Author: Hasta Indriyana
Translator: Marjorie Suanda
Editor: Nona Kuntari
Illustrator: Robby Kusuma
Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan
Direktorat Jenderal Kebudayaan
Direktorat Warisan dan Diplomasi Budaya
THE BIG BOOK
2 CHAPTER 1 - THE BIG BOOK
Tuesday, October 11th. After school finished for the day, four students
who were best friends agreed to go to the library. The four friends,
Ling Ling, Gracia, Ahmad, and Made, were all bookworms. Their
hobby was reading books. They shared the knowledge and information they
gained from reading with each other. They always discuss about all the
things that they read.
“Come on, follow me!” called Gracia. She pulled Ling Ling’s hand.
Made and Ahmad followed behind them.
“Pssttt… there’s one book that we are not allowed to borrow. I’m
curious what it’s about,” Gracia said.
“We are not allowed to borrow it?”
“Yes. It’s kept in a special cabinet.”
“Why? What’s in that book?”
“I don’t know. I’ve tried to borrow it several times, but the librarian
always forbids it.”
“But, why did you try so hard to borrow it if it’s forbidden?”
“It’s like this,” Gracia whispered. “There’s a mystery about that book.”
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 3
“A mystery?” the three of them asked in surprise. “We have to get that
book any way we can.”
“We steal it?” asked Ahmad.
“I’ve tried to borrow it, but it’s always forbidden. We have to solve the
mystery in that book.”
“How?” Ling Ling asked.
“We’ll divide up the tasks. Later I will show you the cabinet it is kept in.
Ling Ling will stand guard. Made will look for the key that should fit. All the
keys are hung on the wall, not far from the librarian’s desk. Ahmad, you help
Made!” explained Gracia.
“Uh-oh, I’m scared,” Ahmad said.
“Ahmad, you go with Made. Don’t be scared. We are going to solve the
mystery in that book. Don’t you want to?” Gracia asked.
“Yes, yes, I do,” Ahmad replied.
After the tasks were divided up, the four friends spread out. Gracia
headed towards the cabinet where the book was kept. Ling Ling sat at the
reading table. Ahmad and Made walked over to where the library guard sat.
4 CHAPTER 1 - THE BIG BOOK
The library was quiet. Just a few students
could be seen busy reading. After school,
the library was not as busy as it was
during recess. The soft whir of the ceiling
fan could be heard.
“I’ll ask the guard. You go look at the
keys to the cabinets,” Made whispered to
“Pssttt, don’t let them find out. Look
for when the guard isn’t paying attention.”
The library staff person was busy arranging the books. Made
approached him. Made and the staff person could be seen talking. Ahmad
slipped in back of the staff person. There were a lot of keys hanging on the
wall. All the keys had a number attached to them. Ahmad looked at them
one at a time while occasionally glancing over at the staff person.
This was not an easy job. Ahmad almost gave up because every now
and then the staff person looked over at him.
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 5
Ahmad was also confused because all the
keys were almost the same. The difference was
only in the numbers. “Which number is for the
cabinet where the book is kept?” he asked
himself. He couldn’t spend too long there. He
had to take one or two keys quickly. That meant
the keys he got could be right, or they could be
wrong. Never mind he thought.
There was one other problem. He couldn’t
reach the spot where the keys were hung on wall.
Ahmad looked around him. Luckily, he saw a meter-long
ruler nearby. Ahmad picked it up carefully. Success.
Ahmad breathed a sigh of relief. The library staff person was still
arranging the books. Made chatted wih him from time to time.
It’s safe Ahmad thought. He could reach two keys close to each other
with the ruler. He got them. He took them down slowly so they would not
fall. When he grabbed the two keys with his hand, the staff person looked at
“What are you doing?” the staff person asked.
Ahmad was very nervous. “This… this ruler was on the floor, Sir” Ahmad
6 CHAPTER 1 - THE BIG BOOK
answered to distract his attention.
“Don’t stand over there! That’s the guard’s area.”
Ahmad headed towards the reading area
holding his breath. Sweat was pouring down his
face but luckily it went unnoticed. He put the two
keys to the cabinets in the right-hand pocket of his
pants. From afar, Ling Ling and Gracia smiled.
