Monthly Archives: September 2013

Melintas Kebun Sawit, Merenggang Asa

Standar

Catatan perjalanan perdana saya di Pontianak

Konon Pontianak itu berarti Kuntilanak yang memenuhi kota ini dulu kala. Lalu dari kalangan agama, santri, misionaris sampai tetua adat bekerjasama mengusir Kuntilanak dari kota ini. Cerita ini saya dapat ketika bertemu dengan bapak Adrianus, salah satu tokoh dayak kanayatn.

Kunjungan ke rumah Pak Adrianus ini berkesan sekali buat saya. Begini ceritanya;

Ini bukan kali pertama sebenarnya saya melewati perkebunan sawit. Tahun 2009 sewaktu meliput malaria di Pandeglang, Banten, saya melewati kebun sawit milik PTPN berapa tahu.  Tapi ini kan Kalimantan… hellow…. Kemarin-kemarin cuma tahu dari media massa tentang kejamnya pembabatan hutan untuk jadi kebun sawit. Pohon jenis palem itu menggantikan hutan lebat dan lembab yang kaya dengan penghuninya.

Ditemani kawan lama Herry, kami menuju kabupaten Kubu Raya. Dari RuaiTV di jl. 28 Oktober, kami menuju utara… itu sih kata Herry kami sedang menuju ke utara hahaha, saya mah mana tahu. Perjalanan naik motor matic itu seru abis… tibatiba kami tiba di ujung aspal yang diteruskan dengan tanah keras dan berlubang di sana-sini. Tanah keras berlumpur putih karena bekas rawa itu lalu berganti tanah merah.

“Pak Adrianus, kami sudah di bawah gerbang BPK neh. Yang jemput kemana ya?…” ga jelas instruksinya, kami bertanya pada pak satpam di gerbang perusahaan sawit itu.

“Ampingan? Jauh. Pertama kali? Susah dijelaskan, nanti kalian tersasar. Ke ujung jalan saja, nanti tanya orang lagi di sana ya.” Begitu kata pak satpam dengan kumis melintang.

Belok kiri. Lalu suasana berbeda. Kiri kanan pohon sawit tinggi, melengkung dan buah menyembul di ketiak dahan. Sejauh mata memandang cuma terlihat pohon sawit mulai yang baru ditanam atau pun yang sudah besar.

“Ini kayaknya usia 8 tahun mba.”

“Emang usia produktifnya sampai berapa?”

“25 – 30 tahun, abis itu disuntik biar mati.”

“ooo… kalau mulai berbuah itu usia berapa?”

“5 tahun mba. Tapi buahnya disebut buah pasir, kualitasnya belum bagus.”

Hari pertama belajar tentang sawit dari orang lokal. Kemarin-kemarin kan kata wikipedia

“Bener kan ga bisa ada tanaman sela. Itu aja Cuma ada pakis.”

“Soalnya sawit serap banyak air, yang lain ga kebagian. Eh abis ini kemana neh”

 

Pepatah berkata, malu bertanya sesat di jalan. Tapi ini perkebunan sawit, besar dan sepi, tak gampang bertemu manusia lain. Ada seorang ibu yang kami cegat sebelum dia menghilang di antara pepohonan sawit. Lagi-lagi sarannya Cuma begini,” Lurus saja sampai pasir tiga. Lalu tanya lagi orang di sana ya.”

Padahal, helm saya itu pinjaman dari pak satpam yang bekerja di kantor Herry, Pontianak Post dan harus dikembalikan sebelum dia pulang, jam 3 sore. Melirik jam tangan, ternyata sudah jam 2 dan tanda-tanda dusun Ampingan pun belum nyata.

“Pulang aja  ry, gue bisa wawancara pakai telepon sih sebenarnya.”

“Tanggung mba, sudah nyampe sini. Berdoa aja bensinnya cukup.”

Wah udah gila dia. Kalau sampai mogok di tengah perkebunan apa jadinya? Kalau di perkampungan masih bisa menginap di rumah penduduk, tapi di sini?

Melintas tanah merah dan berdebu. Beruntung semesta masih baik dengan menyembunyikan matahari di balik awan. Berdoa saja tak hujan deras, atau tanah merah ini akan menghalangi jalan pulang.

