Since the land is all chopped up to bits, there are more than 100s dialect and different culture albeit some of them does have the same ancestry, hence there are aspect of culture such as food (hmmmmm more on that on later date) that similar but not exactly the same. The one that interest me this time is one that resides by the modern day Capital. Sundanese is the name. Now as there are various stories of creation in indigenous beliefs, I am presenting you one of the stories that was told through songs.
Now, Wawacan is an act or play. The play that I take is titled Wawacan Sulanjana, a myth by Sundanese culture. It is the story of how rice came to the islands of Indonesia which then became the primary food staple. Cuz one just not simply live a day without rice.
WAWACAN SULANJANA Asal Muasal Nasi
THE ORIGIN OF RICE
A long time ago, a couple centuries after the beginning of time, the most respectful master of heaven, Bathara Guru gathered all the empyrean citizens of Svargaloka in a summit. All of them came with a single question in their mind, what more ideas could Bathara Guru have? Once they all gathered, they became one mind with a single decision, to build a new palace, The Halls of Colors.
“I have think of the name of this new palace, Balai Pancawarna.” Bathara Guru’s lips curved up into a noticeable smile.
“Very appropriate name, love,” responded Bathari Uma.
“Adding a massive waterfalls against the light will add more subtle shades of colors. Hey Surya, help me out here,” Bathara Baruna said.
“Oh, I can make a sanctuary too around the waterfall.” Hearing Bathari Sunan Ambu’s idea, Bathara Baruna's waving became more excited.
While other gods and goddesses were talking about their own ideas for the new palace, Bathara Ismaya clicked his tongue and sneered at Bathara Guru, “and what if we are to busy with our own subjects?”
The murmur that followed made Bhatara Guru turned to his brother, but it was Bathara Anantaboga that went ahead of him with a hiss. “Why Ismaya? Do the humans proven to be too handful for you?”
“Please, they would stir chaos for every single breath they take. Without me, they would run around naked or worse…do nothing at all. Just laying somewhere surround by rocks, shedding their skin everywhere. Familiar Anta?”
“That’s still considered as doing something, Ismaya.”
“Yes, trashing is doing something.”
“Enough.” Bathara Guru stepped in. “No excuses anymore. All have to pitch in. It is our idea so we all have to work hard for it.” Then he added, “even with a cost of arms and legs.”
Ismaya rolled his eyes. “Our ideas, he said.”
Meanwhile, Anantaboga's anxiety shot through the sky. “Arms and legs? What arms and legs?”
Ismaya smirked and added, “hey Guru! If, let say someone have no arms and legs…”
“Cut any part left. I don’t care. That’s not the point.” Guru walked away with no trace of smile.
Ismaya’s face beamed with mischief as he approached Anantaboga.”Trouble is brewing, trouble is bruu…”
“Ismaya!” A stern voice saved Anantaboga from Ismaya’s taunt.”Could you stop?”
“Narada, you are such a straight line. Bo-ring.”
“Walk-a-way, cousin. Find out your job and deal with your part. Shoo.”
Ismaya stomped away as Narada gave Anantaboga an encouraging pat.“Anta, have you find out your part?”
“One of the main pillars’ cornerstone.”
“Oh wow, that’s important. Guru must’ve put a lot of trust in you. You should be proud.”
“Oh yes, I am dreadfully proud. Just my luck of the draw. How am I going to do it, Narada?”
“Well, let’s start with choosing the right material. How about that mountain by the sea? It always packed with hot brewing lava.”
Anantaboga shut his eyes in frustration. “I’m not worry about finding the right material or how I will bring it here. It’s about how could I shape it properly.”
“Oh you can easily cut with your powerful jaw and scales.”
“No. The carvings Narada?”
Narada moved his arms around. “Maybe the panoramic view of the earth, or horizon…or the story of our creation? Maybe…”
“No, Narada. How can I do the details?”
“As I say, carvings.”
“Yes,” Anantaboga sighed before continuing with a definite exasperation, “no arms, no legs? That’s should be as easy as painting the rainbow.”
Narada’s mouth made a big O. “Oh dear. You are not the luckiest one here aren’t you?”
“No joke. Any advice?”
