Total Pageviews


Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Man Called Parno: Chapter 1 - School Days

I've known Parno for 25 years, long and good enough to tell a story. The funny man of our generation, the beauty of Parno is, he doesn't even try to be funny. He's just naturally funny, even when he doesn't intend to. I first met him when he wanted to join our Boy Scout team. He was unwanted elsewhere and we were his last resort. To be frank, we were also a bunch of nerds, so our team was the right fit for him. After going through the informal audition where we realized he simply couldn't do anything (Morse code, flag Semaphore, scouting knots, whatever), we eventually figured out that he could be the victim that we placed on the stretcher. That's how he got to join the group, primarily just for laugh.

There's something in him that always turns him into a laughing stock. For some strange reasons, it seems like he is always followed by a series of unfortunate events. Some are self-inflicted, others can be genuine. I remember when he came to my house and told me about the firecracker transaction he would have with Sugendar on the following day, then on the very day itself he was raided by Pak Singlip (we were doing Junior High One then and Pak Singlip was his homeroom teacher). He soon found himself standing in front of the teacher office, sucking a firecracker that was ready to be lit anytime.

With such unlucky fate that, more often than not, made him the butt of the jokes, even his closest buddies would subconsciously end up as bullies sometimes. In Parno's case, I really don't see how we could actually avoid that. For example, in another occasion, when we had our lunch at Sunarto's kway teow stall (I think Surianto Landak was there, too), he accidentally poured the whole bottle of chilli sauce into his plate. What made it more hilarious was his spontaneous remark. He shouted in Teochew something like, "I'm so dead. How am I supposed to eat this now?" We just had to laugh and make fun of him, didn't we? Even Sunarto's father (he was trying his best not to laugh) took pity on him and gave him a free glass of ice tea as a moral support while he struggled to swallow his meal.

From the outsiders' point of view, we might look cruel, alright, but that was just how the mutual relationship was built. It was like a supply and demand thing, which meant bullies only existed because there was one to be bullied, so it was almost like a fair game with a win-win solution. Looking back, of course it's easy to say we shouldn't do what we did, but for the love of God, we were kids and none the wiser then! Anyway, once the laughter subsided, his so-called good friends-cum-bullies did really care about him. Despite the never-ending mockeries, we took care of him, hung out together and influenced each other in a good way. When we were in third grade, the only time we ever went to the same class, Parno picked up the hobby of drawing comics from me.

Thomas and James Boy, the updated version, many years later.
Photo by Parno.

I remember this because I started it first. He saw how I did it and decided to do one himself, then he came up with the story of Boys Brothers, James and Thomas Boy (only God knows why the surname was called Boy), with their best friend Akira, the king of karate, whom seemed to be very insecure about his own skills that he gotta carry a gun (true enough, he was killed early in the series). The comic was so awful that it was universally trashed by others, with Hendra (now known as Oppa) being the loudest. He was questioning why the protagonist needed to carry a suitcase-like equipment with a remark indicating that it was meant for weight lifting and Parno's immediate response was to apply the Tipp-Ex correction fluid, erasing the whole damn thing. Amusing, really. Nevertheless, do you know how Parno faced the harsh criticism? Where other would have given up, he just laughed it off and still continues drawing until today. That is one endearing quality from the man called Parno. He knows very well that he can’t stop people from saying what they want to say, so he let them be and he carries on doing what he always love to do.

When we went to High School, we kept in touch and hung out either at my Auntie's place right behind our school lab or at Endrico's house. Then came the day when we had our grand adventure to Jakarta, a three days two night voyage. We were waiting for Parno as he was requested to bring along his parents to collect his school report card. Apparently he got just enough to pass and was qualified to proceed to the third grade, so off he went with us to Jakarta. His parents gave him only IDR 30K, which was immediately used up to bribe the gate officer as Parno forgot his student card and was refused entry. With no money, he boarded the ship together with Eday, Hartono, Lisna and myself. Oh, I seemed to recall that we bumped into Tuty, too.

Throughout the journey, Parno was so seasick that he even started prophesying how many times more he would vomit (it turned out that he was a false prophet, as he threw out less than seven times). We parted ways with Hartono and Lisna once we reached Jakarta and three of us went to my parents' rented house in Bekasi. That was where Parno tripped over and elbowed the sleeping Eday on the back, causing him to wake up furiously in the middle of the night. Not long after the fateful night, we had a hunch that Parno was actually abandoned. No one seemed to be looking for him, so we sent him to his closest relative in Kelapa Gading. That's how the story of Parno owing Eday IDR 8K came about. 20 years later, the debt is still unpaid, haha.

