The Rainbow among Us
By : Oktafiani Tri Ananda
Can you imagine what it would be like to live your life in a perfect country? The land beneath your starry night sky is a superclean country that have a well-organized system in every aspect and you never feel there’s something wrong you can complain about. Far away from the hustle bustle of the city, the sun shines through spaces among the leaves in a beautiful and prosperous village which no one can`t help his own self not to smile peacefully – enjoying the awesome scenery.
Ever feel like you are the luckiest citizen in the world?No need to cry when you don`t have enough money to get your mom cured from her disease. No need to blame poor parents of the inability to see their kids wearing school uniforms after working hard all days and nights. No need to feel sad or mad at the beggar or street chilldren because you even can`t find them here.No need to do that. It was a land where corruptors give up doing what they want, and citizenries passionately dream and stuggle to live their life to the fullest.
‘Somewhere-we-dont-belong’ was the name of the country. No one has ever imagined it can transform to be this kind of flawlessness. Poverty, pollution, corruption and other social problems were just old stories long before a wise person named Ashcent led the country.
Ashcent is the president of this huge country which consist of ten provinces including Thayeeland, Bruneland, Cambdiland, Endoland, Leosland, Malaeland, Myaniland, Philipland, Singpoland, and Vietland. He has been leading the country for four years and has made so much significant improvement. Somewhere-we-dont-belong no longer belongs to a developing country. People around the world were admiring this country.
Each province of this country has its own uniqueness.
One day in the middle of my trip exploring Thayeeland I found the wallet of a Thayeezen, citizen of Thayeeland. It belongs to a woman named Suchin. I found an interesting thing written on her identity card. The first name of the young woman is Thayee, so her full name become ‘Thayee Suchin’.
The day I returned the wallet to Suchin was when the story began. We talked about many things. She told me that in this country, first name defines everything: Which province s/he comes from, What accent the people live in her province speak, the cultures, the general characters of the people and even whatbelief they possess. It applies in all provinces of the country. She said that this ‘first name rule’ is the idea of the founding fathers of the country who were really proud of each culture of the province.
In the end of our conversation, I said “Thanks for this cool information,Suchin! Unfortunately now I have to go. Congratulation for living in such a perfect country!”
She replied “You may congratulate another citizen, but not me. President is always busy constructing the system. People in the provinces are busy competing in making proud their own province by their own achievement. Students can go to school freely. No difference between the rich and the poor. But it has become a common thing to see the smart students who come from a province to bully and underestimate the students who come from another. And It isn`t happening just at schools! It may seem a small case for now, but still.. I am a citizen with a big fear in my mind.”
Her respond was out of my prediction. I wanted to reply, but since my plane would take off in only two hours later, I must leave to the airport soon. I gave her my email adress, asked her to keep in touch then left.
Two hours later, I was sitting inside the plane and thought again about what Suchin said. I looked outside the window and saw a lot of modern buildings slipped by some traditional architectures and in some areas I saw colorful flowers spreading in green carpets. The higher the plane flied me away through the sky, the higher my curiosity about many things in this awesome country grew.
It is no longer being a big fear in Suchin’s mind. The big chaos just happened in somewhere-we-dont-belong. Its shopisticated technologies, its prosperity and others were still admired by everyone. But it became meaningless since the conflicts in this country grow bigger time by time.
It was the first time for Aschent to face a big problem that he couldn’t easily handle. Every cultures has its own stuffs to be of their pride. But here, everything they have led them into conflicts. The intelligence and pride without tollerance was becoming a real disaster for them.
Bruneland and Singpoland, two provinces that is being separated by waters was in the state of shopisticated war. They used their technologies to snatch away the natural disasters of each other`s. Thayeezens and Cambdizens fighted and fired the traditional buildings on another. Malaezens and Endozens were busy in claiming their own heritages.Suchin called this moment as a clash between the aim of founding fathers to make each culture special and the ambition of new leader to realize a prosperous country. There was something missing between those good intentions.
It was impossible for Aschent to let this happen without action. He could barely see these conflicts anymore. After some discussions held and after long search of what the main cause of all these problems were, Aschent decided to make a new regulation. Regulation that supposed to be a wise and modern thought for some citizens, but in fact grew bigger fear to the others. Some people faced towards this regulation. But Aschent had no other idea to solve the problems.
