Before ‘Mandi Bunga’…


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Maybe you should give mandi bunga a try, my friend.”

Those words made Nur jumped. She tried her best to make her best smile before slowly turning her view to the front of the balcony. The cloudless sky, the huge mountain with tiara-like edgy peaks, village houses scattered around the green valley and conifers bathed in glorious morning sunshine suddenly filled her viewing space, greet her with harmonius stunning beauty.

Somehow, that harmoniusly beautiful scene was not good enough to distract her from the stirred emotions inside her. Her thought about the suggestions quickly reoccupied her mind.

‘Oh Marni… Is my loyal and the most understanding close friend starts to think like the others thinking about my single status and being gently pushy now ?’

Nur gently took her long breath while the cold morning breeze touched her face. The sound of roosters and goats filled the air. And yet, she let the silence stay between her and Marni. Her thoughts and concerns continuously streamed into her mind and heart.

‘ Oh well, Marni was my childhood and teenage inseparable friend. A lot of beautiful memories filled our lovely pasts. And right now we are still be close friends, even though she is happily married now while I’m still single. We came to Kundasang for a retreat and experiencing one of the beautiful moments in our life, but it seems that getting ‘Mr. Right’ issue is not in vacation…’

‘ It seems like it is still culturally and socially wrong to be single in the forties. Maybe it will going to break us apart later. But I’m not really ready for a long-term commitments anyway. There’re still a lot of inner homeworks to do, because marriage in real life isn’t easy as main pondok-pondok game. A condusive, loving environment for the next generations is my responsiblity. I have to break that chain of viciousness by inner healing. I have it long enough and the journey to my inner healing is still far and long, Marni !’

“ Nur…”

She looked back at Marni and smiled with meanings.

“ I’m sorry if I sound so pushy on you just now. ”, Marni restarted the conversations.

“ It’s okay… ”

“ By the way, are you opposing to that idea because it is sounds like something khurafat or syirik ?”

Nur shook her head. Cool morning breeze touched her face once more.

“ Firstly, mandi bunga turns to something khurafat or syirik due to the way we perceive and doing it, right ? ”

Marni nodded.

“ Well, mandi bunga is simply a kind of traditional energy therapy that I will like to do, as long as there’re no witchcraft rituals or magick spells involves in it. Somehow I’d rather going to set an appointment with a therapist for some psychodynamics therapy sessions firstly.”

“ What is psychodynamics therapy anyway ?”

“ Marni, it’s a kind of counseling theraphy for people who were suffered from the past traumas. It helps the person to resurface, experience and understanding his or her deep-rooted feelings so that it can be resolved. Usually, for many people, feelings and memories from those traumas that are too painful and difficult to be processed by conscious mind. It remains deep in his or her subconscious mind. In order to prevent it from resurfacing, they will build wall of defenses such as projections and denial. And it is often doing more harm than good…”

Marni nodded. Glooms started to appear on her face.

Nur continued, “This therapy takes the view that subconscious mind holds onto those painful feelings and memories. The therapists will use several techniques and therapy methods to the person. Build the trust to encourage him or her to open up, then exploring and re-experiencing the past before giving the solutions that promotes personal development and growth. ”

Tears welled up in Marni’s red eyes and streamed down her rosy cheeks. Nur felt her hands were been grabbed tightly but still soft.

“ That’s sounds interesting, Nur. Now I can see things clearly. Knowing the pain and bitterness that you have endured since we are very young, I give you my support whole-heartedly. What’s the point of doing mandi bunga for as the only solution for attracting ‘The Mr. Right’, while you’re still not changing something inside you ? At the end, you’re only attracting more the same, negative men to be your potential mate. ”

Nur and Marni smiled to each other. Marni grabbed Nur’s hands tighter than before. Silence came back again, letting both women immersed physically with their surroundings while immersed with their own thoughts and feelings inside. Nur watched flowers in various kind and colours dancing in the presence of the cool breeze. She was smiled while changed her focus to the regal, huge mountain.

-The End-


Credit :


Mandi Bunga : Traditional flower bath in Malay culture. Usually for energy healing purpose. Usually with some rituals like reading verses from al-Quran and reciting du’a. In the past, charmed spells were chanted into the water and flower bath bomb. The bath bomb usually got 7 kinds of flowers in it.

Main Pondok-Pondok : Children playing pretending to have a house and family like adults. Usually played by girls.

Small notes : This is the most difficult and time-consuming blog post in the history. For a sudden- after been blocked by a humonguos boulder for so long time, stream of ideas stormed into my mind last week and kept asking for manifesting it into a creative writing work. Before this, so many ideas had passed without even been permitted to be manifested as any creative writing works. This time the plea is too strong for me to resist.

So, write it or not writing it ?

Since I have made a strong vow of not involving in Malay creative writing anymore, I’d rather put all the ideas into a simple story in English. Far more challenging for someone who writes in English as a second language and only has a little battery stamina after a long, long rest. Hopefully, people still can enjoy the story.

For educational purpose, this short story can be freely distributed under Creative Commons License 4.0 ( CC-BY-4.0 ). But if anyone wants to make money from it, it needs another separate license that can be obtained by writing an quotation email to suarajiwahalus at gmail*dot*com.


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