Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Vanishing open spaces : Tale of a park

Open space have become a scarcity, even in Delhi. Given my location in Delhi in East across the Yamuna, there is only one such place – a park one can visit for a family leisure break and inhale some fresh air. This palce closer to where I live, is the Millennium Park or the Indraprastha Park or the Nizamuddin Park as we refer to it. I am leaving out the Lutyen’s Delhi area as only place open for public are the India Gate lawns, which remains crowded on weekends.

The Millenium Park or the Indraprastha Park :
My first visit to this park was on a Sunday soon after had I started my second innings in Delhi two year s back. What was pleasing was the vast open space, lush green lawns and very little crowd. More importantly there were very few, so called lovebirds who do not differentiate between love and lust. This was an ideal place for kids. The play area for kids double their joy. But that was two years back. I had visited the park a few times during the last two years.
Last Sunday, I had paid my most recent visit. I got my first shock when parking was full. Inside the park, it resembled a mela. Even though there were vacant spaces for one to sit in the lawn, it was crowded. I had avoided growing to India Gate only to avoid the crowd. But the same crowd had followed me to this place which used to be a happy place with very little crowd. A new structure by the name World Peace Stupa has come up on one side of the park. But the peaceful ambience one used to enjoy here was gone. The so called Lovebirds were seen in all look and corners of the park, many of whom turned a blind eye to the crowd while displaying their lust thereby making it embarrassing for family crowd. 95% of the equipment in children play area had been damaged making it unsafe for use. When it started to become dusk, caretakers of the park were seen blowing whistles and herding the lovebirds out of their cocoons. What surprised most is their announcement that the park is also getting close by 8 pm. Anyway, disappointed at losing a place to visit for some open air, we had already made our way back when some people were seen arguing as to why the park is getting closed so early.

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