Monday, December 1, 2014

Review : Tari-Tari Basket

It has never been an easy task to steal a lustrous spot beneath the limelight on the 'dreaded' GST works' presentation day. It has never been.

Yet, this year's the faux gloom of the 'dreaded' day vanished. Gems are sparkling in glitter all over the place, nullifying the 'curse' of the day which has lasted for years. I have to say, it is Tari-Tari Basket - a novel project lead by Viona Damayanti - which acts as the Story Division's most major contribution to the gemstone's shine. (don't worry - I'll try to refrain from dropping too much spoiler here)

To make long story short, the story follows the triumph of Dian - a hopeful first-year college youth - on chasing Teguh's affection, who has encharmed her on their first sight with his magnificent flute harmonies. Upon the hands of fate's grant, these two's frequent meeting turned out into a catalyst which triggers a  breakdown point for Dian's heart - whether she should focus on her true basketball rising potent, or following the pathway of the Balinese traditional dance (which is not Dian's main interest) to encharm Teguh even more.

Before proceeding any further, here's one interesting backstory we'd like to tell : All of the judges on the presentation day (including me) agreed that the concept of the story is not something which stands out from the ordinary. Being a teenlit with a classic (and much overused) love-centered theme, it is an obligation for the project to deliver a plus point from another aspect, and yes - the novel did an exceptional delivery on the writing aspects (Thalia's telepathic ability greatly strengthen the story's magnet a lot).

We have to say, this novel is an interesting example of how a deep, philosophy-influenced writing could greatly spice up a concept which is not uncommon. Back then during the mentoring session this novel (lightly) suffers from a rough transition between the informal language and the mesmerizing self-thoughts, but it's clearly visible that there's an attempt to eliminate this barrier on the novel's final print version.

One of the major criticism on the novel back then is on how the illustrations' style conflict greatly among each other (due to the project having multiple illustrators), but personally we think it's not an issue that critical to be greatly concerned of (we can still enjoy the story's intuitable flow anyway). During the second half we can sense somehow that the conflict within Dian's 'steel heart' begins to feel repetitive (and gradually putting our interest away in a slight amount), but it doesn't retract us from examining this story to minutiae.

This novel also applies footnotes to enlighten readers on the more-technical terms (which is brilliant), but there's one big fault which is overlooked more or less - the story never stated its setting (although it's obvious enough that the story took place in Institut Teknologi Bandung), yet there's the name 'MGG' mentioned without any explanations at all about that organization. This would undoubtedly cause a sheer confusion to external (and even some internal) readers, in which some of us has experienced ourselves.

Despite the (not-so-major) flaws pointed on above paragraph, this literary shard is still an interesting one to read overall. It is imminent that there's *something special* poured directly from the writers' heart hidden within the universe of the story - be it consciously or unconsciously ciphered within, we can feel that most of the time this is not the mind speaking - it's the heart speaking. Most obvious is perhaps Teguh's student number (13313033, which actually exists - use this site to check out whom it is if you're that curious), but far beneath what's written in the surface there's still a lot more to dig and decipher. Really, grab a copy and you'll see what we mean.

We'll leave you all within the unsolved conundrum with this magnificent quote directly delivered from the novel itself. Have a nice day.


- Nivalyx

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