City Hangout – Little Amphitheatre, DLF CuberHub, Gurgaon
A passage in the Walled City.
[Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Not that the coronavirus has been forgotten but we citizens have started to re-mingle. And old places to mingle are again desirable. One feels homesick for those open grounds often experienced in hill stations (such as the Flats in Nainital) where tourists gather in the evening and spend the sunset time talking to friends, or looking at the scenery and the crowd.
Such spaces barely exist in big hectic cities. Our evening experience comprises of listening to radio songs (actually RJ chatter!) in the rush-hour traffic. There’s, however, one likeable spot in the Greater Delhi Region where you can watch the time go by, nicely. It’s in the heart of Gurgaon’s commercial super-millennium heart—the small amphitheater in DLF CyberHub.
One evening about a dozen folks were sitting on the steps. Most were in office wear, perhaps they worked in some of these surrounding towers. Gradually they were giving way to the leisurely gentry in smart casuals, who must had been the day-end shoppers or people with plans to dine in the speciality restaurants that litter the place. A couple was sitting in one corner of the amphitheater—his hand was slowly combing through her long black hair, she was smiling quietly. Minutes later, a woman in red dress settled down on the opposite side of the amphitheater, and alone she watched the sky’s pale blue turn to a flaming orange of the twilight hour.
Those of us who spend this time of the day in public parks might have noticed flocks of birds flying together, presumably back home to their nests. Here too you see birds, but each tends to be alone, repeatedly circling the high-rises. Are these birds in search of trees, and of their missing nests, one wonders. And where do they sleep at night? There are no trees to be seen.
In hill stations, such open places lose their magic as soon as the sun sets; tourists retire to restaurants and hotels. But this amphitheater rarely loses its revellers, as it wades into the post-6pm darkness.
PS: A scandal was witnessed here about two weeks ago—a dog entered this pristine scene, walked towards a row of potted plants, lifted his leg… no need to go into further details.