Its been almost 10 day since i moved back to India and a majority of that time has been spent house hunting. Its been harder than i thought it would be and the end doesnt seem to be near either.
Its been interesting however and here are some observations over the last 10 days:
1.) The heat is not as bad as i thought it would be. I guess if you come with an expectation of stepping into a burning oven but are greeted by stray showers and a pleasant breeze, 105 F doesnt feel that bad.
2.) Traffic is still a bitch and everyone is in a mad rush to get somewhere. While there is chaos in Gurgaon, its an absolute pleasure to drive in Delhi (thanks to the infrastructure buildup on account of the CWG games)
3.) The larger the car, the larger the chance that its driver will violate traffic rules (read, drive on the other side of the road, cut you off, no blinkers, and attempt to get into any space they can find to get ahead. )
4.) Most SUV’s seem to be owned by politicians or their ilk
5.) Stuff has become incredibly expensive. (e.g. a coconut on the roadside costs Rs 25, a plate of momos at Galleria market – Rs 70, etc etc)
6.) Craigslist does not work here for finding an apartment. There are 3 major real estate portals and almost all have the same format and listings by the same agents…almost none of the owners post on their own and nobody posts any pictures of the apartments. You have to go through a bevy of agents to find an apartment.
7.) The definition of a ‘good’ apartment varies from agent to agent and the decent ones are ridiculously priced( e.g Rs 35,000 for a 2 BHK in Richmond Park)
8.) The ‘good’ apartment complexes have ‘clubs’ – where there is a pool but it is usually non functional and a gym which is a small room with a few treadmills and some exercise equipment – And this is for a complex which has a couple of hundred apartments.
9.) 3G speeds on my phone remind me of the dial up era ( and i thought ATT was slow in NYC )
10.) The malls are a circus on the weekends and all the eateries seem to be doing brisk business
11.) Its easy to get used to a morning routine of chai and newspapers (the physical kind. Yes, newspapers are still alive and kicking and doing really well unlike the NYTimes)
12.) The amount of dust is unbelievable on account of the constant construction going on everywhere.
13.) FM radio stations are dime a dozen and they all seem to go on a commercial break at the same time (which can be quite irritating)
14.) The food somehow tastes better…e.g. the papayas are amazing here 🙂
15.) There are a large number of BMW’s and Audi’s on the road…and mercs seem to have become common place.
Now that i think about it, living in America can really spoil you.
Despite all this, i seem to be strangely at peace with myself. While it can get frustrating at times, it definitely does feel more alive here to be out and about. Lets hope this optimism continues 🙂
P.S: Regarding the title of this post, its because that genuinely seems to be the case. The ‘rich’ have the power to influence and improve the overall external conditions but they seem to be perfectly content living inside their gated colonies and air conditioned cars while the roads crumble, trash lies everywhere and the common man carries on.

Tagged with →