hoax | Cubbon Park Is Still A Charming Getaway

Cubbon Park Is Still A Charming Getaway


On many an evening we would drive to the park for a cotton candy or bhutta and to give the kids some rides and thrills in their play area. For a while there were Sunday concerts on offer too which we could enjoy at the bandstand.

Cubbon Park has been a place to visit and enjoy throughout my life, and each of my six decades evokes different memories and experiences of happy times spent there.
As a little girl on summer holiday at my grandparents’ home on Grant Road, now renamed Vittal Mallya Road, walking across with siblings and cousins every morning to play in the park for a few hours was a regular feature. The Bamboo Grove lay amidst a wealth of rocks one could scramble over, and stagnant pools gave scope to trap tadpoles or sail empty silk cotton pod ‘boats’ that fell in plenty to the ground. Tapping rubber and rolling it over a stone to make a ball was another thrill. And if the ball was somewhat round and bounced, that was an achievement.
During our early teens, we explored the park a bit more, learning to ride bicycles and climb up trees to knock off their green mangoes, kirks, guavas and tamarind. We would play ‘hide’ n’ seek, ‘twos and threes,’ ‘holly colly’ and even ‘gilli dandu’ or perhaps ‘seven tiles.’ Boys became more polite and tolerant of the girls as we grew older. They were even quite eager to give the fair sex a spin on the front crossbars of their bicycles.
Enter our twenties and Cubbon Park suddenly turned into paradise, offering us undisturbed little cosy nooks for romantic rendevous. Early morning scooter rides would take us to the KSTDC restaurant near the Central Library, for a sumptuous South Indian breakfast. Easily organized picnics became the order of the day, and as marriage and parenthood took over in the next decades, gangs of us families and friends who lived in Fraser Town, would take off with homemade fare for lunch and tea, to spend an afternoon in a quiet shady spot. The older folks merited the benches and the rest sprawled out on bamboo mats on the ground. Energetic games like French Cricket and Throwball would occur post lunch and then a laze would give place to Dumb Charades, Coffee Potting and Housie. The kids of course would indulge in the delights we enjoyed when we were their age. We would carry a guitar, make our own music and create our own fun.
I do remember once riding my scooter on a lunch break from my job at Bank of Baroda, KG Road, to watch a bit of the Davis Cup match at the KSLTA stadium in this park. With the thrill of watching greats and handsomes like Premjit Lal, Jaideep Mukherjee and Ramanathan Krishnan in action, I forgot the passing afternoon, and realized it was beyond bank closing time before I rushed back and begged my boss to forgive me for my truancy.
On many an evening we would drive to the park for a cotton candy or bhutta and to give the kids some rides and thrills in their play area. For a while there were Sunday concerts on offer too which we could enjoy at the bandstand.
Nowadays I still sneak an occasional Sunday afternoon drive to an area beyond the Press Club, where my favourite pani-puri-and-kulfi man hangs out. Recently four of us at a loose end on a Sunday morning, enjoyed an impromptu mini picnic there, with some beer and biryani.
We so enjoyed the peace and quiet, the shade and the relaxation from our frenzied pace of life, that we vowed to revive the larger family picnics of the old days.
Though we are now the senior-most generation, we are still game for a go.