A Great Day for Mrs. Wagu

Desi Puspitasari

Translated by Andy Fuller, edited by Pam Allen

No one understood Mrs. Wagu better than her dogs. Nor was there anyone more loyal to her. She had started to look after dogs when her husband had died and her children had left home. The dogs were called Chocolate, Coffee, Milk and Black Tea.

“Oh, it's good to hear, Mum. It's better than being lonely,” her youngest child said one day while calling from another city. “But are you sure that they aren't a problem for your neighbours?”

“No, I look after them well.”

Mrs. Wagu's neighbours had known from the beginning that she kept dogs. Their religion held that a dog's saliva was a kind of najis—something dirty and unholy, but they just quietly murmured among themselves. Until one day, when Mrs. Wagu let her dogs go out on the main road in front of her house.

Chocolate, Coffee, Milk and Black Tea chased each other and also the neighbours' children who were riding their bikes home from the Qur'an learning centre near the local mosque. The children dashed home in fear, screaming and crying.

When her neighbours came to complain, Mrs. Wagu said, “I was in the kitchen. I didn't hear the noise outside.” One of the neighbors had a large stick with him, presumably to use to beat the dogs.

“The dogs should be locked up, so they don't cause any problems.”

Mrs. Wagu nodded, but, in her heart, she was reluctant to do so. She felt that the dogs had the right to roam free. She affected patience and acted as if she had never noticed the call to prayer that blared loudly at dawn – so why should the freedom of her dogs be limited?

Mrs. Wagu never understood the behaviour of her neighbours. She lived in a state-owned housing complex. This meant that the houses were lined up close together. It was very easy to overhear what one's neighbours were talking about. Even the slightest disturbance had a big impact and caused some discomfort.

After having kept her dogs inside for several days, Mrs. Wagu pretended to have forgot to lock her front gate. Soon after, a child, on his way home from the Qur'an learning centre, started to scream in fear. In tears, he quickly pedalled home. Behind him, the largest dog chased him, barking.

Mrs. Wagu's neighbours one by one came out of their houses: “What's happening?” “What is all this noise?” As soon as they realised that the source of the trouble was those accursed dogs, they were ready to rebuke the owner.

Mrs. Wagu called out: “Dian! Iwan! Jaka! Nita!” She’d trained the dogs to respond to new names. “Come home!”

The neighbours stood, staring, as the dogs ran home. Four of the neighbours were in fact called Dian, Iwan, Jaka and Nita.

“So rude!” said Nita.

“Mrs. Wagu has gone against our customs. She's insulted all of us!” said Dian. Iwan, Jaka and Nita nodded in agreement.

“We should just shun her," said Jaka.

“Yes. Let her be. She thinks she is capable of living by herself. If she dies, let her dogs telephone her children and tell them what has happened,” said Iwan.

Mrs. Wagu didn't care too much about the trouble from her neighbours. She didn't need them. Living alone with Chocolate, eh, Dian, Coffee, no Iwan, Milk, no Jaka, and Black Tea, no Nita for company was more than enough. “You’re the only ones who understand.”

The four dogs yelped in agreement.


ONE AFTERNOON, MRS. Wagu received a letter from the neighbourhood head, informing her that the dogs were not allowed to roam the streets; they must be kept inside in her yard.

“We've already discussed the decision,” he explained.

“Discussed it with who? Not with me.”

“With the other locals...”

Mrs. Wagu was taken aback. “But, I am a part of this community too.”

“Your dogs clearly disturb the ambiance of those who wish to perform their religious obligations by praying together at the mosque.”

“I always lock up my dogs whenever I hear the call to prayer.”

“They chase the children on their way to or coming home from school. That's what I meant.” The neighbourhood head quickly changed his tack.

“You can’t make such a decision just like that.”

“The decision is for the good of the community.”

“You must at least consider my point of view.”

“We made the decision at the gentlemen’s monthly gather. Of course you couldn't have been a part of the discussion.”

His answers were all over the place! thought Mrs. Wagu. She screwed up her face in annoyance as she began to lose her patience. “But...”

“The decision is final,” the neighbourhoodhead said, taking his leave. “I've got many other tasks to do, Mrs. Wagu. Goodbye.”


