Saturday, 21 May 2005

A Time to reflect...and Goodbye Mak Andeh

I was suffering from a very bad jet lag when I started my first blog. Thus it was like a haze of confused ramblings and disjointed accounts with no proper beginning or logical ending. It was so boring that I myself fell asleep and finally conquered that jet lag. But what emerged was something more frightening. I was getting addicted to this habit of self exposure and self indulgence fed by comments from new found friends in blogsphere and a somewhat positive report by blogpatrol.

The initial feeling of apprehension was overtaken by something more daring, with the ego rearing its ugly head, egged on by voyeurism which seems to be the order of today’s entertainment, judging by popular tv ratings today. I remember getting one comment from Pak Adib, a veteran in the blogger’s world and smiled that someone actually read my posting. Soon, there was a surge of comments, and this was when I learnt the term ‘bloghopping’. Bloggers were bloghopping from ‘Pok Ku’ the well known blogger,who apparently had dedicated a posting to “Welcome Kak Teh”. You get a mention in Pok Ku’s Rang Ikang Kering, you have sort of made it in this blogger’s world, I thought, and that boosted my confidence a bit. There was no turning back then.

For this I am glad. Blogging came at a time when I was very confused. I had just stopped writing my column for a newspaper because I needed to concentrate on my studies. But I found I was grappling with the style of academic writing that was totally alien to me and a feeling of uselessness was about to consume me. I used to sit at the computer willing words to flow from my brain to the fingers and then to the keyboard, forming sentences that make sense on the screen. Blogging made it so easy. And I rediscovered my self confidence. But that’s not the only thing I found.

Rehashing old articles, accounting little silly anecdotes, recollections of stories from childhood days…all the while leaving clues and bits and pieces about me, the blogger, Kak Teh the person, enough for people to piece together and make a profile. These are the bits that I expose, that I choose to reveal to the world. The rest, they make their own judgements, perhaps, from the way I go on and on about my sardine rolls, or my crazy ramblings about the Alley Cats, the way I mispronounce names and so on and so forth. In your eyes, I could be crazy or I could be a fun mama, but you can be sure that I am enjoying myself because I find this therapeutic, just like ironing my clothes, while wacthing Eastenders.

A lot of people write for a lot of reasons – many to purge the demons in them, some to share recipes, some to talk about hobbies. Many to find an outlet to express their feelings, good or bad, their fear, their anxiety. And many, many read and keep on reading because certain postings touch them. There are certain issues they can relate to but have not been able to verbalise them.

And there are very few people who can write in a way that touches a lot of people. And this is where I feel a certain sadness today as I write this. Mak Andeh, a popular figure in the bloggers’ world has locked up and taken her brood and her stories elsewhere. She is no longer there at a click of the mouse. She has her reasons for going and we have to respect that.

I have come to know of Mak Andeh through someones’ comment in my comment box. It simply says, you want to read good blogs got to…and among them Mak Andeh.
Why is she a popular read? Mak Andeh is one brave young woman who is living proof that being a single mum is not a stigma and being divorced is not necessarily bad for the children, nor for her image. She is resourceful and she is resilient. And many want to read a first hand account of how a single mum can single handedly juggle a career and her children.

Mak Andeh wrote and wrote and wrote because she found writing to be therapeutic. It gave her back her confidence and self worth. While exorcising her demons she was also helping others in the same predicament. But in this still lawless state of blogger’s world, Mak Andeh has fallen victim to her own popularity.

Mak Andeh’s departure signals a time to reflect. Have I been opening up too much, revealing clues about me for all to see? Suddenly I feel vulnerable and exposed. And suddenly I feel scared. And suddenly I feel the need to step back.

45 comments:

chaudes said...
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faux diamante said...

kakteh? what are you saying? i hope u are well immunised against the bug.

Mutiara said...

