Wednesday, September 2, 2020


It  was the Summer of 1963 . Being a Sunday,we three siblings aged 4,9, and 11 together with 3-4 other boys of the neighbourhood, made a programme to visit the mini Zoo near Raj Niwas at Chaura  Maidan . Raj Niwas is now the Peterhof  Hotel and mini Zoo is the Bird Sanctuary.  The said was within the walking distance coverable in half an hour or at the most 45 minutes at a very  leisurely pace, so parents granted permission easily. We went there, looked and moved around and enjoyed the sight of caged Tiger, Bear, swimming ducks and other assorted birds. 

This over,someone in the group suggested to go further to Tuti Kandi Zoo that was larger in area and presumably  had  many more animals .

Without giving a  second  thought we headed towards the destination that we had not gone to earlier. The visit , to me appeared not worth as unlike the mini Zoo, this bigger zoo seemed asymmetric and not properly kept or laid out. The only discerning feature was the wired fence all around .It took much time there also and we started back journey. It was about to get dark when we reached home, unmindful of the worry and the torment that we had caused to our parents. I do not know how the parents of  neighbouring took it , but our father had moved out naturally on foot  enquiring and looking for us. Anyways, he came back utterly sad and dejected ,only feeling relieved that we were back. Full of emotions, it took him quite some time to recover his speech. For the first time we saw the emotional side of him. Otherwise he was not given to outward show of emotion or affection although alive to all our legitimate demand. There was no reproach or reprimand as perhaps the parents had seen and gauged the sense of guilt in our eyes. The so called  adventure turned sour.

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