Monday, August 1, 2016

Dear Gurgaon, It's time you accepted your fate and drowned in a pothole



Also published here 

Residents of Gurgaon took to social media to vent their anger after the city and its millions cars came to a grinding halt to a gridlock that lasted 20 hours. Triggered by heavy rains followed by flooding, WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook were full of horrifying accounts of thirsty, hungry and angry commuters stuck in an ocean of muddy water and bumper to bumper traffic.

Predictably everyone donned their Grrgroan avatar and took to blaming civic bodies and the Khattar led government of happening Haryana. Haryana government took instant action and promptly blamed Kejriwal government for its watery woes. The CM went a step ahead and announced 1812 projects, that he has no intentions of implementing, to make Gurgaon great again. The civic authorities as usual had no clue what they were being blamed for. Especially when a lot of them are supposed to be doing the same job yet no one has a clear idea about the exact nature of their responsibilities. The sweet fellas they are, they promised they will make sure this will never happen again, like they did in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012…..

What’s perplexing is this lashing from the public. It’s not as if the city that fancies itself as millennial hasn’t sunk in murky waters before. It’s not as if countless articles have not been written about a nightmare called Gurgaon and promptly forgotten the next day. It’s not as if promises have not been made and then broken. In fact we love this predictable pattern so much, we make sure we repeat it year after year. Who doesn’t love driving gingerly through swirling waters and miles of honking traffic in the company of irate drivers with murder in their minds after a stressful day at office! It gives an adrenalin rush that no bungee jumping can match.

This time though was slightly different though. The traffic refused to budge, like concrete with more cement than sand. But what is shocking is that Gurgaon residents who are still not sure whether they live in Gurgaon or Gurugram expect accountability from those supposedly in charge. They felt let-down when they saw no help in sight. Silly people, all you had to do was call a cow helpline and say moo and the gau-rakshak squad would have appeared miraculously and given a sound thrashing to everyone responsible for your plight!

Or better still, followed the traffic police advisory offering a simple solution to Millennium city’s woes - ‘Don’t come to Gurgaon.’ If you are unfortunate enough to be in Gurgaon, don’t step out, dammit!


Do you really have to come out of your offices like rats deserting a sinking ship every time it rains in the evening, only to realise everyone had the same effing idea! Practise doing a few asanas instead so that you can make it to the cover of the India Today cover in your loin cloth. Or better still, ditch your car and start running homewards. See, if you can wake up at 4 in the morning to participate in marathons and post pics of you in running gear on Facebook, why not this? You get to save on fuel and the money you save can be used for treatment for your lungs that’ll give up after inhaling toxic fumes for months.

It is with a reason Gurgaon was renamed to Gurugram. Thanks to the government’s relentless twiddling of thumbs, we are moonwalking back to our rural roots. Potholes are lovingly nurtured on streets so that they can turn into ponds during monsoon. Roads have not been repaired for years so that they resemble dirt tracks that existed in Guru Dronacharya’s gram. Residents are often left fumbling in the dark, just like the olden times. If rumours are to be believed, the city will soon have Mercedes Bhains showrooms that’ll offer four-wheeled drives that run on bhains power.

Yet some ungrateful citizens continue to complain about lack of basic amenities like uninterrupted power supply and water, drainage, smooth roads and security when the city offers so many thrilling activities. I request UNESCO to declare Gurgaon as the world’s best amusement park. Gulf Course and Ronaa Road offer the grand spectacle of sewage miraculously oozing out of nowhere and mixing with rainwater to form Olympic sized pools for us to swim in. Ashant Lok and What the eff city are dotted with potholes where we can look for exotic species as we wade through knee deep muddy waters in. Traffic snarls are facilitated at IFFCO and Hero Honda Choke so that we can amuse ourselves by exchanging the choicest expletives and greet each other with our middle finger raised.

While in Disneyworld you may to have wait for decades to be eaten alive by an alligator at one of their resorts, in Gurgaon you have the choice of getting shot by angry jaat or getting run over.

Where else will you get to wonder why lakes, waterbodies and natural drains are being destroyed through collusion and wilful negligence while the CM of the state is spending hundreds of crores looking for the mythical Saraswati river believed to have gone underground! Now that he claims to have found it, Khattar jee plans to artificially recharge it while doing nothing to stop the encroachment of catchments and rainwater being allowed to be run off. Just like our taxes.

It’ll be Gurgaon’s tax-money that’ll bring these grandiose plans to fruition. After all we contribute more than half to the state exchequer which is then used to fill greedy pockets and nurture favourite constituencies of netas. It’s time we accepted that we are the proverbial Kamdhenu that nurtures an ungrateful state while Gurgaon is milked dry. “WANTED” – gau rakshaks for saving this holy cow?

Pfft, Khattar jee, if only you had spent a fraction of your grandiose budget looking for the missing drains of Gurgaon, we would have felt less cheated! And now that we have watched the promos of Mohenjo Daro, we know that even 8000 years back our ancestors lived in cleaner settlements with better drainage and town-planning than us.

The only thing we do better than them is laughing at WhatAp forwards that make fun of our plight.



35 comments:

  1. You raise powerful points as usual, Purba. Indeed, the neglect of Gurgaon (or Gurugram) by the government has caused many endemic problems.

    But the point about people's complaints is a pattern everywhere - Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru - you name it. History has shown us what happens when we refuse to take precautions during such times. Yet, the eternal optimists that we are, we think "this time won't be as bad as the last."

    Maybe if we start with taking some responsibility... at least staying indoors, if not car pooling or other ways to reduce traffic on the roads during such times... somewhere, a few decades down the line, we can become more responsible citizens of a State. And then we can think about achche din.

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    Replies
    1. Agree with you. We can start with also taking responsibility for the mess and act more responsibly.

