City Hangout – Plant’s Shade, Palika Bazaar Park
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
One of the very best places to cool off in Delhi isn’t an air-conditioned mall. Nor some lovely monument in a park offering shade. It’s not even a tree. But instead, a small and very unassuming bush at Connaught Place. Here, at the park above the Palika Bazaar underground, the young cook Yogendra is now lying under this amazing bush: During this savage summer day when skin is burnt by searing temperatures (its 11.59am, if you please).
Yogendra could well have retreated to the comfort of the AC at Palika Bazaar. But, well, “look brother. I’m from a village, I don’t like ACs and coolers,” he explains. Hailing from Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh, he’s always preferred lounging under a village tree. But…this is a bush, not a tree. “Even so, it’s as good as any big tree,” he argues—now vacating the space so that the hyperlocal Homer can give it a try.
Indeed. The bush is both dense but yet spacious, shielding the entire body from the noonday sun. The sky is barely visible. The air feels fresher. There’s a slight breeze, too. One feels safely protected from the torrid world and all its manifold threats.
Best yet, this bush is readily available any time of day. At least when Yogendra isn’t there.
Bad weather refuge