How to enjoy Monsoon in Gurgaon

Monsoon is such a cheerful season in India. We might say that it is especially auspicious for farmers who spend half of their lives looking at the sky like wolves during a full moon and develop serious neck ailments in the process but monsoon holds a special place in the hearts of city folks too who are oblivious of farmer suicides, droughts and food grain wastage and keep wondering why the middle class is in a perpetual state of inflation.

The slick dwellers of NCR have a special place for monsoon in their hearts. If you compare Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon, then Gurgaon wins hands-on just for the sheer brilliance of the way monsoon water is utilized for the entertainment of the people living and working here. Ever since I have witnessed the first downpour here, I am all praise for the Gurgaon administration for developing such unique ways to keep the mentally and emotionally bruised citizens happy.

Waterfalls and Free Car wash

Now if you have been to Gurgaon, you will know that NH 8 to Jaipur passes through it and most of it is elevated. So a lot of IT and non-IT slaves and masters pass under the highway to reach their camps. Any short-sighted administration would have put holes on either side of the highway and put pipes to the ground and into the drains so that any rainwater collecting on the highway can be drained out but Gurgaon administration are smart thinkers. We do have holes here but no pipelines. So when it rains, we see serene, multiple, equidistant waterfalls pouring gallons of water on the worker bees trying to pass below it. It is such a beautiful sight that you would be tempted to run under the waterfalls with a Liril soap in your hand. And it acts as a car wash as well. If you align your car in the correct position, you could pass it under a number of waterfalls and get it cleaned free of cost.

River Rafting

You can very easily come to the conclusion that there are no drains in Gurgaon by the near flood like situation after a five minute downpour. You will see wild rivers running on the roads trying to find a hole to get into and failing miserably. The situation is so overwhelming that it can give Rishikesh a run for its money for water sports. You can raft your way to your office, you could swim and be healthy or you could splash water on each other and sing Tip-tip-barsa-paani. Now what better start of the day?

Lovely Beaches

You can buy beach recliners and relax on any of the footpaths (if they are not already taken up by auto-rickshaws, cars or trucks) in a soothing man made beach simulator. As water is clogged in heaps on both sides of the roads, any vehicle which passes by will create artificial ripples similar to waves lapping the shore. You can chai-chapa-chai-chapak-chai with your loved one as the waves touch your feet and give you a romantic ambience. Please ignore the vehicular smoke and occasional mud splashes on your face and do not expect a starfish or sea-shells to wash ashore. There is a limit to which the Gurgaon administration can be imaginative.

Canoe and picnics

Now if you are one of the very few lucky ones who have purchased a ground floor flat in Gurgaon, you can enjoy a lake side family picnic right in your drawing room after it is flooded with rain water. You can buy a canoe for your kid that he can row around as you play cards with your wife on the floating sofa and eat sandwiches. You can skip pebbles on the lake, catch earthworms and play collect-cans-and wrappers (the person who collects the maximum amount of garbage floating in your house with the rainwater wins). After this, you can go and stand under the highway and take a bath under the waterfall.

Lessons in Patience

If you stand next to a road in Gurgaon and scream ‘rain’ four times, there will be a traffic jam in seconds. The Gurgaon administration has tactfully created very narrow roads all over the city so that they could conduct their own free of cost ‘art of living’ programme. A few years back, I got stuck in such a jam for seven hours – waterless and appleless. It was such a profound lesson in patience that I thank the administration of Gurgaon till date with humble tears in my eyes. You realise how important this lesson is when you reach your office and are surrounded by morons.

It has been such an enriching and entertaining experience working in Gurgaon. There are very few cities in the world where rain water evaporates instead of getting drained. There are very few cities who look after their citizens so passionately and with such care. I haven’t talked about the electricity situation here which is another programme under ‘art of living’ OR the fact that a lot of people go to malls to brush their teeth and take a bath because there is no water in their house. I am specially covering monsoon here.

And lo! As I finish this post, the heavy downpour has started again. Time to go and enjoy a few of the attractions!

