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Delhiwale: Park of ordinary delights

This park in Vasant Vihar has the best of both worlds — buzz of a big park and loneliness of a small one

delhi Updated: Jul 24, 2017 15:15 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
Delhiwale,Delhi park,Basant Lok Market
Islands of tranquillity in this hectic and smoggy city, these gardens are havens of trees and tombs, flowers and benches. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

Will you miss Delhi if you move to London or Paris?

As far as we’re concerned, we might not care for the tourist attractions of Qutub Minar or Lodhi Gardens once we have St James’s Park and the Eiffel Tower within reach. But we shall certainly yearn for some of our city’s most intimate public spaces — the neighbourhood DDA parks.

Islands of tranquillity in this hectic and smoggy city, these gardens are havens of trees and tombs, flowers and benches.

The most remarkable among such DDA parks is the one next to Basant Lok Market in Vasant Vihar. Unlike other gardens of this kind, it feels homely and yet it has the grandness of the great parks.

Its quiet beauty is calming to the senses. Paved pathways run along trimmed lawns. Clusters of Amaltas trees punctuate the opens spaces. A customary Lodhi-era monument — Bata Lao Ka Gumbad — adds to the meditative atmosphere.

The park’s charm is accentuated by its bizarre side — three forlorn sign-boards in the middle of nowhere are marked Spring Rider Bike, Spring Rider Duck and Spring Rider Pony respectively (even Wikipedia failed to tell us what it means).

Come in the afternoon if you seek solitude — you’ll mostly see women gardeners and their babies. The park becomes lively in the evening with the coming of karate students, yoga enthusiasts, elderly couples and middle-aged businessmen talking about their professional affairs on mobile phones. One ground is reserved for ‘senior citizens’.

But if you come on a weekend afternoon, beware! You may bump into officers of the Criminal Bureau of Investigation enjoying their weekly off — the CBI colony is nearby.

First Published: Jul 24, 2017 13:04 IST