|Teluk Bidara beach, Dungun, Terengganu, Malaysia. Photo taken by me.|
Coconut trees, beach, salty afternoon breeze, sun, bone-chilling monsoon season in December. They are the colours of my hometown, the once sleepy coastal town called Dungun or Dungung as the locals pronounce it. Dungung is located in Terengganu (or Tranung to us) somewhere in the East Coast of Peninsula Malaysia. Everybody in my country knows that whoever grew up in the East Coast speaks very little English. Our accent is a laughing stock as we speak it.
My blogging history started back in 2004. I have been writing many blogs under many pseudonyms ever since until "Pok Deng's Philosophy" came into being in 2007. I knew nothing about philosophy. It was a mere word added to the to the title so that it sounded fancy. I was a self-proclaimed wordsmith - a vengeful, angry, sarcastic, psycho, delusional kind of wordsmith, which was the aftermath of the dirty ending of long distance relationship. I was apologetic at first to restore the relationship I cared dearly until one day I became furious after discovered all these sudden crumbling were all about her giving another man's waiting a chance. The point was an abrupt stop of kindness and respect. To hell with gentlemanliness, I used Pok Deng's Philosophy to express my pent-up resentment. Nearly three years of persistent cyber bullying. I hated her beyond words can describe.
One day years later, I find out there was a bigger cause underneath all these occurrences. I was a victim of one man's grudge. Knowing his malicious intention behind all these made me suffer even more. The nature of his action is clandestine and dark, something that defies science and logic. That man too, who I hope would die a tragic dog's death one day. Under the sky that was turning dark, was a relationship that turned to crumbling dust, life that became topsy-turvy, mind that nearly gone. I had to accept it was just a passing phase in life.
Life went on, many moons past. I picked up books, quite a number of English books. Bestseller novels mostly. Creative writing grew on me. My English improved substantially after taking this new hobby. While alternately shifting between reading and losing myself in spiritual endeavor, I silently removed all the wrathful posts I had proudly written, but I left some as 'reminders'. I started writing short stories about my childhood memories set in my beautiful hometown Dungun. I wrote and re-wrote them, tried to imitate styles of different authors. I later changed the blog title to Pok Deng's Stories. Published posts were still silently edited whenever I am feeling unsatisfied with the outcome. No, the Queen of England never lays her sword on my shoulder, speaking of the "Sir" designation in my pseudonym. It meant to distinguish myself from other Pok Dengs of the internet. Some other men are also named Pok Deng and there is a popular card game from Thailand which is called Pok Deng too.
I gained popularity among quite a number of Malaysian bloggers and non-bloggers who love to read stories written in English language. I received emails from them sometimes, praising my materials. I returned them with pretentiously humble replies (actually I felt very proud of myself). The strength of my writings lies on honesty (as what you have come across just now), metaphors, ironies. My great weaknesses are always the horrible grammar and limited range of vocabularies, as well as my inability to construct proper sentences which make sense to a native speaker. Although I may shamelessly admit these weaknesses, I still find some comments from strangers who dropped by this blog only to say my grammar is bad, are insulting and they should go to hell.
Oh yes, I am a scientist by profession and I love my job because the salary is quite good. Writing is only my hobby. Sir Pok Deng is my alter ego.