Prayer Beads

Leila S.Chudori

I look for you
Among the c.h.r.y.s.a.n.t.h.e.m.u.m.s

9999--3 Tasbih bapak x

Every time she passed the house, Nadira would concoct a new scenario in her head. Maybe the house belonged to a rich businessman, or to a lawyer who defended the mafia. Or to a corrupt government official. One thing was certain, whoever owned it was not what you would call a humble person, so fond were they of conspicuously displaying their wealth and their power. The house was on a street corner in the Jakarta suburb of Bintaro, and Nadira would make a point of going past it every time she paid a weekend visit to her father, who lived nearby. That usually meant asking the taxi driver to stop for five or ten minutes, sometimes even suggesting he have a cigarette while she gazed at the huge ostentatious house through the open window of the car. It stood out in Bintaro, where the other houses were pretty much built to the same design. On the whole, housing in the Bintaro complex resembled rows of matchboxes devoid of any individuality. By contrast, this house stood haughtily on a huge tract of land, its four stories supported by massive columns. If you were to describe the temperament of the house it would be this: proud, colossal, capable of swallowing a human being. And then there were the cars, fierce-looking machines posing in front of the house, not hidden away in the extensive garage. The thing that intrigued Nadira most was the statue of a man who looked like Napoleon, except that its face was clearly that of the owner of the house: a Javanese man in his fifties sporting a thin moustache.

Flanking the statue of this Javanese Napoleon were two statues of Cupid. In addition—and this was Nadira’s favorite bit—there were seven statues of women, all of them gazing admiringly at Napoleon. Nadira imagined one of them whispering, beseeching Lord Napoleon to grace her with a scrap of affection. Nadira could easily have asked the owner of the cigarette stall on the corner about the owner of the house, but she didn’t; she preferred inventing imaginary scenarios of her own. After this weekly ritual was over, Nadira would return to reality, to the taxi that was waiting for her, and they would plunge back into the chaotic ocean that was Jakarta traffic. (more…)



Sebuah film Tarantino yang diinspirasikan oleh film klasik Django karya Sergio Corbucci. Franco Nero tampil cameo sebagai sebuah penghormatan. Nominasi Film Terbaik Academy Awards tahun ini

Sutradara : Quentin Tarantino

Skenario : Quentin Tarantino

Pemain : Jamie Fox, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L.Jackson, Kerry Washington, Don Johnson

Tahun1858. Dua tahun sebelum perang saudara, di sebuah tak jauh dari negara bagian Texas. Dari jauh tampak sebaris garis hitam di atas tanah kering itu bergerak merayap. Diiringi musik klasik pembuka Django karya yang dinyanyikan Ricky Roberts karya Luis Enriquez Bacalov kini mengguncang layar yang segera saja terlempar pada kenangan film Django (1966) yang menginspirasikan QuentinTarantino. Jika karya Sergio Corbucci membuka film Django dengan adegan Franco Nero yang menyeret-nyeret peti mati di atas tanah berlumpur ke sebuah kampung untuk mencari pembunuh isterinya, maka sutradara Tarantino memulai dengan sebuah adegan yang mengejutkan. Garis hitam panjang tadi itu menampakkan diri sebagai barisan budak Afro-Amerika yang tertatih-tatih berjalan dengan punggung berdarah-darah bekas lecutan cambuk.

Ketika malam mengepung, sebuah kereta dengan bentuk ganjil –dengan sebuah patung bentuk gigi pada atap kereta—seorang asing dengan kostum rapi dan bahasa Inggris beraksen Jerman memperkenalkan diri sebagai dr. King Schultz, sang dokter gigi dan sekaligus memperkenalkan “ini kuda saya Fritz”. Dari gaya Christoph Waltz yang membuka dialog dengan gaya ringan, komikal dan cerkas yang dengan enteng mengaku mencari Django, seorang budak berasal dari Perkebunan Carrucan, kita sudah tahu—seperti ritme awal film-film koboi klasik—pembicaraan basa-basi ini pasti akan berakhir dengan tembak-menembak. Ketika si dokter gigi dengan sigapnya menghantam salah satu pemilik budak dengan peluru, yang satunya pada lutut, dia malah sibuk mengatakan “tolong minimalkan jeritan perihmu, aku sedang cari info dari Django.” (more…)

Review: Modern family

Leila S. Chudori’s latest novel raises poignant questions about family, home and belonging


Tineke Hellwig

What makes Leila S. Chudori’s 9 dari Nadira such an enjoyable read and an excellent piece of literature? This novel stands out because it touches upon a wide range of emotions and aspects of the human condition that readers easily recognise and with which they can empathise and identify. This work of fiction raises questions of what brings fulfilment in a person’s life. Reflecting the experiences of two generations of the Suwandi family it addresses the importance of education, a career and professional recognition in one’s life. It also explores how these correlate with marriage and intimate relationships. In addition it asks the extent monogamy and reproduction lead to happiness and whether motherhood is every woman’s calling. (more…)