My Beautiful Strangers

So there I was puttering in the house when the playlist, that I always set at random, choose Madonna’s Beautiful Stranger. Suddenly my mind is transported back to Summer of 99… πŸ™‚

Back then I was graduate student living a stress free (yeah right!) life in Boston. My best mates were Rob and Matt. All of us were in the same COM class of ’00 though Matt was in Production like me and Rob was in TV Management. In the first semester we share a fair amount of classes together and we just clicked. Soon the three of us would hang out everywhere together.

Between internship and the already paid rent I decided to stay during the summer instead of going home. Matt and Rob were also staying in town. So of course we spend even more time hanging out together. Of the three of us, Rob is the only one with a proper paying job, that’s how he supports himself through school. Thus he’s the one with a car and during that summer he decided to bought a new car. I don’t for the live of me remember what the car was, all I remember was that it was an SUV, black, with only 2 doors cuz he said 4 doors are for families. Whatever. It means Matt and I were always fighting to ride shotgun. He likes that. Evil!

Rob’s job involved him going out-of-town for a couple of weeks or so, then stay in town for a few. He’s in union too so it was a very well paid job compared to the rest of us (yeah so say the trust fund baby with the monkey servant and elephant showers – ok that’s an inside jokes πŸ˜‰ Now that he has a car, whenever he’s in town he likes to pack us up and go somewhere. So off we go. Sometimes we just go to chill out around Boston, sometimes we go further like to New York or to the Cape. He’d lug us there, took us to his favourite place to have clam chowder then we’d hit the beach.

It was during one of these sunset session at the Cape that we really opened up to one another. This sounds really clichΓ© but we talked about our hopes, our dreams, our fears. We have another year of school then off to the real world we go. Matt and Rob (no, they’re not a couple) were planning to move to NYC and I was not sure where to go. I don’t want to go home just yet, I want to go to LA but neither of them wants to go there. Rob because his job’s HQ is in NY so if he wants to move to management it makes more sense to be there rather than somewhere else. Matt, well he’s from the NY State so it’s like going home for him. They were trying to persuade me to come with them, pointing out the benefit of being in the Big Apple, “We could live together like Friends!” Err… as much as I love you guys, I really don’t want to live with you. No thank you.

As the moon rose, the sea gets really dark. I suddenly quipped, “To think, my family is on the other side of the ocean…” and it hits me, sooner or later this is just going to be a memory. I am going home eventually. I am going to miss my two best friends very much. We joked that I should get married to Rob (cuz Matt already have a girlfriend somewhere) to get a green card then split immediately. Haha! Now that would be really funny. My parents would kill me for a start…

What has this got to do with Beautiful Strangers? Well, it was in Austin Powers, a movie that came out that summer, that we watched together and have a good laugh. It was on the radio during our trips, alternating with Ricky Martin and J-Lo. So yeah, here we are more than a decade later. I’m firmly at home and those two are firmly at NY. I kinda lost touch with Matt, last I heard he’s doing just fine. I hope so. Rob updates his fb every now and then so I know he’s definitely doing good.

Here’s to my beautiful strangers, may you stay well and beautiful. Cheers!

The Beautiful Strangers in Boston


Cerita Jumat: Ummu Salamah dan Abu Salamah

~ Ummu Salamah dan Abu Salamah ~

Suatu ketika, Ummu Salamah r.ha berkata kepada Abu Salamah r.a β€œ Aku mendengar bahwa jika seorang suami menikahi seorang istri dan keduanya saling mencintai, kemudian suaminya meninggal dunia lebih dulu lalu istrinya tidak menikah lagi dengan siapa pun, maka di surga istrinya itu akan mendapatkan suaminya kembali. Begitu juga jika seorang suami menikah, lalu istrinya mendahuluinya meninggal dunia, setelah itu suami tidak menikah lagi dengan wanita mana pun, maka ia akan masuk surga dan mendapatkan dia sebagai istrinya. Oleh karena itu, marilah kita berjanji tidak akan menikah lagi jika salah seorang diantara kita meninggal lebih dulu ”.

Abu Salamah r.a berkata, β€œ Apakah engkau akan menuruti ucapanku ? β€œ

Jawab istrinya, β€œ Itulah sebabnya aku bermusyawarah denganmu agar dapat menurutimu β€œ.

Kata Abu Salamah r.a, β€œ Jika aku meninggal nanti, menikahlah engkau β€œ.

Lalu Abu Salamah r.a berdo’a, β€œ Ya Allah, sepeninggalku nanti, berilah Ummu Salamah suami yang lebih baik dariku, yang tidak akan menyedihkan hatinya dan tidak menyusahkannya β€œ.

Tanyakan ‘Ikhlas’ pada bunda Ummu Salamah r.a, ketika akhirnya suami tercinta pun mendahuluinya menghadap Ilahi. Ketika ‘Ikhlas’ dalam kepatuhan sbg seorg istri dan hamba itu betul-betul dijaga dan dilakukan, Allah memberinya ganti, dengan sebaik-baik pengganti atas dia yang telah pergi ..

Diceritakan ulang oleh Sayyidah Djauhar Murtafiah