“Ke Dusun Ampingan? Masih jauh, lima dusun dari sini.” Lalu Ibu pemilik warung di pinggir jalan itu menyebut satu persatu yang tak bisa kuingat sampai sekarang.

“Tak sampai 5 kilo lah, jalannya sudah bagus, sudah disemen.” Lanjutnya

Pemandangan masuk perkampungan itu sudah berbeda. masing-masing rumah punya jembatan kayu karena di depan mereka adalah sungai kecil yang berwarna coklat tua, di ujung dekat perkebunan malah sudah hitam warnanya. Nah yang masih coklat tua itu digunakan untuk keperluan sehari-hari, mandi dan cuci pakaian. Bagaimana mereka memasak ya? Semoga ada air bersih.

Seorang bapak sedang bersiap mandi ketika kami bertanya. Dia pakai sempak berwarna biru dan punggung yang penuh panu, tapi tetap ramah menjawab pertanyaan kami yang mengganggu konsentrasinya mandi. Jalan berlanjut, semen beneran tapi hanya seluas 1,5 meter, cukup untuk 2 motor lewat berdampingan.

Setelah perjalanan selama 45 menit, kami tiba di rumah bapak Adrianus. Lelaki mungil dengan celana sedengkul, kemeja hitam tak dikancing dan kaos kutang menyambut kami dengan senyuman.

“Kalian tak jumpa dengan yang jemput?”

“Ah bapak, tak jelas instruksinya neh.”

Dia mengenalkan diri dan mempersilakan kami masuk. Begitu melepas tas punggung dari gendongan baru lah sadar betapa kotornya badan ini. Jaket dan tas punggung penuh tanah merah. Entah bagaimana rupa muka saya dan nasib rambut kepang ini. Daripada sibuk menepis debu merah dari tubuh, saya pura-pura santai dengan segala kotoran ini.

Baru sekali ini saya menikmati betul segelas es extrajoss….. sudahlah nikmati saja!

Lalu berceritalah Pak Adrianus tentang perjuangan mereka sejak 1997 untuk merebut kembali tanah ulayat yang diserebot perusahaan perkebunan sawit itu. Foto-foto yang dijembrengnya pada kami memperlihatkan semangat luar biasa dengan parang dan senjata tradisional lain. Tahun 2000, perusahaan menjanjikan membagi tanah plasma, memperbaiki jalan dan mempekerjakan orang asli. Tapi semua baru kejadian tahun 2011 kemarin, tanah plasma 100 hektar dan akses jalan dari dusun terisolir sampai ke arah kota. Dulu lewat sungai harus memutar ke kota dan memakan waktu 3 jam, sekarang 45 menit mereka sudah sampai di kota.

Dari Pak Adrianus cerita tentang sawit saya makin kaya. Dia bikin survey kecil di kampungnya tentang baik dan buruknya sawit versi rakyat. Begini

Negatif

  1. Merusak lingkungan dan ekosistem; di dekat perkebunan, dusunnya sering kena banjir. Tak ada orang utan dan hewan lain
  2. Tercemarnya air dan tanah
  3. Hilangnya kearifan lokal; berburu menjadi pekebun
  4. Rotan menghilang, tak ada lagi kerajinan dari rotan

Positif

  1. Memberikan peningkatan ekonomi buat warga kampung
  2. Membuka akses jalan dari kampung ke kota

“Kapan terakhir dengar suara orang utan pak?”tanya saya dan dia menerawang sambil jemarinya berhitung. Pasti lama sekali, pikir saya

“Ya sekitar tahun 1997-an itulah.” Katanya menyimpulkan hasil penerawangannya

“Kemana ya perginya orang utan, dan hewan lain?”

“Ya ga tahu, yang jelas di sekitar sini sudah tak ada lagi hutan.”

Ucapannya terakhir itu mengiris hati. Tak ada lagi hutan, tak ada lagi orang utan.

Sepanjang saya melewati perkebunan sawit, cuma terlihat burung. Kalau pun ada hewan lain, itu peliharaan warga, seperti ayam, kambing dan coba-coba beternak ikan air tawar seperti di kolam depan rumah Pak Adrianus.

