Reading and Writing [should be] a Man’s Best Friend

JANE AUSTEN AND INDONESIAN FAMILY

Hi, everyone! I’m Prima Santikafrom Indonesia. I live in Jakarta, the capital – as well as the biggest cosmopolitan – city in Indonesia. I studied Economics, and I’m currently working in a telco company. I was born in 1974, a husband to a beautiful wife, and a father of a handsome 4 years old son. I have just published my first book, entitled THREE WEDDINGS AND JANE AUSTEN. It’s a novel in Indonesian language, published by Gramedia, one of the biggest, oldest, most respectable publishers in Indonesia.

Since this blog’s main objective is to encourage men everywhere in the world to read and write more, I’m here to do just that, to share my experience in those areas. But first – and to do this in a right way in order to understand how I relate my book to Jane Austen – let me take you to my book.

The book tells a story about a mother with her three adult daughters. Ibu Sri [Ibu = Mrs.] is the mother of Emma a 35 years old, Meri is 30, and Lisa is 29. They live inJakarta. The three daughters are not giving any sign to be married anytime soon, and that makes Ibu Sri a little bit worry. Ibu Sri is a real fan of Jane Austen. She has all the six novels and read it over and over again since high school. Ibu Sri uses Jane Austen books to give advices to her daughters on how to deal with love, since their high school time until present days. It’s like a holy book of romance for her, and she makes sure that her daughters will inherit all the wisdoms Jane Austen ever told in her books. As the story goes, readers will follow the love story from each girl, their problems, and how Ibu Sri deals with it by giving them advices based on Jane Austen books. But life is always full of surprises, that each character in this book – including Ibu Sri herself – will have to learn lessons from their conflicts to each other, read Jane Austen books, and finally develop themselves into a wiser character. And just like any Jane Austen story, I promise a happy wedding at the end of mine.

When I started to write this book in early 2008, in order to relate the most of Jane Austen’s point of view with Indonesian way of life, I had no other option but to put it into a good-family perspective. I could see a close relation in terms of manners and how to regard love and marriage in an ordinary, modern, well-managed, good-moral Indonesian family, with the ones in Jane Austen time. Combining both similar values in one storyline seemed to be a wonderful idea for me to explore at that time. And now, voila! My book is finally done and published in 12 January 2012, with a genuine hope from me that this book can reflect the perfect combination of the two.

I wrote this book also with the spirit of introducing Jane Austen to Indonesian audience. I first fell in love with Jane Austen when I saw the movie Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow, and then Sense and Sensibility starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. It was around 1997 or so. I then sensed the silver lining between the two, that the story was always about girls looking for love, and finding marriage at the end. What a wonderful idea! I then bought all the six books when I got the chance, but never read it until just recently while I write this book. Meanwhile, I always kept myself informed of every adaptation from Jane Austen books. So one by one, I’ve seen all the movies or miniseries related to Jane Austen’s books and life. As I thought I have mastered myself into knowing all the characters from each story, I then challanged myself into writing a book based on Jane Austen as I knew then. But of course, without actually reading her books, you can’t really feel Jane Austen’s beautiful mind.

The other reason to write, was to urge single people into marriage. Now, when I say people here, I do mean it for men and women. But I also realize that 90% of my book is talking about women’s feelings and thoughts, so I guess this book is mostly for women. However, if men would read this book all the way through, I do hope that they could take advantage of knowing what women want, and then lead them on into marriage. Shortly, I want this book to be useful for everybody. And that is just the kind of writer I want to be. To be able to touch people’s lives, to present stories close to ourselves, and as much as I can be of use I will try my best to provide answers to any problems in my books. That’s why – in my humble opinion – a happy ending is important.

So, if any of my experiences could be useful for the audience of this blog, it might be the LOVE of something, and the MISSION we’re trying to achieve. My love of Jane Austen has brought me into reading her books, and my mission for campaigning “the importance of being married” has pushed me into writing my book. And for your consolation, I am NOT at all a heavy reader. I’m just an average man with a little passion to write. And what I’ve learnt from writing, was that you can’t write without reading what you write. That’s why I pushed myself to read Jane Austen books in the middle of writing this book. So, start writing, then you will read!