One Morning in My Heartland

By : Priya Shandhini
05 August 2014



From dusk to dawn – HDB blocks bathed in sunlight, signifying a brand new day

Mornings hold different routines for different people. As we prepare for a new day ahead, whether for school or work, we tend to follow the same set pattern and rhythm. It may seem like an ill-afforded luxury to pause and take in the sights and sounds – a pity because there are gems around us that can definitely set a new day right.


All it takes is a slight pause from our daily rush to see the simple beauty of life around us. Let me show you what I mean… this is a familiar route that I take regularly but on this day it was with a fresh pair of eyes. The sunbeams that morning seemed to dance before me and so I snapped some shots of their playful frolic. I also used my camera app to add a blurred effect and the result is (almost) like a scene from a painting!


Sun beams filtering through the trees to create a painterly effect

Pops of yellow blooms brighten my morning route

A few metres away, the morning breeze had scattered flowers from the Yellow Flame tree onto the sidewalk. While scattered flower petals make for a pretty sight, these also ‘litter’ the common pathway. Good thing I was early and took some shots before the cleaners descended on them.


And then when I lifted my eyes up, I found these purple beauties bursting forth in joy!


Blooming purple beauties!

As I walked on, now with keener anticipation of discovering afresh the little things that I had taken for granted, I began to notice the gentle unfolding of life in my heartland town…


A couple of ‘uncles and aunties’, a common sight at HDB void decks, were already astir. Some were enjoying a game of Chinese chess and friendly banter in the fresh morning air.


A quiet game of Chinese chess in familiar company

On the other busier end of the morning spectrum, parents and domestic helpers were gently nudging their little ones to school. The children either looked very sleepy, or at the other extreme, wide awake and extremely inquisitive. These scenes brought back memories of my own bleary-eyed school days – am glad that the sun rises well before I do these days.


A morning scene that brought back fond memories

Yet, others preferred to kick-start their day with some vigour and exercise, so I noticed. This time, as I lingered to observe the regular morning Qigong group, I was mesmerised by just how fluid and rhythmic their moves were, almost blending in with the idyllic park surroundings.


Kick-starting the morning with some rhythmic moves

As I made my way to the wet market for one very obvious reason – to eat – the tempo of the morning was fast changing to a buzzier note. With aunties trying to bargain down prices and stallholders calling out their wares, the wet market is always an interesting (and colourful) people-watching spot. Early birds snap up the better goodies at the market – one extra reason to get an early start! Here’s another tip: Make good friends with the stallholders and they might throw in a freebie or two.


I spy… something red, green, white, orange and more!

‘Yummilicious’ roti prata!

A cooling teh peng and yummy plate of roti prata capped that refreshing morning walk for me. As I dug into this favourite Singaporean breakfast, I promised myself to take time to smell the roses.


What are some of the morning sights and sounds that you enjoy in your HDB estate? Send us your photos and morning anecdotes to


Tags: Bukit Merah,




Watch Videos


Latest Video


Kim organises free walking tours around her estate!