Category Archives: Pertala

[Tula-tula] Molaisako Bangka | Pabitara | Juni 2014

Molaisako Bangka

Tula-tulano: Ilham Q. Moehiddin

mencuri-perahu 

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“Ama, banara’o ba aku di ana ica?”

“Nai dakanahi ngkana aico!” Pamuru Ama Bandi hi podeaho Ripah metukana ngkana aico, kadi kua naate 15 ta’u. Wewuku limano na mokora. Merendem tumbu’o co miano da kanahi dakana.

Ripah na vakono amano kanahi, “Perano miano daa I’tadoha mpolom poturisio anado pottahiaku.” Bandi na lumonso binta kadera, mokkarai buka’o sawuno ke tihako co Taaowu da tearuhako. Hi onto ngkana Amano, hulano Ripah lansu mowite.

Hi onto ngkana mincuno Amano, Ripah kanahi, ”Sie mpaduli ira Ama, nda’asi mohapa.”

Hi podeaho Ripah kanahi ngkana, Bandi lansu kokodo. Na banga, kelansu melo mosao’larono. Na kokou ke dioho co Taaowu Wawohoro, ke’ari ke onto coo anan’ntinano ke kanahi, ”Kida miano dakanahi ngkana aico, di’ie Ama’u nta ala-alako.”

Ripah na kikihio luuno kekanahi. “Siemo Ama, daku nta mea’Ea. Kiu ngkana aico dahira nta handao poko’anu-anuaku.”

Bandi na metundu-tundu ke lansu mena’Ea.

“Osie mpodea hartiano miano, Ripah. Nda’a ntalako da coira ana ica. Kuako miano da’a nta koana miano.”

Ama Bandi na ntandaiho titiaho Ripah montula-tula momoico.

Maka Ripah kua na lansu mentade. Ke sisimata’o Amano, ke’ari ke lolako mbule dapura. Bandi na’ana na lansu mento’a ke aruhako mohule co Taaowu ke’ari penda mentade pe’piniwamba. Ke o’onto co wiri ntahi Talaga’Ea da’tangasa bobaraka.

Asa minggumo Ama Bandi nda’a lako metahi. Ngkanasi naada coira yo miano mpetonda meha-meha, ngkanam coira hi wula hembo nahina da kura’o lako mebolo ntahi. Maka tepo’olu dahosi da lako polom keda poawahado ntakinaa. Maka Ama Bandi nda’a ntalako montotolai bahea ngkana aico. Kua teasi Ripah anano, ndaapo penda ari kawi. Tinamtu’ano penda na mengkaum mate hida koana’ako Ripah.

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Hida okidi Ripah, ala molai imanino Ama Bandi kimpodea da sangkeo Tinamtuano kanahi kua Tina ica. Ki tonuana hapam kaasi da mesuakio bolong’kompono hela akalano co’o tinamtuano dam’nehako Salamah ke baranisi kana’aico.

Hapo keari koana mau yo wanangkirino anano ndaapo ari ni’otu hai puheno, garaka aico Salamah na’lansu mento’a binta bobaleano ke lumonso bungku laica ke ari ke pobuku teleu tahi. Ama Bandi nda’a sangkao kanahi daho nta mengkaka mobuku kana’aico Salamah. Sabuti hi seda’a roda hidanta mbule halangio Salamah lumonso bolo ntahi. Salamah lansu isa bolo hembo. Kua penda cokena pas wula hembo’Ea ngkana’di.

Pompahano Bandi, polio kua na’molawu co’o tinamtuano mpikirio radakino apuno raha. Di wula hembo’Ea da mengkau ngkana’adi balisa’o yo petinam’tua. Bandi kua namoungke to’u doi nta ongkoso koanano Salamah, maka co’o tinamtuano kua ntabe to’uo metahi.

Nta maju nda’a to’ori, monduru penda ngkana’si. Keada’ado rua ira kua tou-tou nte’asi. Kuam tada’a co’o da poko’mpepikiri owawa’o Salamah ke lako mepopate ngkana’aico.

Asa alo motende luwu-luwuno tama dada’a cokena bolongkampo helam Bandi lako u’ungke Salamah. Co naate’ngkore kua na dioho hai Bidan desa da’ari bantu’o koana Salamah. Nti ke dumondo nahina da awa coo bangkeno Salamah. Nainya bangkeno Salamah dani’avado wiri ntahi, kua yo ica duyung da suere mincuno.

