My third post on Bangalore Memories deals with Cubbon Park, one of the greenest patches of Bangalore.
Cubbon Park, spread over around 250 acres is bordered by Kasturba Road, Kanteerava Stadium, Corporation Circle, Vidhana and Vikasa Soudha and The High Court of Karnataka. In my opinion, each of these places mentioned above probably deserve separate posts because in the course of my stay at Bangalore, I have visited all of these places with the exception of the Vikasa Soudha (which was built when I was back at IIM Indore).
Coming back to Cubbon Park, I still remember the first time I actually visited this place. I was probably 7-8 yrs old and some cousins (or were they second cousins?) were visiting Bangalore. And in those pre-mall/multiplex days, Cubbon Park was one landmark of Bangalore which just had to be in any tourist’s itenerary.
I remember going to Bal Bhavan inside the park, playing around on the swings, see-saws, and riding the toy train there. I also remember monkeying around on the small natural rock formation inside the park.
Later on in life, when I was around 10 yrs old, I joined St Joseph’s Indian High School, which is bang next to Cubbon Park and I had to necessarily pass through the park to get to school for the next 6 years.
It was only then that I got introduced to the eerie Bamboo mini-forest that a part of the park is home to. Now while the Bamboo itself is not an eerie plant/shrub, the fact that it grows in thickets which go on to become around 25-40 ft tall, and the amazingly creepy noise they make when they rub against each other is what make them eerie to me. Just try walking all alone in a mildly dark thicket of Bamboo on a windy/rainy evening and you will know exactly what I am talking about.
The fact that in those days it wasn’t uncommon a sight to see corpses hanging down from some trees in the park also didn’t help matters at all. In fact, I remember 1992-93 being two years when every damn person in Bangalore who committed suicide chose Cubbon Park and more specifically some trees very near the road to perform this ‘life-changing’ deed.
But all the amazing walks in the park with schoolmates, sexy inter-school quizzes at the Bal Bhavan, all the khatta aams and guavas, all the lonely eerie Bamboo moments, all the monkeying around on the rocks, all the in-the-car conversations with Appa during the drive to school (not too many, but the memorable few ones), are some of the things that make the Cubbon Park an amazing memory of Bangalore.