AFTER RECEIVING WRITTEN notification of the decision, Mrs. Wagu stopped socialising with her neighbours. So that she wouldn't get too bored just being all alone at home, she re-started some of her hobbies. There was a big yard on one side of her house. Rather than leaving it empty, two years earlier she had started a tempe-producing business with her late husband. At first a cottage industry, to her surprise her business grew so quickly that she was soon employing twenty local youngsters.

When she called to see if her former employees were still available, Mrs. Wagu remembered how her neighbours complained that the waste from the tempe production clogged the drains and made them smell bad.

“You pollute the drains even though you're living in a housing complex. That's not right,” said her neighbours. “It stinks to high heaven!” “They should buy a house on the outskirts of the city or out in the country, and produce their tempe there.” “They're so selfish. They do whatever they like, without caring about their neighbours.”

The problem was discussed at a meeting with the neighbourhood leader. Mr. Wagu was admonished, and promised that he would find somewhere else to dispose of the waste.

“There’s no time for that. This order takes effect from tomorrow. You can’t use the drains any more. Moreover, you should have thought about this earlier. You're outrageous!” shouted one of their neighbours. 

“We didn't realise that the soy bean water would create such a bad smell...” Mr. Wagu tried to  get some empathy from them.

“Whatever. We don't care.”

Mr. Wagu died before they could find another way of getting rid of the waste. There was no suspicious cause of death, just old age. The production of tempe stopped. Mrs. Wagu was too sad; she spent her days crying.

To avoid making the same mistake again, Mrs. Wagu asked her employees to dump the waste in a river some distance away. The waste was poured into large jerrycans, then loaded onto pickup trucks and emptied into the river.

Her neighbours knew of her new method, but they couldn't protest. They just wondered when the local government would give her a fine for polluting the river.

When the neighbours couldn't stop the production of tempe, they tried another way. They started warning against buying Mrs. Wagu's tempe: "Don't buy Mrs. Wagu's tempe as it may have been sullied by the saliva of her pet dogs. As a good Muslim, it is obligatory to make sure that the food one eats is halal and pure."

The tempe that Mrs. Wagu gave to a vegetable seller, who sold his food around the complex, would always return unsold and going off. It would be brown and watery.

They’re so mean. They don't know how to behave, Mrs. Wagu thought to herself dejectedly. What does it mean to live in a community, when people get such a thrill out of oppressing a weak minority?

Mrs. Wagu was too exhausted to take revenge. She avoided her neighbours totally and didn't have anything to do with them. When it was time for the ladies' monthly get-together, she came but only to give her money and then to sit silently in the corner. Neither did she take part in the activities held to celebrate the anniversary of Independence Day in August. If she bumped into one of her neighbours on the street, she would stare blankly, as if she hadn't seen anyone.

"It might be best if you soften your attitude a little, mum,“ said Mrs. Wagu's eldest child over the telephone. "If one or two people dislike you, it’s just their problem. But if a whole neighbourhood doesn't like you, it might be time for some introspection.“

So even her own child was supporting her neighbours, rather than herself, thought Mrs. Wagu.

"Moreover, you're old, now, mum. It's time to focus on being calm. It's not the time to be childish and to create conflict with others.“

Mrs. Wagu was already fixed in her mind. She no longer had anything to do with her neighbours. All of her needs were being met. She had some employees who could be relied upon. She had her dogs to talk with and tell of her problems.

"I love you,“ she told her dogs. "As long as I have you, I don't need anyone else.“


THE FASTING MONTH passed as usual. The mosque blurted out the call to prayer, and throughout the night readings of Qur'anic verses also came from the speakers. After finally falling asleep at 11 pm, Mrs. Wagu be woken up at 3 am by another loud voice coming from the speaker, 'Sahur! Sahur!’ announcing the pre-dawn mealtime. Then, as she was drifting back to sleep: 'Imsyaak...!', the warning that dawn was about to break. Then soon after, the call to prayer would ring out.

Mrs. Wagu continued her production of tempe throughout the fasting month, waiting for the Eid holiday – the time when people left their cities to go and visit relatives. Her housing complex would be quiet. She would be free. At least for three or four days.

