Friday, February 05, 2010

Memories: Sursagar Lake

Here's some news from Baroda:

- Boating was restarted at Sursagar Lake. And, a near disaster was averted- some of the invitees were getting into a boat, one of them sat too close to the edge and the boat tilted dangerously, followed by the floating ramp on which people were standing, also tilting. Ultimately, two of the councillors fell overboard, but luckily, no-one got hurt. And, the courageous councillors still took a boat ride after the incident, just so that the wrong signals do not go out to people and they avoid boating in the lake.

(Pic courtesy Vadodara's page on FB)

Incidentally, boating was stopped some years back, when a boat had capsized in the Lake due to overloading, and some poor people had lost their lives.

For those who'd like to know more, Sursagar Lake is in the heart of Baroda City. Sur-Sagar stands for 'Seven Wells'- there're seven deep spots in the lake, which are marked so that they're easily visible.

The lake has an awe-inspiring statue of Lord Shiva in the centre(Click the pic to get a better view). The Lake's a source for everything- from the dhobis who use it to wash clothes(I'm not sure whether they still do) and themselves(bathe, I mean..LOL),  to the fishermen who stand at dark corners, catching fish,to being used for Holy Immersions, like at the end of the Ganesh Festival, where Ganesh Idols are immersed in the lake, to young (and middle-aged and old) couples sitting on the ledge which runs all around, just watching the peace of the waters, and the occasional huge turtle which surfaces now and then.There're two temples(One can be seen in the Pic- the Red topped one- that's the Hanuman Temple which has a lot of devotees thronging to it regularly). I believe even the fire brigade people close by, use the water for their machines- to wash (and to fill, too?).

There's also a school behind it, that always remains in my memory, because we had our Xth Board Exams there.Board exams are always held in a different school than the one where you study, even today-why, I never understood...Is it because kids from the same school would always know where to hide the 'kaaplis'(As those scrap pieces of paper/notes were called')- in their classroom, the toilets,et al? Or, is it to have a different environment,etc?)What memories- going first, a day earlier, to check the classroom location and the table where our first tryst with study destiny would take place,  parents coming to drop their kids, waiting patiently on the two-exams-in-a-day days, with a thermos and sandwiches et al for their wards(who, obviously, would be too nervous to think of eating anything). Ahem- I did top in our school in Xth, so that's another nice memory I associate with the school.But, that's a post for some other day.

Unfortunately, the Lake's also been used for wrong purposed, like committing suic*de, since it's pretty deep even at the periphery- I remember at least 3 incidents when I saw bodies being pulled out by the fire brigade. Somehow, the theory of suic*de never seems clear to me-what could cause such a drastic step?

There's also the Uncle Scrooges who always fly their kites from the periphery only upto the centre of the lake, during Uttarayan time- why? Because they do not want anyone else getting their kite or their maanja(thread).

Besides this also, there's so many memories of the place- taking walks round it, standing at the city busstop during school days(even bicycles were luxuries back then) and waiting for the bus to Karelibaug- our standard bus number was GRS 7613-till it was unceremoniously retired as being too old..:)..also, memories of all the eateries that used to be strewn around it- where you'd get the most scrumptious matla kulfi and sugarcane juice.These guys have since been relocated, some to the opposite side, some to other locations in the city, in the bid for beautification, since they used to cause a lot of  mess by leaving their left-overs and rubbish at night, leading to all sorts of illnesses,courtesies flies,mosquitoes,et al.

There's also two of the city's oldest halls right next to it, Prince and Pratap...old but still going strong. And, who can forget the grand ole Nyayamandir, bang opposite- the main Court of Baroda.

Austy, any more memories you can think of, of this grand lake?

I came across this tidbit one today, on a website: Earlier the Sursagar Lake was known as Chandan Talao. The lake was rebuilt with stone banks and masonry in 18th century.(Am not sure how accurate it is)

Ah well, this was one of those 'memory' posts, with not much of my usual humour built in.
Among other interesting things happening around here- the traffic police found a great way to improve traffic in Fatehgunj area- it used to be concentrated max at the roundabout- so they removed the roundabout itself..:) But, I still feel the traffic in this area has increased ten-fold since 2002.
For those who missed their regular laughs, here's some jokes that made me really LOL when I read them first:

Doctor, doctor, I feel very flushed. 
You must have flu. 
No, I walked.
Books: "Fallen Underwear" by Lucy Lastic
Melanie (age 5) asked her Granny how old she was. 
Granny replied she was so old she didn't remember any more. 
Melanie said, "If you don't remember you look in the back of your pant*es. Mine say five to six."

(So cute-the logic of these kids,na- can almost imagine a kid really talking like this to her Granny)
Till next time, cheerio and take care!


Lazy Pineapple said...

yes, I remember the lake. The statue is so beautiful. Towering over the lake.

You brought back wonderful memories of Baroda :)

Arunima said...

want to visit baroda.

Arunima said...

yeah, the joke on the age reminds me of my niece.

Manju said...

The swan boats are so cute ^_^
unfortunately we dont have big lakes for boating over here, bu there's still the ocean :)

shooting star said...

hi amit, im bacckk!!!
was on vacations..though not whole of january though..but u know pre vacation excitement and then post vacations reminiscing took rest of my time....
nice post, if i even visit baroda surely will check out this lake.....and nice jokes..!!! as usual!!!

austere said...

I thought the name was because the famed music college is right opposite?

18th Century, really?

And I didn't know about it being deep either, with my proverbial post- Station snootiness. :)

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