Delhiwale: A corner in the East

Published on Dec 07, 2022 04:15 AM IST

Nizamuddin East is one of Delhi’s many high-status enclaves, but it is set apart from its cousins by its tree-lined lanes rich with kaleidoscopic views of the 16th century tomb of poet Rahim, a monument that lies right at the entrance.

The quiet corner has two cozy parks.
The quiet corner has two cozy parks.
ByMayank Austen Soofi

So many varied sounds here: of birds, of dogs barking, of traffic horns.

And then there is the wonder of this place, oozing with silence, dense with elegant multi-storey houses with curvy backstairs on their rear. The centuries-old stone walls of the Humayun Tomb complex run along the length of this peaceful avenue.

Nizamuddin East is one of Delhi’s many high-status enclaves, but it is set apart from its cousins by its tree-lined lanes rich with kaleidoscopic views of the 16th century tomb of poet Rahim, a monument that lies right at the entrance.

One ought to walk through the hood simply to enjoy the trees, the birds and this tomb—and also for the sudden sighting of famous people living here. (One afternoon, this reporter spotted author Vikram Seth in his tiny red car getting a bouquet of red roses from florist Ayodhya Prasad’s stall, outside Rahim’s tomb.)

But among the many lanes of Niz East (as some locals call it), the most delightful is the one close to the main gate. Its beauty is enhanced by its secretive position.

The turning is so discreet that one imagines it to be somebody’s private driveway. This sunny afternoon, a large part of the pave is decked with potted plants. On the facing side stands a handsome red brick house.

The quiet corner has two cozy parks. The first has a lovely semal tree, whose red flowers fill up the little garden all day long. But the tree will blossom only in February. Right now the bin in the park is filled to the brim with dead leaves. A bench at one corner is flooded with flickery sunlight (pictures).

Otherwise the place is all still, except for a squirrel running along the park wall. And except for Ram Sagar and Arti — the husband and wife have a tin shed that clings to the park like a limpet. They have been ironing clothes in the area for 40 years.

Further along the lane, a dog called Joey is siting on the middle of the lane, right under a small sun-soaked spot. He suddenly barks at a passerby. Another dog, Chhoti, is quieter.

The second park has a very inviting walking track. Just behind is the wall that separates the area from Mathura Road. While sitting on the bench here you hear all the traffic and yet feel sheltered within a serene sanctuary. And now restless Joey crashes into the park, running and barking after a scared bird stupid enough to fly low.

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