NCR – Nightmare Capital Region

Do you believe that Mumbai is the worst city as far as traffic jams, water logging and crime is concerned?

Do you think Bangalore is very chaotic in the peak hours of traffic?

Then think again because NCR (The Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon belt) is here to beat both the cities. Gurgaon and Noida were slated to be the upcoming satellite towns which were supposed to elevated the National Capital region to another era of development. A few years down the line and you can hear horrifying stories of people stuck in endless traffic jams, power cuts, muddy water supplies and people frequently robbed off their belongings using brand new methods.

My Own Sob Story

Ever since I have shifted to Delhi from Chennai, my nightmare never seems to end. Chennai was paradise in comparison and I can’t stop being nostalgic. Anyways, on 14 August there was an announcement in my office that the buses would leave at 5 pm instead of their regular 6 pm timings because it was our Independence Day on the next day. I was hopeful that I might reach home on time. Around 4 pm it started raining cats and dogs. It was such a heavy downpour that I was quite sure of the impending doom.

That day I reached home at 12 am.

Yes, you read it right. It took me 7 hours to reach home. In fact for the first 2 hours the bus was not able to move even an inch because of the jam and it took the bus 5 hours to reach the Gurgaon Toll which is a 2 minute drive from my office during happy days. The streets were water clogged and there were vehicles parked in all the wrong places on the narrow roads. Result – Utter chaos.

The Mouse Trap called Udyog Vihar

Udyog Vihar is a huge area in Gurgaon where many Office complexes are situated including mine. Its just on your left as soon as you cross the Toll if you are coming from Dhaula Kuan. The whole area is a trap specially when its raining or during the peak office hours.

I would really like to meet the planner of Udyog Vihar and kick his sorry ass with so much might that his next seven generations are going to reel in pain. The foolish guy designed the whole office complex as if he was designing a residential colony. Narrow lanes and huge offices. Its something like this –

So you can very well imagine what would happen when it rains very heavily and all the narrow roads are water clogged and more than 50 office buses and hundreds of cars wrestle for space to reach the main highway. I could never understand why it was planned like this. Leaving aside people who stay at far away places, if you are living in Gurgaon, it might take you anything between 1-3 hours to reach home in peak time. And all this is happening when Gurgaon is occupied only upto 40% of its capacity. Imagine the plight when it would be 90% occupied!!

The toll is another sob story. If you are fortunate enough to get away from the narrow roads, you can easily waste 15-30 minutes at the toll if you don’t have a tag. Huge snaking rows of vehicles can be seen there even at midnight.

Waterlogging and Delhi

MCD is one department which I fail to understand. Water logging is nothing new in Delhi but this is one department which have been very consistently successful in not providing a solution. Delhites have one

option now – Pray to god that he stops sending rains towards the city. We don’t want them anymore. Let us live in peace.

According to this report, even the water logging near the Prime Minister’s house a day before the Independence Day celebrations could not move MCD in action. They blamed it on Gods and told that its not their fault that there was too much rain in such a small span of time.

The Growth and its disadvantages

India has been developing at a phenomenal rate and the number of people who have the money to buy a car have increased many-fold. Result – According to this report, Delhi already has 51 lakh vehicles on road with 950 vehicles being added daily. I won’t be surprised if one day we won’t have space to walk. What is now required is a robust public transportation system so that people don’t find the need to take out their cars. Its a distant dream but lets not give up hopes.

Water Water everywhere, not a drop to drink

Whenever I ask someone about the problems about living in Noida, the first concern which is raised is – Water availability. I was shocked to see yellow coloured water in one of my friend’s house. People have to store water in their houses because there is no definite water supply available and the water is generally muddy and inadequate by all standards.

Another problem is public transportation. If you are staying in Noida or Gurgaon and you don’t have a car, then you are doomed. There are no public buses or autorikshaws(in Gurgaon) available and all you can depend upon is your local rikshaw wala. The situation is severe specially in Gurgaon.

Solutions anyone?

Electricity and water are two very basic necessities which are the responsibility of the Government authorities but we have to make sure that we are not misusing them. We all know this but sadly, knowing something and implementing something are two different things. Pool vehicles whenever possible and save resources whenever possible.

