I recently realized I have spent more time living in Gurgaon than in Bangalore.
In 2011, when I first told one of my friends that I was moving to Gurgaon - he laughed at me. He had stayed in Gurgaon for a year and he absolutely hated it. As per him, there was no public transportation system, no chai-shops, almost no infra - just malls and offices.
And he was right. However, what troubled me the most was the weather. My first winter and my first summer in Gurgaon were terrible. The unfortunate thing was that these two seasons covered ten months out of twelve, and I found only March & November a little bearable.
No wonder, I didn’t like Gurgaon, and I hoped to move back to Bangalore ‘as soon as possible’. I now have spent 9 years here and have come to like Gurgaon. Here are some of my reasons
- Gurgaon is a comparatively smaller place. I can technically live in any part of Gurgaon, and still, my wife, my daughter, and I can hope to reach our respective offices and schools in under 30 minutes
- Delhi Airport is 45 minutes from my home.
- Some of the best schools in the country are in Gurgaon.
- Gurgaon has been improving its infra every day - this is one area where it is really commendable at the speed at which Gurgaon has transformed itself. Almost all choke points now either have fly-overs or they are being built now. And they don’t take years to build.
- Metro, Rapid Metro, and bus service are an added advantage. (Though, to be honest, not enough people use them.)
- There are enough job opportunities; the number of companies, startups and unicorn startups are increasing at a healthy pace.
- Moreover, offline to online startups find Gurgaon a lucrative place to start their operation and provide their best services because of the smaller size and spending power of the population.
- My parents feel more comfortable in Gurgaon (in fact, I think, they like it here more than our hometown) I think language (i.e. Hindi) play a huge role in their case. They have friends in the society with diverse backgrounds. A lot of people from Delhi and surrounding areas have also settled in Gurgaon after retirement.
- You don’t have to wait a lot for cabs, surge, AFAIK, is also bounded because of government regulation.
- This is specific to me - I find it comfortable to be at a place where everybody around me is not a software engineer or into tech companies - helps me in anonymity.
- Proximity to Delhi, Noida, and other NCR cities help - my hometown is well connected via trains starting from Delhi.
- There are enough tourist places that you can go to over a weekend, including mountains, national parks, forts and pilgrimage towns.
- It might be just me, however, I don’t find Gurgaon unsafe or pretentious (I mean, it is as unsafe and pretentious as any other Indian metro city is)
Weather-wise Gurgaon is still very bad. Pollution is a big problem. And yet, the thought of moving out of Gurgaon and settling in a place like Bangalore unsettles me. I guess I don’t hate it anymore.