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I love Gurgaon’s vibe: Aspiration Central - buzz of the times

Over the years, the city has developed a promise that calls out to people from all walks of life like a siren song in these go-getter days

I Love Gurgaon Updated: May 23, 2017 14:02 IST
Vivek C. Bhasin
Vivek C. Bhasin
Hindustan Times
Gurgaon,vibe,I love gurgaon
Malls and condominiums might have become its identity, but Gurgaon continues to upgrade itself with the Metro and Rapid Metro.(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

It was in 1988 that a young sea captain received a call from a close friend. “The most amazing place in Gurgaon is soon going to be ready,” the friend said. “That’s the place we should live.’’

Thirty years is a long time; a score and half, a quarter-of-a-century. My friend’s coaxing and my having finally relented, was one of the best decisions of my life

The early days were raw and hard. In a Maruti Gypsy (the only few seen now are the Gurgaon Police driving on their beat). it took 22 minutes from Hauz Khas to drive down to the border, and then no time to get to my condominium.

Arriving late at night, we drove past a sea of mustard fields in the winter, their bright yellow flowers swaying to cold winds from Rajasthan. In the morning, which still remains the best part of the day, there would sometimes be camels and elephants on the narrow dusty road seemingly going everywhere. The road was soon aptly named the Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road.

Things have changed in Gurgaon. From a sleepy little farming village to an expanding metropolis, it strives to carve a slice of the pie in a new, emerging India.

Traffic is getting out of control; road non-sense and road rage are on the rise. Stress to find a place to park. Stress to make it big. Stress to be the first to flash the newest smartphone.

In the middle of all this, the buzz of Gurgaon is buzzing the world.

Many years after I first got here, Gurgaon is the most sought-after place to be, to live in, to dream in.

Despite many twists, turns and stumbles the VTM (Village Turned Mod) houses CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, all living in their state-of-the-art condos. The Gurgaon experiment is now the Gurgaon achievement.

As for me, the vibe of Gurgaon gets me going. The cross -section of folks arriving from everywhere, some by choice, some by compulsion, all mingling and making new friends in new ways.

There are theatrical groups where professionals quote Shakespeare at each other, places to chill, the best places to eat. There are parts of the new city that never sleep.

It’s true that the garbage can be obnoxiously rude to the nasal and visual senses, that potholed roads beyond the major arterials can be a nightmare to drive on.

Yet, despite these irritants, communities work together, in tandem, to clean their act, to harvest rainwater, to make the city safer, to be proud Gurgaonans . Or should we say Gurgaonites?

There is activity: the bio-diversity park where a million saplings have been planted, and the amphitheatre which hosts the best of India’s culture. There is nature: Gurgaon is where a million sparrows thrive, where parrots make a racket, where robin red breasts and nightingales shelter among lush, green trees .

On board the Metro, watching the ever-changing face of Gurgaon, one can see how much more the city planners wish to achieve. I often think of how far we have come, and how much farther we are set to go.

This is my Gurgaon, my Sugar Ville, embedded in today’s challenging and changing world.

(Capt Vivek C. Bhasin is a radio presenter, soft skills and etiquette training expert)

First Published: May 18, 2017 09:44 IST