For all seasons and reasons

For all seasons and reasons

There is a huge park near our house. It is an enormous quadrangle with houses on all four sides. It is, in fact, a landmark for all visitors coming to our colony for the first time.

Over the years, the park has become a hotspot for health conscious residents who walk on the footpath — some slowly, some briskly. The park is well-maintained with Ashoka trees all around which have been evenly chopped to the same height by the gardeners. There are well-manicured hedges of henna along the footpath. There are also swings which are very inviting for children.

The park is especially useful during winters. Recently, hillocks were made for construction workers to lie down and bask in the winter sun during lunch hour. Some residents can be seen lying on the grass using their jackets as pillows with not a care in the world. There are many raised cement seats to enable the elderly to sit and stand with ease. Some men can be seen reclining on these concrete benches napping. Some sit in groups engrossed in a game of cards. Children are spotted whizzing around on skates. At night, the floodlights come alive.

During summers, youngsters put up a net and have volleyball and badminton matches. These matches are well-contested and keenly watched. Some walkers-by sit down and watch attentively with their heads moving from left to right and right to left, following every move. Each point is greeted with a cheer.

During winters, cricket becomes a rage as the boys play the game zealously with complete paraphernalia — from wickets to bats to pads. They fight vociferously for each run. Sometimes, the cricket ball is hit into the foliage and the play is interrupted to search for the elusive ball. The ball is found by one of the boys who shouts with glee and the game resumes. During monsoon, while walking at night, one can hear the nocturnal orchestra of frogs and crickets. When the frogs hop onto the footpath, the children let out a delightful laugh at the novel sight.

There is a Friendship Club, too, consisting of 10 residents who meet every morning, come rain or shine, in the park and astutely discuss political issues of international, national and local interest. Together, they do laughter yoga. Every member takes turns getting tea and a plate of biscuits which they all partake in.

Well-maintained parks are the jewels of the city. They are the necessary lungs spaces for us all in the midst of frenzied urbanisation. Bigger, well-kept green areas are the need of the hour.

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