Kind, respectful and unassuming.
These were just some of the praises Paramjeet Singh metes out to describe the migrant workers who throng Little India on Sundays – a majority of whom, form his clientele.
The towering Singapore citizen is the owner of Drinkz Connectionz, the largest beverage wholesaler along the Race Course stretch.
“They’re no different from you or me,” he remarks, with an unflinching gaze.
A ceiling fan whirs away laboriously, setting off a calendar into intermittent bouts of frenzied flutter as it hangs precariously atop a beam.
Outside, a huddle of deliverymen cautiously disembark newly arrived cargo.
“If they’re planning to ban alcohol here, why don’t they just ban it nationwide,” he questions matter-of-factly, momentarily pausing to catch a breath.
The well-spoken 50-year-old adds that the implementation of the alcohol ban has been more detrimental to businesses than the actual riot itself.
Clearly displeased with the measures put in place, he cites that irreparable harm has been done – which only time will be able to resolve.
“Little India has been broken. It’s almost impossible to put it back together now.”