An Old Pocket Camera

The 1997 long dry season will never be out from Ony’s memory. It made the plants withered and fell down their leaves to the ground, the sunlight burnt the green grass till turning to yellow and dry, dried the rice field till it was no longer productive to grow rice, dried the shrimp and fish ponds till the fish and shrimp couldn’t stay alive any longer.

It made the condition of the poor people got worse; including Ony’s family, because as we knew that the monetary crisis also hit the world including Indonesia which made the price of goods became very much expensive.

Ony was still in the second grade of Senior High. Her condition which was difficult got much more difficult. She had to struggle to earn money for her living and paid her school fee by working very hard; she did what ever she could as long as it is good. She was not afraid of facing that condition; she had been familiar with hardship all her life, even since she was born.

But one day when she had no work to do which meant she certainly got no money, her school would send her to join a students’ party program in town. Though the school would pay the fare to go there, but she had to have her own pocket money. She then went home to ask for money to her mom.

But it’s really beyond her prediction, her mom was furious to hear Ony asking for some money. Actually Ony could understand her mom’s anger; she knew that the condition was still very hard. Yet Ony was very sad because she felt that so far she had tried as much as possible not to make her parents busy to cost her living and school. Her mom gave the money while grumbling.

“Don’t you know that our condition is still very hard. I have only this. I planned to buy some needs, but now you ask for the money.”

Ony didn’t reply her mom’s words. She just said to her self, “I know that this condition is very difficult, but to whom should I ask for help? Tell me Ma’am!”

Ony received the six thousands rupiahs with her very broken heart. How hard she had tried to understand her parents, but still she couldn’t stop the tear to flow from her beautiful eyes. She kept crying along the way to her boarding house though all passengers on the public transportation she got on wondered to see her crying. Actually she was ashamed for not being able to stop crying but she really couldn’t stop the tear, her heart was broken.

an old pocket camera

an old pocket camera

In her deepest sorrow she prayed to God, the Owner of the life and the universe, “Oh God Almighty, the gracious and the merciful, please help your very weak servant. Give me an idea to create my own job so that I can make money my self without depending on the other people’s giving.” She kept repeating her prayer along the way while crying.

When she got into her boarding room, accidentally her sight came to a pocket camera which lied on the corner of the table. She bought it some years ago when she still worked in a factory in Tangerang. When she had just graduated from Junior High she had to work for two years to gather some money to continue her study. But how hard she had worked to save some money, her wage was so small that just enough to cost her life and school for only some months in Senior High; and the rest was only a pocket camera.

Ony’s brain worked hard to see the camera. She thought what she should do with it. And suddenly, Yesss…., she really thanked God for He had given her a brilliant idea. She would go around the village to offer the service of photo taking. It used to happen in her village, mothers who had babies or little children wanted to immortalize their happy moment into some photos. For those who didn’t have a camera, would ask a photographer to do it. She would catch the opportunity.

When she went out from her room to get some fresh air, she met a friend and told him her idea. Luckily, he supported her very much and was willing to accompany her to go around the village to offer the service though only for three times. Then, she certainly had to do it her self.

With a strong will, she finally performed the profession as an amateur photographer. She offered her service from door to door. Fortunately Ony had predicted before that she would face many challenges in doing her new job. In fact it’s not easy to get customers more over in such difficult condition. She didn’t care about what other people thought and those who looked down at her because this job was usually done by a man. She also didn’t care with many young men who frequently tempted her. She had intended not to drop out from school what ever happened, she had to keep her school, she had to be a successful person.

She really thanks God that actually the job could give her money which could be used to cost her living and her school fee. Even she had ever asked to be the photographer of some wedding parties. Once more, Ony really thanks God.