City Hangout – W-Block Park, Greater Kailash-I
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The appeal of this place rests on a paradox. Parts of W-Block Park are a dusty terrain, so very bleak that it somehow conveys a kind of surreal beauty.
Or so it seems.
On this breezy summer afternoon, dust is swirling in small twisters before settling on the ground littered with brown leaves. This south Delhi garden in Greater Kailash-I is submerged in stillness, with only a few folks out and about: a group of amateur cricketers hard at it, while some gardeners are intensely focused on their ministrations.
The planes preparing to descend in the Delhi airport are appearing regularly in the sky above, their roar adding to the character of the garden.
In fact, W-Block Park has many trees with three neem trees standing out in all their graciousness. So dense is the foliage that one fears for the slender trunks holding it all up.
A Lodhi-era ruin atop a stone platform appears a tad derelict with the patina of several seasons settled on its walls. The monument is circled by Amaltas trees, with some branches still aglow with the golden yellow of its flowers. But their numbers are few. The Amaltas season is ending. The monument’s gate is locked. No great loss there. A ruin like this looks far more romantic from a distance. Inside, they happen to be dark, musty and full of bats.
While wandering about, you’ll no doubt run into a white marble statue of the goddess Saraswati perched beside a tree (marked with the number 326).
This probably means the statue belongs to somebody in the locality, for it’s not a good omen to keep damaged idols at home. Also, don’t miss the park’s installation showcasing what looks like a robotic dog. It’s profoundly bizarre.