August 09, 2011

Week 1

So a week and a couple of days have passed since I have landed in Singapore. And I have to say it was all because of the men from 2006 that I have found settling in so easy. In 2006, when the 5 of us came down to Singapore, we never thought we would have so much fun. Those 2 weeks turned out to be one of the most memorable ones during my stay in IIMB.

And thanks to them I had walked every nook and corner of Singapore during those few days. So when I finally landed here to start this new phase of life, I was not at all apprehensive. In fact, it felt like smoothly getting into a mode I once knew. Yes, probably life would have been easier if Kushal was here, he is just amazing at figuring out life with just a Lonely Planet and wikitravel. And with Kushal around one never needs to bother about logistics. He is the best travel planner I have ever met and I think his camera and him have been parts of some of my most memorable trips. In fact, I don’t even know if RL, the only wiki editor I knew then, still does the editing. He was the one who led us to wikitravel. Or Wipro, who experimented with every form of food that was or Prasanth who always brought sanity back. Or for that matter one who I shall not name, who used to leave us in the night and return back in the morning with fantastic tales :)

Singapore gives you a culture shock once you land from Mumbai. The roads are not only devoid of potholes, they are also devoid of any kind of dirt or grime. The cars drivers have not been trained in Delhi, so they know how to follow lanes and basic traffic signals like red means stop. The pedestrians have never been to Calcutta so they know that a road should be crossed only at designated crossings. The citizens have never lived in Bangalore so they get agitated if a metro line is delayed by just one month. The trains run on time, something I still need to get used to, the buses are comfortable and come on time. So all in all, if you know the rules and follow them you can very easily survive here. There are stores that are open 24X7, the life in the city, at least near Orchard, where I stay presently, seem to be alive, reminding me of the Bandra that I left behind.

There are people I miss, most importantly Swati Didi and Yogesh. In my realm of self sufficient awesomeness, I get worried only on two counts – if I have to cook daily or if I have to do my own ironing. Cooking breakfast or weekends is not a major concern but cooking daily is and there was Swatididi to take care of us like the Mother Hen. She was there with us for three years and has taken care of us like her own family. Life in Mumbai was so smooth mainly because of her and the brilliant food that she cooked. It’s not easy to take care of a bachelors’ pad but she did it with so much ease and panache. She might not be reading this but I thank her from the bottom of my heart. The other was Yogesh – the day we realized that there was the reliable IFB Laundromat near our house, we let go off all laundry work. Since then, till yesterday I have never done my laundry, leave alone ironing. Now doing laundry is not difficult if you have a washing machine, but ironing is such a pain. The last time I did it was perhaps before the campus interviews in BITS! Anyway, Yogesh was God’s gift to us. He always called up the night before to check if we would be home and then punctually would come in every Saturday morning. We would forget, but Yogesh would not. In fact, the last Friday night in India, even though he knew we had left, he called up to check.

There are things I miss about home – the most prominent amongst them are chewing gums. The city has no chewing gums! Mints are just not the same. So if there are any separation pangs that tugs at my heart, it must be gums. My life suddenly has no gum and I am not happy about it. It’s actually making me full of gham.
Anyway, there seems to be an unending range of food choices and I have not even started scraping the tip of the iceberg. But that has to wait as I fly to Manila tomorrow.

And Happy National Day Singapore :) May you and I fall in love soon.

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