Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Bungklang Bungkling: SUDAMALA (HOLINESS)

Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Sudamala’, a column by I Wayan Juniartha, as published in Bali Post, Sunday 13th June 2010. Translated by Putu Semiada.

Sudamala (Holiness)

Two days ago, I Gedé Ahli Filsafat Sing Dadi Tungkas (I Gede Philosopher – Never Argue With Him) was very happy. His eldest son, I Wayan Bagus Demen Roti Kukus (I Wayan Good Looking Who Likes Muffin), has a new baby. And it is I Gedé’s first grandson.

“The Bali Art Festival has just started and its theme is Sudamala. That’s why I’m thinking of naming him I Wayan Sudamala or Bagus Sadewa,” says I Gedé confidently.

I Gedé has always named his family members with good names, which usually in accordance with the parents’ desire. If the born child is a beautiful white-skin girl, she will be named Pudak Sategal, Pudak Wangi, Cempaka Sari, Gitasanti, etc. If the child is a boy, he will be named Prabastra, Pralingga, Garbadatu, etc.

“This is my own grandson, I will name him I Sudamala or Bagus Sadewa. If she had been a girl, I would have named her Sudasih,” says I Gedé to his wife Luh Ayu Polos Pang Pada Payu (Beautiful Woman Good For Everybody). As always Luh Ayu does not argue her husband. She knows that it’s useless to argue him. She knows whatever she says, he will never listen. He always has a straight answer to defend himself.

She thinks that rather than arguing her husband, it would be better for her to be quiet and ‘seal her ears off’ and just do other things, like prepare offerings instead. That’s how she deal with her husband who claims himself a famous philosopher.

Just this morning, I Gedé went to the hospital to visit his grandson and ready with a name. Less than an hour, he returned home. But he doesn’t seem to be happy and strong like when he left home. Instead, his face is red and he walks slowly. His wife is very surprised to see her husband like that. But she is afraid to ask him what happens because he might get angry.

She tries to have a quick look to her husband. She finds her husband sitting silently in the north pavilion. His tears are almost coming out.

Luh Ayu, come to me, and make me some coffee please,” he says to his wife with quivering voice. His wife feels sad too.

When the coffee is ready, Luh Ayu slowly walks approaching her husband and sit beside him.

“How useless we are as parents. We have looked after I Wayan since he was a baby until he is grown up, married and has children,” says I Gedé. He stops talking for a moment, and wipes off his tears.

“I have prepared a name for my grandchild, hoping that he will be a good person and make our family proud of him, like Sadewa in wayang (shadow puppet) story, always try to do good things. I told my son long time ago that I wanted to name my grandchild Sadewa or Sudamala. How dare our daughter in laws reject the name I have prepared. How am I supposed to be a father in laws?” I Gedé said sadly.

Luh Ayu thins that it is time for her to talk.

“They both might have already prepared a name for their son. Don’t be too sad. By the way, what they name their son that they reject the name from you?”

I Gedé shakes his head. He can’t believe what they name their son.

“What do they name their son, Bli?

Maliana Putra,” says I Gedé.

“The name already has something with ‘mala’, Bli…why don’t they add Sudamala?

I Gedé stands up and leaves without saying anything. He might be too upset.

I Wayan doesn’t want to name his son Sudamala as it is a name of a ‘red light’ café which provides girls for sex,” says I Gedé angrily and bangs the door.