Co ica duyung na’nonangi mora-morumai bolontahi. Teponoha na saba wawo E’e ke ari ke U’uni. Miano da tangasa U’ungke bangkeno Salamah tandaiho tilaa, maka co ica duyung ne’ehe molai. Nahina da to’orio ki hapa pebintahano co ica.

Bandi nda’A mpaduli pebintahano co ica. Kua dani’pikirino, kua coira hartiano miano hi tolu oleom. Coira tama dahirasi me U’ungke sampe asa minggu. Maka coira ngangano tina nahina tetotodono mesangke.

Mempu’u iramo tarangka’o sabano co ica Duyung kanahi kua dinino Salamah. Samengka-mengkau coira hartia tetiani menta hela na’duduluomo hela neni Bandi. Kua penda daho tina dakanahi, “Kua ke’masusa torano. Coo Bandi na mongkawini ica Duyung.”

Ke’ari coira tina meha ngkanahi penda, “Kua’wainto co’ica Duyung kua na montangki yo siala hai miano petonda. Jadi ki po’okudahi bangka musti tilaa. Maka’ia Bandi kua na kawinio ma?” Maka tetiani rame miano montula-tula coo pesangke’A.

Mau co’anano Salamah da sedaapo ari pinowehi neeno ndona sangkeom hela. Ndona ntabe’o miano leu mo’onto co na’ateno Salamah, kanahido ndona mome moawa siala. Kindo awa Bandi tangasa babaa co’anano pampa laica, ndona mokkarai tealo ndo da’a nta mpolihei hela mesambataikono.

Kuam co dani’mometakono Bandi. Bintam kina’adi pikirio kanahi daho nta leu coira masaala ngkan co. Ahirino Ripah na montotolai co mincu mporeno miano bolongkampono. Kina’adi na ana Bandi dahopo sadea mparsaea coira takhayul kanaco. Maka paka arinom menunu co sikola Paket-B sampe ke to’ori mobasa, mealuom co’ira takhayul da seda’a mesua akalano ke’ari ke basiako.

Maka Ripah nda’a mampu ia kua waipode 15 ta’u da montotolai tula-tulano miano asa kampo. Co’dani awano pekena tadoha tonia kuam dahanda’o poko mome’o Bandi.

3/

Bandi na meboi kono ananontinano binta sabaa.”Ripah!”

Co anantinano ndaa tetea binta bolo kamarano. Hapo keari magarebi. Bandi nambule dapura kua namolea tiano. Kepewuha co rinceu dani santaki na’lansu merende mongkaa. Maka ke onto penda Ripah nasahina cokena dapura. ”Kua ntada’a na moala E’e nta mo’ihiani baki hai bungku laica.” Bandi nta mongkam merio kua ki momapa co’rinceu ndaam nta moico to’u.

Hapo ke ari moala pinca, Bandi lansu te’bibinco. Reano lansu wowa mokkarai, nabintam co’ntakinanano ke lumonso bita wawo kadera. Nda’a mempindai laesa, na lumonso keda meboboikono tuaino kuasi asapampano laicano dahano melaica naana.

“Bakri…kaluari! Petihako…!!”

Bakri kaluarako rapano piniwamba kepetukana. ”Hapa ico?! Hapa ico kau ko o’o malaalo ngkandi?”

Bandi na’tetea me o’o. “Petihako! Tambaku ungke laki-ana’u. Ungke Ripah! Peboseku na isa. Bangkaku na isa!”

Hulano Bakri na’lansu mowite. ndaam paduli tinamtuano, Bakri na lansu lumonso binta laicano ke lulu’o Bandi da merioum mobuku rorope’o tahi. Ki’kasusa hapam kia dani totolaino co’lakianano.

Co ira miano da podeaho Bandi me O’o kaluari naada binta laicado. Ke ari ntaha’o bakri kando petukana, ”Ntehapai ico comi,u?”

Dahosi mobuku lulu’o tukakano Bakri ke tetea, ”Naiasa peboseni bandi!”

Co ira tama na’lansu mowite penda. ndoda’am kokodo kua na’lansummobuku nunu’o Bandi hela Bakri. Asa kampo’a teasi coira tama da pehawa’o Bandi. Ndoda’a mpaduli coira hartiano tinamtuado da tabe ira mperongakono Bandi.

