On why I’m still not really settled

So we’re at a party and we meet this man who has lived in Gurgaon for some years. “How do you like living here?” he asks. The OA makes non-committal sounds and I shrug. We could politely lie or we could shut up. We shut up. He digs. “Isn’t it great?” And then goes on to wax eloquent on the gated communities, the air conditioning and the malls.

When he finds out we moved from Delhi barely a few months ago, he wants to know what I miss. I smile and reminisce – Shopping at Sarojini, Dilli Haat, the deer park, fresh vegetables and fruit…  He pronounces “Oh! you’re a South Delhi snob. Then goes on to say  – I could never shop in a Lajpat Nagar or Malviya Nagar. So dusty and dirty. (oh! And I’m a snob?!)

I think that is when I contemplated flinging my drink in his face, I try to stammer something about how I’m not a South Delhi snob, but a small town girl (yeah, who is counting the references?). But I was a guest too and so I held my peace. And from there on the conversation just headed downhill. He wanted to know where I was from. And then went on to say that even Lucknow had no culture, while Calcutta, had a great culture. I didn’t know whether to educate him or laugh in his face at his ignorance. So I politely said – Well there is Lakhnavi culture and Bengal has its own culture, can’t really deny either.

I don’t know why I bothered because then he went on to say – And what does Allahabad have to show? To which I grinned and said – Amitabh Bachchan? Three or four prime ministers?

And he starts to criticise Amitabh Bachchan. At this point I must make a disclaimer. I am no Big B fan, but I can tell you he’s not someone to just dismiss. I also realise that this rude SOB is just going out of his way to be rude to me and this is not the gentle ribbing of a friend. It’s deliberate nastiness. I slide off the arm of the chair, smile coldly and say – “You like the cold artificiality of Gurgaon and you can only crib about Amitabh and are unaware of Lakhnavi culture inspite of having lived there.  Clearly there is no accounting for taste, is there?”

The OA looked horrified, but I was just so done with the man. After I left he said to the OA – Is she in media? The OA nodded. And then the idiot went on to say that he loved to provoke people and see them get annoyed. I know that most people would say “Don’t give others the pleasure of provoking you.. ” But my theory is, why let some idiot sit there imagining that you’re nothing more than a pretty face (right now, with my pimples, I don’t even fit that description!) without an opinion or a thought? And for those of you who know me, how long do you imagine I’d sit there just listening to him being nasty? Once the OA (who always gives people the benefit of doubt) realised that the idiot was deliberately provoking me, he figured it was fair enough that I let him have the rough edge of my tongue.

Anyhow, this sort of yuppie is the worst exemplification of the Gurgaon I’ve come to know in the last few months. On the plus side, it’s good to have your vegetables home delivered and some buildings like ours have 100% power backup. On the minus, we have manicured lawns, that lead out to roads riddled with potholes. We live in air conditioned buildings while the drivers are not allowed to sit out even in the lawns or have a provision for drinking water. The house help is erratic and pricey even though they aren’t half as good at their work or well trained as the help in Delhi. They’re just village women who can’t cook properly, don’t know how to dust or sweep – but are well aware of the dire need for help. The irony is not lost on me. We’re living this almost Western suburban life without half the amenities or facilities. We do the same 2 hour commute, but our roads are shit. We’re expected to pay insane rates for the house help, but all we’re getting is unhygienic labour straight off the fields with an inflated sense of entitlement and no sense of responsibility. They get up and walk out without a word of warning if someone has a baby in the village. I don’t mean to sound like the poor little rich girl, but I honestly don’t know what the solution to this is. The driver smashed the door while roughly pulling the Bean’s car seat out. He has a driving licence and that is all he seems to think is required. He refuses to acknowledge that putting in or taking out a car seat carefully is part of the job or that he has made a mistake by smashing a door because of his carelessness. The lady who cleans yanked a glass door of the medicine cabinet in the toilet and smashed it across the loo – don’t ask me what the hell she was up to. All I know is that my landlord is going to have my guts for garters.