“Ggg…ummm…you know maybe…umm…use your scales?”
“It’s a cutting machine. I could carve a mountain out of the ground but not carvings on a small, tiny, boulder.”
“Ummm…teeth?” Narada suggested another one.
“Have you heard of my powerful jaw? Crushing power?”
“Ya…eee…ummm…I can help?” Narada exhausted his option with a weary smile.
“Were you in the room when Guru announced? No help remember, everyone is on their own.”
Suddenly a figure passed by with a taunting voice. “Yeeees, haven’t you heard Na-ra-da? You’re own your own…” Ismaya raised his hand and made a straight head cutting motion under his chin. Anantaboga gulped.
Narada’s eyes turned darker with anger. “Scatter Ismaya!” He chased Ismaya away.
“Oh wonderful, even the Supreme Advisor got no advice for me.”
“Come on Anta, we can think of something else.” Narada came back with a nervous laugh.
“How?” Without realizing, Anantaboga started to sob. As his sadness grew, three glimmering tears fell down to the earth and transformed. While Anantaboga was brooding over his misfortune, Narada glanced down to earth and caught his eyes on something.
Anantaboga refused to open his eyes and kept on burying his head into a cloud.
“Anta, look!” Narada pulled Anantaboga up. “Do you see that? Those three sparkling jewels, or is it pearls, maybe diamonds? Yes, Guru has been meaning to find something for Uma. Well anyway, what ever. Look at it.”
Anantaboga stared at the three spots that Narada pointed with awe. “So stunning. What are those?”
Narada laughed. “It’s your tears, silly.”
“Yes.” Narada’s eyes sparkled. “And you can bring it to Guru in exchange for your duty. Explain your situation, he will understand. Give it as sacrificial talismans, trust me. Just make sure not to crush it.”
Anantaboga’s eyes grew, this time with a tinge of gladness. “Oh Narada! Thank you. You are the Supreme Advisor.”
Narada smiled. “Couldn’t have done it without you. Literally. Now go, hurry. I hate to see you so restless.”
Anantaboga rushed to the earth while the sun still high up in the sky. He passed through mountains and jungles and rivers and ridges to gather all three jewels which turned out to be eggs. Each one of it had their own distinct yet magnificent characteristics. His mind pondered as how could his own tears could turned into the very thing that would save his life. He was so careful in putting the three eggs into his mouth that he forgot to check what was around him.
The moment he got up to fly back to Svargaloka, he noticed the ground has turned much darker.
Wow, have I been down here that long. Oh please Surya, be busy and forget to tuck in the sun. Give me a little more time…
Then he heard the familiar unmistakable sound that resemble a tornado. He froze on his path and began to notice his whereabouts.
Oh no, no, no, no! Could this day go any worse?
“Hey! Anta. What brings you to this part of earth?”
Anantaboga turned his head with a shudder. In front of him, a pair of fire crimson wings that outlined its golden feathers as massive as a crater folded down to reveal more sunlight. He winced as its jet black hair whipped the air around him. But it was those curvature of the cobalt colored talons and the creature’s golden beak that instilled great fear inside of him.
Garuda…why does it have to be Garuda. WHY…
“As I said, what brings you to my side of the earth?”
Anantaboga tried to smile and mumbled a greeting. His eyes blinked with a rapid rhythm, seeking for a way out of there. He could slither across the sky like a lightning, but not fast enough compared to Garuda’s flying prowess. Sometimes, he wondered if Garuda could appear without traveling at all. He could be there and gone the next second much like what happened just now. How Garuda could sneak in on others escaped his mind. His immortal rival and friend stood towered him with arms and legs resembled the lava pillars that extended from the belly of the earth.
Snap out of it. No time for this.
“Ananta. You haven’t answered my question.” Garuda tapped his foot against the ground.
Uh oh. He started to use all letters of my name.
Again Anantaboga tried to mumble a greeting with a slight bow of his head.
Come on you muscle brain. Don’t you have anywhere else to go.
“What? You’re to good to say a word now? Gesture only? Explain yourself. Why are you here?”
He mumbled an explanation worth of an infant.
“What’s that about Guru? And eggs? My eggs?”
