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Monday, April 05, 2010

Remnants of Jaya Supermarket

I'm sharing some of the first few photos I took after I got my Canon EOS 7D on the 21st of February.

I grew up in a city, so some of my happier childhood memories are in shopping centers. Not that I was a shopaholic, just that there were always some awe and wonder when I was there with my cousins, or with my friends. We would just hang out at the arcades, indoor mini-amusement parks, or video shops, video game shops etc. It was like going to a theme park. In a place where theme parks didn't exist until I was about to finish primary school (the water-themed Sunway Lagoon, fun, but not my cup of tea) and amusement parks weren't that many, a shopping center was my wonderland. (or rather, the indoor mini-theme parks in these shopping centers were my wonderland)

Growing up, and as gigantic shopping malls started appearing in Malaysia, along with multiplexes, I ended up going there a lot too, just like most people living in Klang Valley, either to meet up with other people, or to catch a movie, or to buy something.

But before 1-Utama Shopping Mall (which I still visit often whenever I return to Malaysia), the two defining shopping centers of my childhood are the still-existing Atria/ Parkson and Jaya Supermarket.

The landmark Jaya Supermarket, contrary to its name, was more like a small shopping center that houses a supermarket in its ground floor, and a number of other outlets. In 2008, it was closed down for redevelopment.

In May 2009, it collapsed during demolition work, killing two Indonesian workers. And because of that, everything stopped, and the ruins of the building were abandoned.

The ruins of Jaya Supermarket

Ruins of Jaya Supermarket

Collapsed crane at Jaya Supermarket

the broken cranes at the ruins of Jaya Supermarket

Collapsed crane on Jaya Supermarket

Jaya Supermarket in ruins

Once I took the photos that afternoon, I felt a slight sense of melancholy that my childhood memories had been reduced to this state. And felt tempted to immediately wax lyrical about the skeletal husks of Jaya Supermarket, an artifact of the past. I heard conflicting reports, that demolition work would be postponed indefinitely due to the tragedy because some financiers had backed out, yet some news reports I looked at said that demolition work continued a few weeks after the collapse.

I had always thought that it was the former, and that this building was stuck in this ghastly, permanent state. But apparently, demolition work is indeed ongoing. And soon all traces of what it was will be gone. I'm not unexcited about change, or the future, since I'm one who constantly looks forward. But nevertheless, reminiscing about the past is always a little bittersweet.