Annisa Dinda Mawarni’s KTP is touching in its beautiful simplicity. Sometimes, all we want is no more than state apparatuses who are not nosy to our private concerns, especially in our religious decisions—such as whether or not we would like to wear a hijab. If only making peace with the state in regard to our life’s decisions could be this easy.
The roaring of the motorcycle died down in front of the Civil Registry office building. The facade eyed Dina sharply. She could hear her heart beat faster. Sweat drops started to form on her forehead despite having spent the night memorising her answers, both regarding the data but also her personal life.
“Good morning, Miss!” A friendly staff greeted her while handing her a piece of paper with number five written on it. The office was still relatively empty. There were only three people carrying piles of paperwork and a pair of bride-and-groom-to-be who looked busy preparing matrimonial documents.
“Number five, please enter the room.”
Dina stood up, nervously out of breath. Inside, she saw three staff members, including one who was donning a black peci hat. Her throat suddenly choked up, her heart beat like a drum.
“Please sit down here, Miss.”
“Thank you, Sir.”
“My name is Deden. And yours?”
“Dina, Mr Deden.” She tried to smile.
“So, what can I help you so early in the morning, Miss Dina?” Mr Deden smiled. His peci hat perched magnificently on top of his head, black and clean. For a split second, Dina thought of just running away, but her body was glued to the seat, and a pair of eyes were there staring at her.
“Sir…” Dina mumbled, starting to feel uncomfortable. “I want to renew my ID Card. I want to change the photo, Sir.”
“Of course. May I see your documents? You have your family card and ID card with you, right?”
From her bag, Dina fished a piece of rectangle blue paper laminated in plastic and her ID card.
Deden received the documents from Dina, looked at them, and compared the ID card with the family card. Afterwards, he skillfully clicked here and there with his mouse on his computer, his eyes fixed on the screen. Click. Click. Click.
Dina waited anxiously. She hoped the process would not take too long and would not involve any religious talks that questioned her choice.
“The document and the data are all complete. You just need to take a new picture,” Mr Deden said, ending the silence. “Are you still at school or already at work now, Miss Dina?”
“I’m still at school, Sir,” Dina said, answering at full alert. She was worried the question would lead to her photo.
“Ah, I see. Your hair is short, like a female police officer hairstyle, but dyed green, Miss Dina. Is that a trend now? My daughter also did just that. It makes me confused, people used to dye their grey hair black. Now black hair is dyed grey,” Mr Deden laughed. It echoed throughout the room, but none of his coworkers responded as if it was just a normal conversation.
The camera flashed three times, making her see stars.
Mr Deden showed her the pictures on his computer. Dina chose one among the three pictures, one in which she was able to smile without it looking too forced.
“Miss Dina, the new ID card will be ready in five days. Here is your receipt for ID card renewal.”
“Is that all, Mr Deden? Just that?” Dina said in disbelief.
“Yes, that’s all! What else would you like to do here? Do you want to help me with my tasks? Please, go ahead!” Mr Deden said, laughing. Dina laughed along, half confused.
In only twenty minutes, Dina finished her business and stepped out of the civil registry office. She felt so relieved because now her hair could flow freely in real life and in her ID.
Not only God, grandma, and mother, who now had made peace with her choice and her looks. For the first time, Dina felt at peace with the state and its lengthy administration. Today, Dina had become her complete self. The Dina whose decisions meant victory. The Dina who had full confidence thanks to her new picture on her state ID card.