From Zero to Frankfurt: The Translating Process of Ground Zero

The journey began when a mother is lying on a hospital bed, dying. The son who has been years living overseas finally returns. Realizing not much time left, the son sits beside her, reads his diary about faraway lands he saw. About their ancestral land of China, about the Himalayas, about the Pakistani desert and the warzone of Afghanistan. Along with his stories, the mother starts to recount her stories that have been buried for long. About her childhood, her love, her awaiting, her struggle, her God, her life and death. Two journeys set in two dimensions of time and place intertwine, and eventually converge. In the final days, the mother and son share a journey of life together. This is the story of my travel-narrative memoir, Titik Nol: Makna Sebuah Perjalanan (lit. Point Zero: The Essence of a Journey), published in Indonesian language by Gramedia Pustaka Utama in 2013. It received quite warm welcome from Indonesian readers. Some months after the launching, Gramedia asked whether [read more]

October 12, 2015 // 0 Comments

National Geographic (2013): Literary Magic in Bali   Literary Magic in Bali Posted by Don George of National Geographic Traveler in Travel with Heart on November 12, 2013 Last month I had the opportunity to participate for the second year in a row in the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival on the Indonesian island of Bali. At the six-day festival, I taught two travel writing workshops, spoke on a panel about the evolution of the genre, and hosted a luncheon conversation with the co-founders of Lonely Planet, Maureen and Tony Wheeler. Celebrating its tenth anniversary, this year’s fest was the biggest gathering yet, with more than 200 authors, musicians, and performers from more than 20 countries participating, and many hundreds of literature-lovers from around the Pacific Rim, Southeast Asia, and beyond attending. As with last year, I was exhilarated to encounter in panels and dinners and performances acclaimed and groundbreaking journalists, [read more]

November 12, 2013 // 0 Comments

Muzaffarabad – Poems from Kashmir

March 27, 2006 The beautiful Kashmir is endless source of inspiration During my stay in the area, people kept teaching me various things to be more proper Pakistani or Urdu speakers. That was including those meaningless Noraseri Hindko salaams of ‘gay Barhean’ or ‘mu ko ni pata’. But here I would like to share some interesting ones. This was the national poem (komi trana) of Kashmir. National poem? Yes, Kashmir was still regarded as ‘not Pakistan’; it had its own flag and national anthem also. The national poem had simple words, nice rhyming, and easy to remember. So, let’s start. Baghon aur Baharonwalla (the gardens and the spring) Daryaon aur Kohsaronwalla (the rivers and the mountains) Jannat ki Nazaronwalla (the heavenly scenery) Jammu Kashmir HAmira (Jammu and Kashmir are ours) Vatan HAmira, Azad Kashmir, Azad Kashmir, Azad Kashmir (Our Homeland is the Free Kashmir) The part with ‘jannat’, ‘heaven’, I had problem [read more]

March 27, 2006 // 0 Comments