The long-awaited day arrived. The employees, those who celebrated Eid and those who didn't, were given a holiday and their yearly bonus. After the Eid prayers, the neighbours dressed in their finery gathered in the square. They greeted each other and asked for forgiveness. Mrs. Wagu stayed at home. She was still too hurt by her neighbours' actions to venture out.

"We don't want to visit you until you have changed your attitude.“ This time it was her youngest child who called. "It's true, you've been cornered by them. But you still have to maintain good relations.“

“You don't understand how I feel.” Mrs. Wagu tried to cover up her sadness as she spoke. “You’ve called me selfish, but you don't know what I’m going through.”

“We are not saying that you’re trying to get your own way. It’s just that—”

“It doesn't matter if you don't want to come here,” Mrs. Wagu said softly. Perhaps that would be her fate: she would be lonely in her old age. The children that she had brought up, loving and protecting them, were now not showing any understanding of her difficulties.

“Even though we have time off for Eid, we have decided not to visit you this year.” The youngest child was still trying to get her to change her mind. “We won't visit you unless you promise to make nice with your neigh—”

Mrs. Wagu hung up. To continue the conversation would only cause more pain.

The noise of the morning began to subside. Cars full of families headed out of town. The housing complex became quiet. It was calm and pleasant.

Mrs. Wagu let her four dogs out of the gate. They ran around, wagging their tales, barking, chasing one another as they pleased. Then, late in the afternoon, she called them home.

Mrs. Wagu stood in her front yard, looking up. Her four dogs sat around her. They also looked up, in the same manner. The sun was setting. The sky was orange; it was wide and empty without the sound of the evening call to prayer.

It wasn’t that Mrs. Wagu hated the five calls to prayer. There was nothing wrong with calling people to carry out their religious obligations. There was nothing wrong with the freedom to hold and carry out a religion. It was just that... just that..

When Mr. Wagu was still alive, they would be asked by their Christian friends to hold religious services once a year. They would recite prayers and sing a couple of hymns. These were solemn and moving moments to them. But not for the neighbours. 

During their services, the neighbours would walk past the front of the house, coughing loudly. Some would grumble, "This singing is really disturbing our peace."  There would also be children out, noisily playing war or chasing each other on bicycles. When the service was over, the congregation would be greeted with vicious stares from the neighbours.

“They’re allowed to create so much noise by using a loudspeaker stuck on top of the mosque, why aren't we occasionally allowed to hold our services?'' muttered Mrs. Wagu.

"It doesn't matter,“ Mr. Wagu would say. "They're just threats. What is important is that we've held our service and everything went okay and finished fine.'

Eid was beautifully calm. Mrs. Wagu felt a deep peace. Because of the silence, she was able to appreciate the holy day of another religion. A day without the noisy call to prayer, without the whispers of her neighbours and without suspicious looks. Without any problems.

Mrs. Wagu felt like God was showering her with attention. She felt that God had blessed her, and blessed her pets who were now whimpering softly.

She turned to them and said, “This is a truly glorious day."


© Desi Puspitasari. Translation © Andy Fuller.


Desi Puspitasari


Bagi Bu Wagu, tak ada yang lebih setia dan memahami dirinya ketimbang anjing-anjingnya. Setelah suaminya meninggal dan anak-anaknya punya rumah sendiri, Bu Wagu memelihara anjing. Binatang-binatang setia dan penuh pengertian itu diberi nama Cokelat, Kopi, Susu, dan Teh Tubruk.

“Bagus, Bu. Ketimbang kau kesepian,” kata anak bungsunya ketika menelepon dari luar kota. “Tapi apakah Ibu yakin peliharaan itu tak membikin masalah dengan para tetangga?”

“Tidak. Aku akan menjaga mereka baik-baik.”

Sejak mula para tetangga mengetahui bahwa Bu Wagu memelihara anjing. Dalam ajaran agama mereka, air liur anjing najis bila menyentuh kulit, tapi mereka hanya berkasak-kusuk. Hingga suatu sore Bu Wagu melepas anjing-anjingnya ke jalan di depan rumah.

Cokelat, Kopi, Susu, dan Teh Tubruk berkejar-kejaran, termasuk anak-anak tetangga yang baru pulang bersepeda dari TPA dekat masjid kompleks rumah. Bocah-bocah itu menjerit ketakutan sampai menangis.