Sa teleuno tahi, Bandi lansu rorope’o dahano bangkano. Bakri hela perongano tama orua na’mongkompulu papa ni’I motu’I, ke ari ke koko’o modo-modoro ke ari ke lopi’o utuno ke tewalai orua. Ke ari ke bage’o co’oboro hai co ira tama da leu tamba hi arim tunu’o ndona nunuom co wiri ntahi kandoda ronga me boikono neeno Ripah pempi-pempia. Co suarado na’tepoawa hela ununo hembo.

Bandi na’awa Bakri kewakono kanahi. ”Nahina bangkaku pekena dahano ari teko’o”. Hulano solorio hondo keda kolihe-lihe. Ke ari kepetukana, “Naumpem’di?”

Lansu Bakri meparenta kanahi. “Siwuhio coira bangka hela potora lampugasi. Tonta mokkarai ungke Ripah di malo!” Bandi lansu mokkarai nunu’o kinahino tuaino. Di’kana-kana nda’a toori mepikiri momoico. Dawua hida tuaino da tana.

Tebibinco Bandi hida tangasa mongka ke’onto yo peboseno nahinam cokena dahano sadea aruhaku. Kua hiseda’a metonda yo miano pe ica, yo pebosedo ndona aruhako hai wonuano. Sababubo dikana-kana hi wula hembo ngkan’di. Yo bangka kua na koko’o menta mentala binta hai wiri ntahi. Kua hi pewatako E’e ntahi yo bangka da seda’a ningko’o biasa tangkio W’e teleu tonga ntahi. Mau penda co ki koko’o keseda’a mentala binta wiri ntahi dahosi nta tapa’o hembo ke saladaka hela bangka dasuere.

Hi onto bandi co peboseno kesahinam cokena ruhakoano na’lansu kanahi larono nahinam meha-meha kua Ripah da ari ala. Pebose kunta meronga hela bangkano. Maka ki sahina pebose cokena aruhakoano, kuam tanda kanahi kua naarim ni ala yo bangkano.

Ripah na soro pantano co bangka tele’u tahi. Kadi hembo dikana-kana tangasa moroso’Ea. Co waipode nda’a toorio kanahi kua bahea da tangasa ni totolaino.

Asa kampo’a miano tekompulu wiri ntahi. Luwu-luwudo podo montangki hulu, sabuti wiri ntahi na molinya poweudo. Meha coira tina na’tangari hi onto tamtua hela anantamado montamba Bandi hela Bakri monunutako Ripah arane tonga tahi.

Teponoha co hembo te’tapasako wiri tahi kandoda marsai mosu’u co bangka mohule. Astanga’mate ira taha’o co bangka ke dadanosi sada’a mesua E’e tahi da mekokaeu leu tapa’o co bangka.

Kando mekolompo te’Ete. Da measa kolompo te’otolu bangka. Da measa bangka te orua miano. Bandi na merioum ala teleum tonga tahi. Ke’ari da measa kolompo na nimpoko lako. Bakri na mesua kolompo otolu. Ke’ari penda ke penunutako kolompo opa hela olima. Measa bangka da binta kolompo opa arim seda’a nta tepenunu kua te patua hi ari tapao hembo binta asapampa.

Hopulukaolima hulu da kompitu-pitu ara tonga tahi. Suarado hindo meboi na nangio unino hembo. Sa teleudo cokena dahado mogau nta tepoawaha, ndona metalesako mohule sampe ke samolu-molue. Co huludo sabuti hi kana olimpopo da tetalesako wawo ntahi.

Bakri nawakoira kanahi ki awa bangkano Ripah karonga moweu tanda hai peronga suere. Nainya co owoseno hembo dani masusa’akodo kua coria watu-ntahi da tinda aruane. Keari Ripah nahinampiha to’orino me bolo ntahi.

Ala rua jamum kolalo co ira bangka metalesako keda co tandai dani ontodo binta mentalano. Sabuti kana’tousi nda bangka da moawa. Sambali sai’nyasi bangkeno Ripah atawa pesibino bangkano dani awa.

