Written by Mega Aisyah Nirmala
I am living in a small village called “Saman” in the South part of Jogja City. I’ve been living in this house for about 20 years with the whole family. I am growing here and so does my village. Years ago, there were only couple houses in my neighborhood, but today is different, totally different.
Years ago, I was being able to see the rice fields right beside of my home and right in front of my home. I still clearly remember that almost every evening I went out of the house to see thousand fireflies with its light in the rice fields around. They were flying from one paddy to another paddy while their lights are blinking. And there are some moments when I spend the whole night just to run after the fireflies to see them closer. I still remember how beautiful the light was.
Everything is changing, my environment is changing. No more rice field around. Well, there are few in the back of my house. I still can see a rice field by going up to the attic of my house. But still, I never see any fireflies anymore. The memories about fireflies in my childhood were too sweet to forget. I always feel that there is something missing in my life after they were gone.
Those rice fields have been replaced by many houses and even a hotel. I don’t blame those who are coming; I just feel that I lost my fireflies since the buildings replaced the rice field, that’s all.
This morning, I was in my garden in front of my house, just sitting around to enjoy the morning sun. At that time, I saw an old lady bike her old bicycle across. And behind her, there was a bunch of fresh vegetables arranged like a mountain. Believe me that it was too much to be brought by her and her old bicycle. I guess that she just got back from her garden for harvesting those vegetables. Those vegetables are ready to be sold. I sometimes wondering, did she tire? Did she complain toward this life? Or, did she happy with that? Yes, she did happy. It wasn’t the first time I saw her biking with those vegetables. I always see her sincere and peaceful face every time she came across my home. She really touched my heart by struggling happily that way.
Anyway, that’s not the only story I have. There is an old man who sells soybean milk door to door. I’ve becoming his customer for almost two years. He is always happy with his smile every time he came to my home. He uses his bicycle to sell his product. But I guess that the selling of soybean milk wasn’t really good. Recently, he changes his product into yellow rice, fried rice, and noodle for breakfast. The taste wasn’t bad with its very cheap price. So now I am becoming his customer for those products.
Lately, somebody told me that he is just got divorced by his wife because he doesn’t really have a good job. Now he is living with her mother in the very south part of Jogja City. It is a very sad story I heard. It is even sadder every time I saw his smile while bringing his products to me. I am speechless but I highly appreciate you, Sir!
There is one more seller who also use bike to sell his product from one house to another house. This old man sells a traditional food that I really like. Couple times a week he comes across my home. And almost once a week in the late afternoon I bought his product. The food he sells is made by corn flour mixed with coconut and palm sugar inside. In my opinion, it’s a very unique food because of the way it cooked. I don’t know how to describe it, but for me, it’s very unique. The name of the food is “putu”. Yes, the taste is very delicious. And it’s even more delicious every time I saw his sincere and friendly face.
Months ago, he showed up not too often. He said that he is already old and sometimes get sick. It makes him couldn’t sell “putu” everyday. So he showed up rarely at that time. And it’s been one to two months that I’ve never seen him around. I don’t know the reason why he never showed up. Does he change his destination to sell or what? I have no idea. I hope that there is nothing bad happen toward him. I just miss to eat his “putu” again, really. And I want to see his friendly face again.
This morning, the sun was so warm. And even warmer every time I remember those people who keep struggling toward this life. Well, many things might change in my environment, but their struggles stay the same anyway.
I am so grateful that I was born in the country where its people are struggling very hard for the sake of their family.
“putu” seller,,, shots by junaedi ghazali