Bagus Ari Saputra
From: Ubud village
Son of the founder, I Ketut Bagia Astawa and his Finnish wife, Anita Ikonen. Assumed responsibility for the business on his father's passing in 2013 and took it from being a small guesthouse to a boutique hotel. Sees developing the property not as a business venture but an artistic project; creator of the Tri Gaya philosophy. Considers his destiny and that of Gayatri to be inextricably linked: if one is doing well, so is the other; if one dies, so does the other. If Gayatri is to be considered a living thing, and it should, he is the brain. Will never have another job as long as he lives.
Position: Head receptionist
From: Wanayu village
Ayu Urati has the honour of being the all-time favourite employee of Ketut Bagia, the original owner of Gayatri. She started working for him from 1998 and served until his passing in 2013. She has since been employed by his son, Bagus, and has become one of the most important and trusted members of staff. She acts as a maternal figure to the younger women who work at Gayatri and is an incredibly popular figure behind the scenes (on staff outings, people have been known to flock to whichever group she is in). For our regular guests she is a much loved friend. She has great powers of empathy and an intuitive understanding of what each guest needs, which is so important for someone in her position and enables her to serve easy and difficult guests alike with the same respect, professionalism, and dignity.
From: Bedulu village
Wayan Purwanti is a relatively new addition to our front office team but has been a godsend. Routinely exhibiting a maturity, sense of responsibility, and desire to learn that belies her tender years, she has been impressing from the moment she arrived. She is tactful under pressure, can improvise if needed, and is growing in her command of English. She loves travelling, listening to music, and singing (mainly to herself). Her dream is to go on holiday and stay in a hotel, which she has thus far not been able to. Our dream is that she will carve a career for herself at Gayatri which will put her in an income bracket that will enable her to stay in any hotel she wants.
Position: Head cook
From: Bedulu village
Ari trained as a cook in SMK Saraswati in Gianyar and gained experience at Cafe Des Artistes before joining the Gayatri kitchen team. He started out as an apprentice under Pak Dewa, who was our chef at the time, but has since honed his skill enormously and really matured in both a professional and personal capacity. He is now in charge of menu execution, event catering, and dish improvement. A greatly ambitious and sharp young man, he has become the undisputed star of our kitchen who leads by example, setting the high standards that the others must follow. A Buleleng native, Ari stands up for himself with the fiery nature associated with that region, which you only see if you know him over a longer period because his default mode is a disarming smile (see photo for an example). His main strengths as a cook are his incredible intuitive understanding of combinations and proportions ("Nothing worth learning can ever be taught" - Oscar Wilde) and constant desire to learn, evolve, improve. This means that he is incredibly quick, never static, and always positive and open-minded. He married earlier this year and is now a proud father of a baby girl (for fans of gender equality, he is also rare in the sense that he preferred a girl child to a boy). His Nasi Campur is famous the world over. Was worth breaking our wage structure for.
From: Ubud village
From: Blahbatuh village
Suma was hired by the original owner of Gayatri, Ketut Bagia, in 2011 for the restaurant, Cafe Gayatri. After the restaurant changed ownership in 2013, she continued there for over a year before being re-hired into the Gayatri organisation by the current owner, Bagus Ari Saputra in late 2014. She has been a reliable member of our kitchen staff ever since. Despite her small stature, she really packs a punch and is one of several strong, independent women who work at the hotel, a fact of which we are proud as equality in the workplace and the empowerment of women are deep in the value system of our business. Suma has always loved cooking and is one of a rare breed of people in today's world: someone whose passion is their profession, who in their free time enjoy doing what they do at work. This is something really beautiful to observe. Due to her upbringing, her strengths as a cook are in the arena of Balinese cuisine: her spinach crackers are a specialty only she can execute to perfection, while Ayu Gita, the sister of the owner, often specifically requests Suma to prepare sambal, the red chili paste that gives Balinese cooking its edge, if she is coming for a visit. She has also mastered the creation of raw cashew cheese cakes. Someone to hold onto.