“Saya sedang di dapur. Tidak mendengar keributan di jalan depan,” begitu kata Bu Wagu ketika para tetangga mengetuk pintu rumahnya. Salah seorang dari mereka membawa tongkat panjang—untuk menggebuk anjing.

“Sebaiknya hewan-hewan itu dikandangkan agar tak membikin resah!”

Bu Wagu mengangguk, tetapi hatinya tak sudi menurut. Ia merasa punya hak membiarkan peliharaannya bebas berkeliaran. Ia sudi bersabar dan bersikap seolah-olah tak pernah terganggu azan masjid yang dikumandangkan keras-keras, bahkan saat pagi buta, lalu mengapa kebebasan anjing-anjingnya harus dibatasi?

Bu Wagu tak pernah mengerti perilaku para tetangganya. Ia tinggal di kompleks perumahan nasional. Itu artinya, rumah para warga berderet dan berdempet. Selirih apa pun percakapan di dalam rumah, pasti akan terdengar di rumah sebelah. Sekecil apapun gangguan, terasa begitu besar dan membikin tak nyaman.

Setelah beberapa hari menahan peliharaannya, suatu sore Bu Wagu berpura-pura lupa mengunci pagar. Anjing-anjingnya berlarian ke jalan. Seorang bocah yang baru pulang TPA menjerit ketakutan. Ia mengayuh sepeda kencang-kencang sambil menangis. Di belakangnya, anjing Bu Wagu yang berukuran paling besar menggonggong mengejar.

Para tetangga bermunculan keluar: “Ada apa ini?”, “Ada keributan apa ini?” Begitu mengetahui sumber perkara adalah para anjing laknat yang jauh-jauh hari telah mereka benci, mereka bersiap melabrak si empunya hewan.

Bu Wagu segera berteriak memanggil. “Dian! Iwan! Jaka! Nita!” Perempuan itu telah membiasakan anjing-anjingnya dipanggil dengan nama baru. “Pulang!”

Para tetangga yang berdiri di halaman depan rumah masing-masing tak jadi meledak. Mereka berdiri melongo, serempak memperhatikan empat anjing yang berlarian masuk rumah Bu Wagu. Empat dari beberapa tetangga itu bernama Dian, Iwan, Jaka, dan Nita.

Perbuatan Bu Wagu membikin mereka gempar. “Kurang ajar!” kata Nita.

“Bu Wagu mengabaikan tata krama hidup bermasyarakat! Ia telah melukai perasaan kita semua!” maki Dian, yang diangguki penuh semangat oleh Iwan, Jaka, dan Nita.

“Kita tak usah lagi peduli padanya!” kata Jaka.

“Ya. Biar, biar saja. Ia menganggap mampu hidup sendiri. Nanti kalau dia mati, biar anjing-anjingnya yang menelepon memberi kabar anak-anaknya yang tinggal di luar kota!” sahut Iwan.

Bu Wagu tak ambil pusing dengan semua kegusaran tetangganya. Ia tak butuh mereka. Hidup sendiri ditemani Cokelat eh Dian, Kopi eh Iwan, Susu eh Jaka, dan Teh Tubruk eh Nita sudah lebih dari cukup. “Hanya kalian yang paling mengerti.”

Keempat anjing itu mendengking-dengking, seolah mengiyakan.


Suatu sore Bu Wagu mendapat surat perintah dari Pak RT, menjelaskan bahwa anjing-anjing Bu Wagu tak diizinkan berkeliaran di jalan, hanya boleh di dalam dan di pekarangan rumah saja.

“Keputusan ini sudah kami bicarakan bersama, Bu,” jelas Pak RT.

“Bersama siapa? Saya merasa tidak pernah mendapat undangan—”

“Bersama para warga yang lain.”

Bu Wagu melongo. “Tapi, saya kan juga warga yang—”

“Jelas-jelas anjing-anjing sampean menimbulkan keresahan bagi kami yang hendak menjalankan ibadah sembahyang berjamaah ke masjid.”

“Anjing-anjing ini saya kandangkan setiap kali azan dikumandangkan!” Bu Wagu berusaha membela diri. “Mereka tidak pernah sekalipun….”

