A Green B’day Party @ Asola Wildlife Sanctuary

In early December Team DBF created an innovative Birthday celebration of the 7-yr old son of one of our friends at Asola Wildlife Sanctuary. Delhi By Foot arranged a certified naturalist to provide an array of information about land and water eco-systems, and also arranged an exciting treasure hunt which left the children both thrilled and happy! The Treasure Hunt with clues based on the information shared during the walk, saw enthusiastic participation from both the children and their parents! Picnic snacks and beverages were available for in-walk refreshments and the event ended with a Cake-cutting ceremony under the shade of leafy trees and a blue sky!

The Naturalist explaining about the water eco-system
The Naturalist explaining about the water eco-system
Informing an avid pack of listeners about the Flora and Fauna of the area
Informing an avid pack of listeners about the Flora and Fauna of the area
A few minutes of break for a snack and drink
A few minutes of break for a snack and healthy beverages
A view from the top - one of the watch towers in the sanctuary
A view from the top – one of the watch towers in the sanctuary
The first clue of the Treasure Hunt being Given
The first clue of the Treasure Hunt being Given
The children make a dash for digging the next clues
The children make a dash for digging out the next clue!!
'Look I found a hidden Clue!!'
‘Eureka! Look I found the hidden Clue!!’
The B'day boy cutting his cake
The B’day boy cutting his cake..
Even the adults had a whale of a time.... picnicking like they had once upon a long back in school...
Even the adults had a whale of a time…. picnicking like they had once upon a long back in school…

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Once upon a time Delhi had Appu Ghar…

Today I came across an article about the progress of the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) plans for the extension of the Indian Supreme Court in Delhi in the area, which once housed Appu Ghar . And nostalgia overtook me…

Do you people remember Appu Ghar? Man!! I can’t even imagine my childhood without one Appu Ghar visit every 3-4 months! The idea of having fun during my school days was picnics, Appu Ghar visits, reading tons of comics and playing a host of outdoor games like ‘chupan-chupaai’ (Hide ‘n’ Seek) and Vish-amrit’ (a touch and you are dead, Tag kinda game)….sadly enough, the current lot of young Dilliwalas would have little or no idea of what I am talking about…..

On reading the article, I rummaged through some of my old picture albums. The pictures and memories that struck me the most were those of dear old “Appu Ghar”. Appu Ghar was an oasis of happiness. The first place that we visited, when school exams got over and our last stop for enjoyment, especially to take along relatives who used to keep visiting us for ‘Dilli Bhraman’ as tourists to Delhi. And come what may, we never missed the opportunity of accompanying them to our land of joy- the Appu Ghar! The Mini Disneyland of Dilliwalas, the eerie tunnel, the bumping cars and the house of horrors frequently and specially during the summer vacations the Oyster Water park! It must have been more than 8 years since I had last visited the place, but its memories are vividly etched in my mind.
Then, the inevitable happened which is a common feature in fast-expanding cities like Delhi, where the old has to make place for new….the Supreme Court Staff’s parking woes forced the Delhi Government in all its wisdom, to close down Delhi’s one and only Children’s Amusement park…

Appu Ghar last opened its gates on February 18, 2008. Almost 5000 people visited the amusement park on that day to bid goodbye!

A new Appu Ghar apparently was to come up in Gurgaon and which will reportedly offer much more than the original one.
However can it ever replace the memories associated with the Appu Ghar of Pragati Maidan! Coz, we Dilliwalas will always miss our mini Disneyland near Pragati Maidan!!!

Where have the sparrows of Delhi gone?

sparrow

UPDATE on 16th Aug 2012: Its quite a coincidence that a few months back I wrote the post below, about the vanishing species of sparrows and today I see that finally the Delhi Government has woken up to the issue of conservation of Sparrows (full report).

I  grew up in Delhi in the 80’s and 90’s, a pair of sparrows would invariably build their nest in a narrow crevice in the wall of our apartment block. They would lay eggs, feed their young ones.  Since the last few months, I am trying to spot sparrows in neighborhoods of Delhi…I have not succeeded in spotting even one nor have I heard their chirping sounds. Pigeons,  Crow, Kites and other  birds are there as usual, but no sparrows to sight, not even in parks with a lot of trees, like Lodhi Gardens in central Delhi. I do not know about other neighborhoods of Delhi. But till two-three years back, I remember these birds flocking our balcony and many living on trees nearby. Now this common house bird is harder to see in the city. Does any one have a clue, where have all sparrows of Delhi DISAPPEARED?

A song from Rockstar movie suits the situation “Oh Nadaan Parindey Ghar aajaa”………..