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Ketuk Lumpang

Muna Masyari, lahir di Pamekasan, Madura, Jawa Timur, pada 26 Desember 1985. Dinobatkan sebagai penulis Cerpen Terbaik Kompas 2017, atas cerpennya yang berjudul ‘Kasur Tanah’. Tulisan-tulisannya termaktub dalam antologi “Munajat Sesayat Doa”, 2011, “Rumah Air”, 2011, “Lafaz Cinta di Ambang Gerhana”, 2011,Tanah Air”, 2016, “Kasur tanah”, 2017. Cerpen-cerpen lainnya juga tersiar di Harian Kompas, Jawa Pos, Tempo, Media Indonesia, Horison, Republika, Suara Mendeka, Jurnal Nasional, Femina, Nova, Pikiran Rakyat, Sinar Harapan, dan media-media lainnya. Baru saja menerbitkan buku kumpulan cerpen “Martabat Kematian” (Sulur Pustaka, 2019).

Muna bisa dihubungi melalui masyarimuna@gmail.com.

Hak cipta ©2019 ada pada Muna Masyari. Terbit atas izin dari penulis. Hak cipta terjemahan ©2019 ada pada Rintani Atmodi.

 

 

Ketuk Lumpang

Bibir Arsap menyungging seolah mengejek. Matanya tak lepas menatap orang-orang yang menyaksikan Marinten mengetukkan alu ke bibir lumpang. Sakit hati Arsap terobati sudah. Bara di dadanya padam tersiram.

Bulan alis mengintip dari balik pelepah janur. Petromaks mendesis-desis di langit beranda rumah, dikerubungi serangga. Sepasang paha sapi yang sudah dikuliti digantung sungsang di beranda dapur. Bau dupa tertindih bau satai bakar yang meruap terbawa angin.

Semula, irama ketuk lumpang yang berseiring dengan gemerincing tutup tempolong kuningan terdengar sumbang. Antara ketukan Marinten dengan lainnya tidak selaras. Bukan irama yang biasa dimainkan saat pembuatan dodol, penyembelihan sapi, panen raya maupun pada saat mengabarkan duka ketika ada yang meninggal dunia.

Ada rasa berbeda yang tercipta. Semakin didengar, menyerupai irama kabar duka, namun ketukan alu lebih halus dan patah-patah. Lain waktu, iramanya menghentak cepat. Tutup menangan bergemerincing nyaring serasa dalam semarak panen raya. Lalu melirih perlahan seperti terpagut angin.

Arsap tahu, itu bukan kesalahan semata. Pemainnya merupakan kesatuan kelompok yang diketuai Marinten, yang dikenal mahir dalam memainkan macam-macam irama ketuk lumpang. Sudah dikenal di penjuru kampung. Jika ada hajatan, orang-orang biasa mengundang mereka. Tidak mungkin Marinten keliru memimpin kawan-kawannya memainkan irama.

Marinten, selain mahir memainkan irama, perempuan itu memiliki daya pikat melebihi kawan-kawannya, dan membuat orang selalu tertarik mengundang. Dengan mengenakan sampir batik bercorak kembang cengkeh, kebaya bunga-bunga, rambut disanggul miring berhias untaian kembang melati, Marinten berhasil mencuri perhatian di setiap acara. Meskipun berdandan seadanya, Marinten tetap terlihat cantik. Sederhana namun memesona. Ada yang bilang, Marinten memiliki daya pikat yang diwariskan ibunya.

Menurut cerita orang-orang, dulu ibu Marinten juga pandai memainkan ketuk lumpang. Irama yang dimainkan mampu melepas lelah saat panen raya, menyemarakkan suasana dalam acara perkawinan maupun khitanan, dan bisa membuat orang terhanyut kesedihan saat dimainkan untuk mengabarkan duka.

Bila ada acara hajatan yang mengundang dirinya, para undangan segera datang berduyun-duyun. Bunyi ketukan alu yang beradu dengan gemerincing tempolong kuningan seolah menyihir mereka untuk segera hadir. Yang semula berhalangan, tetap mengusahakan hadir demi melihat ibu Marinten mengetukkan alu bersama kawan-kawan dalam memainkan irama ketuk lumpang.

