A Paradise Called Five Gardens in Mumbai

A Paradise Called Five Gardens in Mumbai

Monday, Jun 17, 2013, 12:12 IST
The city of dreams, Mumbai has its regular charms and nostalgia attached to it. Having been in Mumbai for 24 years, there are certain memories of the city that flood my mind, whenever something about the city touches my heart. The Five Gardens in Mumbai is one such haven which is very close to my memories and very special in my life.
There are some things in life which become a part of your routine and they creep into your system without your knowing it. These then later on inhabit your thoughts and influence your actions. Many days later, when you sit back and wonder what it is that is making you tick, you come upon a Eureka moment and realize that the reason was there right in front of you, yet you were groping around for replies.
Something similar happened to me, some time back. Overburdened with financial, emotional and personal responsibilities, I was losing out the spark in my life, and had become quite lethargic and reluctant towards life. I was on my way to Parel in Mumbai, when I had to take a detour to avoid the traffic. As I whizzed past the canopy of trees, I suddenly realized I needed to stop. I got down, took my slippers off and ran into the green patch. Memories came flooding in, for I was in Five Gardens, the paradise in this part of the Indian commercial hub Mumbai. I suddenly felt the vacuum in my life filling with a different kind of feeling – freedom, love and trust. I realized gradually that somewhere in the process of growing up , I had forgotten to enjoy the small nuances of my childhood, one of them being playing in the Five Gardens near King’s Circle in Mumbai.
Serene, tranquil, calm, and relaxing, this group of five gardens in this beautiful area lying between King’s Circle and Dadar
is one heavenly experience. With the sights of a stray coconut vendor selling coconuts or a peanut seller trying his best to market his product, these gardens provide  Mumbaiites, with the shelter of perfect mother’s love. There is a certain charm about this place which has an innate sense of oneness, peace and harmony.
Today, my daughter is 20 years, but her childhood has been spent playing in these very gardens. I went to the children’s garden and memories came flooding in as I remembered my toddler trying to swing for the first time. The remaining four gardens are well maintained. It is a wondrous sight to go back to the times when my daughter was just three and used to come down the slide screaming in joy. I used to take off my slippers and walk on the grass and today as I did the same, I realized what I was missing in my life. This feeling of being free, of being oneself and of being liberated is the mainstay of these verdant patches. In fact, even today, if you go to Five Gardens in the morning you would find a group of elderly laughing out aloud and sharing the spirit of laughter in the world. You can see groups of boys and girls sitting on the iron rods that form the barricade for the gardens. Women hurrying down in their sneakers raring to finish their morning walk and get back to daily routine and last but not the least, the lovable domestic pets like dogs and cats being led by their masters with great pride.
Yes, Five Gardens has its own charm. As you edge out of one garden you reach the road to Dadar, there is one which leads to the Parsi Agiary, and the third one leads to the magnificent Parsi Colony and with the graceful J B Vacha Wadia school dominating the academics here, you surely would love to be here and spend your mornings in the most peaceful manner. As you see groups of people sitting and relaxing, the simple delights of being in this place are something really nostalgic, charming, and beautiful. I no longer live in the vicinity of these beautiful green shades, which are ready to pamper you anytime you visit them.
Be it the chatter of the elderly women or the spirits of the elderly men, the sights here are nostalgic and still haunt my mind. See those beautiful white haired elderly ladies  a dupatta casually strung across their chest and a small bag carrying their cell phones and other accessories, and wearing sneakers over salwar kameez, or the equally young elderly men who seem to compete with the rest of the younger ones not only in looks but also in spirits clad in a smart tee and shorts complementing their branded sneakers, or the younger lot laughing and chattering, the benches beckoning all to come , sit and relax under the shades of trees planted years ago, Five Gardens is a one stop paradise for all who come here and for all who have lived in Mumbai since long.
I for one love this group of verdant circles near King’s Circle in Mumbai. Do you?

 

3 comments

  • I lived all my life near five gardens, and throughly enjoyed living there. seeing this article brought back memories.

  • rustomjam@yahoo.com

    The five gardens is in the Parsi Colony……so the statement that a road from five gardens leads to parsi colony is not apt.
    The 5 gardens is many a times tried to be delinked from its maker, Mr Mancherji Joshi who built the colony and 5 gardens..and linked into some politicians fathers/mothers name.
    Recently a controversy crept up when the corporator respinsible for the upkeep of the area wanted 10 crores for doing up the 5 gardens whilst the roads in parsi colony detoriate every day and garbage piled up in a corner inspite the residents shouting hoarse about the same…When the residents objected to corporator changing the scanario of the 5 gardens, she in a leading newspaper said that the gardens did not belong to any community and a community wants to hijack the process… Well the gardens are not the property of the parsi community…yet it was given to the BMC by the community just like 14 other gardens in the vicinity. The state of 5 gardens on a sunday evening is awfull…littered with plastic bags and paper cups as there is a meeting held there in the evening…and the BMC does not do anything about it….
    A garden next to five ggardens named panchgani garden..was lish with grass a decade ago…today not a blade of grass stannds there due BMC functioning!!!! and late at night ypungsters from outside the colony make it a ‘ drinking adda’… There is a water tank under the ground made by the Parsi buildesr of the colon forseeing a solution to a drought…dont know if the BMC has ever bothered about it..or even closed it due to apathy….
    Another corporater wanted to name the mancherji joshi five gardens in his father’s name….

    • D. Sukumar, Hindu Colony, Dadar

      It is true that the 5 gardens doesnt belong to any community, but it has to be admitted that, but for the alertness and alacrity of some of the the Parsee residents and some activists groups, the five gardens would have gone to the dogs decades ago. The Parsee Colony( Mancherji Joshi Colony) is synonymous with 5 gardens and is probably one of the oldest land marks of Mumbai. But for the sense of belonging and possessiveness of the local residents and some of the visitors like the ones who have responded to this article, the 5 gardens would have long been renamed after some unknown freedom fighter or politician and lost its heritage stature.

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