“Mereka mengejar anak-anak yang hendak berangkat atau pulang TPA, maksud saya. Itu kan mengganggu sekali.” Pak RT buru-buru meralat alasannya.

“Setidaknya pendapat saya juga patut dipertimbangkan. Tidak boleh main ambil keputusan seperti ini.”

“Kami bermusyawarah dalam arisan bapak-bapak. Tentu Bu Wagu tak mungkin bisa datang turut berembuk.”

Jawabannya mencla-mencle! pikir Bu Wagu. Ia mengernyit, mulai merasakan kesal dalam hati. “Tapi, Pak…..”

“Keputusan adalah keputusan, Bu. Hasil kesepakatan bersama demi kebaikan warga.” Pak RT pamit. “Saya masih banyak urusan. Mari, Bu Wagu.”

Ketika menelepon untuk menanyakan apakah mantan-mantan karyawannya masih lowong, Bu Wagu teringat ke masa lalu. Para tetangga memprotes usaha produksi tempe dengan dalih limbah hasil olahan membikin got mampet dan bau bacin.

“Sudah tahu tinggal di perumnas, malah membuang limbah di selokan kompleks.”

Para tetangga kemudian bersahut-sahutan menanggapi. “Bacin bukan main!”

“Seharusnya mereka membeli rumah di pinggiran kota atau di desa, khusus untuk produksi tempe.”

“Mereka benar-benar egois. Melakukan apa saja yang mereka suka, tanpa memperhatikan kenyamanan para tetangga.”

Persoalan tersebut dibawa ke rapat RT. Pak Wagu ditegur keras dan diingatkan agar tak lagi membuang limbah di selokan perumahan. Suami Bu Wagu tersebut berjanji akan mencari tempat lain untuk pembuangan limbah.

“Tidak ada waktu. Esok hari juga limbah sudah tidak boleh dibuang ke selokan kompleks! Lagipula, mengapa hal seperti ini tidak dipersiapkan sejak awal? Sampean benar-benar gegabah!” tegur keras salah seorang tetangga.

“Kami hanya tidak mengira bahwa bekas pencucian kedelai ini menghasilkan aroma tak sedap sedemikian mengganggu, Pak,” Pak Wagu berusaha meminta sedikit pengertian.

“Ah, pokoknya kami tidak mau tahu!”

Sebelum Pak Wagu menemukan lokasi lain untuk membuang limbah, laki-laki itu meninggal dunia. Tak ada penyebab mencurigakan, memang Pak Wagu sudah tua. Produksi tempe mandek. Bu Wagu yang terlalu bersedih menghabiskan hari-harinya dengan menangis.

Tak ingin mengulang kesalahan yang sama, Bu Wagu memerintahkan karyawannya membuang limbah di sungai yang berjarak lumayan jauh. Limbah cairan itu dikumpulkan dalam jeriken berukuran besar, diangkut menggunakan pikap, lalu satu demi satu jeriken-jeriken itu dikosongkan ke sungai.

Para tetangga mengetahui perbuatan ini, tapi tak bisa protes. Mereka hanya menggerundel, mengira-kira kapan perangkat desa memberi sanksi kepada Bu Wagu karena telah mencemari air sungai.

Tak menemukan cara untuk menghalangi usaha produksi tempe, para tetangga mengembuskan isu lain, yaitu: Jangan beli tempe buatan Bu Wagu, karena bisa jadi telah kena najis nafas dan air liur anjing. Sebagai muslim yang baik, wajib memastikan setiap makanan terjamin kehalalan dan kebersihannya.

Tempe yang Bu Wagu titipkan pada tukang sayur yang berjualan di sekitar kompleks selalu kembali dalam keadaan membusuk. Cokelat dan berair.

Benar-benar jahat dan tak tahu diri, batin Bu Wagu muram. Hidup bermasyarakat macam apa kalau sekelompok orang yang berkuasa gemar menggencet seorang minoritas yang lemah?