Sama dengan Marinten, ibunya juga menjadi pusat perhatian para undangan maupun orang-orang yang hadir sekadar menonton. Banyak pemuda kampung terpikat dan terkagum-kagum pada kecantikan serta kemahiran ibu Marinten dalam memainkan ketuk lumpang. Kemampuan itulah yang ditularkan pada Marinten.

Setiap panen raya maupun musim perkawinan, Marinten dan kelompoknya tak pernah sepi undangan. Bahkan ada yang terpaksa ditolak karena waktunya berbenturan.

Akan tetapi, irama yang dimainkan Marinten sekawan malam ini sungguh berbeda. Iramanya kadang terdengar sedih, marah, lalu tiba-tiba berirama kacau sebagaimana orang yang tengah dilanda putus asa.

Sebagaimana perhatian para undangan, mata Arsap tak lepas dari sosok Marinten di halaman. Dia menikmati kacaunya irama ketuk lumpang yang dimainkan perempuan itu sebagai irama kemenangan, membayar kekalahan.

***

Malam merangkak perlahan. Ketukan alu dan gemerincing tutup tempolong kuningan semakin jelas terdengar. Bau satai bakar kian meruap. Undangan dan penonton tidak ada yang beranjak meskipun irama yang dimainkan Marinten sekawan tidak sesuai dengan acara, dan cenderung kacau. Bayi-bayi lelap dalam gendongan ibunya.

Arsap menghisap batang rokoknya dalam-dalam, lalu mengembuskan perlahan. Asap bergulung-gulung, melayang ke udara. Puntung rokok menumpuk di pinggir tatakan cangkir. Wajik dan dodol masih tersisa empat kerat di piring.

Pantang bagi lelaki direndahkan oleh perempuan! Arsap tersenyum pongah dalam hati.

Penolakan lamaran oleh ibu Marinten telah membakar hati Arsap. Ditolak tanpa alasan sungguh suatu penghinaan! Padahal dia dan Marinten sudah mengikat hati sejak keduanya menginjak remaja.

Maka, dengan darah mendidih, Arsap pun meminta pada ayahnya agar dicarikan seorang perempuan yang bersedia dinikahi secepatnya. Maksar, yang semula sudah keberatan Arsap melamar Marinten, mencari calon menantu dengan segera.

Begitu Maksar menemukan perempuan yang dirasa cocok dinikahi Arsap, mereka pun melamarnya. Sesuai kemauan Arsap, tanggal pernikahan dimusyawarahkan secepat mungkin.

Tidak lebih dari dua pekan sejak ibu Marinten menolak lamaran Arsap, tanggal baik pun ditetapkan. Arsap sengaja mengundang Marinten memainkan ketuk lumpang pada malam menjelang pernikahannya. Tentu untuk menyirami bara di hati. Untuk menunaikan penghinaan yang ditanggungkan oleh ibu Marinten.

Bunyi ketuk lumpang terus bertalu. Bau dupa yang baru dibakar sebagai ganti yang sudah mati datang menyerbu. Sebagian para ibu yang bertugas menyiapkan ragam masakan untuk undangan besok pagi masih sibuk di dapur.

Malam merangkak semakin lamban. Arsap dan ayahnya masih menemani para kerabat dan undangan di beranda. Maksar tampak bergembira dengan tawa yang kadang membahak di sela-sela obrolannya. Dodol dan wajik tinggal dua kerat. Cangkir-cangkir sudah menyisakan ampas.

Tiba-tiba Arsap melihat kemunculan Kakek Samulla di halaman dengan sebatang rokok mengepul terjepit di sela jarinya. Jalannya melambat memerhatikan Marinten dan kawan-kawan.

Mau apa lelaki tua itu, pikir Arsap. Dia menyikut lengan ayahnya. Tawa Maksar terhenti seketika, mengikuti arah pandangan Arsap. Maksar menatap Kakek Samulla dengan mata tak suka.