Ahmad handed the two keys to Gracia. Gracia
went to the cabinet where the book they were
looking for was kept. Ling Ling followed her. Ahmad
and Made kept watch in the reading area. “Soon Gracia will bring the book
we are looking for,” whispered Made to his friend. They both smiled.
Five minutes, Gracia and Ling Ling didn’t appear. Ten minutes later they
still didn’t come out. Fifteen minutes passed and Made and Ahmad waited
“What’s happening with them?” Ahmad asked.
“I’ll go in and see. You keep watch here, okay,” Made said to Ahmad.
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 7
When Made reached the cabinet, he found Gracia and Ling Ling
“This isn’t the key,” Gracia said.
“What should we do?” Made asked.
“We’ll get another key. Let’s return these keys,” Gracia said. “The library
is about to close,” Made said.
It was true, just a few moments later classical music could be heard
and a voice saying that the library was closing soon. They looked at each
other. They looked disappointed.
“We’ll continue tomorrow,” Gracia said.
“It would be better during recess. When there are lots of visitors,” Ling
“Yes, agreed,” answered the other three.
“Remember, the wrong keys are numbers 12 and 23,” Gracia told them.
They hurried home. Even though they had failed, they were not giving
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 9
Wednesday. The recess bell rings. The four friends head for the library.
They look excited. They are imagining the one thing they are waiting
for: the mystery book in the cabinet! There are many students in the
school library so it is quite busy. There are three library staff to serve the
students. The friends divide the tasks like yesterday. Gracia goes straight
to the cabinet. Ling Ling keeps watch from the reading table while holding a
book. Made and Ahmad go towards the staff room.
Ahmad skillfully slips behind the staff person who doesn’t seem to
notice. Ahmad looks over the keys that are hanging there. Keys number 12
and 32 which he took yesterday are back on their hooks. Ahmad stares at
one key numbered 13 which is red. It stands out as the key with the color
that is most different from all the keys. He prepares himself. He has to
quickly take the key before the staff finds out. He looks at the floor. The ruler
he put down yesterday is still there. Amidst the many library visitors, Ahmad
picks up the ruler in trembling hands.
He is able to grab the red key number 13. Slowly he heads towards
Gracia. Gracia is waiting near the cabinet. Ahmad hands over the key. Gracia
puts it into the keyhole. Click… click…
The sound of the latch on the door opening. Gracia’s face is glowing.
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 11
Ahmad looks to the right and left. “It’s safe,” he whispers to Gracia.
She opens the door to the cabinet slowly. Gracia takes an old brown
book from inside. She locks the cabinet again. The book is in her hand.
Gracia smiles feeling satisfied. Ahmad sighs in relief. However, just as they
are about to step away, an adult hand suddenly grabs Garcia’s arm. They are
“Why are you taking that book without permission?” They lower their
“No one is allowed to borrow this book!”
It seems that the staff person who was guarding the library yesterday
afternoon knew what the four friends
were doing. “Why didn’t Made and
Ling Ling know there was a staff
person here?” Gracia thought.
The book changed hands.
“You two follow me!” the guard
12 CHAPTER 1 - THE BIG BOOK
Gracia and Ahmad obeyed. They were invited into the security staff
room. They were both told to sit down. The room was 3X4 meters in size
and very quiet. Books were neatly arranged on the shelves. Photos of
leading figures from around the world were hanging on the walls. Gracia
and Ahmad looked around them.
“Why do you want to read this book?” the staff person asked Gracia.
“Why can’t this book be borrowed?” Gracia didn’t answer, but instead
asked the staff person.
The staff person was silent.
“Why is it just on display? Books are for reading, aren’t they?” Gracia
“I don’t know either, why this book may not be borrowed. That has been
the rule since before I started working here,” explained the staff person. He
placed the big brown book on the table. Gracia and Ahmad looked curiously
at the book lying in front of them. The staff person picked up a feather
duster, and swept it over the body of the book.
“Here’s the book. This time you may read it, but only here in this room.
Don’t let other students know,” the staff person said.
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 13
Gracia and Ahmad’s faces lit up. “May our two friends read it with us?”
“Where are they?”
“In the reading room.”
Ahmad hurried out of the room. Soon, Ling Ling and Made entered.
They almost shouted for joy.
“Ssshhh, be quiet!” the staff person warned.
The four friends looked at each other. In front of
them, the big brown book was waiting.
