Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Goodbye, Sjahrir

It was one of those long days in May 1998. That day, UI students from Depok went down to Salemba campus for a rally demanding Soeharto to step down. And that very day also turned violent as riots broke around Jakarta.

Salemba was quiet. Most of students had been evacuated through small alleys behind Cikini market to the train station, back to Depok. The remaining students, including I, had been tired, confused, and desperate while looking at Jakarta on fire. Salemba was tightly guarded.

Then at around 6 pm, an old man with an old Vespa came. I never knew how he managed to get into the campus. The Vespa was barely able to carry those white boxes. He was looking for "mahasiswa UI". When he found out that we were the students, he handed us those boxes. Lunch boxes. Suddenly we realized we hadn't had ate anything for the whole day.

And the Vespa man said to us, "It's from Sjahrir."

I always remember that line. Thanks Bang Ciil, thanks a lot. May you rest in peace.

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