Lift You
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Lift You

Chandigarh — The City of Wellbeing

An ode to my homecity

From the lovely Yaoyao Ma van as

Within the embroidered patchwork of cities I have seen

In all the years my family has moved around

Counting every place we crossed state-borders to live in

I never discovered a city as beautiful as Chandigarh.

It is an outlier in my haphazard, homely nation

A little island of order and wellbeing

Like a golden petaled rose sown in history’s winter

Rising into the daylight through careful precision

The fruits of prosperity it bears still sweeten life

For everyone who finds a home in this city.

Beyond the evenly sliced sectors & green roundabouts

The fresh breeze & lush trees laden with amaltaas buds

Beyond the sunlit shores of Sukhna lake

And the winding stone-cut alleys of Rock Garden

Beyond the fame of Asia’s biggest Rose Garden

And everything else newspapers have told you about my city

I will tell you more about Chandigarh’s hidden secrets

The ones I saw for myself as I cycled the city to explore.

Now most things in Chandigarh look unassuming

Modest, efficient and neat looking

Government buildings are made with apple-red bricks

And there are countless quadrants of independent family homes

You cannot cross a corner without hitting a children’s park

It’s usually sprinked with chips & ice-cream wrappers from a little Verka shop.

As an imaginary traveller going by

Cycling through the canopy shaded bike trails of Chandigarh

Seeing the clean quietude, safety and wellbeing

You might mistake my city for being a little boring.

So here is what you haven’t heard of yet.

There is a new LED lit, underground tunnel in Rose Garden

It is lined with rows of paintings & a pavilion with a dolphin scuplture

You might see every sort of artist lurking there

Skateboarders, reel-makers, college kids with guitars

Freestyle dancers, terrible karaoke singers

And even skaters glide along those sleek dark floors.

Behind the Rose Garden as well

There is a small arts-council called the Kala Bhavan

They once flew in a child prodigy and a NASA scientist there

For a Ted Talk for school children that I went to.

And even now if you come across their building

Each evening you will often see

Panicky theatre-nerds pacing the grounds with papers

Busy writing new scripts to put into production

If they get lucky enough to perform upon

The stage of the city’s largest and most historic theatre.

This one is named after my favourite scribbler actually

Indeed it is none other than Rabindranath Tagore

But on the subject of his theatre, let me tell you

Some general good advice

You’ll find various free programs that the Government

On cultural affairs often takes care to organise.

I mean classical dances, musical concerts and plays.

They even call international dance troops & wonderful comedians

Spiritual speakers & Padma Bhushan awarded musicians

Isn’t it mind blowing you can watch all that for free?

I also know that everyone has heard of Elante Mall

Complete with shops, game-zones and PVR cinemas

Consumerism, couples, yada yada

So once more I will tell you about something less heard of.

The more beautiful sight to see is the one

You will find at the east end of Sukhna lake

A grand and massive snowy statue of Buddha rests there

It is crowned centremost in the Garden of Silence.

Let us tred lightly on the flight of stairs down the lake

There is the Chandigarh Golf Range to see

The city’s golf course takes pride to many international golfing champions

And it has many amazing up-coming children as well.

Go along a few sectors and you will hit a cacophony

Of Sector 8’s delicious street-food markets & aroma scented cake shops

Also let us not forget the time honoured Sector 17

It is an immense stadium’s worth of shopping grounds

But my favourite place there is the English Book Shop

With beautifully laid out shelves in every book genre imaginable

Their bright spectrum is genuinely enough to make

Any self-respecting bookworm weep.

There is also the famous Punjab University to see

Though that place is really like a small city instead of a campus.

But I go to MCM college and it is simply heartwarming

And any city is so much more beautiful

In the warm & light filled company of your friends.

I’m sure that I am still forgetting much

People who have lived here for decades will tell you more.

Now I have spent only three springs here

But it seems like the city has changed my life forever.

In its safety, natural beauty and quiet magic

There is always a secret spot just around the corner to discover

A miracle a mile, it seems to me

For the charm and grace Chandigarh enables

I can never repay this city

I do adore it so

And by now, dear reader

I hope I made you love my home a little more.



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Vandini Sharma

Vandini Sharma

20 year old awarded & published 🇮🇳 writer. I write soulful, creative & lighthearted stories intended to inspire!✒AP, Forbes, HT & 50+ global credits.💖