one of yet another turning point in my life was when i worked for mumu. that’s right, “mumu”. i won’t blame everyone who finds the name’s funny (probably it reminds him or her to… cows). it is funny, or, it was actually –because there’s no mumu anymore out there.
it was a tabloid intended and designed to cover everything about music. published for the first time during the tabloid boom, sometime after the reformation movement successfully ousted president soeharto in 1998, it served not only those who like and perform music. it also, indirectly, revitalized my affection to something i fell into for the first time in mid-1970s and i’d been “semi-ignoring” it since 1980s, i.e. beautifully structured tunes, or, in other words: music.
i didn’t practically have things to do right after the riot in may 1998. we were just set up a venture focusing on publishing five months before when the economy –already shaken by the worsening condition in thailand –slumped deeper in november 1997. we had to abandon our major plan and did whatever we could to survive; during the days after the riot we even accepted offering to help two italian journalists covering political turbulence that lead to soeharto’s downfall.
a call from a friend, my senior, changed the course of my ship of life. i know him back from my year with berita buana, an old newspaper that, in early 1990s, started a new phase of direction with the injection of fresh money from a well-known businessman and younger human resources. it was a short-lived attempt. but, luckily, most of the newer staff went on to help founded republika. my friend and i was part of them.
he talked on the phone about publishing a tabloid with which we can simultaneously work and maintain our hobbies. as you might instantly guess, yes, we share our love to music –beside books and movies. the idea he put across was so simple. and it seemed irresistible. i’d been imagining about a print media focusing its material only on music and anything related to it, like aktuil magazine during late 1960s until late 1970s, in a way.
without given it so much thought, i jumped into the idea. i didn’t get the impression i expected when he took me to see the man with whom he shared the idea. but the thrill that somehow i’d be working together with close friends was so powerful. i just went like, i’ll do it, at least for the time being.
it turned out that, in terms of money, we didn’t get as considerable support as we thought (or i thought) we would have. (i should’ve known this from the time i met the man who shared the idea with my friend, because i didn’t get as much as i wanted for my salary.) we worked for the preparation –outlining the product concept and setting up the basic needs for the publishing –practically on our own. i remember there was only one computer in the office and i decided to bring mine until i got my desktop unit months after we already ran.
the experience of doing something that i know so much and with people i know so close, however, was overwhelming. and i did enjoy my time, even when we realized, halfway through the second year, that we didn’t do well market-wise because of lack of support from the promotional side.
i quit when i finally found myself at odd with the management decision. it’s not something i regret. i learnt my lesson. and besides, i added up experiences to my life. and the most important thing is: my affection to music came back to life and has been growing since.