Gurugram’s infrastructure has grown as has its crime graph, says golfer Digvijay Singh
I moved to Gurugram in 2004. My sister and brother-in-law were settled here which called for occasional visits. In no time, I fell in love with this city and decided to settle here. Since then, it has taken me 14 years and overcoming many challenges to make this city mine.
As a golfer, I look forward to spaces that offer good places to practice. The city has a lot to offer to me since it has eight golf courses where I can practice my game. It is home to some of the best golf courses. The facility of ‘night golf’, that allows one to unwind after a hectic day at work, is a dream come true. Golf enthusiasts are truly spoilt for choices with the myriad options in store here. There is no dearth of recreational spaces either. It offers global leisure experiences which allow one to rev up one’s spirits after work.
In the 14 years that I have lived here, I have seen the city makes great strides. While it has expanded exponentially in terms of infrastructure, the city has also witnessed a rising crime graph. The risk to women’s safety, in particular, is a major concern. For a city that is a growing metropolis, it doesn’t bode well for it to be identified as a city that is unsafe for women. I have seen people who get into brawls, misbehave with women and whip out a gun at the drop of a hat. Over the years, I have been compelled to change my approach of dealing with dire situations. In case of altercations, I’d rather let the other person have his way than put myself in a position that threatens my safety.
However, I have also discovered places where I need not bother about my security.
People often ask me why I prefer to live in a city that is a melting pot of different cultures and has little to offer. To this, I say that despite all its ills, the city is cosmopolitan in nature. One can meet people from diverse backgrounds here. A clash of civilizations unravels in the city. I have seen people relying on tankers during an acute water shortage. Then there are those who ferry water in high-end SUVs. This cultural confluence is what makes this city what it is.
Gurugram is a city of aspirations. It is a city that has taken shape due to its migrant population. A city which follows the mantra of ‘work hard and party harder’. Unique hobby groups with interests as diverse as night walking thrive in the city. All this has been made possible by the city’s migrant population, which constantly strives to build bridges with the native residents.
However, there are civic and administration concerns which dampen the city’s spirit. Gurugram is supposed to be the money-spinner for the state government. Yet, we don’t see the kind of infrastructure that this cosmopolitan, corporate city requires. Public transport infrastructure is completely missing from the picture. There are few good schools for kids to choose from. The cost of living in the city is high with commodities of daily use costing 1.5 times more than their cost in Delhi. Bad roads, poor lighting on streets, and scant presence of police personnel are things that the city needs to improve. The city is yet to discover its fondness for art and theatre. Unlike Delhi, which has several art and culture avenues, Gurugram has a few names to count, such as Kingdom of Dreams.
Having said that, the thought of leaving the city has never crossed my mind. Gurugram is home for me. I have travelled extensively across the globe but this city is where I find peace.
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