Anantaboga shook his head hurriedly.
“Oh, no your eggs? Well I guess a snake lay eggs too.”
“HAGA!” Anantaboga yelled out with a closed mouth.
“What? Oh yeah, Naga. Sure, glorified snakes.” Garuda waved his hand in dismissal.
Anantaboga moved away toward a higher ground. He was getting ready to take off when Garuda appeared again in front of him.
“Hey, leaving so soon already? Usually you laughed it off and banter with me. Also, you haven’t tell me about your duty for the Pancawarna. I was hoping I could come but my own duty calls.” Garuda stared at him with his dark sable eyes.
Anantaboga tilted his head here and there, again mumbling his story.
“Oh come on Anta! Speak up. Open your mouth. Your famous massive jaw.”
No time, no time, no time.
Anantaboga braved himself to push through Garuda. He winced with fear and anticipation.
“Anantaboga! Since when you become such an arrogant serpent!”
I’m as good as dead.
Garuda was well known for his hatred to anything serpentine. Their friendship was as miraculous as the process of creation itself. He usually loved to push Garuda’s buttons as they argued and conversed days and nights, but that day was not one of it. Never once he dreamt of willingly surrendered under Garuda’s beating, but his newfound protective instinct made him bow and curled his head deep into his abdomen. He shielded the three precious eggs while his body was shredded to bloody mess by Garuda. Either way, there was a enormous possibility that he would not survive, and after laying his eyes on these beautiful eggs, he would trade his life to protect them. The warmth of a living being inside each shell was beating against the ceiling of his mouth. Faint whispers entered his ear, calling his name alike newborn baby to their mother.
Be safe please. Our life depend on it, little ones.
While Anantaboga prayed, Garuda puzzling mind annoyed him. Never once he knew Anantaboga to surrender with no objection let alone silently. His anger rose before he began to notice how Anantaboga’s body awkwardly curled in. In a moment of rage, he sunk his talon into Anantaboga’s cheek. Anantaboga’s jaw spasmed and cracked open. Two of his precious eggs that he protected with his life rolled out. Everything seemed to happen in a slow motion when the eggs slipped away one by one against his scales. His heart sunk within the sea of despair when he heard the shells landed on the hard ground.
“Eeeeeek, eeek. Oink oink.”
From the corner of his eyes, Anantaboga saw a wild boar emerged and skittered away as it saw Garuda. Soon a second wild boar followed the first one into the darkness of the jungle. Anantaboga called their name inside his heart and prayed for their safety.
Kalabuat and Budug Asu, run away as far as you can. You shall find an earthy king who will raise you as his own.
Anantaboga buried his head under the length of his body and waited and waited. Garuda, with his fury finally seized, watched Anantaboga. His once proud rival and friend lay down without any words. A part of Garuda felt pity, while the other part of him still brewing.
“What is it that you could not tell me, Anantaboga? Is that how little you thought of me?”
Anantaboga swallowed his words. Maybe, another time. Perhaps we could be a stronger friend than before. Soon Anantaboga felt the dust sprinkling over his wound before the sense of relief washed over his physical pain. Garuda had took off with head held high, hoping his anger would dissipated away.
The surviving egg rolled out of his mouth onto the soft moss nearby. He circled and caressed it with sense of pride. H inhaled and gathered the strength that he needed to finally ascend.
He entered Svargaloka and bathed within the dense cloud. With little time left, he's trying to be a bit more presentable before he approached Bhatara Guru’s dwelling with a torn heart. Part of him didn’t want to give up the only egg left but part of him also didn’t want to give up the only head he had.
“Bhatara Guru, it is I, Anantaboga. I come to present you a gift.”
Bhatara Guru looked up from his work with a noticable curiosity. “Why the gift, Anta?”
“I apologized for my lack of ability in building Pancawarna. With the absence of arms and legs, I am afraid I cannot fulfill my duty. However, this is the egg that was a part of me and I prayed that this will do as an atonement.”
“Hmm, Narada has been talking about a beautiful jewel that might fit my need. Is this that?”
Bhatara Guru approached Anantaboga and immediately was taken by the egg. “Such beauty.” He then touched the egg before smiling at Anantaboga. “Anta, I will trust you to take care of this egg until it matures.”
