I have been a resident of Gurgaon for the last 16 years. I have seen this city grow from lush green jungle to this concrete hub it is now. From the first mall – City Centre on MG Road – to the fancy showrooms to fancier cars whose names we can’t even pronounce properly yet. I was here when it all started. So naturally, I am a self-proclaimed expert of all things Gurgaon. I love this city very much. It’s mad roads, mad traffic, and even madder people.
For all of you who don’t know Gurgaon, it’s in the state of Haryana, India. Once Delhi was bursting at its seems, the government turned its attention to Haryana, especially Gurgaon, as it is closest to Delhi. This was about 20 years back. Maruti Suzuki set up its factory here and then started the urbanization of Gurgaon. Traditionally Gurgaon was a city of land, cattle and Scorpio car owners. Soon the government started buying land from the owners for development. The locals or Haryanavis, as they are called, found themselves rich by crores almost overnight.
Soon after, lots of Fortune 500 companies started to set shop here. This brought about more job opportunities and more people from all parts of the world. At almost lightning speed, many young and not so young (read middle age but thinking they are young) corporate professionals, men and women alike, moved to Gurgaon looking for jobs and sky rocketing salaries.
So now, we have a city called Gurgaon, (actually it has been renamed Gurugram but my pride does not let me accept that name.) This city is really a melting pot of people, diverse cultures and food habits and equally diverse ideologies on what makes a great date.
We have the Handsome Haryanavis with lots of money (and facial hair). Yes most of them look like Mills and Boon heroes. Tall, broad shouldered, intense eyes and smouldering good looks. We will not get into their conversational skills as God had to balance it out somewhere. These guys are Scorpio car loving dudes who love their booze, their cows and their moms. They are proud of their roots and you will find them flaunting the same on their cars with stickers like “gujjar boy”, “Jaat”, etc.
Next we have corporate men and women with a pedigree education, some married, some unmarried, most of them on Tinder. They have come from all parts of India and abroad with dreams of finding the perfect job and the perfect love. Well little do they know…!
This city is almost like a planet of its own. Outsiders are constantly guessing what its all about. Inhabitants are gasping for fresh air and clean water, and a constant cloud of smoke surrounds it. The world need not worry about losing Pluto as Planet Gurgaon has made up for it.
So what happens when a handsome Haryanvi meets and wants to date a corporate, liberated minded woman?
And what happens when a corporate guy from a small town meets a corporate woman who has relocated from Mumbai ?
Now to add to this highly combustible demographic, there is also a factor of married, unmarried and married but thinking they are single, and other combinations of people. The most dangerous species and growing at alarming rates is the Married Men trying to date Married Women. This part of the ecosystem gets really messy as it enters the dangerous zone of extra marital affairs and you do not want this meteor hitting your planet.
So what happens when married men and women meet?
Now with this interesting mix of people, it’s but natural that there are bound to be a lot of interesting permutations and combinations of people exploring the Dating Game. There are :
1.Corporate Singles dating their own type.
2. Unmarried, Handsome Haryanavi men dating unmarried Corporate Women.
3. Unmarried Haryanavi men dating Married Women.
4. Married Men dating Married Women.
I have divided my topic into 4 Parts, so far, unless a new species evolves before I finish this series. This blog post is an introduction to this crazy , haphazard and illogical world of dating in Gurgaon. I call it illogical after giving it a lot of logical thought.
When people from diverse backgrounds like these meet in each other on a common meeting ground like a gym, a nightclub, fine-dining restaurant, or an “Ahataa”, (I will explain briefly what this means), there is bound to be chaos, confusion and confrontation.
Now what on Planet Gurgaon is an “AHATAA”? A cheaper version of restaurants and night clubs, having their own music bands, outdoor seating and selling booze at 1/3 of the price (never mind the dubious quality of it). The youngsters, and cheapsters who don’t want to spend too much money on a date flock here . They are flourishing and thriving on Planet Gurgaon giving the big nightclubs and restaurants a royal screwing.
In my next post we will discover the various scenarios that happen when corporate singles date their own species.
Keep watching this space…!
From the Editor, Devangini Mahapatra
Wow, Aekta! I love how you have rounded up the scene in a very precise manner – love the bullet points, by the way. How nice that we can now actually find a neighbourhood to inhabit when we are out trying to find the man or woman of our dreams. What I particularly liked was the way you have described Gurgaon with references that border on the comic and yet get you thinking. But what I like the most is the way you have given straight, no holds barred advice! Gurgaon people: if you are wondering how to date, this is the series for you to read. Personally, these seem like choppy waters to me, and who knows, I may actually learn a thing or two when it comes to a confident smile without seeming creepy!
Aekta Dhingra is a budding writer, a fitness enthusiast, a clothes designer and a seeker who has many stories to share. She is passionate about changing archaic ideologies of society and helping women recognise their true worth. She lives in Gurugram, Haryana with her husband and two kids.