Little India, of Klang, isn’t a Little India of posters and postcards. Little India, of Klang, is one whose music – an exercise of high-decibel exuberance; a cacophony of Tamil chatter, of Bollywood film scores blaring out of speakers – cannot be defined, nor its meaning determined. A snapshot: marigold garlands brightening up the doorways of banana leaf eateries; a woman sitting cross-legged on a kaki lima, peddling a basket of greens already wilting in the heat of the early afternoon; and men staring impassively from behind the bars of jewellery stores, unperturbed by the glint and glitter of gold necklaces and nath.
The sights, the sounds, the smells; and yet, this is a Little India that allows one to linger over a cup of masala, a Little India where the sweets never lose their shine, a Little India that’s home to the community that lives and makes its living here. Little India is a land of belonging, rather than of blood. One says ‘land’, though Klang’s Little India is little more than a street, situated as it is along Jalan Tengku Kelana in the south of the royal city.