I = My Father ?

I cannot stop telling myself  to keep a straight face, prevent yawns, and when I have the capabilities, to put some interested expression, whenever my father telling some random information in random session. It seems like it is a very boring event, the way I put it, but the truth is it doesn’t happen on every occasion. Many times the information are very interesting. He has a lot knowledge in his head and he only have a handful time to share them all. He’s like a walking Wikipedia, an exaggeration I admit, but you get the point.

Then, recently I realized I often inform people with random, oot information in many occasions, mostly on journey or on that awkward moment when suddenly the conversation died out for there is no more topic to be discussed. I tried to quantify how many times in a week I do that, and guess what…

I’m turning into my father

*it is interesting to know that “information” often is a source of linguistic mistake made by non-English as first language speaker, because “information” in their native language has plural and singular form, but in English it has only singular form for it is uncountable noun. Oh no, I did it again!

Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Pot calling the kettle black, an interesting idiom. Let me give some brief examples to describe what this idiom trying to express.

There was once upon a time a boy, let’s call him Nes, who sulked and complained about how his subordinate left a very important task for a trivial reason, a weekend holiday, and eventually forced him to do the burdensome task himself. A couple of months later, this very same boy, abandon a task coming from his superior for a different kind, but with similar ridiculousness, trivial reason; he’s in shortage of penny, while the task requires not more than will and energy. He, in my perspective, showed even more impoliteness to his superior in his rejection of the task compared to what his subordinate had done before. This is pot calling the kettle black.

There was also this different boy, let’s call him Fiveio, who complained about his superior was lazy and did not do his duty properly. And guess what, he, also in my perspective, neglect his duty. This is pot calling the kettle black.

The latter especially, brought me a degree of rage. He told me to read a religious book. He complained over and over about his superior’s laziness. He blamed pretty much every setbacks at his superior. Well, I guess I have a look of a kindergarten teacher, so that every kid in the class come to me complaining and sulking for every unwanted deed coming from their friends.

And my dear reader, I am not different so much from these two characters. Just another “pot calling the kettle black”. My friend told me to tell my feeling, my story, to somebody to make me feel better, and here it is. This is my refuge and I hope you understand how much anger I’m pouring to this world, my world.

Kings and Queens to be

Termites have an interesting class system; the commoners: worker, soldier, and the aristocrats: prince, princess, king, queen. It pretty much resembles ant’s. It all starts from her royal highness, the queen, who give birth to all termites on the colony. She also decided which class they will get into, with some kind of pheromone given while feeding, to be the strong and scary soldiers, protecting the homeland and her royal highness, the queen, from any threat, or to be the humble servant, the worker class, taking the most compulsory role, providing food and maintaining the nest for the survival of the colony, as Napoleon put it: An army marches on its stomach. Or when they are seen as fit, to be the princes and princess of the kingdom, the heir and heiress of the great termite kingdom. They are “laron”-s in my language, or you can call it alate, the ones with royal wings and imperial eyes, educated in aristocratic manner for a noble purpose; expanding the great kingdom, claiming lands rightfully owned by her royal highness, which are every land, and preserving the royal blood.

These princes and princesses will be properly prepared until the day they have to quit the nest to carry out their royal duty, their purpose of life, to be the new kings and queens of the new colonies. In areas with a distinct dry season, like Indonesia, these royal children leave the nest in large swarms after the first good soaking rain of the rainy season, with the rain of sadness and love from people they will leave forever, a very sad goodbye indeed, but their destiny requires this farewell.

They will fly, as strong as their body could, as long as their flesh can sustain, as far as their wings can get them, and they will fall. Their wings will be taken afterwards and they will mate. And we have the new heralded Kings and Queens of the new colony of termites.

The new queen can live up to forty-five years, mating and laying eggs for life. And the king, unlike ants, will mate and continues to mate with the queen for life. That’s a very long time of mating, I must admit. Only death will do them part, what a noble family!

But let us see a better look of their life as princes and princesses. They are told all their life that they are the hope of the colony, that they are nobles, they are the chosen few, and that they will fulfil their royal destiny. But little did they know that their life survival chance are low out of the nest, or at least that’s how I see. I see them fly and fly relentlessly around my residence, to the light, all night long, and in the morning, their corpses will be abundant on the floor. A flight of doom. A sad flight. And as I compare the swarm I saw the previous night with the corpses on the floor, survivors, if there’s any, are not much. If only they were workers or soldiers, they would have lived a longer life, in the calm nest, and to die in the care of their brothers, not destined to have this kind of remorseful slumber far from home.

To live rained with all the motivation and hope from others, convinced that we are special and that we are the chosen few, that our destiny is greatness and glory, aren’t many of us lead that life? Aren’t many of us all then fly to the sun with our wings, and found out that, like Icarus, our wings are fake and they melt as the heat of sun demands them to? Or aren’t many of us then, like Phaeton, dare ourselves to ride the sun chariot, and found out later that we are unfit for the great task as Zeus’ thunderbolt is set to strike us?

A very pessimistic view on life, you might say about this post. A story of false hope, of those who doom themselves. But you can see it in a more positive tone with a little help from a simple phrase: what if. What if you are the survivor of the swarm? What if you are the King or Queen to be? I guess that chance, even at its slightest, worth the risk have to be paid when it is found that we are unfit for the prize. We don’t know what is waiting in our path, we do know that some things are inevitable, death, for example, but much else are covered in mystery, and the outcome of this shot, a rise-or-fall shot, which will only come in rarity, is also unknown to us. Maybe that’s why these alate-s keep flying anyway; this shot worth their life.

 “In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.”—Anton Ego (Ratatouille, 2007)

Anton’s note: Sorry for the long hiatus, my dear reader! Please be nice to me and leave some comments, with critics and advises, for I know a long vacuum has rendered my post creation ability weaker, grammatically, vocabulary, style, or anything else. And you can always tell me your opinion regarding the topic of this post. I will greatly appreciate them. Danke!