City Season – Palika Bazaar Park, Connaught Place
Short and beautiful.
[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The sky is blue, the grass is wet and the flowers are blooming. Delhi’s strangest and shortest season – from mid-February to mid-March – has begun. Neither hot, nor cold, the city loses its harsh tones and pretends to be gentle.
To soak in the weather, you may go to any of the open spaces in the city: Lodhi Garden, Shantipath lawns, India Gate Maidan, Purana Quila ruins, Dilli Haat, or Ansal Plaza’s amphitheatre. The best is in the shopping district of Connaught Place: the park above Palika Bazaar parking. It is bright and cheery, perfumed and coloured. Dahlias are dyed in orange, yellow and passionate-red shades. The yellow and white sunflowers look so shiny that they could be mistaken for plastic. The purple-coloured orchids shake their stalks as if drunk in their own juice. Greedy bees work overtime. But they make just half the story.
The best part of the park’s lovely atmosphere, at this time of the year, is the crowd. Because it is in the heart of Delhi, it attracts people from all walks of life: homeless vagabonds, office workers, college students, romantic couples and compulsive loners. Mothers feed babies beside the sunflower hedges. Lovers eye each other across orchids. Jobless men sun themselves on the grass. Students share notes on the benches. Music lovers listen to Bollywood chart-busters on cell phones. Almost all take off their shoes and sandals to feel the springtime dampness of the grass on their naked feet.
“During this season, I spend my lunch break here,” says Sanjeev Sinha, who works at the Galgotia bookstore in Connaught Place. “The flowers are stunning and the mild sun is like a free gift from God.”
Another delightful aspect of the park is that the unrestricted view of the city skyline and the sound of the traffic enhance the preciousness of the flowers. In the shielded beauty of, say, Lodhi Garden, you take them for granted. But amid Connaught Place’s concrete clutter, the nature’s bounty increases in value. You know it is fleeting and unreal, like this season.
Where Above Palika Bazaar parking Nearest metro station Rajiv Chowk
Are they real?
Bluer than the sky
Yellow and white
I want your smile
I want these smiles too
Good place to sleep
Go back to the office
I want my music
Come on, cheer up