We’ve been advertising for a better driver, but nothing better comes up. The same few guys hang around and keep quitting to move from one tower to the next. You wake up to find your driver driving your neighbour around because he is paying him Rs 200 extra. I understand that Rs 200 is a lot, but the problem is quality. For all that is available in Gurgaon, I can’t say anything of any quality is available. The houses have seepage, the walls shake if you hammer anything in, the parking in most buildings has flooded, the doors warp in the monsoons, the so called wooden flooring is like a rollercoaster during the rains…

The OA and I needed to buy the kids winter woollies and so we took them to a mall for the first time in 5 months. Yes! Five months and they hadn’t seen a mall. We walked in and I was reminded in graphic detail, of why I hate them with a vengeance. It’s a suburb whose time really hasn’t arrived yet. On the one hand are old ladies in 9 yards limping painfully along and holding up the escalator because they are too scared to get on. On the other is a girl in a tube top and skinny jeans, shivering in the early autumn, and proclaiming in a thick Haryanvi accent that her mother will kill her if she gets home late. What is this? Where are we? Whats going on?

On the other hand, the children’s book festival will soon be here, as will the winter, when I will head back to Delhi and the warmth of Lodhi gardens. Where I’ll lay my eyes on buildings that are older than me and far more gracious… and greenery meets the eye everywhere you look.

Kalmadi be damned, my city sure cleans up well. The roads are wider. There are cycling paths everywhere. Hastily planted shrubs wilt but will hopefully live to see the next year. I miss the bustle. I miss the warmth. I miss the markets of fresh green vegetables. I miss driving down roads and drinking up the sights of beautiful homes, each one unique. I miss the music and the film and theatre. I know it’s all available in spots in Gurgaon and I shouldn’t be ungrateful. But hey, that was my home for years. Loving or even liking Gurgaon, will have to wait a while.

Edited to add: The maid was just diagnosed with TB and has left. The OA and I are cooking, cleaning, working, child raising and seriously contemplating moving to the West where life is geared for such stuff.

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102 thoughts on “On why I’m still not really settled

  1. I think, you gave it back to that nasty SOB really well. He deserved it. Delhi is Delhi, no place can come close to it, I have visited Delhi 7 times and each time, my love for that place only grew.

    D

  2. OK now you know the Bean needs money. The driver WAS trying to kill her with that window shattering. jeez, please give her some cash.

    MM, I really feel it and no, it’s not a poor little rich girl’s rant. You’re not bemoaning people’s affluence or their right to basic amenities. You’re bemoaning how a so called better standard of living is actually harboring shortcomings that weren’t present in old-world India. People complain about the smells and slime in NYC all the time. About the impersonal people. But I love it. I don’t need anyone to make eye contact with me to know I belong. I love that I step out of my building and life is just THERE, not a drive away. I can run down just for sugar or milk and there’s a non descript store at every corner that i know by its fading sign. Cities are organic and self-preserving and don’t need a careful architect to endow character. And an old city like Delhi? You just need to live there to have it all, not make a date with it.

  3. This is the complaint most folks have with the suburbs of Bangalore as well. The so-called IT area suffers from all of the ills you listed. Shoddy construction though, I would claim, is not restricted to G’Gaon or any other suburb – my aunt lived in Gulmohar Park in the 70s – the houses there suffered from all the construction issues you mentioned – she moved from a stand-alone house to an apartment in the 80s – and that apt. STILL leaks every monsoon (aunt is long gone, a cousin now lives in that apt).

    As for idiots who enjoy provoking people – AAAGH! Bleddy idiots..

    M

  4. Despite working in Gurgawan for more than 4 years, I loathe it like anything. Its sucks. Once you have lived in Dilli, you wont feel that same connection wherever you go. Come back to Dilli, you wont regret it 🙂

  5. Few cities can match Delhi’s history.. least of all an upstart like Gurgaon. I have super memories of amy hostel at Hauz Khas. Some people are just asking to be put in place.. good u obliged.
    What’s the Lucknow connection?

  6. I don’t get the nerve of such people. “I like to provoke people…” Yeah, no wonder you are so annoying only you said it better. I think the “drink in his face” would have been classic. Seriously. May be that would have taught him to shut his trap.

  7. Oh! move the West alright and alteast you can be closer to your thambi? (Yes, yes, go ahead and curse me for I see only what I want to see and ignored your rants 😉 ).