So it was officially decided.
The new regulation was to delete the first name of all citizens in their own identity card. Everyone ought to cover their origins, cultures and beliefs because the leader thought it will just bring more harm than good to them. It`s their right to love theirs, but just keep it in their hearts. Last time I met up with Suchin. She showed me her decent name : Its only ‘Suchin’ without ‘Thayee’ in the beginning.
This was the third time I stepped my foot on this country. I haven`t heard anything about it since Suchin told me the new regulation occured,dated back five years ago. Only a few news in the television told me that the conflict hasgradually abated and Somewhere-we-dont-belong has made a lot of improvement as time passes by.I looked into the streets, the buildings, the parks. They were still the same but with more innovation that made it more shopisticated. There was no noise sound, there was no conflict. I was relieved. I continued my steps and finally met Suchin, we were bestfriend since those wallet case. I enjoyed walking in the streets. Everything seemed so peaceful but then I suddenly stopped.
I was wrong. It was not a peaceful condition. It was really strange. When i saw the facilities, it was normal, and even better than I’ve known before. But then I turned my attention to the people, the citizens of Somewhere-we-dont-belong. It took me some seconds to realize this whimsicallity. I couldn’t find that artistic traditional architectures anymore! The unique patterns that usually beautify the dress of a girl, I tried hard to open my eyes and searched for it. But what I’ve done was useless. Everything seemed so western. The teenagers and even the kids was so busy with their own gadgets. I turned my sight to the park.
“Wait, where is the the cheerful boys showing the traditional games or the girls learning various dancing on a little dancing studio near the park?”
“What was the word you’ve just said? Tra..di..tion?” Suchin gave me a strange answer.
It took a little time for her to remember and revive her memory about what I’ve said. I tried to ask her more and more about this whimsicallity. But what she told me after that was so pathetic that I couldnt help it. She told me that since the regulation changed, everyone is limited to show their origins, reveal their cultures, admit their beliefs to public. There was a stereotype grew that the difference will just remind them about the trauma of the past conflicts. And it become stronger when Ashcent quoted this in his speech on Independence day :
“Differences will lead you into chaos. If we want to live in harmonious country, we should remind ourselves that we are similar, all of us are the citizens of Somewhere-we dont-belong.”
That was the last time I met Suchin.
Since that time, I only heard the news about that country from cyber-world. I was so depressed seeing that the youths did suicide in many ways just because they did not know how to feel the emptiness of their souls. The teenagers was really clever because they spent day and night to study but they did not have something attractive to play and interact. Gadget can’t always fulfill what they want. Everyone became selfish. To solve their problems, most of them choosed to be alcoholics, and even the others consumed drugs that only brought them into two possibilities: rehabillitation or death. What about their beliefs? Can’t the religion help them solving all of those mental illness? Unfortunately, ‘Religion’ was no longer available in their dictionary. It was only availabe in the folk tales and in the heart of those really old people in the country.
It became totally pathetic when I heard about the death of Ashcent. It has been ten years since the first time he ruled the country, but age was not the cause of his death. He died because of unpopular disease caused by ‘Who-knows-Virus’. I watched the television and felt like I was watching a fiction. But it was real! Several days after the article on the internet informed me that those kind of strange viruses only attach the body of people who loose their passion in living life, the one who feel emptiness or the one who suffered adeep sorrow.
The news about Somewhere-we-dont-belong became worst day by day. I tried to contact Suchin but she never answered. I decided to forget everything about that country. I forced myself not to open the window of my curiosity about its mistery.
Human nowadays believes that they only live once, so did Ashcent. But the thing that he experienced after death has flipped back his belief. ‘You Only Live Once’ slogan was wrong.
He actually didn`t know what was happening to him on that time. He was at the funeral. He saw so many people cried while saying his name. He saw his wife, children, relatives and his beloved citizens. Yes, it was his funeral. At first he was really confused. But before he wanted to say anything, he suddenly felt his soul moved slowly from his body.