Langkah Kakek Samulla terhenti sebentar, mengamati Marinten yang tengah memainkan ketuk lumpang dari jarak yang cukup dekat. Tak segera naik ke beranda untuk menemui tuan rumah. Tatapannya aneh. Cara menghembuskan asap rokok perlahan dari mulutnya memberi kesan ada suatu kepahaman yang berhasil diraba.

Dada Arsap rusuh menggemuruh. Dia pernah diceritai ayahnya tentang sosok tua itu.

***

“Memalukan!” Ibu Marinten marah-marah menyambut kedatangan anaknya.

Daun pintu ditutup lagi dengan kasar. Dari tadi ibu Marinten tidak bisa memejamkan mata mendengarkan bunyi ketuk lumpang yang dimainkan Marinten di rumah Arsap.

Marinten diam. Perempuan itu nyelonong masuk, mengempaskan pantat pada kursi kayu dengan wajah layu. Dia melepas untaian kembang melati di sanggulnya.

“Bagaimana kamu bisa memainkan irama sekacau itu? Bukankah kau sudah mahir memainkan irama untuk acara perkawinan?” pertanyaan Ibu Marinten masih bernada gusar meskipun suaranya sedikit kurang jelas.

Sambil mengunyah sirih-pinang, Ibu Marinten mondar-mandir di depan anaknya. Sesekali membuang ludah pada kaleng bekas berisi abu tungku di dekat kaki lincak. Wajahnya mengeras. Bibirnya basah dan merah. Lalu mencecar Marinten lagi dengan pertanyaan-pertanyaan yang tak tuntas dia pikir sejak tadi. Kemarahan dimuntahkan.

“Kenapa pula teman-temanmu ikut bermain tak karuan? Seharusnya kalian menyelaraskan irama satu sama lain!”

Marinten tidak menyahut.

“Itu pasti gara-gara kamu! Pikiranmu ke mana-mana!”

“Bukankah Ibu yang mengajariku memainkan ketuk lumpang dengan menyatukan jiwa dan pikiran? Menghayati penuh perasaan. Dalam acara gembira, kita harus bermain dengan jiwa riang. Begitupun sebaliknya. Dengan begitu, irama yang kita mainkan akan mampu menyentuh hati siapa saja yang mendengar. Menggiring mereka pada kedalaman jiwa dan rasa yang sedang kita hayati. Bukankah begitu?”

“Betul. Lalu kenapa yang kaumainkan tadi iramanya jadi seperti itu? Seharusnya kau memainkan dengan jiwa bahagia.”

“Aku sudah memainkan ketuk lumpang dengan jiwaku. Jadi tidak ada yang perlu kusesali.”

“Kamu diundang untuk acara pernikahan, bukan kematian!” suara ibu Marinten meninggi.

Geraham Marinten bergesekan. “Apa aku harus bahagia dengan perkawinan Kak Arsap?” dia bangkit, menatap ibunya lekat-lekat, lalu menggeleng keras. “Tidak, Bu!”

“Dasar bodoh! Kau menyesal karena aku menolak lamaran Arsap?”

“Beri aku alasan, kenapa Ibu menolak lamarannya?”

“Dia tidak baik untukmu. Kau boleh menikah dengan siapa pun asal bukan dengannya!”

“Dengan siapa pun?” Senyum Marinten menyeringai mengejek, belum yakin ibunya tidak akan menjilat ludah sendiri.

“Ya! Dengan siapa pun!” ibu Marinten menegaskan.

Dagu Marinten sedikit terangkat, “Baik, kalau begitu, besok pagi aku akan ke rumah Kakek Samulla, menerima lamarannya untuk menikahiku!” Marinten meninggalkan ibunya begitu saja.

Ibu Marinten tercekat di tempat. Kunyahan pinang-sirih di mulutnya terhenti. Sekian detik matanya tak berkedip meskipun punggung Marinten sudah lenyap di balik pintu.

Sementara Marinten merebahkan tubuhnya ke lincak. Mengempaskan napas. Pikirannya mengawang. Marinten sudah tahu dengan alasan apa ibunya menolak lamaran Arsap. Antara Kakek Samulla, Maksar dan ibunya, ternyata pernah terlibat suatu persoalan.

