Bali, 1938 (a short story)

I touch the screen, it is looked confusing and clearly daunted me. What did the seller tell me before than I decided to buy this Time Machine? A luxurious private jet is a poor-dull-old guy compared to this new technology. It is not about a place. It is also about a time. You can go everywhere AND to every time you want. Yes, it can, for that price. It should make it for you.

This is my premiere. Think. What time I want to visit. Think. 1…9…3…8. Set. The year when my kakiyang (Grandpa) and niyang (Grandma) met.

1938, Bali.

She had heard it. About the young handsome man, a lead drama player from Gianyar regency who came with his group to their puri (the Balinese palace) frequently. Whenever there was a religious or festival ceremony in the main temple, the regent (her father) would ask them to perform. People liked their drama, praised their dance. But, most of all, they loved Ida Bagus Manuaba, the lead drama player. He brought his enthusiasm of life on stage. When he spoke his line, the crowd felt in silence, hypnotized by his dancing, made themselves immersed in the rich dialogue.

This morning, when the dew was vanishing into thin air, as usual, their gedong delod (the south part building) attendant came to assist her needs for the day. She did all her work with details of the last night drama, especially about him. She let herself listen to her attendant, imagined how wonderful he could be. She could not come to the open stage in the middle of their big garden. Even, she was forbidden to go outside as she was mepingit(1) in this gedong delod, a separated building from her parents in the gedong baler (the north part building).

“I want to go there. See…” She almost pronounced his name, “See the drama-dance.”

Astonished, the attendant looked at her, “But, you…your father…he will kill me if…”

She grabbed her hands tightly, “Nobody would know. Nobody.”

She took a shawl, she wove it with her own hands some time ago. Choosing the colour carefully. Yellow, reflected serendipity.

“I will wrap my head around. Hide my face behind. No body will see it.” She convinced her. The house attendant found herself trapped in that morning conversation.

She let slip her shawl, felt like it was beginning to hinder her sight. She looked at him longingly. He saw her. Their eyes met for the very first time. In that balmy night. He almost forgot his utterances. This is what karma has brought him. A pair of beautiful eyes as sparkling as the starry sky above…

I have to get back, now. 2014.

I think I already knew the next following story. I have got my existence in this world. Any question of doubt for the end of story?

(1) Mepingit: an old tradition in Bali, when a girl from a royal family has got her puberty, she is being secluded in the house until a man from the same caste, propose her.

(Written to respond the Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine).


5 thoughts on “Bali, 1938 (a short story)

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