When I was a new student at University of Indonesia, getting on an economy class train in weekdays morning was like living in hell. I never imagined that Indonesia had such messy transportation system. However, inevitably, the condition knocked on my heart’s door. The first time I realized that economy class train was a symbol of our country condition. A place where marginal people pace back and forth, peddling their goods with a pleading face. Beggars, blind people, street singers, and somebody with incomplete body are our daily view.
However, as time went by, I tried to enjoy living in that big city. Sometimes I worry; that daily view will deaden my sensitivity. Well, since it’s too often to see, right? And in the end, I tried to understand “O, ok, this is our country, I live here, and yes, so what?” Is that easy to be like that? Or we just keep silent, or talk to ourself, “Poor you, if only I could help” or “I work! But you, you, you Guys are lazy. How dare you beg such pity?” or “The condition forced them to do that. No other choices” or “It’s government’s responsibility. Long live students!” Ouch.
Interestingly, responding to this unresolved problem, Dedy Mizwar, through his film titled “Alangkah Lucunya (Negeri) ini” or “How funny this country is” invited us to laugh together. He had a different way to respond to this problem. He’s right, laughing is the best medicine for having such depressing condition. LOL.
I guess those who live in Jabodetabek can laugh more often rather then people living out there. Let me take an example. I often laugh when I go to my office. It’s not rare to jostle in a crowded bus or train, especially in morning and evening. At that time, many people from suburb area rush into Jakarta to work or do other interests. I wonder how come people wearing neat dress can transform into a hungry lion early in the morning. They jostle and jostle one and another, nothing but to get a comfortable chair in that vehicle. No matter how the people around them, either children, or old people, they jostle, to get the chair or space, at least, for taking a breath, or maybe activating their cell phone, or maybe, putting on their earphone over the ears to listen to music. Isn’t it funny?
From that experience, I try to figure out, what kind of laughter we have. There are some assumptions. First, we laugh because we are happy. Second, we laugh because the condition is just funny. Third, we laugh because we have tried to overcome the problem, but the miracle never happens. LOL. Fourth, to some extents, when it is too sad, too up set, too depressing, too annoying, too boring, we just can laugh (because we don’t know what to do).
It reminds me of a short story written by Agus Noor. In his short story titled “There are Tears All day”, the author told about a mysterious crying heard over the village, the town, and even the country. A touching cry heard over and over, but the people, governor, even president doesn’t know who the cry owner. At the end of his story, the cry was still there, while the owner was never found. It seems that the author wanted to knock our awareness, that there might be “somebody” crying around us, but we never realize who they are. Or maybe, maybe, the owner of the crying is us, ourselves, who cry beyond our laughter (*)