Dulu, Maksar dan Kakek Samulla sama-sama menyukai ibu Marinten. Keduanya sering mencegat ibu Marinten di jalan ketika pulang dari undangan. Dua lelaki yang beda usia itu berebut akan melamar ibu Marinten. Namun ibu Marinten menjatuhkan hatinya pada Maksar. Selain lebih muda, lebih gagah dan tampan, Maksar juga pintar meramu kata-kata manis. Kakek Samulla yang saat itu sudah hampir berkepala empat, tidak berdaya atas pilihan ibu Marinten.

Maksar merasa memeroleh kemenangan tanpa harus berperang. Dia berniat melamar ibu Marinten secepatnya. Namun orangtua Maksar justru tidak setuju karena ibu Marinten dikabarkan memiliki susuk pemikat, dan mencarikan perempuan lain.

Kakek Samulla berang. Dia tidak terima Maksar menyia-nyiakan ibu Marinten begitu saja dengan tuduhan yang belum tentu benar adanya. Terjadi pertengkaran sengit antara mereka berdua. Hampir saja terjadi carok, adu celurit.

Marinten yakin, menolak lamaran Arsap merupakan suatu cara ibunya untuk membalik cerita masa lalu. Membayar sakit hati pada keluarga Maksar yang selama ini dipendamnya. Kalaupun dia menyuruh Marinten memenuhi undangan mereka memainkan ketuk lumpang, biar kesannya seolah tidak pernah terjadi apa-apa.

Marinten meringis. Begitu manis ibunya bersandiwara. Geraham Marinten kembali bergesekan. Tatapannya menggantung ke langit-langit kamar.

Sepulang dari undangan tadi, Kakek Samulla mencegat Marinten di jalan. Dari lelaki tua  yang belum pernah menikah hingga sekarang itulah Marinten mendengar kisah masa lalu ibunya, dan mendapatkan kesimpulan, mengapa ibunya menolak lamaran Arsap.

***

Dahi Marinten mengerut begitu membuka pintu, dia mendapatkan alu yang digunakan semalam telah patah jadi tiga dan berserakan di beranda. Buru-buru Marinten berlari ke dapur. Sepi. Mulut tungku masih dingin membisu. Marinten juga tidak melihat parang yang biasanya disandarkan pada palang kaki lincak.

Dada Marinten berdegup kencang. Kembali dia berlari ke beranda. Memungut dua patahan alu dengan hati cemas.

Kabut tipis masih bergelayut di dahan-dahan pohon kelapa. Marinten menatap jauh ke jalan.

***

Tap of Revenge

Rintani Atmodi adalah penulis cerita pendek dalam dua bahasa: Inggris dan Indonesia. Memiliki latar belakang pendidikan teknik dan menyelesaikan jenjang doktoral di Amerika Serikat, Rintani juga memiliki kesenangan membaca dan minat yang dalam pada kesusasteraan. Cerita pendek pertamanya, A Foothold in a Foreign Soil ditulis dalam bahasa Inggris pada tahun 2017. Selendang Bersulam Putih (2017) adalah cerita pendek pertamanya dalam bahasa Indonesia. Sekarang sedang menyelesaikan cerita pendek berikutnya dengan bahasan seputar wanita Indonesia.

Rintani dapat dihubungi melalui surel rintani.atmodi@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Tap of Revenge

Arsap smirked at the party guests watching Marinten rhythmically tap the pestle against the mortar’s lip. His heartbreak had been eased and his rage had subsided.

An early crescent moon peeked through the coconut fronds. Insects crowded a kerosene lamp that hung hissing from the ceiling. A butchered cow’s dressed hindquarters hung from the beams on the kitchen porch. The wind carried the aroma of grilled satay across the fragrance of incense.

The rhythmical tapping, followed by the crashing cymbals of brass spittoon lids, was discordant. Marinten’s tappings were not in tune with the other musicians. This music was different from what was typically played at harvest time or after a cow slaughtering or during the preparation of dodol — a traditional toffee-like sweet. It was also different from the music played at a funeral. It evoked a different feeling.

The longer Arsap listened to it, the more it sounded like an announcement of sad news, but the taps were softer and intermittent. At times, the rhythm picked up and the tapping became faster. The spittoon lids clanged loudly, as if playing at a great harvest, only to taper off until the sound was as soft as a passing breeze.

