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It’s 11 am and I’m munching some banana muesli, thinking what to write. And I see through my room’s window, the view that I have always admired, looks right back at me.

My room in my grad school accommodation, overlooks a tiny hilly backyard. Not much like flowers in a garden, more like the beginning of a rainforest. There are trees and plants of all heights, some creepers on trees and the sun passing through different inlets to give it a sense of hide and seek game into that speck of a garden. I’ve been told, this is one of the oldest areas in Singapore and the trees are often a hundred or more years old. Old trees fascinate me. They are secret keepers to all that they witnessed. They teach that change is inevitable, old leaves shall wither and new ones are born. That life must go on. That the wind speaks to us through them. That nature is symbiotic. That no matter how small, your role in this world in inevitable. That rainy days come with dark clouds, but cannot stay long enough and the sunshine does eventually find its way.

What is bewildering however about this piece of land, is exercise equipment right in the middle of it. Singapore as a country is extremely health conscious. You can see people, irrespective of their age, running at any time of the day. To have exercise machines in the middle of nature’s lap, is quite a reminder. I have not used the equipment a lot, but can say that it inspires me every time I look out my window.

Isn’t such a picture worth a postcard?

Mariyam Raza Haider

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A journalist by training, Mariyam Haider is a writer and performance poet in Singapore.
She is the researcher of the book The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age written by James Crabtree.
Her writing has appeared in Hindustan Times, Livemint, Feminism In India, New Asian Writing and Kitaab.

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