From: Pejeng village
Dewa Ayu is a fine, beautiful young woman of great dignity. She used to work at the bar of Cafe Gayatri when it was still owned by the founder of Gayatri, Ketut Bagia. She quit there due to workplace politics when Bapak Ketut was no longer able to take an active role in its management due to the severity of his illness. After his passing, his son, Bagus Ari Saputra, on taking over remembered the esteemable qualities Dewa Ayu holds and immediately made sure to coax her back into the fold. After the restaurant changed ownership, she was one of only two of the most loyal employees to immediately follow Bagus out and into his other business, what we now call Gayatri (the other was Pak Dewa, the chef). As the hotel had no bar at the time, she re-trained as a cook. Now she is a reliable member of our kitchen team, whose cooking style is distinctive: there is a feminine care and attention to detail, in both her small and tidy vegetable dices and the softness and subtlety of her spicing. As a result, the food she cooks is beautiful. When she was younger, her dream was to become a mother; at the age of twenty-five, she has realised that dream as she is the proud mother of two children, the first a boy with big eyes and the second a girl who does not need to look far for a great example of womanhood.
Position: Junior cook
From: Bedulu village
Kadek Andini is the most recent addition to our team of cooks. She joined Gayatri in March 2017, seamlessly filling a vacancy that had barely had time to open. Her parents run a rooftile and brick production company in her native Bedulu village, and her her older sister, despite marrying (which traditionally means moving to the house of the husband and leaving the old family behind) works for them. Kadek wanted to expand her horizons, and feel some independence, so she sought work outside the confines of the family business and we at Gayatri are glad that she did. A young woman of tall and thin stature, she has shown great focus in her time so far as well as an ability to grasp new concepts quickly. She can now, if needed, handle an evening shift on her own, proving that she has developed the sureness of touch and understanding necessary for someone in her position. With some more experience and growth, she will be able to make the step up from junior cook to cook. She loves travelling and eating out with friends; her current favourite hangout is the super spicy noodle bar, Mikober, in Batubulan.
From: Tampaksiring village
When Ketut first applied to work at Gayatri, he was just twenty-one and had as his previous place of employment a guesthouse on Hanoman Street. He was asked what department he worked in. Housekeeping, he replied, which was also what he was applying for. Who handled bookings in that place? Um, I did, was his reply. Who made breakfast for them? I did, just something simple, he replied again. Who cleaned the rooms? Me, he said again. How many people worked there? Just me, he said. It was a one-man operation, and that man was applying to work here. He was accepted. (When asked why he wanted to quit there, he said because they never let him take time off. He was there from morning until night. I told him at Gayatri you will be joining a team and have clear eight-hour shifts, at the end of which going home is compulsory. Working overtime here is not allowed.) He has shown good leadership potential here too.
Ketut is the son of a priest and an offering packager in Tampaksiring, about half an hour northeast of Ubud. Because of his father's occupation he is often asked to do the holy water rites at the end of a praying session or consulted about religious affairs, which he responds to with a slightly embarrassed and bemused expression, before then doing what is suggested or answering satisfactorily. Does he see a future as a priest for himself? No, he laughs.
There was a time when the quite idyllic image arose of Ketut, a handsome young man from a village outside Ubud working as a roomboy in one of its hotels, falling in love with a beautiful young woman from a different small village working as a waitress in one of the restaurants. He would often be seen hanging around waiting for her to finish her shift a few hundred metres away. She became a regular sight at Gayatri, panicking if she hadn't heard from him, sometimes leaving something for him, at others asking urgently to see him, or then waiting so they could drive home together. The cute couple are now married and have a big-boned two-year-old son, who can walk and talk, even if the exact meaning of his pronouncements is not always decipherable.
Ketut is one of a fairly large subset of the Balinese people who dream of one day owning a Vespa. For now, he is content tending to the pig that he co-owns with his father back home, taking turns to feed it. They intend to keep it and sell it one of these Galungans to make money to cover the cost of the ceremonies. "So that is your hobby then, taking care of the pig in your backyard?" "If you want to call it a hobby, then yeah sure,' he replies in that unfussed way of his.