“Guru?” Anantaboga couldn’t believe his luck.
“It is an egg right? And it is telling me how much you have gone through to protect it. I believe that you are the only one that could raised this egg until it is ready, so go on. I relief you of your duty for Pancawarna, in exchange you will present the egg when it is ready. I am reserving the front row seat for the miracle.”
Anantaboga was so full with joy that he couldn’t find a word to say.
“Go on Anta. With you unavailable, I will be busier than ever.”
“How about the present you’ve been looking for Bhatari Uma?”
Bhatara Guru glanced at the egg and said, “postponed. She understands. I will send supplies for your nesting through Narada.”
“Thank you, Bhatara Guru.” Anantaboga cradled the egg with his body.
“Don’t thank me. It is still a present for Uma.”
Anantaboga wouldn’t leave the egg out of his sight, even when Bhatari Uma and all the other goddesses visited and offered to help.
“Anta, dear. Aren’t you tired? You had been guarding this beautiful being ever since.” Bhatari Uma cooed the egg.
“Oh Uma, Anta now know what nursing bond meant. Aren’t you dear?” Bhatari Sunan Ambu traced the shell lovingly.
“I grew significant amount of respect for you all.” Anantaboga nodded his head while sipping heavenly nectar from Narada.
“More than what you already have, Anta?” Narada asked.
“More than that. The bond is simply…”
“No words can explain it Anta.” Uma patted Anantaboga’s back with pride.
“Yes, Uma. No words.”
“What is it Ambu?” Every eyes turned to her.
She pointed at the egg. “Anta, it’s started to crack.”
“Oooh. Gotta go. I need to alert everyone!” Narada vanished while Uma and Sunan Ambu gathered the goddesses to pack all needed for the ceremony.
“Anta. Are you ready?” Sunan Ambu looked at him.
Anantaboga stared at the egg and answered, “it is time.”
“Yes, it is time.”
Every corner of Svargaloka was bustling with excitement. They all came with offerings into the new palace, even those who lived away at the end of the earth.
“See, now we can accommodate more than the old palace.” Bhatara Guru sat down with a big smile on his face.
“You always ready for a big celebration, Guru.” Bhatari Uma teased him.
“Oh, I am also always ready for one on one celebration, Uma.” Bhatari Guru rested his hand on Bhatari Uma’s lower back to pull her closer.
“Oh stop, not now.”
“Uma.” Bhatari Guru took his time tracing on her arms up to her neck.
“Look, Anta is here.” Bhatari Uma raced to welcome Anantaboga.
“Oh, pfft, yes Anta is here. Urgh, why is my sarong uncomfortable?”
“Guru. The day has come.” Anataboga bowed his head on the center of the hall.
“Ugh. Let’s hope this worth the interruption, Uma,” grumbled Bhatara Guru.
“Guru,” hissed Bhatara Uma.
“Proceed.” Bhatara Guru raised his hand and commanded everyone attention toward the egg.
The egg, now larger and more exquisite that before, started to fidget. More fissures were created as the anticipation of the crowd grew. Even Bhatara Guru edged forward to look. Then what came next was the least expected of all. As the pieces of shell crumbled to the floor, glittering dust began to swirl around the center. The creature that emerged was covered with multitude of color that was reflected by its scales. Once it stood up, the scales too shed away to the ground. Hovering on top of the remaining shell, the being was revealed to be a beautiful maiden. With hair as black as the evening sky, eyes as curious as a new born tigress, and limbs as delicate as a baby fawn, she raised her face to seek her guardian.
Her eyes swept the crowd and met Bhatara Guru’s for just a glance, but that glance had piqued Bhatara Guru unlike other. However,the newborn hatchling kept looking until she rested her eyes on Anantaboga’s. “Father,” she murmured and slowly crawled to his embrace. “Father.”
“Oh, my daughter. You are more than I had expected,” whispered Anantaboga.
“Father, show me.”
“The world is my promise.”
The little girl nodded. “I’m hungry, Father.”
Bathara Guru heard the little girl’s request and encouraged his wife to nurse the her. Bathari Uma, who already enamored by the little hatchling even when she was still an egg was beyond delighted.
