International City -“They Call It Low Density Living; I Call It Heaven”
May 23, 2017
Though the India we knew back when we left it for graduation is a vast cry from what it is now, the one thing that stayed constant and if anything has aggravated is the crowded and dense population. One point three billion to be precise; I mean, Canada, where we now live in is about 3 times the size of India but has a population that is less than one-tenth. So the first thought when Vikas told me about the job offer as country head of his company based in Gurgaon was, how I was going to miss my spacious home with the lawn. Holiday back home was usually to Delhi where my parents lived, where the balcony shared a common wall with the neighbor’s and my dad bribed the watchman to secure our parking spot.
Though Gurgaon with its gleaming steel and glass, classy pubs and malls did promise a more global perspective, I still wasn’t sure about what the living environment would be like. So this visit was a recce to rent a villa since that was my best bet for a large space. Dad had lined up half a dozen projects for me to visit; we had done 3 fairly disappointing ones so far. So the Sobha International City, which was next on the list, was being approached with fingers crossed and much trepidation. But I must say, the Dwarka Expressway, that we got onto a little after the airport, which led to the project, itself gave me hope. Dad said that this road and the areas around it were being meticulously developed with planned infrastructure and commercial areas.
My first impression on entering the township was that of being transported to somewhere else. The website said low-density living – 150 acres and just 6 villas to an acre – but I didn’t realize it would be so expensive. The attractive tree-lined lanes with neat and wide pavements led to beautifully designed villas.
Apparently this project has been the winner of ‘Luxury Project of the Year’ in 2015. A number of projects I had looked up online all advertised of being international and of being global design. Here it certainly was no exaggeration. The builder, Sobha, did have immense experience in international projects, as it is based in the Gulf too. I had read about how they have designed and done interiors for palaces in the Gulf.
This was premium in all sense of the word – classy, exclusive, uber-luxurious. The interior of the duplex villa was as impressive as from outside and equally spacious. The living room with double height ceiling and large French windows in the living room was grand and overlooked the garden lawns. And there was a second garden space at the rear; I could picture the barbecue parties that we could hold there. And to top it, there was an open to sky terrace space where I could have the third garden. This was more open space than I had back in Canada!
The Presidential villas were supposed to be even more spacious and grand. I wondered who lived there. My Dad told me that some of the who’s who of the country have residences here. I was going to have some select neighbors if I lived here.
I certainly did not have to worry about privacy and security here; 2 things that Vikas and I valued much and had been concerned about. And with the project overlooking reserved greens, pollution was another thing we did not have to worry about.
I was so overwhelmed at finding something that was much more than I had hoped for, that I called and woke up Vikas in Canada to ask if we could put down a deposit not just to lease a villa here now, but also to buy one in Phase 2 of the project that was being developed.
If home is where the heart is, it definitely was here.