  8. Do i totally know where you’re coming from with that SOB. What’s with pricks with inflated egos having to be nasty just to prove their presence? Do they enjoy being haters? They just put people totally off on a good evening together. Pay them no attention. We all are here for you!
    I was in Delhi for the first time ever a week ago and it’s fantastic, the character of the place! I love love loved it! I did find it funny that women give each other the elevator eyes everywhere though.
    Oh and mm, I’m meeting P tomorrow for lunch 🙂

  9. I am so sorry about the annoying man, though glad that you gave it back to him. I know exactly how you felt – a girl who studied with me in high school directly told me that she just loved making me (in specific) angry.. and she was practically the most popular girl in school – made me doubt my own social skills a lot 😉

    • i feel too. for you and for my babies. I can never forget taking them out to play ball in the park behind my house – some ancient 17th century structure gracing it. how often do the present and past get to meet that way?
      as for parents’ choices, today we have made the move to get the brat an education … i really hope he doesnt feel bad about it 15 years from now 😦
      on the other hand, i am hoping to have enough money to move back some day

      • I’m not questioning your decision to move (oh what the hell, just a little bit), but I do know that education doesn’t only come from schooling and the environment one is brought up in greatly affects one’s worldview as well. Rough-and-not-so-ready Gurgaon may be sorely lacking on that front, from what you describe. That said, education also comes from the home, and you and the OA will more than make up for any civilization/culture/history that Gurgaon doesn’t have.
        I’m with you on the history bit. There’s something very precious about growing up amidst history, knowing you’re just the latest in a long line of people to have walked these paths. Maybe some day you’ll step out of your garden into one of those khandars I was amazed to see scattered everywhere. 🙂 Either way, hon, don’t kill yourself. Please.

  10. I don’t know what I missed here, but what part about that girl on the escalator bothered you? 2 years ago it could have very well been me! I do remember being thrilled wearing my new long tube top, and skinny jeans (I’ve always been skinny. Its genetic I assume and nothing I do changes that). And I’d often express my concern about getting home on time (I did respect the deadlines my parents gave me). I could so relate to the girl you described.

    So what was it? The fact that she was inappropriately dressed for a mall? The striking difference between the two worlds (old women in saris and her, and lack of a crowd you can relate to?) that made you wonder where you were and what was going on?

    Sorry, I hope I don’t sound intrusive or offensive 😦 I am only asking cos it hit a raw nerve and something tells me I completely missed the gist of what you were trying to say.

    • LOL! the difference is what struck me. you know, one side nine yard, the other side tube top. Also, the tube top was a spangly, party affair. so in that sense, clearly not chilled out mall clothing. but thats really irrelevant. it was basically the first part. so you’re not offensive or intrusive. sorry it hit a raw nerve! and she had this thick haryanvi accent, couldn’t speak english and i was surprised to see her dressed the way she was….

  11. Oh! My God..it just makes me mad when people can be so stupid and yet dont hesitate to open their mouth!! On top of it, I am from Lucknow and it made me even more angry! I am guessing he is from Kolkata and even if not he is not doing much favor to his origin place by talking like this..if one has to make generalization (which I dont like to do ever!) then hmm…I wonder what will we conclude!:)

  12. OMG again! just saw your reply to someone else..and he is from Lucknow!! I am so so glad that you gave it to him but somehow feel that he deserves more!!

  13. beautiful post… i feel like that in the hitech area of hyd which is nothing like the hyderabad i grew up in and loved. ditto on the halfbaked community living and maids and overpriced and halfcooked amenities. Delhi will have no match…i wish you luck…

    • 🙂 you know, the more I think about it the more I realise its true. I’d just die if I had to leave this country i love, thats all. we’re completely self sufficient, people laugh at us for the way we live our lives. but other than the driving bit, we’re fine on our own. and as i tell the OA, if I had to drive an automatic in a country where people follow rules, i’d be willing to do it.

  14. Heh. And here I thought being cultured meant being able to speak to the other person’s interests and keep them engaged in conversation. Anybody can talk about THEIR life, work and fantastic suburbia.

    Sorry Ggn is hard on you. We have a slightly different driver issue. We have great help and obviously reward them well to the extent that they surely deserve and we can afford. But we get flak about rising the prices for everyone else 😦 I don’t know what to do!

    I hope things iron out for you soon.

