Singapore, contrary to popular opinion, is unique place. Despite what our Ministers will tell you, we have actually produced quite a few home grown institutions that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Look at Singlish, a form of English that combined elements of Chinese and Malay - you could call it the perfect amalgamation of the West, the Orient and Islam - living in peace. Our local Indians have even produced a festival called Thaipusam, which is not found anywhere on the Indian Sub-continent.
Anyway, there's a family in Singapore. You could say, they are Singapore's answer to the "Simpsons." They are the "Pundek" Family and anything the Simpsons can do - the Pundeks can do better.
I've actually met two members of this unique clan. They are known as "Thambi (Younger Brother) Pundek" and "Macha (Brother-in-Law) Pundek. The unique thing about this family is that the family ties are actually deeper than blood. They are actually behave the same.
One of the most striking characteristics about this clan is that they have an incredible bravado. Or at least they know how to talk to the talk. If you listen to Macha, you'll be under the impression that he's a real mover and shaker - well, he certainly shakes a lot when he walks.
Macha, it seems, is the most well connected person in Singapore. If you need to know the rough element, he'll show you a picture of an even more over-sized friend of his who is apparently a "labour supplier" - you know, it takes a fat cunt with put the lazy bastard Indian construction worker (who only works 12-hours a day in the hot sun for $12 a day) in place. If you need to know a rich Chinese coffee shop owner - well, Macha seems to well connected enough. Apparently, one of these very rich people sent Macha on a trip to Bali so that Macha could meet "BIIIIIGGGGG" business people - whom he's threatening to introduce to me.
Thambi is a little bit more subtle or at least he hasn't developed the pundacity of his elders. He's joined the Young PAP and if you believe him, he's the best buddy of our Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense. At least Thambi has pictures of himself with the Minister of the Ministry he's working for plastered all over his Facebook - in case you had the audacity to test on how close he is to the said Minister.
In fairness to Thambi, he's also pretty generous is you're willing to sit down to listen to him. He'll buy you a few cups of coffee and now that's he'd old enough, he'll also be happy to have a beer with you - however, you got to do it in doors and in air conditioning since the sun will probably kill him.
Macha is even more generous - with your money. If you go out with Macha, rest assured, he'll provide you with a girl and order plenty of drinks. He may even suggest that where you're meeting is a shit-hole and invite you to somewhere more classy. He'll invite his friends and you'll spend the day and night drinking - the best part about Macha's generosity is that you won't get drunk - after the first round, you'll notice that you seem to be the only one picking up the tab as Macha gets more and more generous with everyone under the sun. Macha is firm believer in the principle of give and give and give and give.........and somewhere in there he....I mean you shall receive. One of his latest ones was to sms the Naan Maker to ask him to come back to the bar the Naan maker had just left so that he could pick up the beer that Macha and his friends had ordered.
The Pundeks also have an ability to assure you of their friendship with you and their loyalty to something other than themselves. Thambi is very sure that he LOVES the Nation and will be happy to suffer hardship, deprivation and all sorts of nice things from the comfort of his bedroom. Thambi only discovered his will to fight for the nation once the powers that be in the National Service postings department sent him off to be a clerk wearing Number Thee (office wear) in a unit that has as much chance of seeing sunlight, let alone active duty.
Macha is a little more forthcoming. When you meet with him - especially in the presence of the Nepali Naan Maker, he'll tell you that you are now "Family," hence "your problems are his and HIS PROBLEMS ARE YOUR PROBLEMS."
The Pundek's are incidentally related to another prominent family - "The Chutias. " I used to be a good friend of a chap called "Chutia Bhai," who will assure you that he hates his South-Indian cousins. According to Chutia Bhai, a relative of the Pundeks once cheated him out of a bonus. As such, Chutia Bhai is on a mission to rob anyone who resembles a Pundek. As such you just need to visit a coffee shop in Kembangan. Chutia Bhai will insist on buying you a meal. Well, he doesn't buy you a meal. He will complain about this particular member of the Pundek Family and tell you that the guy has no "Burkat" (The Islamic version of Karma). When the coffee shop chaps are not looking, Chutia Bhai will insist that you walk away without paying.
Chutia Bhai is making pots of money, but he has a mission, which is to extract his revenge on the Pundeks and so his antics continue.
The Chutia and the Pundek also have an incredible inability to see beyond White Skin. The Old Rogue used to capitalise on this. Thambi would sit at the Old Rogue's feet and allow the Old Rogue to tear him to bits for selling out his people, so to speak. Thambi Pundek would then stare at the ceiling in utter amazement and tell you - "He's a very wise man."
Chutia Bhai was even more impressed by the absent colour. He used mock an Australian chap we once knew for being a total loser. "Typical OP, no money," was his classic remark about the poor Ausie. Then one day, the Aussie showed up at a party claiming that he found an investor. Chutia Bhai was instantly depressed that the Aussie did not give him much business and so Chuta Bhai proceeded to a Pakistani restaurant to vent his steam on the poor chaps who actually had money.
Having said that, I think we need to be fair to chaps like Chutia Bhai. He's going to deliver the economies of the West from the economic crisis. You could say Chutia Bhai is like Robin Hood. He takes from one community so that he can deliver to another. He spends his time taking from the coffee shop staff in Kembangan so that he can sponsor the Irish Embassy's St Patrick's Day function in the Hyatt Hotel. You could say that there's nothing more noble than returning to Colonial Days.
The Pundeks and the Chutias are a very special family and I can assure you that one day the Chee and Bai's who run Singapore's media will create a special about them. In the mean time, I'm sure some bright spark in the Istana will give these families a special award for creating a special Singapore identity.
As one Indian expat pointed out,"They are definitely Singaporean .....and WE ARE INDIAN."