The Carnival

It is the Chopin’s Nocturne in E Flat Major, Op. 9 №2: “A Madame Camille Pleyel”, and I could not believe my ears…

My last stop here in Lempuyang Luhur Temple.

I do not know and am not interested in knowing details of what temple is what, and others demanding answers for similar questions. I came here to pray and pay respect for my late grandfather, and to experience the natural settings around the place.

“The Carnival” i put the title, for this is a place not so similar to other temples. Monkeys are jumping around trees, people who sell accessories, musical instruments of a flute?, foods and drinks — the usual. But you may ask me, “Are not these typical in every temple in Bali?”. Yes it is, therefore every time i wrote stories about temples in Bali they probably titled the same. Shall we call our temples — The Carnival, then? Suit yourself for you are a wise, religious, diligent prayer, God-loving man!

The weather is clear, it’s May the 29th. This is the story of Tukang Suun Banten in Lempuyang Luhur Temple, they are people who offer their services to lift other people’s goods to a certain point. Our goods in this sense are offerings, lots of them, weight more than 10kg. Our points are four temples, and the parking lot, back and forth. Tukang Suun Banten varies, man and woman, young and old. We’ve got ourselves a middle-aged woman, and her daughter.

The kid wants to come along with her mother, what a genuine kid she was. She got with herself a smartphone to kill the boredom of thousands of steps to the top. The tiresome was only within us, not them for this was their another Tuesday! So began our journey.

She lifts our sufferings, i mean our offerings — with no struggle. Her pace’s steady, bold, and fast. The steps got handles in the middle, she needs none of them, better she often held her daughter’s hand throughout the journey. The kid was just as strong as her mother. What a shame to such a man, me. Tired easily, sweat rapidly, lungs about to fall off.

The second temple.

We arrived at the second temple, let just say it that way i do not remember the name now and then. It was foggy, the trees fascinate me so did the smartphone the kid brings. She was playing a piano game app, with such clarity in my poor sight, also the significant colors of purple and blue, i was positively sure it was the “Magic Tiles”.

O Lord, how on my shock and disbelief, the kid was playing Chopin, the Nocturnes. Why yes i do know it, i knew it, always. Chopin is my favorite, a special, his piece is unique and exclusive to his listener’s memory core! Not to mention the Nocturnes. But i am a fool most of the time forgetful, it could not be the piece i told you, my reader, at the very first sentence of this story — Nocturne in E Flat Major, Op. 9 №2: “A Madame Camille Pleyel”

But something tells me, a game app like Magic Tiles won’t have too many on their list a Chopin? I am too lazy to check their list, so shall just go with this Nocturne. There are four temples and two to go, and i cannot stop in awe to think, in such a remote area in up top Karangasem, a kid of Tukang Suun Banten, is also keen on the romantic. Do not get it wrong, not the romantic music in literal semantic, but the period of 18th. Even to my certain, the kid knows better than you my reader.

We arrive at the last temple and i sat down with my cigarettes while the temple was having queues for people to pray. You may say it was just a coincidence and the kid have no idea about Chopin. Maybe, but also not, because the kid was not changing that particular piece of music throughout the journey, and there is always a chance for repetition caused by knowing, knowing thus liking, so on. The kid still playing, or you could say practice with the look of persistent — the Nocturne Op. 9 №2. It sounds cool right? That’s classical for you, unlike the over-poetic music/songs title these days like for example, “Dusk at (insert name of a-) Beach”. Yuck, the dusk and their blinding light, give me Chopin and immense fog!

The view from the last temple. It looks like a memory of a person of a mountain scenery, and the memory’s fading.

The queue’s finally over and everyone got in, the other hundreds of people, me and my family. It was really comfortable in the pandemic to pray with hundreds of people do not you think? Of course! We have Chopin with our side. Remember, every time you my dear reader have similar situations like mine, just think Chopin, plays his piece in your head. It sweeps your sorrow away into gentle tears of jolly heaven. Now i may sound like overselling Chopin, oh, what can i say.

Short story even shorter, we finish everything and now time to head back down. The mother and her kid who went all the way where we were going and arrived, even sat down sometimes when we were too — out of our loss of stamina, decided to head back down first and put the remains of our offerings by her husband, at the parking lot who sells foods and drinks, also happened close to where we parked our vehicles. Sounds good, my family pays her plus the tip. My mother told me later that she’s giving the kid a hand-held fan. If only i had enough money to buy her a piano, probably someday.

I pray first and pray again, again and always with the same mantra for some years or so, not only with the Sanskrit, also the French: “Le vent se lève il faut tenter de vivre” translate to “The wind rises we must try to live”. In this pandemic, i pray for the whole world in and out and may we find our way together — one of them, in the serenity of musical piece.

Leaves from the vine, falling so slow…

The kid’s name is Cantika, my mother told me. I’ll pray for Cantika from now on, that she finds her peace, being strong and healthy, and led to a successful life, or who knows, become a composer as good as Chopin. She was rare, still is, for i know my generation taste of music, back in the town!

How i still could not believe it, the foggy temples…

Karangasem, 2021.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store