City Hangout – Public Park, Greater Kailash 2
A lesser known oasis.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Some poet wrote that a true garden is simply made of lights. If so, then this park in Greater Kailash 2 has to be Delhi’s truest garden, at least for the moment.
This afternoon, the sunshine is lashing down like heavy showers upon the tree leaves, turning the dark green of their surface to something soft and translucent. A few leaves have been completely annihilated by the light, their corporeality lost to the glare.
Suddenly, a monsoon cloud blocks the sun. The light vanishes, awarding the visitor a chance to notice the park’s other aspects. Such as its central walkway that flows as straight as a canal in a Persian garden. Since the park rarely gets crowded, you may extract some lone thrill by sashaying down the entire walkway with your eyes closed.
The park, however, doesn’t try hard to give the illusion of an escape. Its four lawns are ringed on three sides by M-Block Market businesses, whose conspicuous hoardings are too distracting to leave the mind to its soliloquy. Nature’s wilderness also stands truncated. The trunks of Ashoka trees are painted in white and ochre; their foliage is severely trimmed, like the closely cropped hair of army jawans. The larger trees though have been left untouched.
The garden’s most startling beauty goes largely unnoticed. Maybe because it lurks in a higher altitude. A tall pillar topped with searchlights stands at the heart of the park. A string of vines descending all the way from the tip. The free fall stops right above the hedges. There, this lacework makes a twist of 90 degrees, and climbs towards an adjacent pole, making a green arch in the air. The sight is magical.
Nearby, on a loopy lane, a lamppost lies tilted towards the ground. Its picturesque slant instantly evokes the lines of an Emily Dickinson poem that urges to “tell all the truth but tell it slant (… for the truth must dazzle gradually, or every man be blind).”
By now, that interfering cloud has drifted away. The park regains its former light to some extent.
Garden of lights