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November 2020 Birthday Caricature

by Bali Cartoon Teller

Happy birthday to all Peh Bali Cartoon Magazine readers who were born in November . We love you and pray for your well being and prosperity. May God Bless you all!

November is the Month for Authors

There is an unofficial agreement that November retreat is a special month for developing the writing skills. In many countries, there are writing challenges held by communities. A lot of professional writers eagerly provide training for the beginners and people who love to improve their writing skill. Perhaps because on this month the weather of some countries is getting cooler, so for some people, it is a right time to just stay at home and write.

There is also an online movement: National Novel Writing Month in which authors all over the world participate in. They simultaneously try to accomplish one novel in November. They start their project on the first day of the month and expose their complete work on 30th November.

As usual, Peh Bali Kartun execute its monthly tradition; making the thematic caricatures of famous people based on their birth month And this month, we make those of Indonesian and international writers, Not all of them are literature writers, 2 of them are song writers.

Art by: Ardi Cartoon

Titiek Puspa

“Will I be able to live my old age?” Inul , an Indonesian singer known for her enigmatic stamina and performance on stage asked. Titiek Puspa replied, “You will be able to do it, as long as you have faith. There are many faiths: faith in yourself. Faith in God. And take care your health.”

Sumarti Puspo known popularly as Titiek Puspa born on 1st November 1937 in Tabalong, East Borneo but she is ethnically Javanese. She is a living legend of Indonesian music since she is one of the most senior Indonesian artists who is still active and popular and has survived two harsh Indonesian history episodes.

She was born in Dutch colonial era, and his father who worked as a paramedic in hospital could sustain well his family compared to most people of that time who often starved. But during the Japanese occupation in 1942 to 1945, Titiek and here family suffered from poverty like almost all Indonesians. The little girl who often got sick saw how her family struggled for make a living. Her mother made traditional cakes, and her brother sold them in front of the hospital where their father worked in Semarang city. But their income was not enough for buying food for the whole family. Little Titiek Puspa once ate banana skin and the head of uncooked salted fish out of hunger. Life was so miserable, many people had no clothe and made their simple rag from rice sack. The fragile girl was often depressed and she sang to entertain herself.

Her life was much better after Indonesian independence, the young Titiek Puspa continued her passion, she often sang on a waterguava tree in the family garden. His father did not support her singing passion since becoming a singer was not well appreciated at that time. But his brother who was a University student, found her talent and encouraged her to compete in a song competition in Semarang in 1954. She won and represented her city in national song competition. She arrived in Jakarta and one day before the competition she saw her idol Bing Slamet, a famous Indonesian singer and comedian that she listened on radio, and rushed to him and asked her signature. The girl was so overwhelmed with joy after having his signature and on the day of the competition, she showed the signature to other contestants. When her name was called for her turn to sing, she did not hear. The committee called her many times, finally another contestant told her and she rushed to the stage. All of sudden, when she was about to sing, she forgot the song. She was absent minded due to the shock and said,”I am sorry I forgot the song”. The 17 years old girl was disqualified and the Semarang singer team trainer scolded her, “Stupid!”.

But the luck was still with her. After the final competition, someone who knew her talent gave her a chance to sing. She sang a famous song of Ismail Marzuki; Candra Buana. The audience cheered her performance. Her cover version of the song soon became popular in the radio.

She moved permanently to Jakarta to pursue the singing career. Soon, OSD ; a famous orchestra, recruited her as its main singer. Lokananta and Irama Record, the two first music labels of Indonesia published her songs albums. She became more and more famous and the first Indonesia president invited her to sing in presidential palace. She later became the first formal president palace singer of Indonesia. In 1966 she starred her first movie di Balik Cahaya Gemerlapan. But she once admitted that she preferred her singing job than being an actress because she made more money with her beautiful voice.

Titiek Puspa is also a noticeable Indonesian song writer. Since 1963 she has been composing popular songs. Her lyrics talks about many things, from the compound of childhood until the sexual worker. Some of her songs considered as evergreen songs of Indonesia are often resung by the younger singers.

Once, Scorpion group members went to Bali and accidentally met her. The band members who had not known her before, became her friends, and Titiek Puspa and another Indonesia song writer, James F.Sundkah made a song entitled When You Came into My Life for the band. The song was one of the songs in the 1998 Scorpion’s album Eye II Eye.

Art by: Bali Karikatur (Wayan Tama)

W.S Rendra


The sun rises from the bottom of my heart.
Touching the surface of the Greater Ocean.
The sun comes out from my mouth,
It sparks a rainbow on the horizon.

