Ah Xiang’s Last Day

Leopold Adi Surya Indrawan

Translated by Indah Lestari, edited by Marjie Suanda

 Leopold Adi Surya Indrawan

Leopold Adi Surya Indrawan

After lining up the eight plates of milk custard pie on a long table in the living room, Ah Xiang returned to his room to take a rest. He actually felt fresh, as he had just taken a bath, the first time in over a year that a drop of water had touched his body. He was sure that his demise would come that day as Li Hwa had told him. Li Hwa is his cousin who has the ability to foresee the time of someone’s death.

He had found out about the day of his death six months ago, and the next day he called his elder brother and eight younger siblings one by one. “On the fourth day of the ninth month, my time shall come,” said Ah Xiang. His ‘announcement’ was meant to be an invitation for his brothers and sisters, to visit him on that very date.

“Rather than talking rubbish, you better take a bath! If you want to draw attention that way, people will avoid you instead,” said Ah Seh, Ah Xiang’s brother.

There were more brothers and sisters who disregarded Ah Xiang’s announcement than those who cared. Ah Xiang truly believed in Li Hwa’s foretelling—that elderly lady had accurately foreseen the death of one of Ah Xiang’s close friends. His brothers and sisters who had heard the story took it as a mere coincidence. It does not take an intelligent person to be able to predict the death of a dying person, so they thought.

Not only did he believe in Li Hwa’s prediction, but Ah Xiang also wanted to die soon. He did not have enough courage to commit suicide, however. He had heard a story that the god of the hereafter, Giam Lo Ong, does not think twice about sending people who commit suicide to hell.

He had been single all his life. The only woman he had ever slept with, Was, did not want to marry him. She was a maid who took care of Ah Xiang’s mother. After the death of his mother twenty years ago, Was went back to her hometown. Was had persuaded Ah Xiang to take her as a wife, but his parents could not consent to a domestic helper as a daughter-in-law. And later, Was realized her life would not be prosperous enough just living off of Ah Xiang's inheritance from his family. Moreover, Ah Xiang remained unemployed. He lived on money sent to him by his brother, Ah Li, who had lived with him for years and then moved to Singapore to work, thus leaving him alone. Ah Li still sent him money, which he sometimes used for betting in chess matches against the handymen working next door.

Since Was left, Ah Xiang turned gloomy. And what was worse, after Ah Li left, Ah Xiang practically did not have anyone left. Yet, his sorrow could still be soothed at least once a year. Chinese New Year—the principal holiday for the Chinese—was still celebrated at his residence, as was sangjit, an offering rite, whenever one of Ah Xiang’s nieces was about to marry. These two celebrations took place at Ah Xiang’s house, in Jakarta, because the house was the family’s main house. So Ah Xiang always awaited at least these two annual events. He would be busy making his best custard tarts to enliven the mood. To him, custard tart is obligatory for every family celebration. Custard tart is an ancestral heritage. Its sweetness brings joy. And joy brings good fortune.

“The filling of the custard tart should be soft, so soft that it melts when you put it in your mouth,” said Ah Xiang’s mother when she was teaching him how to make custard tart for the first time. “And you must remember to always use the eggs from hens that are on pasture, as the yolk is darker yellow, the taste is milder and the smell less foul.”

Sometimes he imagined climbing his family tree back to the times of his ancestors in east Kengtang, China. He would meet his great-great-great grandmother, the person who made the first custard tart, after the kitchen master god Chàu-Kun sent the recipe to her in a dream.  Ah Xiang could not accept it if anyone would say that our custard tart was only the people of Hong Kong’s adaptation of a Portuguese custard pie. He would not take the side of an historical possibility that threatened the purity of this recipe. And why would anyone want to question his belief anyways?

“No white men can make good cakes!” said Ah Xiang. This was despite the fact that he had never tried any European cake.

Some years after Ah Li had left him, the custard tarts were missing from the family parties. Ah Xiang did not feel like making them anymore. The Chinese New Year and sangjit celebrations were no longer held at his house, but rather at Ah Seh’s in the Kebon Jeruk area, where the living room and parking space are wider. The title of “principal house”, which signifies the house of the first generation, was ignored. At first Ah Xiang still regularly attended the events at her sister’s house, picked up by his niece with a car. But year after year he felt increasingly like an outsider amid the hilarity of his own extended family. Finally, he decided not to join the family gatherings anymore. He preferred being alone all year long at his house. Nobody visited him. He only went out to pay the water, electricity and telephone bills; and bought meals at the local food stalls. Most of the time he just sat on a chair on the terrace, watching the orange trees.