Rumah pak Adrianus sudah dimodifikasi, lantai kayu di ruang tamu, ubin merah maroon di ruang keluarga dan ubin biru di kamar mandi. Di ruang tamu digelar tatami atau tikar yang dianyam dari rotan dan kulit kayu. Kata dia sekarang masih ada di Bali, buatan orang Dayak tapi diberi cap Malaysia dan harganya bisa mencapai 4juta rupiah. Hore!

Tentang Malaysia, dia memberikan catatan menarik.

“Kenapa orang di Jawa itu selalu kesal dengan orang Malaysia. Buat kami dan saudara kami di perbatasan, Malaysia memberikan lebih daripada  pemerintah di negeri sendiri. Apa yang salah dengan itu?”

Saya cuma tersenyum…. Politik pak, sok nasionalis… kataku dalam hati.

Hujan mengguyur menemani perbincangan kami, begitu dia berhenti kami ngibrit bersiap pulang. Ingat helm pak satpam, deadline korannya Herry dan saya cuma takut kemalaman di tengah kebun sawit. Siang menderang saja kami tersesat apalagi malam.

Dan benar….. jalan datang dan pulang tak sama… tiba-tiba tak lagi bertemu jalan semen tapi langsung bertemu tanah merah…. Dia lagi….

Suasana makin sore dan makin jarang orang terlihat. Di sebuah persimpangan kami berhenti untuk istirahat sambil menunggu orang. Kami tak lagi berspekulasi memilih jalan yang benar, kali ini harus bertanya…

Tentu beruntung kami bertemu dengan beberapa orang. Dan begitu bertemu kembali jalan utama perkebunan, rasanya seperti …. Buang air setelah kebelet berhari-hari… lega luar biasa. Tapi gegara ingin cepat pulang seperti juga waktu datang dengan terburu-buru mengejar waktu, saya tak sempat mengambil satu pun gambar dari perjalanan ini

Setelah itu barulah terasa kalau pantat ini sakit luar binasa. Perjalanan off road, penuh tantangan, tanjakan dan lubang ini memang tak cocok untuk penderita wasir macam saya. Ingin rasanya menyudahi perjalanan ini, tapi masih jauh dan awan tak kuasa lagi menahan air yang melesak turun. Hujan deras melengkapi tanah merah yang melekat kian erat di jaket, tas punggung, celana, muka dan rambut. Ditambah perut yang kian lapar karena merelakan jam makan siang terlewati demi bertemu Pak Adrianus

Terima kasih hujan deras yang memaksa kami melipir di restaurant Padang. Kali pertama 1 porsi nasi padang di hadapan saya tandas tanpa peduli tangan ini tak bersih dari tanah merah. Anggap saja vitamin.

Hujan reda persis ketika nasi habis. Kami beranjak pulang. Hore akhirnya.

Happy Birthday

Standar

A man has been gone for years without any news, except a birthday note that usually came exactly on a woman’s birthday. But, sometimes, it missed by about a month. With the same way the note came, through a postcard, for once a year he managed to send a birthday note just to remind her how life has moved on. Wrinkles show on every inch of her face while the memories remind still to one heart only, to the immortal love, between them both.

 

Whenever she moved from one location to other, she always came back to wait for the same note, a happy birthday note from him. A note on a postcard with a different stamp each year. It showed her where he was when he sent it. Under the moon and the sunlight, that is where he lay. He’s still the same person. The man who can’t be put in one place for a long time. It’s his job that forced him to do so. It’s his job that not even allowed him to use his real name. Different background he answered to the questions from others.

 

He looked deep to her dark eyes and said, ”the only truth about me, is how I feel about you. I love you. Keep holding on to it and the rest just let it stay with me.”

 

Time flies. She’s introduced to new trends of technology, to the cellular phone, social media network, and Google, which can answer almost everything she desired, except about the man. No story, face, or even real name ever appeared on Google. He’s gone! Disappeared. Vanished. No technology could reach him.

It is always traditional way he came with the word “Happy Birthday,” tagged with heart, hug,and kiss…. CHRIS… a very common name that belongs to millions of million men in the world. He could be Christian, Christopher, or just Chris. Millions of faces appeared on Google Images, Facebook, and Twitter. She has no clue how to find him. All she has are memories and a piece of a photograph of her and him, nothing more. How is she supposed to find him?

