Today, January 12, 2013, has been one of the happiest moments in my life! I found myself was back in contact with my former teacher, Samadi, Pak Madi, whom in the past I called him papi, father…
To me he was the real father I have never had. He was my lost father…I thank the universe for sending this man in the crucial period of my life, teenager!
Well for those who know me in person, of course I have a father, who is still alive as well, but he has never been a father or more a daddy to me! No, he cannot in anyway describe what a father as to be! So this Pak Madi was to me my lost father!
He taught Math, I was still at my first year of the my Junior High. It was, wait, –let me count—29 years ago. I was 13 going 14, and he must be around 27-28. He was a simple loving man I ever knew. Young as he was, but he showed the quality of a loving father, at least to me, which today I found simply amazing. Greater than just a great!
I would scream to the world if necessary that I would never be I am who I am today if I did not have him.
Like most other students in the world, I hated Math. At least everybody in my class at that time, hated Math! So, it made like hating Math was something normal to us. Sounds familiar, huh? Hehe..
But with him as the teacher, I quickly changed from hating Math to loving Math. You would laugh and tell me, that it wasnt the Math that I loved, but the class with him teaching and giving extra attention to me. That simple man, with so much love in him…and for a reason I have never known, he poured his love and affection to me, as if I was his little princess. He was not so tall, not so short either. He was as average other Javanese men in appearance. Not so handsome, but quite charming…I guess that should not be difficult for him to get a lady attracted to him. But for a reason I also have never known, he remained single even until I graduated from that Junior High. He must have been at early 30 at that time when I met him again after I graduated from the Junior High.
And me? A very intelligent student, but lacking love from a father. I got enough love from my mother till that man I had to call father came to our life.
Everything changed when he came (back) to our life! I was often abused and bullied by that man whom I had to call father. Since the first day he entered the door of our house. It was 1979, I was nine, at the third grade. Since then, I grew up as little girl with hatred feeling, with many unanswered questions. One question I only dared to ask to myself is: why my mother allowed such rude-violent man, and even showed great affection to him, to enter our house, and rule over us? We were a happy family before, when we only had a mother in the house! Now my life changed completely. I turned from the small naughty princess of my mother to become a “upik abu”, who did all the dirty works in the house, and the ugly duckling which my father always compared with my sisters. These sentences are what I often be hearing, said by my father to me or about me:
“ Look at her, so ugly! Dark-skinned, flat nose, who will believe that she if my child?”, or,
“Look at your child, a liar, little bitch, who doesnt even know how to make a cup of tea. How can you believe that she does great at school? I wont!”
“is this the child you are proud of? Look at her, a little thief!”
“is not allowed to go unless she has finished all the household chores…”
“the option is simple, it is either you choose her or me…”
Yes….I was hearing those sentences said by my father to my mother, or to others, or to me, about me…”
My mother? She still loved me, but she could not do anything against my father. I failed to figure out what has made my mother so difficult to choose between me and him? What has made my mother looking at him with her adoring eyes…though from time to time she also scolded him for being too hard to me!
Amazingly, I still did great at school. Always number one, even if my parents never like to come to the school and received the award I won every year for being number one in my class. It did not block me from becoming good student at school.
That continues till I was at my Junior High. (and later on also at Senior High. The truth is I have never paid school tuition fee because I always was granted with scholarship for my excellent achievement, at least for my little town standard)
My father put me to the nearest Junior High, 5 minutes walk from the house: so that, he told me, I remained controllable! I can be monitored and controlled easily! I wont grow wild!
You continue the list….
But I always came late to the class….
I became a laughing stock for my teachers and fellow classmates. But I was able to take it lightly…jokingly I would tell my teacher the same excuses:
– Sorry Sir, i got flooded road
– Sorry Sir, got flat Tyre…
Which of course, none was true. I walked, as I said, 5 minutes to School. The school bell I could hear from my house.
Then, why did I always come late to school? Because my father would never allow me to leave the house unless the bell has rang…he always had reasons for me to do something: the floor was still dirty (repeat the sweeping and brooming), the tea I made wasnt perfect ( remade the tea), the rice I cooked wasnt well cooked….and so on.
I am sounding exaggerating, no? But I am not…I even havent told you eveyrthing….yet! I wont tell you everything here. But may be you would like to know that one day I went to school with my head covered with shawl, because my father trimmed my hairs nearly finished; making looking more like a mentally sick girl with unshaped hair cut, nearly bald!
But I continued academically impressing my teachers at school!
And Pak Madi, whom I regarded like a father, a real father to me, was I believed the most impressed by me. But at the same time, actually I was also a naughty student, who did not do my home works often, who often made noise in class, and liked to seek attention by being different in many ways.
But no matter what I did in class, this man was always ready to defend me: before other teachers, and even before my father! Having him around gave me feeling protected and loved. I knew my classmates were jealous at me. For example, they knew I often did not do my homework, but I never got punishment from him as they did. What he did was, –whenever he knew that I did not do my homework—he asked me to show to the class how to solve the problem… He trusted me that I could do it perfectly, and I never failed to make him proud! By doing so, not only he told the class that I was forgiven for not doing after doing it before the class, but also he boosted my confidence, as he praised me before the class. My head grew bigger every time I finished “the show” and got the praises…
But sometimes, he was a bit too much in favoring me.
