Winners 2012 > Emotions Series > HM - Zakaria Zainal

Our Gurkhas : “Awak sudah makan?” In Malay, Nar Bahadur Gurung asked if I had eaten. Replying in the same language, I said yes and was surprised to hear him speak in Malay. He smiled and paused to say: “Saya masih boleh cakap Melayu sikit-sikit.” Even after leaving Singapore for 40 years, Gurung can still speak a bit of the language — having learnt Malay when he was serving the Singapore Gurkha Contingent. Bazaar Malay was the common language spoken by all races from the 1950s till the 1980s when English became increasingly common. English, for Gurung however, was much tougher. Slowly, and with a stutter, he mustered the words: “I never forget Singapore.”
Our Gurkhas
Our Gurkhas : Retired corporal Nar Bahadur Gurung holds up a framed photograph of himself when he first arrived in Singapore in 1953. The 73-year-old served from 1953 - 1973.
Our Gurkhas
Our Gurkhas : Retired inspector Til Bahadur Khatri cannot help but feel nostalgic when talking about Singapore in the 1950s. With much of the Lion City still a jungle, the 75-year-old remembers: “When it rains heavily, floods were sure to happen as there was no proper drainage system.” As Singapore progressed through the years, he enjoyed taking walks by the Singapore River. He would pass by Raffles Place, the old Treasury building and Henderson Bridge, which is still there today. During lunchtime, he would notice office workers make their way to small food stalls when food and beverages were real cheap. “One bottle of Pepsi-Cola was only 10 cents!”
Our Gurkhas
Our Gurkhas : Retired inspector Til Bahadur Khatri holds a framed photograph of himself in uniform in his last few years before retirement. The 75-year-old served from 1956 till 1983.
Our Gurkhas
Our Gurkhas : An aerial photograph of the Singapore River and the Central Business District dominate the wall of retired staff sergeant Bhabhindra Bahadur Malla. This was his last impression of Singapore before retirement in 1984. He pointed to a familiar statue to all Singaporeans including the Gurkhas themselves — a mythical creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish. With tugboats — a dime dozen and used to ferry tourists now —strewn all over the river in the photograph, the Merlion is no longer there I said. “Where has it gone?” he asked, surprised. As the coastline has expanded to accomodate more buildings and land, the Merlion is closer, to the mouth of the river I said. “That is Singapore, always changing.”
Our Gurkhas
Our Gurkhas : Retired staff sergeant Bhabhindra Bahadur Malla holding a photograph of himself in uniform just before his retirement. The 67-year-old served from 1960 till 1984.
Our Gurkhas
Our Gurkhas : At 75, retired inspector As Bahadur Limbu has but fleeting memories of his 27 years in Singapore — till he opens up his photograph album. Inside, faded photographs are neatly arranged but not in any chronological order. As his fingers flick through the photographs, he stopped at one. It was of his family, posing in front of a pagoda at Haw Par Villa — a Chinese mythological theme park. Another photograph, was of Limbu in his singlet, flexing his biceps — like a bodybuilder — with a cheeky smile. He shared that his wife had taken that picture while they were in their old home in Mount Vernon camp. “At any time, I can simply browse through and reminisce,” Limbu said in Malay. This, before he gazed intently at another photograph of himself in his Gurkha uniform.
Our Gurkhas
Our Gurkhas : Retired inspector As Bahadur Limbu holds up a framed photograph of himself in uniform, taken in his last few years before retirement. The 75-year-old served from 1956 till 1983.
Our Gurkhas
Our Gurkhas : Even after independence, Singapore could not escape the spillover effect of the 1969 racial riots in Malaysia. Also known as the May 13 Incident, it was the worst case of communal violence in Malaysia’s history. The government decided to declare a state of emergency and suspended Parliament until 1971. Retired staff sergeant Prem Bahadur Limbu remembers that fateful week in Singapore when news of the Malaysian riots had spread home. Violence broke out in areas along Jalan Ubi and Jalan Kayu he said. “Parangs and spears were used in the clashes,” he said, highlighting the seriousness of the conflict. The communal riots left four dead and 80 wounded, in a span of seven days. The Gurkhas were called upon for 24-hours vigilance duty. Throughout, the Gurkhas worked hard to restore the peace.
Our Gurkhas
Our Gurkhas : Retired staff sergeant Prem Bahadur Limbu holds on to a framed photograph of his late father retired chief inspector Man Bahadur Limbu. His father was a founding member of the Singapore Gurkha Contingent — the photograph was taken in 1963. The 64-year-old served from 1964 till 1991.
Our Gurkhas
  

Remember Date!  ___   May 24, 2014  

Opening Ceremony&Wall Gallery
Teplice Spa 

 Previous winners:  PhotoGallery:
 2011  2011
 2012 2012
 2013  2013

Media

                   

General sponsor & others sponsors