“You may only read it here. I’ll take care
of the others who want to borrow books,”
the staff person said leaving the room.
For several moments the four friends
sat still. They didn’t touch the book on the
“Come on let’s open it!” Ling Ling said to
14 CHAPTER 1 - THE BIG BOOK
Gracia’s hands quickly took hold of the book. The old cover was not
interesting. The title was very simple, “Adventures.” There was no author
listed. Gracia opened the cover. The first page contained some rules. Rules
about reading this book.
a. You must obey these rules
b. Before reading you must pray
c. You may not read this book
when you are angry
d. Do not use dirty words
e. Do not destroy anything
f. If you want to end your
adventure read: “WE RETURN HOME BRINGING GOODNESS. CLOSE
IT! WE RETURN HOME BRINGING GOODNESS. CLOSE IT! WE RETURN
HOME BRINGING GOODNESS. CLOSE IT!”
g. Every time you finish reading you must pray
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 15
The four friends looked at each other. Their faces all looked curious.
Gracia opened to the next page. The page was empty. She opened to the
next page. It was also empty. The next page was opened. Empty. They
looked at each other.
“We forgot to pray,” Ling Ling reminded them.
“Yes, come on, let’s pray first,” added Made. They bowed their heads
16 CHAPTER 1 - THE BIG BOOK
Their prayers ended. Gracia opened to the next page. The page was
filled with letters that they could not read. The letters formed words
and sentences that were scrambled. There were many letters that were
“We must always remember the rules of this book. Remember, we must
not disobey any of them,” Gracia said quickly. They looked at each other in
silence. Gracia opened to the next page.
PLEASE OPEN PAGE 27
Gracia quickly looks for page 27. Page 27 contained a message.
DO YOU WANT TO HAVE AN ADVENTURE? IF YOU DO, OPEN TO PAGE 15.
IF NOT, CONTINUE!
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 17
“How about it? Want to?” Ahmad asked the other three.
But then they heard the bell ring. Recess was over.
“Let’s return the book for now, then borrow it again tomorrow,” said
Gracia. The friends agreed. Then they returned the book to the library staff
18 CHAPTER 1 - THE BIG BOOK
LOST IN THE WORLD
This is Thursday, October 12th. Today there are a series of events
at school. The four friends were given tasks by their teacher. But
they decided to refuse. The
reason was so that they could have an
adventure with the big book. Students
were given two days off from studying.
Many activities ensued. Competitions,
performances, and so forth were held.
The school was very busy with students
running here and there. The teachers
and school staff were also busy. It turns
out, the library was not serving students
for borrowing books. The library staff
were taking part in all the events.
Everyone was busy.
22 CHAPTER 2 - LOST IN THE WORLD OF ADVENTURE
The four friends looked disappointed
when they entered the library. A few students
were sitting at the reading table. The staff
person was busy with his work. This means,
the four friends could not have an adventure
“What about us?” Made asked.
“We’ll just have to wait,” Ling Ling said.
“Take a look. What’s this?” Gracia asked
showing the key number 13. The four friends
suddenly looked happy.
“Where do you want to read? The
reading room is locked,” Ling Ling said turning to the special reading room
they usually used.
“Psssttt… how about if we read outside?” Gracia suggested.
“Wah, it’s dangerous. Risky!” Ahmad said.
“Oh, yeah, we haven’t been to the well in back of school for a long
time.” Gracia said shifting their attention.
“Oh, right. Let’s just read it there!”
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 23
The four friends agreed. They would take the big book to the well in
back of school. It was an old well that had been closed up and made into a
table. The table and chairs were for resting. It was a favorite spot under the
shade of a gayam tree.
“Pssttt, but we have to be careful. We have to hide,” Gracia said.
The faces of the four friends looked happy but rather tense.
As usual, Gracia held the key and had the task of taking the book.
She headed for the cabinet where the big book was kept. Garcia walked
carefully to the cabinet.
The other three friends kept watch.
She opened the cabinet and took the book. Gracia slipped the big
book under her shirt. She held her
breath. They watched every corner
of the room, to make sure there
were no library staff there. Once it
looked safe, Gracia left the library.
24 CHAPTER 2 - LOST IN THE WORLD OF ADVENTURE
She headed for the old well behind the school. Ling Ling, Made, and Ahmad
followed behind her.
