Srawungku Karo Sastra Jawa



Kompas Book Publisher Jakarta, January 2002, 432 pages

Pages 87 – 88:
“Of course, I do not tell about it. It’s a secret marriage, stealthy marriage! But it’s blessed by Father! We officially got married!” Said Ndrajeng Rumsari.
“If it’s legitimate, blessed by parents, why must it be stealthy? Why must it be secret?” asked Kuntoro, the 12 year-old watched very closely at Rumsari face.
“Stealthy and secret, because I and Brother Wiradad must be separated, our marriage must be secretly kept! Otherwise, Brother Wiradad and maybe Father, can be ruined, tortured to death in Kenpeitai!”

“Why is it, Auntie?” asked Kuntoro. He always addressed Ndrajeng Rumsari ‘Auntie’.
“Because Mr. Ichiro falls in love with me!”
“Heh?! Mr. Ichiro your savior?”
“Yeah, Younger Brother, yaaa! He is very powerful man in Solo-kochi (Surakarta Kingdom),” she continued her story. “His power that has made him get acquainted with princes, get acquainted and befriended with Father, has free access to Prabukencanan’s Palace, my house, and fell in love with me! Where as I had got engaged with Brother Wiradad, grandson of Widanegaran. Indeed, we rarely met, because Brother Wiradad has worked at a weapon factory in Batu Jamus, it is hidden on the North Slope of Lawu Mount. We met fortnightly and even once in a month. And in view of Mr. Ichiro’s unfavorable indications towards my relationship with Brother Wiradad, Father suggested us to get married, and I would be moved to Brother Wiradad’s house, maybe in Batu Jamus, or in Wirengan, residence of Brother Wiradad’s house. In this way, I get rid of disaster of Mr. Ichiro’s infatuation to me. Rescue efforts had been carried out, I was unlucky. A day before the wedding, Father with a good intention informed and invited Mr. Ichiro to witness our marrieage oath. At the time, situations of Father’s household, just like other relatives of Principality Palace after occupation of Dai Nippon, very gloomy. So my wedding would be unpretentiously carried out. Hence the ceremony preparation was almost nothing special relative to daily conditions. Really, Mr. Ichiro got very angry, instantaneously he snapped at Father. Father, I and Brother Wiradad, that coincidentally came to look at the preparation entered into Father’s room. There, Mr. Ichiro cursed angrily at us. Even Brother Wiradad was beaten. We were considered betraying the Nippon officer. He had told about his intention to marry me, hadn’t he? And I would be taken back to Nippon when the war was over. Why I get married with someone else now? It mustn’t be done! The marriage must be cancelled!
“Otherwise, watch out, Father and Brother Wiradad are going to be dragged to Kenpeitai. It occurred on 12th June 1944, it was Kliwon Friday, and I really remembered it well. Although we had been devastated, yet Father, Brother Wiradad, insisted on his intention to marry me to Brother Wiradad. Because according to our thought at the time, however I’d better get married with Brother Wiradad rather than with the Nippon man! Our wedding was held on the following day, as planned, yet stealthily in my room. Having got married, I was fled to Wirengan. Staying there overnight, I had been caught up by Father’s messenger, told me to go home quickly. Having arrived at home, I saw Mr. Ichiro had waited for me in an audience hall smilingly. He let me know that I would be moved to Surabaya that day! Father and everyone at home did not tell Mr. Ichiro that I had got married and at the time I stayed at my husband’s house in Wirengan. And, thusly, on the following day I had arrived in Surabaya, stayed overnight in Van Riebeecklaan-street. Oh, Younger Brother, you must believe in it, it is a true story!”

