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SPATIALIZING HYBRIDITY: unveiling ambivalence in the interstitials of Gurugram

Swagata Das

SPATIALIZING HYBRIDITY: unveiling ambivalence in the interstitials of Gurugram Swagata Das

hesis is submitted to obtain Master (of Science) of Urbanism and Strategic Planning Faculty of Engineering Department of Architecture

Promotor: Hilde Heynen Guide : Anamica Singh Readers: Bruno De Meulder Alessandra Gola

Academic year : 20016-17

© Copyright by K.U.Leuven Without written permission of the promotors and the authors it is forbidden to reproduce or adapt in any form or by any means any part of this publication. Requests for obtaining the right to reproduce or utilize parts of this publication should be addressed to K.U.Leuven, Faculty of Engineering – Kasteelpark Arenberg 1, B-3001 Heverlee (België). Telefoon +32-16-32 13 50 & Fax. +32-16-32 19 88. A written permission of the promotor is also required to use the methods, products, schematics and programs described in this work for industrial or commercial use, and for submitting this publication in scientiic contests. All images in this booklet are made or drawn by the author unless otherwise stated.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS his research would not have been possible without the guidance and help of several individuals. I take a moment here to express my gratitude to each one of them. I appreciate Prof. Hilde Heynen for believing that I could make a worthwhile thesis out of this topic. Her insightful feedbacks helped me structure my thoughts and guided me in formulating my ideas into this research. Special thanks to Anamica Singh - irstly for providing me the foundation for this reseach, secondly for her help during the ieldwork and thirdly, for being my pillar of strength for the entire period of this research. I could not have done it without her. I cannot thank Prof. Bruno De Meulder enough for his guidance during this research. he feedbacks inspired me to explore new directions while attempting this task of spatializing hybridity. I would like to thank the commentators of the World Urbanism Seminar held on 1st July 2017 for the the lively discussion and the insightful feedbacks. Special thanks goes to my family and friends, especially Preksha Jindal who provided a roof over my head for the month long ieldwork. Parul Jain - thanks for being there the entire time. I appreciate our discussions and the mutual fascination for the topic. Spandan Das - you made the end possible. I deeply appreciate your help. All the interviewees and strangers of Gururgram deserve special mention because this research would not have been possible without them. Lastly, I would like to thank my peers and friends at KU Leuven for their support and encouragement on this adventure.


Prologue.........................................................................................................................9 1.

Introduction 1.1. 1.2. 1.3.


Unpacking the concepts 2.1. 2.2. 2.3.


Introduction to the research........................................................................12 Aim..........................................................................................................14 Methodology ............................................................................................15 1.3.1 heoretical Framework.......................................................................15 1.3.2 Research Design................................................................................18

Understanding Hybridity: establishing the scope............................................28 Understanding the in-between.....................................................................32 Grounding hybridity in everyday spaces........................................................35

Gurugram’s hybridity: setting the scene 3.1 Gurugram (Gurgaon): India’s millennium city.....................................................40 3.2 he ‘other’ city: Actually existing urbanism..........................................................50 3.2 A city in transition...........................................................................................64 3.4 Implication of the transition..............................................................................72 3.5 Meeting of diferent worlds ...............................................................................83 3.6 Interstitial as a site to examine hybridity..............................................................86


Scenes of Hybridity 4.1. Space as stage.............................................................................................96 4.2. Social intertwining.....................................................................................99 4.3. Synergy in the spatial coniguration.............................................................104 4.3.1 Time sharing of space........................................................................105 4.3.2 Kinaesthetic experience......................................................................116


Microcosm: Bristol Fish Market 5.1. Bazaar as hybrid space......................................................................140 5.2. First impression of site.....................................................................144 5.3. heatricals of Bristol........................................................................146 5.3.1 Paradox of site........................................................................146 5.3.2 Time sharing of function.........................................................154 5.3.3 Partial culture.........................................................................166


Conclusion: way forward 6.1. Summary.......................................................................................178 6.2. Findings of the research...................................................................179 6.3. Interpretation of the indings............................................................184 6.4. Way forward...................................................................................186

Relection on research methods..........................................................................187 Epilogue...............................................................................................................190 Bibliography........................................................................................................191

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PROLOGUE I am going to start with a story. One morning in the heat of the July sun, Mr Mehta came home in a car- their family’s irst car. Meera, their daughter could not hold her excitement. “Look how big and shining it is! Father, you have to drop me to school in the car tomorrow” Meera insisted. With this new development, more work fell on Hariya, the domestic help. A few days later, Hariya’s nephew Guddu came to meet his uncle from the city. Guddu was a bright lad, about Meera’s age and was fascinated by the shining car. In a next few days he learnt everything about the car. Mr Mehta was impressed and asked Guddu if he would like to stay in the city and have a job. “You could take care of the car and do some odd jobs of the house” Mr Mehta suggested. Guddu could not refuse. he allure of the car was enough to hold him back. Soon Guddu became a part of the family along with the car. Errands like getting fresh vegetables from the market every day, washing the car, driving Meera to college fell on him. “What would we do without this boy?” Mrs Mehta exclaimed one day. Over the years, cars changed but Guddu remained in the Mehta household. Guddu became Meera’s best friend – sharing all her secrets and being a partner in all her mischiefs around the house. I will pause here to relect a bit on the dynamics in the Mehta household.

If the car is the new development that brought Guddu (a migrant worker) to the city, his position in the Mehta household is still of an outsider, in spite of being an insider. I see a similar scene unfolding in the city of Gurugram. he research bring up these dynamics – the dialogues between the new developments which aspire to be a part of the global world , the remnant rurality over which the new city grew and workers who come in to become a part of this new world. I feel, as urbanists we are confronted with respect for the rich possibilities that these dynamics provide and apprehension of getting things done amidst them. I guess the irst step towards it is understanding the complexities which will provide a greater insight in designing our cities. hat is exactly what is intended through this thesis. Revealing aspects of the diferent everyday life of the city might alter our conceived notion of how the city should be built but I would argue that it can deinitely lead to a more permissive design.

1 INTRODUCTION he chapter provides a brief introduction to the research and then proceeds to elaborate the methodologies adopted.


1.1 INTRODUCTION TO THE RESEARCH India in recent years has caught a pace of development. Along with it, the landscape of Indian cities are changing. he built environment has seen a shift from the vernacular to the rise of skyscrapers in major metropolis of the country. his phenomena has caught an even faster pace in recent years triggered by the economic reform of 1991. Referred to as the economic liberalization of India, the goal was to make the economy more service and market oriented which led to expanding the role of private as well as foreign investments. his opening up of the market to private investors saw a shift relected in the landscape of the cities – the lyovers, skyscrapers, shopping malls, gated apartments etc. hese developments are very much visible in the city. Directing our attention from this bird eye’s view to the ground of the city, diferent aspects of the everyday life of the city is visible. he diferent everyday life of the city is due to social practices which are still rooted in traditions. hese social practices interpunctuate the everyday life of the city. So while the built form of the city is changed rapidly, the everyday life of the city is still in transition. For example, even though shopping malls are a preferred location for many residents, they shop at the local marketplace as well. hese processes are mirrored in the city of Gurugram which is today a leading industrial and inancial hub of the country. Caught in this dichotomy of the explosive growth of the city and remnant rurality of the villages over which the city grew, Gurugram’s ambivalence is apparent in the diferent worlds within the city. he research is interested in the space where all these fragments overlap. his is the space where diferent aspects of everyday life of the city come together and hence, is essential to understanding the actually existing urbanism of Gurugram. I wish to look into speciic spaces to unveil the entanglement of social lives and reveal the hybridity that exists in the spatial coniguration of these sites.


Broader hought

Narrower theme

Research Question

Fig 1: he thought process of narrowing down the bigger ideas to focus on the speciic question that the research handles. It investigates the idea of everyday urbanism by linking the conceptual in-between of hybridity to the spatial interstitial of the city. In doing so, it brings up the speciic task of unveiling the hybridity that exists in the spatial coniguration of the selected site.


1.2 AIM Contextualizing hybridity in the interstitial: examining the interstitial sites of Gurugram through the lens of Bhabha’s hybridity. Hybridity has been linked to the urbanism discourse only recently.1 he research aims to further this dialectic by bringing together the concept of hybridity to explore speciic sites of the city. he research aims to explore the interstitial of Gurugram and unveil the hybridity existing in these sites. I take the concept of hybridity as explored by Homi Bhabha to examine these sites because I feel the ambivalence that exists with his notion of hybridity apply to the interstitial sites of Gurugram as well. A speciic setting is selected to accomplish the research objective – a site where the diferent forces forming the city of Gurugram are at work. By examining this space through the lens of hybridity, the research aims to uncover the logics of the interstitial sites by looking at its socio-spatial coniguration. he research does so by unveiling the entangled lives of the residents of Gurugram- from the elites in gated apartments to the blue-collar migrant workers. Finally, by linking the in-between of Bhabha’s hybridity to the interstitial of Gurugram, the research will contribute to a richer and better understanding of the dynamics of the interstitials of Gurugram. In the process, the research fulils its objective to grasp these processes for designers and understand how spatial conigurations interact with social practices to give rise to a hybrid site.

1. To my knowledge, only three books interrelate post-colonial discourse and architecture. Jacobs’s ‘Edge of Empire: Postcolonialism and the City’, ‘Postcolonial Space and Behind the Postcolonial: Architecture, Urban Space(s)’ and ‘Political Cultures in Indonesia’. Relating the theme of hybrid and urbanism, multiauthor book ‘Hybrid Urban- ism: On the Identity Discourse and the Built Environment’ is the only one I was able to gather. 2. Interstitial sites that possess the character of hybridity

he research tackles the central question: How can the hybridity, visible in the interstitials of Gurugram, be spatialized? To answer the research question, it was important to question certain other aspects of the hybrid sites.2 : a. How does an emerging city (such as Gurugram) fuel its hybrid sites which simultaneously exist along with the dominant image of the city? b. What are the socio-spatial implications of such an emerging dynamic?


1.3 METHODOLOGY 1.3.1 heoretical framework he theoretical framework formed for the research encompasses multi-disciplinary ields; from post-colonial studies to social sciences. It primarily consists of three dimensions explained briely below. Firstly, the notion of hybridity is considered. he concept has been studied quite extensively in cultural and social sciences. Homi K. Bhabha a principal theorist of hybridity, situates it in a post-colonial discourse. Bhabha refers to hybridity as a state of ‘double consciousnesses in the migrant. he margin of hybridity, where cultural diferences ‘contingently’ and ‘conlictually’ touch, becomes the moment of panic which reveals the borderline experience.3 Although Bhabha never used hybridity in socio-spatial interpretations as intended in this research, his framework of hybridity is concisely chosen because it highlights how hybridity give rise to a space wherein cultural values and interests are constantly being negotiated. his ambivalence can be well related to Gurugram’s hybridism where the interstitial sites acts as an elastic zone where negotiations occurs. Hybridity theory has been criticised4 mainly for being abstract rather than attached to reality. A gap is seen between Bhabha’s interpretation of hybridity as an in-between site of openness and the actual spatial implications of interstitial sites as hybrid zones of lux. Hence, the research grounds hybridity in speciic sites of the city of Gurugram to derive a meaningful framework and project it on the socio-spatial coniguration of the city. Further exploration of Bhabha’s notion of hybridity and its interpretation to illustrate the interstitials of Gurugram is the scope of the next chapter.

3. Bhabha, H.K., 2012. he location of culture. Routledge. p. 207 4. Easthope, A. (1998). Bhabha, hybridity and identity. Textual Practice.


he second dimension of this research’s framework is developed by interpretation of the prevalent discourse on Gurugram. heorists of post colonialism like Chatterji and Cowan6 explored the governance and globalising process of urbanising India in terms of local politics and the conlicts between fragmented citizenship in Gurugram. Speciic researchers like Singh7 bring to light the various faces of Gurugram. King8 addressed the recent development in Gurgaon by focussing speciically the spatial transformation of the city and representing it in language. he works of these scholars helped in formulating a perspective on present day Gurugram and also hint towards the existence of diverse worlds within the city of Gurugram. he third dimension is an emerging discourse by scholars like Srivastava9 and Chatterji 10 leaning towards an urbanism of entanglement. It does not necessarily imply an alternate scene but rather the synergic aspect of certain sites in the global city. A certain intimate entanglement is evident that transpires in the making of Gurugram; an enmeshed overlapping of urban lives which is interesting to unravel. It is within this space-time context that the thesis situates itself to better understand the complexities associated to hybridity and more precisely what comes out of such hybrid urbanism. While investigating the speciic sites, I used Heynen’s frame of ‘space as a stage’ 11 to illustrate the relationship between social and spatial conigurations. It will be further explained in chapter 4 while looking at speciic sites of the city. he understanding and interpretation of the above literature has been crucial in deining the framework within which the current research has been carried out.

5. Chatterji, T. (2013). he Micro-Politics of Urban Transformation in the Context of Globalisation: A Case Study of Gurgaon, India. 6. Fragmented Citizenships in Gurgaon. Economic & Political Weekly. 7. Singh, A. (2014). From Suburb to Globurb: Interrogating Gurgaon; A City In Global Transition. 8. King, A. (2005). Spaces of global cultures. London: Routledge. 9. Srivastava, S. (2015). Entangled urbanism. 10. Chatterji, T. and Roy, S. (2016). From Margin to Mainstream: Informal Street Vendors and Local Politics in Kolkata, India. 11. Heynen, H. (2013). Space as Receptor, Instrument or Stage: Notes on the Interaction between Spatial and Social Constellations. International Planning Studies, 18(3-4), pp.342-357.






