I have had my bit of Gurgaon, thanks to my wife’s doctor being there and also because I write about technology companies a lot of whom look at this strip of land as an extension of Palo Alto or Pasadena.
But let’s not kid ourselves, or let the swanky new skyscrapers or brand brandishing metro stations fool us. This is Gurgaon — good when you look up towards the towering MNC offices and ‘gaon’ when you look at the mindless traffic on the roads and general lacks of civic, or any, sense.
Except for the fact that it’s just off the border from Delhi, and more importantly to its airport, and for the fact that there is an abundance of cheap blue collar employees to be found, I don’t get why companies like to call this place home. For all the high technology that abounds these multi-story buildings, the guys here have not been able to find out how to drain water from the streets after a few millimetres of rain — yes a few mm, because this is near Kapashera and not Kerala. Well, I guess these are the kind of problems you encounter when a gaon decides to become good overnight. Just dreams, no planning, no thought, no vision.
Of course, Gurgaon has infrastructure and that’s a six-lane expressway that snakes through the city dissecting it into two. Till about a year back this was capped by a toll plaza that could bring the swankiest cars coming into this satellite city to a grumbling halt as thousands of cars lined up behind each other in the hope that they were actually in a queue that would take them to a toll slot. They most often were not. And after the hour-long ordeal to pay the toll, the expressway beyond was a scene of almost orgasmic release, with call centre cab driver discovering the floor under their accelerator pedals much to their glee and much to the terror of others on the road.
Strangely, since the fuel feeding monstrosity was pulled down, things have only gotten worse. Almost like there was so much pent up demand that was so far being stalled outside the district border, which was some strange spell has been transformed into a mess of traffic, lawlessness and speed.
Also Read | Heavy rain brings Gurgaon to standstill
Speed, however, is certainly not the issue in Gurgaon these days, unless you are talking in terms of knots. For boats are all that can take you from point A to point B in Millennium City, thanks to the surging puddles of rainwater that have brought the city to a standstill.
But then Gurgaon-wasis can relax in their flooded cars, listen to a bit of ‘chaar bottle vodka’ to wet their souls and cool their heels on the steering, satisfied that their city at least has a new name the rest of the world can reckon with.
UPDATE – I think a lot of people have made a valid point about the use of the word gaon. Yes, most of our villages have much better drainage and sewage systems that this Billion Dollar Gaon.