Putu goes to a village temple. He looks great and handsome in Balinese outfits wearing white shirt, batik sarong, and udeng, the white headdressess. He brings a little tray with flowers and incence. The priest’s bell resonates the entire temple compound. People are coming with faces look calm and solemn. White dominates men’s clothes while women wear more colours.
Putu is thrilled and happy to visit this temple again. He has been here countless times since he was child. He can see the crowd in jeroan area as he is passing the split gate of the temple.
Every shrines are adorned in white, yellow, red, and gloden clothes. Dragon and other mythological guardian statues grin fierce with sharp fangs. Beautiful offerings stand along on the temple’s altar. Assorted fruits and Balinese cakes are mounting on golden carved dulangs. The flicker of incences spread in every shrines and offerings. The scent penetrates nose to relieve mind and nerves of every attendance there. Canangs graced with fresh and colorful flowers everywhere.
Soon Putu finds a place to sit. He is about to start his prayer while people settle before him preparing to pray also. His mind is serene and longing for this holy place to praise mantras for Gods and Goddesses
As he burns the incense with a lighter, a big heavy hand lands on his shoulder. Before he turns to see the face of the person he hears husky voice, ” How are you Putu? long time no see!”. The man who was his classmate in elementary school suddenly sitting next to him. He is huge like a giant, his tight white shirt chokes his big belly, as if it’s about to burst. ” Oh hi, good good, how are you Gede?”. Putu startles and gets awkward but tries to remain calm. He senses Gede would roast him with burning questions in momentarily.
Next to Gede is sitting his lean beautiful wife and his teenage chubby son scrolling smartphone. Putu smiles to the wife whom is busy with flowers to pray.
” Did you get married?” Gede’s words sting and leave pang in his ears. Putu knew the question will come pretty soon from his friend’s mouth, but he is still not ready for it either. His face turns bashful like ripen tomoto and he replies not yet with a pity chuckle. The giant man is patting Putu’s shoulder with the big hand again. “Come on man what are waiting for? Look! my son is in junior school already.” Gede put a triumph smile on the face watching his friend gets nervous. He enjoys roasting Putu so much.
Putu just nods and forces to smile feeling ashame on himself. He really wants to dash and disappear right away from this place, but he must stay anyway. This talk ruins his serenity. Gede’s words echo in his ears incessantly. He tries to keep calm but hardly to focus his mind to pray.