If there's an adjective that doesn't belong to Jakarta, it's Beauty. You know, in the real sense of the word. The balance and harmony in all the senses, the sight, the sound, the smell, those sensations that evoke within us the finer feelings of awe and appreciation, piercing through the depth of our emotions and stirring the soul. These sensations are absent in roads and streets dominated by misshapen buildings and constructions that pay no attention to their surroundings, in the jagged and twisted metals of bridges and flyovers, in the uneven tarmac and stingy pavements that shun pedestrians so they weave and wind their way between stubborn cars and suicidal motorbikes. For sure there is no beauty in the smell, a mixture of fumes, sewage and long uncollected rubbish, as for the sound there is only cacophony. After all, what else can the heavy traffic, loud speakers and the noise of millions of people living in close proximity and seemingly deaf produce other than discord?
Indeed, Beauty these days is a luxury. It's not something one can readily find. Perhaps one can stumble upon it in a passage of a book, a line of poetry or a painting hanging in a gallery. Or in a beautifully designed piece of technology. But beauty other than the landscape that Nature graces us with, is a rare treat for those of us living in a city that is constantly changing, perpetually under construction and becoming the repository of all our wastes and dirty habits.