Sapoontodo co tanda, luwuno co bangka da tetalesako ndona peka rope. Bandi da okuda co bangka da moweu tanda lansu okudahio meriou. Ala me o’o hi onto waipodeno salama’osi. Bangka dani tangkino Ripah ala pono E’e ke ari peboseno naisam. Co miano da awa Ripah na arim koko’o co bangakani Ripah hai bangkano ke ari ke hau’o E’eno.

Bandi lansu me o’o ke petukanahio anantinano. ”Ripah…! Huna ntehapai ico? Hapaico co’o ka poweu kanadi?!” Ripah teasi asa ntonia onto hulano Amano, keari ke o’onto mohule co wawo ntahi. Co waipode kana tousi sedaam mongkabariahako coira miano dai pampano.

Teasi hi kanahi Ripah, “Co ica Ea na ala pebose’u Ama.”

Ke petukana mohule Bandi. “Ica hapa?! Hapa kau poweu kanadi?”

“Aku tonia na lako ungke Ina. Tonia na saba okuda cena, cena pampano bangka, garaka na sorongko’o co pebose’u Ama keari ke tangkio.”

Ala isam kasabarano Bandi ke gego’o Ripah keuru sadara keda kanahi. “Hapa ico aico da kinahi’u?”

Ripah kokodo mohule. Matano kolihe-lihe bolo ntahi da malompusuano. Di kana-kana, luwuno bangka podo mekaokudahi. Bakri lansu lumonso hai bangka dahano meulea Bandi hela Ripah. Keari kelansu renta limano co lakianano.

Keari kepetukanaiho. “Ripah, hapa dainanu’u?”

Ripah na o’onto hulano tamaateno. Ke ari na lansu sonsolo lu’uno. Dahosi bebera, maka dahosi penda Ripah usaha’o kolihe-lihe bolontahi. Ke ari kekanahi. “Ripah nta u’ungke Ina. Kua coira miano tadoha kahani, Inaku kua ica Duyung, ke ari aku kua ana ica da motangki siala.”

Bakri na metundu-tundu. Ke ari Bandi kua na kokodo ke ungkari’o rapano. Co tama kua ponoha tewalipo bebera. Mau hida isa tinamotuano hopulukaolima tau da ari tealo, ndaa bebera ngkana co.

Bakri na lansu gau-gau’o kanahi. “Hapa kampodea kanahino miano. Pempi-pempiamo wakoko kanahi polom podeaho kinahino Ama’u. Hi to’oriopo luwuno Ia hamo coira miano suere.”

Ripah na gego-gego rapano. Ke ari kekanahi. “Da’a. Banara’o kinahino coira miano. Tonia Ina nanonangi pampano bangkaku. Ke ari ke su’o teleu ceena, maka na sorongko’o co peboseku ke ari ke tangkio.”

“Nda’a, Ripah. Ina’u naiya ica. Nahina ica dakoana’ako miano.”

Ripah na lansu susurako tama’ateno. Hula-hulano seda’a eheno mpode’a co hartia da’ari kinahino tama’ateno tonia di. Ripah na rarane wirino bangka, ke lansu me’ungka, matano kelihe-lihe wawo ntahi.

Bakri na menaa E’a. Ke pento’a putara’o limano wawo rapano. Kuam tandano kanahi luwudo nta’mohulemo. Di malo kua kasusa’Ea da awa ira. Co masa’alano Ripah mandomo poko tindaa ara wawita.

Luwuno bangka namohulemo teposincalako mea-measa rorope’o wiri ntahi. Di kana-kana Ripah meronga kono Amano hai bolo bangka’do. Amano na monsaru pebose ke ari bangkano nangkoko’o bungkuno bangkani Bakri.

Rua’etu metere binta wiri ntahi, na nsaba nonangi co ica Duyung hai wiri bangka moanani Bandi, ki hapa pebintahano. Na olo’o tomiu keda saba mohule penda asa pampano bangka tinda suwa. Ripah na onto merio’u na tebinco ke lansu mehawiako bolo ntahi. Nganto’u na merende nunutako co ica Duyung.

Bandi na tebinco na lansu lumonso na’ana bolo ntahi. Maka co hembo da saba binta bungku bangkano lansu dungkurako Bandi ke duduke, ke lansu sorongko’o mokarai co jarangka ke sedaasi molomo. Maka hi u’ungke Ripah neda’a onto. Bandi lansu meboikono Bakri ke wakono kahani, “Ripah na lumonso bolo ntahi!”