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  2. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. As a hapless citizen, I also don't know what to do when lakes breach and roads become rivers. Clearly, I am not supposed to be desilting storm water drains or cleaning lakes or ensuring that sewage does not mix with rain water. When Phase 2 of Metro has still not come to fruition more than 10 years later and people cry for a decent mass transport, it is supposed to be our fault for taking our vehicles out. Our cities are dying quickly and unless our civic bodies and governments wake up, I don't really see any hope any more. :(

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    Replies
    1. It is frustrating to be taken for granted, having to hear same promises being made and then promptly forgotten but then even our outrage doesn't last long for them to get their asses moving.

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  4. I can feel your anger and frustration through the sarcasm ! I am sure guru Dronacharya's gaon was much better managed than this mess !

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    1. On one hand we are being told that Gurgaon will go dry because the water-tables are drying and on the other hand we letting all this rain water go waste! ANd because the rainwater has nowhere to go, it's flooding our roads and the highway

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  5. Great satire Purba. And with all the water logging, it's not Ronaa Road, it's Ronaa NO Road.

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    Replies
    1. Khattar should have renamed Gurgaon to Grrgaon

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  6. There is no hope left here...run for the hills! Oh, wait! We've killed the hills already. Now what - where to go?
    I am glad you wrote this hockey stick of a post to smack the bottoms of those in power, in true Gudhgaanwaan style.

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    Replies
    1. Gurgaon can bring out the angry Jaat in anyone :/

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  7. Sad that the same story gets repeated year after year with no solutions in sight even in distant future if ones goes by staticistics!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They have faith in our short-lived outrage

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  9. Didn't like the way you have framed your article. Sustainable development is something we as a human race need to adopt asap. This issue is the only issue that confronts our race. I did not like the way you have diluted it with transient political issues.

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    Replies
    1. But it is th politician-builder nexus that has lead to this mess!

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  10. This year the flood that wiped Chennai off its basement was attributed to illogical town planning, and land mafia. Corruption and leasing of land that are not fit for flats and highrise buildings is another reason. Same with Gurgaon. If only they spent some time and a little bit of the tax we give them for fixing roads and plan the town better.

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    Replies
    1. As dutiful citizens we are supposed to file our taxes and not wonder where all the money vanished.

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  11. Neither Gurgaon, nor Guru Gram we live in Jal Gaon .... and soon all our problems will drown in the next flood itself...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Khattar jee must induct you in his cabinet ASAP

      Delete
  12. I am sure guru Dronacharya's gaon was much better managed than this mess Sakura Beauty

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  13. This is an epidemic.Everywhere,the bureaucrats,the administrators and officials are hopelessly incompetent,inefficient and unconcerned.I think the only remedy is to make their jobs impermanent,and then see them scurrying helter-skelter.

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    Replies
    1. And that includes our respected netas as well

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  14. I quite enjoyed your Guru-game of wordplay. Hopefully, we won't be slapped with an incremental Guru-gone cess on our incomes. Come to think of it, both sufferers and perpetrators of the Guru-trauma will have gulf full of water to drown themselves in as against chullu bhar pani.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And thanks to Khattar jee relentless pursuit of the Saraswati, we can drown in the river that's being artificially recharged.

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  15. This is a result of corruption.
    When suit cases exchaange hands and projects worth Billions get cleared over a drink,common man has to suffer this because we don't raise ur voice as our vocal chords are defective.
    Do you really believe,an apartment apps 2500sq ft is valued at 4Cr?

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    Replies
    1. And I have no idea why we need new sectors, encroach upon the Aravalis, when there's so much vacant land in the existing ones

      Delete
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  17. I am finding it hard to laugh but still went along for the humor in the post. Jokes aside, it's such a plight to citizens facing the deluge every Monsoon owing to corruption and every year, it's the same blabber, Not Me It's You! Shifting blame, our netas are adept at that and will taken Olympics champ home..and click selfies...majama. Mumbai suffer from the same issue. What the point of changing name to Gurugram for effect when the citizens face such issues. Gurgaon ya Gurugram need to beef up on infrastructure. I remember visiting Gurgaon way back in 2012 and was quite disappointed in terms of infrastructure for I built sky rocketed expectations in the mind.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am finding it hard to laugh but still went along for the humor in the post. Jokes aside, it's such a plight to citizens facing the deluge every Monsoon owing to corruption and every year, it's the same blabber, Not Me It's You! Shifting blame, our netas are adept at that and will taken Olympics champ home..and click selfies...majama. Mumbai suffer from the same issue. What the point of changing name to Gurugram for effect when the citizens face such issues. Gurgaon ya Gurugram need to beef up on infrastructure. I remember visiting Gurgaon way back in 2012 and was quite disappointed in terms of infrastructure for I built sky rocketed expectations in the mind.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am finding it hard to laugh but still went along for the humor in the post. Jokes aside, it's such a plight to citizens facing the deluge every Monsoon owing to corruption and every year, it's the same blabber, Not Me It's You! Shifting blame, our netas are adept at that and will taken Olympics champ home..and click selfies...majama. Mumbai suffer from the same issue. What the point of changing name to Gurugram for effect when the citizens face such issues. Gurgaon ya Gurugram need to beef up on infrastructure. I remember visiting Gurgaon way back in 2012 and was quite disappointed in terms of infrastructure for I built sky rocketed expectations in the mind.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is extremely helpful info!! Very good work. Everything is very interesting to learn and easy to understood. Thank you for giving information.

    defend your nuts 2 | happy wheels demo | cat mario | bloons tower defense 5

    ReplyDelete
  21. Drainage and town planning ! Whatever in the world is that ? Every major city in India is reeling under the same mess. The tax money keeps going into a void and when it comes to allocating money for municipal activities, there's always too less.

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