Bu Wagu sudah terlalu letih untuk membalas dendam. Ia sudah abai total dan tak sudi sedikit pun berurusan dengan para tetangganya. Saat arisan ibu-ibu, ia datang, tapi hanya untuk membayar kewajiban lalu duduk diam di pojokan. Ia juga tak ikut kegiatan jalan santai di bulan Agustus dalam rangka merayakan hari kemerdekaan. Saat berpapasan dengan tetangga-tetangganya di jalan, Bu Wagu hanya melengos.

“Sebaiknya Ibu sedikit melunakkan sikap,” nasihat anak sulung Bu Wagu di telepon. “Jika satu atau dua orang membenci Ibu, bisa jadi masalah ada pada mereka. Namun, bila sampai seluruh warga kompak memiliki sikap yang sama, aku kira Ibu sebaiknya berintrospeksi.”

Bahkan anakku pun tak mendukungku dan lebih membela para tetangga!

“Lagipula Ibu sudah sepuh, lho. Sebaiknya lebih fokus pada ketenangan hati. Seharusnya tak lagi bersikap kekanakan dan menyebar permusuhan dengan orang lain.”

Bu Wagu telah membulatkan tekad. Ia tak lagi sudi berurusan dengan para tetangga. Toh, semua kebutuhannya sudah terpenuhi. Ia punya beberapa karyawan yang bisa dimintai tolong. Ia juga punya anjing-anjingnya yang bisa diajak bicara dan dikeluhkesahi.

“Aku menyayangi kalian,” katanya pada anjing-anjingnya. “Selama ada kalian, aku tak membutuhkan siapa-siapa lagi.”


Tahun ini bulan Ramadan berjalan seperti sebelum-sebelumnya. Masjid nyaring mengumandangkan azan magrib, dilanjutkan sampai malam hari dengan pembacaan ayat-ayat Alquran. Ketika Bu Wagu akhirnya memejamkan mata sekitar tengah malam, pukul tiga dini hari ia terbangun karena kaget mendengar seruan keras, “Sahur! Sahur!” Ketika Bu Wagu mulai kembali tertidur, teriakan “Imsyaaak…!” mengguntur, dilanjutkan azan subuh yang berkumandang begitu lantang.

Bu Wagu tetap menjalankan produksi tempe sambil menanti libur lebaran, saat orang-orang pergi ke luar kota selama beberapa hari untuk menyambangi sanak saudara. Lingkungan perumahan akan sepi. Ia akan bebas, setidaknya selama tiga atau empat hari.

Hari yang dinanti-nanti tiba. Para pekerja produksi tempe, baik yang merayakan lebaran atau tidak, mendapatkan jatah libur dan THR. Seusai salat Id di masjid, para tetangga dengan mengenakan busana paling apik berkumpul di tanah lapang. Mereka saling bersalaman, meminta maaf lahir dan batin. Bu Wagu tetap tinggal di rumah. Hatinya masih terlalu sakit dan letih sehingga enggan untuk keluar.

“Kami tak mau datang kalau Ibu tak segera mengubah sikap.” Kali ini anak bungsunya yang menelepon. “Memang benar, Ibu telah dipojokkan, tapi sebaiknya Ibu tetap menjaga hubungan baik.”

“Kau tak memahami perasaanku.” Bu Wagu berusaha agar suaranya tak terdengar tersendat oleh rasa sedih. “Kau sampai tega menyebutku egois, padahal tak mengalami sendiri apa yang aku jalani.”

“Kami tak menyebut Ibu bersikap semaunya sendiri. Hanya saja—”

“Tak ke sini juga tak apa-apa,” sahut Bu Wagu lirih. Mungkin ini memang garis takdir hidupnya: kesepian di masa tua. Anak-anak yang dibesarkan dengan rasa cinta dan penuh perlindungan, kini bersikap seolah sama sekali tak memahami kesulitan hidup ibu mereka.

“Meski kami mendapat jatah libur lebaran, tahun ini aku dan kakak-kakak bersepakat untuk tak pergi menjenguk Ibu.” Si bungsu setengah mengharap ibunya luluh. “Kecuali Ibu berjanji Ibu akan berbaik-baik dengan—”

Bu Wagu mematikan sambungan telepon. Bila diteruskan, percakapan ini berpotensi menimbulkan rasa perih dan pedih yang berlebih-lebih.