Interrogating Gurgaon; A City In Global Transition dŚĞƐŝƐƐƵďŵŝƩĞĚĨŽƌ DĂƐƚĞƌ͛ƐŝŶ,ƵŵĂŶ^ĞƩůĞŵĞŶƚƐ;DĂ,^Ϳ <͘h͘>ĞƵǀĞŶ ďLJŶĂŵŝĐĂ^ŝŶŐŚ August



Gururgram’s entanglement

Discourse on Gururgram

Bhabha’s hybridity


Fig 2: A representation of the important theories selected for the research



1.3.2 Research Design Research trajectory he research is under the realm of a PhD work being conducted by Anamica Singh in the city of Gurugram in India. Both of us are trying to understand the interstitial but adopting diferent approaches to read the everyday spaces of Gurugram. While Anamica is speciically focussing on urban villages as interstitial sites, my contribution to the research is bringing in the notion of hybridity to add a richness to the understanding of these processes. Interest in the current research was sparked from readings of the course of Modernity and Architecture I recall a particular lecture with the of the city. 12 theme “Urbanity reconsidered / slum as theory” 13 where prof. Heynen steered the discussion towards cities of Global South. She brought up the contest between the image of cities as engines of modernity and the negative interpretation of urban growth as symptom of the failure of rural development.14 It made me relate this dichotomy to the cities back home and wonder about how Indian cities tackle this dichotomy. Further readings led me to Homi Bhabha and I was intruiged by his notion of hybridity in a post colonial discourse. A guest lecture in the course of Human Settlements in Development introduced me to the ph.d work of Anamica. A meeting after the course revealed various points where her research encompasses the idea I had for my thesis. Her master thesis15 dealt speciically in making sense of the global cities of the South – the new city of Gurugram in India and the embracing of the various faces of modernity to construct the logic of this new global city. However, towards the later chapters of her thesis, she hints at a certain kind of synergy which exists in the fragmented city.

My research takes this synergy as the starting point to unveil the intertwining of social lives and practices in speciic sites of the city. I position it within Bhabha’s notion of hybridity to unveil the ambivalences briely hinted in Anamica’s work. With this intention, a month long ieldwork was carried out in Gurugram (5 Feb – 8 Mar 2017). During this period empirical data was collected and simultaneously related with data from city statistics and background research to corroborate the indings on site. Once back from the ieldwork, extensive study was carried out to devise a methodology and the initial research problem evolved with the rethinking of links to certain theories. Analysis of the empirical data was situated more irmly in the framework devised which guided to address the research question(s) and reach the objective of the research. Simultaneously, writing of the research dissertation was undertaken. Fig 3 gives an idea of the entire trajectory which is expected to be completed by August 17, 2017.


Initial Literature Review Research Question


Initial Idea


Structuring the reserach

Revised Research Question






Re-thinking Correspnding Theories

Stronger link to theoretical framework MAY


Re-structuring the reserach


Deriving Conclusions

Finalising the writing




Fig 3: he entire trajectory of the research

12. Heynen, H. (2013). Space as Receptor, Instrument or Stage: Notes on the Interaction between Spatial and Social Constellations. International Planning Studies, 18(3-4), pp.342-357. 13. Modernity and the Architecture of the City is a course in the Fall Semester of KU Leuven wherein students are introduced to the theoretical framework of the 20th century architecture. he readings and discussions of the course imbibed in me critical thinking and an ability to interpret urban discourses. 14. Heynen, H. (2016). Urbanity reconsidered / slum as theory. 15. Singh, A. (2014). FROM SUBURB TO GLOBURB: Interrogating Gurgaon; A City In Global Transition. Graduate. KU Leuven.


Research strategy: approach and methods he thesis is primarily a descriptive research which explains the characteristics of hybridity seen in the interstitial of Gurugram. Descriptive research is “aimed at casting light on current issues or problems through a process of data collection that enables them to describe the situation more completely than was possible without employing this method” 16 he application of the descriptive research lead to unveiling the entanglement between the lives of diferent classes in Gurugram. Gurugram is a very speciic case of actually existing neoliberalism and cannot be interpreted by the logics applicable to other Indian cities. Hence, the research uses deductive reasoning to extend the notion of hybridity to the spatial coniguration of speciic sites of Gurugram. Quite often, interdisciplinary methodologies of social science and anthropology were utilized to interpret the rationales of the subjects. While data was being collected on site, it was essential to analyse the data and view it through the framework of hybridity. As opposed to research approaches that look for data to verify the theories, the current research took Bhabha’s notion of hybridity in the post-colonial discourse and looked at Gurugram to discover the implications of Bhabha’s hybridity in a socio-spatial discourse. Hence narration of the research is based on describing the case of Gurugram backed up by the empirical data to read the city in a new light. In that sense, Gurugram is not just a global city or a failed attempt in planning . In process the research attempts to re-think the city by acknowledging Gurugram’s hybridism; its grey areas.

16. Fox, W. & Bayat, M.S. (2007) “A Guide to Managing Research” Juta Publications, p.45

he study can be narrated in four steps: •Understanding theories pertaining to Bhabha’s notion of hybridity in the post-colonial discourse. •Understanding Gurugram’s interstitial: exploring scenes of hybridity to crystalize the logics behind the prevalent ambivalence. •Viewing the speciic interstitial sites through the lens of Bhabha’s hybridity. •Evaluating the results in a critically evaluative manner to highlight the necessity of acknowledging hybrid sites in designing cities.





Qualitative Deductive




Literature review

Site visit

Statistical Analysis


Background reserach

Mapping Sketching Interviews Participant observation Following Trajectories Field notes

Fig 4: he important features of the research are highlighted

Audio logbook Video Photographs


Data collection and analysis To collect data that was pertinent to the research question and objectives outlined previously, a four week ieldtrip was undertaken to the city of Gurugram. he methods of the ieldwork were inluenced by the reading of two signiicant texts illustrated in the igure. It is essential at this point to elaborate the process of the ieldwork to have a better understanding of the tools for data collection on site. Since I had never lived in the city, it was deemed important to manage the initial period of my ieldtrip with Anamicaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so that I could get an idea of the place from an insider. While discussing the particularities of her site, it struck us both that the space attached to her site of Nathupur village could be an interesting space to examine the hybridity theory I was talking about. It had all the attributes of in-betweenness, being tucked in between the dominant forces that shape Gurugram; M.G road with its shopping malls and high end brand markets, Rapid metro line- irst fully privately inanced metro system in the world, the villages of Gurugram and the newly visioned private road of DLF. Hence, three speciic sites were chosen over the course of the week which formed part of a street, M.G Road (Mehrauli Gurugram Road): a) he commercial stretch of M.G Road b) Area around Sikanderpur metro station c) Area around Nathupur and Sikanderpur Ghosi Each of these sites speciically present instances of Gurugramâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hybridity by illustrating the rationales behind the existence of interstitial sites and to what extent they are intertwined with the functioning of the city.

Fig 5: Important texts used for devising the methods and tools for the ieldwork.


Hybrid sites are understood as this space which retains the hegemonic image of the world class city of Gurugram as well as other logics which do not it the formal city. hroughout the thesis, the term â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;hybrid siteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is used to acknowledge the hybrid nature of the interstitial sites. he sites chosen to test the notion are the sites of exchange because I believe they are the expression of the social life of a place and these are the sites of maximum entanglement. Hence, the research chooses these particular site to examine how the notion of hybridity has contributed to shaping a unique urbanism. he irst week of the ieldwork was a crucial part of data collection and hence, it was used to familiarize oneself with the sites and the subjects in focus. Since hardly any data has been documented from the perspective I was looking at, a large part of the data collection process depended on social interactions and developing a strong relationship with the subjects to gain insights into their stories. his was done primarily through participant observations, casual conversations and maintaining audio logbooks which served as important data for relections later on. First impressions of the sites were taken into account by recording the image it strike as well as the sound and feel of the place. he next three weeks were subjected to each of the speciic sites chosen. Data collected on site was constantly related to theories and relected back to relate back to the observations.(as illustrated in ig. 7) he most deining tools used for documentation were photography, audio logbooks, mappings and interviews.


Images convey the realistic context of the sites as well as provide a backdrop to the narrative of the author. Audio as well as written ield notes proved a quick yet eicient tool to convey the image of the sites through the eyes of the author and also serve as means of relection while linking the site observations to theories. In a similar way interviews, both structured as well as unstructured, serve as a powerful and speculative tool to address the research intentions. Typically structured questionnaires are reserved for oicial interviews and candid conversations serve as the technique to carry out interviews at the sites of everyday practice to build a sense of trust and engage the participant to talk freely and elaborately. Further ive subjects were chosen, each belonging to diferent economic classes and their trajectories were followed for a day. his data gave insight into the lives of diferent classes of Gurugram and the activities they engaged in. his data was then interpreted to identify points at which the diferent classes came in contact with each other, thus establishing

the entanglement. hese direct data were clariied with secondary sources that includes newspapers, statistical analysis, background research on Gurugram as well as oicial records (city maps, reports, articles). his method of triangulation of evidences ensured an exhaustive and robust reasoning.

Fig 6: he three sites selected for collecting data on ield




Initial Investigations

M.G Road



Area around Sikanderpur metro station

Area around Nathupur and Sikanderpur village

- First Impression on site - Feel and sound of the place



- Observations - Photos - Sketching




- Field notes - Familiarizing with site - Building initial connections


relating observing


Fig 7: he process of the four week ieldwork in Gurugram

2 UNPACKING THE CONCEPTS he chapter focusses on understanding the complex notion of hybridity as evolved by Homi Bhabha. his in turn facilitates in forming a framework to understand Gurugramâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hybridity (in the succeeding chapters). Further, the idea of in-between is explored; irstly in urban research and secondly modifying the term to link it to the spatial interstitial. he theoretical in-between existing in hybrid is then used to conceive the hybrid in the spatial interstitial sites. Both are linked by attributes of openness and negotiation which deines their hybrid character.


2.1. UNDERSTANDING HYBRIDITY: establishing the scope Oxford English Dictionary deines the term ‘hybrid’ as “derived from heterogeneous sources or composed of different or incongruous elements.” As an adjective, it is used to indicate “having a mixed character”. On a basic level, hybridity is thus understood as fusion between heterogeneous elements where the resulting juxta-positioning retains some distinctive traits of each element. Although originated in the seventeenth century, the term came to be used commonly only by the nineteenth century in the ield of biology. Used to refer to the ofspring of two distinctive species, the term later proceeded to characterise the ofspring of humans who belonged to diferent races. Deploying this, the term was taken up by postcolonial theorists to describe forms that emerged out of the colonial interventions. Although the term has been adopted in discourses ranging from post colonialism to multiculturalism, my interest focusses on how the conceptual term has been extended by post-colonial scholars to interpret colonial friction. However, in order to grasp the complex concept of hybridity in post colonialism, it is essential to bring up the work of Bakhtin because his concept of hybridity in literature was extended by post-colonial scholars in their formulation of the term.


Bakhtin theorized the impacts of hybridity in language and introduced organic hybridity (unconscious yet contributing as a major factor in the evolution of languages) and more importantly, intentional hybridity wherein he highlights polyphony (multi-voiced) – a form of narration which is inclusive of the diferent voices. In doing so, Bakhtin stressed that a conlicting view of the subjects are generated, which is left to the readers to develop. He developed the concept in Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics citing Dostoevsky’s work as an example of polyphony and illustrated the many voices with their own narrations which co-existed along with the author. It is constructed not as the whole of a single consciousness…but as a whole formed by the interaction of several consciousness’s, none of which entirely becomes an object for the other; … and this consequently makes the viewer also a participant.18 his allowed the narration to speak for itself changing the power dynamics and the author is no longer the sole authority who takes over the narration. Moving to post-colonial studies now, no discussion on hybridity is complete without mentioning the work of Homi Bhabha. A principal theorists of hybridity, Bhabha situates it in a post-colonial discourse and brings up the anxiety of the colonizers towards their ambivalent position and social authority. At the same time, he brings up hybridity to refer to ways in which colonized disrupt the colonial power. He argues that hybridity is an innate constituent of colonial representation and holds the power to inverse the power dynamics. So Bhabha’s hybridity refers to the dialogue between the two important entities of the colonial discourse – the colonizers and the colonized. Hybridity is, thus, the ambivalence at the source of traditional discourses on authority . 19

18. Bakhtin, M. and Emerson, C. (2009). Problems of Dostoevsky’s poetics. Minneapolis [u.a.]: Univ. of Minnesota Press, p.18. 19. Bhabha, H.K., 2012. he location of culture. Routledge. p.119.


It is this ambivalence that makes hybridity such a fascinating and engaging starting point for this research. My interest in Bhabha’s notion of hybridity stems from this articulation of how the colonized grasp the colonial representation and acts as agent in changing the dynamics. he claim that hybridity holds in administering a way out of the binary thinking of the positions of the colonizer and the colonized allow a diferent perspective to envision the power dynamics. Bhabha’s hybridity stems from the underlying rational of cultural diferences that is rooted in the ixed notion of the identities of the colonised and the colonisers. hese dynamics were brought to the academic front ground by theorist Edward Said in his work Orientalism. A true understanding of Western culture and identity could not be achieved until recognition was made of its dependency and predication against the colonised ‘orient’ as a “contrasting image, idea, personality, experience.20 Bhabha embraced this understanding in his key text on hybridity – a series of essays compiled in he Location of Culture to articulate the colonial identity that is “neither the One…nor the Other…but something else besides”.21 Bhabha’s notion of hybridity takes birth from this ambivalent space shaped out of the two oppositions. Hybridity is the sign of the productivity of colonial power, its shifting forces and ixities….the strategic reversal of the process of domination through disavowal. 22 In his book Location of Culture, Bhabha explores the idea of hybridity by placing it in post-colonial period and argues that it is a tool by which the subversives defy the oppressions. He addresses the ambivalence of the discourse by highlighting a hybrid space that functions as an agency. Hybridity is a problematic of colonial representation and individuation that reverse the efects of the colonialist disavowal, so that other ‘denied’ knowledge enters upon the dominant discourse and estranges the basis of its authority-its rules of recognition.23

20. Said, E. (1995). Orientalism. Victoria: Penguin Books, p.2. 21. Bhabha, H.K., 2012. he location of culture. routledge.p.28 22. Bhabha, H.K., 2012. he location of culture. routledge.p.159 23. Bhabha, H.K., 2012. he location of culture. routledge.p.114


Few scholars like Eastrope argue that Bhabha’s hybridity is in fact the concept of Derridean diference formulated in colonial literature. he presence of a dominant meaning in a dominant culture can be called into question by referring to the hybridity or diference from which it emerges.24 Although Derridean diference is not the scope of this research, it needs to be brought up briely because of Bhabha’s reliance on it in bringing out the ‘interstices’ in hybridity (which is the focus of the research). In his essay Diférance, Derrida coins the term to illustrate the idea of diference as an opposition to presence. Eastrope explains this simply by saying that whenever there is a signiied there must be a signiier; whenever there is anything like a coherent meaning it is possible to point up the linguistic and discursive strategies on which such meaning depends.25 If such an interpretation is deployed, then this notion of diférance can overthrow any established notion. Putting this into colonial perspective, Bhabha explains that the colonial presence is always ambivalent, split between its appearance as original and authoritative and its articulation as repetition and diference. 26 He argues that the cultural diference is in the ‘emergence of the interstices’ 27 where diferences may ‘overlap’ 28 and become an ‘interstitial passage between ixed identiications’. 29 he intention of this research is to carry this notion of interstitial further and apply it to our cities. However, before delving into it, it is essential to elaborate how Bhabha uses his notion of hybridity to talk about the in-between and how it can add to the understanding of the interstitial spaces of our cities.

