I’m just like the protagonist from
Hikayat Panji Semirang The Hikayat Panji Semirang (Tale of Prince Semirang) is an epic poem—a classic work of literature in the Malay and Indonesian languages still extant today. The story derives from the Hindu-based folklore of East Java and the poem dates from the 14th century., she told me, always out venturing. She named me Putri, because she wants me to be fearless in the face of reinvention. No matter what. Just like the princess in the story.
The rain picks up, the march goes on. Neat rows of schoolgirls and schoolboys now trudge in front of me, the rain dotting their pristine uniforms. I think of the river near my house, how it will start to rush the moment there’s a hint of rain, its swirling surface hiding its speedy currents. My mother would implore me to get inside, before I come home with muddied shoes and the smell of wet grass, her voice ringing against the angry clouds.
I’m getting tired of the spectacle, so I peel away from the crowd. After all, it’s time to meet you.