Chandigarh: A Garden? Or a junk house?
As we drove into this planned city (by architect Le Corbusier) I looked for the aha moment knowing it was the 1st planned city in the country et al. That feeling eluded me. My first impressions were army, cantonment, green, wide roads, lack of traffic, clean, lots of trees, lots of big cars (hmmm capitalist city). As we drove further inwards into the city we realized ‘planned’ was a bit confusing! Localities and markets looked identical! And everybody asked for a sector number-I mean is that enough to find an address?!
To be fair to Chandigarh the traffic is disciplined, nobody jumps lights or parks at zebra crossings. The city has many parks, rose gardens, (the University itself has one) the famous rock garden, lakes, making quality of life distinctly a cut above the rest of the country. Wow I wonder aloud ‘is this Hamara Bharat mahan’ Why does Bombay suck so:(
Talking about the famous(?) rock gardens many consider it to be a marvel, a great work of art, very well designed and fits into the surroundings of "the best planned city in India". I must admit that I was at sea in my lack of appreciation - I was stunned at the rubbish they call art! Agreed modern art is beyond me, it has many expressions most of which I do not understand, the rock garden certainly falls in that criteria – it was a concrete monstrosity, a park made up of debris with the mandatory water fall. Such a deflation for such high expectations! Wham went the aha moment!
My summary of this planned city- it lacks soul! Nothing stood out for me. No no I’d be lying the air is fresh, one sees a cleaner environment, sexy roads to drive on, no rush or peak hour, buzzing sector 22, inadequate (good or bad?) public transport, BUT it still lacks soul! I simply could not connect with Chandigarh! Thank God for the extended family I visited, it took the edge off the bite for me. Good food, family gossip, met the cousins etc – 2days were enough time spent to get back on the road on way to Delhi!
Posted by Mee at 23:15