“Guru, Anta, what should we call her?” Narada asked.
“Sri Pohatji,” Anantaboga answered without a doubt.
“Dewi Nyi Pohatji Sanghyang Sri Dangdayang Tisnawati,” Bhatara Guru added.
“Nyi Pohatji!” Ismaya cut in with a big smile that invited Bhatara Guru and Anantaboga glares. “What? That name is too mouthful, Guru. Can you imagine calling her after she, oh I don’t know accidently shattered a precious jewel? You are in trouble Nyi Pohatji Sanghyang Sri Dangdayang Tisnawati.” Nobody replied to him. “By the time you said her third name she’s gone.”
“She won’t bring trouble to anyone, Ismaya.” Bhatari Uma held Nyi Pohatji up.
“Sure she won’t.”
“Unless to you, Uncle.” Nyi Pohatji playfully tapped Ismaya’s crown, before adding, “oooh, pretty.”
“Off limits, hatchling.” Ismaya scowled at her.
“You no fun, Uncle.” Her respond was welcomed by laughter of everyone.
“Looks like you met your match, Ismaya.” Anantaboga nodded with approval.
Ismaya was almost stewing before he saw Nyi Pohatji winked at him the same moment she was whisked away by the others. He saw Anantaboga’s scales on her hand as she raised it to him. Anantaboga had never let anyone touched his scales, let alone plucking it one by one, but this little one was impressive. “Ooh, little hatchling. I might just like you.”
As time went by Nyi Pohatji grew up to be a graceful yet agile young lady. She excelled in almost anything Anantaboga threw at her. She became the subject of everyone’s admiration and love. One in particular was Bhatara Guru. The interest that was planted in the first glance had grew and became fruitful. One of the forbidden fruit had ripened into Bhatara Guru’s unconscious mind.
“Nyi Pohatji is such a fast learner.” Narada rested on the day bed next to Bhatara Guru. They were once again gathered to watch Nyi Pohatji performed with the rest of Svargaloka dancer. “I almost have nothing anymore to teach her.”
Bhatara Guru laughed. “You’re aging Narada?”
“Almost, I said almost Guru.”
“Yes, she is stunning isn’t she. I barely see Anta scowling anymore. Remember when he was young?” Bhatara Guru drew an angry picture of Anantaboga on the rice.
“Oh. That kid, always so serious. Have I told you how panic he was about the Pancawarna?”
“Yes. But because of that we were gifted with such a beauty.” Bhatara Guru shifted in his seat.
“What is it Guru? You’ve been eating too much again.” Narada teased him.
“No, it is just, my sarong. Uncomfortable. Anyway, even Ismaya likes to banter with her.”
“Yes. Even Ismaya. Oh they’re done.” Narada and Bhatara Guru’s eyes followed the performer as they exited the stage.
“Oh yes. Oh, I’ll be right back, Narada. I need to get my new keris to show you.” Bhatara Guru stood up to find Bhatari Uma stood nearby.
Narada raised his brow as Bhatara Guru almost passed his beloved wife without planting a kiss on her. “How strange.”
Bhatari Uma sat next to him and smiled.
“Tell me. What is it?”
“What is what, Narada?”
Narada turned his body to face Uma fully. “Anyone but me, Uma. You can fool anyone but me.”
Uma sighed and nibbled on the brown sugary treat. “Guru. He…he’s so absentminded these days.”
“Really?” Narada digged his mind for any upcoming project that Bhatara Guru might have. He always had something but these days, he barely had anything, which was so unlike Bhatara Guru.
“He barely rest anymore too. You know how he always have little naps here and there?”
“Yes, creative mind needs plenty of those breaks.” Narada chuckled.
“No more, Narada.”
“What?” Narada raised his voice in concern.
“Not even full sleep at evening anymore.” Uma grabbed another rice treats out of nervous habit.
“That is interesting.”
“One thing that remains though, he still likes to stroll by the sanctuary. Even more often now. At least that habit stays so I’m not worried that he had completely changed.”
“Yes. Oh thank you, Narada. Talking to you eased my mind.” Uma smiled with relief.
