During my school days Mysore was our permanent holiday destination and a trip to Mysore was never complete without a visit to the Zoo. Even though we continued to visit Mysore at least once a year, visits to the Zoo were less frequent after I crossed primary school. It once again appeared on the ‘must do’ list when my children were young. I had not been to the Zoo after my children grew up (may be last fifteen years).
I went there last week during my recent visit to Mysore and was happy to find many changes for the better. Better enclosures for the animals and better toilets for the visitors to name just two of the most important. Also, I noticed that two things have remained unchanged. One was the behavior of the animals and visitors - animals behaving as gentlemanly as they used to be and the visitors behaving like animals shouting and gesticulating in front of the enclosures.
The other was this slide.
I had completely forgotten about it till I saw it next to the aviary. It stood as it did decades ago, the very sight now bringing a flood of child hood memories. It is the tallest and the smoothest slide that I have ever slid down and I remember that we used to immensely enjoy the slides. We used to slide on our bottoms, stomachs and backs and return home happy with sand and mud in our hair and pockets. I had an urge to climb up and slide down at least once but better sense prevailed and I just stood there happy with my memories and seeing children enjoying themselves.
It has been there for more than four decades and I don’t think that it has required any repairs or resurfacing. I hope it stays so forever, a source of pleasure for the young and an object bringing back pleasurable memories for the old.