They made it safely to the old well. With the big book still hidden in
her shirt, Gracia took a deep breath. Her friends all did the same. They felt
relieved, but at the same time worried. They felt their hearts beating fast for
a few moments.
“Ah, safe,” Gracia said.
“Safe,” said the other three in unison.
Gracia pulled the big brown book from inside her shirt. She placed the
book on top of the well which was covered with a round concrete slab so
that it formed a table. The four of them sat down in the new chairs. The
chairs circled the well. The tall gayam tree provided shade for them.
They prayed, then they opened the book. A sentence was written on the
LOVE OF HOMELAND
They looked at each other. They opened to the next page. It was a
picture of the palm of a hand. The four friends then placed their hands on
the book. They read the opening sentence.
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 25
“WE COME BRINGING GOODNESS. OPEN!
WE COME BRINGING GOODNESS. OPEN!
WE COME BRINGING GOODNESS. OPEN!”
Miraculously, when the four placed their hands on the book it suddenly
emitted a dazzling light. The four step back and covered their eyes with
both hands. Their bodies became light. Then strangely, it
was as if they were sucked into the book.
They entered into the book. And they
entered the world of adventure. A world of
a different time and a different place.
“Where are we?” asked Ahmad.
“My shirt! My shirt!” Made
They were all shocked. Their
clothes changed in an instant. They
were not the scout uniforms they had been
26 CHAPTER 2 - LOST IN THE WORLD OF ADVENTURE
wearing before. Their clothes were a simple style in a brownish cream color.
They felt awkward and strange on their bodies. Clothes from the past.
The four friends found themselves in a crowd of people. Many people
gathered in one place. Old people and several young children stood in front
of a building. That building had a large gateway. The gateway was made of
iron and above it was written: SUKAMISKIN PRISON! Beneath it something
was written in Dutch.
An old car was parked not far from the gate’s entrance. Several other
cars were lined up rather far from it. Horse carts lined the side of the road.
People appeared to be crowding outside the gate. More people crowded the
“Move aside! Move aside!” said a
man from behind the crowd.
The crowd parted making a
“Move aside! Move aside, hey
children!” the man said to the four
friends. The four friends looked
at each other in confusion. They
stayed silent, still frozen in the
place where they started.
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 27
“Move aside!” The man said again while pushing Made and Ahmad.
Made and Ahmad almost tumbled over. They were so surprised. It turns
out that this time they really were in a world of adventure. Ling Ling helped
Made and Ahmad stand up. Gracia came close and pulled both their hands.
“They see us! We are with them,” Gracia whispered to the three others.
“Yes. We have to be careful,” Made said.
They were so surprised. They felt their hearts pounding. “What’s
important is we must be careful.”
“Yes, and don’t forget the rules in the book.”
“Yes. Stay calm. Let’s continue this adventure.”
People were talking to each other softly. The crowd was not noisy.
Not long after that, the gateway to Sukamiskin prison was opened from
inside. A man in a black peci (black velvet fez) walked out accompanied by
a man in uniform. The man in the peci was tall and handsome. He walked
out of the building looking dashing and charming. People clicked their
tongues and shouted. Before they were far from the building, both men
stopped, then they talked.
Not far from them, a woman arrived. The man in the black peci
28 CHAPTER 2 - LOST IN THE WORLD OF ADVENTURE
welcomed her, kissed her cheeks, and hugged her.
“They seem to be husband and wife,” Ling Ling whispered.
“Yes, and the man just got out of prison,” Gracia added.
“But why are people crowding around him?” Ling Ling asked.
“I don’t know.”
After kissing the woman’s cheeks, the man waved his hand and smiled.
“Long live, Bung Karno!”
“Long live, Bung Karno!”
“Long live, Bung Karno!”
People wanted to get close to him. They took turns shaking his hand.
Gracia, Ling Ling, Made and Ahmad were stunned.
They were so surprised they didn’t realize they were standing like
statues. The four friends understood they were experiencing history when
Ir. Soekarno alias Bung Karno was in jail in Sukamiskin prison.
“We are in Bandung!” Gracia said to Ahmad and Made.
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 29
Ahmad and Made smiled. A look of disbelief flashed across their faces.
They could see the first president of Indonesia up close, the father of the
nation who read the proclamation of Indonesian independence on August
“Yes, yes, we are preparing for independence!” whispered
The four of them moved forward without a word. They
moved towards Bung Karno.