Parno at Inti College's hostel.

The next big trip came few years later, when we were in college. We went to Kuching and, even though it had been planned, we arrived only to find that Endrico, our one and only contact, was nowhere to be seen. We were lucky that we happened to meet Hendry (Gullit) and Hermanto (Atie) at the bus station. They kindly brought us to their place and contacted Jimmy (Amoy) who came to fetch and bring us around. It was only at night time that our dear guide, Mr. Richard, appeared and smiled innocently. Very reliable, indeed, and he would pull the same stunt again a few years later.

Bumped into Surianto Landak at Saberkas.

The college days were shorter for Parno, for his course was only up to diploma. I was helping him with his thesis, typing and crafting whatever ideas he had into a decent dissertation. However, it was the presentation that was memorable. Yoviana was there and it was her who told me how Parno surprised the lecturers: Parno suddenly stopped in the midst of presentation, claiming that he forgot some English words and confidently requested to continue in French instead. And that he did! Now that was unprecedented!

Parno's birthday celebration at Aneka Rasa.

That was Parno through and through. He made mistakes that were unmistakably his. He is not, for the lack of better words, exactly bright, but he is always comfortable to be himself and he's very much loveable for that alone. I once told him that I really couldn't imagine the possibility of people going all the way to harm him, because he's already so harmless. No, with Parno, if you are patient enough to get past his antics, you'll care about him instead. That's what his inner circle did. We spent time with him, celebrating his birthday and so forth. On the night before his graduation ceremony, when we realized his parents were not attending, I was wondering if Hartono, who was on holiday, could go there so Parno wouldn't be alone and he made it there. As luck would have it, Ardian was there, too, because his sister also graduated at the same time. That's how it was. Everybody did their parts sincerely without asking anything in return.

Hartono attending Parno's graduation day.

The way I look at it, it's like a two way street. With us, Parno never walks alone. He knows that, but never intentionally exploits it. With him, I can say that he tends to humanize us without even knowing it. His happy-go-lucky manner, the way he laughs, I personally learn from him that happiness is from inside our heart, but more to that later. For now, since we already came to the part where he finally graduated, we were now ready for the next big thing in life: going to Jakarta together for job hunting! Into the society and beyond!

Pria Bernama Parno: Bagian 1 - Masa Sekolah

Saya sudah mengenal Parno selama 25 tahun, cukup lama dan akrab untuk bisa bercerita tentang dirinya. Sebagai pria lucu dari generasi kami, keunikan Parno adalah, dia bahkan tidak perlu melucu, karena ia sudah lucu dari sananya, bahkan ketika ia sedang tidak bermaksud untuk melucu. Awal persahabatan kami dimulai dari tim Pramuka. Setelah ditolak di mana-mana, grup kami adalah harapan terakhir baginya. Secara jujur, sebenarnya kami tidak lebih dari kumpulan anak-anak yang tidak pintar bergaul dan oleh karena itu cocok baginya. Setelah audisi apa adanya, kami sadar dia tidak bisa mengerjakan apa pun, mulai dari sandi Morse, tali-temali dan lain, tapi setidaknya dia bisa berpura-pura jadi korban dan berbaring di tandu. Parno akhirnya diterima untuk bergabung karena dia polos dan lucu.

Selalu saja ada hal yang membuat Parno menjadi bahan tertawaan. Rasanya tidak ada penjelasan rasional kenapa begini jadinya, tapi sepertinya Parno selalu dibuntuti oleh berbagai kejadian konyol. Kadang itu karena ulahnya sendiri, kadang juga karena murni ketidakberuntungan semata. Saya ingat tatkala ia bermain ke rumah dan bercerita bahwa ia akan membeli petasan dari Sugendar. Segera setelah transaksi terjadi, dia digerebek oleh Pak Singlip (ini kejadian kelas satu SMP dan wali kelasnya adalah Pak Singlip) dan barang bukti pun ditemukan. Parno pun berakhir di depan kantor guru, berdiri sambil mengulum petasan. 

Dengan nasib semalang itu, seringkali ia menjadi lelucon. Bahkan mereka yang paling dekat dengannya pun bisa dengan tidak sadar mengerjainya. Dalam kasus Parno, rasanya ini sama sekali tidak terelakkan. Sebagai contoh, suatu ketika, sewaktu kita makan siang di kwetiau Sunarto (sepertinya Surianto Landak juga ada di sana), Parno tidak sengaja menumpahkan sebotol sambal cabe ke piringnya. Yang membuat kejadian ini tambah lucu adalah teriakan spontannya dalam bahasa Tiociu yang kira-kira berbunyi seperti ini kalau diterjemahkan, "mati, deh, gua! Gimana makannya kalo begini?" Tentu saja kami tertawa geli dan menggodanya. Bahkan ayah Sunarto yang berusaha menahan tawa pun jadi menaruh belas kasihan dan menyuguhkannya secangkir teh es lagi sebagai dukungan moral bagi Parno yang kepedasan dalam menghabiskan makanannya.