Why hasn’t anyone showed up? Ah Xiang thought.

Ah Xiang also decided not to take a bath or clean the house anymore. He thought, why should I take care of things that everyone ignores? His bad odor grew stronger and stronger. Nobody could stand being anywhere near him. His brothers and sisters were caught between pitying him and being disgusted by him, but the latter sentiment seemed to be stronger. They saw Ah Xiang’s behavior as his way of seeking attention. As a result, they cared less.

Whenever Ah Xiang heard the sound of a car approaching his house, he often thought it was one of his siblings coming to pay him a visit. But most of the time he was wrong. Then he would heave a deep sigh, watching the car pass by in front of his house.

One evening, after he had not bathed for months, Ah Xiang’s heart was filled with hope as he heard Li Hwa calling him from the fence of the house.

Li Hwa did not share a person’s expiration time easily, instead, she would keep it to herself. One would have to coax her for hours so that she would tell.

“Telling you about something like this is inappropriate,” said Li Hwa.

“If you have been given the gift to reveal the secret of the sky, that means you do have the right,” said Ah Xiang.

Although her ability sounded very powerful, Li Hwa told one’s time of death in an unceremonial way. She would simply need to close her eyes for some time. That way, she explained, she could let her consciousness wander in the sky, enter Giam Lo Ong’s palace over the cluster of clouds, pass through a long hallway with stacks of parchment scrolls on racks lining both sides, then stop in a small wooden-floored room: where a painting of a dragon and a phoenix hung on the wall and a gold-covered book sat on a table. She could look in that book for the name of a person whose time of death she wanted to know. The pages would turn by themselves as she wanted.

How he would die, Ah Xiang did not need to question. He thought he would perish due to his deteriorating health. He often vomited for no clear reason, then he would gasp and grow completely weak after eating. Yet, he had never consulted a doctor even once.

“In a month’s time, I will die!” said Ah Xiang when he was on the phone with Ah Li, reminding him about Li Hwa’s prophecy.

Koh, you better not believe Li Hwa, she only talks bullshit. If she is indeed a clairvoyant, why is her life so difficult now?” asked Ah Li.

“What does ‘bullshit’ mean?”

 

After he found out about his time of death, Ah Xiang started thinking of making a simple celebration. Chinese New Year comes every year, while death is a one-off happening (at least in one lifetime). Death is more worth celebrating, Ah Xiang thought. Thus, some days before the D-day, he started preparing custard tart batter. During one day he prepared eight tarts. Eight, he thought, is a lucky number. After baking the tarts, he waited until they cooled down and set, then stored them in the fridge. On the D-day, he would simply bring the tarts to the living room.

“Ah Li and Ah San must be the ones who miss my custard tart the most,” said Ah Xiang, cutting each tart into eight slices. He was tracing every member of the extended family, guessing who would come to his funeral. He wished that everybody would. But then he wondered if they would cry and pray for him? Or maybe they would come only out of courtesy? Isn’t it a stock reason for people to attend many kinds of events in this world?

Will they come today?

As time went by, Ah Xiang grew worried. He could no longer stand lying on his bed, watching the dull yellow walls of his bedroom and the 1995 calender with the photo of a white girl in a bikini that he had left hanging there since that year. He started wondering, it’s already late afternoon, but why haven’t his siblings come to see him off? Not even news from Li Hwa.

Ah Xiang got off his bed, walked and reached the telephone to check whether the cable was cut or gnawed by rats. He wanted to dial, but had doubts. How awkward would it be to ask his siblings: why don’t you come on the day of my death? He looked at the rows of custard tart on a long table in the living room. He stood pondering when a car honked outside. Surprised and hopeful, he ran out to the front yard.

“Good afternoon, is this the Pasaribus' house?”

“Wr… wrong house.” Ah Xiang shook his head.

He walked feebly back to his bedroom and laid down for two hours. He was imagining his extended family coming and filling the house, having a great time in the simple celebration he held just before his funeral.

 

It is now 4 pm, Ah Xiang goes out of his room. No sign whatsoever that anybody is coming. He walks to the living room and grabs a slice of custard tart. He eats it while sitting on a garden chair, watching the juicy oranges and the sky that turns a dark yellow. The sunlight bathes his face.

