plucking a leaf out of a forest of history, handling it with tremulous fingers and tender touch. tomorrow the other trees will be chopped down without regard in the race and embrace of modernity. great halls and harsh lights, shoes clicking on smooth floors. quiet reflection and contentment. tourists soaking in culture with wonder-filled gazes; natives silently struggling to understand the gleam of polished unfamiliarity behind glass cases. we preserve relics in the name of culture but destroy the core around which our lives are centred. hdb blocks topple like dominoes, one after another: conversations in void decks of stout structures; neighbourly camaraderie in dim corridors; tiled sandy playgrounds crumble, strain to find form again in the rising dust. on a clean slate shiny skyscrapers rise.
new museums trap history but our branches are severed; white walls, high ceilings, grand arches are not the faded red brick and large number panels so easy on our eyes. our landscape is not a museum of our country.