When they got close, they scrambled to shake his
“Freedom, Bung!” Ahmad said to Bung
“Freedom!” answered Bung Karno while looking
at Ahmad. Bung Karno stroked Ahmad’s head, like a
father stroking his son’s head. He did the same to Made,
Ling Ling, and Gracia.
After shaking hands with people, Bung Karno together
wih his wife headed to a car. He waved his hand at everyone.
People applauded loudly. Several cars in back of his were
ready. The lines of horse carts were also ready.
30 CHAPTER 2 - LOST IN THE WORLD OF ADVENTURE
They had all come to pick up Bung Karno when he was released from
“Look, it’s Bung Karno’s wife!” Gracia pointed out.
“Yes. Is her name Bu Inggit?” asked Made.
“Clearly it’s Bu Inggit Garnasih,” replied Gracia. “She’s
beautiful. Elegant,” Ling Ling said. The car Bung Karno was in
moved slowly away from the prison.
Inside the car sat Bu Inggit and several people crammed
together. The cars in back were the same. The lines
of horse carts followed behind the cars. Other people
followed on foot. Small children could be seen running
The four friends followed the people who were
walking. Gracia had the chance to ask people where Bung
Karno was going.
“To the city,” a man answered. “Back home to the house
on Astana Anyar,” he added. Gracia nodded. Of course Gracia, Ling Ling,
Ahmad, and Made didn’t know where that was. They had never been to
Bandung, moreover never in a different era. Certainly much has changed,
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 31
“Bung Karno was someone who really loved this nation,” Ling Ling said.
“Yes indeed. Do you remember what the prison officer who
accompanied him out said?” Gracia asked.
“Yes, Bung Karno will fight for independence,” Ahmad said.
“Bung Karno was captured by the Dutch many times. Bung Karno was
also exiled to distant islands: to Bengkulu, Flores, to faraway places. But,
Bung Karno continued to fight for Indonesia’s independence.” Gracia told
“It must have been difficult to live in exile. Lonesome and painful.” Ling
Ling added, “Luckily Bu Inggit was always close to him.”
The four friends had just experienced an amazing adventure. They had
landed in the era of independence, and were even able to shake hands with
Bung Karno, a figure who they admired.
“Now I remember!” Ahmad said.
“We are in the novel by Ramadhan K.H. titled Kuantar ke Gerbang (I
accompanied you to the Gate).”
32 CHAPTER 2 - LOST IN THE WORLD OF ADVENTURE
“Yes. Has anyone read it?” Ahmad asked.
They all shook their heads.
“It’s a good novel. It’s about the biography of Bung Karno’s life with Bu
Inggit,” he added.
“Yes, we have to read it. I’m sure it’s exciting,” Ling Ling said.
After that event, the four friends explored Bandung. Bandung felt cool.
They felt so comfortable there. But, they couldn’t spend too long in this
world of adventure. They had to return.
This was the time the four must put the palms of their hands together,
and recite the last sentence. They put their hands on a stone.
“WE RETURN HOME BRINGING GOODNESS. CLOSE IT! WE RETURN
HOME BRINGING GOODNESS. CLOSE IT! WE RETURN HOME BRINGING
GOODNESS. CLOSE IT!”
The stone on which they placed the palms of their hands suddenly
emitted a dazzling light. They covered their eyes with both hands. Their
bodies felt light, then it felt like they were sucked into it.
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 33
EXCERPT FROM THE NOVEL:
The face of the prison director also expressed happiness. Near the exit
door he asked Kusno, Engineer Soekarno, whether he really would
begin a new life.
While holding the door post with his right hand and gesturing broadly,
Kusno answered, “A leader doesn’t change because of prison. I entered
prison to fight for independence and I’m leaving prison with the same ideas.”
Thamrin who at the time shook hands and hugged my husband, smiled
proudly hearing his friend say that. Was Kusno not his hero?
Then I asked Kusno, “Why did he (I meant the prison director) say that?
What is it?”
“There’s an article with the title ‘Soekarno is Starting with a New Life’
that describes me and has been widely circulated, I don’t know by whom,”
“Oh,” I said, but I didn’t continue at that time. I felt it was unimportant.
34 CHAPTER 2 - LOST IN THE WORLD OF ADVENTURE
What was important was that my husband was out and breathing freedom
again. Who cared about that article.