From: Bedulu village
Komang is the Balinese name for third child but at Gayatri he is more often referred to by his nickname Awo, which is shortened from his last name (Subawa), or actually as Bli Awo, 'Bli' being a term of respect or endearment for a big brother or male older than one, given that he is more senior than most of the staff who work here. He is one of the most loyal employees that Gayatri has, with twenty years of service under his belt. He started out as a waiter, which is how he met his wife, Mbok Is, who was a waitress at the restaurant at the time. (This delightful coincidence is in fact not as rare as it sounds, with them one of four such Gayatri husband and wife couples. The last such marriage took place in 2012.) He also spent a stint as a black-coated, shadow-dwelling night guard, who would disappear with the rising sun like a vampire (albeit quite a sleepy-looking, not very threatening one) only to return the following night. He eventually joined the ranks of the regular staff, and has been working in the housekeeping department ever since. Awo is a sporty man, which explains why in his forties he is still in such lean shape, and played a lot of football when he was younger. He also enjoys cycling and gardening, the latter of which has made him the go-to person for management for advice on how to plant different flowers and trees, how to treat and care for the ones we already have, and what plants suit different terrains around the property. As a result, he was offered the post of gardener, but he turned it down because he felt it would have been a demotion (which is a shame). Instead, he chose to continue as a housekeeper who offers gardening advice on the side. He is also a dab hand in the kitchen - there was a Galungan when a cook didn't turn up and Awo rolled his sleeves up, without being asked, and started making a nasi goreng! Awo is one of the staff members for whose driving lessons we paid, so he also acts as an auxiliary driver if needed. He has since gone on to purchase his own car, a black Suzuki APV, and supplements his income at Gayatri by transporting tourists in his free time. Naturally, if our cars are occupied, we like to support him. Awo is a vocal man, who is not shy to air his opinions and likes to take part in deliberations of almost any kind - religion, politics, taxation. As someone who spent a long time working for and with I Ketut Bagia Astawa, the founder and original owner of Gayatri, Awo is full of stories and memories relating to the late, great man and as such is an important part of the continuity of the place, keeping his spirit alive, and preserving his legacy.
From: Siangan village
Eka used to work for a supermarket chain on Gatot Subroto Road before one of his relatives, a driver by the name of Gusti (whom regular visitors will know) told him that there is a vacancy in the hotel where he works. Eka made a dashing first impression, combining his Arab-style good looks with a great attitude, which made his hiring a no-brainer. He has an athletic background having played football for a team throughout his youth. More recently, when asked why he seemed to be sturdier than before, he replied it was because he didn't have football boots any more! So the hotel, to encourage his healthy hobby, gifted him a pair of Adidas Adipures. The hotel has also paid for him to get driving lessons and a licence, so that now he is able to double up as a driver if needed. Eka is a vocal and prominent member of the staff when it comes to the social side of things, often at the centre of the joke or conversation. He is the father of a small girl and his wife works at one of the local laundries; like most Balinese couples they hope to have a boy in the near future but do not want anoher child just yet because of the high costs of childcare in this day and age.
From: Pejeng village
Since February 2014, Ibu Ayu has been a faithful member of our team of builders. She is the one who carries an ageless Balinese beauty, the type associated with black and white photographs, and effortlessly transports heavy loads by balancing them on top of her head. When in 2017, she asked if her son could work for us, I told him to come for an interview. He made a good impression and has been working in our housekeeping department ever since. Like his mother, Komang has a wonderful old-fashioned goodness about him, which in Indonesian we call polos (when referring to an object the word means simple, but when used for a person it means a genuine, down-to-earth, unpretentious type). He is strongly built and possesses the easiest sweet smile. He is such a natural, unspoiled child of Bali that he sometimes replies to questions in Indonesian in Balinese. As a result, you might be able to guess that leaning English is a challenge for him but one he is working to overcome. His hobbies are playing futsal and watching football. He is a Bali United fan and whenever time and money allows goes to watch them live at the Gianyar stadium.
