I first knew Doni Maulistya, or Aul, around the time of his mother’s passing in 2005. I didn’t know much about his mother at that time. Only later I found out that she was a dancer and daughter of a great dancer Bagong Kussudiardja—she is his oldest child. My friendship with Aul later showed me how close he was with his mother—he is her youngest child.
Yesterday, nine years later, his father rejoined his mother. He had been treated in the I.C.U. for the last five days for his sickness. Aul and his two sisters posted prayers and hopes on social media with wording like “praying for the best”. But still it shocked us when the news broke. There is a saying, each of us will eventually die, but none of us is ready to die or to easily accept the death of our loved ones.
Aul’s father (and mother, if she was still alive) is as old as my parents—well my parents are slightly older—which made me think a lot about them while attending the funeral. Both Aul’s parents died of sickness while my own parents are not in great shape (hope they are well).
To my friend Doni Maulistya and sisters Paranditya Wintarni and Indiartari Kussnowari, please accept my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your father. May he rest in peace and may the sorrow you feel in your heart lighten by the love that surrounds you.
P.S.: My mother’s mother died April 2005, two months after Aul’s mother passed away in February 2005, and my father’s mother passed away this February, five months before Aul’s father died yesterday. Coinsidence? ∎
I want to share some photos from my archive, taken at the funeral of Indonesia’s former President Suharto (ruling 1966–1998) in Karanganyar, Central Java, 28 January 2008. It was one of my first experiences of covering big news events, after the earthquake and Merapi eruption in Yogyakarta in mid-2006.
I had just lost my phone at that time, snatched when I was photographing the Javanese/Islamic lunar new year ceremony at Keraton Kasunanan Solo in early January 2008—it was a new phone. I literally bought a new phone—cheaper one—and new SIM card on the way to Solo. I also contacted a friend to bunk in her house in, as well as to help guide me around Karanganyar.
Five years have passed now since Mr. Suharto’s passing, which was ten years after his resignation from the presidency in May 1998, following mass protests (and in some places riots) across Indonesia. I often still wonder what has changed now in post-Reformasi Indonesia.