In the past two days, we had been celebrating the 100th anniversary of Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), which also marked the 100th year of engineering study in Indonesia. As an alumnus, a daughter of an alumnus, and a wife of an alumnus, I, of course, had been joining this celebration (later I refer to as #100TahunITB). On social media platforms, #100TahunITB came with a myriad of nostalgic moments posted by its alumni — ranging from their unforgettable (shameful) moments, graduation days, till their love story.
Yes, it is common that many couples met during undergraduate studies as there are many occasions for love stories to unfold: all the sleepless nights working on never-ending assignments, all the hanging out after classes, all the alleyway encounters, all the study groups, among others, you name it. Given the fact that I and my husband studied at the same program with only a year of a gap, ours, however, (unfortunately) did not unfold at ITB. I knew quite well some of his inner circle friends, so, yeah, it was surprising enough for me that I couldn’t find any pictures of us being in the same spatio-temporal dimension. NONE. In fact, I found his friends’ pictures taken and posted on Facebook by me. PLENTY OF PICTURES.
We then studied abroad in the same period of 2012-2014 … and on the same continent (i.e., Europe)! He studied in Sweden, while I studied in Portugal. Well, yeah, I know that the EU itself is “big” enough. Moreover, if you check on the map, Sweden is indeed on the opposite side of Portugal. On one side, my friend traveled to Scandinavian countries and invited me to join her, but how did the willingness to visit Sweden never came to my mind?WHYYY? On the other side, my husband visited Spain (and claimed Barcelona as one of his favorite cities), but how come he didn’t put Portugal on his route?WHYYY?
We had been single throughout our four years at ITB, then we wandered to distant places, returned to Bandung, continued our respective career, and met each other…in a series of unexpected ways.
— Read the story on how we met in Bandung after all those years here —
The endeavor of finding a soulmate seemed infinite and, quite often, I felt like he (then my destined soulmate) was so distant. Yet, he was so close and more likely was around during my time at ITB. Later I knew that this endeavor was not about me finding him, but about me finding myself and my relationships with Him.
Because regardless of our wonders (we brought up this conversation after we got married), the answers to all of those were the mystery of fate as destined by Allah. I once reflected upon this on my previous post: “I (we) can’t be more grateful that Allah made us meet at the right moment in the right place”
Happy anniversary, ITB! #100TahunITB
Cheers from a proud alumnus,