Outside the prison people were busy talking about the fact that my
husband was free again. There was a welcoming committee of his friends,
such as Inu, Suka, Maskun, Tojib, Hamdani, Murwoto, Amir, Suriarata.
Other associations also joined in and prepared a welcome, such as
the extended families of Taman Siswa, Muhammadiyah, BPRI, HBPI, and
others. Kusno knew about that. Because of that he had written a letter to
Sartono, saying that he was happy to hear that many people would meet
him when he was freed from prison. Nonetheless, he wrote, picking him up
was not necessary. This is a time of malaise, a time when opportunities for
making money are limited. The money that would be used to support that
trip, especially for those who live far away, would be better used for more
essential needs. For those from Bandung and the surrounding area, the
whole day, there would be many chances to meet me at my home. During
these times of malaise, we should be frugal! He wrote.
But in fact, many people came to meet him and pick him up. When
Kusno came out of the prison gateway, everyone who came to pick him
up seemed to politely follow our traditional customs. No one spoke loudly,
everyone demonstrated a cheerful behavior with the looks on their faces
showing that they are ready for the struggle.
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 35
Disciplined emotions. Everyone had a turn to shake hands and to hug.
Mang Ada looked teary eyed when he hugged Kusno. The drivers of the
horse drawn carriages were also able to adapt to the situation. They were
quiet and respectful. They also had a chance to shake hands with the man
who was just released.
After that, Kusno got into Thamrin’s car with us. Being a little cramped
didn’t matter. The cars followed us towards Bandung. The large and small
horse carts followed behind. Their bells rang out.
Near the city limits the accompanying vehicles were stopped by the
police led by the Dutch Police Commissioner Albrechts, who is a famous
enemy of ours. He immediately approached the taxi carrying
Mang Ada and without a word he tore the flag which
had been mounted on the car, threw it down and
stomped on it until it was destroyed. I saw that.
Thamrin who had been sitting in the front of the
car and he could be seen arguing briefly with
that Dutch policeman.
“What happened? What did he say?”
asked Kusno when Thamrin got back in the
36 CHAPTER 2 - LOST IN THE WORLD OF ADVENTURE
“He’s crazy. I said, he had no
right to destroy that flag. It belongs
to someone else,” Thamrin said.
We chuckled, but bitterly.
“I said, I will take this issue
to the Volksraad,” Thamrin added.
“So he would be scared.” Then
Thamrin himself laughed rather
loudly. It seems he meant to
Meanwhile, the police decided that only four cars were allowed to go
on, meaning our car and three others behind us. The others were forced to
use a different route, so they turned onto another road.
Source: K.H., Ramadhan. 2011. Kuantar ke Gerbang. Yogyakarta: Bentang.
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 37
Amoment later the bodies of the four friends fell down. But it was really
strange! They weren’t in the place where they started. They were not
in the chairs by the well in back of school. They were in a place by the
wall of a temple. And it wasn’t day time, but rather night.
“Where are we?” Ling Ling said amost shouting.
“I don’t know.”
“This isn’t school. We can’t get back!” Gracia said.
“Yes. We are still in the adventure world!” Ahmad added.
They began to panic. Ling Ling held onto Gracia’s hand. Her face began
to look frightened.
“Calm down. What’s important is to stay calm. Don’t panic,” Made told
them. “Something has happened to our big book,” he added.
“I don’t know. Hopefully everything will be okay.”
38 CHAPTER 2 - LOST IN THE WORLD OF ADVENTURE
“It’s best if we just continue with this adventure,” Made encouraged
“But, what about…?” Ling Ling’s question was interrupted. “Never mind.
Just trust, we’ll be fine,” Made said calming them.
They walked along the edge of the temple which was dimly lit. A full
moon could be seen among the shade of the leaves. The temple was made
of neatly arranged bricks.
“We are in the Hindu period!” whispered Gracia, “Maybe in East Java or
who knows where.”
“Wow, the Hindu period?”
“I mean the time when the Hindu kingdoms ruled,” Gracia explained.
“Maybe Majapahit or even older, Singasari.”
“We’ve traveled so far back in time.”
“Of course. Hundreds of years.”
They continued to walk along the edge of the temple. Not long after
that they heard people talking.
