Life That Ends with Thankfulness

I consider myself as a cat person, thus when I chance upon cat movies, watching “If Cats Disappear from the World” became natural. Hear me out, it was amazing.

“If you could cheat death by trading the things you cherish, what will happen to you?” is the premise of this Japanese movie, notice the bold cum italic and you’ll wonder maybe this one will be different from other kick the bucket movies. Yes, it is about death, specifically facing death. Yes, there will be a Faustus character, but he won’t offer world domination through magic book. Yes, it’s about regret, friendship, gratefulness and a couple of cats named after vegetables.

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I love how I could recognized most of the Kanji (source)

The Asianwiki summary of this Japanese movie was,

“A postman learns that he doesn’t have much time left to live due to a terminal illness. A devil then appears in front of him and offers to extend his life if he picks something in the world that will disappear. The man thinks about his relationships with ex-friends, ex-lovers, relatives and colleagues who will be sincerely sad when he dies.”

At first, it sounded confusing and seemed as if it’s going to pull us into weird Japanese proses, but a glance at the mute poster, you’d see subdued pastel colors, soft camera filter and Takeru Satoh’s blank gaze. I thought it won’t disappoint me much since these kind of cinematography are my favorite and at least I could enjoy the pretty pictures.

Before you continue with the post, I hope you can take some time to check the soundtrack for they are very soothing and classic. I can’t seem to find the right code to embed only the music, damn Youtube TOS, and I can’t seem to find any soundcloud uploads, so please take your time to press play on the video above.

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Takeru Satoh’s ‘postman’ character*

The movie opens with a young man pedaling his bike to an uphill road, the attached basket on his bike was occupied by a tabby cat. They rode the wind, reached the peak and gazed into the newly rising sun.

Our main protagonist, anonymously referred as ‘the postman’, lived a steady life delivering letters in a seemingly sleepy town in Japan. He rode his bike, greet the neighborhood, sent the letters, watched movies, feed his cat. His days were filled with small routines that made up the minutia of his life, until one day he tripped on his bike and lost consciousness.

The doctor diagnosed him with terminal brain cancer, incurable and left him a short amount of lifetime. Satoh’s character was shocked yet resigned to the demise of his life. Upon returning home, he found an identical imitation of his self, lounging in the living room. Stunned, he demanded identity of the doppelganger who admit that he’s pretty much the Devil himself.

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Deal with the devil*

The devil proposed an exchange, he will extend Satoh’s life by eliminating something in the world. For every disappearing item, Satoh’s life will be extended by one day. Satoh didn’t exactly agree but the devil carried on with the contract and proposed to eliminate telephone from the world for starters. Dazed, Satoh decided to ignore only to find the devil already vanished from his living room.

Facing an impending death and making a deal with the devil made Satoh very skeptical with his life. He couldn’t believe the chances and ponders the value of his own life. He didn’t think much of his life as it wasn’t very extravagant, not so exciting and hardly eventful. Little did he know that each exchange of items held memories of his loved ones. The painful headache and subsequent fear of losing more memories eventually woke him up to the realization that he was well loved and has lived a beautiful life.

I won’t say much further as I believe the movie will explain it self beautifully. But by agreeing to the devil’s deal, Satoh’s character will undergo turbulent emotions where he realized the value of life. As the movies revolved, we’ll discover how each items defined a titular moment in Satoh’s life.Telephone brought him to his true love, movies led him to his best friend, clock piece defined his adolescent time as his father fixed clocks for living, and cats carried memories from his childhood and deceased mother. Eventually, Satoh will come to a decision which will decide his life in terms of past and future.

The movie played fast and loose with the rule of disappearance. Obviously by eliminating telephone, the world will regress to an unspeakable era, while deriding the world of movies and clocks will be singularly impossible. Yet the message still came across well and we should enjoy the movies albeit the scientific details.

I should mention that this movie originated from a novel with the same title (‎世界から猫が消えたなら). If it get translated into English, I would love to give it a try, and if maybe I chance upon Kinokuniya, I don’t mind buying the original Japanese version for collection.

