Time chooses a great man for its period. The year 1908 had Soetomo as its great man. In a special way, the founder of Boedi Oetomo was a suitable choice for the 20 may 1908 National Awakening Movement. He was a suitable person with no political passion since we were in the midst of serious thought but no intention of large scale shifts of power.

But is true that what happened on that famous day in 1908 wasn’t agitation?Soetomo was 19. He and some of his friends established something that had never existed before; an organization for natives. They fought for a national community, with no distinctions of race, gender and belief. In short, a completely modern nationalism – and ideal that persist to this very day. Continue reading “Soetomo”

Beyond Border

In times long past, boundaries were merely an extension of the whim of reigning monarch. As Alexander realized that Macedonia was too small for him, he left with thousands of soldiers, extending his realm as far as Hindustan. And then kings that follow define their own boundaries and order others to observe them. And after that, next come the land owners, investors, angry generals, impassioned writers, minor aristocracy, or dark-skinned slaves –- all of them come along, and – in their own way – define huge movements that change the map of the world. Continue reading “Beyond Border”

I’m Going Red

Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with gorgeous redhead. (Lucille Ball, actress)

Few months back, life has made me hectic and felt about as bright and luminous as a broken light bulb. Other people, faced with times of crisis, enlist the help of a life coach, seek solace in religion or go backpacking across Bali or somewhere else. My coping mechanism is to visit the hairdresser.

Continue reading “I’m Going Red”

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

En route to Jakarta some weeks ago, the woman seated next to me on the plane struck up a conversation and our chat turned to the seven deadly sins. She asked me what mine was. Hers was vanity, she was quick to share. “Without a doubt” she declared “I will do anything to preserve my looks”

I looked over her. Blessed with fine features and willowy yet voluptuous figure, she was breathtakingly pretty – the sort of woman men want, and other women just love to hate. From our conversation, she was also fiercely intelligent, and I was to discover later that she’s a genuinely nice person to boot.

Continue reading “Mirror Mirror On The Wall”

Great Leaders

Leaders; they don’t always emerge through upheavals of history like we had in 1965 and 1998. A great number of the world’s leaders in late 21st century didn’t emerge through a situation of crisis. They rose to their positions of where chosen in atmosphere of normality, even blandness – without revolution, coup or drama. Continue reading “Great Leaders”