City Walk – Golf Course Road, Gurgaon
The way of high life.
[Text and photo by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Hanging out in the noisy cafes, watching a movie with hundred others in the multiplex, elbowing one’s way to a metro seat… what was all that?
The prolonged lockdown has made ordinary acts of daily life seem unreal. Only something as unprecedented as the coronavirus pandemic could have made one long to being stuck again in a traffic jam.
However, those of us who can afford to stay home without much material difficulty can still navigate through our city—through Google Earth.
So let us hit Gurgaon’s Golf Course Road in the Greater Delhi Region. This eight kilometer long stretch is special, for it showcases the dreamiest aspect of the so-called Millenium City—cloud-kissing residential complexes, gleaming offices of multinational companies, beer bars and speciality restaurants. And then there’s that majestic sight of the sleek Rapid Fire metro, noiselessly sliding along the overland track, its coaches advertising one day a foreign airline and some other a foreign bank. (Ekdum Singapur!)
It turns out that this long stretch of the metropolis looks equally impressive from the air—as the Google Earth app so clearly illustrates. Although the first look can be a tad disconcerting. The grounds about the Golf Course Road seem as fertile as a Martian landscape—all is arid. And, those multi-floor buildings that inspire awe from behind car windows, are now looking like anonymous tombs in a dusty forgotten graveyard.
The brownish expanse is standing out more starkly because of a small but dense patch of green in one corner of the mobile phone screen. That green is dreamily dark. Zoom into it and you’ll realise it is, of course, the golf course that gives the road its name. You even spot a lake, beside a thicket of what appears to be trees. Zoom further, hoping to see the people enjoying this luxury, but this oasis of privilege now breaks down into pixels. The members-only world remains hidden even from Google.
If you continue to soar high up along the Golf Course Road, you will see a lot of swimming pools tucked within the posh residential high-rises, something that is impossible to discern when you are actually driving on the road. Almost each of these gated complexes, you’ll note, has its own little green patch, a mini golf course of its own.
Continue cruising, and you spot a music academy, a martial arts institute and a gym along the road; all highlighted with the same notice—“temporarily closed.” (Thank you, Corona!).
The must-watch landmark during this aerial survey has to be the unmissable circular roof of the South Point mall, looking like some futuristic laboratory from such a height—in the old days the mall would be teeming with a good number of Gurugram expats filling up its “Le Marché”, bookshops, and cafes.
If you zoom out on the screen, you rise upwards in the sky and the Golf Course Road becomes remoter, transforming into a kind of Nile river coursing through its own version of Egyptian desert. Many of us would like to have an address on its bank but only a few will succeed.
Our own Nile