There are no contradictions in Gurgaon. Mostly because it never acknowledges them. This city appears to grow more vertical, more glassy every time I come in. With the Delhi Metro work going on, the main arterial roads are traffic nightmares. But these nightmares don’t come from narrow roads alone. Gurgaon has borrowed Delhi’s most obnoxious habits. Including the one of driving in the opposite direction. In fact, while in Delhi it is used as a shortcut, in Gurgaon, it sort of the Zen wisdom of driving. The opposite direction yields more glares.
I met Twilight Fairy today, and she very kindly took me for a drive on the Gurgaon-Faridabad road. I haven’t been much on that road. In fact, I never realized it was a real road. We both have the same camera, and we stopped at various points on the road to capture a gorgeous sunset. Gurgaon also has borrowed Delhi’s other obnoxious habit, that of staring at women. Passing comments as they drive by. As bikers and lorry drivers screamed something, I muttered some choice expletives in Hindi. Whether they heard it or not, I derived some satisfaction. Twilight Fairy looked mildly shocked though.
The road, curving around the traces of Aravalli range, bobs up and down. From some points, you see construction sites and city lights. It seems incredible that right next to this vast glassy city, you should have a road so beautiful and so enveloped in green.
The friends that I have in Gurgaon share a similar lament. Apart from the malls, there isn’t much to do here. People go from mall to mall, and that gets deathly boring after the first day or two. But in the middle of this madness, you also realize that the traffic jam is caused mostly by people who want to park their car from one mall to another. Not to mention the flood of cycle-rickshaws.
Cycle-rickshaws in Gurgaon are beyond traffic rules. Today, after the rain, the cycle-rickshaws were glinting, washed and reflected in little puddles of water. It does amuse you that apart from the Old Delhi and University area, this must be the only other area so deeply dependent on cycle-rickshaws. So at the entrances of these huge shopping malls and tall glinting buildings, the rickshaw sighs on its three rubber wheels.