The demise of Appu Ghar

All good things must come to an end and so did the Appu Ghar. The 15.5 acres amusement park is being brought down to be replaced by the Delhi Metro. Appu Ghar maybe no more, but the nostalgic memories of this magical park will last forever.

In the evergreen debate between the Mumbaikars and the Delhiites, Mumbaikars used to score over their counterparts thanks to the presence of the glittering stars of Bollywood and the safety tag of the Island city. Having passed through the phases of living in both the cities, it used to be a tough choice for me. For having grown up in Delhi, my heart was still in the calmness of Delhi, though Mumbai has become my Karma Bhoomi and I shudder at the thought of leaving it. Visiting my previous home has been on the cards for a very long time, but in the tough schedule that a student has to follow, the dream could not materialize. But in all the Metros and the Development plans being executed in the capital, it has lost something which was closest to the heart of its citizens- Appu ghar.

And in the host of management entrance exams that I had been giving, I lost the chance of visiting this place as it opened its gates for the last time on the 18th February, 2008. A feeling of nostalgia overcomes me whenever I think of this place. Even before I visited the Qutab Minar or the India Gate, I had made three round trips to Appu Ghar. And visiting any trade show or exhibition at Pragati Maidan was incomplete if you didn’t flock to Appu Ghar in the evenings.

The house of horrors, the bumping cars, mini Disneyland, the eerie tunnel were the places I used to frequently visit. Those were the days when you didn’t have any worries and could soak in the excitement of the place. It has been more than seven years since I last visited it, but the park is etched in my memory. Away from the commotion and the traffic snarls of the city, it was one place that despite all the noise that the children would be making would offer a sense of calm. America would boast of the Disneyland, but Appu Ghar for its citizens wasn’t far behind.

February 18th, was the last chance for people to say goodbye to this amusement park. As the number of tickets sold touched 5,000 and the timings extended by an extra hour, people flocked from all the parts of the city as well as the outskirts to visit this magical place. Many children who had grown playing here would have got their children to share the same experience. But, there are many of us who missed that last opportunity would lament this miss for a long time to come. But, as they say all good things must come to an end because that is the nature of life.

It seems that the Appu ghar has been shut down for the development of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. The Metro has been a huge boost for Delhi and now it can compete with the like of Mumbai and Kolkatta in offering good commutation means. But whatever the purpose be, was their not a way of building at some other place? Maybe im being a bit irrational for Appu Ghar meant more to me than any other landmark in Delhi.

The place might have been losing its charm, for children nowadays prefer computer games and gaming consoles to a visit to the park. And with malls, supermarkets, gaming centres opening up in all parts of the city, where is the place to have an Amusement Park. Im disappointed that the next generation in my family could not visit this place but hopefully by the time they grow up there would be something better to visit. Appu Ghar may be no more but it will be missed for ever. I don’t really have much to look forward to the next time I visit the capital. And if I were the Supreme Court of India and had to make a choice between the Metro and the Appu Ghar, the choice would have been a fairly straight forward one.

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