City Nature – Sky Watching, New Moti Bagh
Into the heaven.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Delhi always presents some difficulties.
Such as capturing an unhindered perspective of the sky.
Apartment blocks and bazars partly block any view, while in public gardens the abundance of trees conspires against heavenly sightings.
But, an evening walk in central Delhi’s New Moti Bagh provides a different view altogether.
In this neighbourhood of low-lying bungalows the expansive evening sky is right there, for anybody to behold. This evening puffy clouds are scattered about, like swathes of cotton from an astronaut’s torn pillow that somehow drifted out of the spacecraft. The inaccessible interiors of the sky are suddenly feeling reachable.
New Moti Bagh is essentially a home for senior government officers snug in their bungalows—its wide roads mostly free of intrusive multi-story housing and view-hindering trees, but beautifully lined with fragrant frangipani shrubberies. At last, at least here, the sky is displaying its true scale: An infinity otherwise perceived only on a mountaintop or the seashore.
On this early evening, some of these VIPs are strolling about with their partners, exchanging crisp greetings with each other. Their camaraderie can resemble the contended swagger of privileged citizens belonging to an exclusive club.
Now a plane is passing over, its roar inaudible, looking like an ant diligently crawling in a straight line on the kitchen floor.
Meanwhile, the sun has started to fade majestically as the privileged evening walkers make their way back to pleasant homes and evening meals. The sky is turning ink-blue, and then to total black. No star is to be seen, the emptiness amplifying the majesty of the space.
Do note that New Moti Bagh is a gated community. Try to find a friend or friend’s friend in the neighbourhood who can facilitate your entry past the guards.
A walk into the sky