VloMo08 : day9 - off to the bookstore @ South Extension I & home again

VloMo08 : day9 - off to the bookstore @ South Extension I & home again

went for a drive to South Extension I to find Midland Books to buy the Sarai Reader 07 (sarai.net). I ended up buying a few other books too. and some sights out the car window. it's amazing - I recognised many of the streets of Delhi, some things don't change

Delhi's much more smoggy than I remember from 2006 when I was last here. it's the start of winter so there's fog as well at times. but visibility is low.

this time I'm staying in Gurgaon - it's in the next state to Delhi called Haryana. it's where some of the high tech companies have setup offices, and home to many of the Delhi call centres. they're building the Delhi Metro - a modern, air conditioned electric train line that travels throughout the city. many buildings are being constructed. so the dusty streets have more dust than usual.

Gurgaon is a newer satellite city in the state of Haryana, seperated from Delhi by a toll booth where cars pay 21Rs. previously this was a rural area with lots of farming land and villages. this causes traffic jams as people try to find 1Rs or wait for change. trucks wait by the side of the road much of their time as they're not allowed to drive in delhi at certain times. there's an anecdote in the book "Globality" that I read on the plane on the way here (I'll find the quote tonight) (& I asked one of the guys here) that a trip that should take 8hours in a truck to deliver goods from one city to another can take up to 36 hours - much of the time the driver is parked by the side of the road. road conditions are also a factor too.

the city is less than 10years old - the architecture here is much more western and many of the buildings are modern highrises. there's new apartments too for IT workers though they are expensive to buy at 50lakh + (1lakh=100000 rupees). it's a 'cybercity'. there's not a lot of infrastructure for the people though eg you need a car to get to one of the new malls. there's less street stalls where most people in india buy their food & household items. the metro is planning to be ready to Gurgaon before Commonwealth Games in 2010, though it doesn't reach all areas in Gurgaon. the people like the metro as a 30km journey can take ~20mins as opposed to 1-2hours in a car/motorbike (depending on time of day/traffic/road conditions)

sarai members/fellows have done studies on (amongst a wide variety of other things!) the malls and people in india and relocation issues. their publications are available online free to read, though I like to buy a printed copy whenever I come to delhi.

(I'm on hotel internet which is very slow so have only uploaded these to vimeo so far. I'll try upload to blip -> mefeedia soon)

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