‘Unlike most of our metropolitan cities, Gurugram has no baggage from past’

Writer Amit Shankar settled in Gurugram 15 years ago. A native of Allahabad in UP, Shankar says the Millennium City allows people to bring their own thoughts and content, and impart a new touch to its façade

gurgaon Updated: Sep 19, 2018 15:23 IST
Amit Shankar
Amit Shankar
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Gurugram,Writer,Amit Shankar
Writer Amit Shankar has authored five books. He lives in DLF Phase 5. He feels that traffic snarls and waterlogging during rains are major problems in Gurugram. (Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)

Being a writer, I always had the desire to visit an abbreviated form of my fictional world—vibrant, pulsating, picturesque, warm and accommodating. Maybe destiny heard me and on a warm summer noon of 2001, driving across the dusty municipal limits of Gurugram, I could sense the perfect canvas, ready to nurture my fictional world, a city that will amplify modern living.

Today, it has been 15 years since I made Gurugram my home. Among adulating glances, appreciating each other’s growth, Gurugram and I have forged a bond. No wonder, contrary to perceptions, it never overwhelms me and is always kind to magnify its amplitude, brilliance and varied proportions.

To me it is like a beautifully crafted prose; open ended, profound, musical, crisp and with a sweet after taste.

Unlike most of our metros, Gurugram has no baggage from the past, no history to be intimidated of, just a truly cosmopolitan culture to be relished. No wonder, this gregarious city allows people to bring their own thoughts, content and impart a new touch to its façade. Own it, live it up and make it your place.

As soon you enter Gurugram from Delhi side, via NH 8, the landscape undergoes a catharsis. Contrary to the historical chaos of Delhi, here you are greeted with swank, exciting and world-class edifices. Driving down the dream like 8-lane road, you can’t help but gasp as you take the newly constructed, a kilometre long underpass. What sets this city apart is unlike Hong Kong or Singapore, it is inspiring without intimidating, comforting but never complaining. Peppered with pulsating life and action all around; malls, cafes, pubs, art centres, eateries, it also displays considerable warmth while welcoming every single inhabitant.

Unlike Delhi or Mumbai, where socialising in itself is a chore, here everything is just 5 minutes away. Whether you choose to go cycling on the beautiful, rippling, Gurgaon-Faridabad road or enjoying global cuisine at one of the many fine dine restaurants or teeing off at Asia’s only night Golf course, life unfurls in a way conducive to suit your palate and preference.

To praise is being polite and all politeness is pretense.

So yes, the city has its underbelly too. The undaunted and bohemian spirit is tested everyday during cancerous traffic snarls, while negotiating the pot-holed sector roads and god forbid if it rains, negotiating through the city that turns into a large swimming pool.

But then every thing has its own shades of white and black, not to forget the grey. To me, a UP ka Bhaiya, this city is an odyssey, a poetic sojourn that presents its deep and enchanting tones, getting deciphered differently on a daily basis.

I wish if similar to New York and Mumbai, somewhere in Gurugram too, we could have the ‘I Love Gurugram’ signage. After all, what good is love if not worn on one’s sleeve?

Amit Shankar is the author of Flight of Hilsa, Cafe Latte and three other books.Born in Allahabad, he studied in Delhi and settled in Gurugram.

First Published: Sep 19, 2018 06:15 IST