City Hangout – Lily Pond, Lodhi Gardens
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
A few flowers stand erect, fresh and alive, with not a speck of dust on their wet petals. Others, half-drowned in water, look like broken dreams.
For some reason very few people turn up to inspect this lily pond tucked away in a small corner at popular Lodhi Gardens.
Parts of the pond are crammed with lily leaves, most of them drenched in the darkish-green water. Their stems and vines have spun octopus-like traps underneath. The sight is as unreal as a dream.
Bordered by a grove of flower shrubs, the landscaped pool looks to the ruins of an unused mosque, while a “butterfly garden” is just a few steps away. This afternoon, a honey-brown bee is perched on a lily leaf. Atop another flower rests a peepal leaf, which perhaps drifted down from a nearby tree.
The pool used to teem with even more lilies. Though these days, “you only see a handful of flowers here and there,” laments a gardener. He recalls that a new flower variety was made to grow in the pond, a few years back, which reduced the lily population.
No matter. This lovely spot evokes the most tender beauty, even if you spot just a single lily.
Inaugurated in 1968 (even the old stone plaque looks beautiful), the pond’s location is perfect for reading, say, a poetry book. When leaving, pick up one of the many dead tree-leaves lying about in the pool and bring it home. As a dreamy memento from a floating world.
A secretive pool