One day, when he was teaching, I did not pay attention so much. I was intrigued by my first ‘boy-girl” story, and so was busy telling my desk-mate …because otherwise, my head will explode if I did not let it go out of my head. A new comer from Jakarta, the capital city, very handsome boy, got attracted to me, flirting with me… wow…wow..wow….
So excited I was, until I totally forgot that we were having him teaching a new formula of something something! I guess he was very annoyed, when suddenly, I heard, he was thundering, calling my desk-mate:
“Tanti!!! What are you busy with?”
Oppssss! I knew, I had gone beyond his patience…
My deks-mate, named Tanti said: “nothing, Sir!”
And he, still with his angry voice: “Nothing? Then come forward….here, move there…there…a bit more..more…”
He did that to Tanti while Tanti was timidly moving toward the door…and upssss, yes, she was out of the class-room”
I felt so guilty! The class went silence. Everybody knew that it was not right, but no one’s protesting.
I apologized to him, i told him that it was me who was guilty. But he pretended to not hearing me, and instead, continue the subject.
Yes, he proclaimed to the world, that I was his golden girl!
One time I made my Bahasa Indonesia teacher got mad at me, and threw a wooden eraser to me for I was busy telling my own story when he was teaching. He reported my behaviour to the teacher forum, and demanded that I was given warning. But he was one step late from me, because I have complained about him throwing a wooden eraser to me, to my beloved teacher, Pak Madi. So in the teacher forum, that Bahasa Indonesia teacher was the one given warning for his violent action against his student, female student.
There are still many more about how great his love and affection to me.
– He made me to freely come to the school canteen and eat anything I like to eat without having to worry how to pay, because I only need to report to the canteen owner, and she will list down everything. By end of the month, my beloved Pak Padi will pay.
– He carried me on his shoulders, yes, literally, carried me on his shoulders, when I, being small and short, could not overcome the crowd, when we were watching South East Asia volley ball championship.
– He came to my father, telling him that I would come home late for extra school activity when the truth was I went playing with my classmates or going to movie house.
– He was always there for me, anytime I needed someone to tell story…
He made me possible to have normal life like other teenagers had…
He made me feeling loved, appreciated, trusted, and protected for who I am.
He allowed me to grow normally, be naughty, creative, and free as I wanted to.
But that luxury had an end.
When he had to move to other school, neared to his place, in his home city, Cawas, Klaten. And I was only at the second year of Junior High.
I remember I cried like a stupid child, holding on his shirt, following him to his teacher chamber, begging him not to go…, begging him not to leave me. His eyes watered, as he tried to comfort me, he said: the new teacher would be wonderful and would love me the same, because I am loveable; because I am a very smart student! I continued cried…but that could not prevent him from going.
And the new teacher, is he really as wonderful as he promised me? A BIG NO NO!!
He heard many stories about me –good and bad– and made his own decision.
I heard with my own ears, how this loving man asked him to treat me with difference…but the answered cracked my heart. I heard the new teacher saying:
“I cant treat her special than other students. That is not fair for other students..”
I knew in my heart, he was right. But still, it cracked my heart…
And those very sentences were said in the first day when he introduced himself to the class. No golden child in his class…and I got my first ear punishment (when your teacher punish you by pulling and twisting your ear) because I did not behave in class.
If I have to look back at that time, and analyzed it, I guess, this man, Pak Madi, knew what happened to me at home. And he took pity on me. Especially when he saw the great potential in me….so he dedicated himself to make sure that I grew normally and that the potential in me would grow and make a right path to be….
That one and half years were the best years I had in my life.
Then I lost contact with him. At that time phone was out of question, more over an internet, or social media like today.
I was brought back in contact with him when I was 1. My teacher at SMTP brought me to his house, and this man was his neighbor. I gave him a surprising visit. He played table tennis at that time, when I came to see him. He did not recognize me, after 4 years, I had changed so much. I was no longer a cute little girl, I grew into a lady rocker type of girl! But when I laughed, immediately he jumped and hugged me, telling me, “there is no way for him not to recognize this laugh…”. It was in 1988. 24 years ago!
And today, I was more than delighted to hear him, with the same loving voice:
“hello, my love, my beloved daughter….what a delightful to know that you still remember me, your father! Now, what good news are you bringing to me …”
Then we updated each other briefly, very briefly, for I was overwhelmed by happiness! Thanks God, thanks universe, thanks goodness, for bringing me in contact with him again after 24 years. I have been searching for the last 5 years. No result. He is no where in the social media…lol…
I will see him soon, less than one month from now.
I will tell him how much I love him, and how much I thank him for that 1,5 year period of love, compassion, caring, affection….
I have owed him much, but I have made sure that I am paying it forward and will continue to pay forward to others. I guess that is my duty, regardless I will ever meet him or not. Paying forward!