Disclaimer: 30% of the post is in Kannada, so kindly adjusht. I have translated in English (literally) for non-kannadigas, aint me sweet?
There is a park very close to where I stay. Exactly six and a half (6 ½) steps away from my place. Or maybe seven (7). It’s an old one. When I say old, I mean O-L-D. It has always been called “the Park” by all of us. As you can see we aren’t a creative bunch of people. Our lives, I mean the lives of everyone (almost everyone) living in our area, are somehow connected to The Park. You could say that if, God forbid, BBMP decides to demolish the park, the officials are bound to face some angry saree clad aunties/ajjis* and panche** clad thathas*** protesting in front of the park with a flask filled with strong coffee right next to them.
I can demonstrate how important The Park is -
“Park tarkaari-yammana hatra hogi kottambri soppu togonD baa”
(Go to that park vegetable seller (female) and get off coriander leaves)
“chapli holskobekaa? Banni, ille park hatra obba idaane"
(you wanting hawai chappal fixing? Lets go to our park cobbler)
“accident-aa? Park yedrugaa?”
(all accidents tend to happen near/next to/in front of The Park)
“Lo Mahesha, park hatra hogi Bajji tinnoNa baaro”
(Hi there Mahesha, come lets have hot hot potato bajji’s next to the park).
So on and so forth. You get the picture.
No? I can explain. The above examples don’t really give you a picture of what’s inside the park isn’t it? My bad. Will try again.
A couple of year’s back this park was not-so-world-famous-in-Malleshwaram. Many people didn’t know about its existence, except of course for the residents of our area. Till recently, my previous firm’s cab drivers wondered if I had visions when I’d ask them to wait near The Park. “Park-aa? Yellide madam?” (you say park? Are you out of your mind?). Once in the cab I would glower at the cab driver thinking how the hell he can miss this lovely park. One day, after thinking exactly for one and half minutes (1 ½ minutes), I knew the answer.
The Park was maintained just like any other BBMP parks. No maintenance what so ever.
As a little adorable kid I remember coming to the park with my Mom and sister (note: fuzzy memory). Mom would let us play for sometime inside the park, tell us stories and then we’d leave before 6 PM. The Park, after 6 PM would be filled with drunkards and shady men smoking beedis & cigarettes. So like all good kids we would follow mom and once back at home the two of us played war games. Not really. My sister would do her homework and I’d just watch her (I was a toddler and a toddler has a choice not to study).
After few years the park was given a make over. Workers cleared congress giDa**** , shrubs and weeds; put more stone benches and built a path. We were very happy to find a path to walk. By then I was a big girl (around 11 years old). Along with my neighbors, I would walk for sometime and exercise (err OK you may laugh. pffftt) and leave before 6 (coz of the said reason). The Park was looked after by a man whose name was prefixed with ‘Lazy bugga’. He moved around the park like a zombie.
Our beloved Park started deteriorating all over again.
The next stage came in early 2000 when they once again cleared gida etc and appointed a new
OK stop! Where am I heading with all this nonsense you might wanna know? Yes, I shall come to that. After the entire make-over (over the years), we now have a very chic park. Aunties, uncles, Ajjis and thathas have a laughing club. Kids are back! Bless them. They play inside the park. There is one all woman’s group. These women sit and talk about yoga, diabetes, weddings, Obama, Amerikaaa -you can hear conversations such as “My son working in US no, so will go there next month to look after grandchildren and this time Subba***** has promised a visit to Niagra falls.. teehee” or “Moole mane Radhamma avra magaLa madve gottaaitante? Ade ri same-u, louv marriage-u” (heard corner house Radhamma’s daughter has found handy husband at pInfy matrimonial service?) -and other serious stuff.
The latest addition to this wonderful park is a fountain! Yes *punching air*.. Those of you who wanna visit this tourist destination can contact me. Please take a look at our new ‘amusement’ park. I know the photography isn't praise worthy, ahem, still...
(picture courtesy: my sister's Nokia phone).
** white colored sarong worn by men
**** Parthenium weed
*****I am not going to explain