Bandi ntomiu mohule. Bakri na’ana na lumonso binta bangka. Rua ira mpetuai meka eu-eu tomiu ungke Ripah. Co miano da orua hai bangkani Bakri na menunu na’ana lumonso tamba Bandi hela Bakri. Pia-pia menee ira u’ungke Ripah, akhirino Bakri na ntetotodomo.

Bakri narenta Bandi, nonangi wawo hembo rua ira hela co perongano da orua rorope’o wiri ntahi. Sa teleuno wawo one, Bandi lansu bebera.

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Pato oleo kolalo miano dahosi u’ungke Ripah. Maka kanatousi Inano kina’adi, Ripah na’ana paisa ni awa.

Mebinta co kena oleo, Bandi sadeamo totoro kiniwia cokena wawo bangkono dai wiri ntahi. Keda kelihe-lihe wawo E’e ntahi. Keda u’ungke co oruano miano da nimpehawano. Kitenao tuaino tawa miano suera mohule, maka Bandi mpolomo tetea.

Ke ari kekanahi. “Kuna dagaiho deena diira bangka ke sie ala ica.” (*)

Molenvliet, April 2011.

 

(cerita ini dialih-bahasakan ke dalam bahasa Moronene/Tokotua oleh Endang Sasmita. Termuat pada Majalah PABITARA, Edisi Juni 2014. Kantor Bahasa Sulawesi Tenggara)


[Short Story] The Boat Thief | Republika | Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Boat Thief

By Ilham Q. Moehiddin

Translated by Suzan ‘Sue’ Piper (Australia)

mencuri-perahu

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AMA, am I really the daughter of a fish?”

“Who called you something like that!” Ama Bandi was furious hearing his 15 year old daughter, Ripah’s question. His knuckles stiffened, ready to punch someone at any moment.

“The people in the market let their children make fun of me,” Ripah explained. His face paled when her father, Ama as she called him, filled with rage. Bandi jumped up from his chair, to quickly open the knife sheath and take down the Taa blade from where it hung.

“There’s no point in you paying attention to them. It doesn’t matter to me.” Commented Ripah at her father’s tantrum.

Ripah’s flat tone made Bandi cease his movements, his face surprised, his rage suddenly subdued. “Why, Ripah?” Bandi squatted, placing the Taa blade on the floor, then gazed at his daughter, “I’ll defend you if someone mocks you like that.”

“There’s no need. Your actions will only encourage them. It’ll make me even more embarrassed.” Said Ripah wiping her tears.

Bandi’s face was bowed. He drew a deep breath.

“Ripah… there’s no need for you to listen to people’s nonsense. There’s no such thing as the child of a fish. Humans give birth to humans of course.”

Ama Bandi tried nicely to invite his daughter to talk.

Ripah immediately stood up, glared at her father, then walked in to the kitchen. Bandi got up from his crouch, hung the Taa back on its hook and walked to the window sill. His eyes swept the edge of the Talaga Besar beach where the west wind blew fiercely.

It had already been a week since he had gone to sea. Just like most of the other fisherman. Many of them did not dare to go dawn to the sea during the season of the west wind. Yet, for certain reasons, occasionally some would dare to risk their life at sea. But, Bandi did not want to take such a risk. Ripah was his only child and she was not married yet either. His wife had passed away a long time ago giving birth to Ripah.

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When Ripah was still a little baby, Bandi had almost lost his faith hearing all the gossip people tatled about his wife. Who knows what sort of devil had entered the heart and mind of Salamah, his wife, that she did such a reckless thing.

After giving birth, even before the baby’s placenta had emerged, Salamah had suddenly got up from her bed and jumped out of the house, running for the beach. Bandi had no idea how fast she could move. He did not catch up with his wife; it was too late for him to stop her from plunging into the sea. Her body immediately vanished swallowed by the huge waves. This also heppened excatly during the west wind season.

Bandi suspected his wife had gone crazy thingking about their family’s finances. The long west wing season had made both the husband and wife restless. Bandi needed money to pay for Salamah’s giving birth, but instead his wife had stopped him from going to sea.

Going forward was impossible, and unfeasible. They were both truly between a rock and a hard place. That is probably why Salamah did not think it through but killed her self instead in such a crazy manner.

For one full night all the men in the fishing village, including Bandi, went searching for Salamah’s body. The baby was left with the village midwife who had helped Salamah give birth. Until early morning they had not found Salamah’s body. It was not her body they found near the beach but a fish, an ikan duyung, behaving strangely.