Three things to be realized –

  • As Spiderman’s uncle said – With great power come great responsibility. The government needs to understand that.
  • The past always has a tricky way of coming back and biting you on the ankle – Zadie Smith.
  • We need to stop multiplying like cockroaches, otherwise there is really no solution which could help us.

And, oh, before I forget in all my frustration. HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!! 😀

[All the photos are taken by me while I twirled my fingers stuck in the jam. The diagram is created by me]

Randomizer Reloaded

  • Reema bestowed me with the Mr. Best Blogger Award this month. Yey!!!! I am on cloud number 9 for sure. Such a nice gift on Friendship Day. 😀 Congrats to all the other winners too. Well, we should award Reema too. So what should be her title? How is – Ms. Most Vivacious Blogger?
  • The trailer of Harry Potter and the half blood Prince hit the Internet last week and made some sort of a record. I am really looking forward to watch the movie which releases on December this year. And, yes, before you ask I haven’t read the books. So, I don’t know what is going to happen and so I am doubly excited. 😀 Here is the trailer –
  • Delhi was the hub of the Kanwariya menace a few days back. Loads of Orange colored men flocked the streets like a virus and disrupted the traffic. Trucks full of dancing people held traffic for hours and yours truly was a victim. The day it all ended, I was quite happy that I could at least reach office at time. The next day I was greeted by this sight. Sigh!!! This was due to some strike by the truck drivers. The blocked all the roads and left a little bit of area in between as an act of kindness to that the vehicles may pass and the chaos may increase some more. There is always a way to make someones life hell!!!
  • While I was reading the review of “Ugly aur Pagli” in Times of India a few days back, I realised that the movie is a copy of the famous Korean romantic comedy movie, My Sassy Girl, which came in 2001. I should have guessed by the way Mallika was slapping Ranvir. Why can’t we come up with something original? Aamir was one great attempt but we need more such movies. And while I am on it, do watch the Korean Movie if you can get hold of it. It was the biggest blockbuster of all times in Eastern Asia and I really loved the ending.
  • We had a 1970s Bollywood theme party last Wednesday at 32nd Milestone in Gurgaon which was sponsored by our client. I was not able to get hold of what I was exactly looking for but finally I did managed to look like a movie star. 😉 We danced, got drunk, ate a fabulous dinner and did some bowling at the end. The best part was that I later came to know that the bus which left the office that evening at 6 pm reached my home at 11.30 pm because of the ultra heavy rains that day. Thank God, I was not in that bus or I would have hanged myself from the curtains in the bus.
  • After belittling all the reality shows in the Ramdomizer, this might come as a real shocker to you that I am writing something good about a reality show. I have been seeing Comedy Circus ever since I shifted to Delhi as my family is a great fan of the show. And I am hooked. Everyone in the show is exceptional, may it be Krishna, Sudesh Lahiri, Shailesh or the mega hilarious Shaane Shakeel. The judges compliment the participants and Archana’s laughter is the highlight of the show. A must watch. Here are a few acts from the show. To watch more, try searching for Comedy Circus on Youtube.
  • India got its first individual Gold Medal in the Olympics. When I got the news I thought my friend was joking. But its true!!!! And its great!!!! Congratulations to Abhinav Bindra. Its not a small achievement. The Indian News channels must be really happy. They now have the fodder for next 4 days. They are going to tear apart the whole family tree of Abhinav to find out the answer to one question – How the hell???
  • The last 7 days was the longest I have stayed away from blogging, all thanks to my MTNL Broadband connection. We all have experience of a certain category of friends who stay with us when things are hunky dory but abandon the ship as soon as something goes wrong. MTNL will remind you of such friends. It took the customer care 6 days to figure out the problem. 6 DAYS!!!!! Airtel has an SLA(Service Level Agreement) of 1 day which means that they have to fix the problem in 1 day. The MTNL staff is purely lethargic and incapable of any action till you reach them through the proper channel. Yes!!!! We had to ask a high officer to intervene. I HATE MTNL. 👿