Living-together of young upwardly mobile men and women in Gurgaon’s elite high rise apartment complexes is becoming commonplace – much to the chagrin of staid high income families, anchored in traditional social mores. Parenting concerns make them apprehensive; their growing children would inculcate the new wave value systems.
Concentration of Internet-related multi-national establishments and Indian entrepreneurial start ups – coupled with first time jobbers, recruited from new educational institutions in two tier and three tier towns across the country, keen to live well – find shared lodgings affordable, with about Rs 11,000 out of around Rs 35,000 they earn monthly. Sharing flats rented for Rs 25,000- 30,000 a month, is an economic necessity, rather than actuated by tenuous relationships evolved in competitive work places.
The three- and four-bedroom luxury apartment condominiums, accorded fancy names and touted by the builders’ mafia as elite addresses, appeal to the aspirations of impressionable young minds. They are survivors from the grind of intense engineering courses, to qualify for induction in the country’s burgeoning Internet-enabled establishments, outsourced backroom IT support systems, auxiliary services and call centres.
Traditional-minded householders, who have graduated to owning apartments in the prestigious condominiums, shrug their shoulders with resigned acceptance, of the comings and goings at odd times, of youthful singleton men and women, in adjacent unfurnished flats. Weekends are merry, noisy and wild, with visitors and boisterous partying.
For the high energy new occupants, usually living two to a bedroom, sleeping on mattresses on the floor, they await that week-end "breather", with gourmet take-away food, sporting events on their lap-top screens and movie outings after their high strung five day working weeks.
Being Internet-linked to large establishments in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Great Britain, Canada, Germany and the US – in round the clock shift duties – tells on the health of the young people, who live with apprehensions of burning out fast, due to pressure passed on to them by their local employers. Many offices require the IT personnel to fill out "work sheets" on what they have accomplished during the day.
Most establishments adopting new management practices, form task-oriented work teams, for cohesive dedication to fulfill requirements of foreign masters. There are internal tensions, with competition within the groups – to prove more productive – for leadership roles. The superficial "bean feaster" office parties and quick junkets abroad for bonding are no palliatives.
The New Age highly-trained IT work force members aspire for deliverance, while they hastily build up experience and search the Internet to find educational opportunities, to ultimately ease themselves into jobs and residence abroad. They are raring to "move-on", like role models Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Google CEO Sunder Pichai – shining beacons of inspiration.
Families in their neighbourhoods, driven to desperation with this "invasion of new lifestyle" – a phenomenon established years ago, in IT hubs Hyderabad and Bangalore high-income apartment ghettos – mull over enforcing "a families only" stipulation, in their tower hamlets. These just have Singapore model "handkerchief-sized" piece of synthetic green "lawn", children’s play area, neat stone paved pathways, a swimming pool and club house terrace, to stare down at from tiny balconies, for relief.