Pages 97 – 98:
“Yeah. For the sake of his longing to me, as well as his desire for revenge to Mr. Ichiro Nishizumi! His arrival today in Surabaya, not only wants to meet me, make love, but also wants to meet Mr. Ichiro, kill him!” said Rumsari while groping Kuntara’s cheek and neck intimately.
“Huh?!” shouted Kuntara, a 12 year-old boy.
“Yeah, Younger Brother. I misreckoned. My long reply letter to Brother Wiradad aimed at softening his intention. I thought it even triggered his hot-tempered acts! Through Father’s letter again, Brother sent a letter that he would flee from Batu Jamus, from Surakarta, to Surabaya. His plan to wipe out the power of Mr. Ichiro that tortured me. My suffering must end, he wrote. He mentioned his arrival schedule in Surabaya Gubeng Station, and I was told to meet him, I was told to prepare a secret welcome, stealthily. And I was told to steal documents of building or office pictures where Mr. Ichiro had better be caught by surprise, waited for and stabbed by Brother Wiradad.”
“How dare he is! It’s a strong will that possessed by an evil spirit!” murmured Kuntara.
“At first I felt afraid, trembling, reading the letter. Yet there’s no time to warn him. And just now when we met, his determination couldn’t be held back anymore. It must be done now, or never at all! He said, if Kamikaze troops dared to die flying by crashing their planes to enemy’s ships, why does such determination just belong to Nippon-jin only? Spirit of Kamikaze, spirit of dare to die, also possessed by Javanese knights!” Rumsari told her story.
Just now, when he caught by surprise Brother Wiradad made love in a bunker with Ndrajeng Rumsari, Kuntara was very envious. Now it has been completely erased, substituted by admiration and respect! No! The man, Wiradad, is not in a rage, not possessed by an evil spirit, yet his action is the best choice, even though disaster and soul is put at stake. Bravery to act is really admired by Kuntara; admired and respected!
“Where is Brother Wiradad now?”
“Still over there. In the refuge bunker where you watched us make love. I don’t know any other place, which’s a hiding place that I know. There are three refuge bunkers there. Brother Wiradad can hide and play hide-and-seek in there for the time being.”
“Pitiful! Why wasn’t he invited here?”
“Impossible! Very dangerous! He is still a fugitive! His disappearance from Batu Jamus and Surakarta Town, of course, persons around me became targets of surveillance. Maybe tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, surely, Mr. Ichiro will urge me to show him where Wiradad is staying. Today I went out of the office to fetch Brother Wiradad; I had gone out of the office not as usual. Perhaps someone was suspicious at me. And if Mr. Ichiro check his goods out, he will find out that some of his documents have lost from the storage place. Who is supposed to be suspected but me?”
“Has Auntie brought documents needed by Brother Wiradad?”
“Yeah. I took it with me in achtentas, I handed over to Brother Wiradad just now!”
“Hey! How dare!”
“Yeah, Younger Brother Kun. There’re no choices. It is impossible that I do not help Brother Wiradad’s intention! I’d better side with him rather than being a Jugun Ianfu, a woman who satisfies Mr. Ichiro’s passions. My life now is a life for yesterday and today only. There was no earlier yesterday, there will be no tomorrow. Yet with accomplishment of Brother Wiradad’s intention, killing Mr. Ichiro, of course, my fate will change, turbulent. Perhaps it will be clearly spread tomorrow.”
“If it fails?”
“If it fails, yeah, my life is over. I do not have earlier yesterday, I have no tomorrow. And it is easy to do if I have no today! Nothings to lose!”
“So, tonight, Brother Wiradad is still hiding in refuge bunker in there? What a pity! How is the plan?”

