City Walk – Golf Links Glimpses, Archbishop Makarios Marg
Far from the madding crowd.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The earthen flower pot is sans the flowers. But it is gigantic, a showpiece worth showing off. This could be a drawing room corner in a 2BHK DDA flat.
But this is actually a pavement in Golf Links Colony. The pot stands around the turning.
The central Delhi neighbourhood is everything that Delhi is not. Broad avenues, wide side paths, placid quietude, and barely anybody out walking, shoving, pushing, running, chatting, swearing, laughing, mumbling, cursing, yelling, pickpocketing, mugging or spitting. Golf Links feels delinked from the city. Trespassing into its bird-filled boulevards fills an outsider with nervousness. It is like being in a five-star hotel lobby — the doorman might approach you any moment, demanding loudly what your business might be in such an exclusive place.
You may, however, opt for a leisurely walk on Archbishop Makarios Marg (Makarios was the first president of Cyprus). It lies outside Golf Links, but runs past its long, eastern border. This way, you uninhibitedly get a sense of the neighbourhood, while saving yourself from the anxiety of having to enter it.
Start from the street’s southernmost point where it takes off from Lodhi Road. This afternoon, there is barely any traffic. The right side of the two-way road is untamed with trees and bushes. The facing side is the object of our voyage — it is speckled with Golf Links bungalows. Each one is huge. Some are aggressively minimalist — sparse, uncluttered, monochromatic, deceptively simple. One house is particularly romantic. Its boundary wall is arrayed out into hundreds of slits, as if they were hundreds of secret spaces to hide love letters. Another house has a remarkably well-preserved blue Ambassador car parked on the roadside.
The kothi that exudes the kindest vibes has a long cane sofa parked outside on the pavement, presumably for the passersby to sit and relax.
Almost all of these residences are excellently maintained. Even so, an outsider might feel a sense of desolation in them — no one is to be seen, except for the uniformed guards at the gate. As if either the people living in these fortresses don’t really exist, or perhaps they are not too inclined to engage with the world outside. Indeed, there’s a bungalow whose gate has a board that says: “No Visitors Allowed Due to Corona.”
The road culminates into Subramania Bharti Marg.
The reserved ‘hood