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Sunday, January 22, 2017

BULL BYTE


Jallikattu imbroglio and students agitation on Tamil honour
The supreme courts descision Tamilnadu CM Paneerselvams meeting Modi the Prime minister ,all have plenty of layers of complex powerplays behind them from what iam hearing .
Compared to that catching a bull seems easier
From the NGO opposition to the supreme court dictates lobbies have been remote controlling the power levers in the state quietly and efficiently .
And with the rise of a new Amma after the disappearance of an older Amma shrouded in mystery ,and this new amma though getting the powerful to fall on her feet like the older amma is worried that they may also pull her legs and has ambitions which wouldnt stop with just feet falling honchos
so the pawns are moved the pieces are checkmated and the queen is closing in
but the king beyond the vindhyas has played many a game with tougher enemies and checkmated them with ease
so no one knows where the bull will strike !
So if you guys think jallikattu is just taming bulls you think wrong !
Its the bulls out to tame you and each other ,and like bulls in a china shop will cause colateral damage !
Now the Foundations sponsoring the NGO s from across the black seas to break Indian read Hindu traditions ,and the supreme court judges are supremely surprised at what they thought is a simple matter of bull control growing much beyond what they imagined
Perfect script for a Rajni movie isnt it
And have a big bull as you watch it

Thursday, January 19, 2017

ANWAR SWAMI

I have always been a fickle eater in hotels .
I need my food hot , tasty ,my coffee along with the  food , it has to be of correct strength , sweetness ,milk ,etc .
I need neat surroundings , hate sticky tables though am not too bothered about palatial ambiences !
Having born in Madras and tasted in some very good hotels and homes and having known kerala cuisine ,one of the most tastiest in the world I developed this supercilious attitude , which is actually nothing to be proud of but thats me !
This snap shows at me looking at a masala dosa with disdain !
My dear cousin in Doha took me to this hotel Bonanza where he felt massla dosas were reasonably good when i visited him on a weekend from Dubai !
But i found the masala dosa way down my appreciation scores and the expression clearly shows my unhappiness !
Balan my cousin called the waiter by name
"hey swami get a replacement itsnt good "
I asked him
"so you know the guy by name "
I was amused when Balan said
"Who knows ? I  just called him Swami "
Strangely the guy whose real name was later we came to know Anwar answered when called swami !!
And then Anwar swami brought me a replacement masala dosa which still didnt hit the pass mark

KERALA KALOLTSAVAMS

Kerala school Kalolsavam is a real phenomenon .nowhere is traditional arts given so much importance .there is a lot of hard work and excellence behind the participants
This year even the vegetables used for food for the children are grown by them which is a real achievement
The preparation of food
The mad rush of events
Public intrest
Media coverage
Tourists liking
Its just awesome

Now lets come to  the paradoxes

Its more of a qauntitative competition

Many students train and study different art forms only for the event unlike in places like Tamilnadu
For eg a bharatanatyam artiste matures after years of study under a Guru to give an accepted perfomance not just months like for Kalolsavams
Of course among the participants there could also be such trained artises too but the dictum is to  learn fast , learn many , and get prizes in maximum events

Second the rat race is stressful with protests court cases accusations and even violence
..kerala style of art indeed
This year the function just started already more than 650 court petitions
Iam sure a bunch of lawyers agents all walk around the venue to create instant petitions
The High court of Kwrala needs to seriously consider starting a mobile court and a police station in the premises .
Good training for the students to do the same when they become parents
Is stress infused into an young artiste the right way to excel in art .
It all is because of the grace marks for admission to professional colleges one gets by winning competitions the reason for the rat race .
And an excellent talent with all the training will land up a sad doctor later in life .

Thirdly slights and threats by politicians that they were ignored

This is Kerala

No wonder Swami Vivekananda labelled it as a madhouse

UNNIETTAN

Years does  pass by after a close one passes away
Time fogs us but memories lurk .
My brother in law Unniettan (my sisters husband )though elder to me was more my friend specially when we were together in UAE in the same city Al Ain .
Those were memorable days when I would go to his house any time I felt
 later with my sister too joining him it was definitely once a week if not more .
Whenever I felt the blues when living alone those days I would quickly drive across to tell him my issues
Unniettan was a great listener at end of it he would give his opinion and I would be happier.

