Monday, September 01, 2008

An Oasis of peace in the concrete jungle !!!

One of the big questions that confronts me every weekend is the issue of how and where to spend quality time outdoors. Till some time, the only apparent place to go was your neighbourhood mall with its usual consituents: a Shoppers Stop or a Pantaloons, the four-six screen multiplex and a food court with its hotch-potch of cuisines. But then, if you want to go a mall on a weekend, you must brace yourself for traffic snarls, non-avaliability of auto's to take you back and of course, dealing with the vast multitude of mankind there. This hardly is the way to spend quality time. The other option is to go to a nearby park which can allow you the freedom and privacy needed. But in Mumbai, most of the open parks were again, either too crowded and dirty or hardly had the kind of amenities that you would want in order to spend a couple of meaningful hours there. But, over the past couple of Sundays, I have been pleasantly surprised to see a couple of good and well-maintained parks, so essential to the well-being of a megapolis and its few million inhabitants.

The previous Sunday, I had been to the privately-maintained garden near Mithibai College at Vile Parle. With a nominal entry fee of Rs 5, one can enjoy good and clean surroundings, a jogging track for the fitness freaks (though on a sunday evening, doing one round of the park without bumping into anyone would qualify as an achievement !!). Add to that ample playing area for children, a seperate section only for senior citizens and sufficient benches for people to relax and chat, and you have a park that has something on offer for everyone. But if that experience was good, then the park that I visited yesterday was even better. This was the Mindspace Garden behind Inorbit Mall at Malad (West). The first thing that impresses you about that park is its size. It is bigger than most parks in Mumbai that I have seen. Then its close proximity to the sea assures a cool breeze at most times as well as a good sunset view. It is also well-maintained and you would be hard-pressed to find garbage around (thankfully, eatables are neither allowed nor sold inside !!). It also has more than ample benches and enclosures for people to sit and relax. And this is not a privately-maintained garden. I gathered that this maintained by the BMC itself and they too, charge only a nominal entry fee of Rs 5. It offers you just about the perfect spot to spent a couple of good hours with your spouse/family/friends. And not to mention, a refreshing alternative to the scores of malls and multiplexes that seem to be every other family's idea of a weekend evening.

Infact, the BMC would do a great service to the citizens of Mumbai if they could have parks like these come up in every suburb. That would really work wonders for the city's health.



Kau said...

Yeah - I am playing blog catchup today ..starting with yours :)
I'll have to take my nephew to one of these gardens ..we are always in search of places like parks and such! Good Tips !

Amit Gokhale said...

Thanks.. have a good time with your nephew.. they are some other decent places also in Mumbai.. its not as bad as we think it to be..