    • LOL! people like me are probably cursing you then 😀
      no seriously, i dont mind paying well for great help. my driver and cook in the last house were well paid and well loved – that would be the subhash bhaiyya trying to kill the bean. they went beyond the call of duty and i did the same.
      here… not so much

  15. aiyyyo DITTO DITTO DITTO (old bangalore versus the suburb i live in) every single word, you took it right out of my mouth, and now i know why i don’t blog – everything i want to say you say, and much better anyway 🙂

    • Heh…this is why i don’t blog either. Not only do others say most things much better – i also feel intimidated just trying to comment on most blogs – cos even those who comment say it so much better 😀

      • yaaaaa me too 🙂 there’s almost never anything other than ‘ya, me too’ that i can say in a comment, and theres only about 49 times that one say say that 🙂
        i could never be a blogger, can;t be a commenter too, will have to relegate myself to the ‘avid blog reader’ group (the number of times i check some blogs, this one included, i give avid a whole new meaning)

  16. MM, I sooo identify with this post right now. I moved to Noida from my beloved Calcutta a few months back and I hate hate hate it. My office is nice and I have very helpful colleagues, but the moment I step out from my swanky glass and steel workplace I am faced with potholed roads and donkeys and cattle blocking the way of shiny cars and open drains and unbearable stench. If I have the urge, I can’t just hop out of my house and stroll to the tea shop around the corner and have my daily dose of ‘adda’. Heck, I am uncomfortable travelling alone after dark because I’m perpetually afraid of being mugged in the ghost like empty roads. There are large office buildings which house huge multinational companies and my friend (a girl) got nasty comments and jibes because she was taking a smoke break.(It was not the smoking people objected to. It was the fact that she was a girl! And she held a cigarette!) The metro is a lifesaver and we head Delhi wards every weekend and explore the city and stuff ourselves at Karim’s and roam around CP. But I realized how helpless I really am when I discovered that the metro closes at 8 on diwali and there I was, all dressed up to go to a party, with no other public transport avilable to take me there.

    Gah. I could rant all day. But I’ll stop. I’m soooo moving to somewhere in Delhi soon.

    • I was just about to say move to Delhi, when I read your last line. Coming from the warmth and bustle of Cal to the lifelessness of any suburb, is a killer. Mostly because our Indian suburbs are not a patch on suburbs in the West. Atleast there, they get clean roads in exchange for the cookie cutter houses.

    • I LOVVVED Noida during my stay of 3 years and miss it all the time – it’s so much better than gurgaon. not sure where you are staying.. but most places in noida are green, homely, with ample parks, lots of hospitals, lots of children, lots of friendly neighbourhood aunties.. and yep a lot of chaos! but to be fair to the chaos, i never ever saw any roadkill on the roads of noida, didnt ever suffer potholes and never witnessed waterlogging.

      all these i regularly witness in gurgaon. plus i have noticed this stereotype here i like to call the ‘gurgaon mom’.. all of them have poker straight hair, dress in the latest identical fashion, walk around in swanky malls donning a bored expression, and insist on speaking with their children in english even when the child seems more at ease with hindi and is chattering away happily in hindi… they dont cuddle their kids, they just look bored.

      i am bored too, but i fervently hope i dont turn into them when i become a mom.

      MM.. the DT mega mall on golf course road is quite cute. there’s parking on most days and it’s quite khulla-khulla. lots of kiddie shops. and the bazaar in Phase-I is nice-ish, esp for kiddie clother at dirt cheap export surplus prices. not the cleanest of places though.

      I am telling you – move to phase II. it has row houses which is something you seem used to, though not many parks, but enough and more ‘unorganised’ greens.. trees, shrubbery et al. you’d like it the best in gurgaon.

      i know your angst at swanky lanes inside complexes leading to potholed roads, the great divide between the rich and the poor (there seems to be no endearing middle class in gurgaon).. the irony never, not for a single day, gets lost on me… but instead of amusing me, it makes me damn depressed and sometimes angry.

      • Nice to know so many of you are from Ggn.Come to Phase-I someday and have a look.They all seem the same to me anyway….u stir out of your homes and find potholes staring at u ‘n u hv a BAD neck like me u’v had it!LOL…..

  17. Yes..Yes i completely hear you out. I still live in old Bangalore. Everytime we step out wanting to invest in a bigger place (Yes the house i live in is small 😦 ) we just come back disappointed. To add to it the school is just 3 kms from where i live…so i guess i have to just put up with the lack of space.