It was swimming back and forth near the beach. Occasionally it would push half its body to the water’s surface, then make a sound. The people who were busy looking for Salamah’s body tried to drive it away, but it still would not go. Who knows where the fish had come from.

Bandi had no problem with the fish being there. What concerned him was not that, but the people’s gossip that emerged three days later. None of the male inhabitants had stopped searching for a week, but nor had the mouths of the village women stopped gossiping.

They had began to consider the presence of the ikan duyung as Salamah’s reincarnation. As time passed the gossip grew wilder and Bandi’s name also began to be linked with it. “You can see why their life was difficult. Seems like he married an ikan duyung.” So a woman gossiped.

“They bring bad luck to fisherman, right? They must be chased away if they approach the boats. What do you know Bandi merried one instead?” Snapped another women. Then, they busily occupied themselves gossiping about it.

Then they began to talk about Salamah’s baby who had not even yet been given a name. They began to forbid anyone going to see Salamah’s baby. Don’t want to get bad luck, they said. If they met Bandi nursing his baby in front of the house, they would hurriedly pass by without saying hello. In fact they did not even turn their heads.

It was this that had always worried Bandi. From the beginning, he had always suspected this time would come. Ripah would finally have to face this situation and the old-fashioned attitude of the people around them. Bandi too before had tended to believe in that sort of superstition, but since he had learned to read via the Paket-B program, slowly he had to discard many of those superstition that just did not make senses.

But, Ripah. What hope did a teenage girl of her age have facing the ridicule and gossip of the villagers. What had just happened in the market increased Bandi’s concern.

3/

“Ripah!” Bandi called from the living room.

There was no reply from his daughter’s room. The time for magrib or dusk prayers had just passed. Bandi headed for the kitchen. His stomach needed filling. The fragrant smell of vegetables cooked in coconut milk wafting from the kitchen strongly stirred his tastebuds. But Ripah was not in the kitchen. Ah, perhaps the child was fetching water, filling the tub at the back of the house. Bandi decided to eat first. It if got cold, the coconut milk vegetables would no longer taste delicious.

He had just devoured half a plate, when something alarmed him. His blood run fast. He jumped from his chair, abandoning his food just like that. Without even touching the steps, Bandi jumped down and shouted to his younger brother who as it happened lived right beside his house.

“Bakri…come out! Come out, Bakri…!!”

Bakri appeared sticking his has out of the windows. “What’s up?! Why are you shouting like this at night?”

“Come down! Help me find your niece. Find Ripah! My oars are missing. My boat’s been stolen!” Shouted Bandi in reply.

Bakri’s face grew pale. Paying no attention to his wife, he too jumped down from his house and run after Bandi who had first run towards the beach. Who knows what difficulties his niece was now facing.

Villagers who had also heard Bandi’s shouts came out of their houses. They stopped Bakri asking, “what’s going on with you?”

“Bandi’s oars are missing!” Bakri shouted briefly, running after his older brother.

The men also grew pale. They did not waste time but joined in running after Bakri and Bandi. It was only the men in that villages who sympathised with Bandi’s family. They ignored their wive’s requests not to socialise with Bandi.

Arriving at the beach, Bandi immediately went to where the boats were moored. Bakri together eith two other men gathered dried coconut fronds, weaving them tightly together, folding the ends into two. They made torches, divided them among all the men who came to help.

After being lit, they began to comb the beach calling out Ripah’s name repeteadly. Their voices competed with the volume of the breaking waves. Bandi found Bakri. “My boat’s not at its moorings,” he said anxiously. His face was sweaty and his eyes were wild. “What’s happening?” He asked in a panic.

“Untie some boats and prepare the petromaks. We have to find Ripah this very night!” Bakri ordered. Bandi hurriedly followed his younger brother’s command. He found it difficult to think at this moment. Luckily his brother was calmer than him.

As he ate earlier, Bandi’s heart had almost stopped when he saw his oars no longer hanging from their hooks. When a fisherman does not go to sea, the oars are hung up in their spot. Especially now it was the season of the west wind. At such a season, the boats are moored rather far from the beach edge. Because if the water rises, sometimes boats that are not tethered at their moorings will be swept off to sea. Even when moored, if the water reaches them, the waves can still smash one boat against the other.

