Kamal Park: Underneath the Arching Gulmohar
Snuggled within the confines of the cozy, self-contained residential Al-Hamra Society is the positively precious Kamal Park. Frequented almost exclusively by the residents of the area, Kamal Park serves as a lovely evening excursion for small families.
The road leading to the park is shaded from the sun by trees; wondrous magnolias, blazing orange gulmohars, and horticultural hedges – a friendly contribution by the house owners in the vicinity. These trees – the Gulmohar in particular – attract migratory birds due to their vibrant, fiery leaves. A well-timed visit to the park can yield in a very serendipitous interaction with tiny, hummingbirds. If you’re lucky you might come across a wondrous bird of paradise!
Frequent visitors know that each area is, by custom, set for a separate segment of the populace. At one end of the premises is a community mosque. Separating the grassy play-and-family areas from the mosque is a net-fenced small pitch of sorts, which doubles as both a cricket pitch and impromptu futsal court for the lads of the area. For the sporty ones – try visiting between 4 pm and 7 pm on a weekend.
The grassy lawns are very well maintained. Encircled by a narrow red-brick walking track, the air is laden with the fragrance of jasmine flowers, growing sporadically in the shrubbery. A massive concrete circular slide serves as the prime attraction for kids. The smooth, frictionless slide down the winding, slightly alarming slide is an experience even an adult can enjoy. The rickety swing set next to the slide has been this way for over a decade. It’s safe and sound! The park goats (yes, goats) just recently birthed a fine litter. The young ones are curious and incredibly friendly to the well-intending passerby.
A fair warning: this park is primarily a family park. That means no secret park date. The residents are very hospitable and the fresh-cut French fries from the neighboring Ali Store are a sure must for the visitor!
Final verdict: a perfect, quaint escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Its serene vibe detracts from the noise and the only sound often heard is the rustling of the plants in the wind. Visit after 5 pm, since the sun often claims the sweats of many. Just chill on the grass….preferably next to the flowering begonias.