Lal Bahadur Shastri was an Indian politician who served as India’s second ever prime minister. Born in 1904, he visited Tashkent in 1966, where he died only one day after signing a peace agreement to end the conflict between Pakistan and India. Details of his death were shrouded in mystery and many claimed that he had been assassinated.
In 1976, some ten years later, a monument in remembrance of Shahtri was erected in the C1 area of Tashkent. Drawing a sizeable number of Indian tourists and business persons, the monument is often visited by Indian visitors paying their respects to this admired former leader.
Just behind the statue is a small green area, not quite large enough to be considered a park but big enough to draw all kinds of passersby looking for a place to hide from the sun. From young children and tired parents to couples looking for a place to discreetly hold hands, the tall trees offer a place to sit for a rest in an otherwise busy neighbourhood.
It’s a particularly special spot for me as it’s the mini green patch where I used to take my screaming newborn at 5am to calm him as the sun rose and the leaves began to illuminate under the morning sun.