When Bandi realised hias oars were no longer in their place, there was no doubt it was Ripah who had taken them. Oars must be one with their boat. If the oars are missing from their hooks, that is a sign that the boat is missing stolen.

Ripah had pushed the boat herself to sea when the waves were at their highest. The teenager did not know what dangers awaited her.

The villagers had already gathered at the beach. They had each brought a lamp so the beach was now bright from their light. Most of the women’s faces held anxiety, seeing their husbands and adult sons side by side helping Bandi and Bakri follow Ripah out to sea.

Waves occasionally beat hard at the beach edge, almost overcoming their attempts to launch the boats. They desperately held onto the boats so they stayed afloat and did not fill with the seawater that slammed into them repeatedly.

They departed in small groups, three boats at a time. Each boat containing two people. Bandi had already preceded them and was now already far at sea. Then another group was launched. Bakri was in the third group. Then the fourth and fifth groups followed. One boat from the fourth group was almost unable to follow after being overturned and struck side-on by a wave.

Fifteen lamps now flickered at sea. The sounds of their calls competed to overcome the fierce roar of the waves. When they arrived at the meeting point, each boat spread out within a radius that slowly grew wider and wider. Their lamps now were like fireflies spreading over the water’s surface.

Bakri had said if they found Ripah’s boat to quickly signal with the lamp seen in the distance. It seemed a boat had just found  something. Hopefully not Ripah’s body or the broken remains of the boat.

On seeing the signal, all the boats slowly moved closer. Bandi whowas closest to the position of the signalling boat, had drawn closer first. The man almost broke out in tears on seeing his daughter safe. Ripah’s boat had almost filled with water and her oars were not there. The first fishermen to find Ripah had tied the girl’s boat to their boat and were scooping out the water.

“Ripah…! What’s the matter with you, Child? Why did you behave like this?!” Shouted Bandi trying to question his daughter over the wave’s roar. Ripah only glanced at her father , the her eyes went back to combing the water’s surface. As if she no longer paid attention to her surroundings.

“That big fish took Ama’s oars,” said Ripah briefly.

“What fish?! Why are you doing this?” Asked Bandi again.

“I want to find Ina. My Ina appeared here, near the boat, then she grabbed Ama’s oars and took them away.”

“What are you talking about now?” Bandi began to lose patience. He shook Ripah’s body to make her aware.

But Ripah was silent again. Her eyes continued to sharply roam trying to penetrate the dark night at sea. Now all the boats had each drawn close. Bakri jumped to the boat where Bandi and Ripah were. His hands clutched his niece.

“Ripah, what are you doing?” He asked , his face soft.

Ripah looked at her uncle’s face. Her tears suddenly fell. Weeping, Ripah still tried to look towards the ocean. “I want to look for Ina. Because the people in the market said, my Ina is an ikan duyung and I am her daughter, bringing bad luck.”

Bakri bowed. And Bandi fell to his seat holding his head. The man cried for the first time. He had never even done that when his wife went missing 15 years earlier.

“Why do you listen to that those people say. I’ve told you countless times, just listen to your Ama. Your Ama knows more about this all than those people.” Bakri tried to coax Ripah.

Ripah shook her head firmly. “No. Those people are right. Ina came to me earlier, swimming beside my boat. She pushed the boat to his place, but she grabbed the oars and took them away.”

“No, Ripah. Your Ina is not a fish. No fish can give birth to humans.”

Ripah suddenly turned away from her uncle. Her face showed she was unhappy with what her uncle had just said. Ripah then moved to the boat’s edge. As she held it her eyes now wildly kept watch over the water’s surface.

Bakri drew a heavy breath. He got up and turned his hand in the air. That was a signal for all the fishermen to return to the beach. This night had already been hard enough for them all. They could just settle Ripah’s problems on land.

The groups of boats slowly broke up and one by one they headed for the beach, Ripah now together with her father in their boat. Her father had borrowed some oars and the boat was tied to the back of Bakri’s.

About 200 metres from the beach, from who knows where it came, an ikan duyung suddenly emerged swimming to the right of Bandi’s boat. Occasionally it would dive and reappear on the other side.

Ripah who had noticed it first, unrestrained, threw herself into the ocean. As if she wanted to follow the ikan duyung.

