Appu Ghar: Goodbye To The Joyride

appughar.jpgOne of Delhiā€™s most popular visiting spots and its original amusement park is all set to close its gates. The park which has delighted many with a variety of rides and goodies was supposed to be shut down by the end of this month, but now it will close much before that.

For those who have not followed the case which has been going for quite some time now, let me inform you that this has come as a sudden move. The fact is that Appu Ghar is built on land which was leased from India Trade Promotion Organisation, and the time has come for the land to be handed back. When the announcement of its closing was first made, there was much popular resistance. The International Amusement Ltd had pleaded to the Supreme Court to allow the trendy park to run till all the proceedings of handing back are finalized. However, last Friday, Supreme Court rejected the plea. Thus, Appu Ghar readies itself for its last few days on run, before finally closing its gates.

For a city that once rued the lack of places where families could spend time together, Appu Ghar was a simple remedy. It was not just meant for children; people of all ages equally enjoyed the thrilling rides. It is not easy to forget the countless family afternoons spent in the park or the school picnics in midst of the humdrum of rides.

Though the matter may appear trivial to many, the closing of Appu Ghar which has entertained many for over 25 years is not without a pang. It also reminds one of the legendary Chanakya cinema which shut down in December 2007, leaving behind a host of golden memories of lazy afternoons spent in and around that hall. Appu Ghar and Chanakya cinema are both permanently imprinted in the mind of the Delhite, synonymous with having a good time. Today, when entertainment equals time spent at the latest mall or multiplex, Appu Ghar has strangely retained its charm. Perhaps it was because it simply asked its visitors to let their hair down and to humor the child that exists in all of us. Now that Appu Ghar is taking its last bow, we cannot help but feel a slight pang, a whiff of nostalgia. However, it will be the good times which will live in our memories forever. Even as one waves goodbye, it has been a joyride.

Ipshita Ghosh