Friday, August 1, 2008

Hundred days (of no solitude)

Almost a decade ago, I first visited this island-nation. Not knowing what to expect - and precisely for that reason - I ventured out from the glitter of Changi to see the world outside. I was impressed, but not enough, so I took my connection flight out and continued with my life elsewhere. My mental diary got an entry - Singapore - ticked off with the remark - been there, done that.

A few months ago, I stepped out of the glitter of Changi again, still not knowing what to expect. A lot of things had changed in the interim for me personally. But the city itself didn't look phenomenally different. The hustle and bustle, the endless sale seasons, the din of little India, the bi-syllabic chatter, and of course the constant-ness of weather, remain. At work, my previous observations still stay valid - people are always on the run - although the direction is often unknown. In some cases, they are running hard, but on a treadmill. After a hundred days here, I'm convinced that Singapore is not merely a noun - there is a verb lurking in there, trying hard to make it's presence known. Now is that good or bad, I dont know. The "character" of a city (and the people it holds) is probably as much noun as verb. Sometimes I wonder if this city will ever stop to look at the lillies, or will simply race into whatever, wherever...

Is it only the city ? Am I not on the run too ? And what kind of a run is it ? Running to, or running away, and why? No, I'm not really running. There is probably a gypsy in me - hesitant to grow roots, un-reluctant to pack and move. Also, surely I am more noun than verb(Isn't that the reason why I find it a bit of a challenge to come to terms with this place ?). Maybe it is wanderlust...but I wonder if that is but the topping and the filling is boredom - or is it the other way? Boredom is probably not the right word - reasoning it out will take a number of words - large enough to merit a blog by itself...Anyway, packing, moving, unpacking, settling down have gone smooth. Singapore is the melting pot of asia, and we melt-in. For now.

tat twam asi