Deep in his mind he hears voices, “Ah Xiang, Ah Xiang, you are the first child that follows Mom.”

Not long after eating the piece of custard tart, Ah Xiang feels sleepy. But instead of going to his room, he remains seated and lets himself fall asleep. It is not windy, but feels airy and fresh. As he wakes up, his body feels so light, as if some burden has been lifted from his chest. He chuckles so long that tears seep out of his eyes. He does not really know why he is laughing.

He does not wish for anything, nor expect anybody to come.

As night almost falls, Ah Xiang leaves the terrace. He turns back and watches himself sitting motionlessly, his eyes shut as if he is sleeping soundly. Ah Xiang wipes the face and leaves his body.

He still has no idea of where to go.

 

© Leopold Adi Surya Indrawan. Translation © Indah Lestari.


HARI TERAKHIR AH XIANG

Leopold Adi Surya Indrawan

 

Seusai menderetkan delapan piring tart susu di atas meja panjang ruang tamu, Ah Xiang kembali ke kamarnya untuk berbaring. Kendati merasa bugar—ia baru mandi setelah setahun lebih tak membasuh tubuhnya dengan setetes pun air—ia yakin bahwa hari itu ajalnya akan tiba, sesuai perkataan Li Hwa, sepupunya yang mampu meramal hari kematian seseorang itu.

“Tanggal empat bulan sembilan wa bakal mati,” kata Ah Xiang. Ia menelepon kakak dan delapan orang adiknya satu demi satu sehari setelah ia mendapati tanggal kematiannya enam bulan yang lalu. Pemberitahuannya itu pun ia maksudkan sebagai undangan agar saudara-saudaranya datang mengunjunginya pada tanggal tersebut.

 “Daripada le ngomong sembarangan begitu, lebih baik le mandi deh! Kalau le cari perhatian dengan cara begitu, makin gak ada yang mau dekat-dekat sama le,” kata Ah Seh, adik perempuan Ah Xiang.

Lebih banyak saudara Ah Xiang yang tak mengindahkan pemberitahuannya itu. Sementara Ah Xiang percaya betul dengan ramalan Li Hwa karena perempuan paruh baya itu pernah meramal dengan jitu hari kematian salah seorang sahabat dekat Ah Xiang. Saudara-saudara Ah Xiang yang mendengar cerita itu beranggapan bahwa kebenaran tebakan Li Hwa hanyalah kebetulan. Pikir mereka waktu itu, orang bodoh saja pasti bisa menebak hari kematian seseorang yang sudah sekarat.

Di samping kepercayaannya terhadap ramalan Li Hwa, Ah Xiang memang berharap untuk segera mati, tetapi ia terlalu takut untuk bunuh diri, sebab ia pernah mendengar cerita bahwa Giam Lo Ong—dewa penguasa akhirat—tak akan segan-segan menjebloskan orang-orang yang mati bunuh diri ke dalam neraka.

Seumur hidup Ah Xiang membujang. Satu-satunya perempuan yang pernah membagi ranjangnya tak menikahinya. Perempuan itu adalah Was, pembantu rumah tangga yang dulu pernah merawat ibu Ah Xiang. Setelah ibu Ah Xiang meninggal dua puluh tahun lalu, Was kembali ke kampungnya. Was pernah membujuk Ah Xiang agar memperistrinya, tetapi orangtua Ah Xiang tak sudi menjadikan pembantu rumah tangga mereka sebagai menantu. Akhirnya, Was pun menyadari bahwa warisan orangtua Ah Xiang tak akan menjamin kemakmuran hidupnya. Apalagi Ah Xiang adalah pengangguran. Ia hidup hanya dengan uang pemberian adiknya, Ah Li, yang sempat tinggal bersamanya bertahun-tahun dan akhirnya pergi meninggalkan dia untuk bekerja di Singapura. Hingga kini Ah Li masih mengiriminya uang, dan sesekali uang itu digunakan Ah Xiang untuk taruhan main catur dengan tukang-tukang yang memperbaiki rumah tetangga seberang.