    As for the idiot..sometimes the one going silent has the last laugh. I know even i could not have held on that long. There is a saying i often quote to myself to keep my mouth shut

    “There is no point in wrestling with a pig, not only do you get dirty the pig enjoys it”

    How is your knee doing?? Take care

  18. Westwards ho is the chant running through my head as well right now. My regular maid has gone off to the village AGAIN without so much as a by your leave because some distant relative has indigestion and the replacement I’ve got seems to think I’ve hired her to admire the spots on the wall when she’s not too busy vacantly staring into space. So cooking, cleaning, child raising is on here in full swing as well. Sorry for ranting 😦 just have had a spot of bai woes too many lately.
    I could never get myself to like Gurgaon when I lived there, and I’ve never lived in Delhi but you sure make it sound wonderful 🙂

  19. Small town Indore suits me just fine, Thank You.

    Town, City or Mega-city; the BAIs/other help have us dancing on their little fingers. Kill me for this MM, but the class stratification worked. You go to a swanky hospital with best doctors and nurses, but if you want a bai/ward-boy for the pot or anything else, your discharge will come before the highness shows up.

    * covers head and runs away as MM’s brow furrows *

  20. I may be in minority here, but I really fail to see the difference between Delhi and Gurgaon. Infrastructurally, huge difference and yeah I agree on the identical housing complexes and lack of greenery but with respect to culture? I love Delhi, and everyone who knows me knows it.. as of now, 95% of my life has been spent there and I long for the winters every single year I’m not there. And a lot of my family is in Gurgaon, and I have stayed there too. But my love for Delhi/ Ggn as a greener city (compared to Mumbai) has nothing to do with its people, I feel so sad to say. People in Delhi AND Gurgaon are unprofessional, rude and uncouth.. specially domestic help and staff. More so with Noida. I used to argue against this very point but now when I deal with the maids, drivers and other staff here in Mumbai or in Bangalore, I can see that a majority of them like to do their work a lot more sincerely and therefore you feel good about paying them their due and then some.

    This other thing could be specific to me, but I ever do move back to the NCR, I will move to Gurgaon and not Delhi. Where my neighbours are not always asking questions and let me be, I can find a decently secure housing complex, I am closer to better schools and offices and the airport, and Dilli Haat is a doable distance away 😀

    Lucknow I find extremely boring and with WAY more eve-teasers than anywhere else, is my first, second and third impression of the city. (My aunt stays there – it seems from this comment I have family all over the country :D) And that’s the only thing I can think of.

    That being said, of course the man was trying to get on our nerves on purpose, and had I been in your place, I would have walked right into the trap and thrown that drink in his face. My husband would then have proceeded to get red-faced and apologized making me feel stupid. It happens to me all the time. :/

    • Well you have to live longer in Gurgaon to realise that they charge twice what the Delhi help charge and dont know half as much. Cant make a dosa, can’t polish the car, then whats with the high rates?!

      Yes, Gurgaon is convenient for young couples who are working long hours. But for people who look to love a city and call it home – this isnt it.

      As for Lucknow, a few eve teasers can never take away from its history and culture. I dont belong there and I have only visited (just like you) – but be it the chikankari or the poetry or the historical buildings, there is nothing that city lacks in terms of culture.

  21. Hey… my sympathies… Gurgaon sucks… I stayed there for 9 months without a car and had a nervous breakdown in OFFICE. I was so grateful to be shifted to a small town like Rajkot. I could actually see people on the roads… there were autos… and it was safe to be out at 11 pm.
    I wonder what you would think of Mumbai… it has its pros and cons also.
    My nightmare is that I might be moving to Gurgaon in a few months. I was hoping things have improved- but I guess not.

      • Heck..and here i am feeling embarrassed asking people to visit us for a holiday. Thinking – why would someone want to holiday in Bombay when Goa is so close by and there are innumerable, better options that this country offers. But now that you have said that – in B/W no less – PLS do visit us for your neaxt vacations 😀

  22. Hellos.. sorry abt the domestic help issue.. we faced that for a lot of years too (and still do).. Gurgaon labour is very tricky.. but then i realise that its a demand and supply thingie.. they know the demand and they know the supply.. we know neither of the two, so they are at a negotiation advantage. Also, there is this socialist thought at the back of mind – why shld our employers be so rich when we are so poor.. what do they have that we dont have..

    that is what is wrong with Gurgaon.. there is no middle class here.. its either the village folk (incl the village middle class and the village rich) or the uber suburban IT types.

