City Walk – Around the Lake, Lodhi Garden
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Perhaps, just perhaps, some sort of Ultimate Truth can be discovered by simply walking around a lake.
So suggested a great American poet.
Who wouldn’t resist putting Wallace Steven’s hypothesis to the test by sauntering around that truly lovely lake in Lodhi Garden?
To be sure, there are preconditions.
For starters, the magic only happens on cold and smoggy evenings. And, the park needs to be relatively empty in order to plunge you straight into melancholy. Yes, sadness.
But, fear not. As you walk around the lake, its comely countenance almost instantly transforms your gloom into a kind of exuberance.
On this chilly evening Lodhi Garden is nearly devoid of visitors and food hawkers, and even its resident dogs and rats. But the moon is here in all its roundness. The remarkable lake itself is lit up in a blaze of orange from glowing lamps. Lily leaves drifting in the languid waters are barely visible, looking more like dark holes that are said to exist in space.
Now an evening walker turns up from nowhere, making the scene somehow less than the perfect dream. But he swiftly disappears, and the solitary spectator is left with a rejuvenated soul. The city of Delhi out there, seems like nothing but a bad dream from which one have so thankfully awakened into this alternate reality. Indeed, you have to make a round about this lake before you quit the city for ever.
On Wallace Stevens’s footsteps