Mendailing, Javanese and Blogging
Been wanting to do this since last year after I left the NST.
That would be 10 months ago, give or take a couple of weeks.
Ah, Blogging. An entirely new experience for me. I kept saying I would do it.
Man, I could do it. Easy Peasy. Nothing to it. Piece of cake.
Heck, everybody else was doing it. How difficult could it be?
After all, my pal, Zaharah Othman, started her 'Kak Teh Choc-a-Blog' two years ago. (Oh, she just celebrated her blog's second anniversary).
Isn't it just a matter of putting your thoughts into this thing called blogosphere?
Been working as a journalist for more than 27 years. Surely, writing for myself without anyone else subbing or editing it, will be a picnic.
And if people want to read it, they are welcomed to do so. And if they don't , they can skip it. It's a free country.
It's a free world. We have choices. Options.
Yeah, yeah. So I did start a blog. It was called 'Seri Mendahiling'. Rocky (of Rocky's Bru -- and I am not dropping names. I know the guy. He is my latte mate) helped me get started.
He suggested the name because of my Mendailing heritage on my (late) mom's side.
He seemed to be intrigued by that, he being a Minangkabau, Antah and Lerap et al.
But I am a Javanese because my dad is Javanese. Tradition, custom and culture dictate that we have to follow our father's line, I argued.
Seri Mendahiling sounds more, er, exotic than Seri Jawa, he reasoned. Ok, ok. Sounds ok to me.
I give up.
So. yes, there was a Seri Mendahiling blog started sometime last year. In June, maybe. Or was it August. My first posting was a one-liner about belly-dancing. It went something like ' Let's belly dance. Liberating'.
To make it easy for me to start posting, Rocky suggested that topic as I had taken up belly-dancing as a once-a-week keep-fit routine and enjoying every minute of that liberating experience.
But I was too nervous to write beyond that one line.
Suddenly , it seemed sacrilegious to let anyone else know about that bit of my life.
So aware was I that it was a blog. God knows who could be chancing upon it. Judging it. Criticising it. Criticising my passion for dance.
Suddenly, I was nervous. As though my articles written those years I was at the NST were never read by anyone but me.
That was that. No more postings. Writer's Block. Writer's Blog Block. Dead Mind. Dead Brain. Brain dead, more like it.
'Seri Mendahiling' got lost, never to be recovered.
And Rocky kept bugging me about it.
'You should start blogging, you know. Seriously blogging. I am sure you have a lot to say about things', he would tell me.
More like a challenge. Always indicating that I shouldn't let my experience as a senior journalist/editor go to waste.
Yes, Rocky dear. I have a lot to say about the state of country. The state of the world. George W. Bush. Guantanamo. Saddam Hussain's hanging. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Toll increase. Crooked politicians. And belly-dancing.
So, at 9.15pm, at Austin Chase, BSC in Bangsar, KL, on Jan 7, 2007, I began seriously blogging under a different blog name.
Thank you, Rocky for helping me get started again.
So what's with the number 3540 and that road name?
It is a very very special number. That's all I am willing to let on.
Now, about Jalan Sudin -- just being sentimental. It was the road (in Singapore) along which stood my (maternal) grandfather's house. I was born in that house 50 years ago.
The road is long gone. So is my Oompong's (grandfather in Mendailing dialect) house.In fact, so is the entire Kampung Melayu in Singapore 14.
That is the reason for 3540 Jalan Sudin.