Someone I met in Pune commented in a derogatory tone about Gurgaon’s mall culture. I remember when we first moved to Gurgaon in 2004 or so, all of Delhi, especially West Delhi descended on the MG Road malls every weekend in a senseless parade of flashily dressed giggly wide eyed consumers.
Now malls have mushroomed in several parts of the National Capital Region and it’s no longer such a big deal to hang out at one any more.
Our rather impromptu jaunt this evening was to the set of malls in Vasant Kunj. I distinctly recollect the clash between environmental activists and the government when this stretch of land was proposed to be developed back in the ’90s. The land was a part of the Delhi Ridge that is a significant stretch of the ancient Aravalli range and a designated green belt in the city’s master plan. The move was opposed and the government was accused of profiteering at the expense of biodiversity and the future health of the citizens. I remember Arundhati Roy talking to us students at SPA at the time. As an alumnus of our college and a firebrand, attractive lady, she made quite an impression!
Today, we played arcade games with our kids, window shopped and ate at the malls built on that controversial piece of land. Life goes on, people forget, commerce and profit takes precedence over every other consideration and even us aware and responsible citizens must accept the changing nature of cities and the price we pay for development!
All that said, little Myrah’s birthday (she is one if Aadyaas closest friends) was well spent in simple pleasures and genuinely enjoyable conversations!