A song called “Yang Tak Pernah Ada” or “One Whose Never There”, opened the event that night. The audience was lost in its strains. The music, composed by Fajar Merah and Gunawan Maryanto, brought many memories for them of Gunawan Maryanto.
Gunawan Maryanto’s, also known as Chinil, death left his relatives and friends in deep mourning. The Ajiyasa Hall that night was filled with people remembering Gunawan Maryanto’s death.
“I am still at a loss for words. If I remember the incident,” recalled Alia Swastika as Director of the Yogyakarta Biennale Foundation during the Joint Prayer and Reading of Gunawan Maryanto’s work “Chinil” on Sunday (10/10), four days after he passed away. He was a well-known figure in arts, especially literature and theater.
The prayer, as well as the reading of Gunawan Maryanto’s works, were held after Maghrib. Several friends who were present also shared their memories with Gunawan Maryanto during his lifetime.
The first performance was from Sekar Sari. She walked up to the stage with elegant steps, opening a page from Gunawan Maryanto’s poetry book Sakuntala. Calmly and solemnly she read the poem.
“Sakuntala, aku berangkat (Sakuntala, I am leaving),” She said.
The night was getting late but the event went on. One by one, the artists present read Gunawan Maryanto’s work aloud. Until it was Joko Pinurbo’s turn. He entered the stage, carrying a piece of paper in his hand.
“Actually, I’m not ready for this. I’m not ready to be left by Chindil either,” he said before starting.
Also known as Jokpin, he read three fragments from Sakuntala’s book. His voice trembled. But still firmly, finishing the poem. The paper in his hand trembled as well.
The pavilion grew busier, some of the audience chose to sit on the floor. One by one the friends began to talk about their memories with Gunawan Maryanto during his life. No doubt some of the audience looked to be wiping away tears.
Then, it was time for a representative from Teater Garasi to take the stage. Yudi Ahmad Tajudin and Arsita Iswardhani performed and shared their memories with their friend who has been living the Teater Garasi for a quarter of a century.
Oglenk, or Yudi Ahmad Tajudin, tried to re-quote the reflective sentence conveyed by Gunawan Maryanto in their last project.
“Have artists done enough? Have what artists do to accompany citizens who are not defended by their own country, by their own government, been enough? That was his last question. And I think now he’s figured it out.”
Sita stood beside Oglenk. Even though her face was covered by a mask, her puffy eyes were obvious. She sang a song by Kroncong Mendut, which is also one of Gunawan Maryanto’s works. Several times Sita took deep breaths, holding back the sobs threatening to burst.
Sita’s song fills the room, sweeping over everyone in a wave. Her voice was strained with grief.
“Barangkali sampai nanti, habis waktuku, kau tak kan pernah… menyerahkan cintamu. (Maybe until then, my time is over, you’ll never… give your love).”
The last words drift away. Sita looked down sadly for a moment, taking another breath to keep herself upright.
Oglenk immediately took over. He reads a poem. His voice echoed, reading verse after verse with emotion.
“Uler Kambang. Cahaya yang mengambang di permukaan telaga. Sisik-sisik naga yang berganti warna. Dingin memaksaku merapatkan pakaian. Memeluk erat ingatan agar tak jatuh sakit, ingatan tentangmu.”
(Uler Kambang. Light floats over the lake. Dragon scales whose colours change. The cold forces me to keep close. Embracing memories so I won’t fall ill, memories of you.)
The audience’s applause accompanied the last verse of the poem “Jineman Uler Kambang”. Oglenk left the stage, along with Sita who got up again. Her knees dropped in the middle of Oglenk’s poem.
The figure of Gunawan Maryanto left a good impression on those who knew him. He is also known as a figure who has touched the hearts of many people. One by one, colleagues and friends who were present did not stop conveying his kindness and special personality to them.
“I’m just an acquaintance. I just met him a few months ago. But I recognize Mas Chindil through one thing, Mas Chindil was a teacher,” Farid Stevy’s voice trembled when he told Gunawan Maryanto of his impressions. The tears still flowed despite his attempts to wipe them away.
Among Gunawan Maryanto’s other friends were Agus Noor, Naomi Srikandi, Indonesia Dramatic Reading Festival (IDRF), Literary Performance Studio (SPS), Muhidin M. Dahlan, Kedung Darma Romansha, Sakatoya Community, and Ihsan Zulkarnain. Also present were Farah Wardani, Inez Dikara, Kris Budiman, and dozens of other friends. Outside the Pendopo Ajiyasa, friends also gathered to witness that night.
Approaching the end of the event, it seemed that the two-hour event was still not enough to remember and read the works of Gunawan Maryanto. In his closing statement, Joned Suryatmoko, who was also present via Zoom, read a special article he wrote to commemorate the figure of Gunawan Maryanto.
“It have to seek out. That’s what Chindil said commenting on IDRF’s initial efforts at that time to collect the manuscripts that we will display”
Joned opened his reading with the memory of when Gunawan Maryanto was still serving as the IDRF program arrangement. He read the text with teary eyes. Sure enough, Joned couldn’t continue his reading. His voice trembled slightly as he finished the reading.
Raga Gunawan Maryanto ‘Chindil’ has indeed left this world. But his soul will always live and be remembered in the works and memories he left behind. Goodbye, may you rest in peace in your new home.