City Hangout – Back Garden, Safdarjung’s Tomb
Where peace comes dropping slow.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
No sound, but of birds.
This particular garden paradise feels thousands of miles away from Delhi’s chaos though it’s tucked right in the city’s heart as part of Safdarjung’s Tomb, and faces the monument’s rear-end.
That some of our city’s great monuments can be enjoyed exclusively for their gardens isn’t a new idea. But there’s always so much crowd in the touristy Humayun’s Tomb garden complex. And Lodhi Gardens is a networking zone for Delhiites to see and be seen. Very iffy to find a calmly haven in these pretty destinations.
While the beautiful 18th century Safdarjung’s Tomb doesn’t seem to draw very many visitors, except for a few foreign tourists and a handful of young lovers. The place feels remote, which means one can spend an entire day lounging lazily here in the back garden’s solitude. But—not the front gardens please (the small amount of selfie-seekers the monument attracts mostly hang out there).
Sandwiched between the red sandstone edifice and the white flat-roofed Jungle Mahal, the pleasant back garden has only a quiet couple claiming a little space this afternoon. Best is to sit under a tree and perhaps sky-gaze for hours, following the flight of birds or of distant aeroplanes. Sometimes the place becomes so quiet that even the birds cease chirping, making you feel as though you’ve plunged into deep sleep, before being awakened by somebody’s soft laughter or whisper.
In this temporary secession from city life, you might even want to open that book you’ve been planning to read for some time. Or simply continue to lie on the grass savouring the teasing dance between the sunlight and shadows. And feel in harmony with the creation, almost like the narrator in poet WB Yeats’s The Lake Isle of Innisfree where “peace comes dropping slow.”