Sunday, 5 January 2014

Gurgaon Chronicles - Part 1

Gurgaon is a heck of a unique thing in this entire territory named India. Trust me, it is. More than how much you can imagine it to be from the pictures from your friends' timelines on Facebook.

They'd show you the steel and the metal, and the glasses that wrap the 25 storeyed buildings giving them the look of a mirror proudly faced against the Sun, doubling it's dazzle when the mercury hovers around the upper ends of forties in what they call Summer in lack of better words.

It is that. It is the concrete, and the steel and the iron and the glass. But then, it is much more. In both senses.

Gurgaon can suffocate you with being busy. Gurgaon can kill you with its solitude. Let me explain.

Once you acquire a temporary or a permanent residential address, or not even that, just a phone number that belongs to this region, the whole world will start getting in touch with you to tell you where your life should be. The food-mails will relentlessly coax you to their three courses that are always offered on special prices for very limited days, the shops will lure you with their double-digit discounts through the year, only to have you helplessly gasp at where to begin with and how it feels like a different currency altogether to look at the price tags. And then, the brokers would tell you about property deals, the agents will tell you where to put your money away, and the pamphlets at the grocery stores will tell you where to go for your next vacation. They would give you a card for every store you ever visited in the name of loyalty points, with carrots you almost never encash eventually. And then, its not all about things money can buy. Why, every day of the week sees a theatre workshop or a fine arts exhibition at what they designate as the cultural hub. They have their own run of short films, live painting shows, and artists from the remotes of the city on the dias.

The city can surely get you on your toes if you let it.

But then, it's lonely. Very. You don't walk down the streets, you don't know the shopkeeper by name, you don't trust the changes they hand over and count it everytime, a habit you never had before landing in this city. There is this medicine shop from which I bought my contraceptives, my pregnancy support medicines, my every little medical tid-bits over the nine-months' long journey, eventually giving way to buying feeding bottles, diapers and teethers thereafter. The same two men, nice and courteous, greeted me at the counter for the entire span, and never ever for once asked me if I had a boy or a girl.

It is this devoid of human touch!

See! Gurgaon can suffocate you with being busy. Gurgaon can kill you with its solitude.