There were many impressionable quotes where you just want to bury yourself between the lines. However, one that strikes me the most was, “It’s not that bad to have life that ends with thankfulness,” as said by the devil.

So, it’s a very good movie, and it has affected me real deep since I watched it on the flight back from KNO to JOG. Garuda in-flight entertainment and service is a praise to God and I manage to hoard several cups of orange juice, a handful of candies, two meals and great movies. Yet aside from all the luxurious details, yeeppp I’ve flown back from Medan for good now.

Early January marked the end of the line for my short stint in Medan. A project could only go so far and apparently, the higher ups decided it’s best to continue the project elsewhere. Well fret none, for I’m currently living in Jogja and working for the same position in the same company, but only with different team and place. Well, yupp.

What does it have to do with the movie? Well it definitely made me felt a whole lot better about life. Life sucks, but memories make it worth the journey, that I should start cherishing the world and appreciate my friends and family more. They connect, create, mold, perfected my world and I should’ve extended the same courtesy to them. Yet I must admit I am rubbish at communication and reaching out. Hopefully I can do better and make the best of this life.

*pictures from (source)

For Every Stumble and Each Misfire

 

So hello,

Sudah lama sekali tidak menulis posting di blog ini. Terakhir adalah mengenai kepindahanku ke Medan, which is amaaazing. Orang-orang di sini sangat ekspresif, makanannya luar biasa enak, wisata alamnya membuat diri melakukan refleksi hidup. Haha, rasanya hari-hari yang lampau terkesan remeh bila dibandingkan dengan saat ini.

Carpe diem..!! Seize the day, enjoy your life, aka. sindrom anak rumahan yang pertama kali nge-kos and enjoying it very much.

Awalnya memang penuh rasa gugup dan tidak yakin. Berada di lokasi baru dengan kebudayaan yang benar-benar berbeda dan orang-orang yang tidak kukenal menjadikan Medan suatu dunia yang luar biasa aneh.

Banyak yang mengatakan Medan adalah kota yang tidak pantas disebut sebagai metropolitan, dan aku harus menyetujui pernyataan ini. Dari segi pembangunan kota, jumlah pencakar langit, jumlah kafe Starbucks dan gaya hidup masyarakatnya masih jauh dari metropolis. Banyak jalanan arteri dalam keadaan bolong-bolong, bangunan kuno yang tidak terurus, kafe-kafe yang konsepnya tidak matang. Namun semua itu terbalas saat akhir pekan dihabisi dengan menjelajahi Sumatra Utara. Gunung Sibayak, Danau Toba, Air Terjun Sipiso-piso, arung jeram, pantai mangrove dan Berastagi adalah beberapa lokasi yang sudah kudatangi.

It’s fun, if you have the attitude to make it fun. I took a long detour before I could enjoy living in this Calcutta* of mine. There were a lot of regrets and denial, the ups and down. And that is what I’m going to talk about in this post 🙂
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Mahasiswa Politik

20 Mei adalah Hari Kebangkitan Nasional. Peringatan pada hari tersebut merupakan napak tilas momentum sejarah pergerakkan anak muda Indonesia pada era kolonial Belanda. Pada hari tersebut tahun 1908, didirkan sebuah organisasi pemuda bernama Boedi Oetomo. Organisasi ini terdiri dari mahasiswa, aktivis, wartawan dan berbagai tokoh-tokoh yang mempelopori asas perjuangan nasional. Yang muda, yang hebat, dan yang menggetarkan dunia.

Maju 108 tahun setelah organisasi Boedi Oetomo didirikan, tepat pada 20 Mei 2016, aku berdiri di persimpangan Patung Arjuna Wijaya, atau yang sekarang lebih populer dikenal sebagai Patung Kuda Indosat, meliput longmarch Aliansi BEM se-Indonesia yang mengkritik program Nawacita Presiden Joko Widodo dan Wakil Presiden Jusuf Kalla.

Respon pertama saat dapat penugasan: gila aja.

