Rendezvous with respite

  • Vandana Arora, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Dec 13, 2014 13:21 IST

My idea of an ideal family picnic materialised last Sunday when we, a family of four, discovered ourselves finally in New Delhi's Old Fort. The greed and need for leisure after strenuous, mechanical lifestyle took us there. We shared incredible amazing moments soaking in the sun, marvelling at the charm of heritage, basking in the delight of nature, and watching the light-and-sound show at dusk.

Starting at 7.30am with morning rituals, we did our intense preparation for the picnic. At 10.30am, the majestic Purana Qila gate greeted us, offered us a plethora of spots for capturing our cherished moments. We clicked ourselves in the garden, under the trees, near the flowers and, of course, by the remains of the sublime edifice. One thought pestered me constantly: "Whether we should enjoy the moments or preserve them as film and photographs for future recollection?" We did both ultimately, but were busy more with the camera.

As the sun delighted in our odyssey, we spread our paraphernalia in a sunny corner of the garden.

We had hardly begun eating the delicious home-cooked food when we spotted a guard whistling and signalling towards the garden. He gestured everybody to move to another lawns but, to our utter amazement, didn't even look at us.

We could discern his goodness in not pointing at us while we were in the middle of lunch. After winding up our kit, my children approached him and thanked him with a few chocolates for not disturbing us. He was touched.

With energy fuelled into us, we explored the other sections of the monument-the sacrosanct mosque, the various gates mirroring the magnificence of the Mughal era, the manicured lawns, the mystical step well, a communal bathhouse, and more. After this ardent excursion, the lush green grass invited us to dive into a siesta.

The fading brightness of the winter sun indicated that our rendezvous with respite must be concluded; so we packed our things involuntarily and prepared our mind for fact that we must return. It seemed as though even the air at Old Fort desired for our sojourn to continue. We detained ourselves for the impeccable light-and-sound show, called 'Ishq-e-Dilli' (romancing Delhi) lovingly. It portrays the history of Delhi in particular and India in general with the help of projection and laser technology, including 3D effects. The interweaving of modern technology with the ancient fabric of Humayun Gate dazed us.

The day engaged us in recreation and gathering knowledge. We felt rejuvenated to the core. We all must prompt self to savour similar intermissions suffused with glee. Not only we relish the break but also we feel connected to the glory of nature. Lazing on the grass, staring at the vast sky with trees standing tall, I happened to even compose few poems. The following couplet from the verses illustrates my state of mind.

Earth is my couch, sky my ceiling.
In the lap of Nature, I am beaming.

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