Even Odds

Matahari Antasari

Life is about progression.
I’ve always been a Southern kid all my life. My childhood was spent between Depok where my parents reside and Blok M where my late grandma lived and one area that I always pass through was Antasari, either on my parents’ car or on Kopaja S63. 

It hasn’t always been Antasari, though. Prior to S63 me and my older sister usually rode Metromini 75 from Pasar Minggu or Kopaja S66 from Manggarai (my sister had this weird fixation with trains, she always picked the longer route so we can be on the train longer from Depok). Both routes were abandoned by me the moment S63 came about because I can sit on one bus from Depok and let it take me to Blok M, no need to change buses or train. I also started to grow up and do things on my own so I don’t have to deal with my sister and her train fixation.


That’s the slow steps of progress. We have new, easier things that are more practical and we change how we do things by abandoning our old ways. 

I enjoyed the progress. I enjoyed the fact that I don’t have to deal with smelly Kereta Ekonomi and fear of being pickpocketed. I also enjoyed the fact that I can be alone on the trip with earphones on, blasting Strait Up compilation album to Incubus’ Morning View --both were my favourite cassettes-- and not having to keep coming up with conversation ideas to kill the awkward silence between siblings. 

With Lajon’s voice singing Angel’s Son in my ear, my mind roamed around while my eyes staring at the Antasari sky between the thick leaves that shadow the street. It was probably one of my most comforting moments during my younger days. 

It left, of course.

Walkman evolved into USB MP3 player and then iPod. I don’t have to deal with the wobbly sound of overplayed cassettes nor AAA batteries anymore because I have MP3 and USB charger, the trip changed from bus to my own motorcycle and one thing I thought would never change would be the Antasari sky. Because it’s the sky, something that would never change. 

But I was wrong. The silent step of progress got louder and they built the flyover that we have now, blocking the street from the sun that used to peek between leaves. The sky and the sun never change, of course. I can always drive above there to see the sun and the sky if I want to; which I have, several times.


Among all the songs being played on my Walkman back then, there was this song from The Ataris that has this line: “be grown up isn’t half as fun as growing up”.

Which is true, and that’s exactly why we all should never stop growing up. 

A change is a change. I can’t lie that I still miss the days I can only relive through memory and nostalgia, but I gotta move on, as we all inevitably have to.

Life is about progression, and progression is about stepping forward. This morning I lace up my shoes and start taking new steps I didn’t take the day prior. Because I realize Antasari sky never changes, I just need to grow and elevate myself.