But not the same could be said for Narada. He glanced around while something in his mind continued to nag him. “Uma, please excuse me, I need to check on the dancer.”
“Oh yes, of course Narada.”
Narada wandered around with an increasing suspicion in his mind. In the end, he couldn’t disagree with himself anymore. He walked toward the back pavilion and spotted Bhatara Guru behind a pillar. He noted Bhatara Guru’s unusual behaviour.
Why are you hiding, Guru? How long has you been hiding?
Then in the corner of his eyes, he saw Nyi Pohatji waved goodbye to the other dancer before walking toward the sanctuary.
Her tree house. She slept there often. Guru! You did not.
He felt a pang on by his chest when he saw Bhatari Guru shadowed Nyi Pohatji. His suspicion was confirmed without a doubt. He followed them along and watched Bhatara Guru’s eyes grew as he followed Nyi Pohatji every move. That night and many nights after, Narada camped out at the sanctuary just to witness Bhatara Guru showed up evening after evening with one purpose, Nyi Pohatji. The girl that suppose to be like his own daughter. Finally Narada could not hold back anymore. He insisted to talk alone with Bhatara Guru while they were out on a trip to the earth.
“Guru. I heard you have been having trouble sleeping at night or at all.”
Bhatara Guru barely gave anything to Narada’s suspicion. “Yes. Did Uma tell you?”
“I know that’s why I love her.”
Narada pressed on. “Good thing we have the sanctuary. You could rest there.”
“Yeah. You too?” Bhatara Guru didn’t even flinch.
“Of course. That’s why Sunan Ambu made it. For weary souls right?”
“Yes. It is beautiful. Always pulls me back to it.”
Narada inhaled and said, “what do you like the best?”
Bhatara Guru didn’t respond for a while. “What not to like? I can’t choose.”
“Just pick one out of spite.”
“Haha, out of spite huh? You always do this whenever I have hard decision to make, then you’ll say follow my first instinct.” Bhatara Guru tapped Narada’s back.
“Oh yes. The treehouses. I love climbing in. I would like to live there sometimes. Just like Nyi Pohatji.”
Bhatara Guru’s ears perked up ever so slightly. “Yes, Pohatji. Always there.”
“She’s pretty much the guardian already.” Narada kept talking, “grew up to be so beautiful.”
“Amazing ability. Especially when she dance. Reminded me of Uma when she was still performing.”
“Yes. She has her own flair though.” Bhatara Guru looked up to the sky.
“She added those flair to her costume. Very form flattering. How to say…It hugged her perfectly.” Narada tiptoed on his words and added, “I just wish the other dancer could be more like her.”
“Yes, more like her,” muttered Bhatara Guru.
Narada looked away to follow Bhatara Guru’s eye view and bit the inside of his lips to hide his disappointment which then drown by his irritation. He waved his hand in front of Bhatara Guru to erase the trace of Bhatara Guru’s creation within the jungle below them. Without realizing it, Bhatara Guru had carved Nyi Pohatji face into the earth.
“Can you be even more obvious?” said Narada.
Bhatara Guru’s eyes full of lust and fury stared back at Narada.
“Guru, calm down. All I’m saying is someone might see.” Narada shrugged his shoulder.
“So what, Narada? I am the master of Svargaloka. Nobody shall defy me.”
“Guru, come on be smarter.” Narada raised his brows. Bhatara Guru’s mellowing eyes turned to him. “You do know how many will side with you right?”
“You? That’s all I need.”
“Not unless you want to take a chance of being overthrown. I know I’m good, but not that good if you keep up with this.” Narada hid his clenching fist.
“I’m listening.” Bhatara Guru folded his arms on his chest.
“Well do you want to just swept her off her feet with the wedding, or you want to court her?” Narada swallowed his disgust.
I’m so good, I’m starting to hate myself.
“Hmm, what question is that Narada? So unlike you.” Bhatara Guru raised his chin and stared into Narada’s eyes.
Narada scoffed. “But this is unlike regular circumstances, Guru.”
Bhatara Guru laughed. “You know me so well, Narada.”
Love can be so blind but this is just vomit inducing.
Narada continued,”think about it. Who will understand when they’ve been seeing Bhatari Uma nursed and breastfeed her. For them, she’s practically your daughter.”