Sejak kepergian Was, Ah Xiang menjadi sosok yang muram. Lebih-lebih setelah Ah Li pergi, ia jadi hidup sebatang kara. Namun, kesendirian itu masih bisa terobati paling tidak sekali dalam setahun. Perayaan Imlek dengan keluarga besar beberapa kali masih terus diadakan di rumahnya, begitu pula sangjit—upacara seserahan—jika ada kemenakan perempuan Ah Xiang yang hendak menikah. Kedua acara tersebut diadakan di tempat tinggal Ah Xiang karena rumahnya itu adalah rumah induk keluarga. Dengan adanya acara-acara itu, paling tidak selalu ada yang Ah Xiang nantikan tiap tahun. Dan Ah Xiang akan sibuk membikin tart susu andalannya untuk memeriahkan acara-acara itu. Baginya, keberadaan tart susu wajib dalam setiap perayaan keluarga. Tart susu adalah sebuah warisan luhur. Rasa manisnya adalah pembawa kebahagiaan. Dan kebahagiaan adalah pembawa hoki.

“Isi tart susu harus lembut, lembut sampai terasa meleleh ketika masuk ke dalam mulut,” kata ibu Ah Xiang ketika beliau mengajari Ah Xiang membikin tart susu pertama kali. “Dan le mesti ingat untuk selalu pakai telur ayam kampung, karena warnanya lebih kuning, rasanya lebih lembut, dan baunya lebih tidak amis.”

Jika Ah Xiang membayangkan dirinya memanjat pohon keluarganya hingga ke zaman leluhurnya di Kengtang timur, ia akan menemui nenek moyangnya, si pembuat tart susu pertama yang menerima resep kue tersebut dari Chàu-Kun—dewa penguasa dapur—melalui mimpi. Ah Xiang takkan terima jika ada yang mengatakan bahwa tart susu hanyalah modifikasi orang-orang Hong Kong terhadap pai susu Portugis. Ah Xiang tak akan berpihak pada kemungkinan sejarah yang mengancam keluhuran resepnya. Dan apa pula guna menentang keyakinannya itu?

“Orang bule mana bisa bikin kue enak!” kata Ah Xiang. Padahal ia tak pernah mencoba kue-kue Eropa.

Beberapa tahun setelah kepergian Ah Li, tart susu buatan Ah Xiang pun tak lagi hadir dalam acara-acara keluarga. Ia kehilangan semangat untuk membuatnya. Perayaan Imlek dan sangjit tak lagi diadakan di rumahnya, tetapi di rumah baru Ah Seh di daerah Kebon Jeruk, yang memiliki lahan parkir dan ruang keluarga yang lebih luas. Istilah rumah induk, yang berarti rumah generasi pertama keluarga Ah Xiang yang tinggal di Jakarta, pun tak lagi diindahkan. Mulanya Ah Xiang masih rutin menghadiri acara-acara di rumah adiknya itu. Ia pergi ke sana dengan menumpang mobil kemenakannya. Akan tetapi, tahun demi tahun ia semakin merasa terasing di tengah keriuhan keluarga besarnya sendiri. Hingga akhirnya ia pun memutuskan untuk tak lagi bergabung dalam acara-acara keluarganya. Ia lebih memilih untuk menyendiri sepanjang tahun di rumahnya yang hampir tak pernah dikunjungi oleh siapa pun. Ia hanya keluar dari rumahnya untuk membayar air, listrik, dan telepon, atau membeli makanan di warung. Selebihnya ia lebih sering duduk di kursi teras sambil memandangi pohon jeruk.

Kenapa belum ada yang datang juga? pikir Ah Xiang pada hari kematiannya itu.

Ah Xiang juga memutuskan untuk tak lagi mandi dan membersihkan rumah. Ia pikir, untuk apa merawat sesuatu yang tak lagi dihiraukan? Bau kecut tubuhnya pun makin pekat dan makin menyebar. Tak mungkin ada yang tahan berada dekat-dekat dengannya. Saudara-saudaranya pun terjebak di antara rasa kasihan dan jijik, tetapi nampaknya rasa yang kedua jauh lebih kuat. Mereka menganggap perbuatan Ah Xiang sebagai aksi unjuk rasa untuk mencari perhatian. Dan hasilnya malah sebaliknya, ia semakin tak diperhatikan.

Jika Ah Xiang mendengar deru mesin mobil yang mendekati rumahnya, seringkali ia akan berpikir bahwa itu adalah suara mobil milik salah satu saudaranya yang hendak berkunjung. Namun, dugaannya itu hampir selalu salah. Dan tiap kali hal itu terjadi, ia akan mengembuskan napas panjang sambil menatapi mobil yang menderu itu melintas di depan rumahnya.

