Thematic lifelike statuary adorns Public Park
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Thematic lifelike statuary adorns Public Park

February 20, 2022

You’ll swear they’re real!

“In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

By Shadan Muneer

A city with magnificent architecture, a treasure trove of culture, a rich history of royalty and well-planned landscapes interspersed with beautiful lung spaces. Mysuru sure lives up to its sobriquet of Garden City with its well-manicured parks, gardens and popular lakes and natural attractions.

The relationship of Mysureans with public parks runs old. Parks have served as weekend getaways, kids recreational areas and local community-bonding places.

Corporator Ayub Khan

Without debate, creatively designed and well-maintained public parks can surely instil freshness and positivity into our lives. Along with functioning as oxygen generators, the public parks also aid us in maintaining our mental and physical well-being.

Replica of people from desert plains of Rajasthan migrating with their family and camels.

Responsible and aware people’s representatives play a major role in maintaining and promoting parks in their respective wards. The residents of Rajiv Nagar/ Udayagiri can vouch for this as their Corporator Ayub Khan has wholeheartedly put in enormous efforts to renovate and give a makeover to a public park in their locality. As you approach Al-Badar Mosque in Rajiv Nagar, you are greeted  with an oasis of greenery situated opposite the mosque in the form of a public park. Thematic installations of a family moving along with their camels, towering giraffes, crescent moon arrest your attention and please your senses.

Ayub Khan, who is also the former Mayor of Mysuru, deliberating about the transition of this neglected patch of land to its present enviable status, points out that “local public parks are an integral part of a healthy, hygienic and happy locality. You can walk, play, rest, read or just interact with people in these open green spaces which can contribute to the wellness of the society.”

Statue of a frog holding a book to encourage reading among children.

The park has been designed and created with amenities to the delight of people of all ages. The fitness enthusiasts can use the well-maintained and clean walking paths for a brisk walk or a jog, children can pound around the open green spaces playing, bookworms can choose a silent zone and indulge in happy reading, the chatter boxes can sit on many benches installed in the park and enjoy peaceful interactions.

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As Ayub Khan explains about the conceptualisation of the park, he adds, “My aim is to attract the public with creative designs and make them visit the park. It is not like any other namesake park; it has been uniquely designed with a concept in mind. For instance, the statue of a frog reading a book was placed to encourage reading among children.”

As he narrates the beautiful renovation journey of this yet-to-be-named park with lifelike statuary, Ayub Khan adds, “Every locality has mixed sections of people; some areas are congested with narrow lanes that lack open green spaces. Keeping this in mind, I developed the park creatively so that the public do not have to travel too far looking for outdoor fun. I also want to bring in a sense of attachment to nature amongst the local residents.”

Giraffe enclosure at the park!

The ex-Mayor further adds, “Most outdoor attractions come at a high price but parks are free and can be accessed by all. People of all classes can utilise these facilities and have fun.”

A walk around the creatively built park will surely make you feel that all the efforts put in to create this serene space is clearly paying dividends.

Mehreen, a  resident of Rajiv Nagar, excitedly remarks, “This park has immensely benefited me and my family. Earlier I would mainly remain indoors as there were no open spaces that were safe to go; we had to take our kids to far off parks during the weekends. Now that we have our own park, I can freely go for a walk in the morning and send my kids to the park in the evenings as it is a safe place for physical activities. Many children bond together and have fun. It is also very well-maintained.”

Ayub Khan has been an active politician for the past 20 years and is responsible for bringing back the concept of development of the parks, re-introducing ornamental poles, bringing in unique styled tiles, and also makeover for Circles that got a tremendously positive response from the public and inspired other Corporators to take up similar ideas for their projects.

Reflecting upon his idea of being a people’s representative, he adds: “Most people think that Corporators are only restricted to taking care of lights, roads, drains etc. But I go a step further and do things beyond the Corporation works to serve the public. Politics is a field where we can serve public directly. I always try and work towards developing infrastructure as I feel that improved infrastructure will have a positive impact on people’s mentality.”

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Commenting about the restored park, he satisfyingly says, “I have seen the change in people’s behaviour with regard to this park. Earlier when it was lying neglected, some people who visited the park, indulged in illegal activities and now after the park has been renovated, the same people come back with their families and behave responsibly.”

C.S. Devaraj Vajragiri

The deft hands behind these sculptures

C.S. Devaraj Vajragiri, an alumnus of Kalanikethana School of Arts, Mysuru, who has to his credit sculpting the Gyarah Murti (11 sculptures) in 2011 at Freedom Fighters’ Park in Mysuru, is the one who has created these sculptures at Rajiv Nagar park.

Speaking to Star of Mysore, the artist said, “I, along with my assistants Parashu, Kaladigi, Manju and Karthik, made these sculptures in a span of 3-4 months at our workshop (studio) in Dobbaspet, Tumakuru, where we give shape to bigger sculptures. Later we transported them to Mysuru by trucks and took another 15 days to install them in the park with final finishing touches.”

On the idea behind these sculptures, he said: “Corporator Ayub Khan is a creative person who shared his ideas and we realised his dreams.”

Devaraj, son of Siddegowda and Gangamma couple and a native of Tumakuru, is married to Nandini and has two children. After Diploma in Fine Arts from Kalanikethana, BFA in Gulbarga University and MVA at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bengaluru, he is now settled in Bengaluru and runs a studio named ‘Vajragiri Art World.’

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Thematic lifelike statuary adorns Public Park”

  1. Inn says:

    Since many parks is outdated, Every park should be now renovated in Mysore and make attractive

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