24. Easthope, A. (1998). Bhabha, hybridity and identity. Textual Practice, 12(2), p.343. 25. Easthope, A. (1998). Bhabha, hybridity and identity. Textual Practice, 12(2), p.343. 26. Bhabha, H.K., 2012. he location of culture. routledge.p.107 27. Ibid. p. 2 28. Ibid. p. 2 29. Ibid. p. 4


2.2 UNDERSTANDING THE IN-BETWEEN In his essay ‘Culture’s in-between’, Bhabha breaks the ideal of an uncontaminated culture and acknowledges the impossibility to imagine a culture that is self-contained. He argues that the only logical way to conceive culture is to understand the links between them. At this point, it becomes interesting when Bhabha brings up Elliot’s work to talk about colonial migration. “he migrations of modern times…people have taken with them only a part of the total culture. he culture which develops on the new soil must therefore be balingly alike and diferent from the parent culture”.30 Bhabha uses this concept to elaborate his notion of ‘partial culture’. Although I bring up ‘partial culture’ later to explain the empirical indings of Bristol marketplace, it needs a brief introduction here because I believe it forms an important part of the in-between existent in Bhabha’s hybridity. Bhabha argues that this partial ‘contaminated’ 31 culture is the tissue which connects diferent cultures referring to it as ‘Culture’s in-between’.32 In doing that, he rephrases the notion of boundary in the binary discussion of cultures and identities, painting an interesting picture of the in-between formed out of cultural diference. “…the negotiations of (those) spaces that are continually, contingently, ’opening out’, remaking the boundaries…Such assignations of social difference-where diference is neither One nor the Other but something else besides, in-between – ind their agency in the form of the ‘future’…an interstitial future, that emerges in-between the claims of the past and the needs of the present.” 33

30. Eliot, T. (2014). Notes towards the deinition of culture. pp. 64 31. K. Bhabha, H. (1998). Culture’s In-between. p.30. 32. ibid 33. ibid. p. 219


However, what is more fascinating for me is the point when Bhabha formulates this hybrid discourse as an opening up of boundaries. Hence, the boundary is no longer static anymore. It becomes a place which is in lux – a site of negotiation where the power resting on the hegemonic practice is no longer the only authoritative one. Bhabha calls such negotiation as ‘neither assimilation nor collaboration’ 34 but it is such a powerful agent because it makes it possible for an interstitial to arise – an interstitial that no longer acknowledges the binary as an established notion to be repeated. Further, I ind this hybrid agency of Bhabha very fascinating because it gives a fresher perspective to view the everyday urbanism of Gurugram. he ordinary everyday sites then do not seek authority over the hegemonic image of the city but use their partial position to gain access and be a part of the city – an outsider in the inside yet still a part of the city. Looking to extend this notion to spatial terms, I wondered if there is a way to link the in-between existent in Bhabha’s hybridity to the interstitial sites in the physical realm of the city. My task becomes a bit easier and clearer as Bhabha himself used the reference of a stairwell and beautifully illustrated his in-between by a physical metaphor. “he stairwell as a liminal space, in-between the designations of identity, becomes the process of symbolic interaction, the connective tissue that constructs the diference between upper and lower…… his interstitial passage between the ixed identiications opens up the possibility of a cultural hybridity that entertains the difference without an assumed or imposed hierarchy.” 35

34. K. Bhabha, H. (1998). Culture’s In-between. p. 34 35. Ibid. p.2


With that spatial analogy of hybridity (provided by Bhabha himself ), I turn to the work of Chakraborty and Negi to understand how they frame the in-between spatially. Exploring the interstitial spaces of the city of Delhi (just few miles from the site of Gurugram), this insightful work focusses on spaces beyond the spectacular 36 urbanism of the city, engaging in sites where the ordinary take place – everyday spaces of the city. he volume illustrate how the bigger logics and processes of the city are being negotiated in these sites – shedding light on the disconnection between planning the city and executing it in reality. It deines the interstitial as ‘ordinary spaces that exist alongside centres of consumption, megaprojects, special economic zones, gated communities, high-end apartment complexes and large infrastructure installations.’ 37 he interstitial then implies spaces which are overshadowed by the spectacular urbanism of the city. Yet these everyday places are spaces in lux. he interstitial highlighted are spaces which are still evolving with interventions from diferent actors. Hence this deinition of interstitial is precisely chosen because it presents an intriguing case to explore how the theoretical idea of in-between work in real space. It is imperative to mention here that the in-between illustrated in Bhabha’s hybridity and the idea of interstitial spaces as illustrated by Chakrabarty do not belong to the same theme. However, the intention to view interstitial sites of Gurugram through the lens of Bhabha’s hybridity is based on two reasons. Firstly, previous works by other scholars give a glimpse of the hybridity (as elaborated by Bhabha) in Gurugram and hence the intention is to examine this notion. Secondly, I believe that it would add a richness and an additional layer through which the complex task of spatializing hybridity can be understood and hence illustrated better. 36. By spectacular I mean both the megaprojects as well as the slums which attract most of the scholarly attention. 37. Chakravarty, S. and Negi, R. (2016). Space, planning and everyday contestations in Delhi. New Delhi: Springer India, p.6.


2.3 GROUNDING HYBRIDITY IN EVERYDAY SPACES One constant criticism of hybridity theory is its abstract nature rather than being attached to reality. 38 here appears to be a gap between the discourses of hybridity as an in-between site of openness and the actual spatial implications of it. he link to material efects in lived space is invariably lost in Bhabha’s disturbing slippage between actual and abstract spaces.39 Hence, I believe it is important to study the notion of hybridity by investigating it empirically. It is imperative to situate it in a context and understand how the term is represented in actual socio-spatial conigurations. hat is what the research does. he thesis grounds hybridity on speciic sites of Gurugram and interprets its multiple implications. Others questioned the ambivalence as the ‘most salient and problematic attribute of Bhabha’s hybridity’ 40 because it does not permit the cultural tensions to be resolved. However, I feel Bhabha’s hybridity intention to bring up the the ambivalence of the in-betweenness was to use it as a tool to create a dialogue between the ixed entities. And in that respect, he has illustrated why the in-between has the possibility to be that liminal space because it is not bound by the rules of either. Much in the same way, the interstitial spaces of Gurugram has the opportunity to use their ambivalent position to negotiate a position for themselves (in a city whose rules they do not entirely bound to follow). hese sites, within their own processes, bring in a new space – an additional layer -that is why they are hybrid.

38. Easthope, A., 1998. Bhabha, hybridity and identity. Textual practice, 12(2), pp.341-348. 39. Phillips, L. (1998). Lost in space: siting/citing the in-between of Homi K Bhabha’s-he location of culture. Scrutiny2, 3(1), p.17. 40. Grandis, R. and Bernd, Z. (2000). Unforeseeable Americas: questioning cultural hybridity in the Americas.


Extending this philosophical â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;hybridâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to a spatial coniguration is the task of the research. I do that by using a space that has luid networks with the everyday linking it to real lived experiences. Apart from that, there is a rich body of work that revolves around the tension between the world class city and its ties to the urban slums. he changing landscape of Indian cities and their impacts on social practices, patterns of consumption and land use has been well document by various scholars (Bhan. 2009, Roy. 2009, Dupont. 2011). Although these literature discuss frequently the most visible impacts of neoliberal urbanism- the gated city and the extreme poverty, I feel it portrays an incomplete understanding of the changing landscape of Indian cities. he intention of this research is not to engage in a discussion on slums versus malls and gated apartments. Rather it focussed on ordinary everyday spaces of Gurugram that shape actually existing urbanism of the city. he idea to examine the ordinary spaces through the in-between notion of hybridity (elaborated earlier) bring out the dynamic of these sites, thus establishing its hybrid nature. It ties together the two important domains- hybridity as a concept and hybridity as a social reality.


Fig 8: he emerging â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;world class â&#x20AC;&#x2DC; city of Gurugram

Fig 9: he living conditions of the blue collar workers on the outskirts of the city

Fig 10 : An aspect of everyday city

3 GURUGRAMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S HYBRIDITY Setting the scene he chapter focusses on illustrating the scene which give rise to Gurugramâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hybridism. It commences by bringing up the dominant image of the city and proceeds to highlight the reality on ground. Further it discusses the shift that India is experiencing and how it is being mirrored in the city of Gurugram. An understanding of the forces behind these shifts results in unfolding the important events that led to the present state of Gurugram. Further, the implications of these transformations are explored by interpreting how the diferent fragments of the city strive to make their mark in this changing city and in what ways their segregated worlds meet. Finally the chapter concludes by identifying an interstitial site where these intertwining occurs. Exploring these entanglements is the scope of the succeeding chapters.


3.1 GURUGRAM (Gurgaon)41 : India’s millenium city ‘DLF City stands out as a unique experiment of public private sector partnership. Developed in accordance with the legal framework and Final Development Plan of Gurgaon, it has emerged as one of the inest suburban townships on the southern border of the city’. 42 he current city of Gurugram is a relatively new phenomena in the long history of the barren plains of Aravalli hills. Situated 30km south west of the capital New Delhi, the site that is now Gurugram consisted of agricultural villages until the beginning of the 21st century. With the economic reform of 1991, the city presented a golden opportunity for the private sectors to fulil demands of India’s growing high-tech sectors. Today Gurugram has transformed into a city which houses 250 of the Fortune 500 companies. 43 An emerging icon of Indian modernity, Gurugram has displayed the strong role of private players in the urban development of the city. he forces of neo-liberalism that has shaped India’s ‘millennium city’ 44 and has embarked it on its path to embrace global capital, are remarkably evident as I enter Gurugram. Catching a glimpse of the shining aluminium towers from toll plaza at the 8 lane Delhi Gurgaon expressway, I am greeted by the dazzling buildings of DLF city, designed by architect Hafeez Contractor sworn to creating a city that responds to the architecture of demand. My irst encounter with this architecture was with DLF Gateway Tower, a 12 storey complex marking the entrance to the city of DLF. his shipshaped complex truly marks the gateway to Gurugram and gives a glimpse of the trends that city has adopted, totally oblivious to the site upon which it grows and adamant in producing a city of global identity.

41. Chief Minister of the state oicially proposed in 2016 renaming the as Gurugram. he centre approved the new name in Sept 2016. For the purpose of this thesis, the city will be referred to as ‘Gurugram’. However, Gurgaon will be retained to refer to all earlier references to the city by other authors and while decribing events of the past. 42. DLF News Winter 2001-2 43. (n.d.). Municipal Corporation, Gurugram. [online] Available at: 44. Gururgam is popularly termed as the millennium city by the developers to attract investments.


Fig 11 : Architectureal language of Gurugram. he multi stories residential towers provide a safe haven to the white collar workers and their families. Source : Anamica Singh


he spatial language intended for the city is in sharp contrast to the Anglo- Indian vocabulary visible in the colonial and post-colonial times in India – the bungalows, quarters and compounds. his new language which King refers to as the ‘American-English capitalist’,45 distinctly produces images of being in an international environment composed of high rise towers, gated condominiums, malls, plazas and supermarkets. he city is constructed into complexes that usually house 3-4 multi-storey glazed buildings that emit ‘a luxury brand’ 46 that architect Hafeez Contractor consciously inject in his designs. In the words of his biographer, Prathima Manohar: “Architecture in the present day is shaped by market demand, real-estate calculations, zoning policies and municipal rules, more than any architectural philosophy preached by theorists. Hafeez acknowledges the context of the market which has always been ignored by the profession at large. He takes the clients aesthetics preferences as one of the key determinants while initiating a design. As a result, his architecture relects the multitudes of preferences that the consumerist masses demand.” 47 From her words, the spatial language of DLF city intended by Hafeez can be easily grasped. his architecture of demand responds to the ‘global image’ and the diverse market by exploiting the vision of a futuristic ‘modern’ city.

45. King, A. (2004). Culture, globalization and the world-system. 1st ed. London: Routledge, p.151. 46. Brook, D. (2014). he Slumdog Millionaire Architect. he New York Times. 47. Manohar, P. (2006). Architect Hafeez Contractor- Selected works 1982-2006. 1st ed. Mumbai: Spenta Multimedia, p.19.


Fig 12: he spatial language of Gurugram. he built fabric of the city display the aspirations of the city to be a part of global world. Source: Anamica Singh



Fig 13: Rapid Metro station and DLF Gateway Tower. Image shows parts where construction is still in process. The line of the rapid metro is seen with the backdrop of the city. Source : Anamica Singh



Fig 14: View of the rapid metro against the backdrop of oice complexes in DLF phase 4


Fig 15: he scene outside DLF Cyber Hub. A number of cars, mostly employees of the oice complexes are seen parked outside throughout the day and the drivers hanging around the cars waiting for their employers



3.2 THE ‘OTHER’ CITY : Actually existing urbanism Looking at Gurugram through the bird’s eye view makes me recall the words of Harvey. What is remarkable is not that urbanism is so diferent but that it is so similar in all metropolitan centres of the world in spite of signiicant diferences in social policy, cultural tradition, administrative and political arrangements, institutions and laws, and so on. 48 In case of Gurugram too, this dominant image imitates major metropolitan cities of the Global South. 49 However, a city is never a single entity but an amalgamation of diferent images, identities and aspirations. Singh, in her master thesis, talks about the diferent images of the city of Gurugram – the ‘Globurb’, 50 the ‘Privatized City’, 51 the ‘Illegal City’, 52 bringing up the ambivalences which exist along with the city’s dominant image. Taking this line of inquiry forward, I am interested in exploring the diferent aspects of the everyday life of the city because I believe that the true image of Gurugram is incomplete without looking at the actually existing urbanism of the city. Gurugram has transformed from a dusty agricultural town into a city with global reach in a matter of a few years. However, directing our attention to the ground level of the city, it does not take long to realize that much is still unchanged. A picture gallery reveals the contrasting worlds that exist within the city of Gurugram.