Suatu petang, setelah tidak mandi selama beberapa bulan, harapan Ah Xiang bangkit ketika ia mendengar suara Li Hwa memanggilnya di depan pagar rumah. Sepupunya itu datang semata-mata untuk melihat keadaannya. Tentu saja Li Hwa tak semudah itu memberi tahu tanggal kematian seseorang. Ia lebih sering menyimpan pengetahuannya itu di dalam hati. Untuk itu ia perlu dipaksa selama berjam-jam.

Gak pantas rasanya wa kasih tahu soal itu ke le,” kata Li Hwa.

“Kalau le dikasih kemampuan buat buka rahasia langit, itu artinya le memang punya hak untuk itu,” kata Ah Xiang.

Meski kemampuannya terdengar begitu sakti, cara Li Hwa menyibak hari kematian jauh dari kesan seremonial: ia hanya perlu memejamkan kedua matanya dalam waktu yang agak lama. Menurut penjelasannya, dengan cara itu ia dapat membiarkan kesadarannya berkelana ke langit, memasuki istana Giam Lo Ong yang berdiri di atas kepulan awan-awan, melintasi lorong panjang yang di kedua sisi dindingnya dipenuhi rak berisi gulungan-gulungan perkamen, dan kemudian berhenti di sebuah ruangan kecil berlantai kayu, berdinding lukisan naga dan burung hong, dengan sejilid kitab bersampul emas di atas meja. Dalam kitab itu, Li Hwa dapat mencari nama orang yang ia ingin ketahui tanggal kematiannya. Halaman-halaman kitab itu akan berbalik sendiri sesuai keinginan Li Hwa.

Ah Xiang merasa tak perlu mempertanyakan bagaimana ia akan mati. Ia pikir ia akan mati karena kondisi tubuhnya yang sudah tak sehat lagi. Seringkali ia muntah tanpa sebab, napasnya tiba-tiba jadi pendek-pendek, dan sekujur tubuhnya lemas total sehabis makan. Namun, tak sekali pun ia pernah ke dokter untuk memeriksakan keadaannya.

“Sebulan lagi wa bakal mati!” kata Ah Xiang ketika menelepon Ah Li untuk mengingatkan kembali ramalan Li Hwa.

“Koh, le lebih baik jangan percaya deh sama si Li Hwa itu! Omongan dia cuma bullshit! Kalau dia memang jago ramal, kenapa hidupnya susah sampai sekarang?” kata Ah Li.

“Bulsit itu apa, Li?”

Sejak mendapati tanggal kematiannya, Ah Xiang mulai berpikir untuk membuat sebuah perayaan sederhana. Perayaan Imlek berulang terus dari tahun ke tahun, sedangkan kematian adalah hal yang tak berulang (setidaknya dalam satu kali kehidupan). Kematian semestinya lebih pantas dirayakan, pikir Ah Xiang. Untuk itu, ia mulai menyiapkan adonan tart susu sejak beberapa hari sebelum tanggal kematiannya yang telah diramalkan itu. Dalam sehari ia menyiapkan delapan piring tart. Delapan, ia pikir, adalah angka keberuntungan. Setelah selesai memanggangnya, dan menunggu tart-tart itu mengempis dan mendingin, ia menyimpannya di dalam kulkas. Pada hari H, ia tinggal menyajikan tart-tart itu di ruang tamu. Ia juga telah memotong tiap tart menjadi delapan bagian.

“Ah Li dan Ah San pasti yang paling kangen sama tart susu wa,” ujar Ah Xiang seraya membelah-belah kue itu. Dalam benaknya ia mengingat-ingat setiap anggota keluarga besarnya, mengira-ngira siapa saja yang bakal datang ke pemakamannya. Ia berharap semua datang. Namun, ia juga bertanya-tanya: apakah mereka bakal menangisi dan mendoakannya? Atau jangan-jangan mereka sekadar datang untuk kesopanan. Bukankah kesopanan sudah menjadi alasan berjuta-juta orang untuk menghadiri bermacam acara di dunia ini?

Akankah mereka datang hari ini?

