City Hangout – Most Romantic Park Bench, Lodhi Garden
The most-feeling seating.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Those fussy romantics seeking the seclusion of a park, but only in a most aesthetic setting, simply need to seek out a particular bench in the lushness of Lodhi Garden. Mind you, there’s something a bit moody about this bench, right under a tree that never provides shade.
It remains leafless throughout the year with its bare branches looming up into the air like the wailing limbs of a person in perpetual mourning. This is a kind of nudity awash in deep melancholy or perhaps careless abandon; a question of interpretation by anybody comfortably seated on the bench itself.
Some distance behind that tree is a monument making its own sad statement. Sheesh Gumbad’s dome was originally embellished with blue enamelled tiles; hence its name meaning ‘glazed dome’. Most of its tiles are missing, while lovers’ scrawls have defaced the floral patterns on the walls. However, dwell not much on the ruin, and focus on the lovely bench.
After a while, the bench sitter will doubtless find solace from a kind of isolation that induces a sense of calm. One is not deterred by a squeaky sound from somewhere near: Actually, a squirrel perched on the tree’s lower branch, its tail glowing from a rainy drizzle, as though pearls were placed on it. On higher branches, a handful of birds sit motionless like sculpted figures, as though meditating, which may well be what they’re doing, in their own aviary way. However, there’s a cautionary note. Lounging on that bench deep into eventide is another story altogether. Birds are now swooping around, hither and there, with fierce determination. This may well be the time to seek comforting shelter elsewhere.
Capital’s most picturesque park bench