Bedok North Road (Poem)

Bedok North Road

The year was 1990
There were things aplenty
To explore, to discover
At Bedok North Road
It was exciting times indeed
For us little children

The urine stench on the staircase landing
The drenching of the corridors whenever it rains
Neighbours hanging soiled children's mattresses on the parapet
The smell of grandma's cooking every afternoon and evening
The sound of her nagging and scolding out of love
The waiting for grandpa to come home everyday at 5pm from work,
sometimes carrying treats like stickers of football players for my album collection

We would be doing things only kids would do
Finding spiders under the ledges
Playing soccer barefoot under the void decks,
And leave marks on the walls.
Banging away on the neighbour's fish tanks to scare the poor creatures
Quarelling between siblings cos' we both wanted to sit only on that particular chair
Hiding away in the storeroom and pretend we're on a mission to find a hidden treasure
Climbing up the kitchen cabinets to see what interesting stuffs grandpa had hidden there
Watching the late evening Malaysian news with grandpa before we go to sleep everynight

The mama shop selling sweets - 5 for 20 cents, ice popsicles - 10 cents each
The shop selling Tamiya cars
The wet market with its myriads of smells and bewildering hustle and bustle
The NTUC Fairprice
So much memories

But now all the things I know have gone
I feel lost in this new surroundings
I don't feel any warmth within me
It is a different world than before

Oh Singapore
What is here today is gone tomorrow
Will we all be one day a nation of remeniscisers?
Clamoring for a day when things are familiar to us
When we do not have to face with constant change
Rammed down our throats

I would dearly love to take my children to Bedok North Road one day
And point out the places which I used to go to
The places I used to hide during hide-and-seek
Where I used to play
Where the shops used to be
where the old citizens used to gather and chit-chat
Where grandma would sit when sending/fetching me from the kindergarten school bus

But alas, I can't
And all thats left
is change
and change
and change

For progress/improvement?
I don't know...
Maybe, but I certainly miss those childhood landmarks

Ah those were the days (for me)
Bedok North Road

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i cannot agree more!!! =)
and i have been staying here in bedok north since the day i was born. lol