Arsap knew it was intentional. The tappers were members of the music group Marinten directed. She was notorious for her skillful ability to play various forms of ketuk lumpang, a traditional Madurese form of music made by rhythmically tapping pestles on the lips of mortars and striking brass spittoon lids together. Marinten’s group was often invited to play at parties. That Marinten might have misdirected the group was out of the question.

Aside from her tapping talents, Marinten was very attractive. Wearing a floral-patterned kebaya — a traditional Indonesian blouse — and a batik scarf with a clove-flower design, her hair adorned with a jasmine strand, Marinten attracted everyone’s attention at the party. She was pretty even without makeup. Simple yet stunning. It was said that Marinten had inherited her mother’s beauty.

Marinten’s mother was also known as a skilled lumpang tapper. Her tapping relaxed tired workers after a great harvest, brightened wedding and circumcision parties, and soothed mourners at times of grief.

Whenever Marinten’s mother was invited to perform, guests flocked to the event. The music of ketuk lampang bewitched people. Those who had previously claimed they couldn’t attend the party suddenly found a way to come watch Marinten’s mother and her group.

When she was Marinten’s age, her mother was also the center of her audience’s attention — both the invited guests and the bystanders. Young men were captivated and enamored by the beauty of Marinten’s mother’s, as well as her skillful ketuk lumpang performances. She bequeathed these talents to Marinten.

Marinten and her group were always booked solid throughout every great harvest and wedding season, often turning down requests because of conflicting dates.

But this night, Marinten and her group played a very different tune. The melody sounded sometimes sad, sometimes angry, and then suddenly became incoherent, the way a person in despair might feel.

Like other people in the audience, Arsap never turned his gaze away from Marinten playing in the yard. He enjoyed the disjointed rhythm of Marinten’s tapping and considered it a victorious melody, a payback for his defeat.

***

The night slowly crept in. The tapping and crashing became even more distinct. The aroma of grilled satay drifted away. The audience remained transfixed, listening to the distorted, inappropriate melody that Marinten and her group played for the event. Babies slept undisturbed in their mothers’ arms.

Arsap pulled hard on his cigarette, then exhaled slowly. The smoke billowed into the air. Cigarette butts piled up along the edge of his saucer. Four pieces of wajik — a traditional sweet made of sticky rice — and dodol were left on the plate. No woman will be allowed to insult men! Arsap smiled, arrogantly.

Marinten’s mother’s rejection of Arsap’s wedding proposal to Marinten had enraged him. Being refused without reason was an insult! He and Marinten had been stealing glances at one another since their early teens.

So, roiling with anger after his proposal had been rejected, Arsap asked his father, Maksar, to find a girl who was willing to marry him as soon as possible. Maksar, who had been reluctant to ask for Marinten’s hand for his son, immediately started a search for his future daughter-in-law.

As soon as Maksar found a suitable girl, Arsap proposed to her. And, according to Arsap’s wishes, they set the wedding date right away — within two weeks after Marinten’s mother had rejected Arsap. He purposely invited Marinten to perform ketuk lumpang on the eve of his wedding to kill the fire in his heart and avenge the insult Marinten’s mother had bestowed on him.

Some of the women were busy in the kitchen preparing dishes for the next day’s wedding party.

The evening began to wind down. On the porch, Arsap and his father kept company with a few family members and guests. Maksar looked happy, and his laughter interspersed the conversations. Only two pieces of wajik and dodol were left on the plate, and the cups held only coffee dregs.

Suddenly, Arsap saw the old man Samulla walking slowly into the yard. Holding a lit cigarette between his fingers, Samulla watched Marinten and her group.

What does he want? Arsap nudged his father.

Maksar stopped laughing. He followed Arsap’s gaze, then glared at the old man.

Samulla did not immediately go to the porch to greet the host. Instead, he halted close to Marinten performing the ketuk lumpang. The way he slowly exhaled the cigarette smoke from his mouth indicated that he had just figured out something.

Arsap felt uncomfortable. His father had once told him about the old man.