Bandi, who had been caught off-guard, also jumped into the water. But a wave from behind the boat crashed into his body, rolling him, so that he had to quickly grab the boat’s outrigger to stay afloat. But Ripah’s body could not be seen. Bandi shouted to Bakri, “Ripah’s jumped into the seal,” he exclaimed.

Bandi dived again. Bakri followed jumping from the boat. The two of them, older and younger brother, dived over and over again looking for Ripah’s body. The two people in Bakri’s boat also jumped in trying to help Bandi dan Bakri. For several minutes they searched for Ripah trying to resist the pounding waves, until finally Bakri gave up.

Bakri pulled at Bandi’s body, trying to float on the waves that pushed them boat and the two others towards the beach. Bandi submitted. He let his body be dragged by Bakri towards the beach. On the sand, the man wept.

4/

For the next four days, the people were still carrying out the search for Ripah, But, just like her mother before, Ripah was never found again.

Since that day, Bandi would often spend his afternoon at the water’s edge, sitting on his moored prow. His eyes continously swept the water’s surface, as if trying to find the tracks of his two sweethearts. When his younger brother, or other people asked him to come home, Bandi just replied to them expressionless.

“I’m guarding my boat so the fish don’t steal it,” he replied curtly. (*)

Molenvliet, April 2011.

Note:

Ama: father (in the language of the Moronene People)

Taa: the short machete typical of the Moronene People.

Ikan Duyung: a type of saltwater irawaddy dolphin, in some legends also believed to be a mermaid.

Petromaks: a pressurised-paraffin light.

Ina: mother (in the language of the Moronene People).

Source from Through Darkness to Light: A Bilingual Anthology of Indonesian Writing (10th Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF), 11-15 October 2013)

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About Suzan Piper (Sue) Piper

Suzan Piper_02

SUZAN PIPER

Award Winning Indonesian Translator

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

In Indonesia, I worked for 6 years in World Bank funded training projects in the public sector and 4 years as a manager in the education services and marketing sector. I have taught translating and interpreting at the University of Western Sydney and Petersham TAFE. In early 2003 I completed the Judicial Training Program, University of Melbourne, conducted by the Asian Law Group for Australian Legal Resources International, and have since interpreted for various parties of senior visiting Indonesian judges and public prosecutors. I have also convened a oneday seminar at UNSW on interpreters and legal professionals working together and have been twice asked to speak to members of the Sydney Refugee Review Tribunal on professional collaboration with interpreters. I frequently interpret at tribunals, local and district courts up to the federal court level.

I have provided translation and interpreting services for multinational agencies, Australian government, corporate and private clients. Clients include the World Bank (Conflict Resolution – see * below), Australian Federal Police, Legal Aid NSW, NSW Crime Commission, Asian Law Group, Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Autore Group (pearling), George Lombard Consultancy, the ABC (Four Corners), SBS (Dateline) and commercial TV current affairs programs (including live to air translation of Suharto’s resignation speech and the sentencing of Amrozi, the ‘Bali bomber’.) For over a decade I have taught Indonesian language and cultural studies in the 5 public Sydney universities that offered Indonesian Studies, and at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, NSW.

My translation work into both languages in the arts is informed by deep engagement in the arts in both countries. My literary/arts translations include various poems by Rendra and the prizewinning collection of short stories by Seno Gumira Ajidarma’s Eyewitness (Imprint Press, 1995, in collaboration with Jan Lingard and Bibi Langker, awarded the SBS Dinny O’Hearn Prize for Literary Translation in the 1997 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards), and ‘The Test’, Foeza ME Hutabarat, in Menagerie 5, (Lontar Press, Jakarta, 2003). Painting catalogues translated include Crossing Boundaries: A Window to Twentieth Century Indonesian Art; Crescent Moon: Islamic Art & Civilisation in Southeast Asia and Yan Suryana: Crossing the Sea of Colours. I have translated scripts, subtitles and provided voiceovers for feature and documentary films in Australia and Indonesia, including Lucky Miles, Troubled Waters, The Golden Sow and The Mirage (directed by Slamet Rahardjo).

More about Suzan Piper:

http://www.wotcrossculture.com.au/index.html

http://www.proz.com/profile/115536

Catatan:

Suzan Piper kini menetap di Australia, bersama suaminya, Sawung Jabo (seniman dan musisi kondang Indonesia) dan kedua anaknya.


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