From: Kayu Kapas village
Immediately before being hired by Gayatri, Mertika was let go as a daily worker at The Mansion Resort & Spa, also in Ubud, due to the catastrophic tourist situation in Bali in the aftermath of the eruption of the Agung volcano in late 2017, the effects of which were felt way into 2018. We are very glad he became free for he has shown a great attitude and diligence in his work so far. As they say, every cloud... He is a fresh-faced, confident young lad who is cheeky around his friends. As the son of a farmer from Kintamani, on whose plantations he routinely helped out growing up, he has an in-built understanding of growing the fruits and vegetables suitable in the region, which has been an invaluable help to Gayatri's own plantations, on which the dominant plants now are mandarin trees, cabbage, and chilli. As his home village is about an hour away from his current place of work, Mertika rents a room in Silakarang village, close to where he finished his vocational school. Mertika is an upgrade on the person he replaced, and thus symbolizes the evolution and upward trend that Gayatri is on in 2018. We are proud to have him on our staff and hope that long may it be so.
From: Plaga village
Agus is part of "the Silakarang Gang", our series of recent recruits from the same vocational school in Silakarang, who are close enough in age to be either classmates or school friends, and actually applied to work at Gayatri through the recommendation of someone in that social network. (It should be said that the number of recent graduates from their class to apply to Gayatri was high but we only handpicked the best ones, of which Agus is a fine example.) Like Mertika, he was also victim to the mass cull of employees from business establishments on the island in the aftermath of the Agung eruption in late 2017 when tourist numbers were reaching record lows. As with Mertika, Gayatri benefited from the situation by being able to acquire Agus as a member of staff. He is a handsome-faced, elegant young man of great versatility: he is comfortable in the rooms, as a waiter, and even as driver. It is in the last of these three capacities that he has shown a most pleasing youthful fearlessness and ability to learn quickly, performing very well on jobs he is doing for the first time or has been given instructions for only the once. He added a waitering diploma from a higher education insitution to the vocational training he already had earlier this year, which signals his ambition and desire for self-improvement. It is because of additions like Agus that the staff at Gayatri feels fresher and more professional than ever before.
Position: Head launderess
From: Belusung village
In early 2016, Putu Ica, who worked in our laundry at the time, was about to go on maternity leave. I asked the staff if anyone they know is looking for employment and would provide good cover for Putu. Ibu Wayan, one our painters at the time, said there was a girl in her neighbourhood who had been out of work for some years because she had had a child herself, but was now looking for a job. She is a very hard-working woman, Ibu Wayan said. That was the start of the process of hiring Wayan Tarmi. Therefore she owes her position, or at least initial entry into it, to Ita, Putu's little girl who was born in 2016. Since then, Tarmi has assumed more responsibility in the laundry department and risen to position of head launderess. Ibu Wayan did not lie: Tarmi's work ethic is absolutely unimpeachable, and physically she is very fit and strong, which is a necessity seeing as she needs to carry big baskets of clothes up and and down several flights of stairs every day. An introvert, she is not prone to any shows of extravagance and likes to keep to herself, letting her work do the talking. Her husband is a builder-turned-craftsman, and together they have a primary school age boy, whom Tarmi refers to lovingly as "nakal sekali" (very naughty).
From: Serai village
Kadek Dewi is part of the "Silakarang gang" at Gayatri, by which I mean the group of recent recruits who are all close in age, graduated from the same school (SMK Sila Werdhi Silakarang), rent rooms in the area, and socialise together. Kadek was actually the first of the group to join, and she did so on the recommendation of Putu Ica (see profile above), at whose family compound Kadek boards. Kadek joined initially as an addition to our housekeeping team but as part of a re-shuffle in mid-2017 found a new home for herself in our laundry, where she forms a tight trio with Tarmi and Mbok Abing, which is responsible for keeping our sheets and towels spick and span. There seemed to be a bit of mischief between her and Mertika, one of our roomboys, after the latter was hired, but that has since diffused into a normal working relationship. Kadek loves listening to music, especially love songs in Balinese, hanging out with her friends at their local Warung Mek Dek, and occasionally follows Indonesian TV shows, from which the actress Natasha Wilona has emerged as her favourite (and also her pick for most beautiful woman in the world).
