Gurgaon is a satellite city of New Delhi.
It is located in the state of Haryana. It is a 20-30 minute drive from the airport thanks to the swanky new flyover. It has developed at very fast pace over the recent years with swanky malls, BPOs and MNCs shifting base here to steel and chrome office towers. Frankly, it looks a bit like Vegas to me. Amazing buildings interspersed in fairly desolate, dusty and arid patches of land.
I have made a number of work trips here recently where I fly in the morning and return by evening. This Sunday was different. I had two presentations to make on Monday. So I came in the previous evening as the winter fogs at Delhi have turned the schedules of flights topsy turvy.
So here I am on Sunday night at Gurgaon. ‘Gaon’ means village and Gurgaon seems like that. What adds to the feeling is the guesthouse that the client has put me in. Its spartan and yet fairly sleazy. Red blankets, plastic pink roses, waiter knocks and walks before you can open the door, stained toilet seats, no hat water in the basin, you get the gist. No way comparable to the hotels one stays in at New Delhi. One of the worst places I have stayed in at Delhi while travelling on work. Apparently Gurgaon rates are fairly expensive. I should have probably stayed at my company’s guest house in New Delhi. It is supposed to be good and New Delhi is at least a town.
This place is a freaking ghost town. There is no life on the roads. Everyone’s either in the malls or at the offices. So you can imagine how depressing the can be on a Sunday night. To top it I left Bombay with a throat and nose infection. And now I am deaf after the flight thanks to the pressure drops. I hope the block opens before I present. I can barely hear myself speak!
And then I came to this maudlin guest house called Smart Villa. I took one look at the tattered room service menu and said that’s it… fog and cold be damned. I called for a cab and went over to TGIF at the Metropolitan Mall. I remembered going there with my boss earlier and enjoying it.
I had some piping hot mushroom soup for my throat. Then the waiter strongly recommended a roast turkey platter. This came with a glass of house wine. The Turkey piece was nice and springy. It tasted like chicken but had a nicer feel to it. I enjoyed every bite. It came with a nice, creamy, mildly tangy sauce, buttered vegetables, a fair bit of nice mash and a fresh garlic toast. The combo was finished off with a slab of Christmas cake, which was hard and a bit frozen, but was also sweet an comforting. Just about three to four tables were occupied which further bolsters my village theory. You wouldn’t fine a prime restaurant so empty at Bombay on a Sunday night.
I rarely go out alone to restaurants when I am travelling in India. But room service was not really an option in the guest house I am staying at.
At least the great dinner helped to restore my spirits and to help me tide over a wasted Sunday night in this glorified motel (Smart Villa) in this wannabe one hick town.