48. Harvey, D. (1973). Social justice and the city. 1st ed. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, p.278. 49. Gurugram is popularly called ‘India’s Singapore’. Oneindia News (2008). 50. Singh, A. (2014). FROM SUBURB TO GLOBURB: Interrogating Gururgram; A City In Global Transition. p,19 51. ibid. p,31 52. ibid. p,73


Fig 16: A man parking his car infront of a fruit seller in order to have a plate of fresh fruits on this hot day in Gururgram.he metro station is visible in the background along with auto-rickshaws waiting to carry passengers


Fig 17: he scene right under the Sikanderpur Metro Station. During peak hours, there is heavy traic at this point. Rows of auto-rickshaws are seen waiting for people getting of at the metro. Stalls selling snacks and everyday household items are also visible.



Fig 18: Scene right outside Sikanderpur Metro station- he orange building. he grey building is the connection to the Rapid metro station.



Fig 19: Bristol Chowk where the Rapid Metro line is being extended. On the left, Sikanderpur fabrication market is seen. he entire road is taken up by these shops with the other side of the road acting as a fabrication and display unit for the shops.




Fig 20: Workers constructing the metro line are seen resting under the metro rail. In the background, the oice of a real estate developer EMAAR is seen. Apart from the air conditioned cabins, the hot dusty city has no place designed that provide people rest. Advertisements of P.G (paying guest) provided by the urban villagers are seen on the walls right outside the real estate oices.



Fig 21: he junction of the regular metro and the Rapid metro line- the image of development and progress of the city. Just under the billboards , the ground is occupied by carts



Fig 22: Scene under the metro line. While the metro carries people to the capital, the scene just outside the Sikanderpur village is a messy amalgamation of vehicles, pedestrians and stalls. One can clearly see how the kind of hoardings change in this scene- from advertisements about accomodation to construction items and automobile parts


3.2 A CITY IN TRANSITION According to a report by he Global Commission on the Economy and Climate over the last two decades, India’s urban population increased from 217 million to 377 million. 53 his data becomes much more insightful when it is projected on the 2031 scenario – a total of 600 million people making up 40 percent of the nation’s population. At a time when the country is shifting from a largely agricultural community to an urban society, the scale of India’s urbanization is unprecedented. India’s strong strides towards economic growth bring up challenges of sustainable growth and social cohesion. However, they also pose as opportunities to help create better living standards, if done correctly. he city of Gurugram is a microcosm of these shifts in the nation. It is a perfect setting to grasp these processes within a time span of few years. From being primarily an agricultural society to its rise as an icon of Indian modernity, Singh elaborates how Gururgram is caught in a dichotomy between being an uprising ‘Globurb’ and a model of failed planning. In her thesis 54, Anamica highlights the role of DLF - Delhi Land and Finance, a major player of real estate development in the capital. However, the formation of Delhi Development Authority55 (DDA) in 1957 presented hindrance to private sectors due to restricted lands and stricter zoning policies. In the face of shrinking opportunities, DLF started to look elsewhere to freely expand its market. At that time, Gurugaon and Faridabad presented an attractive opportunity due to cheap land and growth opportunities.

53. New Climate Economy Report backed by the UN was published in 2014 by he Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. he report was formulated by a year-long study by leading research institutes from India, the United Kingdom, United States, Ethiopia, Brazil, China and South Korea with advice from world-leading economists. 54. Singh, A. (2014). From suburb to globurb: Interrogating Gurgaon; A City In Global Transition. 55. he Delhi Development Authority was created under the Delhi Development Act to ensure an organized development of the capital


Fig 23: A city moving at a fast pace. Ronit Bhattacharya


Due to its proximity to the international airport (15 kilometres) as well as the capital (37 kilometres), Gurgaon was a good place to invest for companies like DLF. he result is evident. Within a time frame of hardly 25 years, Gurugram has experimented and developed into a celebration of Indian modernity. What made this erratic pace of development possible was the vision of DLF, who grasped the potential that this sleeping rural town ofered amidst the developer friendly building regulations and acquired lands from villagers to set up his empire. In order to fully understand the transformations induced by these developments, it is necessary to set them against a broader background. Although history of Gurgaon had been inluenced by imperial power over Delhi by the Mughals and later the British colonial Empire, developments that triggered the global city of Gurugram as we know today, can be traced back to the 1980s with the coming of private sectors into the city.

Fig 24: he growing city of Gururgram is seen with the urban villages in the background Source: Anamaica Singh



1977: Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) Act was formulated wherein the state was permitted to acquire agricultural land for developing townships. 1979: Gurgaon split from its sister town, Faridabad. Since then, their development has been unforeseeable. Faridabad was a much stronger industrial city and Gurgaon was an arid agricultural land. It was unpredictable for Gururgram would rise over Faridabad and become one of the most rapidly growing cities of India. 1981â&#x20AC;&#x201C;82: he state government of Haryana permitted private developers, namely Ansal Properties and DLF to build townships in Gururgram.his truly marked the beginning of a new kind of development driven by the private market. 2,400,0001982:

he automobile company, Maruti-suzuki established its factories starting a collaboration and a trigger for the inception of Gururgramâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s industrial era.



Fig 25 : Investments in the city


1991 Market Reform

1982 Maruti Suzuki

1981 Delhi land & finance Group (DLF) Ansal Properties

1979 split from Faridabad

1977 Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA)




1991: he economic reform liberalized the economy. he introduction of the LPG (Liberalization, Privatization and globalization) model made it easier for private developers to make their mark on the city.



2020 Rapid metro - phase III

2017 Rapid metro - phase II

2013 Rapid metro - phase I

2008 Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG)

2004 Infinity Tower Twin tower DLF Cyber Green DLF Cyber City DLF Gateway Tower

1997 General Electricals

2003 Delhi land & finance Group (DLF) Motor & General Finance (MGF) First phase

1997: General Electric (GE) came to Gurgaon and set up its oice in DLF complex. his paved the way for numerous call centres and other busines organizations to place a foothold in Gurgaon. With this process, the city became a much more cost eicient options for companies and their arrival triggered the rapid urbanization of Gurgaon.



2003: M.G (Mehrauli Gururgram) Road saw the irst phase of retail developments which were initiated by DLF. Other signiicant roads like Golf Course Road and Sohna Road also welcomed real estate development . 2004: Major real estate developments by DLF was initiated in the form of DLF Cyber Green, DLF Cyber City, and DLF Gateway Tower which was further enhanced by the expressway NH8 connexting to Manesar. 2008: Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) was created which included old Gurgaon (previously under the municipal committee) and the villages (previously under panchayats). 2013: Indiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s irst privately inanced metro was inaugurated which connected Gurgaon to Delhi. 2017: the second phase of the rapid metro is planned to be inaugurated. he prime reason of Gururgramâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s appeal to the multinationals was the fact that the business parks designed by private companies like were according to the requirement and infrastructure of the global irms. Hence all of DLF properties came in with 24 hour power backup, private security and other infrastructure tailored for the operations in these enterprises making it easier for them to set up their irms.

136 thousand inhabitants

57 thousand inhabitants


Fig 26 : Urban Growth of the city




he impacts of the investments in the city is directly visible in its urban growth. A steep rise is seen in the 2000s due to the developments taking place in the city - opening up employment opportunities.


o illi



m illi o


nh ab


nt s



o illi m 1.5

it ab h n i

ts an

inhabitants 100 thousand








3.4.1 Forging a new identity he rapid rate of transformation that Gurugram is going through makes it a place of interest for many actors. he pace of development provide each with diverse opportunities. his makes Gurugram a place that holds people of diverse class, economic status and aspirations. Readily the various actors are placed in a diferent world than their previous and an interesting dynamic is created when all these actors interact to make their position in this fast changing world. he igure 27, illustrates a mental map of these dynamics occurring in the city. he shifting city aspires diferent actors to shed of their old self and forge a new identity in order to it into their new roles. For instance, the urban villagers imitate the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;modernâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lifestyle of the DLF city. Residents of the DLF city in turn, aspire to be a part of the global world. Amidst all these are the blue collar workers who migrate to the city looking for better opportunities for life. hey belong to neither worlds but nevertheless, carve out a niche making themselves an integral part of the workings of the city. A brief understanding of the same is elaborated further.

Global Citizen

Resident of DLF City Floating Population

Floating Population

Urban villager

Fig 27: A mental map of the diferent actors and their aspirations


Urban villager: No space disappears in the course of growth and development: the worldwide does not abolish the local.56 To understand Gurugram’s hybridism fully, it is imperative to direct attention to what remained of the ‘village of the guru’ 57 and how it has retained its strong hold amidst the new identity of the city. On one of the days during my ieldwork, I was accompanied by Anamica when we decided to visit some markets owned by the urban villagers of Nathupur village. Since Anamica’s ongoing Ph.D. focussesd on understanding the changing dynamics of urban villagers, she had some quite alluring insights that led me to understand the realities of these dynamics. I was aware of the process adopted by K.P Singh58, CEO of DLF to build his empire in Gurugram. he key principle of acquiring land from the villagers was to give enough compensation as well as providing them a chance to invest in their dreams. While many left the village after selling of their lands, others adopted a diferent path. hey indulged in reckless spending and bought expensive SUVs and strived to acquire a new status symbol of the elites in the gated communities. Anamica mentioned an interesting anecdote where few villagers refused to sell of their lands and developers were bewildered because they had already acquired the adjoining lands. In case of the cyber Hub itself, one particular villager refused to sell of his land after the construction had started for the complex.

56.Lefebvre, H. (1991). he production of space. 1st ed. Blackwell: Oxford, p.86. 57. Guru-gram literally translates from Sanskrit to the ‘village of the teacher’ due to its association with Guru Dronacharya from the Mahabharata 58. Singh K.P, ‘Whatever the odds: he incredible story behind DLF’, in autobiography, homas Press, 2011.


Desperate as the developer was, the villager inally agreed to sell if he was given an entire loor of the complex. Hence started this new lifestyle where the urban villagers earned a monthly income of almost ten million, sitting at home, puing their hookahs. 59 hese residents of the former city who were previously engaged in agriculture and related activities, had taken up new roles in the process. Sensing the opportunity to replace the dying practice of agriculture with the sale of their land, the urban villagers embraced roles in sustaining the blue collar workers 60 by providing them residence and employment opportunities, thereby maintaining their own existence in the urban world. With the acquired wealth and the fancy house and cars, these villagers now aspire to be a part of the elites of DLF city. Although uneducated themselves, the villagers now send their sons and grandsons61 to private English medium schools. Along with it, urban villagers have started imitating the lifestyle of the gated community of DLF city. For them, DLF city is a sign of the modern urban lifestyle which they desperately want to be a part of. And now with their acquired wealth and strong political foothold,62 the villagers aspire their future generation to be a part of modern India.

Fig 28: he urban villages in the vicinity of the site. Google map used as a base for the drawing.

59. Commonly known as shisha, a hookah is a pipe that is used to smoke specially prepared tobacco. 60. he lack of jobs in agricultural sector pushes people with inadequate education and skills to migrate to developing cities like Gurugram in search of better job opportunities. 61. Haryana still remains a deeply patriarchal state. 62. Urban villagers are the only ones with voting rights.



Residents of DLF City: he private DLF phases of the is in stark contrast to the urban villages. he igure on the right illustrates the land owned by DLF (red) and the development around it. he impact of neoliberal forces is so visible in the city that even though Gurgaon is divided into municipal sectors, almost everyone navigates through the city referring to the DLF phases. he spatial ordering of DLF city visibly brings in a new sense of time in the spaces created out of massive towers and residential apartments. hese free standing high rise have become the status symbol of the elites eager to be a part of the global world. here is a direct relation to the architectural language and the idea of being part of a global space. Apart from the built ‘aesthetics’, the spatial experience of totality that these spaces provide is the key to their allure. he malls with their international food courts (adapted to Indian cuisines), spas, itness centres and other luxury amenities provide one the chance of experiencing an ‘International’ environment. With a shift towards a generation that moves from one multinational company to another in various cities of India, such environments provide these white collar workers a familiar scene in each city – a home amidst the up rootedness. Even the gated condominiums are equipped with luxury facilities like club house, pool, gym and manicured lawns.

Fig 29: he DLF phases and the impacts of it around the site. Google map used as a base for the drawing.


DLF Phases


he spatial organization of these developments impact the everyday practices of the society and has a deep inluence in the nature of social relationships. hese gated communities, usually 15 to 20 loors high, are equipped with the latest security systems to ensure that the residents are provided a safe haven with access to world class facilities. Be it the private security agency, the private water supply or the private company providing 24 hour power backup, neoliberal policies have played an explicit impact in the process of private takeover of these services. DLF Cyber City itself provides employment for about 1 lakh (0.1 million) white collar professionals working for Europe and the U.S 63 Even for the residents of the gated condominiums, their environment signiies being in a global space with a sense of security from the unruly habitants outside their gates. his also leads to an automatic criminalization of the ‘other’ – security checks at the gate conirming the purpose of visit and telephonic conversation to the resident concerned to verify the same. Anyone from outside is seen with an eye of suspicion and threat to the residents, even daily workers like nannies, domestic helps, cooks and drivers need to present their identity cards. On one occasion, I personally witnessed the management of the residents’ welfare association of Essel Tower 64 hurling abuses at a security guard for letting a maid walk in without ‘proper’ authorization. It is for similar reasons that one would not ind hawkers and other stalls in front of these apartments. he condominium culture brings to light a new way of living, mainly on accounts of security but also class. hese gated apartments seem to imply that the residents deserve a better quality of life than those who cannot aford these condominiums. Interview with a resident further conirmed this.


Fir 30: Interviewee -Preksha Jindal Resident of Essel Towers â&#x20AC;&#x153;In a city like Gurgaon, which attracts various classes of people, it is refreshing and reassuring to be with like-minded people. Essel world, in that aspect, provides an ideal location for me to live and share with people of similar taste and statusâ&#x20AC;?. 65

63. Julka, H. (2011). IT irms looking beyond Gurgaon, Noida to other cities in north India. [online] he Economic Times. 64. Essel Tower is the gated apartment that housed me in Gurugram during my four week long ieldwork conducted in February 2017. 65. Interview, Preksha Jindal, Embryologist at hakral Nursing Home, Gurgaon


Blue-collar workers he rapid development in Gurugram has attracted a lot of workers from other states, especially Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Orissa and Rajasthan in search of a decent wage to sustain themselves and their families. Since language is not a barrier for Hindi-speakers, the capital Delhi and recently Gurugram has seen a wave of migrants from North India. While the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oicial population has increased 20fold over the past 10 years, 8â&#x20AC;&#x201C;10 lakh(0.8 1 million) population are unaccounted for. hey are predominately the industrial and manufacturing workforce and live of-themap in the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s urban villages.66 hese migrants are sustained by the urban villagers by renting out cheap accomodations on the periphery of the villages. With time, they have become an indispensable part of the urban development of the city.