From: Ubud village
Mbok Abing, as she is affectionately known by most at Gayatri - the 'Mbok' a term for a big sister or a woman we regard as such - has the not little honour of being the longest-serving member of staff, with already an impressive nineteen years behind her (oh the changes she has seen at both the property and in Ubud in that time!) and insodoing serving as a good advert for our commitment towards our staff and our policy of lifetime employment. Her destiny and that of Gayatri were further entwined when she fell ill to a serious heart condition at around the same time as Ketut Bagia, the original owner and founder, saw his liver problems deepen. This bond of suffering meant that Bapak Ketut was all too eager to help Abing and find the compromises necessary for her to keep her job and thus continue to receive an income she could not afford to lose but at the same time working within the confines of her physical limitations. When many other employers would have cut her off considering her dead wood, Bapak Ketut allowed her to continue working shorter days (six hours instead of eight) and sparing her any climbs which her heart could not take (this means that the other people in the laundry are tasked with carrying the clothes up and down stairs and Abing sits and irons them). After the handover from father to son, Bagus has continued his father's policy. Her nickname, Abing, actually means cliff in Balinese and comes from the fact that the house where she grew up was near a cliff. In addition to being a launderess, Mbok Abing doubles up as the person in charge of offerings and religious ceremonies at Gayatri, owing to her experience and understanding of the local traditional customs.
Pak Wayan Belusung
Position: Head builder
From: Belusung village
In February 2014 we started the long road of turning ourselves from a small budget guesthouse to a boutique hotel. We allocated the funds, hired an interior designer, and started looking for builders. My friend Karim said that his father, Amir, had recently renovated a bathroom and had a superb tiler. “Could I get his number?” I asked. A few days later we had a team of four builders in Room 5 chipping away at the old ceramic floor tiles, making space for new ones. Pak Wayan Belusung was among them. He was the superb tiler.
In the early days, we joked about the level of artistry he got to in his work by referring to him as the Picasso of tiling. He would always get the corners to match, the grout lines to meet, the surfaces completely even, and match the stone tiles to each other in a way that the natural patterning on them seemed to continue harmoniously from one slab to the next. To say he was just a builder was a huge understatement. He was a designer too, often coming up with ingenious solutions to design problems, such as how to install a whole wooden floor without a single nail or screw hole visible or making custom door handles and inside locks when others didn’t feel quite right.
When other people in construction might throw stones together, slap on the cement, and let the hammer fly, I knew from the beginning that Pak Wayan Belusung was the right builder for us because he worked the Gayatri way: methodically, patiently, caring much more about the beauty of the end product than how quickly it is reached; taking pride in and enjoying his work; treating it not as a job but a vocation.
He is from the village of Belusung, about twenty-five minutes east of Ubud on a scooter. His wife, Ibu Kadek, is a painter-decorator, who has done some stints at Gayatri as well. From the point of view of most Balinese people, they suffered a great misfortune in that all of their three children are girls. We beg to differ: the first two, twins called Niluh and Swan, are so bright, beautiful, and capable that they have quickly become our star waitresses and have the potential to be more.
Just how the girls were raised to become such impressive individuals is an interesting question because Pak Wayan Belusung is the type of man who very rarely speaks. He prefers to let his actions do the talking (so the opposite of most people, then). Perhaps his parenting style was teach by example, and the verbal communication left to his wife.
If you are at Gayatri, you might recognise Pak Wayan as the limber, tall, and agile construction worker, performing his task, whether it is installing rooftiles or making a path, with a sturdy, unassuming constancy, face down, mouth closed, mind in a state of calm flow. But if you get close, you will see that the first impression of serious, almost antagonistic was mistaken, with the first clue being the two golden earrings on his left ear. There is life beneath the surface, enough to intrigue.
From: Keliki Village
In life where there is a yin, there will also be a yang.
We profiled Pak Wayan, our chief builder, not too long ago. I referred to him as “the Picasso of tiling”. He is meticulous, cerebral, and a complete introvert.