His soul lifted from his body. There was such a great power that brought and flied him higher and higher with constantly quick speed. He wanted to resist, but it was impossible to go against that great power. He couldn’t do anything beside seeing the earth continuously became smaller and smaller while his sadness grew bigger and bigger. Now he was already lifted far away from earth and he has reached the outer space. His move slowly decreased its speed and finally stopped.
He saw the earth in the size of an apple. He tried to hold it with his hand and he unnoticed that tears flew down from his eyes. Out of the blue,he heard a voice. The volume of the voice got louder as a misterious angel got closer into him. He panicked. He never knew that he can still tremble in the outer space. He tried hard to turned her head and faced the angel but he couldn`t. All he can do was to saw the earth while hearing the angels whispered right in front of his ears.
Some minutes passed and then he knew why he was on that place. It wasnt just an outer space that can be reached by a rocket. The dimension was different. He was in the ‘Death Space’. A place where every leader of Somewhere-we-dont-belong can contemplate his failure after the first death. He was still staring at the earth and he got much memories flashed back and landed on his mind.
Five years ago, he deleted the ‘first name rules’ that mean he deleted the diversity word in his country dictionary. He was calling a catashtrophewhen he covered the differences and uniqueness of its citizens. The conflicts were all in his mind. He forgot all of the beauty beyond the differences that spreaded away on the land of Somewhere-we-dont-belong.
While staring at the earth, he saw a transparant screen revealed the recording of his citizen life long before he made those new regulation. He watched how the people in a province helping the people in another province that suffered by natural disaster. He felt the happiness shining throgh the smiling face of a girl dancing her traditional dance while the others were appreciating her. He saw the peaceful condition while people with different beliefs gathered and do social works together. It was just a little part that has been missing from his lovely country.
He was really sorry to see those beatiful past moments. He blamed himself for being the one who has deleted all chances to feel those happiness of enjoying diversity and turned them into the boredom and emptiness of indifference. If only he could turn back time, he absolutely wont let that thing happen again.He would not forgot the most important thing that was missing from his mind. That one thing he forgot is: The beauty of diversity and how it can become such a miracle to unite many hearts of the people from various part of the world.
The power came back to him and moved his soul closer to the earth. As he saw the earth became bigger, he got the aswer of why he became the first president who died tragically while his citizens were in their worst and saddest condition. Yeah, this is the biggest secret he ever known: That every leader of that country can live twice and travelled through the time they commited their biggest mistake.
The power kept on pushing his soul quickly. In the condition of this strange event, he promised to himself that he would do his best to find another solution and not to cover the diversity. In a little time he would land onto the earth and, Bam! He felt his soul united again with his body that was sleeping five years ago.
2014 in the second chance of Ashcent’s life :
Ashcent walked outside and saw the chaos were happening everywhere as how he has predicted before. He saw those tragedies but he just smiled. He knew that it would happened and now he know what to do.
You might be curious of who I am. Who I am to know all things that happened to Ashcent. No, I am not a ghost. We are the same creatures. We have similarities in many things. But we live in different planet. I dont live in your earth. Since we live in different world, I am able to do some things that you cant, like travelling through the earth-time. But I just can travel time for only one mission on earth. Thats how I digged all informations about Ashcent.
The values that we need to hold are the same. By travelling through the mission of breaking the Ashcent’s mistery, I found the most essential value of the universal humanity, it is the respect of diversity. On the last chance I have the ability to visit earth, I found the real peaceful condition of the country ruled by Ashcent. Last quotes I heard from his speech were :
“Every human is too unique to live in uniformity and indifference. Diversity is not something that need to be covered, It is something that need to be shared and appreciated. And the thing you should know is that : if our wealth is lost, nothing is lost. But when the charater or culture is lost, everything is lost.” After that I walked away and by chance I found the newest map of the earth, I saw the country has changed its name to Somewhere-we-belong.
I am now sitting on my plane, a special plane that you cant imagine, bringing me back to my planet. As I’m leaving the earth, I saw a really beautiful rainbow over Somewhere-we-belong. And I realize a thing that need to be shared to all humans :
“Diversity is like a rainbow. If you want to see its beauty, you can’t combined all the colors or covered some of them. You should revealed all colors and keep their sweet composition.”
Since the leader in my planet dont have the second chance to live, I need to tell them soon. I need to tell them the miracle among diversity and show them the rainbow among human.