“Psssttt… someone is there. Walk softly and don’t talk,” Made
whispered. Once they reached the fence on the side of the temple, they saw
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 39
four people staring at the temple. The men kept looking at the temple. One
of them had a very sturdy body. His clothes were also better than those of
the other three. The man in the front was an old man. Their clothes were
like those worn in ketoprak performances (traditional plays). They wore
cloths covering their hair.
The four friends watched what was happening for quite a while. They
tried to listen to what was being said. They didn’t understand it because
the men were speaking in Javanese. But they could tell from the discussion
that the man in the nice clothing was named Raden
The old man was called “Ki
Purwa,” while the other two men
were named Gathak and Gathuk.
These two men were like loyal
servants. The four of them were
looking at the temple building.
At times one of them would
point to something and ask a
question. The old man would
40 CHAPTER 2 - LOST IN THE WORLD OF ADVENTURE
“Wait a minute …,” Gracia interrupted. “I once read a story. This
resembles what took place in it.”
“In what book was it?” Ling Ling asked.
“Now, that’s what I forget. The main character’s
name was Raden Jayengresmi. Two other
characters were Gathak and Gathuk.”
“Maybe you once saw it in a ketoprak
performance?” Made asked.
“Not ketoprak. It was like a short
“What was the story about?” Ling
“If I’m not mistaken, it was about
the destruction of the Giri Kingdom in
East Java. Because they were defeated
in war, the three princes ran away. They
spread out to avoid the enemy. One of the
prince’s names was Raden Jayengresmi,” Gracia explained.
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 41
“Wow, it’s amazing that you have read this story.”
“I don’t know where I got the book. Perhaps from my grandfather.”
“So, what happens with Raden Jayengresmi?”
“In the end the brothers get to meet.”
“Oh, the story has a happy ending.”
“It does,” Gracia said. “Raden Jayengresmi is a Moslem. He is a
descendant of Sunan Giri, but in the story, he is very respectful of other
religions, such as Hindu. He also respects different cultures, and different
“He’s a good man.” Ahmad commented.
A moment later, they tried to approach. As
they got closer, the faces of the four men
became clearer. Ki Purwa was carrying
a torch made of wood. A light was hung
on the side of the fortress made out of
the middle rib of a lontar plant and castor
42 CHAPTER 2 - LOST IN THE WORLD OF ADVENTURE
After a while, the four men left the temple. Once it was quiet, the four
friends headed for the main building. They were awestruck by that structure.
“It’s getting late. Do we want to follow Raden Jayengresmi?” Ling Ling
“No. Let’s just stay here,” suggested Ahmad.
“Sleep here? It’s very cold, I can’t stand it,” Ling Ling said.
“Let’s go to the home of Ki Purwa and ask to spend the night,” Gracia
“Hey, don’t panic. We are in the world of adventure. Remember that,”
Made reminded them.
“So, what can we do?”
“Let’s close this adventure by reading the last senence,” Made said.
“Yes, that’s right,” Gracia said, “but are you sure we can return to the
“Let’s just try,” answered Made.
The four of them moved closer together. They placed the palms of their
hands on a brick.
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 43
“WE RETURN HOME BRINGING GOODNESS. CLOSE IT! WE RETURN
HOME BRINGING GOODNESS. CLOSE IT! WE RETURN HOME BRINGING
GOODNESS. CLOSE IT!”
The brick where they had placed their hands suddenly emitted a
dazzling light. They covered their eyes with both their hands. Their bodies
felt light, then it was as if they were sucked inside.
44 CHAPTER 2 - LOST IN THE WORLD OF ADVENTURE
EXCERPT IN ASMARANDANA,
A JAVANESE POETIC FORM:
Sedhenge purnama siddhi, Just at the full moon
padhang bulan kekencaran, the moonlight radiates,
rahadyan alon lampahe, Raden Jayengresmi walks slowly,
Ki Purwa lumakyeng ngarsa, following Ki Purwa in front
Gathak Gathuk tan tebah prapta Gathak Gathuk are not far behind. Until
Candhi Brau sampun, pamujan they reach Brau Temple
Sri Brawijaya. the worship place of Sri Prabu Brawijaya
wanguning candhi lir mesjit, The temple building is like a mosque, with
payon banon tatumpangan, a roof of bricks overlapping, at its peak
dadya lincip pungkasane, is a pointed shape, at the bottom a door
ngandhap sinungap wiwara, Ki can be found,
Purwa aturira, Ki Purwa says,
sumangga bagus amangsuk, “Please Raden, go ahead and look inside,
maring penggahan pamujan. to the place of worship.”
