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Identifying with books in which Gurugram is hero

Gurgaon Diaries (2018), A Forgotten Affair (2016), Intermission (2012) and The Deluge (published in Escape Velocity, a collection of short stories, in 2018) are some of the books that are an ode to Gurugram.

gurgaon Updated: Jul 14, 2019 02:21 IST
Sonali Verma
Sonali Verma
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Gurugram,Gurugram books,Gurgaon Diaries
Debeshi Gooptu, author of Gurgaon Diaries, at Galleria market, in Gurugram. (Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)

Gurugram is home to writers documenting their experience of relocating here, the city’s transformation from a village to a metropolis, and the things they love, and hate, about it. In the last few years, several books and short stories have featured Gurugram as their backdrop, and even their protagonist. Gurgaon Diaries (2018), A Forgotten Affair (2016), Intermission (2012) and The Deluge (published in Escape Velocity, a collection of short stories, in 2018) are some of the books that are an ode to the city.

Having moved to Gurugram only a year ago, I too have a love-hate relationship with the city. Intrigued by the stories that were told to me during conversations with the authors for a story on their work, I decided to read a few of these books, only to realise there were several parts of them I could relate to.

In one of the books, the author talks of extremely loud car alarms that go off almost simultaneously every morning in her condominium and how she hasn’t figured a use for them, considering the number of cars that get stolen from her area regularly. She then goes on to call for a complete ban on car alarms, and gets my full support, for I too have been woken by blaring alarms that either go on in a loop or switch sounds every five seconds. What’s the point, I have wondered time and again. I’ve never witnessed an alarm preventing a car from being stolen. And I’d like to believe most other people haven’t either.

At the condominium where I lived until recently, I heard alarms that mimic the sound of animals and even played the national anthem. No one really takes action when they hear one of these; most people just walk away ignoring them. One of those early mornings when an alarm went off and didn’t stop for hours, I decided to alert security personnel, but they too couldn’t do much. “Ignore it and go back to sleep like we do,” one of them said.

Isn’t the purpose of the alarm to ‘scare’ the thief in question with its loud sound? Whoever thought the extremely loud noise could somehow prevent car theft? Reading these stories about mundane city life made me feel I too was a character in them, and that Gurugram really was all about such narratives tying its inhabitants together.

First Published: Jul 14, 2019 02:21 IST