If you were to ask me which is my favourite place in Singapore or which place in Singapore did I like in the first visit itself, my instant answer would be ‘Waterloo Street’!
If my memory serves me right, we visited this street for the first time on my second weekend in Singapore, in August 2012.
I found the Krishnar temple there so very beautiful.
I got fascinated by the way the Chinese prayed lighting and shaking bundles of joss sticks.
The temple-lover in me visited the Chinese temple with curiosity and also remembering all the stories about Gautama Buddha’s life.
I got my interest in Chinese culture piqued by seeing so many shops selling divine idols, books and articles.
I saw people visiting astrologers (?) and reflexologists sitting under umbrellas right on the road,
I saw a mix of small shops and road-side stalls selling everything from toys, household stuff, plastic knick-knacks to dresses and plants.
I saw people thronging these shops as well as the big OG shopping complex.
I saw HDB apartments and hawker centres/ food courts along the street.
I saw an arts/music school housed in a heritage building. I saw the frangipani trees with their colourful, fragrant flowers adorning the corner of the road, which, unfortunately have been cut down sometime ago,
I realized that this stretch of Waterloo Street was a pedestrian-only street.
Within a few weeks of my stay here, I realized that this street represented everything that Singapore is!
The sight of Chinese praying in Krishnar temple and Indians praying at the Chinese temple is a common sight. The colourful bouquets of orchids and lotus sold outside the Chinese temple adorn the deities of Krishnar temple too.
During any Chinese festivals like the Lunar New Year or the mid autumn festival, the entire street is decorated in the vibrant Chinese colour of red with lanterns, lights and the animal motifs representing the new year being present all over.
During Krishna Jayanti, Uri Adi and Krishnar Rukmini kalyanam is held outdoors in the same street.
At any given time, it is this street which is always bustling with locals and tourists alike.
I realize that today this street might not really be having its usual hustle and bustle, given the pandemic which has turned our life upside down. How I wish we can get back to normalcy soon!
P.S.: I took all these photos a few years back.