He was a very positive person extremely agile fit and multitalented and multilingual
He could drive an yamaha bike or a mercedes benz car  or a huge container with the  same ease .
He was the best in his office in their software and work .
For some time he even tried his hand on business

He could fit in anywhere be it wearing  traditional Kerala garb in a wedding where he would be serving for the guests on their banana leafs with ease or be it amongst Arab colleagues to whom he talked Arabic well
to his Sardar friends he was a Punjabi putar as he had spent years in Ambala imbibing the robustness of a thoroughbred Punjabi

To a Marathi he was Amchi mumbai wallah living in Borivilli or Boisar in Thane dt for years
To a Madraskaaran he could talk good Tamil and walk the streets of Chennai  ,and in Coco Cola plant in Al ain where he worked for long he could converse well with the American and English bosses .

He explored into photo shopping as a hobby and soon was converting photos of departed people in colour as a help to many
He also taught this to those intrested

And one fine day least expected he disappeared from all of us ,just like that one minute there next minute not  !
Like a sparkling comet which exited into the twilight .

Read below too

http://hariwrite.blogspot.com/2015/01/real-life-hero.html?m=1

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

MGR

Today M.G.Ramachandran if alive would be 100 years.
For the very few who havent heard of this legend he was an actor hailing from Kerala with a childhood in the tea estates of Sri lanka who went on to become a superstar one man emperor of Tamil filmdom

Later  catapulated into the Dravidian moment and famously known as the revolutionary leader he started the ADMK after he split from his bete noir and compatriot script writer poet legend Karunanidhi who continues his octogenarian saga even today long after MGR has just become a fond memory of a fair charismatic fur capped dark glassed chief minister of Tamilnadu and being the blood of blood of the Tamils .

MGR was well known for his sincerity concern for the poor and downtrodden and respect to womanhood .

It was reflected in his films which were but extensions of his daily life so while MGR cavorted with a reasonably chubby Jayalalitha who would carry his legacy after his death the people expected him to do nothing less than cavorting with her in real life too .

And on one unfortunate day a villain in his films M.R.Radha  became  a villain in his life and shot a bullet at him which stuck in his throat .

MGR would outlive the shot to emerge with an image of someone who said tata to thotta which means bye to a bullet .

He emerged with greater popularity after this and his cracked voice due to the bullet became a symbol of his virility and strength .

MGR was known to be a stickler on maintaining his physicue and was known to grow his muscles as much as his votes .

I remember seeing the great man only once
I was studying in Kilpauk medical college then a Government medical college .

We medical students were on a strike and we walked all the way to Fort st George the secretariat to meet the CM to air our grievances.
  After that exhausting walk in the sun we waited in the road and suddenly out into the balcony  came MGR glowing like a star .

He mumbled a few words to the leaders of our group waved at us gromly  and went in .

We were told to go back to our studies and Govt will look into our issues .
 we walked back in silence clearly impressed by his charisma

He was a great legend indeed
Just a remembrance ...

(Tks for image downloaded online ..if objected can be removed )

Harimohan

THE OTHER DUBAI

Dubai the Manhattan concrete powerouse city
Yes
But theres another Dubai which I love
The ancient orient village in the fringes of a desert .
Where the sands meet the sea
The Dubai creek its lapping waters quacking gulls laden dhows heady spices in sacks glimmering toys winking mannequins sparkling gold in the Gold souk domed mosques with the muezins calls a hookah pulled for pleasure awaiting whirling detvishes to go to their trance
A Dubai of the ancient















Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Libraries and Librarians

To a book worm a library is a treat .
I always had this attraction to books and places where it was stacked up .
Boys are boys and are known for the rough and tumble of the playground the sweat and glory of a goal or a brilliant catch but i was happier in fishing out an Enid blyton or getting lost in a Biggles and his flight !
I sure would have looked a sad loser as a he boy and looked  the quintissential thick spectacled nerd i was .
In my formative years after losing my father at ten years books were an obsession .it took me to worlds unknown it brought me magic from kind faces from all over .i lived those books more than i liked them .i remember carrying heavy tomes borrowed from sundry libraries all over the town and lugging them in crowded buses like a Somalian  pirate carrying his well deserved booty .
To that extent God was kind enough to put me in the exact spot where a book worm and a library fanatic should be put .
Madras yes these days they call it Chennai and to me it just doesnt evoke any memories its always Madras for me
Todays busy Chennai with metro superstructures and shopping complexed and fast fooded roads isnt my nostalgic Madras which was a much more slower hotter but dreamier destination .
Somehow the city was blessed by academics and learning.The red sandstone edifices of the Madras university .the Presidency college .the yellow circular  ice house later called vivekananda house because the venerable saint deitified it by staying there all these and more buildings radiated knowledge and spread it across the open seas of the Marina beach into the vistas of the world beyond .
The city was dotted with libraries small and big and these were my haunts during my formative years
I dont think iam  reading one tenth of the books i read between the ages of ten to twenty .
i used to consume books by the ton my appetite was that of a glutton and i would read anything from a newspaper which came with the peanuts to that gilded prized book kept with reverence in a puja room
Buying books was out of the question for a boy whose mother looked after him with tightly closed purse strings and how she did that depriving me of no pleasures of childhood was a miracle indeed .
b
But buying books wantonly wasnt part of the agenda then.
So i would frequent the second hand shops in red coloured moore market near the central railway station and spend a happy sunday morning rummaging its delights to buy a rare book for my small collection
Those days birthdays were celebrated with a better lunch and some rice strewn on the head in front of a lamp litted God no parties or gifts so i still remember that rare birthday when my mother called my school friend and he came along with his mother and gifted me yes gifted me with a comic book i was so delighted to get that i tried to read it immediately and i stopped only because of the stares of my mother .

Another thing she was strict about was this habit of mine of asking for books at any house which we visted only as a borrow but today i understand her that book borrowing mostly not to be returned is an embarrasing difficulty thrust on a book lover .
So lets come back to my habituation to libraries .
The Vivekanada library placed in a green cocoon of trees in the Ramakrishna math was a veritable treasurehouse for me .i quickly overcame the childrens section and the unintresting main section to dwell into the generally empty referral section.
It was here that  found nirvana .
Tall brown glassed cabinets lined with thick tomes of red leathered books drove me to orgasmic juvenile  esctacies .
I particularly liked the second world war encyclopedias
These had brilliant text and photos from war corresondents covering every minute of a war which lasted for more than five years .
From the time Hitler buyoyed his war machines and the Germans goose stepped into Europe and snowy Russia their tanks slushed in mire and snow with bazookas bursting thier bubbles to smithereens every single word danced in front of my eyes like the battle of the bulge played only to my pleasure.
I would pity the jews herded into cold wagons on their macabre journey to gas houses as that mad Hitler nuked manhood with the power of the satan .
I would rejoice in the soviets rumbling in their tanks on to a crumbling Berlin while the sands of Normandy would reverberate with the cannons of the ships in the sea as men in thousands would crawl across its darkness lit by spurts of cannon fire .
I would be transported to the elegant board rooms where an obese Churchill puffing at his fat cigar and gulping at his port would discuss with a wheelchaired Eishenhower the next strategy as the Jerries bombarded London .
Every single minute of the war was chronicled in those tomes
No google search could give one the minutae that they did .
There was this young swamiji in the library as librarian who used to look amusingly at this strange boy lost in the reference section sitting on a low stool admidst the fat tomes for hours
One day he asked me do you want to take them home read and bring back .
But swamiji those are in reference section and cannot be borrowed i would say
He would say thats left to me with a twinkle in his eye and i would carry home the huge books .
One day i dont remember how it started young swamiji replied to my question on something with a smile but is there a God ?
To me that was almost blasphemous coming from an ochre robed holy man so i said how swamiji can you ask me that question !
He took me to a quiet table and tried to explain the principles of Sankaras Adwaita and how theresnt any mythical superpower etc but it all went above my head then
Today thinking back i think that young swamiji had a soft corner for my fire for knowledge .

The librarian in the house of soviet culture was a lean tall dark tamil gentleman a card carrying communist obviously he just left me alone to my browsing and was tersely technical in his communications to this juvenile familiar who borrowed books .
Anerican library librarians rarely consorted with the commons as they were spotted behind glassed enclaves of their offices far away from
the reading halls .
The mount road district library librarians were Government employees and preferred to converse in tamil
Again it was the British council library which would give me years of happiness even when into medicine .
I remember a tall lanky Indian librarian there who spoke with almost a stiff upper lip.it was here I would fall in love with P.G.Wodehouse a love that would last till I close my eyes to eternity .
My kilpauk medical college library would always to me be a harbinger of good things for it was here that my partner for life answered with an yes for the question will you be mine !

