This shrink shifted from South Delhi to Gurgaon only to be left high and dry
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This shrink shifted from South Delhi to Gurgaon only to be left high and dry

When I moved from South Delhi to Gurgaon, I told myself it was just another city. But, boy, was I mistaken!

This shrink shifted from South Delhi to Gurgaon only to be left high and dry

How hard can it be? That's what I thought when I shifted to Gurgaon six months back: "It's just another city with buildings." But my Utopia was to be shattered soon. It’s not just another city, it’s a monster. 

Amid the clutter of 24-hour arc lights, gigantic cranes and dumper trucks, behemoths rises out of fields of churned mud on the sides of Gurgaon roads. But commuters just skirt the vast perimeter fences and go about their daily business, barely glancing at the huge construction projects coming up in a cityscape that changes every month.

I realised Delhi and Gurgaon have very different souls, with very different people living here. 

Here are the six challenges I face in Gurgaon every day:

1. Lifestyle: A very bright yet dull light seems to be reflecting in the lifestyle of the city. Everyone is always busy, running short of time with frowns on their foreheads. On the one hand is a busy segment of working people, and on the other are people making themselves busy by joining Art of Living classes, learning about past-life regression and spending hours in the salon as a self-grooming exercise. Does the city ever take a breather? 

2. Climate: Skyscrapers, concrete jungles and pollution lead to a hot and dry weather in the city. While I was driving back from Delhi to Gurgaon one day, it was raining cats and dogs in Delhi, but all I got here was a dust storm.

3. Technology: Delhi still lives on laptops but Gurgaon is mostly on mobile. I asked one of my friends for a good dentist nearby and she asked me curiously: "Are you not on Gurgaon Moms? Go and look it up there.” Life runs on mobile apps in Gurgaon. In Delhi, my work network as a child psychologist was mostly through word of mouth, but here I am connecting to people mainly through social networking sites.

4. Social life: You have to run the rat race in Gurgaon — to survive, to boost your ego. This city of the afluent puts a high premium on possessing the dream flat and driving around in the dream car. Friday evenings are crowded, with people making a beeline from office to pubs and malls and Cyberhub. I was stunned by the sheer number of wine shops in every nook and corner. My hubby's comment — "You may not find medicine here in the middle of the night but you will always find wine" — didn't help matters in my head.

5. Day to day: As soon as I heard about Gurgaon being renamed Gurugram, I actually thought of Gurgaon as a gram, or a village. Don't blame me — why does the electricity go off every time there is even one drop of rain in the city? Then there's the traffic. There are no rules on the road whatsoever. I have stopped getting shocked by people just popping up on my right from the blue, overtaking me, and then glaring at me as if it is all my fault. The cost of living is painful — what I may be able to buy in Delhi for Rs 300 I have to buy here in Gurgaon for at least Rs 400! Another thing I miss sorely is good streetfood here in Gurgaon.

6. Mental health: I have found more psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health workshops and schools with special needs here in Gurgaon than in Delhi. As we know, necessity is the mother of  invention. It is only natural that I assume it reflects the needs of the city residents. Maybe it is due to nuclear working families, high levels of stress and hectic lifestyles.

That said, life is all about acceptance!