REVIEW: RASA by The Jakarta Post

Despite the relatively comfortable lives they enjoy, young middle-class corporate workers in Jakarta can be the greatest whiners in the world.
Instead of counting their blessings, the fact that they can still pay their rent and bring food to their table through their office jobs – taking into account that many people in Jakarta are unemployed and still live in poverty – the privileged lives they lead, which open their access to various resources, have inflated their expectations unrealistically.
Their educational background and professional skills instead have turned these people into entitled brats, they feel they deserve a more exciting life owing to their privileged context.
Just look at Maya, the 29-year-old female character in Indonesian writer Nuril Basri’s latest novel Rasa (Feelings) published simultaneously this year in Indonesia and Malaysia. She is a fictitious character, but she reminds us of our fellow urbanites.
Maya already works as an account manager in a corporation, a job that pays her bills. Her life comforts, apparently, are not enough for her. Maya complains she is “feeling old”, that she is “lost in confusion”. She senses she deserves a more exciting fate in her life than “merely” taking care of her company’s sales matters.
Growing up in a very conservative and pious family, with overbearing parents, Maya has never had sex by the age of 29, apparently deemed by the author as an anomaly in Jakarta, a city where casual sex thrives alongside religious fundamentalism. Read more... (this article is premium).