My first intro to Singapore was truly 'filmy' - through a Tamil film, when I was in school ! The Rajnikanth & Kamal Hassan starrer, Ninaithale_Inikkum_(1979_film) ! Don't remember much of the film, except the songs which continued to be popular for several years, Rajnikanth's popular role ( a comic-kleptomaniac!) and of course, Singapore, where most of the film was shot.
Over the years, I have read & heard so much about the country, its efficiency, administration and their child/family-friendly tourism.
Though I travelled to Malaysia few years ago, did not get a chance to visit Singapore, till now.
Over the last two days I have been in semi-shock, more than awe!! I did go around a bit. Yesterday was Sunday and today was a public holiday (Eid). So, not much traffic, of course. But I have been touched by the quality of roads, greenery, discipline on road, courtesy of people all over, cleanliness, et al.
I also went around.....walking... nowhere in this part of the world, a pedestrian gets so much space, with greenery all around him...
No wonder so many people were actually out, walking & jogging, or just moving around. With so many joggers, on a per capita basis, this must be one of the fittest nations. The weather was actually not very conducive for outdoor activity, but people seem to be at peace & happy to be just out. How beautiful !
Today, went to Sentosa, for a short visit, as part of the training program. Did not explore the island, plan to do it in near future, with family. Have heard so much about Sentosa, means tranquility or peace in Malay & originated from Sanskrit word 'santosha', which means happiness/bliss. No wonder, I found visitors at Sentosa, mostly with families, were at peace & happy!
Travelling to and fro Sentosa, gave me a chance to see another part of the city. I opted to sit alone in the coach & look out with the curiousity of a child. And, I continue to be in awe, and in a state of shock !!!
Awe... for what the people have achieved to develop such a wonderful city.
In a shock when I think of our own cities. Sad, our cities suffer so much in comparison. Except Chandigarh, virtually no other city can even aspire to reach a higher level of urban living in the near future. Cities like Bengaluru can easily achieve, but do we have a chance... ? Will it happen ?? More importantly, instead of blaming politicians & administrators, can we demand a better urban living? And be ready to work to achieve the goal ??
We get what we deserve... including quality of urban living !
PS: Sentosa has evolved since 1972, when the development corp was formed, with a logo, quite like Doordarshan! Logo changed in 1978, 1982 and 2008. Sentosa is celebrating 40th 'birthday'! Over the last 40 yrs, the island has evolved to a world class tourist attraction !