A humid, overcast September afternoon. The impending rains fuel the end of the weekend lethargy, and make buzzing, predatory circles inside my head. An equally wearied husband comes and says, "May be we should go out." And that settles it. We head towards the Lotus Pond, a place that had been on our minds ever since the days have become cooler and the sun a tad friendlier. A man-made pond, surrounded by a kilometer and half of walking area, the park is a lush green palette in the middle of the screechy, sooty cityscape. Well maintained and easily accessible, if one forgets the mean mosquito rampage, there is a diverse beauty in the park's chaotic wilderness - bamboo groves, colorful reeds, wildflowers, rock formations, and myriad water birds are just some to name a few.
As soon as one gets on the winding, reed-lined path, "Bow down to nature" commands an old tree and actually makes you do so! The late afternoon light paints a surreal picture of the pond, highlighting the pink glow of the lotus against a backdrop of muted blue-green. The carpet of beautiful leaves spread here and there, some dry and shriveled, give one the impression of a pond-upon-pond palimpsest. More than the dreamy lotuses, I am in love with these leaves and try to capture them greedily from every which way possible. However, more drama, more illusion beckon. A wooded path leads to more flowers, more charm. Dragonflies galore, and with their skittering wings of red and rust, the air is abuzz with flickering sparks. A pair of squabbling cormorants, carefully avoiding each other's eyes. The colorful melange of the pink and white bougainvilleas punctuated by stray bamboo groves. Soon, dusk falls and the twilight veils the pond in a magical hue. The lotus leaves turn a somber dark green and my heart moves back to them. Pearly water droplets slither and dance on their waxy bodies before finally calling it a day. An elfin, enchanting world.