Paradise regained at Priyadarshini Park

Unknown | Abha Srivastava | Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004

In the heart of South Mumbai, there lies a vast expanse of resplendent scenery - the Priyadarshini Park (popularly known as PDP) at Napean Sea Road. A haven for the stressed out, burnt out, average South Mumbaiite. The park - a garden and sports’ centre - is 20 acres of stimulating sun, sea and wind.

People from the Japanese, American and Russian consulates to underprivileged  - children frequent PDP.

On most mornings, it reverberates with the sound of infectious laughter, thanks to the :laughter Club. But then, it’s not all fun and games. In a quiet corner, a large group of Art of Living followers can be seem indulging in their breathing technique that eliminates stress.

Says AD Singh, a partner at the Bowling Co, Olive and Susie Wong and a resident of Warden Road, “It’s great to have a green lung like PDP in this area.” He has been going there for the last 10 years, not just for a jog but also to play football. He is a part of a team called Kickbutt, that plays there four times a week. Thanks to an NGO - the Magic Bus - underprivileged children also have a free run of the park. The organisation has formed a rugby team that includes these kids. Says Mathew Spacey, whose baby is the Magic Bus, “The park is great and these children can play here for free.”

The park is also a much sought-after venue for school picnics and functions and film shots. Says actor Rahul Khanna, a Malabar Hill resident,  “I jog at PDP in the evenings, It’s less crowded at that time. It’s interesting to see all the training camps in session. And at times I have to dodge budding athletes and dogs!”

The urban yuppie, the middle-aged office goer, the underprivileged child and the senior citizen - they’ve all found a place here. That then, is Priyadarshini Park, South Mumbai’s copyrighted paradise.

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