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Delhiwale: In the crowded company of Palika pals

The plaza outside Palika Bazar is perfect for people watching. Whether you are a loner or a social butterfly, you will find a corner to call your own here.

delhi Updated: Nov 22, 2017 16:28 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
Delhiwale,Dilli wale,Palika
The plaza is now free of vendors and has been provided a few tables and benches.(Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

We never realized the plaza outside Palika Bazar in Connaught Place was so roomy.

Until recently, every inch of space here used to be taken by pavement hawkers. The plaza is now free of vendors and, while we hope all those hard-working men have found greener pastures elsewhere, we are too happy to claim this glorious space for ourselves — especially now that winter is here and one can lounge al fresco.

Somebody at the New Delhi Municipal Council, who gave the area a facelift, also had the happy idea of installing a few tables and benches at the plaza — though these coveted spots are usually hijacked by brooding lovers.

We anyway prefer the shared seating that spreads out along the plaza’s length. Here you can be squeezed between many fellow Delhiwallas and yet the place lets you be by yourself.

While the bookish snobs flaunt their novels of the day, Palika’s plaza is perfect for people watching — unhappy couples, exhausted shoppers, awestruck tourists... and possibly pickpockets too. Loners also seem at ease. It’s like being in a park with no grass, though Central Park is just across the road.

Try coming late at night. Then it will be just you and a few others, a stray dog or two, and the gigantic national flag fluttering high in Central Park.

In such moments, our chaotic impersonal metropolis suddenly begins to feel intimate, bringing us closer to a Delhi we imagined had grown distant.

First Published: Nov 22, 2017 15:15 IST