Vivek Vyas works as a human resources director in a multinational bank and lives in Oakwood Estate, DLF Phase 2
Moving to a new city can be daunting, especially for someone well settled in Mumbai, is in his 40s and with a family who only knows Mumbai and happy to be there. It gets even more difficult when the new city happens to be Gurugram with Delhi NCR’s notoriety of being unsafe, especially for women. For someone who knew north India only from the movies, it was a difficult decision to make.
However, when an opportunity to take a quantum jump in my career beckoned, I did not want to be the one to back out and then regret for the rest of my life. A quick search showed me that Gurugram indeed was the new city on the block with most Fortune 500 companies, including many in my own industry, having chosen it to be the city of choice in India.
We moved in July 2015 into the best part of Gurugram, close to the Mall Mile and into the hub of action. More than the usual suspects like the good infrastructure and open spaces, we particularly enjoy the best luxury Gurugram offers — time. Being from Mumbai, I had forgotten what it meant for me. It was the usual hectic life — going to office early morning, a commute of nearly two hours, followed by 10-12 hours at work, and then a couple of hours back, food and then sleep. Weekends were largely about getting over the tiredness.
I had always been the ‘outdoors type’ and enjoyed my weekend runs and trips to the hills. However, it was always a fight against time. Of course, Mumbai offered its own devices of enjoyment but here, given the short commute to office, schools and anywhere in this emerging metro city, we have time at disposal to plan things outside office hours even on a weekday. After having moved here, the time my wife and I are spending with our kids in their growing years is the biggest gift we can thank Gurugram for. We both also cherish the memories of going for multiple cultural concerts, Durga Pooja and sports events.
What is rather interesting about Gurugram is the paradox manifested in the local culture and the global aspirations. It keeps Gurugram dynamic.
Gurugram gives me a flavour of an international city. When I visit the iconic CyberHub, I could be anywhere in the world. I love the foot overbridges which are a class apart. Where else in India will you find a well-designed foot overbridge with plants, water bodies, seating benches and elevators/escalators for commuters comfort? It’s truly world class.
Gurugram has beautiful surroundings on the outskirts which are a treat for a runner like me. Trail runs to Bharadwaj Lake and Mangar lake, both hidden treasures of pristine aqua green waters and beaches to boot have become an annual ritual for the past three years. The running community here has a strong bond and has been keen to welcome me with open arms. It made our settling in the new city quicker and effortless.
Many of our visiting guests from Mumbai were awed by the feel of Gurugram and now understand our reasons for moving in here.
If I could change a few things about Gurugram, I would love to change the summers and the pollution especially during winters. Gurugram also has an amazing vibrant social activism circle which works as a watch guard and holds vibrant events like Raahgiri where the administration and the activists come together to make Gurugram a better city. I personally got a taste of that activism recently when they took up the cause of improving the condition of MG Road, which till recently had become a nuisance with its illegal pubs and nefarious activities. It was good to see the activists, residents, police, administration and the political class coming together to support a just cause. Well, I guess the event best described Gurugram for me as a city looking to change and improve and rub shoulders with the best, globally.