Monday, September 19, 2011

The New

Right across from our condominium is a popular park called the Bishan Park. One of  the reasons I bought this apartment was its proximity to the park. When we first moved here a couple of years back, mom was visiting and she would do her morning walks in the park. Aloka and I would often join her to walk with her or to stop by the sandpit in the kid's area in the park. Aloka loved to play in the sand and slide down the bumpy slides. Soon it became our routine to go there on weekends. We loved to stop by the lotus pond in the park...where else would you see pink lotuses blooming in the middle of the crowded city!

A few months later, we saw notices all around that the park would be closed soon for renovations. At first it didn't bother me- the parts they closed first were further away and we still had access to the kid's area. Then one day, the swings and slides were taken down and our beloved sandpit was cordoned off.  I don't know who was more heart broken, Aloka or I. Sadly, it spelled the end of our wonderful weekend ritual.

In our bid to find alternate spots of entertainment, we started going further out towards Peirce Reservoir. To get there, we had to pass by the park, which was in progressive stages of destruction. There were tin sheet barriers hiding most of the mess from the public, but one could see uprooted trees, muddy paths and some ugly construction. The lotus pond looked dry and dead, and the green grass trampled by the huge road-rollers and cranes. It all seemed so unnecessary and destructive.

Then a month ago, some of the barriers got taken down. We started to see the new version of the park, which included a narrow river channel connected on one side to the Peirce reservoir and on the other to the Kallang river, new grass and trees planted along the side of the channel, a couple of beautiful wooden bridges, some very comfortable looking seats facing the channel, and wonder of wonders...a new and colorful children's playground! Standing on the bridge, when the light is right, you can see small brown-black fish holding up against the current to let the smaller creatures/insects into their mouths. Just the other day, the channel had filled up after the rains and it looked like a river! And there is wildlife that was never there before. I once saw a bright blue kingfisher flitting across the boulders and at another time a large turtle sunbathing on one.

The official park opening is still a month or so away, but we are all so excited. We walk through the park often, crossing any barrier that can be crossed to a take a peek, oohing and aahing at the new features, and planning future picnics. Mom is particularly enchanted by the creepers growing wildly on the stone walls around the channel. She points to them and talks about them each time we pass by, which is like 5 times a week!

It's true that sometimes it is necessary to destroy a good thing to create something better and more beautiful. It's a lesson I learned twice this year.

1 comment:

  1. Whatever one may say that Singapore is expensive, that people do not have much say in many things but one thing is admirable about this country is that they do care for people.Amenities for children, for senior citizens, for handicapped and for people in general, can be seen everywhere. Public transport is incomparable.Roads are user friendly and Public places have toilet facility. Hats off to Singapore mahan.