Lama-kelamaan, Ah Xiang semakin merasa cemas. Ia tak lagi tahan berbaring di tempat tidurnya, menatapi dinding-dinding kamarnya yang kuning kusam dan kalender tahun 1995 bergambarkan perempuan bule berbikini yang tak pernah dicabutnya sejak tahun yang tercetak pada kalender itu. Ia mulai bertanya-tanya, kenapa sudah sesiang ini saudara-saudaranya belum juga datang untuk menemani saat-saat terakhirnya? Bahkan Li Hwa pun tak memberi kabar.

Ah Xiang bangun dari tempat tidurnya, berjalan ke arah telepon untuk mengecek apakah kabelnya putus atau digerogoti tikus. Ah Xiang berniat menelepon, tetapi ragu. Betapa ganjil jika ia menanyakan pada saudara-saudaranya: kenapa kalian tidak datang pada hari kematianku? Ia lalu memandang ke arah deretan tart susu buatannya di meja panjang ruang tamu. Ia termangu sebentar, sebelum klakson mobil dari arah luar mengagetkannya dan membuat ia berlari ke halaman rumahnya dengan penuh harap.

“Siang, ini rumah keluarga besar Pasaribu, bukan?”

“Sa... salah rumah!” Ah Xiang menggeleng.

Ah Xiang kemudian kembali ke kamar tidurnya. Ia berjalan lunglai. Ia berbaring lagi selama dua jam. Ia membayangkan bilamana keluarga besarnya telah datang dan memenuhi rumahnya itu, menikmati perayaan sederhana yang digelarnya sebelum upacara pemakamannya.

Pukul empat sore, Ah Xiang keluar lagi dari kamarnya. Tak ada tanda-tanda kedatangan siapa pun. Ia lalu berjalan ke ruang tamu dan mengambil sepotong tart susu dengan tangannya. Ia makan sambil duduk di kursi teras, memandangi jeruk-jeruk yang mengkal dan langit yang lama-lama menguning. Sinar matahari menimpa wajahnya.

Dari dalam benaknya ia mendengar suara-suara, “Ah Xiang, Ah Xiang, kamu anak pertama yang menyusul Mama.”

Beberapa saat setelah mengunyah potongan tart susu itu, Ah Xiang tiba-tiba mengantuk. Ia tak kembali ke kamarnya untuk berbaring. Ia membiarkan dirinya tertidur sambil duduk. Tak ada udara yang bergerak saat itu, tetapi ia merasa sejuk. Saat terbangun ia merasa tubuhnya begitu ringan, seolah-olah ada beban yang terangkat dari dalam rongga dadanya. Mendadak ia terkekeh. Ia terkekeh begitu lama hingga air matanya tumpah, tanpa sebab yang bisa ia jelaskan.

Ia tak lagi mengharapkan kedatangan siapa pun, tak mengharapkan apa-apa lagi.

Malam hampir tiba dan Ah Xiang beranjak dari teras. Ia menoleh ke belakang dan melihat dirinya duduk terkulai. Kedua matanya terpejam seperti tengah tertidur pulas.  Ah Xiang mengusap wajahnya dan pergi meninggalkan tubuhnya.

Ia masih belum tahu hendak ke mana.

 

© Leopold Adi Surya Indrawan.


LEOPOLD ADI SURYA INDRAWAN was born in Jakarta, 1989. He studied Visual Communication Design at Pelita Harapan University. In 2014 he was chosen to attend Jakarta Art Council’s Novel-Writing Academy. In 2015, he was selected as one of emerging writers of Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. He shares his time between Jakarta and Bali.

INDAH LESTARI was born in Singapore and lives in Jakarta, Indonesia. She has a B.A. in English Literature from Padjadjaran University, Indonesia, and an M.A. in English Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. She translated JM Coetzee’s Disgrace (Jalasutra) and Elif Shafak's Forty Rules of Love (Gramedia). She also translated short stories of Triyanto Triwikromo, Zen Hae, Mona Sylviana (Dalang Publishing's website). Her translation of Hassan Daoud's story; Joko Pinurbo's and Zaim Rofiqi's poems; and excerpts of novel by Ahmad Fuadi, Okky Madasari and Syaiful Alim have appeared in anthologies of Utan Kayu Literary Biennalle 2007 and Salihara International Literary Biennalle 2011. She also translated a short story by Satyajit Ray (Media Indonesia). Her own English poems are published in Bacopa Literary ReviewRevival Literary Journal, and the White Elephant Quarterly in 2013. She is now keen on French.

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