Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Patna Zoo, Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udyaan

This time when I was at home I joined my mom for the morning walks to Patna Zoo. I remember going there with my Papa and Bhaiya when I was ten years old. I had many recollections from the last trip and I wanted to reconfirm those places, structures and moments. There is no fee for the people till 8o' clock in the morning. So, the crowd gathered there was in good numbers to fill up their lungs with the air that doesn't loom around their homes anymore. Age and social status didn't have a barrier here. There were elderly and young ones; people in sports shoes and people in rubber slippers; people in kurta-lungi and people in shorts; people gathered in friend circles, families and a few all alone; people with ipods and people with cell phones blaring music for others, people with conversations on politics, sports and people with conversations on their job, domestic situations etc. In short, in that Zoo there were all breed of the social animals present. 

The Zoo covers 153 acres of land and the path laid through these acres meanders through animal cages, pond, muddy roads etc. and one memory that has been intact for many years. My eyes were searching through all the tress around to that one memory but before that I met the lazying Rhinos, Giraffes munching on the wet tree leaves and Sambar deer sitting indifferent to the spectators around. 

The elephants were too shy to come out but I remember seeing them close enough as a kid. Although, often the memories from childhood of a space or an object makes them appear big to you and when put in the same situation years later you feel that someone has shrunk the whole space/object down. 

Moving on, I took some off track routes though the trees. It was spring season and the trees were in the process of regaining the leaves. By summer, this whole area would be enveloped with green waiting for the monsoon showers. 

Soon after, the pond was visible. I remembered going for a boat ride here as a kid, you had to pedal the boat with your legs. Being the youngest I was privileged to just sit and enjoy the ride while Papa and Bhaiya were sweating on it. Now, there were only a few abandoned boats left around to notice. 

And then came the moment I was waiting for. Near the pond their was a Treehouse. It was in the corner of my head vividly and meeting that sight once again reassured me in some ways. I wanted to go up and look into it but a free visitor in the Zoo should know his limitations. But, I surely did imagine myself being in those rooms and the view the tiny windows would give.

Then came the Toy Train. I didn't get into it during my last trip but this time I observed it closely. It has mini stations planted and the half metre wide tracks run through all the corners of the Zoo. 

I was reaching the end of the Zoo and there were only bird cages left to see on the way. The place seemed to be in dire need of new signage system. The existing ones had become a prank space for the visitors and as a whole it lacked its purpose to guide you. 

My camera film roll was also ticking close and I managed to get these two pictures in the end. This place was locked and no one was allowed to go in it. But, it wasn't difficult to guess what creature were there in those rooms.

The good forty minute walk had come to an end. I had seen what I lingered to visit for so long and the camera roll was rewinding too. With my memories reaffirmed after 14 years I knew from where this love for tree houses started.


  1. I pat on my back for coaxing you to join me on these walks, without which how come such a nice story of the remnants of the past mingled with the vibrant strokes of the present! I could feel the vibes of your sheer delight at spotting your cherished tree house-which had captured your childhood fancy.It was a treat for me to have your company and reading this story has given me immense pleasure. In the next trip we will see the welcome of monsoon here.

  2. I like the part about everything appearing smaller now as compared to how things appear when you're a kid. Nice colours in the pictures! ... and the part about signage very true.

  3. and you have captured the morning mood well

  4. this post of yours makes me want to go back home and be small and grow up all over again.

    (and yes now i know where your blog title comes from)