Fig 31: Scene at the entry of Nathupur village

Fig 32: Living conditions of the blue collar workers. Few of them have brought their families from the village and their children go to school in the city.

66. Cowan, T. (2015). Fragmented Citizenships in Gurgaon. Economic & Political Weekly, 1(26,27), p. 64 .


Fig 33: A local shop in the marketplace run by Kalu. He had come to the city 5 years ago.

Fig 34: Ali has a mattress shop. He has the shop since 11 years. Earlier he used to do all the work alone. Now he can employ Babu to help him in the shop.


Excerpts from an interview with the security guard Sevaram and driver Ramdas, employed by Time Tower. 67 Sevaram: I came to the city in 2010 from a small village in Rajasthan. I worked previously in Sahara mall. It pays less than here but more jobs are available there. I used to get 12,000 rupees (160 euros) per month for 12 hour shifts. I have been working here since 4 years now. Here they pay me 11,500 (154 euros) for 8 hour shifts. Swagata: what do you do after your 8 hour shift? Sevaram: I cannot do anything. here is nothing to do here. Swagata: Do you go out with your family? Maybe the cinema? Sevaram: My family isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t here, madam. It is too expensive to bring them to the city. I share a room in Nathupur village with 3 other men. I go home every 3 month for 2 days after I get my wages. And what will you do in the city. here is no place to go. Now we cannot go in the malls. So we just go home, cook our meals, get some rest and come back to work the next morning. Swagata: How are the people you work for? Ramdas: hey are well educated people. Very good to us. And even if they are not, they pay for our livelihood,. But people here are much better than the previous place I worked for. his oice has more women employees and it changes the environment. I like working for saheb. 67. Time Tower is a business centre located on Gurugramâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s prime commercial road M.G. Road.

Fig 35: Ramdas and Sevaram outside Time Tower


3.5 MEETING OF DIFFERENT WORLDS We live in a moment of transit where space and time cross to produce complex igures of diference and identity, past and present, inside and outside, inclusion and exclusion.68 Talking to diferent actors of Gurugram, I noticed how each world is composed of its own logics and how each fulil their needs and aspirations. Hence, at irst glance the city of Gurugram might appear as a fragmented world where people live in deep segregation from each other. However, a closer glance reveal certain points where these diferent worlds intersect highlighting a certain entanglement within the urban lives of the city. In his book â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Entangled Urbanismâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, Srivastava used ethnographic data collected from sites around Delhi and Gurgaon to talk about a similar urban entanglement.69 he city is that place where the state and the private enterprise, cultures of contract and kinship, the desire to both transcend locality but also to be part of it come together in uneven waysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.70 He explored the point where the imaginations of the city intersect with the everyday life of the city, thereby providing another perceptive to view the existing spatial segregation apart from enclavization. In the case of Gurugram too, the allure of this research stems from a glimpse of this entanglement.

68. Bhabha, H.K., 2012. he location of culture. routledge.p. 1 69. Srivastava, S. (2016). Entangled Urbanism. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, p. 261 70. Ibid. p,259.


Political power

Renting house

Renting shops

Location not found

Shop worker

Social interaction Work



business owner




Work Live




Fig 36: A schematic linking the diferent social groups of Gururgram by tracing where they live, work and the activities they engage in leisure. he data is collected from following diferent people throughout the day and also from synergies hinted by other scholarsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; work on Gurugram During my ieldwork, I carried out an exercise of tracing the trajectory of a person for a day. Subjects were selected from diferent social groups and their patterns were overlayed to have a comprehensive understanding . he indings of the exercise conirmed the synergy hinted in the masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work of Anamica, revealing the social entanglement. Fig 36 illustrates this social intertwining of lives in Gurugram. Parts of it will be elaborated in detail later while engraving it in the speciic sites chosen for the study. For each subjects the living, working and recreational patterns were understood by tracing their activities throughout the day. For example, for the urban villager, his day is spent at home with his family. He is extending a part of the house and his new car is parked outside, speaking volumes of the new lifestyle adopted by the family.



malls, pubs, discos Renting malls

Gated complex

Location not found Leisure

Unhygenic living conditions Live





Businessman Contruction worker


Domestic help

Multinational company

Security guard

he villager owns a number of shops and houses which he rents out. hey provide cheap accommodation to both the middle class and blue collar workers. Coming to the worker category, the city has no public space of interaction apart from the posh malls and pubs. Hence, these worker class spend the day in their place of work before heading back home. Few of the type of work that engages these workers are illustrated. Finally the last social group of white collar workers constitute an important part of the city because all the amenities of the city are built keeping them in mind. Although they live in their gated apartments with no direct relation with the urban villagers over whose land their houses are constructed, the other two social groups act as a link. Even in terms of services, these two social groups provide all services like security, domestic help, construction of their houses etc. to the elite of the city. In that sense the social entanglement of the diferent groups living in the city can be grasped. Detailed elaboration is the scope of the next two chapters.


3.6 INTERSTITIAL AS A SITE TO EXAMINE HYBRIDITY Having a glimpse of how the social lives in the city are intertwined, I sought to explore how these practices shape the spatial coniguration of the city. It is precisely for this reason that the sites where all of these diferent dynamics come together become an interesting space to study. Exploring the socio-spatial aspect of these spaces reveal the way in which the in-between is appropriated thus revealing the true nature of Gurugramâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hybridism. his in-between is understood as the space which retains the hegemonic image of the city as well as other logics which do not it the formal city. he speciic sites chosen to examine the notions of hybridity and interstitial (explored in chapter 2) are spaces of exchange and hence represent the social life of the place. he research chooses the site along the commercial street of M.G Road to explore how the notion of hybridity has contributed to shaping a unique urbanism. Mehrauli Gurgaon (M.G) road is a location where the impacts of the transformation of the city is clearly visible. Since the 1990s, it witnessed developments in the form of gated communities and shopping malls that sustain the inlux of the new modern Indian into the city. It was since the 2003 that developers like MGF and DLF started the irst phase of retail development on M.G Road and it has assumed a totally diferent character capable of satisfying the needs of the urban elites. Today it is a space which accommodates the commercial street interpunctuated by social practices of hawkers, food stalls, prostitution, special ish market, small scale fabrication markets etc.



Amalgamation of agricultural villages


Mushrooming of real estate developments

e pr x E


ss w


M.G Road

DLF developments around the main street


e pr

ss w


M.G Road

id R aptro me

Far id



Fig 37: A schematic of the evolution of M.G road


Fig 38: he area of study. he site where the notion of hybridity is being examined, can be seen highlighted in blue


Fig 39: he diferent forces acting on the site.

Expre s

he interstitial spaces of Gurugram are sites that are tucked amidst the forces that shape the city. In a sense, these are the sites where the two binaries meet giving rise to its hybrid character. he site of M.G Road presents an interesting case because it is at the junction of the dominant forces that shape Gurugram; DLF phases with commercial and residential apartments, state roads, state run metro line, Rapid metro line- Indiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s irst privately inanced metro system and the villages of Gurugram. Moving along the street, one notices how its proile changes along with change in land ownership thereby highlighting the diferent dynamics occurring in the space. Moving east from the IIFCO Chowk (where M.G Road meets the expressway), one encounters private land owned by DLF and other real estate developers of the city. he space gets much more interesting towards Sikanderpur Metro Station (the junction to change to the Rapid Metro system or continue along the same metro line to the capital). One encounters sites tucked in between the urban villages on one side and private companies on the other. hese left over spaces are owned by the urban villages who have not yet sold them to the developers. As such, the activities on these sites are on a transitional basis, thus giving a glimpse of how this particular everyday space of the city function.



d IIFCO Chowk


Rapid me

tro Line

Nathupur Village

Sikanderpur Metro Station

Towards Delhi

Rapid Metro Station

Extens i on of Rapid Metro system

Chakkarpur Village

Sikanderpur Village

Tow ar d sF ari da ba d


Interstitial oad hrauli Gurugaon R

e g the M Site alon

th Na


Sika nde rpu r

Urban villages

DLF Developments


Private city

Fig 40: he diferent layers of the city - the private city, the urban villages ans the interstitial site amidst them


Fig 41: Inversing the in-between. Image shows view of a real estate building in between the rooing sheets of an informal market on M.G Road

4 SCENES OF HYBRIDITY M.G Road he chapter introduces the site of M.G Road as a space to examine hybridity. Firstly, I look into the social intertwining of lives on M.G Road and further extend that entanglement to the spatial conigurations. To do that, I take two speciic aspects to illustrate the hybridity of the scene - the time sharing of space and the kinaesthetic experience of the space.


he idea of hybridity explored in the previous chapters become tangible when it is situated in the speciic context of the site of M.G Road. he task of spatializing hybridity has been undertaken by looking at the site through Heynen’s model of ‘space as stage’.

4.1 SPACE AS STAGE In her essay ‘Space as receptor, Instrument or stage’, 74 Heynen acknowledged the need to understand the social and spatial constellations of our cities. In an efort to do so, she proposed three models to develop this synergy (as evident in the title of her essay). his research utilised her third model of ‘space as stage’ to enhance the understanding of hybridity unfolding on M.G Road. he third model… envisages the built environment as a stage on which social processes are played out. In the same way as the staging makes certain actions and interactions possible or impossible within a theatre play, the spatial structure of buildings, neighbourhoods and towns accommodates and frames social transformations. 75 his metaphor of space as a theatre of social life is used because it enhances the understanding of how difernt form of everyday life unfolds along M.G Road. Simultaneously it brings out the tactic of individuals to use the spaces of the city. As such, users transform the site set for them by the formal planning of the city. In the process, lexibility of the space is revealed - relecting the hybridity of the scene.

74. Heynen, H. (2013). Space as Receptor, Instrument or Stage: Notes on the Interaction Between Spatial and Social Constellations. International Planning Studies, 18(3-4), pp.342-357. 75. Ibid, pp. 343



Rapid metro Line

l na io t Na

w gh Hi

e rds D Towa

Extension of Rapid Metro system

Fig 42: he gated complex (seen in red) along the commrcial strip of M.G Road. he two metro stations are seen - M.G Road metro station and Sikanerpur metro station. Apart from that, important roads which inluence the low are highlighted


Tow ar d sF ari da ba d


8 A.M

9 A.M

10 A.M

11 A.M


1 P.M

2 P.M

3 P.M

4 P.M

5 P.M

6 P.M

7 P.M

8 P.M

9 P.M

10 P.M


Daily Schedule

10 A.M

6 P.M 8 A.M 9 A.M

5 P.M

3 P.M 1 P.M

4 P.M

10 P.M

Place of work Thakral Nursing Home

Sector 29 Pubs Bars

Fig 43: Mapping Trajectories. he daily life of Aarti is mapped and the diferent places of contact are ilustrated

Residence Essel Tower

11 P




8 P.M


7 P.M 6 P.M

To spatialize hybridity, irstly I looked into the social intertwining of lives on M.G Road. To do so, I traced the trajectory of a resident of the gated apartment (Essel World on M.G Road). It gave a glimpse of the lifestyle of the residents of the gates compexes and revealed the kind of spaces supporting them. hough lifestyle varies in the diferent classes of the society, this exercise gave a fairly good idea of the upper middle class and the aluent who inhabit the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;private cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 76 of Gurugram and their dependence on the other classes of the city. At irst glance it can be misread that the people in gated apartments lead a segregated life with world class facilities. However, when one looks into how their services are being provided (be it the autos/drivers who drive them to their workplace in the morning or the maids who manage their house), it cannot be denied that the gated communities live in an indispensable dependency on the world outside their safe haven. Fig 43. illustrates a schematic that maps the trajectory of Aarti, a resident of Essel Tower. Outlining her daily life revealed the otherwise invisible entanglement with other fragments of the city. he daily activities of Aarti on weekdays and weekends is then represented spatially by identifying the sites of living, work and leisure and then tracking the routes taken to perform those activities. he site then becomes a place where the social life of Aarti unfolds giving a glimpse into the spaces that support her daily activities.

Shopping malls

76. Gurgaonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Municipal government has been recently formed in 2008. In its absence, private developers and residents association managed all the services and infrastructure; be it water supply, electricity or ire safety services. Hence, Gurgaon does not have a city wide system for these services.


Resident of Essel Tower Commute by metro Communte by car

Domestic help

Communte by auto rickshaw

Delivery guy to Sushi restaurants

Communte by rickshaw

Street hawker

Security guard

Fish seller


Tea stall owner

Bouncer in club

Bakery owner

Dog walker

Janitor 10 A.M

Grocery delivery guy

Salesgirl 9 A.M 6 P.M 8 A.M

5 P.M 1 P.M

3 P.M

4 P.M 10 P.M

Fig 44: Interlinking with the service providers. he daily life of the user becomes more interesting when her service providers are revealed. In each day, they make it possible for Aarti to perform her daily activities.


6 P.M

In the second stage of this exercise, I added another layer of entanglement. I illustrate the links to the people who are responsible for sustaining Aarti’s life. From the moment she wakes up, various individuals form a part of her life who remain invisible, yet are an indispensable link for the functioning of her busy life. Here, I also highlight the modes of mobility Aarti adopts to reach her destinations (Metro, cab or rickshaw) because the people who provide those services are also an invisible part of her life. Let us have a closer look into these dynamics. 7 P.M

6 P.M

Aarti’s Monday morning starts by waking up to the ringing doorbell of her maid. Sulekha enters the house complaining how she has been ringing since the past ten mins. While Aarti gets ready for her oice, Sulekha sweeps the house and washes the dirty dishes piled in the sink from the previous day. On Sundays, she cleans the bathroom and the toilets. he doorbell rings again and Aarti shouts at Sulekha to open the door as she is taking her bath. It’s the delivery boy from the gas company who was sent to deliver the LPG cylinder.77 Few minutes later, the grocery shop downstairs send their delivery boy with the ordered products. Before leaving for her work, Aarti gives clear instructions to the nanny who takes care of her child and also for the dog walker who will drop by later in the afternoon. Aarti’s husband is on a tour and hence she has asked the nanny to stay over at night. Since the driver is on leave, she has to take the cab or the auto rickshaw to work today. She orders an Uber and reaches her workplace at hakral Nursing home where she works as an embryologist.

