The mood in my household became sombre on seeing the news on Page 4 of Today’s The Hindu. It’s a story of Woodlands Drive-in premises being closed down to make way for a botanical garden and research center.
For everyone in our family, the place has had a special spot in our hearts. For my Dad, its a place he remembers going there with my grandfather in the trusty Ambassador Landmaster . Those days, cars were few and it was a place for the privileged to dine in style. For my Mom, it’s a place for her to see her idol, Singer P.B.Srinivas, who is a regular at the restaurant. For my daughters’ its the big swings in the play area, however worn out and unsafe they are. For me, its the oily Chola Bhatura.
However, the area was once a wonderful green space, with dense vegetation. I can imagine well, knowing that on the other side of the road lies the Horticultural Society Garden and its a far better maintained place. A lot more greener place, playing a crucial role in raising saplings.
Ever since the Drive-in was opened in the early 60s, more and more trees have been chopped to make way for the car parking space. Even as a kid, I remember the place used to have a lot more trees.
I’m glad that the Government has taken this bold step to restore an important lung space for the city. I only hope its not a ploy to usurp the 18 acres of prime real estate bang in the middle of the city.
The only reason why heart feels heavy is when I think of the waiters who have been amazingly loyal, some of them for over 30 years, to the place.