Infused with enthusiasm & glamor provided by the local newspapers, about the ‘Flower Show ‘ in Lal Bagh, I decided to check it out. Lal Bagh as one would know, is a 240 acre lung space in Bangalore, big but insufficient for todays population! The visit did not turn out to a relaxing experience; but on the contrary, it pained my heart to see my Bangalore loose its glory even further. To start with please check the goodness and history of Lal Bagh at Wikipedia.
Before I entered the garden, the surrounding streets were filled with two and four wheelers. There were thousands of them!My awe at the city’s population and their interest in a flower show reached new heights! After paying 20 bucks for the entry, Lal Bagh was found strewn with litter and vendors. Yes! vendors, more than a hundred of them, selling stuff right from popcorn to watches! I never knew that this garden was such a business hub and such vendors were allowed in the park. When I asked a bhel puri vendor, if the security was not driving them away; he said that they security was ‘adjusted’ by them to allow the trade! This indiscriminate sale brought about another feature – waste paper and junk, that were found at the frequency of every meter of garden area. I am not joking here… the green garden was plagued by cut newspapers all over. For this I don’t blame the vendors completely. For one, the visitors should have some basic sensibilities and two, the Lal Bagh administration should provide adequate bins at regular intervals.
This brings us to the pathetic state of affairs of the garden itself. Uncut grass, unmaintained walk ways, water-less ponds and broken structures near the glass house. The administration better pull up its sleeves and get to work, lest it would be taken to task by some angry media or NGO! Further woes for the garden include getting a reputation for beings a showcase for public displays of affection! A friend of mine refuses to go to Lal Bagh due to this!
The administration may claim all things contrary to what I have said here, but I invite each and every one of you to visit the place and check it out yourself! If you plan to do something about it and need a hand do let me know. I have written this out of pain because I still remember playing as a child in this beautiful garden two decades back. Running between the trees and hopping on the stones to cross the pond was the way to do it and not sitting in a buggy and honking at people who are walking!