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 45
Radyan myang santri kakalih, Jayengresmi together with Gathak Gathuk
wus manjing jroning pamujan, enters into the temple,
langkung kacaryan driyane, which so enchants the soul,
miyat rarenggan sarwendah, he looks at all the beautiful accessories,
myang awuning kang dupa, ash from burning incense can be seen,
ngadhukur lir pendah gumuk, piled up in a hill,
wus tamat amulya medal. Afterwards they came out of the temple.
Ki Purwa amatur malih, wonten Ki Purwa spoke again, “There is
malih candhi endah, Bajang Ratu another temple which is beautiful,
nggih namane, ananging klebet Bajang Ratu is its name,
sirikan, but it is a forbidden temple, if
yen wonten kang umiyat, anyone enters it, their intention is not
tan kadugen kajengipun, miwah achieved,
apes kang pinanggya. but death is what they find.
Prayogi boten ningali, “It’s better we don’t see that.”
radyan angling paman nedha, Raden Jayengresmi decided,
kendel ing mriki kemawon, ulun “We’ll just rest here.
apamitan pisan, Continuing on I will say goodbye,
ing ari benjang enjang, for in the morning,
ayun ndumugekken laku, I will continue my journey, in search of
ngupaya kesahe kadang. my two brothers.”
46 CHAPTER 2 - LOST IN THE WORLD OF ADVENTURE
Ki Purwa umatur inggih, sumangga Ki Purwa answered,
sukarsa tuwan, dalu datan winiraos, “Yes, as you wish Raden.” Night rolled on.
wanci pajar gidip nulya, angambil Dawn arrived rolling over. They took water
toya kadas, for ablutions before praying.
para gading waktu Subuh, rahadyan Undertaking the obligatory dawn prayers,
aris ngandika. Raden Jayengresmi said,
Paman kantuna basuki. “Uncle, I hope you all stay well.”
Ki Purwa aris turira, rahadyan lajeng Ki Purwa said softly,
lampahe, samarga arawat waspa, “Raden, have a safe journey,
nenedha ing Pangeran, rahayuning throughout the journey with tears, pray to Allah
aranipun, rama tiwah kaluwarga. to protect your highness’ two brothers,
your Father and family.”
Lepas lampahnya dumugi, candhi In the story, they walked far, until
Panataran Blitar, Panataran Temple, Blitar, at the foot of Mt.
neng ardi Kelut sukune, Kelud.
sela cemeng kang kinarya, ageng Made of black stones,
ingkang sajuga, immeasurably large,
wit ngandhap tumekeng pucuk, from top to bottom,
ingukir ginambar wayang. filled with carvings of wayang figures.
FOUR FRIENDS’ ADVENTURES 47
Radyan gya minggah ing candhi, Jayengresmi quickly went up the temple.
tandha pitu prapteng pucak, Seven levels to the peak.
udhunira along-alon, Then he climbed down slowly.
gathak Gathuk barangkan, Gathak and Gathuk crawled along,
tyas agung tarataban, trembling and hesitant.
tekeng ngandhap Gathuk muwus, Once at the bottom Gathuk said, “Gathak,
Gathak mau gambar apa what were the pictures earlier
kang ingukir pinggir candhi, which were carved in the sides of the temple,
lunglungan ceplok kembangan, threaded like jasmine flowers,
memper wayang buta kethek, resembling the puppet Buta Kethek?”
gathuk ing pangiraningwang, “According to what I saw, Gathuk,
gambare Ramba tambak, katara it was a picture of Rama Tambak.
ketheke brengkut, candhi alit The monkeys could be seen at work.” They
tininggalan. looked closely at the small temple.
Lir cungkup wanguneki, Its shape was like a cupola.
ing sanginggiling wiwara, sinerat Above the door Buddhist letters were
sastra Budane, Gathak matur written.
inggih radyan, punika kadiparan, Gathuk asked, “Yes, Raden, what then
kajenge sastra punika, pating Is the meaning of that writing, all curled up
penthalit tan cetha and unclear?”
48 CHAPTER 2 - LOST IN THE WORLD OF ADVENTURE