City Walk – A Secret Track , India Gate Grounds
The path less traveled.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Hard to believe. Right in the heart of Delhi you’ll suddenly run into verdant countryside by merely meandering along a secretive pathway few citizens know about.
Of course, you’ll need to find this muddy path in the first place–cutting through the less-visited of the lawns between India Gate and the Presidential Palace. Suddenly there’s tree cover as you walk past a pond filled with weedy life. The twisting branches leaning towards the pond look like dancers frozen in mid-motion.
Otherwise, there’s huge expanses of overgrown grass where a dozen solitary souls casually lounge about, some sound asleep, others sitting as still as ancient exhibits in a museum. We could easily while away an entire afternoon here in the verdant.
Over there’s an elderly gentleman with long white hair underlining passages in a newspaper with the caring diligence of a literary scholar. But, otherwise, you’ll find few souls about, just a few minutes from the great crowds in Central Delhi. Most people gather in the lawns near the India Gate, actually—lot of ice-cream carts over there but barely any peace.
It’s as though this vast green space is all yours. Along with the skies above and lawns below. As though the benevolent Government of India had you in mind all along.
Just keep walking until you finally hit a heavily-trafficked road that cruelly breaks this sweet illusion.
I know this place. A haven of quiet and nature in the very heart of a busy city. I know a place like this in Gurgaon too. It is near my home and I go there often.
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