Kak Teh
I know you from our days in the warung rantauan. Minum teh tarik sambil borak2 dengan Cik Bedah and the gang. We had fun then. Now i enjoy your blog because you tell it in such away that everyone can share.
I guess we become vulnerable once we opened up, but please keep posting. I look forward to read your blog ~o)

MA said...

Kak Teh :

Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I did enjoy blogging and made very good friends from it, you including.

Somehow, the world without borders and fine lines that are tresspassed and infringing personal space and privacy is not my cup of tea.

Blogging no longer a muse for me. It's no longer fun and that is sad.

However, despite the "obituaries" dedicated to the "death" of my blog, I am very much alive and kicking ! :-)

I will still post an odd entry or two as a guest blogger.

Thank you, Kak Teh !

Jiwa Rasa said...

kak teh,
Sometimes the demise of a blog will have a great impact on us.
It may be demoralising.

I just hope that I will be able to read my friends blog for more years to come..

Kak Teh said...

salam, thank you all. I am not immunised against the bug, but I will carry on blogging for reasons that - it is like an exercise book where I can practice my writing. I enjoy it. But it also means I have to be very wary and careful abt what i write and also think of the consequences.
nazrah..thanks,
mutiara: hey, i promised to write abt my teh tarik days...sure i will keep blogging.
mak andeh, good to know u are still around and chin up!
jiwa: wise words.

Sunflora said...

Hmmm MA too bad that you have taken down your blog. I was just beginning to enjoy it! But well I guess we all have to do what we think is right for us and yes sometimes lines are trespass without people knowing.

Kakteh, good post, yes I do reflect a little about me and my blog as well when blogs that I like to read gets taken down. I hope you will keep on writing yours though.

And yes I do admit sometimes I do get an odd comment here and there and I get annoyed a little and considered not writing anymore. Perils for baring your soul for the world to read I guess.

OuiOui said...

pls keep on blogging..

:)

the spirit of one keeps up the spirit of others (blogging that is!)

red said...

aiyo...first it was Gong Kapas then Mak Andeh, you Kak Teh...please hang on...

maybe thats why i turn to picture blogging...

chaudes said...
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chaudes said...
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Anonymous said...

this seems to go around. all the good bloggers cease to surface anymore and that sucks. but we can't force anyone to write just to please us. they have their reasons. mak andeh, I'm sure by tuesday when most of the readers are back from their hols, mostly all would be shock that your blog would be closed!

I will miss reading about your brood =). I had recommend to a few friends whom had started a new life to read yours and they had pick up some good tips as well. I'm sure they will miss you as well.

Kak Z, sorry ek tumpang luahan rasa kat sineh he he he, you keep on blogging fun mama! consider this your column for a worldwide newspaper and we your readers from all kind of backgrounds and from all different countries =).

-rafthah-

chaudes said...
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chaudes said...
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chaudes said...
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chaudes said...
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faux diamante said...

SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP KAKTEH! She's been spammed.

crabbie said...

I so very much miss reading Mak Andah's tales. Hers were such an interesting read because she was so sincere and the love she has given her kids can be seen through her writing. I read her blog not because of her stories as a single mother but simply because she seems to give me tips on how to be a good mother. To those who didn't respect her wishes for privacy, shame on you!

I never managed to comment in MA's blog simply because there were too many people leaving their comments and I didn't think she would have noticed me. So, MA I would like to say you are missed and ALL THE BEST from a mother to another.

Kak Teh, thank you for allowing this space for my humble comment.

CK said...

Keep blogging Kak Teh!!!!!

AuntyN said...

Kak Teh, I have been reflecing myself like you, I am relieved to know that you will keep on blogging. How am I going to pass thru the "blogger subway" if you are gone eh? I ENJOY your writing that's why I am always passing thru..

atenah said...

i really hope to meet you one day, never know, entah2 dapat tiket free ke londra one day, me the cheapskate. am glad that mak andeh is alive and kicking

Anonymous said...

nazrah, thanks
crabbie...no problem. we all feel the same abt the loss. but she is still around. and we are in touch. MA is reslient and she will bounce back. Nothing like this is going to keep her down.
auntyN: when we pass through the bloggers' subway, I'll hold yr hand! :)
tenah: pls dooooo! we can do bollywood in Hyde Park.

