City Hangout – BRICS Rose Garden, Chanakyapuri
The sky above the park.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
A sea surface dotted with clouds—this is what the blue sky looks like these days.
But this view can be experienced only in certain spaces of Delhi, open spaces, unencumbered by trees or monuments, flyovers or towers—such as the BRICS Rose Garden, here in central Delhi’s diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri.
This evening the sky is looking like a placid ocean in which white clouds are floating as languidly as Venetian gondolas. The clear light is stained in places by the golden glow of the setting sun, whose slanting rays are streaming through the cool air and drilling straight into the park’s dewy grass. At such a magical hour, the garden is surprisingly empty, except for a woman sitting alone on a bench, and another woman playing absentmindedly with her red dupatta in another side of the garden. At this very moment one knows for certain that the nearby Nehru Park, so much more famous, must be milling with people.
Silence is an important character of this park. Its presence is intensely felt each time a passing car on the adjacent avenue blows its horn. The sound of the water falling from the many fountains (lit up with pink lamps) further solidifies the quietude.
The park has a circular lawn in the centre. The grass is uneven, making this otherwise tamed space look a tad wild. Roses naturally abound in the rose garden. The poles along the walking track are decked with white roses. Big fat red roses speckle the flower beds. One of the most beautiful sights, however, is of a bench surrounded with flowers that are not roses. It is now taken over by two masked boys. They are chatting, oblivious to the sunset halo setting around the Russian embassy on the other side of the park.
Before leaving, do bow at the grand Pilkhan standing by the gate. It has a thick tall trunk pricked from top to bottom with dozens of straight branches. The tree looks like a god with many arms.
The garden was set up some years ago to mark the summit between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—the BRICS nations. It lies across the road from the India-Africa Friendship Rose Garden.