Owing to the choking atmosphere of city life, public parks and gardens have become an indispensable necessity of a modern city. They are verily the lungs of big cities. They provide fresh air for the citizens.
They also provide an open space for games and recreation. In hot countries like India, they are a great blessing. People welcome the cool breeze which are usually shut out by lofty buildings and narrow streets.
I go to the big public park in our city every evening. The scene is one of pleasing animation. The children are the happiest of all. They run and shout and play to their hearts content. Young people come for rest and gossip.
Old men take their usual walk, some walk briskly; others trudge along slowly, almost as if it were a painful duty. A few sit on benches, under shady trees, quietly discussing the social and political problems of the day.
There are babies in perambulators or push-chairs and toddlers escorted by attendants. They waddle about on the lawns, or swing on the bars, or climb up and slip down the slides put up for the purpose. They run about and feel life in every limb.
The fair sex also does not go unrepresented. Here a couple of youthful girls in graceful sarees are enjoying a heart to heart talk, there some elderly ladies are exchanging notes as to their domestic affairs. All day the women have been busy doing their household duties, cooped up in their homes, which for the most part are not homes, but only pigeon holes. In the evening, they enjoy the fresh crisp evening breeze and feel its tonic effect for a while. It is for them a luxury.
The park has a small hill. People enjoy climbs on it. There are several small tanks full of fish of variegated colours. There is a small lake with water birds be sporting themselves in it. There are enclosures in which rabbits and guinea pigs run in and out through artificial tunnels or tumble over make-believe hillocks. They are a great attraction for toddlers and children.
There is a swimming tank which is full of life in summer. I daily enjoy a dip and a swim in it. It gives me a new life. There are several clubs in the park. The members play tennis, badminton or basket ball. I am also a member of the Municipal Employees’ club. We play tennis every evening and have our weekly meetings here.
Entertainment and business activities also are not lacking. Here an old man is telling stories and amusing a group of young boys and girls; there a blind singer is entertaining a small crowd. Here a beggar in rags is stretching out his hand for a little charity; there a palmist is unfolding the destiny of a chance client. Hawkers of all sorts are carrying on a roaring trade.
Some are selling parched and spiced gram, others are selling ice-cream and still others fruit or sweets of all kinds. They are patronized by ladies and children. There is a great hustle and bustle everywhere especially on Sundays and other holidays. The scene everywhere is highly interesting and colourful. It seems as if the whole city were out.