Yes, of course you know that most supermarkets and “modern markets” on weekends are like Mampang-Kuningan during rush hour. Almost all of your purchases are similar, be it cocopandan syrup to canned biscuits and herbs for making chicken opor. Have you ever wondered that, after years you’ve been through countless Lebaran, that the annual ritual seems like an (un)holy battle itself?
I know, I know, ladies, the term “battle” is a too far-fetched word in the world of womanhood like ours. Taking from the famous millitary operations during the Second World War, allow me to take you there.
1. You see hordes of Nissan Livina, Avanza and Juke park around your house. From them came in your great uncle tottering with his cane screaming his heart out “ASSALAMUALAIKUM!” with his snotty-nose grandkids. As if that’s not enough, a Nissan Evalia with your much hated cousin who always finishes off a jar of kaastengel in one siting just paredk outside your house.
Welcome yourself to Operation Dynamo, or famously known as Dunkirk evacuation where a total of almost 340,000 Allied soldiers were evacuated from the beaches of France to England in only nine days. Aside from military vessels; the soldiers are transported using all kinds of boats from fishing boats, merchant marine boats and yachts. Well, the neighbours are starting to hate you since all your relatives park their vehicle on their part of the road. Yes, you’ve been Dunkirk(ed).
2. You know you’re well-off relative who always have an open house on the second day of Lebaran? The family always has a dresscode (last year was jeans and white, the year before that was kaftan and gamis; who knows what this year). Their house was so inviting and you and your entourage of children expect “salam tempel” (money), but somehow were denied such, uh, generosity.
Then you have gotten yourself in Operation Barbarossa, or the failed German campaign invasion to Russia; known as the largest invasion in warfare history. Channel your inner anger with the grim reality of the Germans who can only cast their eyes of Moscow but unable to step their boots in.
3. You already put your Casablanca Lily centerpiece next to your rendang and opor ayam. You arrange your cat-tongue and pineapple cookies on your coffee table (of course you keep your stack of much envied cookies from Pand’or to everyone until the time is right). And you have succesfully applied the Cendrawasih Syahrini false lashes flawlessly. You are almost assured of being the recipient of the (insert suburb area) domestic queen award. This will have a happy ending after all.
But the dream of happy ending soon ends with the presence of your cousin once removed, who went to medical school, with his juvenile-looking offspring, and your OTHER cousin who optimistically thinks six of her kids would make the world a better place. Welcome to Battle of Midway, the decisive battle in the Pacific Theater where the US Navy crush Japan’s Imperial Navy dream to become the most strategic naval force in the Pacific. Just to keep your feet on the ground, up until the end of the war, Japan’s fleet has never been able to recover their losses from Midway.
But of course, you all know better that the biggest battle of all, just like Prophet Muhammad said from hundreds of years ago, is from within. So just sit back and enjoy the ritual (read: chaos) from Lebaran, put on your iPod and listen to Pat Benatar’s “Love is A Battlefield”. You know you can change the ‘love’ into ‘Lebaran’ right?
For what it’s worth, have some grace not to wear a black bra underneath your white kaftan. And please please, no Kencana Ungu while receiving guests nor tweeted/Path that you wore one.
About Gita Putri Damayana
A self-proclaimed good mother of three kids and pretentious wife of a model citizen. A law graduate from University of Indonesia with no particular distinction at all, but who is highly opinionated on almost anything under the sun. She casts herself as the mirror image of actress Dian Sastrowardoyo, while maintaining a health regime of Mama Hengky, the famous 80's comic.