77. In India, domestic LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) is provided by cylinders which are used for cooking purposes. he major companies employ dealers who supply cylinders to households.


Resident of Essel Tower

Urban villagers

Commute by metro Communte by car

Domestic help

Communte by auto rickshaw

Delivery guy to Sushi restaurants

Communte by rickshaw

Street hawker

Security guard

Fish seller


Tea stall owner

Bouncer in club

Bakery owner

Dog walker

Janitor 10 A.M

Grocery delivery guy

Salesgirl 9 A.M 6 P.M 8 A.M

5 P.M 1 P.M

3 P.M

4 P.M 10 P.M


6 P.M

7 P.M

6 P.M

In the afternoon, she steps out of her lab for some tea and a smoke. he tea stall owner, Karim, has been doing business in the same spot since the last 10 years. hey exchanged some pleasantries and Aarti heads back up to completes her work for the day. Later in the evening, she orders some food from the nearby Harish bakery because her colleagues were pestering her for a treat on the occasion of her promotion. Aarti wraps up her work by 17:00. Unable to ind a cab in the busy hours, she is compelled to get an auto and head back home. Once home she takes a quick shower and starts dinner. She takes a run around 21:00 in the tracks built along the gardens of Essel Tower. She feels safe in the fact that there are security guards at each check posts of the apartment complex and she can have some fresh air even in the unsafe city of Gurugram. On weekends, Aarti likes to go shopping, watch movies or eat out at the various shopping malls of Gurugram. Usually Saturday nights, she and her husband go to sector 29 to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;chillâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.78 Understanding the details of Aartiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life help in understanding how the lives of people in the gated communities function and the relationship with the service providers. In the next stage of the exercise, I further added a layer that linked the resident of DLF apartment with urban villagers; be it in terms of the commercial buildings owned by the urban villagers or sustaining the blue collar workers who provide major services to the elite.

Fig 45: Extending the links of the service providers. Each of the service provider has a direct link with the urban villagers - in terms of accomodation (and sometimes employment).

78. Interview with Aarti


4.3 SYNERGY IN THE SPATIAL CONSTELLATIONS he social intertwinings which were brought to light in the previous part of the chapter are relected in the spatial coniguration of M.G Road. In an attempt to view this relationship according to Heynen’s third model of ‘space as stage’, I envision the built environment of M.G Road as the stage upon which these social intertwinings occur. he scene played out by the entanglement is much more dynamic than each of the segregated fragments itself which exist on M.G Road – the shopping mall, the street hawker, the rickshaw stand outside prominent building, the space which transforms into a site for prostitution and the site which sustains the homeless temporarily. Tucked in between the private properties and the state road on either side, the collector road 79 of M.G Road is an interesting scene to view these synergy. he scene acting out in the spatial coniguration of the site is examined by looking at two speciic aspects which are explained further.

79. A collector or distribution road serve to direct traic to arterial roads and function to provide access to residences and commercial buildings like oices and malls.


4.3.1 Time Sharing of Space M.G Road is made up of diferent spatial constellation which induces diferent activities. he street character change at diferent time zones of the day. Looking into each of them gives an idea of how the planned space is shared for various purposes by employing various tactics. A brief understanding of these dynamics is explained below. 7:00 - Mornings along the collector road of Mehrauli Gurgaon Street can be a pleasant experience. he constant sound of car is absent and is replaced by the chirping of birds on trees planted along the street. Walking in the early hours of the morning, I encountered people jogging, owners out with their dogs and few stall owners setting up business for their irst customers. he sites around the two metro stations (M.G Road and Sikanderpur Metro stations) are much more vibrant with rickshaws dropping of employees to catch the early metro towards Delhi. he sweet smell of tea loiters in the air as men in uniform80 start of their day with the irst cup of tea in the roadside tea stall.

80. Security guards change their shift in the early hours of the morning.






1 A quiet morning scene along M.G Road

2 A man walking his employerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dog.

3 A security guard waiting for his night shift to get

4 A man jogging on the street. Mornings are a diferent

over. he streets are empty apart from a few cars

scene in the noisy city. However, mostly men are seen jogging on the run. Most of the women I encountered preferred jogging in tracks build in their gated complex





5 State bus dropping of travellers at the metro station.

he station is not just for the metro. he site is a junction for difernt modes of transportation - the state bus, the state metro, the private rapid metro, the auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws rented by the villagers.


6 An auto rickshaw with a morning passenger 7 Time for the morning cup of tea. Workers are seen

having tea before leaving for work 8 A tea stall owner cleans his space before setting up

business. His stall is left on site during the night.


Entrance of a mall.

Space just outside malls with food stalls Mall salesman having lunch on the sidewalk stall

Divider between the main road and collector road being used by street food cart Fig 46: Diferent uses of the space during the day

10:00 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 20:00 he scene change when the oices and shopping malls start opening for the day. he main road becomes busy with traic. Auto rickshaws and drivers drop of people who come to shop, eat and roam in the malls. he hawkers put up their products outside the malls. Food stalls come up which serve the employees of the mall cheap and afordable lunch.






Fig 47: change of scene from morning until night fall

22:00 As the malls close for the day, the bustling city comes to a halt. Finally it is just a few couples coming out of a late night show from the multiplexes.


Fig 48 :Prostitution along M.G Road. Images show how the deal is made, money is exchanged and the girl moves from the autorickshaw into the car. Source: Mail Today.

After 1:00 he nightclubs in the shopping malls close down. Future generations of urban villagers are seen loitering in their father’s properties.81 As club goers come out to the malls, they hang out at the few food stalls still open, smoking a cigarette and having some late night snack. Nathuram, a Phuchhhka wallah 82 outside a mall (name refrained) gives me a glimpse of the scene. “I am out here till late. My customers are diferent during the day and night. At night it is usually the spoilt brats of rich villagers. hey come out of the clubs drunk and everything is closed in the streets. So they eat in my stall. Sometimes they pay, other times they abuse me in their drunk condition.”


hese places are avoided by respectable public of the city at the wee hours of the night because it becomes a site for prostitution. Although it is a known fact, oicials turn a blind eye to it. he sex workers have their tactics of business when the police occasionally keep an eye on the area. Sex workers use auto rickshaws to avoid police suspicion and public gaze. Ali, an auto rickshaw driver on night shifts explains the process to me. “As the boys move to their cars, they are approached by several of us. Negotiations take place as both the auto and the luxury car move at a slow pace side by side. If a deal is struck, the vehicles pull up by the side of the road, money is exchanged and the girl in the auto move into the car. It is quick money for me. On a typical night, I earn at least 1,500 – 2,000 rupees (20-27 euros).”

81. Many urban villagers own entire loors of shopping malls as explained in the third chapter. 82. Phuchhhka/ panipuri/golgappa is a popular street snack in India. hey are sold in baskets mounted on bamboo installations that the owner can move conveniently from one place to another.


Fig 49: Dargah inside the gated complex of Essel Tower. On thursdays, the car park situated to the manicured garden is utilized for performing this activity

Fig 50: A cleaner peeking inside the complex. An inside alley provides a back entry to the complex.

hursdays 10:00 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 14:00 hursdays are a little diferent. A small religious event is performed in the dargah83 under the banyan tree of Essel Towerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s courtyard. he day I stumbled upon the dargah hidden near the side entry to the complex, around 30-40 people had gathered to ofer prayers and receive blessings. However, what was more fascinating for me was not the event occurring inside the gates, but the transformation of the space outside the fences of the complex. Temporary shops had come up selling oferings and other items needed by the devotees. I observed how the space is temporarily occupied by these people who clear of as soon as the religious activity ends. Talking to Nagma Bai, who is the leader of the stall owners, give me a glimpse of the temporality of the site.

Swagata: Where do you come from? Nagma Bai: I come from Chakkarpur village. My family is here since 10 years. We stitch the clothes and prepare the oferings in my house. Me and my two sons come here every hursday. S: Doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the police bother you or clear you of? N: No, we have an understanding. We are here only for a few hours on hursday. And it is for the religious activity. Hence we are never bothered.


Fig 51: Temporary stalls come up for the afternoon. he space which is usually taken up by parked cars is used by the sellers to set up their stalls for the afternoon.

Along with coming up of these temporary stalls, beggars and homeless people gather around the complex in the hope for alms and charity. Security guard Harish, who was on duty on the speciic hursday explains, “Usually these people are not allowed around the complex. But we let them be on hursdays because this is not the main entry to the complex and they clear out in few hours.”

Fig 52: he religious activity invites beggars and homeless people. he sidewalk is taken up by these people for aome ixed hours of the day

Looking at the occupation of the space, I noticed that the site of the religious event is just a percentage of the space occupied by the other activities that attaches to it – the stalls, the homeless and the beggars. Suddenly the space becomes accessible to these groups who are usually restricted in the city.

Interestingly, I observe a guy selling tea on foot. People who forget to get any clothes or food for the poor can buy a cup of tea for the poor on the site itself. 83. Dargahs are shrines constructed over the graves of religious igures. Over time, they become sites of pilgrimage.


Fig 53: A collase of the diferent uses of the space on M.G Road


Fig 54 : the diferent functions along the service street of M.G Road. he overlap of time zones indicate an inter-relationship between the function, for example the case of prostitution and auto-drivers. he color coding of the activities is relected in the images on left.


4.3.2 KINAESTHETIC EXPERIENCE he collector street of M.G Road is constantly in motion. Walking along the street daily during my ieldwork, it was not hard to identify the diferent actors, functions and lows that the site facilitated. Understanding them aided in bringing to light the hybridity of M.G Road. In order to spatialize the movement along M.G Road, I turn to Lawrence Halprinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s technique of movement notation which he devised with his wife, Anna. Termed choreography, the system focussed primarily on movement and on the environment, as a secondary element that supports the movement. It acknowledged that movement is an intrinsic part of the life of a city and hence it is imperative for designers to consider movement as a starting point. It also allowed designers to program movement and then design the environment to envelope it because Halprin believed that environment exists for the purpose of movement.84 Halprinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s system focussed on movement as a ixed line and the environment changed according to the position of the moving entity. In ig 55, Halprin illustrated movement of a person through a plaza. In the second case ig 56, the person took a detour, enjoying the elements of the plaza like benches, fountains etc.

84. Halprin, L. (1972). Cities. 2nd ed. Massachusetts: MIT Press, p.209


Fig 55: he direct trajectory of walking through the plaza

Fig 56 : he trajectory traced when the person meanders through the plaza coming in contact with various elements of the plaza


Left Left Right Right

Fig 57 : Scene along M.G Road with all the elements coming together

Left Left Right Right

Fig 58: an abstraction of the scene where the postion of the elemnts are marked with repect to the movement of the person

I feel this choreography between the built environment and people is an interesting system to interpret the movements and lows along M.G Road and is an appropriate technique to aid me in the efort to visualise hybridity spatially. Further by making an overlay of the diferent trajectories, it became possible to visualize the gradient of hybridity and how certain spots along the way were more outspoken in displaying this dynamism. Adopting Halprinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s system to examine the movement on the site, I came up with generic scene of a person moving through the street without interacting with any of the elements on the street. I extract an abstraction of the same (which comes handy in the later stage of the exercise while comparing results). Fig 57 illustrates the generic scene the straight line depicts the moving trajectory of a user along the space. hree elements are important here - the built environment (orange), the social practices(blue) which interpunctuate the built environment and the tress (green).


Hybridity of M.G Road Buildings Trees Buildings Social Trees practices Static Social Trajectory practices Static Trajectory

Buildings Abstraction Trees Buildings Social practices Trees Static Social Trajectory practices Static Trajectory

Trees are an important feature in locating the street hawkers because of the dry dusty climate of the city. he few trees on site provide relief to people who have to stand on the street all day long and hence hawkers usually set up their stalls under the shade of a tree. Moving along the street towards the right (the location of Sikanderpur metro Station), one encounters a much more chaotic scene with the coming together of diferent elements around the major junction. In the second stage of the exercise, I track the movement of diferent users along the street and highlight the spaces they use. he buildings/services that come in contact with the user move closer to the trajectory and are shown in colour. Four subjects were selected to depict the movement. he criteria of selection was based on providing a comprehensive idea of the diferent kinds of actors that use the space as well as diferent activities they are engaged in. For each user, I track their trajectory as a static element and document the environment as a moving system with relation to the moving person. he same is abstracted for easy of comparison. Further, I cut a section at a particular point of the trajectory to illustrate how the space caters to the user in reality. Elaboration of the technique applied to each user is explained further.



Street hawker

Shopping mall Auto rickshaw stand

Left Right


Fig 59: he changing environment based on the movement of the user. he real life images of the functions or buildings the user uses gives an idea of the kind of spaces he is associated with


User 1: Woman, shopping on M.G Road, Pooja. Pooja is selected as one of the users because she resides in a gated complex situated on M.G Road and most of her daily activities are catered by the space along the street. On the particular day when I tracked her trajectory, it is a holiday and she is seen visiting malls along M.G Road. Her shopping experience is never complete without eating street food from the roadside stall or bargaining with the street hawkers. A part of her journey is via the auto rickshaw and rest by foot.

Shopping mall

Ice cream stall Auto rickshaw stand


Left Right Left Right

Left Right Left Right Fig 60: Section which illustrates Poojaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities in a particular frame and the environment that envelopes her. he dynamics along the collector street of M.G Road is shown in colour. Further, an abstraction of the same is illustrated


Section A-A






Place of work

Left Right

Tea stall

Stall selling Phone cover Shoe shine boy

Auto rickshaw stand


User 2: Man working in an oice complex, Iqbal. he user is selected based on the fact that he works in the site but resides on the outskirts of the site. he ig of hybridity illustrates his oice complex (Time Tower) and the other services he uses during his day â&#x20AC;&#x201C; his regular tea stall, the show shine boy, the hawker selling cheap iPhone covers and the auto rickshaw that drops him at work. An interesting part of his schedule is when his job gets over. On the journey back home, he gets vegetables and groceries and often visits the ish market that come up in the evening along Sikanderpur metro. He eats some snacks at the roadside stall before catching the rapid metro that drops him of in front of his complex. Fig illustrates the space outside Iqbalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oice complex.


Auto rickshaw stand

Fig 61: he changing environment based on the movement of the user.


