A walk in the park

After a cup of aromatic coffee at Maiya’s restaurant, the flavor still lingering, I walk along the side streets of Jayanagar. Since the planners laid the foundation in 1948, this community has survived enormous growth and an influx of residents. Small single family homes have been converted to large structures with tall compound walls to keep away burglars.

Amidst the crazy traffic woes and pollution, the old parks of Jayanagar provide a haven, a reminder of the old peaceful city.

Parks in Bangalore become a nature preserve, a recreation center, an outdoor yoga studio, a playground and a place to connect with others and share stories. The parks are particularly a haven for the elderly. Women recovering from knee surgeries, diabetes patients, mothers who couple their salwar-kameez with sneakers, and brisk walkers who check their fitness apps, all coexist in the parks of Jayanagar.

An elderly woman with a smile on her face cuts pieces of grapefruit to share with other walkers, and one woman shares pictures of her grandchild’s birthday celebration. A group of men discuss upcoming trips by their children, discuss politics and share sweets.

With recent thefts and chain snatching incidents, walkers are wary of wearing gold jewelry or carrying cell phones early in the morning. Despite these negatives, people look forward to their gatherings at the parks. A place to make friends, share stories and build relationships with people of all ages.

On a walk to the park in the morning, the highlight is a visit to a nearby restaurant for a quick bite and a hot cup of coffee. Then, on to what the day brings..

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