In Ernakulam where i stayed more than two decades practicing as a doctor rearing my children the paico and its books was always a weekend destination my sruthi and shyam and premila too would select their choices and it was a great pleasure this weekly bookie fling .
The Ernakulam public library in the narrow convent road in its jaundiced  countenance was my normal haunt on sunday or friday afternoons .
Singh was the chief librarian and he lived in Cochin west where i also did and chumminess with a chief librarian gave me acess to the latest books just recieved by the library and i was mostly the first person to borrow many new books there.
Singh incidentally was not a oye oye  balle punjabi with a turban but a blue veined mallu as pure as the coconut oil his head was liberally smeared with .
He was just one of those keralites whose parents were fond of legends generally leftists from  other states.
so one finds plenty of Boses Sens Roys  Ajay Ghoses and Singhs in malluland .

My own uncle EN Nair was librarian of Sree Krishna college Guruvayoor , once a professor in psychology he was given charge of the library once psychology dept closed in his college .
He was stern strict almost foreboding and condescended to talk to the likes of me only when i reached college but by then he was so sweet and nice and talkative till the day he  left us .



Monday, January 09, 2017

Romance with Russia

In the seventies I was studying in Santhome High School opposite Santhome Cathedral near Santhome beach in Madras , todays Chennai .
We used to live in Myla pore near the school then and I used to cycle to school .
It took me just ten minutes to reach home pedaling the cycle  and I would go into the house  gulp the tea and snacks my mother would have made hop into my cycle and be off just with enough time to change from my uniform ,my mother would be calling me back ,but I would be long off !

No , I had no bad habits , nor was I going for any sports  !
 I was going to my libraries and the house of Soviet culture .

This was located in Kasturi Ranga Iyengar Road near Edward Elliots Road and near Stella Maris college,
those days India was very close to the Soviet union and was an old friend ( the USSR was a formidable force then and was one of the two powers of the cold war era )
The center had a spacious library with lot of English books magazines periodicals etc and I was a member so I could borrow the books ,
I was also able to see Soviet films in the very comfortable modern theatre attached and I would know by the monthly programme schedule the movie playing on the day ,so after browsing for some time in the library I would sink into the plush seats in the theatre and lose myself in battleships of  Potemkin's
 
or the Tolstoy legend War and Peace ,many are the evenings I spent over these and I became a sort of Russian expert with a smattering of a few words of Russian ,knowing all about the second world war and Russia's efforts to liberate Germany ,the Stalingrad siege etc .

I would return by 9 pm hungry and tuck in after dinner and a berating from my mother who would tell me this cannot go on , this addiction to Russia every day .

During weekends I would be there by the morning and the librarian a tall lean senior person would even nod at me carrying heavy tomes home
I would go on the weekends  to the American library situated at the American embassy
 those days one could use the library and security was minimal ,I being a member would walk in  and browse the books magazines which were definitely more colorful than the
Russian ones ,even videos of space exploration were available and I would get lost in an mission to the moon for hours ,I would then cycle to the Mount road district library and later  the British council library which really had books that appealed to my senses.
I was a card carrying member of ISCUS or Indo soviet Cultural Society and attended most meetings by the time I was in ninth standard I could give a talk on communism and capitalism to the chagrin of my classmates who never went beyond cricket and that was one thing I wasn't interested at all

I also got some prizes in competitions held in the soviet center for oratorical and essay contests and I got a nice medal of Comrade Lenin pinned to my shirt which I proudly showed around to my school mates ,
the principal Brother Stephen tall and lanky and balding  called me to his room felt the medal and told me don't go the soviet center much , they corrupt young minds to communism ,
USA is better I will give you some books to read etc .

