City Hangout – Park Above Palika Bazar, Connaught Place
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The sky is blue and puffed up with white clouds, the grass is lightly wet and people are looking less stressed. Delhi’s strangest and shortest season—from February to March—has begun. Neither virulently hot nor freezing cold, the city loses its familiar harsh tones and pretends to be gentle.
Now is the time for you to soak some sun—while it’s still friendly— in any of the city’s multitude of open spaces. Places like Nehru Park or maybe the sprawling greens of the Purana Quila ruins.
Consider seriously the shopping district of Connaught Place (CP), specifically the park above Palika Bazaar. On this bright and cheerful evening it’s attracting good folks from all walks of life: from families, romantic couples and loners-by-choice to homeless vagabonds.
Young focused folks have turned up to shoot Tik Tok videos, while over there, lovers are eyeing each other across their mobiles and giggling together after every few minutes. Meantime, a music aficionado is avidly listening to Guru Randhawa’s Lagdi Lahore Di, not with earphones but loudly on a radio.
Many revelers have already removed their footwear to fully savour the springtime dampness of the grass. Stray dogs, too, are lolling along the grass somewhat serenely. Chai hawkers are milling about with their thermos flasks and stacks of white plastic glasses.
Additionally, the incessant drone of the traffic rush hour intensifies the fragility of the moment. Just how this island of cathartic serenity not getting drowned in this flood of urban humdrum, you might wonder. In the secluded sanctuary of, say, Buddha Jayanti Park, you might take such a grassy haven for granted. But amid CP’s colonial-era clutter, the precious loveliness peaks up due to the situation’s utmost frailty—especially when one realizes that a similar park across the lane has been long closed to casual visitors.
The only sad sight consists of young children selling toy planes and balloons to more privileged kids of their own age.
Whatever, don’t quit the paradise with the twilight. Lie down flat on the grass and gaze upon the changing shades of the sky before it turns black. What a thrill.