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Nostalgic memories of Café Madras

South Indian cafes and lodges have well served the students and youth who are beginning their career. Initially, when I went to Calcutta to join SCI, I stayed in Murugan lodge at Lake market. A colleague recommended me to the owners, who offered me one bed in a room comprising three beds. During the 1970’s we used to pay Rs 150 per month for accommodation including breakfast and dinner. The owner used to allow me to bring “chapattis” from outside.

Recently, we have read in newspapers about Café Madras which celebrated its 75th anniversary. It is a popular eatery at Maheshwari Udyan and many times one has to stand in queue for getting a place to have food there. However, it is worth waiting as the restaurant offers superior quality of food and serves different dishes to customers who keep visiting the place again.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong accompanied his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to Komala Vilas at Little India. Since we are seafarers, we have visited Singapore many times and have enjoyed good south Indian cuisine at this restaurant. A renowned shopping center named Mustafa is now functioning round the clock. There are some good Indian and Pakistani eateries along the road where you can get chicken and parathas at reasonable price. We also have eaten food here many times. Komala Vilas is a renowned restaurant in Singapore which is situated just opposite the lake market old tram stop. Our Murugan lodge was located in the next lane.

Even Gurdwaras exist in Singapore. When I had appeared for SCI interview, I had stayed at Barrabazar Gurdwara. I recollect that I could only insert a five rupee note in the box provided to devotees for offerings.

Singapore citizens are very informal. Even the upper class people don’t have any qualms about eating in the common restaurants by wearing T-shirt and pants. We too should emulate this quality of theirs. Our legislators too must have food in these South Indian cafes and commute in the BEST bus instead of wasting the tax-payers hard earned money. They should support austerity drive for the development of the nation. If someone says something, we should not react in a harsh manner otherwise what is the difference between us (good cultured) and the ISIS. Through these columns, I appeal to the youth to stay away from temptation of free sex, drugs and money.  They must follow a simple lifestyle. I appreciate the initiative taken by the Raza Academy for protesting against the ISIS for promoting terrorism activities. They also have appealed to youth to refrain from joining the terror outfit.

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