Ni Made Sevia Ari Pramesti Dewi
Slowly some refreshed melody entered her ears. Her fingers moved gently on
wood carving with a row of metal arches that had a different sound. Soft instruments
spread in the atmosphere, spoiling the ears of those who heard it. Brown honey eyes
saw after being struck down by the moonlight. Her name was Alina Sangayu or known
as Alin. She was playing a traditional instrument, a unique wood carving show with
rows of bamboo supporting metals. On the top of the bamboo there were small irons to
tie the metal line. Melody unhurriedly got faster and faster, until Alin threw her wood
stick. It was the stick that had flattened round at the one end. She used to play Gender.
Heavy sigh was heard from her. The sound of crickets buzzed in the middle of the night.
She let her cheek touch cold metal and then Alin closed her eyes slowly. She
remembered the bad event this afternoon, where her father came and caught her while
she was joining Gender competition. Alin’s father always talked to her about Balinese
“Don’t be a musician, study hard and then work at a big company.” He always
said so to Alin. Why? Alin just loved playing Gender. It didn’t mean that she wanted to
be a musician. She sighed heavily again. Her eyes opened and stared at short grass. The
colors merged with the darkness.
“Why are you still awake, Alin?” a deep voice cut the silence moment. She
looked toward the sound source and found her grandpa. He stood there with his sleepy
face. Alin looked at her grandpa’s shock. Did she wake him? Alin rose up and helped
her grandpa sit.
“I don’t feel sleepy yet.”
“I don’t know.”
“Because of your father?” asked him. Alin fell silent, she let the awkward
atmosphere dominate a few seconds.
Her grandpa just laughed; it made her annoyed. She picked her wood hammer
and hit it to the metal. Then Alin intentionally hardened her playing.
“You will make your father awake too.” Those words succeeded in stopping her
“He doesn’t like me playing Gender.” Alin said with a desperate tone.
“I just like playing Gender. It doesn’t mean that I want to be a musician, right?”
Her grandpa nodded in agreement.
“Then what do you want to be?”
“I don’t know.”
His lips smiled lightly. Alin looked at her Gender long enough. Her head felt
very crowded in the middle of the darkness. Grandpa just stared at his granddaughter;
he wondered what she was thinking about. His eyes blinked slowly. Alin changed her
attention to pitch black sky. A sprinkling of diamonds made it even more beautiful.
“Doesn’t the moon look gorgeous tonight?” Alin turned to look at her grandpa
for a while. Then her eyes shifted to a bright full moon.
“Why does father hate musicians, Grandpa?”
Alin looked at her grandpa curious.
“He doesn’t hate musicians.”
First heavy sigh was out of her grandpa’s mouth. He looked at Alin for a few
seconds. She prepared herself to listen to her grandpa’s story.
“Ask your father.”
Alin rolled her eyes.
“You know I am still mad at him. Please grandpa, I want to know.” Grandpa
thought for a while. Then he nodded short in time.
“After this you must sleep. Do you promise?”
“I promise grandpa.”
They hooked the little finger and made a pinky swear.
“When he was sixteen, he also liked playing Gender, just like you. I think he
“Yeah, he had played it all day. But one accident made him stop playing it, he
never even touched it anymore. It was a long time ago when he was twenty. Your father
was a participant of the International Art Festival in Bangkok, Thailand. Everything
went well in the beginning; all traditional instruments had been checked and all was fine
until the performance started. He missed one melody in the middle of performance, then
he lost all of his Gender lesson. After the event had finished, all of his team got mad.
They had been working hard for six months but because of your father’s mistake ruined
the entire performance.”
“Did they blame him?” Alin asked with her shocked face. She didn’t know that
her father had been through such a bitter thing like that.
“It was his mistake. They didn’t blame your father.” Grandpa raised his shoulder
in a short time.
“I feel really sorry for him.” Alin said with her regret voice. Grandpa just stared
at her and grabbed her wooden stick. Then he played Gender and moved his body
following the melody. Alin looked at her grandpa, her gaze slowly softened. She closed
her eyes and enjoyed the soothing sound for a few minutes. After that the buzzing
crickets greeted her eardrums again.
“Then what will you do? Are you gonna stop playing Gender?” asked her
grandpa. Alin kept silent for a while.
“I.. I don’t know.”
Grandpa’s lips formed a wide curve.
“Which one is the worst tone?”
His hands moved and made the sound from one metal to the other.
“There isn’t any. The metal has its own unique tone.”
“You’re right. Your father was blank because he had missed one tone. He felt
his world fall apart that time. Because of one mistake, because of one reason he stops
playing Gender. You have to show that you’re stronger than he imagined. You have to
show him that you’re different from him. You will be in your own beautiful tone at
every moment. That you won’t hate Gender like he did.”
Alin avoided his grandpa’s gaze.
“If you don’t believe in yourself. Then how will you make everyone believe
you?” her grandpa looked at her gently. Alin breath restless. A few seconds later, her
smile made her eyes curve like a crescent moon.
“Thank you, Grandpa.” Alin hugged her grandpa tightly until grandpa’s body
pushed back. They laughed together, then Alin sat neatly behind her Gender. They
played Gender with a beautiful and calm melody. Nature seemed to follow their rhythm.
Pitch black sky and a sparkling diamond decorated it. Bright full moon made the
horizon even more magnificent. Without them knowing, Alin’s father had eavesdropped
on their conversation. He looked at two people who were playing Gender happily on the
porch. Dim lights there captured that precious moment. Alin smiled at her grandpa. Her
mind that was crowded in the midnight suddenly disappeared; she liked it, her clear
mind, her new perspective.
“I love you, Grandpa.”