Delhiwale: The bench of happiness | Latest India News
One of Delhi’s most spellbinding park benches can be found at Lodhi Garden. It’s the one under a dead tree, his back turned towards Sheesh Gumbad’s grave. The leafless branches of the tree sprawled across the bench like the moaning limbs of a grieving person. Decades ago, novelist Anita Desai posed for a photo on this bench – the place has already been featured in these pages.
But another equally beautiful park bench can be found in the so-called Friendship Park, adjacent to Aurobindo Marg in South Delhi. The park is not famous. But it’s a happy bench, and looking at it is enough to cheer up. Its back is also turned to a centuries-old stone monument, Dadi-Poti ka Gumbad. But the tree that stands above it is not a long-dead corpse.
Quite the contrary.
An amalta tree stands behind him, currently in bloom, completely covered in golden yellow flowers. Two gigantic climbing plants of Bougainvillea, dense with pink flowers, complete the picture.
And then there is the imposing monument, bringing a touch of majesty frowning to the extravagant and colorful setting. Indeed, the view is too unreal, almost vulgar in its luxury, like a rich new salon crammed with chandeliers and imported marbles. If an artist had recreated this setting on her canvas, the work might have been dismissed as exaggerated.
Most of the year, the bench enjoys the company of bougainvilleas and the monument only, and it always looks full and pretty. But during the summer months, when the amaltas join in the show, the bench acquires the soul of a fairy tale.
The fact that the rest of the park is ordinary makes this place even more special. As if the bench wasn’t made for the park, but the park was made for the bench and its leafy soul mates. In any case, the bench should be experienced by leaving it empty. No need to sit on it and have your back turned to what makes it all the point.
A few more weeks and the golden flowers will disappear. The bench will then be stained with just the pink bougainvillea. Her special beauty will return after a year. This realization suddenly makes its current aspect less joyful, more fragile and therefore more beautiful.