Friday, 17 September 2010

India 2010

I had left New Delhi on 15th August 2005 for Russia and returned to India on 4th July 2010 when the country was preparing for the Commonwealth games. I have now spent little more than 2 months between Nalanda(just 5 days) and Delhi and would like to share my impressions of the changes which have crept in the last five years.

At the very outset I would like to add that the perspectives of individuals, the way we look at things, also changes with time and experience. I would have perhaps written a different account of the changes in the last five years if I would have stayed back in India all these years.

What attracted my attention first and foremost was a newly built terminal at the Delhi International Airport, pre-paid taxis from the airport to the city(no haggling or overcharging). Auto rickshaws  have changed from yellow-black to yellow-green and strangely were strictly charging as per the meter-rates, no haggling or over charging.

The number of cars has exponentially increased on the roads and traffic congestion has increased over the past five years but traffic regulations were absent as was five years. No lane discipline, random driving but surprisingly I saw a very few traffic accidents.

From villages to cities, almost everybody has a mobile phone. I saw solar lights being put in the villages and a dish antenna on the top of every home. The roads were wider and new. Train services has improved

 There were labour shortages though in the rural areas, not enough people to sow and reap the paddy plants. Lots of people have migrated to the urban areas and it was difficult to grow agricultural produce without sufficient number of people.

India has established two international universities- Nalanda University in Nalanda, Bihar and South Asian University in Delhi.

There is construction going on all across Delhi in light of the forthcoming Commonwealth Games. Many places are dug up for reconstruction. Delhi has a new and efficient metro system which is expanding with time.

There is a new residential complex for the Indian diplomats in the beautiful Chankyapuri. Life seems to be getting better.

Several new art galleries have cropped up during the past five years in the outskirts of Delhi. India now hosts India Art Summit annually which attracts the top notch art galleries, artists, art critics and collectors from the whole planet. The next one is coming up in January 2010.

Delhi is growing fast in its suburbs NOIDA and Gurgaon. Malls, new housing, entertainment centres such as Kingdom of Dreams, India Place etc. now are the highlights of these places.

My favourite Khan Market where I used to spend my evenings at the Barista cafe along with friends has changed. Barista cafe has shifted to a much larger space (though the old charm seems to be lost), Chonas restaurant has opened a new outlet 'Chona's pub' and the market has been dug up for rennovation.

Mumbai has a new Sea Link.

There has been no change in the uncleanliness and order in the streets in either the capital or the smaller towns and cities. They await their saviours.

Views expressed are author's own.



Blogger ravi said...

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18/9/10 9:51 am  
Blogger Bhaswati said...

Nice overview of your impressions, Abhay. It would seem India is progressing a lot. But what's the story of the other India that lives in the villages, of the adivasis who are robbed of their rights every hour? The divide between the two Indias seems to be growing every day.

24/9/10 5:52 am  
Blogger White Square said...

There is the head and there is the tail. Head must move on so that the tail can drag on. Said that, it does not mean any efforts should be spared to drag the tail faster,, information tech.II-agri. rev., power rev. can do that...hope you agree.

24/9/10 7:10 pm  

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