Friday, December 26, 2008

Being Indian in Little India

Little India was like being back home. What with people walking mindlessly on the streets. My friend almost drove into an elderly couple, standing on the street. Back in India, you would blame the driver, and expect her to swirl around the couple, but how do u do that in a city where streets are meant for cars and pavements for pedestrians. In a disciplined city like Singapore people do not get on to the streets unless the traffic lights say so. This is what makes a smooth drive possible and cars zip here at speeds of 80 - 100/kph. At those speeds, it is not easy to stop your car for anybody standing right in the middle of the road.

In Singapore when you want to cross a street, you should press the push button for pedestrains and wait for the pedestrain light to turn green. This makes it easy both for the drivers and the pedestrians. You do not show your hand to a car speeding at you and expect it to be chivalrous to you. It helps to show a little discipline yourself.

But Little India is truly Indian, it even stinks. If you are a train traveller in Mumbai and pass the Mahim creek everyday, you will never be homesick in Little India. People walk all over the streets, and cars drive all around you. There's cans, food and liquid littered all over the streets. And this may be the only place in Singapore that has garbage cans overflowing on the streets. The people here were mostly tourists, but see the same tourists on Orchard Road, and they behave differently. They walk in a row, stay on the pavement, do not litter the streets, and wait for the traffic lights. I wonder why.

But here's the best part. If you are a vegeterian and lost in Singapore, Little India is the place for you. A meal at Sarvana's cost me around $6.50. Though the meal was of a very low quality, a half-hearted sambhar with sticky low quality rice. But it was a proper Indian vegeterian meal after a long time and I gorged to my heart's conent. I've been told that Komala Vilas serves a good Indian meal.

The Mustafa shopping centre was filled with all kinds of commodities, and this is the place to spot all your Indian brands, even readymade chapatis. Food is one craving that will definitely keep taking me back to Little India. Are you an Indian lost in Singapore? Come to Little India, and feel at home.

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