Your face pops out of my forehead,
O you, poor woman!
your feet are buried in the mud.
You expect a quarter bushel of rice,
and in the middle of the rice fields the landlord entombs you!

One million bald men
come out from the wild jungle,
their bodies are covered in mud
and their heads flash
reflecting sunlight.
Their eyes lighted up
their bodies become the flames
they burn the world

The sun is the purple Chakra disc weapon
Projected by Krishna’s hand
It becomes the blessing and the curse for you
Oh human!

(translated by GS from Rendra’s poem Matahari)

Willibrordus Surendra Broto Rendra known W.S. Rendra (born on7th November 1935) is a legendary Indonesian poet, theater actor, drama writer. His father, Raden Cyprianus Sugeng Brotoadmodjo was a Indonesian and Javanese language teacher and her mother Raden Ayu Catharina Ismadillah was a royal Javanese Surakarta palace dancer. Rendra was raised in a rich cultural environment by his Catholic Javanese family.

He loved writing since his childhood. He wrote and directed his first drama “Kaki Palsu (Artificial Foot) when he was a student of junior high school. His first poem was published by a media, Siasat magazine, in 1952. When he was a student in University of Gadjah Mada, he wrote hundreds of works in the form of poem, essay, and drama.

In 1961, after graduating his studies in American Academy of Dramatical Art in States and founded a theater club named Bengkel Teater in his hometown, Yogyakarta by which he expressed soundly his artistic concepts and world vision. From 1968, to 2003 Bengkel Teater has performed more than 40 dramas on stage and Rendra was the director. He also wrote all the scripts that he interpreted or translated from the literary drama works of Sophocles, Shakespeare, Samuel Becket, Bertold Brecht, Syubah Asa (an Indonesian writer), other western drama writers, and his own drama works.

According to Rendra his works were the offerings to God. They expressed the anxiety, not his, but the anxiety of the people.

Apart of being a writer, Rendra often represented Indonesia in international art and literature festivals abroad.

Rendra who was called the peon due to his Don Juan-like love life and polygamist marriage, and charming personality passed away in 2006 as a Muslim.

Art by: Putu Ebo

C.S. Lewis

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less”

Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963)) was a British theologian, intellectual and one of the most influential writers of his day. He wrote more than 30 books which have been translated into many languages and have sold millions of copies. His Chronicle of Narnia books is the universally the most popular and it has been interpreted into three Motion Pictures works.

He who was born in Belfast Ireland loved to read since child and his house was filled with the books. As a teenager, he was fascinated by Scandinavian songs and legends preserved in Icelandic sagas. He loved nature and said that its beauty reminded him of the stories of the North, and the stories of the North reminded him of the beauties of nature.

He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, while he was solidly elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University.

Art by: Putu Ebo

A. Riyanto

Don’t be in love if you are too young. Don’t be in love if you don’t want to get hurt

Aloysius Riyanto popularly known as A. Riyanto (born in East Java in 1943) was an Indonesian popular song writer and singer. His father R Daldjono popularly called Pak Dal was a famous children song writer, music theory lecturer and Catholic religion teacher. Since his childhood , A. Riyanto played classic piano but never learned it formally.

In high school, he created a band named Homen. He was majoring architecture in a Catholic University but left it in 3rd year because music consumed his time much. In 1966, with the blooming of Indonesian economy under the New Order regime, he became a song writer for industrial music. He made his breakthrough by orbiting his cousin, Tety Kadi, as the singer of his song work “Teringat selalu”. The song sung by here beautiful voice became a big national hit and her vinyl records were sold out in 1967. And for the first in the history of Indonesian music that the selling of an Indonesian album was better than the western one. Better than the selling of Beatles album in Indonesia in the same year.

A. Riyanto was an active keyboardist during his career and always became the song writer in any band he joined. His songs had diverse theme: nature, love, life, and beauty. Like his father he also composed children songs. He passed away in 1996. Her wife said that A. Riyanto had written 2000 songs. But his works had not been well documented. But at least his family is getting royalties from 500 of his songs which have been acknowledged by Indonesian Copyright Foundation.

Art by: Putu Ebo

Ayu Utami

For my country Indonesia that I sadly love

Justina Ayu Utami (born on 21stNovember 1969) is a prominent Indonesian female writers who dared to speak against the patriarchal sexual hegemony in Indonesia n society and promoted was she called as critical spiritualism. Her first novel, Saman, was declared as the best roman by Dewan Kesenian Jakarta 1998. She was the Laureate of Prince Clause Award in 1998, and Katulistiwa Literary Award for the prose category in 2000.