Kak Teh said...

sorry, the above anonymous is me...kak teh, tuan rumah!
CK...yes, of course. am not saying that i will stop. Just that sometimes we need to reflect on things. :)

Ewok said...

KakTeh, great pleasure to meet you! You are makcik rock! Heheh..

MA, some people are just plain ignorant and stupid. We don't really need them. However, we do need people with diff perspective like you. Thanks you for writing. God bless.

Kak Teh said...

sunflora, red, ouioui, thanks.
ewok : remember,...not a word. Kak teh boleh belanja mee bandung!

bibliobibuli said...

This makes me sad, Kak Teh. I so much appreciate the honesty and the openesss of good bloggers ... who really do put themselves on the line because they care about their writing and genuinely have something to say. (These days I'd rather read a good blog than a magazine or newspaper.) I've learned that you need to develop a thicker skin because there are those who will use every self revelation to inflict cruelty because they carry their own confusions within them.

I never read MA ... now I really wish I had.

Kak Teh, don't you dare stop writing! I'm enjoying you way too much.

Ms.B said...

No, Kak Teh, PLEASE don't step back. I may have been quiet of late, but I still visit, and yours is one of those blogs from which I draw much hope and inspiration on life, living, family and humanity, especially in my current sad state. :(

But I too, have often gone down that road you are now treading - wondering if I've said or exposed too much, opening myself up to a world which CAN be awfully cruel and judgmental.

Hence, initially I sought to maintain anonymity, and to a certain extent, I still am.

But we can't let what others think about us get us down or make us stop ourselves from freedom of expression.

So long as we DO pause and think before posting up a blog, there will always be the conscious sense of reason and confidence with what has gone up to the blogging world. That's what I think lah .. which is why MOST of the skeletons in my cupboard shall forever go unmentioned, although that was one of the reasons I blogged in the first place - to let them out. But once I realised how small the world was, I knew that I had to know my "blogging boundary", albeit still enjoying the entire process.

Please stay. And I was only just thinking of starting to read Mak Andeh. :(

Ms.B said...

One of my postings was massively spammed too. I solved it (for future postings lah) - by disabling "anonymous" comments.

Kak Teh said...

sharon, thanks. Yes, like you, sometimes I think the very good blogs are worth reading than the newspapers, especially some of the tabloids here. You do learn something new everyday.
Blabs...I hope you are okay. Pls write even a few sentences in yr blog. it will help. Why not put pictures?

marina said...

Never had the opportunity of reading MakAndeh`s blog. I`m sure it`s a big loss on my part. Do continue to inspire us Kak Teh. A few words of wisdom is much needed in this chaotic world.

Anonymous said...

why why are the good ones always fall prey to the masses? Why can't the bad ones instead taken down? I am not a blogger due to the my inability of writing well like Gongkapas, MA, Kak teh, Atenah, Ewok & OOD. But why must those idiots out there dictate?

Susan Abraham said...

Kak Teh,
I think personally your blogs are nicely written, informative, easy to read and kind on the eye.
And you have your own audience and niche for this which is good.
I don't think you need to worry about feeling vulnerable, exposed or scared.
Your personal information is of a general slant and family-orientated, very much in the normal course of things.
Just that we write on the worldwide web which a better translation would read as whole wide world because that's who stands the risk of reading you. Hundreds of millions of people would have different opinions.
I think the most deceiving statement is to say that a blog is a living-room. That isn't applicable unless its a private forum and you have a locked password. Otherwise, it really is a veranda where every passer-by is entitled to look.
As long as you have authority over your voice and your diary, you should feel comfortable with what you have to say.
I don't think you have anything to worry about.
Yours is NOT a controversial blog.
I wish you well and every golden success with your blogging aspirations, your university studies which I have always thought so awesome and your exciting writing ambitions for the future, the plot for your book which stays original and refreshing.
I take my hat off to you for your humility and in simple admirable of all that you have achieved.
*love*

Susan Abraham said...