    • Absolutely!Thought I was the only one cribbing after 16 yrs stay here.
      U ask anyone here about maids,u get to hear’we are having no issues,sab mil jathe hai,’ and how kind they are…Feeling good to know I’m not the only one here in a 500sq yard plot house.Much as I love our house,god knows what made us make this huge home called BASHA?I’m maidless most part of the year,meaning part-timers that too.Don’t go for a full time as I don’t trust the agencies,all of them are so shady,can’t handle them.

  23. I dislike malls too….not for the reasons described by you….just that its so crowded. I do find though that I end up visiting malls much more often than I would like cos the son loves the “fun city”….brings back to mind an earlier post of yours of how as a mother you compromise your beliefs / values (well in this case, sacrifice own comfort) for the sake of your children.

    To answer your earlier question where I had said my son also likes nature….no, we dont live in Gurgaon. We live in Chennai. You studied with my bro in Stephens…do let me know if you’re coming to chennai.

    • yes, I hate the crowds too. have stopped pubbing for the same reason and can’t stand crowded events. old age?
      Would your brother be Rohit?
      and you live in Chennai… ? well, who knows, we might meet yet.. 🙂

      • Yes, my brother is Rohit and he lives in Chicago. Anywhere near your bro?

        I still love pubs…but probably only cos I get to go to one maybe once in 2 years! That reminds me, I must fix a date with my hubby for our next bi-annual pub visit.:)

        And yes, I love in Chennai.

  24. Two things:
    1. I just don’t get people who voice opinions just to “provoke” other people. Especially if it involves being rude/insulting. What is the point, I wonder, if they don’t really believe in the opinion they are voicing even a little bit? Very confusing. Also, try “provoking” these people back and they generally can’t handle it.

    2. Can’t speak for Delhi but the domestic help situation in Bombay is quite bad too. One of the great things about Hong Kong is affordable and very efficient domestic help. My helper is a dream – so professional and does things better than I ever could (ok which is not saying a lot, but really, she’s awesome). One more reason to think carefull about back to India. My mum struggles with substandard help and though I’ve told her to pay whatever it takes if she finds someone good, the sad thing is that it is actually really hard to find someone good even if you are willing to pay. I wish I could send her a helper from here, but I doubt they would want to go to India.

    • agree on both points. i’ve often had bleeding hearts go on about dignity of labour and inequality in pay scales. i’m happy to pay more, but dude, we dont walk out of a job without notice, take one day’s leave and disappear for a month.. and so much more.

      • OK – I try never to comment on maid issue. My maid stories could fill a couple of books. But i HAVE to agree on this. We’d all be willing to pay – and pay well- if they showed some sincerity, loyalty and a smidgen of initiative. But most of them are ALWAYS trying to cut corners and see how much they can get away with. The amazing thing is there is poverty and unemployment – but they still show not the least bit of dedication. And i have found maids sticking around for ever in places where they’re treated like dirt and walking out at the drop of a hat where they’re treated with dignity and respect. They prefer the feudal system more than we do. Proof positive.

        MM – between us, we could write an encyclopedia maybe?

  25. come over to the US…your bro is in virginia correct..we live close by…and i am sure you have scores of friends here…you will settle right away and with your experience of managing a household without help, girl…you are all SET!:-)))

    seems like finding good help and keeping them is becoming a huge issue everywhere. i was talking to my father the other day-it was around 7:00 am in india, he was making tea for himself and my mom- the lady who used to, left unexpectedly. this is my 82 year old father. my brother who rarely stepped into the kitchen, is now making daal, rice and all sorts of dishes for the family. he is now the designated cook! i envied the ‘support system’ in india for a long time but things are drastically changing there too.self-reliance is becoming critical for day to day existence.

    • precisely. the support system is falling apart, but nothing is stepping up to take its place. we still work 12 hour days and have to travel 2 hours on bad roads, come home to no water or electricity. there’s a gas cylinder shortage and i’m having nightmares.

      • yep, its a lot easier to be self reliant here in the US for the infrastruture is strong, the basic amenities and resources are there. when these are lacking just like you mentioned, it is indeed a nightmare. hang in there. i hope your help problem gets sorted out and gurgaon grows on you gradually.

        btw, do you like the songs ‘naav’ and ‘kuch naya to zaroor hai’ from Udaan…i am tripping on em now!

