My phone rang, an old nokiaE52.
I am known as someone who doesn’t pick up phone easily hehe..that is not so good, I know, but that’s just me. I only use my phone for something really important and hope people will do so too.
But this time, I had no reasons not to pick up the phone. The name popped up on the screen was an old buddy, DS. I must say I didnt expect he would still have the time to call me, knowing how busy he is, as the president spoke person (to be more precise he is special staff of the president on politic communication). Especially at this time when the SAVE KPK movement is on the roll….(KPK VS POLICE 2). But immediately I realized the reasons why he called me: wanting to make sure the owner of this number is the same Anna he knows from the old time. Last night I sent him sms, while he was in on Live Interview on TV One… and I was not aware that I sent the sms from my other number.
Yes, I just realized that last night, I sent sms to him from this number (simpati) which I inherited from my boss, because he cannot use it anymore once he is back in Europe. And he only knew my other number. But he spared his time to make a phone call? thats is wow….
“Haloooo Sir…….., what a surprise” I picked up the phone and greeted him half jokinglyand teasing a bit….
And you could expect his always low tune polite voice:
“maaf, I wanted to know which Anna is this. I hope I am not offending you”
“Ah..so, yes, it is me, Anna…..”
“yes, but forgive me, which Anna? please give me some clues…”
I immediately laughed when you said that…
Then I reminded him of my home town, my former organization in which I first met him and became short of friend. Yes, short of friend, coz, there was time which we related like two close friends, sharing personal stories, and even some child-like naughtiness like excusing ourselves from the seminar at evangelical church, and tried to find a spot unnoticed, somewhere, where we could inhale the poisonous nicotine before having to continue the seminar. hahhaha. Thats why you liked to have me as your moderator, so that I could organize that small child-like naughty break for smoking. (In every adult person, there is this child like character that remain forever…and one should be able to keep it alive. Otherwise, one lose her/his fun side as human being. Life ends when you cant find fun in it!!) But at the same time we were not really close friends as such, especially I would not dare to claim so, knowing who he is now, and also I define close friends as really close. so, I guess for that I dare only say that we were good friends.
Life has changed so much since that time! So so much.
I knew him as someone who is very critical, an academician on politic and science, and yet committed to the raising the political awareness of the people in the grassroot level.He as, and he is still, Guru Besar , Professor of the faculty Political Science at Universitas Airlangga (Unair), DTS. And you know, it was Suharto’s era, where common people were kept from any knowledge and info on politics. Politic was the domination of those in power only, so that they could maintain their status quo. And it was rare to see good academician still finding time to educate the people to be politically aware. So there he was, standing on the two grounds. And I was in the street organizing movement, and in the rural areas, educating farmers….and that what has connected us. That concern! (But our being chained smokers connected us more hehe).
But that was some 8-12 years ago! Oh goodness, that long….time flies so fast!
He has been the special staff of the president in the last 2,5 years now. We do still communicate, at least 2-3 times a year. Because I have a phobia, power phobia…… Yes, I usually automatically move away from people, including close friends who are in the power circle. And he has suddenly now moved, from the periphery to the center of power. Personally I still believe he remains the same person I have known before. But many times I just failed to understand how he could maintain his sanity…… Especially because in the last 2 years, we saw that the president has lost his commitment to the people, to rakyat!
and more especially in the last few days when we have KPK vs Polisi jilid II case. and we saw that the president was MIA, missing in action. I was really tempted to send a text to him, asking him to do something….to whisper something to the president, to do something!! Please Mr. President, do something!!
But sure, I didnt do that!
I simply do it publicly: through FB, through public discussions……though petition.
Until last night, when finally our president showed up, and made good speech, with 3 good points:
1. ordering the police to surrender the SIM simulator corruption case to KPK
2. Condemning the effort to arrest Novel Baswedan as not proper
3. Ordering that Novel Baswedan may continue to stay as the KPK corruption investigator, and work later on the administrative requirements.
I guess, I have to be objective, and therefore I gave the credit to the president!
Salute Mr. President!
Rumors say that he, DS, was the one behind the speech. He made the speech. (I could see it in the language, though). But he humbly said:
“Presiden SBY menyiapkan sendiri talking points untuk konferensi pers semalam. Apa yang disampaikan kepada publik tadi malam itu datang dari bacaan beliau tentang apa yang dirasakan publik mengenai banyak hal. Pernyataan itu datang dari nurani dirinya sebagai pemimpin yang dipilih oleh rakyat Indonesia,”
but I sent him that text, last nite, finally, not because I believed he made the speech. That’s not so important. I was just moved to do so…. Especially after the interview he had with TV One.
I just wanted him to know that there are friends around to support him and he does not need to feel alone and does not need to be afraid if he has to differ himself from giant….the political power.
I wanted to see you remain to be the voice of the voiceless, and I must admit, as I said to you in my text, that I cannot see myself in your shoes…..
And here it is, you called!
Luckily you did not more than a minute to figure out that it was me.
“Oh…you, please don’t say (that I dont remember you), it was just that the phone number did not match with the one I had. From the language, i could guess it was you. But from the number….?? It was not your number. That’s why I decided to call”
The he started asking about how I am doing, it has been quite some time. How is my family doing, my husband, where I am now, whether I am still roaming around Sumatra, etc….”
Yes, I can still recognize that humble, friendly voice in him. Deep in my heart I recited a prayer: Dear universe, keep him as the same DS I knew once…..
that was when I said:
“You know I am always here, supporting you from a far, right?”
“I know you are…and I thank you for that”
Then I signed you to end the phone. I said thank you for calling, it was great. ANd I was telling the truth. It was great. Thank you dear Mr. President Special Staff 😉
Quietly I said to myself: let continue this journey, you do your job, I do my job….