Gurgaon to Gurugram: In Search Of A Name For The Millennium City


I’ve been associated with Gurgaon for about 17 years now, having grown up there, gone to school there, college and now making the mad dash to office through the daily chaos of the office crowd on its roads. I have seen the city grow, from a time when the DLF Golf Course was considered a drive out of town to the present day, where home for me now stands kilometres beyond the same Golf Course and still be considered central to the city.

Over the years, the changes have been slow but very apparent. From the barren landscape which I saw first in 1999 to the multi-storey towers reaching for the sky, from the traditional bullock cart (which passed for public transport at the time) to the Rapid Metro extending down the 8 lane expressway which is the nerve centre of the city.

Decades have passed since the first MNC’s opened shop, initially in the now forgotten Corporate Park; Gurgaon has gone on to become the Corporate Centre of the region. The MG road, which was a 2 lane service road, is now an integral connection between the capital city and the Cyber City. The name itself, IFFCO Chowk, years past would bring dark and haunting images to mind because of the distance from what was considered civilisation to the now busy intersection which we cross without a thought other than the direction.

The change in name will not change the fabric of this city; whether we look at this side of the highway or the other. It has been, and always will be, a city which goes along with the tide. Whether it is the village dominant society or the landscape of executives in suits and ties walking around making their presence felt across the world of work.

The millennium city, presented to every visiting dignitary and well known personality, is well known for its own drawbacks in terms of basic facilities and green cover. Yet, we are more concerned about the name of the city. The Aravalli’s, a well-known feature are scarred by illegal mining. The roads are washed away every monsoon and the dust storms have become legendary.

A name, by any other name, will still be a name. Whether it is Gurgaon or Gurugram will not matter to the auto driver plying his route on the Golf Course Road. It will not make a difference to the analyst running from one high rise to another. It will not change anything for the vegetable seller setting up his shop next to a residential area.

What it will be is a joke on the administration. A long lost connect to what many would opine a mythical person, seen in present times through the name of one metro station and that’s all. It satisfies the powers that be, and in the times we live in, that is all the reason they need.

Ranveer Raj Bhatnagar

Image Sources:

The Viewspaper