Gurgaon

I had initially been very skeptical about relocating to Gurgaon. Most of my friends who landed up here after graduating from IIM happened to flee within a few months. They went to several places, in lands far and near; but no one stayed back in Gurgaon. Around that time, the central theme of Allen’s blog was cribs about Gurgaon.

There were a few that managed to hang on, and they continued to crib about the place. One of my aunts relocated from Delhi to Gurgaon 5 years back, and she is yet to stop cribbing about the latter location. Yet another aunt (a grand-aunt, actually) had briefly visited Gurgaon for a few days, and declared that it is “as good as America” and people here had no right to crib.

When I got this job offer roughly six months back, there was only one question I was trying to answer on my flight back to Bangalore. “Is this job good enough for me to relocate to and endure Gurgaon?” Two hours of deep thought followed and I answered that in the affirmative, and here I am. So far, on the job front, there are no complaints – which, coming from me six months into a job, is saying a lot.

Having heard enough cribs about Gurgaon from various sources, I decided I needed to hedge, and I was willing to spend a little money in order to do that. I transported my car here (I got here and realized that car is a hygiene factor here and not an “enhanced life” product). I stretched my rent budget and got myself a nice house – I reasoned that it is important to feel comfortable at home, and so I shouldn’t compromise on that front. The day I moved into this house, I got unlimited Airtel broadband. I got Tata Sky. Did a few book binges. And so forth.

Of late I havent’ been very happy (ok the skeptics will ask when was the last time I was really happy, and that isn’t an invalid question, though I typically give the answer as “october 2005”). Some people misconstrue this and point out to all the good things that I have, and say that given all this, I have no right to crib. However, I believe that given all the good things that I have, my life is not as good as it can be, and so I need to push the limits as much as I can, and so temporary unhappiness in this quest is not an issue.

I’ve been cribbing about various things. About how I hardly meet “people” (I must point out that in my first month in Gurgaon, I made conscious effort to meet new people. Then NED happened). About how I end up spending most of my weekends at home, doing nothing. About how I sometimes feel that my life is too regimented. I mostly get standard replies. “Get yourself a new hobby”, they say, and list out a dozen “standard” hobbies. On my part, I think I already have enough things that give me a “kick” and I don’t want to make my life more regimented, so this won’t help. Then they say that I should actively seek out and meet new people, but they don’t say how. They say I should just get out of the house, but what should I do then? Hang out in a mall?

Frequently I lapse into introspection. And frequently, this introspection brings out an insight. The latest one might sound escapist to the skeptics, but I think it is the truth. It tells me that my life was no different when I wsa back in Bangalore. Then toom, I used to hardly meet any “people”. I would end up spending most of the weekend sitting at home, laptop on lap and watching football. I used to meet friends once in two or three weekends then, and it’s no different here. And I’ve picked up new hobbies here – such as reading and watching movies. So there seems to be a delta improvement.

The problem, I now realize, is that Gurgaon has denied me my favourite single-player hobby – of taking long and lonely introspective walks. Which is what I would do almost on a daily basis in Bangalore. Get out of the house and start walking, usually on main roads. Abruptly stop, and “observe life around me as it happened”. Make a few mental notes (mostly to forget those notes when I sat in front of a computer) and move on. Eat roadside food. Buy random stuff. When I get bored of walking, hop into a bus or into an auto. And then, when I’ve gotten really bored, walk back, or even take an auto back.

Every Saturday and Sunday evening I would do this. A version of this used to be done on weekday evenings also, when I’d do the long walks carrying my laptop on my back. Even now, I sudddenly get that spring in my stride when I start walking, taking giant steps. Unfortunately, given Gurgaon’s skewed geography, this can’t be done on a sustainable basis. In fact, there is no place to walk around in Gurgaon at all, unless of course if I’m inside the mall, but then there is so little else to do there.

I wondered if Mainland Delhi might be better, but people are skeptical about that, too. People simply don’t walk much in Delhi, I’m told. Even if they have to go 100meters, they take the car. The only place in Delhi that I’ve visited so far, and which I think offers me good walking space is Connnaught Place, but I have to go through a long drive in order to reach there, which leads to NED. Hopefully once the metro construction to Gurgaon is done, I’ll be able to get there easier. Till then, I don’t know. I think all I can do is to crib. And try and develop some alternatives, none of which is striking my head now.

23 thoughts on “Gurgaon”

  1. Alternative one- Make it a mission to watch the entire imdb top 250

    Alternative two- Delhi supposedly has very good places to eat try them out

    Alternative three- Read History of Delhi or anything by William Dalrymple so that the emotional connect with Delhi is established

    Alternative Four- Start a quizzing club

    Alternative Five- Photowalk is always there(though I presume not possible in Gudgaon), but its about finding people

    Alternative six- Comeback to B’lore :):)

    1. one – already on

      two – want to do that, but need guidance

      three – NED

      four – quizzing club exists in delhi but KMax

      five – NED

      six – not right now

  2. OK, you need to explore delhi and surroundings, which seemingly you have not done….my gut feel is that you have bene talking to a lot of migrant population, which has settled in gurgaon in the last 5-7 years, and knows nothing but the malls…
    there is no place better for a stroll than delhi, and trust me this month is probably the only month when u cud do it without too much of cold, and heat…
    seems we ‘ll have to help plan a few weekends for you….