Though I used to like the tenets of communism and its equality I wasn't naïve as I also read about Stalins atrocities and how people escaped communist countries in Readers digest book choices and so never thought communism as a practical success it was good in theory and I still hold that view .

looking at the sorry communists in India after more than four decades of my romance with Russia I think I was correct long back !!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

PRAGUE

We were at the spacious railway station in Vienna ,our tickets to Prague was confirmed by our travel agent but we made a small payment and confirmed our seats thinking Indian  and wasted around twenty Euros ,this was not required as enough seats were available .
The station had a big food court with lot of Indian choices ,we also bought some food for the train again not needed as small refreshments tea and coffee was available in the train by a push cart run by a very good looking stewardess !
The train meandered into the platform punctually and we got into our seats ,the seats were comfortable with charging points huge glass windows for viewing and within no time we were on the move through the city and later the farms of Austria ,
My thoughts went back to Czechoslovakia .
I was an USSR fad during my school days and spent half my evenings in the Soviet cultural center in Madras  ,
I read all about how the USSR functioned and its satellite countries of Eastern Europe ,by reading a lot of readers digest and my frequent forays into the US consulate library and the British council I was also aware of the totalitarian regime of the eastern blocs ,the KGB the Siberian prisons etc ,
one day my school principal called me to his room he  knew I was a book worm and had got some prizes from the house of Soviet culture for essay competition and I was also a member of the Indo soviet cultural society  ,
Most of the priests were fiercely anti communist then and he did not want an intelligent boy from the school to be swayed into it ,so he asked me what prize I got from them 
and when i showed him the small Lenin medal and the books on the  Soviet union he gave me a Nixon medal and told him USSR was a military state and its better I start getting attracted to US instead of Russia !!
Well that was  one early brain washing done one yours faithfully  by a parish priest ,
of course I was always fond of Brother Stephen who had a fatherly eye on my activities .
Czechoslovakia was part of the Austrian empire till 1918 ,later it became a sovereign country which ceased to exist during the second world war as it came under the Nazi control ,at the end of the second world war Europe was split by the victorious western nations and USSR\most East European countries became part of the Soviet bloc and Czechoslovakia too did .till 1990 its defense was under the Warsaw pact .,in 1968 a period of political liberalization was snuffed by an invading Russian army with other countries and put down till the velvet revolution in 1989 as part of the dismantling of all the Soviet bloc countries in 1993 the country split into the Czech republic and Slovakia ( capital city was Bratislava where we had gone )

the train journey was pleasant as we moved from Austria to the Chzeck republic there a distinct difference in the lay of the land more pastoral with large fields and clumps of hay gathered on them with quaint stations but people were still hard to find .
We reached Prague in about four hours and got down into a cavernous station with plenty of shops and food courts ,this turning of public places into malls is great business idea s it not only bings in the greenbacks its very useful for the traveler something Indian policy makers need to think about .
The holiday factory representative for our hotel pick up was nowhere to be seen ,we had gone down and as we waited we saw him ,he had collected two other families and we were bundled up in a couple of cars and sped into our hotels .
After this the tour company would only be seen for our pick up to airport on check out ,this was convenient as we hated being herded like cattle into tourist buses ,the holiday factory provides just accommodation and transports ,the rest is on your discretion ,the only issue here is time management of seeing the best places in shortest of time within our budgets ,we found the online travel application Viator very useful for this ,one could easily pan all tours available ina city see videos photos read reviews adjust to the time we have and book by card and just keep our vouchers ready and remember the schedules ,so far i had used it in Vietnam ,Malaysia other parts of Europe etc and it had never failed me most tours were exactly what they claimed to be and we had the freedom to be with ourselves and not in a group and had time for our self to we weren't mindless tourist robots managed by remotes .
Our tour was only for the next morning and we had the evening before us ,We were staying in Hotel Anananas which was a bit far off the central part of the town and one had to walk a bit to the the metro station and travel a bit change stations travel more to reach the historical area of old town ,
Czeck republic did not accept Euros strangely and we needed Czeck croners which had alow value and one had to carry lot of money .
we managed to exchange about 20 euros in the hotel ,buying tickets in metro were all through machines and we bought a day ticket for unlimited travel ,the Prague metros were more ancient and a little drabber to one seen in Austria ,trademark of socialism was sticing to it ,it was also very deep into the bowels of the earth thin it is one of the deepest metros i had travelled so far ,its escalators went down endlessly and the crowds were big people too werent as prosperous as seen in Vienna and Bratislava .
We got the hang of the travel and managed to reach the old town within a short time as metro was quite fast and efficient .
The old town was a real treat for our eyes with lovely 18 th century look all along th streets leading to the sqaure there were small and big shops some shiny some qauinty some opened and some closed ,the square took out breath awayas it was a big huge open place filled with art work statues people in horses all around were gothic churches with tall spires clinging bells old town houses halls buildings restaurants it was like stepping into mediaveal times horse carriages clacked in and out completing the picture there w=even wasa female driver for on of the hackneys 

