One year ago, exactly on this date, I visited Singapore to collect my Employment Pass to work here. I can't believe it’s been a year already. I can't believe it’s just been a year. This is what Singapore does to me. I feel like I've always lived here, and every once now and then, I am amazed to realize that I am actually here. 1 year yet to be up and I'm still not jaded. Okay, I know, ask me after 5 years, but am guessing my answer will still be the same.
The last time a city made me feel like this (is it love?) was when I moved to Bombay. Bombay was.... tantalizing, alive, more sharply in focus, pulsating, energizing. A city wearing a huge Mona Lisa smile, like it knows so many things you don’t. A teasing, seducing city that was always one step ahead. Ticking to a clock that runs always a little brisker. Where things seemed to happen just a little faster. The city was more alive than anything living (or non) I’d seen and with more personality to boot!
Soon enough my blood started to respond to this pulsating city, my eyes could detect its small, subtle motions just a tad quicker. Life was never slow and ponderous, it was brisk, happening, moving, changing! Oh the exhilaration! I felt like I was in the nerve center of the world! I felt more alive than I’d ever felt before; as if been half alive before I came here. I fell head over heels in love with its heat, beats, energy, pace, whirling, attitude and its totalbindaas-ness.
Its called a city of dreams and rightly so. Of course, the "real" reason is because of "Bollywood" (whoever hates that name, really, you should have done something much earlier, no use crying now ninny!). And it was for me too. (No, I didn't and don't remotely have any thespian aspirations.) It was a city of dreams for me because it felt like everything happened there, like the sun rose and set and decided it course from there. It felt marvellous to know that I lived there! It was (still is mostly) a dream come true place.
On a more pragmatic note, one could go on endlessly about the shopping and eating in the city. What an economic range of eateries and shops it provides - from SST (sasta, sundar aur tikau) to fancy schamsy, you get it all.
Shopping - Fashion Street, Colaba Causeway, Linking Road, Vama, Colaba Market, Satyams Card Shop, Maker Arcade, Linking Road shops, Benzer, Premsons, Amarsons in Breach Candy, Rustomjee's in Colaba, Cross Words in Pedder Road, and what-was-that-place in Kemps Korner, ... [exausted]
As for food - chat in Kailash Parbat, pani puri in C Road, oh! the most awesome Pav Bhajis EVER from the various Sagar's around town, Yankee Doodle ice cream in Napean Sea Road, the sandwiches in Beach Candy, pizzas from Sunshine Corner(?) in Colaba market, next to the post office, Mongini's, Chetna's, Vada Pavs from G.D. Somani and Nariman Point footpath stalls, home delivery Chinese from a mobile shop on the little road connecting Prakash Pethe Marg to Nariman point, farsaans during tea time from all Colaba to Santacruz market (and beyond), Bade Miyan's stall, Swati gujrati food in Tardeo, the Goan/Konkani/Manglorean resturants in Fort, Yoko's, Kamat, the losbster masala and paya soup from Khyber, and on and on and on! (Seriously, I’ve not even touched the tip of the iceberg here.)
Readers will excuse my limited coverage of Bombay, I was (still am?) a townie, which, by Bombay lingo, means that I lived in the South Bombay, plus your truly spent only 3 years there, and finally 'cause technically this blog is supposed to be about me in Singapore [wink].
I loved Bombay and now I love Singapore. My stint in Bombay lasted 3 years, and I hope my Singapore stint lasts me longer - or rather may it last as long as I want it to. Cheers!
(Photos belong to others,)