  26. Main hoti uss SOB ko do chaar haath kaan ke neeche laga ke aati. I mean really. Bloody upstart moron.

    About the rest. I agree so much that I was nodding through your post. Funny I don’t even live in Gurgaon, and I don’t have a Delhi around to make up for it. Heh!

    What is this? Where are we? Whats going on?

  27. I got the funniest visual at your driver sudddenly working for the neighbour line. Bean with her nose stuck to the glass puzzled’ly’ waving hi to driver uncle. This might sound likea dumb q but are Gurgaon and Goregaon the same? and what is khandar?
    Is it possible to ask your mom to see if they can find someone who can live with you (help) or is that not a choice?

    • 🙂 not funny at all. Gurgaon is a Delhi suburb. Goregaon is a Bombay suburb. khandar is Orange jammies Parsi spelling of khandahar – ruins
      And my mum has been trying for the last five years and hasnt been able to find anyone 😦

  28. Can’t believe that guy says thsoe things just to deliberatley provoke others and gets a kick out of it.It might be soon that he gets a real kick ..
    Having said that, good job on giving it back to him.

  29. I am so sorry, but that Gurgaon (in all the 6 hrs I saw of it, 3 hrs of which were spent driving around in circles, locating address!) is a mess. It looks like unfinished construction work all over! I am sorry you had to move out of Delhi, cos from what little I have seen of it (10 days over 3 yrs), I loved the place.
    That said, I guess every place has its pitfalls. I love Madras dearly, but I know a whole lot of people who cant bear the thought of living there. And then there is Bangalore. I woke up today, trying to love this place just a teeny bit more and guess what? It throws the mother- of- all traffic jams in my face! After 1.5 hrs of being stuck, trying to navigate a 15 km stretch, you give up on all the loving. (there was no point to this paragraph.)
    I guess like someone said, it perhaps is the seeming lack of a middle class, in Gurgaon, that makes the divide that much more painful.
    – You MUST give me the award for making this amazingly pointless observation that I call a comment. 😀

  30. If I were living in Madras now I would have hated to move to the suburbs. I love that dusty dirty city to bits. But I just moved yesterday out of Chicago the the burbs – not to the realy burbs where most desis have their mansions but a burb close to the city. Just one day and I love it. Because now my son can run into the backyard and not have to run into my chain smiling neighbour, or the one grilling steaks and hot dgs outside all the time or worry about the real fast car in the alley. I can actually park in a garage and not in the street where there is 2 inches between the cars. But I miss all my restaurants that were within a block! Compromises, compromises!

  31. i hate hate hate suburban america and want to move back into city too. feel your pain. same here same here. 😦

    but i do have an excellent cleaning lady. may she always be happy and healthy for i would be distraught without her.

    • yeah thats the good part, see. a cleaning lady there, takes pride in her job. here people give no respect to the house help and the house help also look at it as a job that doesnt need to be done with any pride

  32. i live in bombay. have two maids. one for cooking. one for cleaning. they come. they do their job. they adivise me on something or the other. i pretend to be grateful. one’s been with me for twelve years. the other for four. touch wood. i live in a suburb called goregaon.

    having lived in the city proper, i.e. colaba for the first 25 years of my life, i was looking forward to a major adaptation crisis when i moved here. but now when i go to the city (rarely) it does seem like all the life has flowed out of it to the suburbs. never regretted it. at all.

    • wow. 12 years. i dont think i’ve had one for more than 12 months. okay i had my cook and driver for about 4 years in south delhi. i’d have still had them if i hadnt moved here 😦

      • My son for the 3 years he lived in Mumbai had a maid who cooked well, did the chores and was regular and punctual too. I remember him saying that the maids in Mumbai are much more professional than the ones in bangalore!

        • would you believe it, from all your comments until now, i’ve always thought you’re a 27-28 year old PhD student or something. Dont ask me what gave me that notion… I hunted through your old comments and found references to grown up children, but there is something about your spirit, that makes me think of a young woman…

  33. On my last two trips to Delhi, I didn’t really like the place. But when I visited in October this year, I promptly fell in love.

    Of course it helped the YMCA Tourist Hostel which was brilliant.

    The only blight was the drunken tour guide who chased us at Jantar Mantar. 🙂

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