Everything has changed. She married just to fulfill her human desire to deliver a baby just like her society wants her to. She has a husband to meet her biological needs. While her heart belongs only to the same person from years back. Their story only lasted a few days. The man promised that, for long as he lives, to send the note on the woman’s birthday, the same date when they first met. It’s the sacred date to remember that the love was completed with both the pain and pleasure that only came once in her life.

 

She waits on the veranda while holding a dozen postcards from him. Her neck is in pain because she keeps looking well past the fence, expecting the postman, who rarely loses his job because of the technology. She wants him to deliver the message when everyone else holds their smart phones. The thumb moves faster to send message than the postman’s old motorbike. Life has being spoiled by technology. Everything is easier, just like you start to forget the memories written on the old paper and your hand writing is getting worse. But not the one she loves, he still loyal to a postcard and a hand written “Happy Birthday” to her.

 

She drops her body on the rattan chair, her heart beating suddenly, then silent and numb. A gentle breeze whistled in her ears…”Happy Birthday, My Love.”

 

No more postcards to wait for.

Bandung, 12 February 2013.

A Woman and the Rain

Standar

What is so interesting about rain? The clouds? The water that knocks on the window? And the drenched ground? The smell of wet soil? The rancid smell from the canal? The lightning in the sky that looks like a blitz of camera flashes? What is so interesting about rain?

 

The same questions run around my head every time I see that woman with two braids. She is my colleague at work who is busy brewing black coffee, with two full teaspoons of sugar and a half a teaspoon of creamer. She hurriedly brings her coffee cup and sits in the same spot on the couch next to the window. What for? For the same reason is to watch the raindrops.

 

She holds her hot cup near to her chest, breathing in the smell of the coffee, which fills the room. She keeps staring at the window. Sometimes she shuts her eyes to hear more clearly the sound of water that drops from the sky. Sometimes it really slow but, lately, the rain has fallen really hard. The water droplets break so hard. Don’t ask me anything about how much rain has fallen lately. I don’t give a damn about it. All I know is that the rain is harder than before. I don’t like rain; I hate it, and it’s scary. But, not to that woman. She stops everything just to watch the rain.

 

Me. I will frown and hold myself tightly so I won’t be shocked when the thunder claps. Of course, it never succeeds. I keep jumping from my position, whether I stand or sit, when the lightning strikes. Spontaneously, I shut my ears so tight and press my body against the wall. As soon as I see the lightning flashing in the sky, I will run and hide. The sound and the light are chasing me, and it is me who has failed and keep allowing myself to be shocked.

 

I’ve never like rain. The water brings me fever and headache, while my feet become itchy. I don’t like rain that flooded my neighborhood. Although every year there is more roadwork, it is only last for months and, as soon as the rainy seasons come, the road will be pot holed! The holes are everywhere and water fills in and they are flooded. Not to mention the smell. It’s like every smell that humans want to hide from and it reappears when flood comes. It’s a rancid, stinky smell of waste that becomes the fragrance of the neighborhood.

 

But that woman, she is sitting pretty holding tight her coffee cup and her eyes staring far away from the window. Sometimes I see her wiping tears while watching the raindrops. Other times, my colleague told me that she runs to the backyard and dances in the rain. She asked everyone to join her and play around under the heavy rain. Mad! She’s losing her mind.

 

She glances at me. I hide behind the bookshelf.

 

“Dio. Come here. Join me. The rain Dio… it’s so calm.” She call and waving me. She shift and give me a space next to her.

 

I shake my head and say,” I don’t like rain, ma’am. I hate the thunder, it brings me a heart attack.”

She gives a quick smile and moves back to her position, throwing her sight far from the window. Her fingers press against the glass window which is now wet because the canopy no longer holds the rain. I am sure I saw her wiping the rain. I really want to ask why rain is so meaningful to her, but the questions stuck on my tongue. She is my boss and I am the newbie at work. My question is too personal.

 

The rain stops. She moves from her spot and comes toward me at the dining table, which is also used for meetings. This office is just a big house that belongs to her. She sits right in front of me.

 

“My father was struck by lightning as died while he played golf. He had no time to run. My son was electrocuted and died from a broken power cable because of the lightning. My husband left me in the heavy rain after the funeral of our son. I’m not in love with the rain; I am celebrating my pain with it.”

 

She moves away and closed her room behind her.

 

February, 5 2013