Respon kedua saat di lokasi: gila, mereka hebat. Continue reading

Double Suicide Lover and Jazz

If I have to single out a music genre I will be regaled to listen for the rest of my life, it will definitely be Jazz.

Death, love, disgust, sex, obsession and passion all tangled up in lewd whisper and heavy bass. Sarcasm, confidence and pride in foxtrot of piano and high note saxophone. So full of life, so full of creepy notes that crawls under your skin. This particular song, took the cake.

「薄ら氷心中」林原めぐみ
Utsura Kooi Shinjuu (Thin-Ice Lovers Suicide) by Megumi Hayashibara.
Performed for anime Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

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Gap Period, Don’t

Lulus, terus mau apa?

a. Gaji buta di rumah, jadi kupu-kupu sosialita, loncat satu komunitas ke yang lain
b. Cari pekerjaan, bangun koneksi, rajin kirim CV via situs lowongan kerja, interview
c. Backpacking baca: pelarian ke Sumatra Barat, nongkrong dan tampil mendadak di sebuah pub
d. Naik gunung
e. Otodidak belajar bahasa lain
f. Maraton anime

Enam opsi di atas benar-benar terjadi, tentu dengan segala harkat dan martabat mau ditaruh entah dimana. Yang jelas, lulus dengan IPK cum laude tidak berarti segera dapat pekerjaan dengan mudah. Sudah ada beberapa interview yang saya datangi, namun pffft. Cukuplah jangan dibahas terlebih dahulu.

Kesal? Ooooh don’t ask, don’t tell. Ada saat-saat dimana saya merasa tidak bisa melakukan apa-apa. Hanya diam di rumah, naik motor dan nongkrong di cafe, belajar barista dan meminum kopi hingga sekian banyak. Tidak begitu produktif, namun damai dan menyenangkan.

Untuk sesaat, hidup terasa seakan tanpa beban, agenda harian hanya terdiri dari, ‘keluar rumah, nongkrong dengan teman, baca buku, internetan, animeanimeanime.’ Lingkaran setan banget.

But life keeps going on, and before you know it, diam terus di tempat maka otakmu lumat tak berkutik. Semangat habis, hari terasa kosong dan tidak bermakna. Hampa hampa ham pa ham paham?*

Jadi setelah segala drama di atas, tiba-tiba Ayah saya menawarkan sebuah solusi gila.

‘Mau coba magang di media?’

Setelah mencari informasi kiri-kanan, akhirnya saya memutuskan untuk mengambil program yang ditawarkan Tempo Institute: Kelas Jurnalistik Intensif 6 Bulan.

Program tersebut adalah garapan Tempo Institute yang berdiri tepat dibawah naungan grup media Tempo. Pelatihan intensif ditambah dengan program magang untuk memberikan peserta pengalaman nyata sebagai jurnalis Tempo. It’s though, grueling, so many hardship, but I enjoy it.

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Ahmad Dhani, Tolong Jelaskan Padaku….

Bagi umat kristiani dan katolik, Paskah adalah rangkaian hari besar untuk memperingati sosok messiah mereka. Bagi saya yang beragama muslim, seminggu Paskah ini adalah momen liburan, jalan-jalan dan mencicipi berbagai kafe di Jogja bersama teman-teman.

Hari mulai padam menuju sore, dan siang hari yang panas menjadi sekedar kenangan semata. Namun saya dan teman-teman bersikeras untuk mencoba kafe Gelato yang baru beberapa bulan ini buka di sepanjang Jl. Dr. Soetomo, Jogja. Balas dendam pada siang yang panas seru kami, biar saja sore dingin yang penting manis, bela kami.

Empat scone gelato di tangan, kami memilih tempat duduk tepat di bawah AC agar delicacy ini tidak segera meleleh. Satu, dua, tiga, topik terucap dan pembicaraan random dimulai, hingga akhirnya kami mendarat pada topik politik Jakarta.

Inti pembicaraan kami adalah, Ahmad Dhani, bagaimana kabarmu ya?

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