Outside in the fading winter in Gurgaon- Feb 19, 2012

I love winter, despite the extreme discomfort in unheated homes during the 2-3 chilliest sunless weeks of the year. The mellow winter sun, birds, flowers and endless possibilities for outdoor fun make up for the shivering many times over.

After yesterday’s stint at the Tau Devi Lal park in Sec-56, Gurgaon, we were back for more today. This time, the rendezvous was a picnic with the families of Aadyaa’s classmates. A younger kid’s group found us doing a different set of activities- walking, playing, eating (a lot!), chatting and really unwinding; forming bonds, some of which we know will turn into lifelong friendships.

Once again, the vital role that public spaces play in urban life, came to the fore. The park charges Rs 5 per adult entry between 9AM and 5PM to build revenue for its maintenance, and maintained it is. Despite a sizable number of picnickers, there was barely any litter. Of course, the crowds are nothing compared to the hordes that descend on Kalindi Kunj or Buddha Jayanti Park in Delhi; Gurgaon is still a suburban setting with manageable densities of people (ironically that isn’t apparent in the sorry state of infrastructure!). Local villagers and Gurgaon’s urban population are sharing this park amicably and this is a great example for many of us who think these are two different worlds, the collision of which usually ends in disaster!

Once again, I thought of how citizen initiatives can significantly change this city, if we could find a way for the government (in this case, Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon or the MCG) and citizen groups to work together. Here are some shots from today’s picnic, which was just the kind of simple, mindless, relaxed fun holidays that Sundays should entail! Of course, we headed back home and topped the fun of with a satisfying snooze under the razai :)

Walking with the little ones- imagined games and innocent pranks!

Aadyaa

Loads of bonding, sharing, eating...

Kids this age do the darnedest things- roll down a mound of grass, climb trees, form human chains, run around the trees...

Well, the mood was infectious- piggy back rides for the entire class!!

Dekho Ma, gobhi jaisa phool...

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