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California was everything I expected, but LA couldn’t replace Gurugram

Currently studying in the US, Gurugram girl Anisha Soin explains why her semester in college makes her long for home.

gurgaon Updated: Aug 30, 2018 13:00 IST
California,LA,Gurugram
Anisha says she owes her friends, family and best memories to the city. (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

When people ask me what I like so much about a city that comes with a plethora of problems, I often tell them that cities are always an embodiment or mirrors of our own selves. I often tell my friends that to understand Gurugram, one must live here.

My family shifted to Gurugram after I was born. Over the last 18 years, I’ve seen the city go through its many phases, and in certain ways, I have grown up along with it. I grew up in what is now called the city centre of Gurugram, Sushant Lok, and did all my schooling here as well.

I’ve seen Galleria Market become “Gal”, from a deserted mall where most of my childhood adventures took place to a bustling lifestyle centre teeming people and cafés. I’ve seen the roads develop in patches, the price of delicacies soar over the past five years and seen Sector 29 change from a place that was famous for an Indian eatery to the pub hub. But I could never quite place my fondness for Gurugram, until I left for college in California.

California was everything I expected, good weather and more, but even Los Angeles couldn’t replace Gurugram. My first semester in college made me homesick for Gurugram—all I could think about was coming back and going to Gal. Los Angeles may be a well-planned city with no drainage problems, no electricity problems, and no bumpy roads—but it doesn’t have the comfort and hustle-bustle that Gurugram offers.

I realised that my love for Gurugram stemmed from my love for the place that provided me with a sense of security despite the safety concerns, the place that gave me my ‘bestest’ friends, my worst and best memories, my family and has bits of my childhood scattered all around it’s partially broken pavements.

My first year in college is over now, but I still dread leaving Gurugram to begin my second semester.

There’s just something magnetic about Gurugram, with its noise and craziness and warmth that doesn’t leave you even if you leave it, that makes you feel like you’re truly breathing, even if the air is polluted. It often encompasses you as an individual and that ensures no I-10 freeway can replace the NH8 (Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway).

This city of outsiders never lets one be an outsider. She makes them her own.

Anisha Soin, 18, is a resident of The World Spa in Sector 30. She is currently pursuing an undergraduate course in economics at Scripps College in Los Angeles, USA.

First Published: Aug 30, 2018 05:36 IST