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.