Sorry, Kak Teh, I have made an error. That last line was meant to say, 'admiration' and not 'admirable.'
cheers

Jade said...

kak teh, may i say the day i stumbled upon your blog is the best blogging days. because from you, i get to know narfy, spasti, and other interesting people. people that i wish i could meet one day. ;-)
and it's been one hell of an addiction, this need to read all your entries and the others that i got to know. imagine the time spent just for that!
hmmm... i think, i'm gonna blog about this...

mak andeh, never give up!

atiza said...

erk..don't tell me you're leaving too? you're not, are you?

d'arkampo said...

Kak Teh...

Good Blog die young.

Kak Teh said...

marina: thanks for dropping by. am just sharing my thoughts.
anon: we all feel the same and thanks for caring.
susan, thanks for kind words.
LadyJade..we carry on blogging, eh no matter what and help and support each other! this we must! keep it going for MA!
atiza: tak lah...just taking a break to reflect over things. and also ada kerja sikit. will blog in two days time, to be exact! hehe.
kampo - well said...how's the despatch clerk?

meandbaby said...

It is so sad...memang sedih someone yang ada passion to write macam mak andeh dah stop blogging...anyway I would like to thank her through Kak Teh's blog for her word of wisdom...KAk Teh..love your blog..BBC on strike??

MassyLassy said...

Apa yang diperkatakan oleh LadyJade is true! Eversince I stumble upon your blog, I get so addicted! Your entries are addictive and from your blog, I too get the opportunity/chance to read from other excellent Bloggers! And I want to thank you kak Teh for sharing it with me and the rest of the Bloggers... You and Mak Andeh (best writers ever) have been an inspiration not only to me but to other bloggers like me who's writing ain't as brilliant as yours!

shidah said...

kak teh: dulu i pernah ckp- i would not want to meet any fellow bloggers. but after meeting a few, they are just like the way they handle their blogs. nice people that i like to hang around , mcm hanging around their blog. u are definitely another blogger that i would like to meet kalau ada peluang. if u decided to call it a quit, do keep in touch!

lilheaven said...

lama dah dgr nama kak teh. br la nie berpeluang to pay u a visit. n i cant resist the temptation to try yr sardine rolls. did em yesterday n wallahh! everybody loved em. tq..

MA parting is a loss. i've lost one of my 'fav cup of tea' for the morning. she will b missed. may Allah bless n keep her. hopefully she'll post one or two odd entries anywhere as a guest writer. like Little Ms D. =)

tq once again 4 da recipe kak teh. keep up the refreshing anecdotes coming in. God bless..

Kak Teh said...

meandbababy, thanks - am sure MA appreciates this and many other beautiful dedications to her. Yes, BBC on strike - but me - out long time ago!
msbizwack:alahai, glad i found u as well.
shidah...of course we will be in touch. dont worry.
lilheaven, glad that u tried and liked the sardine rolls. classic recipe tu!! pass it on.

OOD said...

Kak Teh,
nak bloghog sikit?

Mak Andeh,
remember you said something about orang curi makan your jambu? I know the pokok is yours and you have been nurturing the tree all this while, but maybe, the tree is in public domain. And your jambus are all real nice and juicy. Memang lah marah orang curi, apsal tak mintak baik baik kan? Tapi, dont la dont la cut the tree!

Pity people like me who only got to know about your spot after it has been closed! I like your jambu too..

OOD said...

Kak Teh,
now this is the entry i have been waiting for. I have always wondered why a fine writer like you, like susan abraham etc blogs, though i am not at all complaining! Why write a blog when you can write a book?

Princess of Sun said...

rindu Mak Andeh..