His partner in crime, however, is gregarious, has a muscular cool about him, an effortless toothy smile, and a laugh that does not take much probing. One of my favourite sights is seeing him shout “Good morning!” or “Yes, Yes, fine, fine” to passing guests. For some of the maintenance guys, interacting with a guest is an anxiety-ridden affair. For Pak Ngakan, for that is his name, those moments appear to be enjoyable additions to his mornings, like a raisin in rice pudding. For a person whose English vocabulary, as far as I know, does not include any other words, this is an openness to connecting with other human beings, and disregard for potential embarrassment, that is not only healthy but quite admirable.
They also differ in their physiques. Pak Ngakan is tall, slim, lithe. Pak Ngakan is slightly on the short side, has a more upright gait, and strong, hairy forearms. If we were to hold an arm-wrestling competition, my money would be on him. Yet he is also nimble and can squeeze into tight places. I have a visual memory of the two of them building a custom bedhead which incorporated a ledge that doubled as a bedside table. It was a tight fit, with walls on three sides, and one of them had to back in to get it into position. After much fitting and adjusting, we finally managed to get it in place – only for Pak Ngakan to be left stuck inside! The look of mock self-pity and horror on his face would have made Charlie Chaplin proud.
Ngakan is actually the name of his caste. It is one of the higher ones in Bali, linked to the ksatriya (warrior) level, though not considered as socially elevated as Cokorda or Dewa. In his native village of Keliki, he is one of an estimated two hundred Ngakans.
His wife is a painter-decorator but she now spends more time at home, tending to their two boys the younger of whom is only two, a small patch of ricefield they inherited, a cow and two chickens. The chickens are the egg-producing variety, not the ones used for cock-fighting, a popular pastime in villages like Keliki. He is not a fan of cock-fighting. The sharp blades tied to the feet of the cocks, which make the contests speedy affairs but have also been known to injure people, stress him out.
After finishing work at four in the afternoon, Pak Ngakan rushes home to enjoy a home-made meal by his mother, who is still in good strength. Rice, longyard beans chopped and sauteed, chicken fried with a herb mixture that contains garlic, shallot, turmeric, and red chili. After that, he settles to finally get some rest after a hard day’s work, surrounded by his family. His mode of relaxation of choice is the television. What does he like, current affairs, movies, soaps? “Cartoons and animations,” he says. “Kids win, I lose.”
From: Belusung village
Meet Pak Kadir. He is the number one tukang asab at Gayatri. This is a specialist profession related to Balinese style architecture. Tukang means worker or expert and asab refers to the technique of grinding red bricks or natural grey paras stone together with a small amount of water and cement between them until the dust generated creates a paste the same colour as the brick and the bricks essentially lock together because their shapes fuse into one and there is enough adhesion. What makes this way of making walls or features special is that a remarkable uniformity of colour and appearance is achieved in the end product. In a normal brick wall, layers of grey cement and red brick alternate. When a tukang asab is finished, it looks like the whole wall is even brick with no gaps, perfectly uniform in colour and at a certain distance even the bricklines disappear. In English this is referred to as drystacking. When paras stone is the medium, the effect is the same but it is usually used for decorations or reliefs, designed to pleasingly contrast with the orange of the background.
If you want to spot Pak Kadir and say hello, first look for a man in his mid-forties who has short black hair, is of medium height, and strong in build. Given that this does not yet distinguish him clearly from the other builders, pay attention to piercing eyes and a latent ferocity in his face, which occasionally erupts into a lunatic smile. If that sounds too complex, find the two guys covered in orange dust and he is the shorter of the two.
“Hello Pak Kadir,” you can say. “How do you know my name?” he will reply. “Because your profile was posted on Instagram and Facebook. No one told you?”
He is much more likely to be found in his native village of Belusung, tending to his ricefields after work, or standing guard at a temple entrance in his capacity as pecalang (village security), than on social media. What I like most about him, apart from the awesome quality of his work, is that we both agree on an important fundament: that simplicity is happiness. We were talking about the gubernatorial election in Bali some months ago, and how so much of day-to-day news is just hot air, that life is us, our surroundings and the people around us, not the decisions of people in big offices in faraway places. “Every morning I can come to Gayatri and do my job to satisfaction,” he said. “In the afternoon, I can go home, and have enough to eat and care for my family. What more could I want?”
