See???? I just couldn't stay away from this space. It has barely been a few hours of much needed down time... But here I am, sneakily keying this in from my son Ranadip's laptop while no one's looking!
Our cabbie here definitely did not speak Marathi - he spoke the local lingo - Singaporese ( not to be confused with English!!!) . Take it or leave it. This 'uncle' ( all elderly cabbies are called uncle by the locals) was a really, really talkative chap ( most of them are), but he blew us away by discussing Goddess Durga at length. " I am half-Hindu and half- Chinese", Lim Choon declared happily, and went on to no narrate a series of extraordinary events in which Durga had played a key role! Next came Sai Baba in a cameo. Our man Lim is now convinced it has to do with his past life and is planning a visit to India soon.
Other than Lim, Singapore remains like a blancmange with cherries on top. Walking along Clarke Quay, and past the Ruppee Room ( Bollywood hits blaring), it was almost surrealistic. A great big full moon hung over our heads and the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc ( yummy on a night as sultry as this one), definitely heightened the experience. I love blancmange - errrr - Singapore. It is safe and anti-septic, quite unlike any other destination on earth. It lulls me and I can handle its pristine pleasures for between four to five days - max. In this hospital -like ambience,it has to be some genius who came up with a bar called CLINIC. It is designed for people with a morbid sense of humour - people who get their kicks seated in wheel chairs around tables that have I.V. drips as decor and wardboys ( bar tenders ) pour 'injection shots' straight into waiting mouths. 'Nurses' ( nubile waitresses) rush around taking orders, and operation theatre lights add to the display which includes a long bar featuring a neon sign that reads 'Dispensary'. There is also a 'doc' on duty for patients requiring immediate and urgent attention.Why tempt fate - life is dangerous enough!
More Singapore stuff tomorrow. I received frantic calls and text messages from various tv channels based in Mumbai\Delhi last night - something about Balasaheb threatening Mukesh Ambani and SRK. Fill me in, you guys. Even though I am strictly 'off duty' till mid-Feb, it does not mean I am THAT disconnected \indifferent to happenings back home. Keep the news rolling, okay??
Ciao for now!