it’s bought to support my work, not just to satisfy my personal want.

Talking about how gadgets affect our lives would give each of us different views. Some people have said that the better gadget you got means more attached you are with it. Having a phone with better functions gives a lot of privilages, but also problems. I have to buy big amount of phone credits to activate internet quota packet, while still needing to use some for texting and calling. I’ve desperately been wanting to hold my urge to recharge my quota but at the end I couldn’t cope from it. If my mom ever found out about it then she would flip over since she never like people who have money-wasting habit. Factually my need of internet is suddenly on dangerous level after I bought a new phone. And it’s just few hours of using since I can’t bring phone into work area, not full time.

I guess out there we could example worse addictions towards gadgets than what have been
happened to me. I have read about some people who harmed others by the effect of games or social media. I also heard that in some place people are too attached to their gadgets that it’d make them feel extremely bad mood to be far from mobile or tablet. What makes me usually cringed is how parents easily give their children gadgets and let them use it freely without restriction. In mall I can find elementary school kids around carrying tablets or Samsung and risking of losing their footsteps because they are too focused on their gadgets. It never fails to amaze me that despite our worry over gadget addiction, in fact there are parents who simply just give them gadgets without feeling worry if the kids would be addicted or not. Kids these days can have whatever they want, handled in silver plater while in us in their age had to work hard to get it. Now to make a comparison, if in recent years our generations are already being haunted by gadget addiction, what about the next generations?

Take an example thing of how my friends think about gadgets they and others have. If you have branded phone with certain type people would label you as someone cool enough to hang with. If you don’t have BBM pin it could be easily meant you can’t afford to buy blackberry or android phone. If you don’t have camera 360 app on your phone then you’re not cool enough to show your pic. I was told like these before, and someday when I asked one of my friends’ BBM pin they were suddenly like, “Oh cool! what’s your phone? Let’s hang out and bring your phone.” Quite funny but honestly it’s all just predictable. But despite of what I mentioned above, how do gadgets actually affect my life? To be honest, I don’t like to be included as a gadget addict. I can still leave my phone cell for 7 hours working time and can still put it far from my reach whenever I feel tired. Sure, when using my phone I tend to be possesive and never want to be disturbed especially if I get proccupied with interesting stuff on internet. Doesn’t matter if it’s actually unimportant enough to be chosen over textes or calls. But at least there a positive side of having a smartphone which can help me in working. The point is, after writing about this topic I must rethink over what I should need in gadgets. To be useful, or a hard-to-cure kind of addiction?

Friday’s Talk : My Wildest Dream

“What’a your wildest dream?” had been one of most common questions automatically sent into my inbox and had never really been in mind until we got this as our Friday topic. Honestly I never have any wish on something extreme or wild so when asked it’d make me confused. Kinkiness doesn’t interest me either since it’s kinda gross for my taste. we could name everything to become our wildest dream, conquering Mount Everest, winter skinny diving, Living in the wild ( there goes the wildest dream named), or maybe trying to eat some disgusting food from something more disgusting than you could ever imagine. I’ve read someone answered that she would like to have a piercing on her private for this question, and it was just really surprising for an Indo girl to have that kind of wish. I’m still not sure of what I’ve considered as my wildest dream, but this is my answer;

My Wildest Dream = Cut my hair off and go bald

For me, my wildest dream is a thing I’ve been wanting to do since forever but never got courage to do because I have to sacrifice something I treasure so much. What’s the biggest fear of a long haired woman who hasn’t visited barbershop for 5 years? Of course the haircutting. Let elone baldie, the thought of your head resembling a garden big lamp is simply terrifying. Despite that, I can’t help but become interested of how people would see a bald woman. Moreover, sometimes I’m getting tired of taking care my hair and thinking about having a new style. Whenever I get bad hair day it’ll just pop in my head, “I want to go bald!!!”. Somehow it makes me feel like being a bald is the new side of something I’ve just discovered. It’s a shame that I’d never try to do it since I love my hair too much too cut it. The only way to see me without hair probably is with the help of photoshop. LOL.

Others might be having kinds of wild dream which seem more interesting too read, but I’m just having a simple one like this. Well, as I said I’ve never really thought about it before so I guess it’s wild enough.

Friday’s Talk : What’s My Word for 2015?

I was a bit upset that Mas Dani didn’t notify me about Blog English Club. I write some English posts on my blog and definitely will never avoid such challenge like this. Since I don’t have Whattsapp account, via blog is the only way to parcitipate. The topic for this Friday is;

“What is your word for 2015?”

I had a slight difficult time to find the exact word since we just are in the beginning of journey. It’s still unknown what to conclude in recent days. The first day if this year I spent in double shift work and it felt like there’s no new year. Flashback to 2014, struggling from job seeking to the results of all small things I could finally affort to buy in my small dorm room happened as af they were just yesterday events. I guess the thing that popped up into my head about this year is “What’s next?”

“What’s Next??”

working has been one of long-term and in progress things I achieved so far. There is still way alot to reach in working or other things. Last December I was a year old being a SPG, in the same brand since my first day start working. I wonder, will something new happen this year? Still with my current job or new one?

Others things also have become some discoveries for me during 2014. My independent life living far from my mother, matureness, and awareness of my surroundings. From the smallest ones, like my style and appearance, plus attitude. I no longer feel self-concious with what I wear and happily accept the concept of beauty with makeup without making myself look like a walking clown in a sunny day. I try new things, be more confidents in front of camera, not shy over my long curly hair which has been growing its original shaped after it got smoothed straight with ironer and chemicals. Yes, confident is still a problem for me until today. I’ve gained weight and came back to being a, let say, more filled girl than I used to be when living in Tulang Bawang, but it no longer makes me feel like an ugly duckling. If I am fat, then people just need to accept me as I am. I can still be beautiful with what I wear, say, and do. I don’t want to worry over trivial things and just focus on more important parts in my life.

All of them eventually made think about my next move. I now get job, checked. I bought things with the money and saved rest to help mom paying debts, checked. I now can accept myself as a woman who can have a beauty and no longer feel ashamed with appearance, checked. The top of the list, I know I’ve been managing to do them until now, checked. Now, what’s next?

Sending my experimental short story on some local magazine is one of my recent future plans so far. I think by just writing romantic fictions on my diary won’t give me any meaning as long as it’s just me who read them. What’s challenging is that I will be writing them in English, while in fact I only had one or two experiences sending Indonesian fictions to a magazine publisher and it can’t help much for my confidence. But as what I always say to myself whenever done doing something, “So, what’s next?” will be my slogan for this year. And I’m sure I can get many answers for this question.

By the way, Happy Friday and Happy New Year 2015!