“Practically, not biologically. She is not related to me by blood, maybe my wife but not me.” Bhatara Guru shrugged his shoulder.
Narada gritted his teeth but smiled. “But who will listen to you if you flaunt your courtship if front of everyone? It’s like a slap to Uma.”
“Dishonorable to the head of Svargaloka, bla bla bla. I can already hear the buzzing of the gossip. So?”
Narada sighed. When did you become such a roach brain? Oh how you have fallen, Guru. “Do you think about Nyi Pohatji’s feeling?”
Guru swallowed his pride and breathed out. “No. Oh how selfish was I.”
“Yeah, pretty selfish.” Really really ultimately selfish.
“Although, I cared deeply for Sri.”
Oh, grhh, you even have love name for her now.
“Alright, I will keep this down, but don’t stop me from trying to court her.”
“Why would I? As long as you know the limit.”
Bhatara Guru tilted his head. “Limit?”
“For now, Guru. Come on now.”
“Oh yes. You are right.” Bhatara Guru nodded.
“Nothing could stop you anyway, just don’t force your way through this.”
“Ah Narada! You are always the best on this kind of thing. Getting Uma was partly your effort too.”
“Don’t push it.” Bathara Guru faked anger.
They both broke into laughter.
I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this, Guru. You have chosen the path but an innocent child will now pay the price.
“NOOOO. What have you done Narada!” Bhatari Uma sobbed next to a lifeless Nyi Pohatji.
“She was addicted, Uma. I have to stop her.” Narada held Nyi Pohatji other hand as his tears welled up.
“Who’s idea was it first to give her the forbidden fruit, NARADA!”
“It’s the only one that could weaned her off of you quickly.”
“It was never an issue that she nursed from me. I love her, I cherish it.”
“She’s growing up, Uma. You can’t say that she’s not addicted to your milk too. That’s how she got all her skills and knowledge. All her goddesses quality.”
“At least my milk it’s not TOXIC, NARADA! TOXIC!”
“Narada, you might want to step away for now.” Sunan Ambu pulled Narada’s shoulder.
Narada looked up to Sunan Ambu and nodded. They both walked away in silence and busy with their own chaotic mind.
“Narada. We have to hide her.” Sunan Ambu had just started to talk when she saw Ismaya before he rammed Narada from the back.
Narada muttered, “you guys agree to this.”
“Yes, but withdrawal symptoms need to be handled gently, Narada.” Sunan Ambu wiped her tears.
“We don’t have time! Guru would’ve figure it out.”
“What’s the difference now, Narada?” Ismaya shoved Narada.
Sunan Ambu pulled Ismaya arm and swung it behind his back. She glowered,”not the time.”
“Urggh, Ambu. Let me go. Can you blame me?”
“I know Ismaya. I know. None of us ever see you get attached to a youngling. And I trust Narada know exactly, but he is also right. We agreed to this.”
“Now what, Narada? Your responsibility.” Glared Ismaya.
Narada closed his eyes and said, “call Surya. We need to do this under the curtain of darkness. Let Garuda know to keep Antaboga busy.”
“Garuda knows?” Ismaya asked.
“No, get them something to do, you’re good at leading people round and around, Ismaya.” While Ismaya rolled his eyes, Narada then continued, “tell Baruna we need the thickest cloud he could make to cover the burial.”
“And what about you Narada?” Sunan Ambu asked.
“Anyone else want to keep Guru busy? Anyone?”
“Fine. I’ll take care of Uma.” Sunan Ambu stood up and exhaled with heavy heart.
“Narada,” Ismaya called him back,”be careful.”
“And be really careful.” Ismaya showed his clenched fist to him.
“I understand, Ismaya.”
However, without a warning and out of their seemingly unlimited power, none of them able to move. Ismaya, who usually had no fear against anyone started to tremble. He knew exactly who had done this. The one who had the ultimate power to control them but always refuse to use it, until that day.
