Big City Tings

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

 Does spending 4 nights in a different city count as relocation? If so, I have notes. 

Gurgaon is culturally vacuous; what it lacks in the structural integrity to hold for art and culture, it makes up in its sub-par experience of shuttling between an urban town and a decaying village all at once. My favourite part about the city is trying to hail an auto and getting a reality check—I wouldn't last a day here on my own, unlike Delhi or Pune, or Mumbai. It's a bit like Karnataka that way, you're on your own kid, as Taylor Swift sings. 

Then there are tall buildings. I'm constantly floating between elevators running from the fifth, tenth and twelfth floors; there are views and there are views. If Delhi has trees then Gurgaon has skyscrapers. Trees don't do much at night but the buildings, they look fucking gorgeous especially if you catch a view from the twelfth floor, which is somehow incrementally better than catching the same view from the tenth floor. 

There are plenty of opportunities for mirror selfies in and around the elevator; so much so that I actually let a day pass without taking any, that's how spoilt I've been for elevator selfie opportunities in days. 

I can't say I miss my friends cause all my friends are about 20 minutes away from me at any given point in time. The service and support staff in and around buildings look a tad happier than their counterparts in Delhi. Maybe they're secretly celebrating the lack of micro-management. That's the one thing about Gurgaon I've come to appreciate—few people micro-manage and it feels like a weight being lifted off your back because fuck ups are welcomed with open arms, more often than not. Delhi version of these fuck ups would mean temper flares, anger, reactionary emails and texts—but Gurgaon? It's fucking chill, almost too chill. 

The water is a-okay and KFC can do with some improvement in popcorn chicken. The theatre needs a crowd (I miss the one near university where everyone's saving pennies cause they're out from the auditorium at the university to catch a breather in the nearby mall; nobody saves pennies in Gurgaon). I mean, I feel poorer than ever in this city; culturally and socially as well as lacking financially to ever be able to be where everyone is. A colleague who bought an iPhone and a pair on sneakers on a whim can do so despite living out of Gurgaon rental is an aspiration, the kind that I don't want but I am compelled because wow, I buy some fancy groceries and two takeaways a month and I'm broke. 

In a scathing response to something I wrote recently, I was told that I need to stop wallowing in self-pity and try some other writing style. Truth be told, there will always be some sense of frenetic, anxious and tiring energy in my words. Maybe, because I'm trying to bring alive the 13-year-old me who's absolutely clueless about what's happening when things are just happening around her—someone on the death bed, someone crying, someone wondering how many breaths are there in a lifeless body laying in the bedroom—and then there's 31 year old me, wondering if chasing calmness meant taking a quick shower after a late morning workout in a twelfth-floor apartment and feeling a fresh hit of serotonin when the shower gel leaves a subtle fragrance behind. In both cases, there is sensory overload but none has any self-pity. 

A few years ago an ex-colleague (then friend, now stranger) lashed out at me for writing. This email response reminded me of that chat; of how everything I write is so personal that unless and until someone knows anything about me, people won't care. I don't see how that's such a bad thing. Maybe the whole point is to drive the unspeakable to those who need to know? Maybe there's intentionality for re-doing things that once take place in life and once in my head and pour out as words. Maybe my version of stressing, anxiety and overthinking comes out here and you don't have to be an audience member or subscriber—god knows I have never brought anyone here out of the will. 

I've had people around me who have been curious about my life, and what I do and they willingly follow this and other spaces. It's an acquired taste and sure, you don't have to do this. I don't expect anyone in my life to do any of this and yet people do. I don't think I ever expected a man I date/am in a relationship with to read this page or coerce my friends to repost from here. I think I am allowed my space to express and the way I want to express myself—maybe with typos, convoluted random titbits from my life, ranting about the lack of water supply. I want to be able to express myself and make sense of this world because god knows I have spent most of my teens bottling things without pouring outwards.  

I'm sorry if you confused my well-being for self-pity. That's how I write and it'll happen again. This is not a eulogy about Gurgaon and neither is this is a love story, It is a deeply personal piece of shuttling between fifth, tenth and twelfth floor and how I am beginning to give in to this city I once I detested. 

You Might Also Like


Hos in Different Area Codes


Stalker Count