Dari sudut pandang orang luar, kita jadi terlihat kejam, tapi persahabatan dengan Parno memang terjalin seperti itu. Seperti hukum suplai dan permintaan, orang tergerak untuk mengerjai Parno karena dia memang enak untuk dikerjai, jadi ini sebetulnya solusi yang menguntungkan dua belah pihak. Kalau kita lihat kembali, mudah bagi kita sekarang untuk mengatakan, seharusnya dulu tidak begitu, namun saat semua itu terjadi, kita hanyalah anak-anak yang baru tumbuh dan berkembang, jadi harap maklum. Lagipula, setelah tawa berhenti, yang tersisa di sekitarnya adalah para sahabat yang benar-benar peduli. Meski kita tidak pernah berhenti mengejek, kita juga menerima dia apa adanya, berteman dengan tulus dan saling memberikan pengaruh yang baik. Ketika kita duduk di kelas tiga SMP, sekali-kalinya Parno pernah sekelas dengan saya, Parno mulai menekuni hobi menggambar komik.

Parno melukis Yen Susanti
Photo by Ayen and Parno

Kenangan ini masih sangat jelas sekali karena saya yang memulai hobi ini. Parno terinspirasi oleh apa yang saya kerjakan dan dia pun menulis ceritanya sendiri, sebuah kisah tentang Thomas dan James, kakak beradik bermarga Boy, dan teman baik mereka, Akira, si Raja Karate yang disinyalir tidak jago karena masih perlu membawa pistol (dan benar saja, Akira dengan cepat terbunuh di awal cerita). Karya Parno ini luar biasa konyol sehingga dikritik habis-habisan terutama oleh Hendra (yang sekarang dipanggil Oppa). Dia bertanya kenapa tokoh utamanya harus membawa pemberat berbentuk koper dan, karena tidak bisa menjawab, pemberat itu pun di-Tipp-Ex habis dan hilang pada keesokan harinya. Kocak nian. Akan tetapi, yang menarik untuk diingat di sini adalah bagaimana Parno menanggapi bombardir kritikan pedas ini. Di kala orang lain mungkin sudah menyerah, Parno tidak pernah berhenti menggambar. Ini satu kualitas yang patut dikagumi darinya. Dia paham orang lain tidak akan berhenti mencibir, jadi ia mengabaikan mereka dan terus mengerjakan apa yang disukainya.

Endrico membaca "Pedang Hitam"

Ketika kita memasuki jenjang SMU, persahabatan masih terus berlanjut walau berbeda kelas dan waktu. Di kala senggang, kita berkumpul di rumah tante saya yang berada di belakang laboratorium sekolah atau di rumah Endrico. Di liburan panjang tahun kedua, kita bertualang menaiki kapal Lawit menuju Jakarta selama tiga hari dua malam. Di hari keberangkatan, kita semua menanti Parno yang harus membawa orang tuanya dalam mengambil rapor. Ternyata nilainya pas-pasan untuk naik ke kelas tiga, maka jadilah ia berangkat bersama kita. Oleh orang tuanya, Parno dibekali Rp. 30000 yang segera habis terpakai untuk menyogok petugas di pelabuhan (Parno tidak membawa kartu pelajar sehingga ditolak masuk). Tanpa uang di saku, dia akhirnya berlayar bersama Eday, Lisna, Hartono dan saya. Kalau tidak keliru, kita juga bertemu Tuty di kapal yang sama.

Selama perjalanan, Parno mabuk laut dan muntah habis-habisan (makan es krim, keluar es krim. Makan Indomie, keluar Indomie), namun untunglah dia tidak muntah lebih dari tujuh kali seperti yang ia prediksikan sendiri. Setibanya di Jakarta, kita berpisah dengan Hartono dan Lisna dan melanjutkan perjalanan ke rumah sewaan orang tua saya di Bekasi. Suatu malam, Parno bangun dan melangkah pelan ke pintu kamar, tetapi ia terjerembab dan jatuh menyikut Eday yang sedang tertidur. Hampir saja mereka bergaduh malam itu jika bukan karena alasan Parno yang lucu. Beberapa hari kemudian, kita mulai berfirasat kalau Parno ini mungkin dibiarkan terlantar sendiri. Tidak ada yang mencarinya, jadi kita berinisiatif mengantarnya pulang ke rumah pamannya di Kelapa Gading. Dari situlah bermula cerita Parno berhutang Rp. 8000 pada Eday. 20 tahun kemudian, hutang itu belum lunas juga, haha.

