Review Detail

Parks & Gardens A aravind March 30, 2012 440
The colonial story
Overall Experience 
I once tried to write a pan-asian story - one with western morales, forms and ideas, but in a very local context. The story had pontianaks, Jinns and mysterious gardeners, and the concept was crucially centred around the feel of a place a stone's throw away from where I used to live in Sembawang.

That magical place is not Sembawang park itself, but the colonial houses nearby. Intertwining roads that meander through expat houses too large and expensive for a local to even dream of, the superior air of the estate climaxes at King's road. That was where I'd take my routine, daily walks to the MRT station, admiring the black and white houses pressed against the sky like models in a giant pop-up book. In the morning, the air was ice cold, untouched by the heat and noise of our population. A thin fog would hover above the ground, giving an even more out-of-this-world experience. And so, the idea of my book had awoken. Of course, I found myself lacking in time, discipline and talent. Hence, the book remained as a young boy's wild imagination. But if you ever have the chance, wake up one morning, drive down to Sembawang park and as you pull into the first car-park, you'll find the beautiful, mysteriousness of the colonial houses seep into your consciousness.
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