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Singapore 2017



 In1819 Stamford Raffles wouldn't have dreamt the tiny island he landed on would become an example for one of the most prosperous, business friendly, eco-friendly work cultured, law abiding, beautiful tourist spotted nation of the world in a century.
To the English is was habit those days to land as merchants spread their wares make deals split the locals and quietly take over the place and make it a British settlement and thus Britain became great Britain the empire where the sun never set naturally but these days the sun does just that ,sets quite fast in tiny Britain !



Singapore eye 

Changi control tower

let’s get back to Singapore ,it was the quintessential oriental island country with a hot steamy climate ,the sea ,the port the back canals with pointed hatted Chinese driving rickshaws, ebony dark Tamils unloading the cargo from the ships and local Malays walking around till the second world war came ,history looked at Singapore then ,the Japanese conquered it and the days were filled with horrors arrests and crime till the British got it back at the end of the war ,Singapore continued to be a priced possession till 1963 when it got freedom and joined with Malaysia to form a federal republic ,somehow the unity never lasted with a bigger and bossier Malaysia not considering a smaller and resource less Singapore to be an equal partner and then it was the leadership of one of the greatest leaders of our times came into action Lee Kwan Yew the president of Singapore took the brave decision to separate from Malaysia and go alone as the republic of Singapore



Changi Airport
subways
police woman
The divorce proved a success because of the stern determination of the president and his men their hard work and the cooperation of the people within a decade they had starts showing Singapore as a miracle country and even Malaysia learnt a lesson or two from them then Today both countries have become advanced and are in amicable terms .


I had been to Singapore as early as the nineties the times when it was a wonderland and manna put together for Indians who had never set sights on its modern traffics laden shops etc slowly the influx of Indians to Dubai and middle east and other parts of the world would make Indians lose that much awe and just enjoy it without any wonder!
The last time I was in Singapore I had been to a conference in NUH and it was more of an academic exercise all sterile with cabs taking me from hotel to venue and just walking around a bit in orchard road where I stayed I just couldn’t enter it s soul
This time i was more on a business pleasure trip I had gone for getting a Schengen visa which incidentally is not a visa to china though it sounds like one and I kept telling this to many its a visa to European nations and has got nothing to do whatsoever with china though it sounds suspiciously Chinese on hearing

Goes on to say don’t believe what you hear
so my itinerary was all set land at night next morning go to VFS global the agency who manages the nitty gritty of visas tell them to tell the Italian embassy I needed to go back to Brunei and needed my passport and cannot wait the normal three weeks hence to get it ASAP
all this had been conveyed by me by mail and by repeated phone calls ,but the lady in VFs seemed to be my bête noir she was young inexperienced and insisted no visa is ever given in one day and if I go back I need to come back to collect it and no embassy will send the visa etc. etc. ,I just kept quiet later she found the documents adequate an took my finger printing which was mandatory these days and the said your papers will be sent o Italian embassy tomorrow but I wanted it to be sent the same day for spicier handling ,after all it was in same city why delay it for 24 hrs and I offered that I could taker the documents for which she reacted vehemently and said the documents are never handed over to a customer etc. ,so I told her to call the Italian embassy and find out which she did and they just told her yes we know he had mailed us so just send the documents with him now she sheepishly gave them to me and I took the MRT changed lines and in a jiffy was in Novena square and the office ,one thing i have to tell about the Singapore MRT it was out of the world punctual neat organised and user friendly ,one got the hang of things in a short time and I was confident of going to any corner of Singapore without asking anyone





I was informed that the visa if I am lucky i could get on Friday the next day if not would be sent by courier as I had to leave on Sunday
I was staying in Bugis a shopping area with lot of malls eateries etc. I was in an predominately Muslim quarter near sultan Masjid mosque and it was full of Indian Muslim restaurants streets like Arab street ,Kandahar street Ahuliwal street etc ,the cottages were very cute colorful and the whole area looked lovely with skyscrapers in the horizon
it was a nice area to walk around with lot of small shops


Sultan masjid mosque
Murtabak deer meat in zam Zam restaurant 
s

even a naileur was available which I assume was a nail specialist
I dined in the zam zam a famously known restaurant the place was filled and had lot of Tamil and Malayalee waiters running around with colorful dishes.


