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An ode to Sukhna

The Tribune 2018-02-13 03:29:06
Nothing compares to good old Sukhna Lake
Gone are the days when the plaza in Sector 17 used to be the heart of the City Beautiful. A large mall has taken its place. Not that the plaza is deserted now but the mall is the new favourite place for people to visit on any given day. However there is one place in Chandigarh which has found no replacement—Sukhna Lake. When Le Corbusier created it 60 years ago, he said that it was for ‘care of the body and spirit’. The lake embodies the spirit and soul of this city as it refuses to die down despite the problems it has faced over the years. Not very long ago, a lot of people were left heartbroken as Sukhna went out of bounds. Out of bounds for them and out of bounds for the numerous winged guests that it receives every year. A catastrophic event; bird flu had spread in 2014 and a drastic step of culling the birds had to be taken up. The culling had a deep impact on every city resident who had grown up watching the ducks swim in the water. For a short period, the lake was completely closed and the ones who had grown accustomed of going for a walk, a jog, practicing yoga, meditation or any form of exercise each and every day were left helpless. Hence, bird lovers and fitness enthusiasts were probably the first ones to realise and experience firsthand that Sukhna Lake cannot be replaced. The more recent scare was last year when Sukhna Lake started drying up. Just like the bird flu episode, this garnered much media attention and wrath of the public. The wrath was more towards the authorities, who were considered to not be serious enough on the issue. However, our Sukhna has once again come out of its own emptiness and is once again in its best possible shape. Every weekend, the traffic on the road outside and the parking lots tell you that it is still one of the favourite places for tourists and residents alike. Over the years, the area at the start of the lake has been increasingly occupied by fast food joints and swings and rides for children. However, the essence of the place has always been about human beings of every age finding solace and joy in one way or another. While families have a gala time, Yaaran Di Toli loves to walk and talk. On the other hand, couples are yet to find a more romantic place in the region. Yet another group of people who do not wish to be noticed but find inspiration at this place are artistes, be it writers, painters or photographers. With ducks and birds once again present in and around Sukhna Lake in great numbers and the water levels strong, here’s a guy born and raised in city, wishing the best for Sukhna.

A vintage wink

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