My children. You have committed a grave sin. You might not intend to murder the young innocent hatchling, but your act had bring the wickedness into Svargaloka. It is I, Sang Hyang Kersa, Father of Bhatara Guru and you, Ismaya, who will take care of this. None of you shall know the location of Nyi Pohatji sacred body. Such infallible sprout may once again bring miracle into the life of others, but this time none of you is blessed to be a part of it. All you will do is to witness from afar.
The pressure that gave heaviness to their being was suddenly lifted. Narada and Ismaya stared at each other and soon Sunan Ambu emerged next to them.
“What now?” Ismaya asked.
They all look into each other’s eyes.
“We would just be the audience now. Nothing else we can do,” Narada said.
“It will only Bagawan Sang Sri who knows where Nyi Pohatji’s location,” added Sunan Ambu.
“That’s it then. We won’t find her anymore. I can’t even bid my farewell to the little miss know it all.” Ismaya ground his teeth.
“What about Guru?” Sunan Ambu turned to Narada.
“Out of my hand now. The Almighty had announced the edict.It’s out of our hands now.”
“You think Bhatara Guru know…” Sunan Ambu asked.
“I don’t think Father Almighty will say the same thing to Guru. Most likely he punished him for his own sin,” Ismaya answered.
“I figured that when I saw Uma suddenly stop being hysterical.” Sunan Ambu turned away. “I should check up on her again.”
“I’ll try to find out from Bagawan.” Ismaya walked away.
“Go ahead waste your time,” commented Narada.
“Then what’s your brilliant idea this time, cousin?” Ismaya mocked him.
“You won’t find out the location no matter what Ismaya,” Sunan Ambu answered,”all you can know is what Bagawan will do for the body.”
“Fine then. I’ll find that out too. Anything for now. Just anything.” Ismaya disappeared just to leave a strong wind that blasted his cousin and all Narada wanted to do was to dig his way into the belly of the earth and melted away.
The whole Svargaloka mourned the departure of their joy and laughter. The sanctuary’s flowers wilted before it could fully bloom. The waterfall had become an echo of their own sorrow and the treehouses were just caskets that housed their souls. Then Ismaya arrived with instruction from Bagawan.
“To pay respect to our beloved Nyi Pohatji, I want you all to give me the most fragrant incense you all could make. I will give it to Bagawan to adorn her.” He walked away from everyone and paused. “Don’t even think about trying to find her even with the incense that you make. Bagawan had make sure none of us can.” Ismaya then took off.
Svargaloka had once again bustling with activity. Anantaboga and Bhatari Uma hosted a ceremony to bless piles upon piles of incense while Bhatara Guru led everyone with silence. Never once he met eyes with the two hosts within the occasion. The three of them kept their own thoughts to each other with Sang Hyang Kersa as their only confidant. They had erected an invisible wall from each other and kept on wondering whether Svargaloka would ever be the same again. Ismaya came back with an enchanted crate from Bagawan. Although small, it was able to house every single incense that crowded the floor of the big hall. He looked at everyone without a word and with a nod he once again took off. Then nothing but to wait. Days had become weeks, than months that seemed more like centuries.
Eventually, Ismaya returned with the news. “Behold, Svargaloka. The miracle that Almighty Father had promised. The mystery that we could only witness. Look down to the earth and watch.” He pointed to beneath them.
Sunan Ambu began to sing praises with all Svargaloka joined in,
Our dear wonderful Nyi Pohatji, your departure we still mourn.
The beautiful maiden that was a magnificent egg, you have grew within us and now in passing, you keep on giving more.
From your crown, a plant with thirst quenching juice and white edible flesh, we shall call thee coconut.
From your flowing hair, the green grass with blossoming flowers spreading fragrant perfume without a doubt.
From your lips that gave flavor to our lives may grow spices with intense aroma that enriched anything it touches.
From your delicate fingers, strong flexible bamboo, sway with the music of the wind that reminded us of your dances.
Your strong arms shall gave strength of many a year trees from their root.
From the nectar of your breast shall grow those that bear honeyed fruit.
From your womanly shall rear sugary palm that gave its sweet sap to the bitterness of life.
And from the core of your being, where you first received may sprout the miracle that is rice.
For it is food for the people and symbol of prosperity to strive.
Too long? Should I separate it into two posts next time? What do you think readers? Let me know in comment section below and share share share.