Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Little India in Singapore

Thats what it's called. Little India. Originally a 'district' established by the British during their regime, Little India is the hub of Indians in Singapore.

What strikes you most when you get down at Little India Metro station is that you feel you suddenly popped up somewhere in Chennai by accident ! Look all around, you see Indians, especially Tamilians. Tamil spoken all around, along with Hindi and the occasional Malayalam. Even the announcements at the railway station are made in Tamil, only for this particular station !

I got down at Little India to go to Mustafa centre, a get-it-all place, Mecca for all Indians in Singapore. You can buy anything there, food, jewellery, electronics, clothes, book tickets, send money to India, anything at all. We were at the Mustafa clothes store, tired of hearing some Indian language all the time for the last 4 hours and turning to find all Indians around us. At the bil payment, I was searching around when suddenly I catch some Malayalam being spoken !.. Surprised, I turned, to find out that the cashier guy was a mallu and was flirting with the other female cashier, who, u guessed it, was also mallu :). No surprises, this is Little India. And mallus, we are everywhere.

We went to the mobile store to check out some Nokia handsets. I was secretly passing critical comments to my friends in Malayalam, only to find out that all the salesmen there were mallus and had understood every 'secretive' comment I had made :). Well that was an embarassing situation I wudnt want to have again.

Outside, Little India is decorated for Diwali preparations. (check out the pic on the right) Brightly lit, you'd feel more excitement here than in India. We searched for somewhere to eat, and along the road we see the following : Saravana bhavan, Ananda Bhavan, Annapoorna, and Komalas. All Indian restaurants. How can you blame me for believing this was truly India?

We had some typical South Indian dosas at Ananda bhavan (with the song "Machchaan Peru Madurai" playing in the background). Felt like heaven. And a lot closer home. Even walking on a road here feels like India. Dirty, crowded and noisy. Ironically, some of the people here label Little India also as the dirtiest place in Singapore !

Little India is a true centre for India in Singapore. It houses quite a few temples and mosques, a bunch of cheap shopping centres for all cheap (Indian type) items that you would never in your dreams find elsewhere in Singapore, the main link for anything to do with India through Mustafa centre, and ofcourse, too many Indians walking and talking all over the place :-).

Hah! Did anyone say India was thousands of km away from Singapore !


Abhi said...

You've been sued by Singapore Navnirman Sena -SNS for making derogatory comments about Singaland. You dirty people come from other place and take away the MS seats which are for our children and then make bad comments about our country. How dare you walk on our roads and then say like this. I urge all the son's of the soil to break this Hari's legs so that he can no longer walk n speak like this.

- By the authority vested in me by the TIGER :-)

This is what would've happened had you told this in India :). India's changing my son, a lot faster than anyone can think. We no longer take pride in being a unity in diversity land. We fight our own people and make the living of others hell.

Still good to knw that you could find something to remind you of home even there. I've seen a mallu restaurant where ever i've gone in the past 2 months of my travelling in North India. So i don't thnk you'll have trouble with the food :)

Hari Vishnu said...

lol at ur comments.. but its saddening to know wats happening now in India.. the MNS episode is probly one of the worst examples of our 'unity' we can ever show..

Mahesh Mahadevan said...

Wait till you see that halfway around the world too, it is India. There are petitions in the Bay Area to make street signs in Indian languages as well ;-)

Hari Vishnu said...

haha lol.. we are infesting this world arent we :)

Drunken Mind.. said...

Its cool dude...atleast u ve the feel of India even there...dats why Indias a great almost all countries we have our own country..lolz

-=A.R.N.=- said...

You sure you were still in Singapore?

For a moment I thought I was reading back on chennai...

Good place on the whole I gather?

Hari Vishnu said...

thats y indias a great country? lol..

but yea indians do have a lotta presence here in spore

yea true, little indian is a typical scene out of chennai, thats for sure..

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