The good, bad and the ugly

The good, bad and the ugly

An oasis in the midst of a busy metropolis, I stand out like a beacon in a prominent residential area. Picturesque, verdant greenery, lush green lawns and lofty trees abound in my premises. Come evening, branches of these massive trees swing from side to side, playing in the dark lengthening shadows of the night, creating an illusion of spiritual dance.

My day starts early. I am woken up from deep slumber, well before the chimes of the neighbourhood church bells, by the twittering of birds. From the crack of dawn, footfalls increase, and I become a hub of activity when walkers, joggers and fitness freaks of different ages, shapes and sizes come in hordes and throng my pathways and lawns.

Mornings and evenings are a busy time for me, as the ample variety of visitors and their actions keep me highly amused and entertained. Young, brisk and energetic walkers scorn the more generously endowed, huffing and puffing with cumbersome bellies. Some walk vigorously, their arms swinging fiercely as if parading in an army march past. On occasions, tempers run high when slow, dawdling walkers block the way for others. We also have our own desi version of Marilyn Monroe who is the cynosure of many a roving eye.

I consider myself quite broad-minded, yet feel awkward and embarrassed on seeing too much of twining and entwining between an amorous couple. After all, there is a time and place for everything! Some others come in their frilly and flowery nighties, quite oblivious to the need of observing a basic dress code in a public place.

I am also a silent spectator to many a young couple ambling slowly, holding hands in romantic unison. Exchanging coy glances, they try to find a solitary bench. Often, soft hushed whispers give way to heated arguments followed by inconsolable sobbing. Flustered, he walks out, but is back soon with a peace offering to pacify his lady love.

What gives me immense pain, stress and anguish is when I see myself littered with used cups, plates, bottles and leftover food, especially on holidays. A few months back, a flurry of activity occurred when hundreds of plants were brought to beautify and give me a face-lift. A well-intentioned move, but I was upset when these were planted haphazardly, which made me look more like a nursery than a park. I now feel claustrophobic in the mini forest.

Life is not always a bed of roses for me. Vendors at my doorstep contribute to the dirt and squalor in my vicinity. The noise from roaring, silencer-free two wheelers, charging like a hurricane, deafens me. I long for some peace and quiet. My only desire is to be kept neat, clean and well-maintained with plenty of lung space.

For my rejuvenation and longevity, support of the park authorities and my visitors is imperative, else I will just wither away with distress and neglect.