Left Right





Left Right

Left FigRight 62: Dynamics along M.G Road experienced by user 2. In the section, Iqbal is seen having his afternoon cup of tea at the roadside tea stall.


Section B-B




Resident of employer

Tea stall

Auto rickshaw stand

Left Right

Fig 63: he changing environment based on the movement of the user. he real life images of the functions or buildings the user uses gives an idea of the kind of spaces he is associated with


User 3: Driver, Mahesh I choose this user because he resides in Nathupur village but works for an employer of the gated complex. His movements hence becomes interesting because he comes in close contact to the malls and oice buildings but never uses the space. Instead his trajectory show clearly the spaces he visits are for socialising while waiting for his employer â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the tea stalls, chatting with other drivers and security guards outside the complex.

Drivers waiting outside malls

Street food stall



Left Right Left




Left Right Left Right Fig 64: dynamics along M.G Road experienced by user 3. In the section, Mahesh is seen washing his employerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s car in the parking lot of the complex.


Section C-C




Tea stall

Left Right

Fig 65: Changing environment based on the movement of the last user.

Left Right


User 4: Tea stall owner, Kedarji he last user resides in Nathupur village but sets up his mobile cart on M.G Road. Hence his trajectory is quite similar to Mahesh in a sense that he never visits the malls and oice complexes. However, his business caters to the people working in these complexes. After he wraps up his business for the day, he wakes home. On the way back, he meets people he knows. Usually Kedarji meets his roommate85 near the metro station and both have a cup of tea before heading back home.


85. Kedarjiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s roommate has a fruit cart and he does business near the Sikanderpur metro station.


Left Right D

Left Right


Left Right

Left Fig 66: Dynamics along M.G Road experienced by user 4. In the scene, Kedarji is seen catering to customers in his stall



Section D-D




Left Right Left Right

Left Right

Left Right At this point, it becomes interesting to compare the kinaesthetic experience of the diferent users along the collector street of M.G Road. Fig 67 illustrates Left the trajectories of the diferent users and how the environment moves according Right to the user. he dynamics of the site is clearly visible with respect to the movement of the user, thus highlighting the hybridity of the site. he space then becomes this luid elastic zone which absorbs these changing patterns. Relecting on the movement of the site, it becomes clear that certain zones strike as more dynamic than others. he site Left along the Sikanderpur Metro Station is one such area. One can clearly observe maximum entanglement of elements Right here. Hence, I feel it would be interesting to have a closer look at this space. So in the next chapter, the intriguing site of Bristol Fish Market is studied which is situated right next to the chaotic area of the metro station.


Fig 67: Comparison of the diferent trajectories.


MICROCOSM Bristol Fish Market he chapter commences by briely looking at the notion of marketplace as sites of multiplicity and how the site of Bristol marketplace add more layers to that concept. It speciically looks at the logic of how and why the space exists and what are the processes that come out of the site. I proceed to reveal the additional layers that contribute to the spatial hybridity existing in the Bristol marketplace â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thus deining the hybrid nature of the space.


5.1 BAZAAR86 AS A HYBRID SPACE he kinaesthetic exercise carried out in the previous chapter led me to explore the dynamics existing in the site around the Sikanderpur Metro station. Exploring the space, I discovered a site where a temporary market is set up daily. Marketplaces are an interesting space to examine because most Indian bazars are already pluralistic sites where diferent local identities come together. he bazaar then, can be seen as a social network situated in the spatial coniguration of the city. As opposed to shopping malls which are enclosures with ixed spatial organisation, these marketplaces are extremely informal with strong relations to the city networks. Chakrabarty brings out this image of the marketplace as a meeting point of diferent worlds. “In contrast to the ritually enclosed inside, the outside, for which we have used the bazaar as a paradigm, has a deeply ambiguous character. It is exposed and therefore malevolent. It is not subject to a single set of (enclosing) rules and rituals deining a community. It is where miscegenation occurs. All that do not belong to the “inside” (family/ kinship/community) lie there, cheek by jowl, in unassorted collection….” 87 he Bristol market is then a perfect image of what Chakrabarty talks about - the coming together of elements that do not it the formal city. Even scholars like Bakhtin echo similar notions highlighting the in between nature of bazar. he marketplace was the centre of all that is unoicial; it enjoyed a certain extra- territoriality in a world of unoicial order and oicial ideology, it always remained ‘with the people. 88


he site of the Bristol Market however ofers much more than that. It is not just symbolic of everything that do not it the marketed image of the city of Gurugram (referred as the dominant image of city in the third chapter), but the actual existing urbanism of the city – the ordinary everyday life of the city. In that sense, Bristol Fish Market can be seen as a microcosm of the processes acting in the city. As such, it brings out the existence of such negotiated spaces within the transformative process through which the landscape of Gurugram is going through. So, it is alluring to have a look into the speciic site of the Bristol Fish Market through Bhabha’s notion of hybridity (as elaborated in chapter 2).

86. he term ‘bazaar’ refers to a marketplace where exchange of goods and services take place. 87. Chakrabarty, D. (1992). Of Garbage, Modernity and the Citizen’s Gaze. Economic and Political Weekly, 27(1011), pp 543. 88. Bakhtin, M. (2009). Rabelais and his world. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, p.153.


Salcon Platinum Tower Oice of Real Estate Company

Fig 68: An image taken from the Sikanderpur metro station. he site of the Bristol market is a narrow strip, covered by canopies. Hidden amidst the multi storied buildings (as seen in the image), the marketplace is easily missed if one is not speciically looking for it.


Hero Honda Oice building

Bristol Luxury Hotel

Road towards Bristol Chowk

Bhavna Plant Nursery

Repair Shop

Bristol Fish Market



5.2 FIRST IMPRESSION OF THE SITE My irst encounter with the site was by chance. While walking around the crowded Sikanderpur metro station, I encountered a site behind the station. I remembered passing around the area many times but never noticing the market. However, walking under the station at around 18:00 in the evening, I came across this chaotic space along the busy state road. Since one either takes the metro or the auto rickshaw to cross this area, the site is easily missed. Approaching the site, I noticed the strong smell of ish present in the air. Few tea stalls have sprung up in the vicinity of the market. he site of the market itself is covered by temporary canopies of bright yellow and blue. he hustle bustle of a usual marketplace is evident with people making trades while few two wheelers were using the site as a shortcut to avoid traic on the main road. Located next to the Sikanderpur metro station, the site of Bristol Fish Market is locally known for its fresh stock of ish. With varieties of Rohu, Papda and Hilish(common varieties of river ish) that are available at cheaper rates, the market beats the frozen seafood sectionof the supermarkets. With its daily stock of fresh ish, the market gives a worth for one’s money. he site of the ish market is a narrow strip tucked amidst the private buildings around the site and the state roads on either side, forming a left over space in between. Functioning from 8:00 till 22:00 at night, the Bristol Fish market got its name from the nearby Bristol Hotel, one of the luxury hotels in the city. he eclectic nature of the Bristol market brought to my mind the indigenous concept of ‘mandi’- a temporary market in a village setting which comes up in the morning and disappears by the end of the night. In fact few interviewees used the term ‘Bristol mandi’ to refer to the market. he built environment around the marketplace consists of companies like Honda- the American motor company, Emaar- a real estate developer, Bristol Hotel – a luxury hotel etc. It is hence surprising to ind a space as the Bristol Market tucked in between the major forces that shape the present city.

Illegal electricity connection

Fish stall aisle

Stone slabs put by shopekeepers in front of their stalls for customers to stand on and avoid the muddy ground


Sound of metro drowned by the noise of the fish market

Brightly coloured canopies

Hawker selling snack

Meat and vegetable aisle

Thermocol boxes used for storing fish as well as for sitting

Fig 69: Initial impression formed of the site.he diferent observations are illustrated in the igure. his was the irst layer of grasping the site. Later on, more layers were added with the understanding of the logics of the site.


5.3 THE THEATRICALS OF BRISTOL Although marketplaces are already pluralistic sites, it is diicult to spatialize it eiciently. he various points of social entanglement, although evident to a certain extent, demand further interpretation. Hence, in order to bring out this hybrid character of the site, I look into three speciic aspects namely paradox of the site, the time sharing of activities on site and the notion of partial culture. Each of them is elaborated further.

5.3.1 Paradox of the site -Locating the site in the city he site is situated in the node of important crossings namely the planned DLF phases, important state roads, state metro line, privately inanced rapid metro line and the urban villages. All of these important elements wrap around the site making it a central location, hence accessible.Fig 70 illustrate the major elements of the city impacting the site. Enquiring into the rationales of the market, it became imperative that there is an inherent logic in the demand for the product as well as in the socio-spatial coniguration of the site, thus making the site an important entity in the city. he location of the marketplace makes it ideal for buyers to shop on their way back from work. Apart from that, the demand for fresh ish is another reason for brisk business in this roadside ish market. According to a leading daily of the city, the demand for ish delicacy is rising in the Millennium City, but residents say there are no good ish markets here. 89 With authorities not concerned in providing proper markets for ish, the trade is taken up by small business owners who are unregulated. Bristol Fish Market works in a similar manner with permission from land owners and informal trade associations. Over the years it has become a ish loverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s paradise attracting customers from far. An evening experiencing the busy marketplace gives an idea why the site is a beehive of activity with diferent kinds of clientele. With supermarkets taking over the lives of the residents of the city, the frozen seafood is not enough for many to satisfy their craving for seafood. Fig 70: Details of the commercial strip along M.G Road with the location of the Bristol marketplace (denoted in yellow).

89. Mathur, E. (2011). City cries for good ish market. Hindustan Times. [online]




Rapid metro Line


l na t io

hw ig

Bristol Fish Market

Extension of Rapid Metro system

Bristol Chowk Tow ar d sF ari da ba d




Fig 71: he diferent forces at play around the site of Bristol Fish Market. he location in the midst of busy roads and metro line junctions make it an ideal location in relation to the low of people yet diicult to access. he three villages are an important part of the dynamics because it accomodates the cheap labour that run this marketplace.

LEGEND Important Roads Metro line Rapid metro line Urban villages Bristol Fish market

149 L


Informal chats with the ish sellers revealed that the land for this market (situated in the midst of busy roads), is still owned by the villagers. he surrounding land has been sold of to developers who have constructed multi storey buildings on it. his piece is left of for the time being until some real estate developer devises some plan for it. In the meantime, the villagers rent to out to owners of the ish business who in turn employ workers to sell ish in their stalls. Talking to KÄ lu Bhai, who has been doing business here since more than a decade, give a glimpse of how the ish market works. â&#x20AC;&#x153;he land belongs to a villager of Nathupur. he owner pays rent of 3,000 rupees (40 euros) per month to the villager. Apart from that, we pay sales tax to the government. Today the land is free. If tomorrow the villager sells it of, we will move to another place. Such is life. For now, this ish market supports me and the family back in my village.â&#x20AC;? Another locational asset of the market is the existence of urban villages in the vicinity which facilitate such marketplaces. he urban villages provide cheap accommodation and absorb the people who are not supposed to be seen but are still necessary for the functioning of the city. Hence, it is not surprising that these people ind their places in the left over spaces of the city, which is literally the in-between in this case.



Fig 72: Scene in Bristol one afternoon. he person who rents one of the stalls has come to collect the sale of the previous day. Since business is light and there are no customers around, he is seen waiting for his cup of tea and having a chat with the shopkeepers.


-Micro scale of the site Looking at the site of the Bristol Fish Market itself, it is realised that the assets at the macro level are not relected at the micro scale of the site. he location amidst the busy state roads makes it diicult to access for pedestrians. It is along the major movement line of the city but not in a movement line itself. he physical character of the site also relects this paradox wherein the land is too small to be useful for developers and is not buildable. he site then, is a left-over space in a congested badly designed city. he result is the oemergence of such sites where these functions â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;takeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; place rather than being assigned a space. Hence, it is a perfect setting to absorb any irregularities- anything that do not it the regular city. he site in that sense, does not belong to any but to all. It assembles all the irregularities of the city. his is precisely the start of hybridity as a spatial quality of the site. he ig 73 illustrates the site as a mosaic of diferent owners, activities and actors. It is the negative of the regular city- the villagers which reproduces their irregularity in these interstitial spaces. he badly planned spaces makes it unsellable and inaccessible. hese sites do not conform to the development that is expected from the city nor with the imaginary of the city. However, they do it with the notion of easy investments that has built Gurugram- the city built not according to any plan but according to investments. Hence the site belongs to the city, yet not a part of it. he fast development of the city creates its own cracks, opportunities for some which materialise in the form of sites like the Bristol Fish Market.


Bristol Market Plant Nursery Small scale shops

Sikanderpur metro station Rapid metro station

Bristol Hotel

Bristol Chowk

Extension of metro line (work under construction)

Fig 73: shows in red the diferent functions in the leftover space of Bristol marketplace and the multistoried buildings in the surrounding


5.3.2 TIME SHARING OF FUNCTIONS he marketplace has a wide array of clientele. he brisk business of the ish market attracts other businesses nearby like meat and vegetable shops. Few shopkeepers selling spices see it as an opportunity and add their stall to the market. I look at the clientele of the market. Firstly are the regular customers who drop in occasionally to check what new varieties of ish have arrived. heir trips are more out of the love for ish than the need for the product. Secondly are the customers who shop on their way back home. For them, the space is a one stop destination for their meat and ish cravings. he next kind are the ones who wait for a particular variety of ish. Once it is available, the shopkeeper places a call to pick the ish up. he market also serves various sushi and other posh restaurants around the city. A guy comes at the speciic time when fresh ish arrives from Ghazipur and picks up ish at wholesale rates and then delivers them to all the sushi restaurants around the city. Apart from the customers, the shopkeepers have services delivered to them. For example a guy delivers drinking water at the rate 20 rupees (27 cents) per bottle every morning. A guy from the tea stall goes around the shops two times a day with cups of tea. Usually the stall owner visits the market once in the evening to check on his workers and collect the money from the sale.


Vegetable stall

Fried food stall

Spice stall

Butcher stall

On the way from work Tea stall

Demand of special fish

Arrival of special fish Regulars

Delivery to restaurants Owner of land

Sushi restaurant 1

Drinking water supplier

Sushi Sushi Sushi restaurant 2 restaurant 3 restaurant 4

Fig 74: he diferent actors that use the space of the Bristol Fish Market.


he diferent actors involved in the diferent activities occupy diferent time zones. Looking at the daily life of the marketplace, an interesting schematic can be generated where the space comes to life at certain speciic times. At other times, it seems to be preparing itself to absorb the chaos and the messiness that is so often associated with a ish market. Fig illustrates these time zones.

