Singabore Blues

“What seems to be the problem, officer?” It was a typical sultry morning in suburban Singapore and my brain was screaming out loud for caffeine. The junior policeman seemed perturbed about trouble brewing in the distance. “Dunno leh, but experts coming over”.

Experts? I thought to myself. This must be something – I guess I can afford to spend a few minutes, hang around, be part of the impending excitement. The possibilities were infinite – the utterance of the word expert itself led me to derive my own wild conclusions. Bomb Squad? Anti-Terrorist Unit? Bio-Hazard Detection Team? As I waited impatiently, more police cars pulled over; the harsh sun glinting off their windshields; the red-and-blue flashing lights creating an aura of intrigue. More crackling sounds from wireless handsets. Tense drops of sweat were trickling down my forehead and as I looked around, the profuse sweating seemed to have gripped my policeman-friend too.

Finally the expert arrived. After heated consultations with a few portly law-enforcers on the other side of the road, he moved cautiously towards the apparent scene-of-the-crime. A negotiator perhaps? The suspense was killing me. Two armed (with batons) policemen moved in behind him, in the process showing funny hand-signals to their peers (probably picked up from watching too much NYPD Blue). What were they walking towards? Each step seemed to take an eternity. Finally the trio approached a harmless looking tree adjacent to the side-walk. What kind of message does it convey to the rest of the young, restless extremists when a tree in Singapore catches fire?

As the plain-clothes expert knelt over by the side of the tree, a strange sense of deja-vu struck me. I’d always felt that a Singaporean policeman had it easy – the rare freakish murder apart, life for him was a walk in the park. And I have in the past fallen for false-positives in very similar situations. This time, it promised to be different..but I was wrong yet again.

The expert peered into the grass and quickly grabbed at a mysterious object, which turned out to be the slippery tail of a smallish snake. I won’t be surprised if this makes the cover page of Straits Times tomorrow.

God help Singapore.

Disclaimer: All characters and events (though dramatized) described in this post are real and any resemblance to any person living or dead is not coincidental.

4 Responses to “Singabore Blues”

  1. Sherene Says:

    I’d have laughed, except that I know this is so real and absolutely true. What a waste to have waited around for some drama, eh?

  2. arun Says:

    Yeah seriously, although this time probably the crisis was a little more genuine. We’ve seen similar fuss being created over a fallen tree branch in NUS 🙂

  3. Umesh Says:


  4. Santanu Says:

    dude….am in splits!! the build-up to the climax was excellent!!

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