It is time once again for the residents of the bustling city of Gurgaon to be given the importance they deserve. The realization dawned as I tried to ignore the intermittent whirring noise of an apparently big machine during breakfast. Me during breakfast.
Immediately after breakfast I went looking for the source of the sound and traced it to a JCB trying to uproot the cracked pieces of tar on the road just across from our building so that, presumably, it could be relaid.
“Right next to the liquor store,” I said when trying to explain the location of the work to a friend, also in Gurgaon, on the phone. “You know we live right next to this big liquor store.”
“But doesn’t everyone in Gurgaon live right next to a big liquor store?” he asked, apparently unable to place the location. “Anyway, once you are next to a big liquor store you don’t need to know any other location,” he added in jest.
I mentally crossed out liquor stores as a possible landmark while giving out directions to any location in Gurgaon. I could only say “Hmmm” in response.
“Do you think it could have anything to do with the G20 meeting scheduled to be held at the Leela Hotel in Gurgaon between the 1st and the 3rd of March?” he asked.
“No way,” I said confidently. “When the Gurgaon administration barred locals from stirring out of their houses when the President of India visited a meditation centre in town, was it done for the G20 summit? Of course not. It was for the deserving common man.”
“And when the Delhi Police forbade citizens from stepping on to most of the roads in Delhi when the Interpol conference took place in the city a few months back, where was the G20 summit then? Was that too not for the important people of Delhi and surrounding areas?”
“How could he even think that the government will go to such lengths for the G20 summit?” I said to myself as the call ended. There was no past evidence of the government bending over backwards for the G20 summit, even if this was the first time it was being hosted here. I go by data.
It feels good to know that the government has you, the common man, in mind.
Driving past the Galleria market in the afternoon, signs of the common man’s importance to the decision-makers were evident. A footpath had been constructed on the side of the road, all the way down to the road above which runs the Delhi metro. And not a footpath where one parks cars, but a footpath where people can walk. And that too without the need to dodge installations like electric substations and bus stops built for the benefit of the common man. Even more surprisingly, there were no vehicles parked in the no-parking area on the side of the road abutting the Galleria market.
“Do you think it could have anything to do with the G20 meeting scheduled to be held at the Leela Hotel in Gurgaon between the 1st and the 3rd of March?” My friend’s voice rang in my ears. How wrong was he.
It feels good to know that the government has you, the common man, in mind, even after the elections.
The reason we crossed Galleria was that we had to go to Camera Museo, the private camera museum cum exhibition centre cum art gallery cum restaurant which has made a name for itself as a reasonably eclectic gathering place in Gurgaon. My wife was putting up a stall to showcase the handmade stuff she makes and teaches making.
It was a revelation. The footpath construction did not end with the Galleria road. It extended to the right towards Camera Museo. In a space where one would have struggled to squeeze through on foot was now a broad thoroughfare, with a metalled surface, with a neat footpath on one side. And even the section cordoned off for the protection of traffic coming in the opposite direction on a one-way road that has been there for several years, had been removed, resulting in me driving the wrong way on a one-way road without any protection. Anyway, this post is proof that I survived. Removal of the cordoned section without notice, random gates inside colonies being locked, what more does a common man need?
It is amazing when you have a government that has the common man at the centre of their development plans. And to think that some believe it might have something to do with the G20 meeting scheduled to be held at the Leela Hotel in Gurgaon between the 1st and the 3rd of March.
Even more commendable when you consider this was done despite Camera Museo being on the itinerary of the G20 delegates coming to Gurgaon, as part of the state’s noble objective of exposing the visitors to the culture, history and traditions of the state of Haryana. Always a good idea to include a barely 5-year-old establishment primarily displaying foreign-built cameras and photography collections to expose visitors to the culture, history and traditions of the state.
As is Cyber Hub, Gurgaon’s 10-year-old mecca of eateries and drinkeries juxtaposed with the thick jungle of modern office towers of Cyber City, that visitors often use the “could be anywhere in the world” remark for. If this is not Haryanvi culture, history and tradition, what is? Inspired choice.
We did not swing by Cyber Hub but I am certain that roads and footpaths in the area would have been spruced up for the benefit of the common man and not for the G20 meeting scheduled to be held at the Leela Hotel in Gurgaon between the 1st and the 3rd of March?
As are the roads to the Sultanpur Bird Park. Not one, but three of them; roads I mean, stated by the Gurugram deputy commissioner (DC) Nishant Kumar Yadav. Who knows which way the common man might go? Yadav said, “The road will be ready by Monday and this will bring huge relief to commuters.”
He said it in so many words. It is for us, the commuters, the common people.
But I am surprised, even disappointed, why any of the many lush golf courses around Gurgaon, or the well-stocked modern liquor stores that are just a stone’s throw away from each person in the city, or the brightly lit shopping malls lining the major roads, have not been included for exposing the guests to the culture, history and traditions of the state of Haryana to.
The G20 folks are certainly a lucky bunch. They will get to visit a city at its best, lovingly spruced up for the common men and women who live and work here.
It is good to note that as members of a proud and ancient civilization, we are doing the right thing by our citizens, without worrying much about the G20 meeting scheduled to be held at the Leela Hotel in Gurgaon between the 1st and the 3rd of March or the President visiting a meditation centre in Gurgaon or an Interpol conference being held in Delhi.