Shimla’s Kanlog Cemetery – Now, a cricket ground, hot spot for drunkards, dating couples
People, play cricket in the graveyard, stepping on grave stones. Litter, mainly bottles, testify that the area is used as a drinking haunt by the locals. On one hand Shimla had been celebrating 150 years of being a British Summer Capital, on the other hand either burning heritage properties into ashes or turning cemeteries into ruins.
SHIMLA – Kanlog Cemetery situated on the SE side of the town on a narrow, wooded, steeply sloping ridge is among one of the oldest cemeteries in city. The earliest grave is from 1850 and it grew in size until it was closed in the 1920s. Many important people rest in this cemetery. Located below the Potato Research Institute, area has a beautiful patch of trees and the cemetery once felt quaint and quiet; a good place for souls to rest.
However, in present time one can say that it’s no place for dead. Many of us are aware about litter, mainly bottles, testifying that the area is used as a drinking haunt by the locals. In 2012, Mr. Tony Bennet and Mrs. Jane Bennett visited the place to look for the grave of Tony’s Great Grandfather – Elinor, Augusta Flora Beadon, but unfortunately that could not be located due to the overgrowth (as per online article).
Number of time we have come across articles about its deteriorating condition but a deaf ear is always turned on by the concerned authorities. Before it was about people using the graveyard for drinking and sometimes by young couples for their dates beyond the eyes of world, but today’s site was an amalgamation of empathy and grief.
Youngsters were seen playing cricket in the graveyard, stepping on grave stones that with time have got buried under dirt and filth.
On asking one of the guys said, “We all know that there is hardly any place to play so on Sunday’s we people come here and play cricket. Boys from nearby hostel too come and play here since it is an open place and there is hardly any soul to tell.”
On one hand Shimla had been celebrating 150 years of being a British Summer Capital and on the other when it comes to saving the sites we have such a disappointing picture of neglect. Sometimes we hear about heritage buildings being guttered in fire and now pathetic condition of graveyard.
Government may have turned into Gandhi’s three monkeys and avoiding maintenance of the place but where are the humanitarian values getting vanished? It seems like all the ones present had one thing on their mind “I don’t glorify the dead. If I didn’t care if they were still alive, why do I even bother when they are dead?”
But as for the dead Only they, can speak about their world and I personally feel that they might be asking authorities “Ab hum mar k bhi chain na paaye toh, khan jaaye?”