Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ah Gurgaon

This month, September 2011, marks four years of my stay in Gurgaon. I came to this city with a bit of trepidation, having heard unflattering reviews about the city.

Most Indians, in general, hold a pretty low opinion of Delhi's citizens, with their abrasive nature and showy facade being the subject of much ridicule. Gurgaon was particularly reviled for its "mall culture", lack of public transportation, lack of safety, dust, .... Ignoring friendly advice, I had taken on the shift as a bit of an adventure.

I had landed late at night, and caught my first glimpse of the city in the shining Cybercity office corridor.

"It can't be that bad", I remember thinking to myself.

The roads were wide. Much wider than I had ever seen anywhere in Chennai, and almost as good as South Mumbai's well-paved set.

The cars were huge. Flashy cars and huge new SUVs seemed to be zipping everywhere. What more could a car lover want?

Then, out of vast empty space, huge apartment blocks towered. Yes, it was dusty all around, but these 'societies' seemed to be self-contained green oases.

It has been four years since that time.

Cybercity continues to be one of the most impressive office congregations in the country. The wide roads have become way more crowded. Where once Honda city's used to abound, BMWs and Audis seem to be dime-a-dozen. The vast dust-lands have become way more greener. Malls continue to multiply and thrive. Public transportation has come to be, and so has the Metro.

And I have grown to love this city. Love its youthfulness, its independence, its 'brashy' confidence, and the fact that in its own unique way it is a melting pot of so many different cultures from across India.