Play at Parks


 Update for week ended 2 March 2012

Now children’s play parks are quite difficult to find in our large cities…… at least the semi urban and rural areas have open fields and house compounds that give opportunities for children to play – not to say that the rural kids play out more than city kids, but at least they have the parks…. So once in a while, it is heartening to see some effort being put by the city fathers in beautifying the dirt patches by barricading the area, getting fresh top soil, some landscaping and some pathway maintenance…

and then the colourful plastic moulded play-activities – like the omnipresent slide – sometimes a simple straight one or a curvy one. I remember as a kid, I grew up in Central Mumbai where there are the famous Five Gardens and one of the gardens was dedicated to the tots to play – and they had quite an interesting slide – which had 2 metal rockets pointing heavenwards – as though waiting for Sriharikota to start the countdown….. and connected half way at the top with a swinging bridge (almost like the jungle wire bridges like the famous one at Rishikesh). And kids would use the spiral stairs on one end to climb up, emerge at the half way point, then hop their way across, swaying the wire bridge and heading to the spiral slide on the next rocket….. the only danger here was that the entire contraption was made of steel or iron and the slide was covered in shining steel plates that had been riveted together….. weather, elements and naughty and frisky children ensured that the rivets unfastened at places and the steel joints opened up or rusted, posing risky cuts to the kids. So that prompted me to either be careful or even avoid it.

The other common item in these parks is the joyous, but usually broken see saw – which one usually does not see because it exists as a memory of the past – is that why it is called a saw (past tense…)?

And also the famous triangular pyramidical open swings …… which let the kids to go swinging up and down and back and up and down and up…….. and if someone happened to pass through the crowded park at that time, one was at risk of either being banged up by a backing swing or kicked out by the dusty toes of the swinging kids….

Life at D Street is at times also like the rare-to-find children’s parks with its share of slides, swings, seesaws….. and the D Boyz at time reluctantly have to endure it. So if Monday was a slide down of 400 points , then Tuesday was a climb up the stairway… and Wednesday and Thursday were like see saws – one day up while the other down, until the D Boyz took to swinging on Friday to kick some dust and point their toes upwards….. but given the red top soil found in Mumbai ….the D Boyz clothes had lots of red dust – and some cuts from gaping steel plates on slides….. ending the SENSEX down by 287 points at 17636.

But the playground that really amused me as a kid in the Bombay of yore was one on the way to one of its beaches …. The garden had a cement replica of an aeroplane and kids could use a modified gangway to climb aboard and pretend that they were going on a flight…… quite exhilarating for boys like me, as we did not quite fancy living in a large boot or a shoe found at another garden overlooking another beach in the city. Now what is with gardens near beaches…… why these unusual play areas? Any of you have the answers?

Have a nice weekend and try and share with me your Children’s park stories from yoru cities …. Even from Bombay….

Cheers

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