The writer behind the blog The Long and Winding Road talks to Kurt Ganapathy about cataloguing the fading past of Singapore.
- By Kurt Ganapathy
- | Oct 07, 2011
Growing up, when I wasn’t dispensing my mouthful of green beans at unsuspecting passers-by through a drinking straw, I tended to be quiet and somewhat reserved.
If not for a splash down my rear end from a brine-filled basin of salted vegetables at the market when I was five, my most memorable childhood moment would probably be the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to my home in 1972.
I spent a few months in Penang in early 2008 and it was in wandering around that I realized how wonderful Singapore was I grew up in, and how much of our heritage has vanished.
My photography combined with my writing serves as an excellent means to document the ever changing landscape of Singapore.
I hope to play a part in capturing the view of history and heritage as a person who has lived through events as well as interacted with people and places, going beyond what the history books can tell.
We Singaporeans have a lack of consciousness of who we are and where we came from.
This is possibly a result of the circumstances we found ourselves in post-independence when we were caught up in a massive attempt to modernize and develop our nation and abandon much of who we were.
Of the places that no longer exist in Singapore, I might miss the A&W outlet in Dhoby Ghaut that is now buried under the monstrous SOTA building the most.
Actually I don’t. The place I miss most is an area of Singapore that once featured seaside fishing villages and cliffs that overlooked the sea—the idyllic coastline at Tanah Merah, which has been completely altered by land reclamation and the construction of Changi Airport.
My day job involves getting a boat to think it’s a plane.
Most of my posts are not time critical, so I can blog at a pace that is manageable to me.
It’s good that there is now an attempt to conserve buildings and their facades, but unfortunately, in many cases, they lose much of their character in being absorbed into larger developments, making it difficult to identify with them. I don’t recognize them at all.
What I really like to see is conserved buildings and monuments being put to use or converted in a way where the essence of the buildings and what they were built for is not lost and that they remain accessible to the general public.
I am guilty of not usually listening to advice—and of not taking note of advice that I have been given.
I hope that the green corridor remains as it is, not just for us, but also for the birds, butterflies and dragonflies.
The one thing I want to accomplish? Enlightenment.