The year seems to have rushed a bit too fast and in its rush to be somewhere else, it deposited vast sediments of experiences all over me. Now I must sieve the contents, organise them with care and see where they might fit. I must also remember the moments that stood out. Once I have tabulated (or at least tried to tabulate) some of these, I must share them with the others so that my moments can become part of some other moments elsewhere. The moments will then continue to be special. So, presenting the favourites of 2015: eateries, places, events, shows, books and music (Singapore edition).
This year, I have had the opportunity to eat at some very exciting places around the world. However, it was possible to indulge in diverse gastronomical experiences when I was not travelling as well. Here are some local favourites that have topped my list (not in any order):
- PS Cafe, Harding Road. Do try their Pad Thai salad for a beautiful combination of refreshing flavours. I love their ambiance too and those fairy lights add sparkle to the festive season. Too delightful to miss!
Pad Thai Salad (Source: PS Cafe)
2. Din Tai Fung for the very best in dumplings.
3. TungLok XiHe Peking Duck, especially during the Chinese New Year.
4. Cedele & The Living Cafe for guilt-free eating.
5. Bangla Biryani by Fakruddin.
6. My food court choices this year: North Point & Junction 8.
1. Affordable Art Fair: The fair manages to strip the ‘exclusive’ tag off and squarely place beauty and creativity at the eye level. It thrills me to bits! The next fair is slotted for 22 – 24 April 2016, at the F1 Pit Building.
2. Writers Festival (November): An event where words, thoughts, insights and discussions are in free flow. I recommend the festival pass that gives you access to multiple book launches, talks and events through out the festival.
1. Clarke Quay at dusk: It’s a party place and most people frequent it by the night, but do try loitering there in the evening. There’s something magical when the river turns silvery grey and the boats gently glide by.
2. The East coast Park, especially if you are on a biking trail and have managed to reach the areas where the crowd thins and the ocean moves closer.
3. Botanic Gardens in the early hours of the morning. There’s nothing as beautiful as the glitter of the sun that drenches the branches, petals and the swans alike.
4. Marina Bay, especially when the sky turns jubilant and the firecrackers announce the arrival of a new year.
I caught Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom Of the Opera on the Broadway this year. To put it mildly, it was overwhelming! That remains my all-time favourite but there were shows in Singapore that delighted me as well.
1. Shakespeare in the Park: The bard, the park and the open sky. What’s there not to like? Their next play, Romeo & Juliet is scheduled for April 2016.
2. Theatre by Wild Rice Productions: My favourite local shows are here. Each character on that stage enriches the joy of being an audience. I certainly hope to catch more of them in the coming year.
3. Treasure Island: A musical presented by SRT’s The Little Company is replete with pirate talk and funny moments. The show targets the ‘little’ audience, however, music, dance and feel-good moments are recommended for every age. The musical runs till the 13th of December 2015.
I am a Dickinson fan and this year I ventured further into her deceptively short poems. As expected, I ended up entangled in them a bit more. Isn’t that lovely!
This year I was also fortunate to be able to explore works of some accomplished local poets and I must say that I am in awe. While I greedily catch up with the poems, here are their names:
- Desmond Kon (And not only is Desmond a great poet but I have to say that he is a wonderful person to know as well).
- Pooja Nansi
- Jee Leong Koh
Jee Leong Koh (Source: Singapore Literature Festival)
I found myself reading books by women authors this year. However, they were all very different reads and hence I am uncomfortable about categorising them similarly. But, similar they were! They all seeped out of their boundaries, spilled out of neat borders and escaped things that tied them and labeled them. They transgressed and I found that fascinating. Do I relate more to them because I am of the same gender? Maybe. Or maybe not. I read Hemingway too and discreetly he did away with boundaries as well. So, I am just generally happy to experience these shifty boundaries. Here are few of my favourite reads this year.
- How to be Both by Ali Smith
- The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- Oranges are not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
- The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (My absolute, absolute favourite!)
The God of Small Things
I didn’t manage to read local authors this year. So, my wish list for 2016 starts with:
Gone Case by Dave Chua
My current playlist includes:
Sia (& David Guetta), Ed Sheeran, Adele, Arijit Singh and music composed by RD Burman. However, my list has included various other artists at different points of the year as well. In fact, there were few songs that got so ‘stuck’ that I had to consciously shrug them off me.
Locally, I am listening to ‘Sixty Five’ by Gentle Bones. It gives me goose bumps.
I am also following The Sam Willows music scene because:
- Their music is peppy
- I like their style
- ‘neighbourly loyalty’
Now that I have tabulated my favourite moments here, I remember them differently. And that’s the beauty of memory, it alters each time you remember it. We still wish to remember though and we still wish to hold on to them and to pass them on… as I did. They will hopefully float by and become parts of some other memory and some other moments somewhere. Never fading, always there.