I think I have gushed about the streets of Little India, and how they brought inspiration to me every time I walked them, akin to the street of Paris for street photography. Well I’m not staying in Paris (though I would jump at the chance to!) and I cannot walk the streets of Paris every week, but I certainly can, and do, walk the streets of Little India frequently, the most recent of week was yesterday.
Street photography has always been a strong passion of mine, and when I got the picture below, I knew the trip had been worth it, even if the yield of good pictures from the day was few.
But the buzz of the place on a Sunday ensued that I would not just walk away with one picture. Indeed, walking down Little India on a Sunday makes me feel like a tourist in my own country – I know I’ve said that before, but it bears repeating!
But life starts the moment you arrive by train at Little India via the North East Line of Singapore’s MRT network. From the moment I exited the train, I was greeted with a cacophony of sights – Indian men scurrying to the escalators, eager to get out onto the streets during a Sunday where all work and worries are put away for a few hours; women carrying shopping bags laden with a week’s worth of groceries; this was a day where this Tamil enclave of Singapore came abuzz with life.
One of the main differences between the streets here and say, the streets of Orchard Road or anywhere else in Singapore is that life as we know it actually existed out here, on the streets, in the open sun, compared to the rest of Singapore where most life existed only in the air-conditioned confines of a modern mall. People actually walk, talk, and mingle on the streets in Little India.
I found this group of Indians from the state of Chennai relaxing and lounging on a park bench of a playground, and asked for a group shot. Notice how the guy in the middle was in close contact with the guy on his right – they were certainly no gays, and in fact, one of the most fascinating aspects of the Indian culture I witnessed was the close physical contact between the men, a kind of unspoken camaraderie weaved into the lives of these migrant workers making a living far from home.
What if there were not enough benches? No worries. These men weren’t prepared to be confined to man built furniture and fixtures – grass is ok!
If one wishes to experience life outdoors, great atmosphere and visually engaging sights, Little India on a Sunday is hard to beat.
Watch out for the next edition of life in Little India. I will also be expanding the theme of the series – “A Home away from home” to another group of migrant workers here in Singapore – the Filipinos. Last but not least, I leave you with this image of a truckload of workers arriving in Little India on a Sunday…. till the next part! Edit: Part 5 is now available!