Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gurgaon - Really the millennium city ?

Before I was moving to Gurgaon, a relative of mine said Gurgaon is India's America. To be fair to that relative, one can be misled to think that if he/she is going from Delhi to Jaipur passing through National Highway 8 where all the fancy buildings lie. But after having lived here, the only comparison (which is admittedly exaggerated) that I would make is with the America before Columbus discovered it. And I am sure the native Americans with their arrows, spears and feather dress (pardon the stereotype) would still be more civilized than a typical coarse, uncouth native of Gurgaon. All it takes to uncover this is a left right turn into the city from one of the exits.

I am super miffed these days. Gurgaon -the city with countless malls, out of place residential buildings with inexplicable Mughal domes and names taken from American counties, depleting green belts, expensive autos driven by people with no respect for the traffic rules(which I am sorry to say is something that reflects the behaviour of most of the natives), a virtually non-existent public transport system.

But none of them is the cause for this burst of frustration. What is irking me these days is the state of roads, which I can safely say is the most pathetic among all the cities that I have lived in. With literally no drainage facility, many of the roads have been converted into puddles in this monsoon season. This in turn causes traffic jams on the crossroads. Given the fact that Gurgaon generates a large chunk of revenue for the Haryana government, what surprises me is the government's apathy to this most basic infrastructure support that they are supposed to provide.

The differences between a city that has grown over many decades and the city that has grown over the past 5-6 years become very clear here. New sectors are being planned on the land which until few years back was used for agriculture.  But the city authorities have failed to catch up with the private builders when it comes to development. I am not sure how much revenue they make from such land deals but somebody has to be made accountable for this. Either the authorities or the developers who have been making unlimited profits from these deals.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Finally Parents Met

The parents finally met. She, her parents and her sister came to my house and met my parents and my sister. She was looking gorgeous as she always does when she wears a sari. 

And probably for the first time, I saw her shying. That was not something which she forced upon herself (given the facts that Indian brides are expected to act shy in front of their in-laws). It was spontaneous and something which looked out of her control. No matter how much I like her for her forthrightness, it felt so good to see her in that avatar – the one of an obedient and abiding daughter-in-law.

There are 2 occasions of that day which I remember very distinctly. Not long after she and her family had come and settled, I looked at her and I found her looking downwards, attentively listening to the ongoing conversations, and for a change not saying anything. The expressions on her face were just plain simple. She was just nodding her head after every statement. It was closest to how I would describe innocence if asked by someone.

Later in the evening, she, my sister and I went to the Bandstand in Bandra (our parents had suggested that place so that we can spend some time out). We 3 were sitting on a wall when she spotted some birds in the sky. She then said how she wished she could be like them. While saying this, she was swaying her legs. She looked like a kid. A kid draped in a sari or rather caged in a sari – puerile and pristine.

Anyways, things went okay. Parents have approved of us being together and have given us time to pursue things we want before we decide to settle down and marry. I could not have expected for anything more or better and can only thank our parents for gifting us this life.