Ayu Utami loved to read detective books of Agatha Christie, the adventure of Karl May, and the Belgian comic of Tintin when she was a child. After graduating her Russian literature study in Universitas Indonesia, she learned Advanced Journalism in Cardiff in 1995 and toke Asian Leadership fellow program in 1999. During the New Order regime in Indonesia, Ayu pursued the career as a journalist , researcher and was an activist of press freedom. In 1998, her first novel, Saman, published just a few days before the fall of Soeharto, the second president of Indonesia who had governed for more than 30 years, was highly appreciated by the critics and readers.

Her second roman, Bilangan Fu, published in 2008 telling about the story of a cliff climber was inspired by her photographer boy fiend,Iwan Prasetya who had been himself a cliff climber. Th novel who spoke about political issues fusioned with spirituality and mathematics proved her brilliant writing style . Many people had believed that Ayu had been a feminist and an anti-marriage establishment, but she got married with Erik Praseya in 2011.

Art by: Bali Karikatur (Wayan Tama)

Karen Armstrong

If your understanding of the divine made you kinder, more empathetic, and impelled you to express sympathy in concrete acts of loving-kindness, this was good theology. But if your notion of God made you unkind, belligerent, cruel, of self-righteous, or if it led you to kill in God’s name, it was bad theology.

(The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness)

Karen Armstrong (born 14 November 1944) is a British author of Irsih descent. She writes mainly about comparative religions and tries to find the similarities between different religions, and her thoughts are genuine efforts to bridge the gaps and prejudices between the believer communities.

She was raised with care and affections by his parents. When she was 18 years old she abdicated her life as Catholic nun. She lost her faith in 1969 while studying in Oxford and left her order. She was working as English teacher from 1976 to 1982. During those years she worked on her memoir, of her 7 years convent experiences, a book entitled Through the Narrow Gates published in 1982. This book was well appreciated and reviewed by the readers an critics but some religious people were not pleased by the book and until now they still consider her as a runaway nun.

The British Channel Four hired her to write and present a television documentary, The First Christian, on the life of Saint Paul in 1984, In the making, she and the crews should journey to the Holy Land of Jeruslame to repeat the steps of the saint. The visit was the breakthrough experience for Armstrong that drove her to the path of the mystical approach of God. Those moments inspired her to accomplish her successive work. In her work published in 1993: A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam she traced the evolution of the three major Semitic religions from their beginnings up to the present day.

She was honored the awards by many institutions, including two time TED Awards and Muslim Public Affairs Council’s Media Award.

Art by: Bali Karikatur (Wayan Tama)

Mark Twain

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (30 November 1835 – 21 April 1910) popularly known as Mark Twain , was a novelist, writer, comedian, and American lecturer. Some of his most famous works are The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Prince and the Pauper, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and a nonfiction book; Life on the Mississippi.

Mark Twain inherited his sense of humor that made him the greatest comedian of its time from her mother. She often told her children vivid bed stories. But his father was a very serious man who showed litle affection. He was often worried about his business. It was the waning of Clemens family’s fortunes that led them to move from Florida, Missouri, to the Mississippi River port town of Hannibal, where there were greater prospects in 1839. John Clemens opened a store in the new town but he was always in debts. His father died when Clemens was 7 years old and it aggravated the financial situation of the family. A year after, when Clemens was in fifth grade he dropped school and toke several odds jobs.

Little Clemens saw many things in Hannibal, a growing town who had a lot of slaves. Clemens family itself had owned a black slave that they should sell with other possessions after the dead of the father. Clemens saw once a mutilated dead body of a fugitive slave.

His pen name “Mark Twains” was a Mississippi river term that means the second mark on the line that measured depth signified twelve feet which was safe for steamboat. Clemens became a cub steamboat pilot in 1857 when he was 21 years old. He stopped working as a pilot 4 years later due to the American Civil War.

After working for a newspaper for years as writer and sketch drawer, Clemens found his vocation as a writer of the literary works in the age of 37. He published his first book, The Innocents Abroad, in 1869. His famous novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, was published two years later. In Huckleberry Finn, Twain uncovers the hypocrisy of slavery, demonstrates how racial discrimination distorts the oppressors as much as it does those who are oppressed. And the seemingly good white people have actually no concerns about the injustice of slavery.

There are many interesting thing from Mark Twain’s life that cannot be written in this short article. On aspect of his biography rarely mentioned is that Mark Twain was an outspoken anti-imperialist and one of the most prominent protester of the American military invasion in Philippines.

Every 74-79 years Halley’s comet is in its closest orbit to our planet. Clemens was born on the day when the comet Halley was in the closest cycle in 1835 and he passed away of a heart attack on April 21, 1910, in Stormfield in the age of 74, one day after the comet’s closest approach to Earth .

Writer: Guntur Suyasa

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