Dear dear I missed that
In the evening it was cloudy and pleasant and I went to the famous Bay area, the reclaimed part of marina reservoir into the gardens of the Bay a veritable green area with tall man made steel trees with branches with creepers covering, it was the symbol of the place called super tree groves which are steel frames with entwining greenery rising from 80 ft to 160 ft ,they have photovoltaic cells which can generate energy from solar sources ,they provide shade lighting and work as environmental engines for the garden and later maybe the city itself
It covered around 250 acres of reclaimed land
In 2006 an international competition was held for the best design ,more than 70 entries from 170 firms from 24 countries took part and two British firms were awarded the contract as they had the best design
The Singapore Government aims to transform Singapore from a city with gardens to a city in a garden!!
The park had more than 20 million visitors by 2015 November
The Marina terrace also loomed ahead near it was the Bay area MRT station
I walked around the place going into the cool green cocoons of gardens it appeared like I was all alone in a tropical forest while I was in the midst of a very busy modern island city country!!
In the flower dome I met an elderly Singaporean who told me the water that saw was not salt water but pure drinking water which was recycled from sewage and made so pure that it could be drank off the tap!! 




The buildings the bridges were all mind boggling and showed the grit and determination and focus of the country

There was a also the flower dome and the cloud forest which are closed centres of tropical gardens one of Mediterranean and other from higher altitudes ,one needed to buy entry tickets for them


The Marina bay sands facing the Marina bay is an integrated resort with three towered 2560 roomed luxury hotel, world’s largest atrium casino with 500 tables and 1600 slot machines ,sands mall ,shoppers museum ,theaters ,skating rink, convention exhibition center ,celebrity restaurants ,topped by a 340 meter long sky park which can hold 3900 people and has an infinity swimming pool of 490 ft ,an architectural feat ,its shopping complexes have the best brands in the world ,theaters ,two large crystal pavilions .
Next day morning saw me in Little India Serangoon road to meet two of my relatives for breakfast in Komala vilas .
This hotel was famous not only in Singapore but a legend ,it was started in 1947 in Singapore ,there were two branches in Little India small neat and ambient ,the masala dosas were out of the world in taste and served with love ,Little India was really a piece of India and like in Kuala lumpurs little India was the place where the Indian community a vibrant part of Singapore having settled there for years ,it had many shops a few temples hotels flower shops jewelries and a busy market ,the Mustafa mall had existed as a magnet for all Indian tourists for them to shop from sewing needle to sambhar powder anything was available round the clock in Mustafa
This day I had to shift from my hotel in Bugis as I planned to move into Fragrance hotel Ruby which I booked online through Agoda a favourite hotel booking site of mine it looked nice and reasonable also I booked, it was in Geylang but when I mentioned this to my relatives they gave a strange look and said Hari Geylang was famous once for being the red light area of Singapore!!
I took a cab and went into a crowded area full of shops and hotels and fairly wide roads in parallel formation called lorongs or lanes in Malay ,the cab driver told me the area had very little to call itself a red light area these days and it was more known for its food offers !

By 2pm I had to be in the embassy in Novena square which I reached by MRT ,unfortunately my visa was not ready and I would have to wait till Monday for the same ,with my return flight on Sunday I had no option but to return back to Brunei with passport and later courier it to the embassy ,by the time I am writing this all this is done and I have my visa and passport with me .
On Friday evening I just walked around Geylang as I was bit tired and it was raining too .
Next day morning I took MRT to Orchard road station, the station itself is in a big building called Orchard road ION which is a massive shopping complex with so many floors of branded shops hotels and all sorts of fun and entertainment .this turning of public transport hubs into huge marketing entertainment complexes should be learned in India which has its railway and bus stations in some of the juiciest real estates of its cities but sadly unused and decrepit.

I walked around a lot seeing the Christmas decorations in the mall, later I took MRT to reach Khatib another residential area towards Changi as I had to make a visit to one of my relatives later after a fine lunch I went with him to marine parade to visit some more relatives and thus the day went,I returned back to Geylang in pouring rain at dusk and started packing for my early morning flight back to Brunei .

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