City Walk – Twilight Around the Water, Hauz Khas Lake
A stroll around the huaz.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
These days anything even resembling a pool of water can easily inspire panic among Delhiwallas thanks to dengue mosquitoes.
But December is one of our better months. The mosquitoes are pretty much gone and the lethal smog has more or less petered out.
No better time, then, to indulge in an evening walk around the Hauz Khas lake, near the village in south Delhi bearing the same name (hauz, in fact, means a water reservoir in Urdu).
We’re never disappointed contemplating this lovely lake filling up with twilight as ducks pedal past.
True, the pathway has started becoming a little too crowded, with romantic selfie-clicking couples and restless monkeys, but it also adds to the mood.
The more impressionistic sights are of ram laddu vendors walking around the lake waiting for a customer’s call — one wonders about these men. What are their private lives like?
Nearby, the medieval ruins of Feroze Shah Tughlaq’s tomb are darkening into shadows. We gaze across the lake where leafless plants have sprouted right in the centre, like lonely night-shift guards. A tree stands half-marooned in the water.
The lake’s beauty becomes ethereal as the evening progresses.
We spot four women sitting together and chatting, their backs turned to the lake. Two men jog past, their faces hidden behind anti-pollution masks. Another pair of men is sitting beside the lake, not far from a partially sunken boat.
Now the skies darken and it’s hard to make out anything, a kind of desolation. Until we walk back to our familiar world of traffic jams.