Pages 101 – 103:
“Oh! So Mr. Ichiro is a cruel man just like any other Nipponb-jin? My previous idea, he was a kind officer, really cared for Auntie. Auntie is always specially treated, spoiled. So far Auntie has always described him as a kind person, fond of giving apples. Only now Auntie is talking chastising his behaviors. He has given Auntie a job in Surabaya, hasn’t he?”
“Mr. Ichiro is really a kind person. He is handsome, his body is slender, and he has polite attitudes. His personality is interesting. Since at the beginning I had been attracted to him and intimately associated with him. Up to now he has still treated like that. In the office I am spoiled. I obtain foods that are allotted for officers as well. In the office I am free to do anything, working, singing, sleeping, taking a shower, eating delicious foods. My obligation is that I must be there every hour. Being a translator is that I like most. Having jokes with other men, even though Nippon-jin in the office is strictly forbidden. He is very jealous man. I had ever been instructed to enter into his room, slept with him for hours to serve his anger! Oh, very painful!”
“Ndrajeng?! So, so, Auntie ….. was treated the same as a….. woman?” Kuntara did not have the heart to utter the word ‘courtesan’.
“….. like concubiane! Mr. Ichiro’s concubine!” Ouch! The term is very rude!
“Oh! Oh! But Auntie is Ndrajeng Rumsari. Princess of The Sovereign Prince …. The Sovereign Prince….!” Kuntara forgot its continuation, he sobbed in tears. “But Auntie are a noble princess …., a granddaughter of Javanese Land Queen!”
“Hee, hee, Younger Brother, Kun! Don’t cry! Don’t cry! I can cry too later” Actually Ndrajeng Rumsari had sobbed in tears. She immediately took in Kuntara’s head toward her.
“How can Auntie live your life like this?” Kuntara sobbed in her Auntie’s neck.
“I have no other living choices! I have to take as it is. A piece of day in the office, a piece of the rest day at home. Oh, I had felt happy with what I had gone through, happy to live my life like this. In the office I am spoiled, here I can exchange jokes as satisfied as we can with you! I have no other choices, so I thank such life journey is the best one for me. Yeah, I make it the best! As a matter of fact, I eat more deliciously than workers of Asko factory do. Better than workers in Rikuyu workshop? I can cheer myself up with such comparisons, provided that I can darken my history of yesterday and furthermore, and decides that there is no hope for tomorrow’s life!”
“Auntie Rum is very stout-hearted!” Kuntara had been able to control himself. “How Auntie can cope with such terrible sufferings! In this house, Auntie is always cheerful and telling about situations of Asko life only on the good things!”
“I am really glad, Younger Brother Kun. Not just an outward appearance. Because my life sheet is just a piece of today. There are not other choices. Today I am happier due to I have your love, indeed I love you and you love me! Huh, I am very glad. Come here, do you want to play with my auricles? Just play with it!” Auntie Rum dragged Kuntara’s hand to grope her auricles that had earplugs. “I like you grope me like this.”
“My mother told me like this. I feel finding the true security and comfort. It was before I could read. After having been able to read, while laying down mother read macapat, I slept beside her while observing attentively the reading. It was very delightful hearing stories about Umarmaya, Lamdahur. Another true pleasure!”
“Unfortunately, we can not read together, can’t we? The epoch of Great East-Asia war, lamps are not allowed to turn on; where as we can only meet at night time. But, it can give the real security and pleasure, can’t it?” Rumsari cheered up while taking her auricles closer to be more comfortably groped by Kuntara, the 12 year-old boy.
Kuntara inhaled a long breath because he felt touched. “My mother taught me like this after I was weaned, not allowed to breast-feed again.”
“So, before then? While still breast-feeding?”
“I breast-fed one, and groped the other.”
“Hiik-hiiik! Crazy! That’s what you wanted, hihik! Here it is! If it is that you like! Grope it!” and Kuntara’s hand was dragged away from the auricle, moved to the other place!

Page 175:
“Auntie Rum! Auntie Rum! Ndrajeng! Oh, oh! Hiii-hii-hii!” Kuntara was shocked, could not stand crying. Auntie Rum had died! Kuntara really suffered from the loss. Really, really, really suffered from the loss! “Auntie Rum! Don’t go! Hii-hiii! Don’t go! How is it, hii-hii!”
What Kuntara had to do, it made him confused! Why he found Auntie Rum dead, it was really beyond his thought! He was shocked, almost unconscious. He really loved Auntie Rum, remembered how warm the lady laid down bringing her breast closer to him last night. And now, she was found dead! She had gone. Disappeared! Vanished from his!
Translated by Untung Subagyo.



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