May 24, 2008


Posted in Readinglights at 4:27 pm by qballkubal

The room was empty and quite, save for the towering pillars and arches and high ceiling that made it looked vast and endless. No doors attached. I was there and tried not to look conspicuous, for I was the only person there save for two janitors and their mobs and buckets. The air seemed to lay still. The waned light of sun thrust gently amidst it. The surrounding objects seemed to respect the quiet and calm atmosphere, made this place of great holiness feel more attractive than usual. I was in the mosque. My campus mosque, to be exact.

I used to enter this place on Friday, when there is no excuse to avoid sitting in there and praying. It felt different when I was in there on Tuesday, though. It’s like God appeared himself on Tuesday rather than on Friday. Nonetheless, I was doing nothing except praying, save for reading the novel instead of the Holy Quran. It might be inappropriate, but I couldn’t help myself to use the chance to delve into my deepest mind. I was like inhaled all the words in the book, in the slowest possible pace, bit by bit of their meanings. I remained there for about two hours, almost being heedless about the late hour and the approaching night. People can be skeptical and cynical about my rather impolite behavior, although I believed that at that time I felt as if I’ve gathered little knowledge that I was looking for. A clarity.

The name of the book is After Dark, written by Haruki Murakami. Being one of the most influential Japanese writer in this age, Murakami is renowned for his surrealist style (literary). Never he hadn’t used metaphor to depict the story undergone by the character inside the book. Anyone who reads it will get stunned for sure. He is able to create fantasy inside the reality, reality inside the fantasy. These layers and depths of the story is always fascinating.

Still portraying about life and its complexity in Tokyo, the book tells us about the life of Mari Asai and Eri Asai, two sisters with distinct characters. Somehow, Eri had been sleeping for the past two months, a deep sleep. On the other hand, Mari had a trouble sleeping, forced her to spent the night outside her home. Tokyo in its after midnight appeared to be asymmetrically different. As if it has been made by two different creator, Tokyo in the after dark is filled with different people, different life, different stranger. On that night, something was happened in Eri’s sleep, something odd, something peculiar.

As I’ve mentioned before, there is a layer on the story, one linked through another. Between Takahashi and Mari; Shirakawa and the Chinese prostitute and the Chinese big man; between Mari and the Chinese prostitute and Kaoru; Kaoru and the Chinese big man; they were linked each other within the night. It is very interesting to note that Murakami can create a story where we, as the audience, somehow can involve indirectly in the story as if we can touch the character by our hands. You will get thrilled until the end of the story.

Mosque picture from travelblog.


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