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Sunday, 17 February 2008

CITY GUIDE - Sun finally sets on Appu Ghar

There is something about feeling nostalgic which makes you want to turn back the needles of the clock.

This is the feeling I experienced when sitting thousands of kilometers away from Delhi in my in-laws home in Trivandrum, I saw a news flash across a channel saying Appu Ghar’s last day.

As the channel started showing images of one the most popular amusement parks in Delhi, I suddenly found my mind rolling back the years of my childhood, of which Appu Ghar was such a huge part.

The tug in my heart was so huge that I just couldn’t help penning down my thoughts.

Today, Delhi might be bustling with several other and probably even better amusement parks, but for many of us little ones, the big fat Appu in Gate No 9 of Pragati Maidan was the only source of entertainment and fun.

Many times Sunday outings meant one full tiring day at Appu Ghar when my parents would be busy clicking pictures of me on the swings.

Of course a trip to Appu would be a must if any of my cousins would land up from any part of the country.

Today, its unthinkable how would we spend a whole day in the crazy heat of May and June running around the swings.

But when I remember the umpteen photos I have on the swings of Appu Ghar, my gleeful little face in the picture says it all.

Even after I grew up a little beyond the age of playing on the swings, trips to Appu Ghar never stopped. I became a little choosy though.

How can I forget the blinding headache I developed after a ride on My Fair Lady or the horrible vomitings I had after two minutes on Appu Columbus?

So as I grew up, these two rides were banned for me.

I was always a water fan so I clearly remember my excitement when a new water swing called Splash was introduced in Appu Ghar.

If left to me, I would only ride that swing ignoring all the others!

It was much later that a water park came up in Appu Ghar, by then I was too old to visit it!

I remember feeling a little jealous when I was told that Appu Ghar is nothing in comparison to the Essel World of Bombay.

Well, I did go to visit it. But it turned out to be so huge and so complicated for a child like me, I preferred to stay loyal to my good old Appu.

The school picnics to Appu Ghar always used to be big events. But today I really pity the teachers who would take us to.

Groups of unmanageable and overexcited children running all around the complex would have been a nightmare.

For me, Delhi is not the same without Appu Ghar even though I haven’t visited it for several years.

I know that I will never be able to click pictures of my children on the slides of Appu Ghar.

For them of course, there will be many other amusement parks but for me, it will always be Appu Ghar.

Even though my hair has not yet started graying, Delhi today is no more how I grew up in it.

There might be plush multiplexes but there is no Chanakya Cinema today.

There might be a Metro rail taking you to the Delhi University but the Mall road no more looks the same without the hundreds of students waiting on the bus stop … Well, I guess this is what nostalgia is all about.

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