Thursday, January 18, 2007

lalbagh- old and new recollections

Lalbagh is located at the centre of the town persay. I've known Lalbagh for more than a decade or so. Not too well perhaps. Visiting Lalbagh was a daily practise during childhood. Come vacation, and we used to go there. We used to 'walk' there for an hour or so, followed by breakfast at MTR. The ritual was followed so adamently that i took time to go back to the mundane school schedule.

Now, that i've reached college, Lalbagh has become distant with respect to time. I do visit the place occasionally, on the other hand, father visits the botanical garden everyday.

One reason which made us go there dutifully, was the promised breakfast at MTR. We went there, to savour hot idlis', sambar, masale doses, and kesari bath.

Though i don't remember much of the Lalbagh of my childhood, the trips made in the past few years have been memorable.

During school, M and i used to wake up at six in the morning, leave the house around 6:30 with father, and spend time at Lalbagh till around eight. It is easy as we stay in close proximity to the park, the journey taking about 10 minutes, or even less. Nowadays the time taken is more due the never-ending traffic snarls on Lalbagh Road. The Cedar Avenue, the Chinese-styled garden, the path leading to the tank bund, the tank bund, crossing the tank bund to reach the horticultural lands, made up our routine stretch. People feeding beaten rice to the fish.... crowds accumulating near the small bridge...... breaking our path here and there to observe a kingfisher or a stork, especially near the stagnant pond, provided some us some distraction.

Come, Republic day, or Independace day, the entire family used to visit Lalbagh, with some cousins tagging along. Colourful flowers of various kinds.... various cacti, some huge, some small.... the botanists who exhibited their plants... the hybrid seed companies... abnormal-looking brinjals, tomatos, chillies, pumpkins.... the outdoor decoration team... a small police post.... and of course some refreshment stalls decorated the place. We often bought seedlings, seeds, fertilizers from the stalls. On sighting a Nandini milk parlour, we would hasten our footsteps in that direction, to soothe our parched throats with cold flavoured milk, buying Mysore pak, groundnut chikkies at the same time. All in the name of a biannual flower show.

Various friends were introduced to us, whom father had befriended at Lalbagh. We, till date, recognise them as 'Lalbagh friends', a rather affectionate term. Many a time, litchies were bought, when the fruit was in season.

We grew up, reached college, priorities developed, and those visits diminished in number. I now pay visits to Lalbagh in the evenings. To sit on the seats made of concrete, to enjoy the last moments of a sun-set, to hear birds reaching their homes, to watch a squirrel run by, to watch ducks put their heads into the water attempting to catch a fish....

The place is given a new look, with new beautiful lamp-posts, various paths have been laid with clay tiles making the surface even. Moreover, The Glass House has been renovated to appear trendy. Granite seats have been established near the same. Music programmes are organised at the band-stand every Sunday, which attracts many people. Rose garden, the clock which has statues of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs looks good after some improved maintainence.

I heard that Lalbagh is getting spruced to look it's best for the Republic Day, which is around the corner. Need i say this, i'm waiting eagerly to visit Lalbagh which seems fantastic to one's eyes.


Srik said...

Wonderful narration SK.

But u know what, crowd there is getting maddening year after year. Last time I visited there the Lalbagh friends will never be likeable. Irrespective of trendy looks and good maintenance, people must learn to behave in such public places. On the contrary, people are becoming increasingly annoying in such places. Especially during these bi-annual flower shows.

Lalbagh is dear to all, so I have no complaints on people coming over there for the sheer joy of all the things you've mentioned, but I have my cribble against those who spoil the sacred spirit of the place.

And there are people who come for "Kempu totadalli paarivaala nodalikke...."!!

ooops.. Im acting more like an angry young man...let me stop.
Yes, Laal bagh.. sasya kaashi as it is known to be as, is a wonderful place to spend your free time at. Its a heaven on earth for the botany students and enthusiasts.

Shiv said...


For people like me who are basically not from Bangalore, Lal bagh was once a must-visit place in Blr.To add that touch, in this place,so many of those oldie kannada movie songs were picturised.

First visit was awe..comin from a small town, I had seen a a park which is hardly has naything in it.But this was a world itself.

Then there was my latest visit atleast 4 yrs back.All I saw there was uncontrollable lust-unmentionables.

In between how it has tranformed.

Time !!

mouna said...

illa, you were not sounding like an angry young man. ya, the sanctity of the place is often spoiled, by ignorant people.

howdu, what u say is true. Time can transform anything!

The 'Ekaangi' said...

Often...when talkin abt places such as these...we go flashback to those golden memories, and then suddenly become an angry young man like srik...thats obvious...ppl today are takin for granted that, once they pay the entry fee, the place becomes theirs...

Lunch at MTR and a walk around Lal Bagh...that was what we did, although very rarely coz we stay pretty far frm the place

Someday, in lal-bagh, if i see a girl, sittin on a bench, looking with wide curious eyes, at the birds, the greenery and the people, i'll bet its you !!

mouna said...

one goes back in time when such things are talked about. sighting me at Lalbagh, huh?

Prashanth M said...

Being a non-bangalorean during my school days, Lalbagh used to be must visit place during our vacations...

But, staying here in B'lore for more than 5 years - I've hardly visited some 5-6 times :(

Guess its time to getup early in the morning and go for a walk :)

mouna said...

lalbagh's beautiful in the evening too. i like it at dusk, it's not very crowded during that time.

sureshg said...

Yes Crowd is really bad there. But it's still my favorite place for taking photos! just finished a portfolio on Lalbagh

good article

mouna said...

yes suresh, now that the place has improved, pictures of lalbagh look good.