Berpose atau berkarya?

Petualangan besar berikutnya terjadi beberapa tahun kemudian, ketika kita sudah menjadi mahasiswa. Kali ini kita keluar negeri menuju Kuching. Meski sudah direncanakan dengan matang, kita ternyata dibiarkan terlantar di terminal bis Kuching oleh Endrico. Nasib baik menyertai kita karena Hendry (Gullit) dan Hermanto (Atie) kebetulan berada di sana. Kita diajak ke tempat tinggal mereka dan Jimmy (Amoy) pun dihubungi. Dia datang membawa kita keliling Kuching. Ketika malam tiba, barulah pemandu kita, Endrico, muncul sambil cengar-cengir. Sangat bisa diandalkan, tentu saja, dan dia akan mengulangi aksi yang sama beberapa tahun kemudian.

Parno, Endrico dan Alvin Virgianto di Kuching

Hari-hari kuliah lebih singkat bagi Parno karena dia hanya mengambil diploma. Semester terakhirnya diisi dengan kunjungan ke rumah dan saya membantunya mengetik serta menuangkan ide-idenya menjadi makalah. Jika ada yang menarik untuk dikenang dari saat-saat ini, maka itu adalah presentasinya. Menurut Yoviana, Parno mendadak berhenti di tengah presentasinya. Ia mengaku lupa cara menyampaikan gagasannya dalam bahasa Inggris, oleh karena itu ia meminta izin kepada dosen untuk melanjutkan dalam bahasa Perancis. Kontan saja seisi ruang sidang pun gempar. Hanya Parno yang bisa melakukan trik seaneh itu. Ini pasti belum pernah terjadi sebelumnya dan tidak akan terjadi lagi selanjutnya.

Eday, Andy William, Teng Lai, Parno, Muliady AW dan Hendri Muliadi di Dangau.

Inilah uniknya Parno. Apa pun yang ia perbuat, itu khas dirinya. Meski jauh dari jenius, Parno memiliki pembawaan yang santai dan merasa nyaman dengan jati dirinya. Dia mudah bersahabat karena kelebihannya ini. Pernah sekali saya sampaikan bahwa saya tidak bisa membayangkan kalau ada orang yang ingin menjegalnya, sebab tidak ada yang perlu dijegal dari seorang Parno yang sudah sangat sederhana. Ketika seseorang cukup sabar untuk meladeni Parno, orang itu pasti akan bersimpati padanya. Itu yang dilakukan para sahabatnya. Kita meluangkan waktu untuk merayakan ulang tahunnya dan lain-lain. Di malam sebelum dia diwisuda, ketika kita mengetahui bahwa orang tuanya tidak akan hadir, saya berbincang dengan Hartono yang kebetulan sedang liburan kuliah, apakah bisa ia menemani Parno di hari besarnya. Hartono langsung menyanggupinya. Ardian, yang adiknya juga diwisuda bersamaan, turut hadir juga. Seperti itulah teman-teman dekatnya, tidak pernah meminta imbalan apa pun.

Foto atas, dari atas kiri searah jarum jam:
Riomarco, Andry, Hendri Muliadi, Budi Hendra, Anthony, Parno dan Hengki Muliadi di perayaan ultah Parno yang ke-20.
Foto bawah, dari kiri:
Sylvia Chen, Suhana, Yoviana, Andry dan Riomarco 
di perayaan ultah Parno yang ke-20.

Secara pribadi, saya selalu berpikir ini adalah pertemanan dua arah. Karena keberadaan kita, Parno tahu ia tidak menghadapi masalahnya seorang diri. Dia tahu teman-temannya bisa diandalkan, tapi selagi dia bisa, dia tidak akan berpangku tangan dan berharap ditolong setiap waktu. Di sisi lain, keberadaan seorang Parno membuat teman-temannya menjadi lebih manusiawi. Gayanya yang selalu riang dan cara dia tertawa, terus-terang semua itu membuat saya belajar bahwa kegembiraan itu berasal dari dalam hati. Tapi itu cerita untuk lain waktu. Sekarang, setelah lulus dari kuliah, akhirnya kita siap untuk terjun ke dalam masyakarat. Berikutnya adalah ke Jakarta dan mencari kerja!

No comments:

Post a Comment