    1. ok the person who told me that delhi isn’t a good place for strolls is a native of delhi (though she is reputed to have never gotten into an auto till she moved to Bangalore in 2004 – always traveled by car, etc.)

      so guide me. tell me what I need to do. where I should go. hopefully the drive till Delhi will be worth it.

  3. i love walking in bangalore. sigh. though not on the main roads.. the whole jayanagar and indiranagar areas are so damn conducive for walking!

    1. yeah; in fact most areas in Bangalore are conducive for walking – but the two you have mentioned have very good interiors (as in non-main roads. and by that i don’t mean cross roads)

  4. Check out this place called Dilli Haat, if you haven’t yet.Its a big place(with lots of walking opportunity) with small restaurants of different states and also different countries.So much variety in food will probably make the cribbing go away atleast for some time.I liked it a lot when i lived there(most of my school days).

  5. I STRONGLY suggest moving to Delhi. You can in fact walk if you live in the right areas.

    You might be further from work but the overall quality of your life will surely improve.

    1. see it’s a tradeoff – i now take 10 mins to drive to office. anywhere in town, i’ll take at least an hour.

      it’s basically tradeof between quality of weekdays and quality of weekends

  6. I SO agree with you! What CAN one do in Gurgaon beyond hanging out in Malls (yeeeesh)! I live in Chennai and work partly in Gurgaon! May be we could meet up and form a club of *we-would-not-be-here-if-we-could-help-it*ers!! And meet every other week in the shade of the NH8 flyover at IFFCO Chowk or something!! Well..ok…its not trees..but some ‘NOT MALL’shade!! What say!!? Of course, I suggest IFFCO Chowk because that’s ..er..well..walkable from my place…and I don’t have a car in Gurgaon..and Delhi Metro is some time away yet! šŸ˜€
    Truly
    Fellow Gurgaon sufferer

    1. i’m game. only thing is that I hate IFFCO chowk.

      1. Too much traffic (yes, i drive a car here)
      2. too dusty
      3. too noisy

  7. try epicentre on sunday morning.nice crowd ok music(jazz) good plays and more.
    walk around leisure valley park, its cool.
    walk around luteyns delhi Prithviraj road akbar road etc.u may find it interesting.
    finally do the ultimate toristy thing take a mmetro and walk aroun the inner streets of Chandni chowk.cheers

    1. ok will put epicentre one of these sundays (i just realized i’m not free for the next three sundays).

      again, i’m one of those peopel who doesn’t talk to people unless i’ve been introduced etc. so fight are there

  8. Dude

    ur blog sure is interesting, even though half the time u seem to be cribbing. i guess its coz i am a terminal case of NED myself.

    my 2c:
    1. how abt weekend trips to random places in north india? rent a 6 seater and off u go. forget the usual places. go to the out-of-way places. and go with a different group every time.
    2. dunno if this is ridiculous in india.. but nite cycling is pretty interesting here in singapore. did 63 km last sat (and still dint finish the damn race)
    3. i watch a LOT of tv shows online. gets me thru the week. comedy/drama/scifi/crime..
    4. i hate the whole regimental thing as well. i cannot stand structure in things that are meant to be enjoyed. it then becomes work. unfortunately that means u r not ‘bankable’ and dont get called for any friend event. let ur friends know this and ask them to include u in stuff no matter how many times u say no. (worked wonders for me)

    peace!

    1. 1. yeah good idea. but i don’t think i know enough people here for that. i’m much more antisocial than you thought
      2. gurgaon is too dangerous dude. too many random guys lying around in the bushes waiting to mug you. so out.
      3. i have enough to do if i decide to sit at home. so no problems on that front.
      4. i just blogged this. about stuff becoming “work”. hopefully people will get the message

      war.

  9. Dude, some suggestions:
    1. Visit us 1 weekend a month (I know: Noida, NED, etc…but a weekend is always doable, and we’d be delighted with the company…come over on sat, go back on sunday…bring mom along if you so wish)
    2. we anyway need to meet more often for meals & drinks…let’s see if we can set up a more regular thing going. call me to discuss this
    3. check out infinity mall
    4. mdi is a good place for walks, although i do realise you need a car to get to the damn place.
    5. write more blog-posts šŸ™‚

    1. 1. will do that sometime for sure. i haven’t been to noida in a while (last time i got there was in 2004 for some TV show shoot). i’ll keep you posted
      2. yeah will call you over the weekend.
      3. where is that? is that in gurgaon? what is so special about that that makes it different from other malls?
      4. NED to cross the highway. too much traffic over there in general. but again – i don’t want to walk through empty spaces. I need to go through populated areas. obesrve people. observe life. etc.
      5. trying to do that but don’t want it to become “work”

  10. You should definitely have some friends in your work place, try to make friendship with those guys or get married and have childrens, or get back to bangalore. Cheers šŸ™‚

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