Botal Gali is not exactly an overwhelming public space when it comes to its physical parameters. It’s just a street but within it lies an amalgamation of so much, from perfumes to colonial buildings and from people buying to people selling that what you see at the end of the day is an interesting palette of people interacting. If one talks about the specifics, there are particular nooks and corners of the Gali that do not appear to be used, per se. By that I mean closed shops, or blank walls that for now are just used as a support for dumped trash. Sometimes, bikes line up against those closed doors because they have no where else to do and this is something that is a cause of nuisance for the shopkeepers, who are one of the primary users of the street.
“There’s hardly any space. We can’t really do anything,” said one, while peering at us over his table.
And that’s something that came to me as passing thought but has now established itself as one of the major problems of the street. The space or the lack thereof, to move about is actually what hinders most of the people from interacting or coming together as a group to hang out. What you see are just shopkeepers keeping to their shops and people passing by. For it to become a space that is happily used by the public, it needs to have space to allow them to.
(Written as part of a course called Mediated Cities)