From: Siangan village
From: Siangan village
Pak Widarta (if we are being formal) or Pak Wi (if we are in a casual mood) is a professional carver from Siangan village, about thirty minutes northeast of Ubud. He joined the Gayatri team when we were completing Room 17 - Garuda and needed carvers to make our beautiful Balinese style heavy grey stone decorations around the intricately carved and handpainted gold and red wooden doors. Pak Widarta and his long-term friend and carving companion, Pak Prapen, are acquaintances of Pak Kadir, our number one tukang asab (specialist in red brick and paras stone dry stacking), which is how they got the interview, and after which, the job. He went to school with Pak Prapen's big sister, which is how the two became friends. Noticeably younger of the two, Pak Prapen makes most of the drawings for the more elaborate panels and carvings but Pak Widarta is also a very skilled and experienced carver: he has been carving since his primary school days, the age of ten to be precise, when a kindly woodcarver neighbour took him under his wing and taught him the skills of his trade. In his younger days, Pak Widarta did a lot more woodcarving, but now in his middle age he does more stone, which he says is not as demanding for his eyes (the observant among you may have noticed the little case in his shirt pocket; it contains the glasses he wears when doing fine details). Pak Widarta is a very good-natured, relaxed, and down-to-earth kind of person, always positive and very easy to work with. His wife, Ibu Made, is a tukang prada, a specialist in the painting and finishing of Balinese style carvings in wood, and she also works for Gayatri. Their two sons, now adults, have had the skill of carving passed down to them by their father, but because of the current state of the economy and the job market they have been forced to seek their living elsewhere, places of more practical value (one works at Coco Supermarket and the other at a motorcycle repair shop). Pak Widarta finishes his days at Gayatri by heading to the south part of the property at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, when his shift ends, and collecting grass for his cow at home to eat, before heading out about an hour later, as the afternoon sun is setting, with a humongous sack of long, green grass on his shoulders - "Later If my children need money, I will sell the current one and buy a new calf," he says.
From: Siangan village
Ibu Made Rauh
From: Siangan village
Pak Man Bleck
From: Pupuan village
Is there a more lovable character in the whole of Gayatri? Is there a sight that brings more gladness to the heart than our wiry Snoop Dogg lookalike of an electrician sauntering in on his black skeletal old school motorbike, an inappropriately wintry-looking puffy navy coat, his helmet somewhere between his chin and forehead, somwhere in there a subtle but almost wicked smile, torn jeans about twenty centimetres too long for his legs, and his feet casually tucked into a pair of old trainers with their backs folded the worse for wear? Is it too much to say he is greeted with the eagerness of a second coming, for he is our saviour in our time of need, before whom all cables, wires, MCBs, and short circuit issues lay prostate, parting at his command like the Red Sea? Or would it be more accurate to say that he is a Midas-like figure, except that instead of everything he touches turning to gold, pumps that previously refused to spit out water do so with a smile, lamps that were dead and buried come alive like they have just entered the full bloom of youth, and leaks disappear like a handkerchief from the fist of a magician? Okay, enough of this rhetorical questioning, meet Pak Man Bleck, man whose agility gets him into the tightest of spaces easily, who used to come to work in a "Prisoner of the In-Laws" t-shirt before he got his uniform, and who is called "Bleck" because his first permanent job as an electrician saw him work such long hours in the open sun of the property that was to become Four Seasons Jimbaran that his dark skin became first a distinguishing feature, and then a part of his name, where it has remained all these years. He has two sons and a wife who sells satay dough in Singapadu Market. The best thing about him: his never-say-die, optimist's optimist attitude. If he were asked to install a spotlight for Gayatri on the moon, he would look at Gayatri first, then the moon, think seriously for a bit while biting his upper lip, before replying "Coba dulu. Tapi lumayan kita habisin kabel" (in English: "We'll try. But we'll need a long cable.").