Keriuhan menyurut ketika hari menjelang siang. Mobil demi mobil berisi rombongan keluarga dilajukan ke luar kota. Lingkungan kompleks perumnas begitu sepi. Hari yang begitu tenang dan membahagiakan.

Bu Wagu melepas keluar keempat ekor anjingnya. Mereka berlarian, mengibaskan ekor, menyalak-nyalak, berkejaran sesuka hati. Saat sore, Bu Wagu memanggil mereka pulang.

Sejenak, Bu Wagu berdiri mendongak di pekarangan depan rumah. Keempat hewan peliharannya duduk mengelilingi majikan mereka. Anjing-anjing itu turut mendongak, searah dengan tatapan Bu Wagu. Matahari sore telah melorot turun di sebelah barat. Langit keoranyean, terhampar luas dan hening tanpa seruan azan yang seringkali dikumandangkan hingga membikin pekak telinga.

Bu Wagu tak membenci azan. Tak ada yang salah dengan panggilan ibadah bagi setiap pemeluk agamanya. Tak ada yang salah dengan kebebasan memeluk dan menjalankan ibadah beragama. Hanya saja… hanya saja…

Ketika Pak Wagu masih hidup, setahun sekali kediaman mereka mendapat jatah mengadakan kebaktian di rumah. Pak dan Bu Wagu beserta para jemaah melantunkan doa dan melagukan beberapa kidung Madah Bakti. Suasana ibadah khusyuk dan menggetarkan kalbu jemaah. Namun, tidak bagi para tetangga.

Selama kebaktian dilaksanakan, beberapa dari mereka lewat di depan rumah Bu Wagu sambil batuk keras-keras. Ada pula yang bergumam, “Ya ampun, nyanyian itu benar-benar mengganggu ketentraman hidup kami.” Muncul juga anak-anak yang bermain perang-perangan atau kejar-kejaran sepeda dengan berisik. Saat ibadah usai, para jemaah keluar diiringi tatapan sengit para tetangga.

“Mereka berhak membikin keributan menggunakan pengeras suara yang dipasang di puncak menara masjid, mengapa kita yang hanya sesekali mengadakan kebaktikan diperlakukan seperti ini!?” tanya Bu Wagu gusar.

“Tidak apa-apa,” Pak Wagu menenangkan istrinya. “Tindakan mereka hanya gertakan. Yang penting dan harus disyukuri adalah ibadah hari ini berjalan lancar.”

Hari raya Idul Fitri tahun ini begitu damai dan tenang bukan main. Bu Wagu merasakan kedamaian yang luar biasa. Keheningan itu membuatnya meresapi keindahan hari raya agama lain. Tanpa teriakan pelantang suara masjid yang nyaring, tanpa bisik-bisik tetangga yang meresahkan, tanpa tatapan dengki, dan tanpa hal-hal negatif lainnya.

Walaupun ia tanpa teman, walaupun hari itu hari raya agama yang tak dipeluknya, Bu Wagu merasa Tuhan sedang mencurahkan perhatian kepada dirinya. Mencurahkan kasih sayang pada dirinya dan juga hewan-hewan peliharaannya yang kini sedang mendengking-dengking lirih.

Bu Wagu menoleh dan berkata kepada mereka, “Ya, hari ini indah luar biasa.”


© Desi Puspitasari.

DESI PUSPITASARI was born in Madiun, East Java, 1983. She graduated from Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, where she now lives. Her novel Strawberry Surprise was adapted into a film with the same title. Her other novels are Kutemukan Engkau di Setiap Tahajudku, Girl-ism, and On a Journey.

ANDY FULLER has a Master's Degree from the University of Melbourne, and a PhD from the University of Tasmania. During 2005 he worked at Yayasan Lontar (Jakarta, Indonesia)—funding for which was obtained from the Australia-Indonesia Institute. He has translated several stories by Seno Gumira Ajidarma and other Indonesian writers. He is also the author of The Struggle for Soccer in Indonesia: Archives, Fandom and Urban Identity (Yogyakarta: Tan Kinira, 2014) and Playing Cities, Making Sport (Yogyakarta: Tan Kinira, 2014). He has published articles in Soccer and Society, Sport in Society, and Inside Indonesia. He is an editor at Inside Indonesia and Reading Sideways.