I arrived in Gurugram from Mumbai in 2013 muttering in disgust, swearing never to like or settle down in the place. Dry, arid and dusty are the words that were singed in my mind and nothing could possibly change my feelings. A true-blue Mumbaiker, having lived in that city for more than a decade, I had too many beautiful friendships there to care about fostering new ones. But it’s true that one should never say never, for what you solemnly swear you will not, willy-nilly life makes you do just that.
Today, two months shy of completing five years in Gurugram I couldn’t be more settled and happy. The absence of public transport and acute pollution are realities that can’t be wished away or ignored, but there is lots to savour and enjoy in Gurugram if you keep an open mind. The plethora of corporates ensures a huge number of educated like-minded men and women who have lived and travelled across the globe, and are now based here. Social interaction is enriching and invigorating. You can be part of interesting groups or clubs depending on what your interests are. So be it food, cycling, walking, bird watching, books, art, gardening you can pick and choose what you want to be a part of; there are clubs galore.
Getting around in Gurugram isn’t a challenge like it is in Mumbai. Of course, travel to Delhi is a groan-inducing proposition and needs planning, but the Rapid Metro has made it easy. But if you don’t wish to move out of Gurugram there’s enough and more happening here to keep you busy and happy. Being an author, I seek out authors and book events. Attending such events is a breeze here. Socializing is also very easy if all your friends are in Gurugram. No one is more than 10 minutes away! So, meeting friends for an after-dinner wine and Pictionary or just plain chit-chat isn’t tough unlike what it would be in the other metros.
If driving out is what you fancy, there are many quick routes to zip away on. My husband and I often go out for late-night drives on the Faridabad highway. We are proud doggie parents and there are many doggy play areas in the city.
A place, any place, is what you make of it. You can choose to grumble and complain about the cons endlessly and be miserable or see the good, make the most of it and enjoy. An eternal optimist, I choose to see the glass of life as half full and make merry. I came to Gurugram determined not to like it, but I have to admit, I’m now in love with it.