***

 “How embarrassing!” Marinten’s mother slammed the door and furiously confronted her daughter when Marinten returned home later that night. Listening to her daughter play the ketuk lumpang at Arsap’s house had kept her awake.

Marinten quietly slipped into the room and dropped into a chair. She removed the string of jasmine from her hair, looking sad.

“How could you play that bad?” Her mother demanded. “Haven’t you mastered the ketuk lumpang for a wedding?” Marinten’s mother was irritated, but she sounded less confident. Chewing a wad of betel leaves, she paced in front of her daughter. Occasionally, she spat in a can filled with stove ash that sat near the foot of a divan. A dagger leaned against the side of the divan.

Her face hard, her lips red and wet from the betel leaves, she drilled Marinten about the unanswered questions that kept popping into her head. “And why did your friends also play with such discordance? You’re supposed to harmonize with each other!” Marinten’s mother couldn’t contain her anger.

Marinten kept quiet.

“It must be you! What were you thinking?”

“Weren’t you the one who taught me to perform ketuk lumpang with both my heart and head?” asked Marinten. “To express the feeling of the occasion? To play with a light heart for a happy event, and vice versa? So that the meaning of the melody I play reaches every listener? Didn’t you tell me that?”

“That’s right,” said her mother. “So why then did you play the way you played tonight? You should’ve played a happy tune.”

“I played the ketuk lumpang with my heart. I have nothing to regret.”

“You were invited to play at a wedding, not a funeral!” Marinten’s mother raised her voice.

Marinten gritted her teeth and rose. “Should I be happy about Arsap’s wedding?” She glared at her mother and shook her head. “No, Mother!”

“Stupid you! Do you regret that I rejected his proposal?”

“Give me one reason why you rejected him!”

“He’s not good for you. You can marry anyone you want, but not him!”

“Anyone?” Marinten sneered. She knew that her mother was going to eat her words.

“Yes! Anyone!”

Marinten raised her chin. “OK. Tomorrow I will go to the old man Samulla and accept his proposal to marry me.” Marinten left the room.

Marinten’s mother froze. She stopped chewing her wad. She stood, stunned, looking at the door that Marinten had disappeared behind.

Marinten lay down on her bed. Her thoughts wandered as she sighed. She knew why her mother had turned down Arsap’s proposal.

The old man Samulla, Maksar, and her mother were once involved in a problem.

A long time ago, Maksar and Samulla were in love with Marinten’s mother. Both of them often followed her as she walked home from a performance. The two men, who differed in age, vied for her hand in marriage.

Marinten’s mother fell for Maksar, who was not only younger, more muscular, and handsome, but also had a way with words. Samulla, who was nearly forty years old at the time, did not do anything to change her decision.

Maksar thought he had won the battle without having to go to war. He planned to propose to Marinten’s mother immediately. But his parents stopped him. They had heard rumors that Marinten’s mother possessed supernatural powers, and claimed she was using magic to trick Maksar into marriage. The parents quickly found another girl for Maksar to marry.

Samulla was furious. He could not accept Maksar abandoning Marinten’s mother for unproven reasons. Samulla and Maksar entered into a heated dispute that almost triggered a carok, a duel with a dagger.

Marinten was convinced that rejecting Arsap’s proposal was her mother’s way to avenge her past and settle the grudge she held against Maksar’s family. And to create the illusion that nothing had happened, she encouraged Marinten to accept the invitation to perform the ketuk lumpang for Arsap’s wedding.

Marinten grimaced. Her mother’s scheming was clever. Staring at the ceiling, she felt her anger rise again.

Samulla, who had remained a bachelor all his life, had stopped her on her way home. After he told her the story of her mother’s past, Marinten understood why her mother had rejected Arsap.

***

The next morning, Marinten frowned when she found her pestle broken in three parts and the pieces scattered on her porch. She rushed to the kitchen only to find it empty. The stove was cold. In the living room, the dagger that usually leaned against the divan was gone.

With her heart pounding, Marinten rushed back to the porch and warily picked up the pestle’s broken pieces.

A thin fog still clung to the fronds of the coconut tree.

Marinten’s gaze followed the distant road.

***

 

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