‘OMI – oh my India!’

When you hear Bollywood songs coming out of mobile phones, when the aroma of freshly made sambhar juggles with your senses, when your face begins to be scanned for familiarity – look around, you’re either inside or closer to Little India, the Mecca place for all Indians.

Once you’re in Little India, relax. Feel at home. It’s actually home to many away from home, for many Indians who arrived and settled away from the motherland. The Diaspora, the long term workers and the short term tourists; they all thrive on Little India to find random connections to the homeland.

Being there, I felt a bit of nostalgia in the air and quite honestly that dose was enough to feel for the country I always take for granted.

One should take a stroll in Little India. One should also be ready for a long walk. Situated at the two ends of the Serangoon road are the Kali Amman temple and Sri Srinivasa Perumal temple, divided arbitrarily by the Masjid Angoolia somewhere in the middle. They are all well color coordinated and beautifully built and even though you may find the trio very touristic – yet, I reckon, they are all worth a visit!

With all the choices of Indian restaurants and inviting flavors from street shops, it’s hard to stay hungry for long; so settle down in one or multiple places and satisfy your Indian meal hunger pang!

Besides the nostalgia, the temples and the eateries, the most eye-catching, wallet- grabbing phenomenon in Little India is Mustafa Center – a six storey, many buildings, mega collossuem which sells anything and everything under the Sun, only except fighter planes and dolphins!

Since most visitors to Mustafa are from the Indian Diaspora or short term Indian tourists, the store is cleverly stacked with Indian spices, fruits, souvenirs, electronics and everything that Indians demand and seek for.

My impression of the Mustafa store? Well, it’s like a crowded Mumbai local train fitted with a crisp air-conditioning and the glamorous scope of picking up LCDs at best buy prices. Crudely saying, that’s exactly what a typical scene is on the weekends. There are people everywhere, buying everything!

Inside, they even sell vegetarian mutton curry, vegetarian chicken slice & vegetarian roasted chicken – I mean, vegetarian? Really? Well, if you know what they are or how they tasted, please do let me know!