Okay, so I’ve decided to document my daily commute to work.
Below you see a nice little snapshot of Josip Broz Tito Marg, New Delhi. Marg is the Hindi word for Road/Street I guess. It was a nice and cloudy day when I took these pictures so the lighting’s kinda wrong…
The photo below signifies “new” New Delhi. A city which has perpetually been under construction the past five years, courtesy Sheila Dikshit, the current woman in charge of Delhi, and a host of other agencies. What you see in the picture below is a FlyOver being constructed. Flyover being a British English term, I’ll translate for the Americans. What you see there is an Overpass. Within the past 5 years, no less than THIRTY-TWO flyovers have come up across the city, and more are coming up, to prevent the teeming masses from having to wait at red lights in the 47 degrees celcius of the Summer. I call it a sign of Progress. The old folks of course, are lamenting the death of “their” Delhi….the one in which you got to see an unsightly mess of cars, bikes, trucks, pigs standing at a crossing/intersection honking to death and sending nice wisps of Carbon Monoxide while they wait.
The teeming masses I was referring to above are here in full view. Note the lack of Maruti 800s in this mess. (See my previous post titled sign-of-progress-and-hopeful-obituary)
Some Indian Jam Anyone?
This is a picture of Nelson Mandela Marg. Note things don’t look so bad here…Yes, there is actually a road in Delhi called Nelson Mandela Marg. Get over it. Delhi also happens to the only place in India which has an MG road, where the MG does NOT stand for Mahatma Gandhi. (It stands for Mehrauli-Gurgaon. Mehrauli being another ancient part of Delhi….)
Not All Is Jam, However
Ok so off Nelson Mandela Marg is what was/is? India’s first 7-star hotel, The Grand Hyatt…er whoops. Sorry, there’s no more Hyatt attached to its name. Once upon a time, the Delhi Development Authority dreamed up scheme to populate South Delhi with 7 5-Star hotels-in-a-belt, as part of some grand Tourism Plan. Well three of those hotels came up – The Grand Hyatt, The Marriott and The Radisson. When people noticed a hotel coming up in their backyard, they protested. Then the environmentalists got involved. Then finally, the people who were going to make the remaining 4 hotels realised there was zero infrastructure (Roads, transport, e.t.c) to make this thing viable. So we’re left with 3 hotels located in strange parts of the city, not doing very well. So bad in fact, that Hyatt is no longer associated with the Grand-not-Hyatt anymore, and not being able to think of another name, it is simply called The Grand….
The Grand Hy…er..um..ah
Ok so this is the current look of National Highway. The central artery that connects Delhi to Gurgaon. And one of the many arteries that connects Delhi to India. This road takes you Jaipur,Rajasthan-the Land of Kings…Gurgaon-Jaipur is a smooth flat black carpet, which you have to pay to use. Delhi-Gurgaon was an awful two-lane piece of crap full of cars inching at 1 cm/hour, and (im)patiently waiting in line to enter Guragon, or head off further to Rajasthan, and vice versa. So now Delhi-Gurgaon is being converted into an 8-lane toll road…and in the meantime, the cars are inching…at 1 cm/hour.
National Highway 8. Delhi to Jaipur
Just a brief peak at the Radisson, which has its history explained above. The Radisson is doing relatively well for two reasons. It is very close to Indira Gandhi International Airport (New Delhi). And the second reason is The Great Kebab Factory. FREE BEER on Sunday Lunches, and All-you-can-eat Kebabs for 600 rupees….but at 600 bucks per head, you damn well better get all you can eat, heh.
Home of The Great Kebab Factory. YUM!
Welcome to Haryana (State neighbouring New Delhi, and harbouring Gurgaon). Why is Gurgaon important? This place is home to IBM, Fidelity, Microsoft, Sun, Cisco, Wipro, TCS, HCL, Daksh, GE Capital Services, Maruti Suzuki and host of other companies responsible for the New India. They are all in the Outsourcing/Technology field (except Maruti, of course). The funny thing about all of this is that the situation here is the reverse of America. Everybody lives in the main city (Delhi) and goes to work in the suburbs! This because the city is at least 1500 years old. But that is neither here nor there.
Yay, we finally made it
This Building is the first thing you see after crossing the border into Gurgaon. It’s called the DLF Gateway Tower. But apparently, the boob architect who designed this building had some bizarre idea of Ships in his ming…so it is actually in the shape of a Ship’s exhaust tower (or chimney, or whatever), and is thus called “The Ship Building”. At the bottom you see a sign reminding you that the National Highway (and all of Delhi) are still a work-in-progess..
Gateway to the Suburb
This is the building belonging to Convergys, a MultiNatiional Call Centre op. You get to see some cute college-going women wandering around if you hang around there…of course this what ‘a friend’ tells me. I, of course, wouldn’t know.
Hello USA? This is Convergys speaking
And the green building that you see in the centre of all this filth is good old HCL Technologies India ltd. A software consulting/outsourcing firm, and my current source of income. To the left, you see another outsourced firm (that slightly grey building. That happens to be Agilent Technologies (The breakaway software division of Hewlett-Packard).
Work, Sweet Work…
Well there you have it. It has always been the aim of this blog to show you pictures of India that you wont find in the media….though credit has to be given to CNN for abandoning its usual position with a recent set of shows on the Outsourcing Debate, where they actually showed a balanced view of India, FOR ONCE.
Hope this page loads fast on your browser…
Of course if you refuse to unplug yourself from the Matrix, the standard experience-of-India fare can be found at this blog. Where, as the author will assure you, this is the “Real India”. The photographs I’ve posted are all fake, of course.