Morning 8 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 12 Mornings are quiet afairs. he meat market sets up at 8:00. Along with it, few tea stalls and snack stalls open up to cater to oice goers using the metro. Drinking water is delivered at each stall and the empty bottles of the previous day is collected back. Workers can be seen sweeping the mud loor and setting up their stalls. Vegetables arrives from the Gurgaon mandi . Few regular customers like restaurants and hotels set up the bargain through phone. Meat and vegetables are delivered early morning to them. Early morning customers are usually people on their way back from their morning jog or elderly people out for a walk. Business is usually slow until lunchtime

Afternoons: he shop owners have lunch in the nearby snack stalls. Many gather at one stall to gossip over tea. Around 13:00 the ish stall owners arrive and start to set up their stall.


14:00 his is an important time because ish gets delivered every day from Ghazipur. he wholesale owners have their own vehicles to deliver ish. Speciic customers like delivery guys from Shushi restaurants arrive at this speciic time to select their share of fresh ish from the arrival vehicles. he front and the back of the market (adjacent to two major roads) transforms into an unloading bay. Workers are seen unloading thermocol boxes lined with ice to keep the ish fresh. After the vehicles move away, each worker takes his share of ish to his stall. hen begins the process of actually setting up the stall. Fishes are sorted, cleaned and put up for display in each stall. Also, the cutting knives are sharpened for the evening business. All this activities take place in the alley in between the stalls or at the back of the stalls.

18:00 he market is in brisk business. he workers have put light bulbs to carry trade at night. It is usually illegal connection stolen from the main power lines. On a usual evening, at least 50 people are seen crowded in this space of about 800 square metre with over 50 stalls. It is precisely the time when people are on their way back from their work. he metros are crowded and for many, this destination situated next to their station is suitable. Few two wheelers are seen using the narrow alley in between the stalls as a shortcut. Trade continues until 21:00 when the inlow of customers reduces gradually.

22:00 Workers are seen assembling their commodities and getting ready to close the shop for the day. Few ishes are left and they are not very good quality. Hence, the shopkeepers are eager to sell it of at reduced price. Finally the light is turned of for the day.



Fig 75: scene in the morning before the market is set up. Packed boxes of previous night are seen piled on top of each other. Few sellers have placed wooden boards to sit on. Others have spread a plastic sheet (on the left) . Sellers leave their knives and other equipments on the site itself .



Fig 76: scene in the afternoon when a part of the market is operating. he left aisle of ish market has still not opened and is awaiting the arrival of the fresh stock of ish from Ghazipur market



Fig 77: typical scene in the evening. Gradually people are arriving and business id becoming brisk.







Setting up meat and vegetable stalls Arrival of few customers Cleaning Tea stall in business Cutting Arrival of fresh ish

Delivery to hotels Sweeping Delivery of drinking water

Lunch Arrival of fresh vegetables/chicken


Unloading activity






Evening markets begins Rush of customers - Busiest Time

Cleaning and cutting ish Clients buy Setting up directly from of ish stalls arrival cart

Functioning of meat, vegetables, ish and spice market together Closing of market People use route as a shortcut due to heavy traic on main roads

Selling of leftover at a reduced price

Fig 78: the scene depicting variation of activities at the Bristol marketplace.


5.3.3 PARTIAL CULTURE he third aspect of hybridity evident in Bristol marketplace relates to the notion of partial culture. In his book ‘Notes towards the deinition of culture’, Elliot brings up the phenomena of migration and paints a vivid picture of how it has changed in modern times. According to him, in earlier times, an entire tribe migrated carrying with them their ‘whole’ culture. he migration of recent times never represent the entire culture of the parent. “he people have taken with them only a part of the total culture….he culture which develops on the new soil must therefore be balingly alike and diferent from the parent culture….” 90 Bhabha uses this notion of partial culture elaborated by Eliot to illustrate hybrid communities in his book ‘Location of Culture’. Taking Elliot’s notion a step further and infusing his perception of in-betweenness, he deines partial culture as the contaminated yet connective tissue between cultures” that “emphasises the internal diferentiations, the ‘foreign bodies,’ in the midst of the nation. 91

90. Eliot, T. (2014). Notes towards the deinition of culture. pp. 64 91. Bhabha, H. (1997). Culture’s In Between. p.30.


While examining the spatial hybridity of Bristol marketplace, I found glimpses of these traits described by Bhabha. In a city like Gurugram that does not provide any public place to socialise apart from the high end malls and pubs, sites like the Bristol Fish Market act as the sole space for social interaction in the city. As opposed to the population who have access to the shopping malls and multiplexes, the lower income class spend their day in the workplace and come back to their one roomed house only to return early the next morning. Every penny they make is carefully distributed between rent, food and money to send to the family back in their villages. In such a case, visiting a posh mall is not an alluring idea for them, apart from the invisible social barrier they are faced with. In such a case, sites like these act as a ground for socialising. he sellers spend 10-12 hours of their day here and the people they spend their time on site become their family and friend in the city. hus the social relations forged in the marketplace tend to function as one would expect in a village like setting. While the city has changed, sites like Bristol Market ofer little scope to new sellers because business worked on word of mouth and references. he hybrid space of Bristol thus functions as a site that fuels the model of hybrid community elaborated by Bhabha. Hybrid [communities] ind their voice in a dialectic that does not seek cultural supremacy or sovereignty……. that give narrative form to the minority positions they occupy: the outside of the inside: the part in the whole.92 hus a new form of partial culture is formed in these interstitial sites when diferent communities, each in transition, come together and has a role to play– the blue collar migrants who bring in the ‘partial culture’ from their villages in nearby states of Gurugram, the urban villagers adopting to their new lifestyle but still holding on to a part of their old and the white collar migrants who come in to become a part of the global world.

92. Bhabha, H. (1997). Culture’s In Between. p.34.


Tarikh has been selling ish in Bristol for many years now. He remembers when he irst came to the city, he moved in initially with his uncle who already had a business in the city. “I came to the city 5-6 years ago. here was nothing to do in the village and so my mother contacted her brother in the city. He needed some help with his ish business and I could earn some money to send home to mother. Uncle helped me get a stall because he is here since 20 years and knew many people. Otherwise it is very diicult to get a shop.” Tarikh has a shy smile as he tells me that just last year he got married. “But it is too expensive to bring her here. She stays in the village and helps mother in the house. Maybe someday, I will bring her here.”


Fig 79: Amil in his meat shop.


Ailynda hails from the north-east of India, close to my home town. As I started talking to her, she got very excited to converse with someone in her mother tongue. “My family moved to Gurgaon because my husband got a job here. We have been living here for 2 years.I come to this market almost every third day. Fish is a big part of our cuisine and we do not get a lot of good ish in the city. Nowadays children do not like ish but me and my husband prefer it. “ She smiles at the shopkeeper and tells me, “ I know the guys here.hey realize Ailynda knows good ish from the bad ones and do not dare to sell me overpriced ish.” Before leaving, Ailynda greets the shopkeeper and reminds him to call her if the speciic ish she wants is available.


Fig 80: Ailynda selecting ish. Today she has come with her family.


Amir opens his stall in the evening but he is seen here from the morning itself. When being asked, he replies, â&#x20AC;&#x153; I have nothing else to do and nowhere else to go. I hang out with the people her until I open my stall. I have lunch with my friend in a nearby shop. People know me here.â&#x20AC;?


Fig 81: Amir chatting with his friend



Fig 82: Two boys playing a board game in one corner of the marketplace. On the right , a shopkeeper is busy selling his spices

6 CONCLUSION Way forward Having looked at the fragments of Gurugram and unveiling the synergy that exists between them, this chapter relects on the arguments raised in the initial chapter of the thesis. Along with summarizing the indings of the research, I bring up few interpretations which might be an interesting direction to further the research.


6.1 SUMMARY he main objective of the research was to examine the hybridity that existed in the interstitial sites of Gurugram. he hybrid spaces of Gurugram displayed diferent aspects of the everyday life of the city, retaining distinctive traits of each - the planned sites of the gated complexes, the transforming urban villages and villages the blue collar workers migrate from. he site where these diferent spaces overlap become the grey areas where the everyday come together – the liminal space explored by Bhabha in formulating his notion of hybridity. he research thus, unveils the synergy existing in the entangled lives of diferent actors of the city - the white collar workers within the gated complex of the private city, the evolving urban villagers and the blue collar workers who migrate to the city in search of better livelihood. Interpretation of other scholars’ work on Gurugram (explained in irst chapter) gave a glimpse of the city’s entangled lives. Research furthers this by using deductive reasoning as an approach to examine the hybrid sites of Gurugram. So, the research started by decoding the notion of hybridity formed by Bhabha. It was important to understand the lens through which the hybrid sites of Gurugram were to be viewed. hrough the third chapter which focused on the shifting landscape of the city in recent years, I introduced the diferent actors that are involved in the making of the city. Hence the second and third chapter set the scene where further explorations of the sites could be undertaken. Finally, the fourth and ifth chapter focussed on speciic sites to unfold the hybridity – intertwining both the social and spatial aspect of it. In doing so, I unveiled the luidity of these spaces and its capacity to negotiate and absorb elements that do not it the regular city but are still essential for its functioning. he hybridity in the in-between revealed that it is much more than the ordinary banal space which is often overlooked in the spectacular urbanism of the city (brought to light in the third chapter). Once the space is examined closely, it becomes highly speciic and opens up to reveal fascinating implications. Further I summarise the indings of the research by relecting back and relinking them to the points raised in the initial chapter of the thesis.


6.2 FINDINGS OF THE RESEARCH In the initial chapter of the thesis, I bring up three research questions that the thesis aimed to explore. he indings of the research are outlined as under :

A. Fuelling hybrid sites I questioned the logics of how the fast emerging city of Gurugram fuel its hybrid sites. In order to answer that, I irstly looked into the conceived image of the city and then proceeded to reveal the spaces where diferent forms of everyday life occur. An understanding of the spaces where the diferent fragments overlap led to identifying hybrid sites and interpreting the logics behind their existence. he hybrid site is essential for the functioning of the city, (as revealed in the patterns of living, working and leisure activities of the residents of the city in chapter 3) although it is often overlooked. Looking at the social intertwining of lives show how the spatial coniguration of the sites support the synergy that exist between them. For example tracking the trajectory of people who use the M.G Road (elaborated in chapter 4) revealed the existence of hawkers and other social practices in the street apart from the shopping malls and gated complexes. Apart from the diferent activities that the space encompasses, looking at how the space is shared between diferent time zones revealed activities like prostitution which is depended on shopping malls. Even during the day, the functions and hence the users are deeply linked. For instance, I highlighted one user, Iqbal who works in an oice complex on M.G Road. Inspite of the canteen in his oice, his afternoon tea is always at the tea stall right outside his oice because it provides Iqbal excellent tea at cheaper rate. he business of the tea stall owner is mainly supported by people from gated complex. In that respect, Iqbal and the tea stall owner depend on each other, bearing an indispensable link and fuelling the other.


Much in the same way, the dynamics of Bristol marketplace revealed that people depend on the site for fresh supply of ish - a demand which the supermarkets of the city has not been able to fulil. In this case, the dynamics also includes the urban villagers on whose land the market is set up. Being a substandard space in terms of value for developers, this left over space acts as a hybrid zone bringing together the urban villagers as renters, blue collar workers as tenants and ish lovers mainly from the gated complexes. Hence, the diferent entities of Gurugram - the elite lifestyle of the planned city, the transforming roles adopted by the urban villages and the extreme poverty of the working class - all contribute to fueling of these hybrid sites. he hybrid sites, in return fulil the diferent everyday needs of the city and act as a lexible space that negotiates and houses the irregularities of the city - activities that the designed city does not take account of. Hence, one fuels the other and neither can survive without the other.

B. Dynamics of the hybrid sites: he socio-spatial implications Secondly I enquire into the implications of the hybrid sites. Speciically, I look into the socio-spatial aspects of that dynamic. In doing that, the hybrid emerged as a luid space allowing diferent forms of everyday to unfold. In his collection of essays in Location of culture, Bhabha brings up the need to think beyond the binaries. Bhabha refers to his hybrid formed out of cultural diference as an in-between space providing a terrain for elaborate strategies of selfhood – singular or communal…innovative sites of collaboration, and contestation, in the act of deining the idea of society itself. 94 Although his discourse focussed on cultural diferences, his argument to move away from the singularities of gender/class/identity revealed a critical issue in the designing of today’s cities- the need to focus on processes that are created in the midst of the transition that today’s cities are going through. Especially in a city like Gurugram which has sprung up in the last 25 years over agricultural ields, these processes are much more evident (but hardly acknowledged).

94. Bhabha, H.K., 2012. he location of culture. Routledge. pp, 1


Much in the same thought as Bhabhaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in-between, the hybrid sites of Gurugram (investigated in the service road of M.G Road and Bristol marketplace) are liminal spaces â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the connection between diferent fragments that open up possibilities to embrace/entertain diference without any assumed hierarchy. For instance, unveiling the theatricals of the space in the service road of M.G Road revealed how the diferent actors act out in the space - approaching each other yet maintaining a distance. Referring to the varied use of space on M.G Road, I want to relect on the the activities of the dargah on thursday. Although it takes places inside the gated complex, it fuels the site outside the gates to become a sanctuary for homeless and beggars. Apart from that, it adds temporaray stalls on the main streets of M.G Road. he collector street thus becomes this lexible zone which absorbs diferent tactics of various actors to occupy the space. For the brief period, the site becomes an innovative ground opening itself up to varied actors who are usually restricted. Similarly, the Bristol marketplace can be seen as a space of negotiation. he concept of partial culture is explained while elaborating the hybridity of the marketplace (chapter 5). his partial culture makes the site of Bristol function in a village-like setting where business works on word of mouth. Sellers spend a majority of their day on the site and hence, the space functions much more than a site of business. Because the city provides no public space to the blue collar workers, the space opens up as a site of social interaction, building connections and leisure activities. In that sense, the social aspect of the site add another dimension to the spatial coniguration of Bristol. he emergence of these hybrid spaces in the city then acts as an overlapping layer that opens up the ixed notions of the city (the aspiration of the city to be a part of the global world as explained in the third chapter). It is precisely what the research mapped â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the spaces of discontinuous realities- the interstitial passage and the dynamics inscribed in the temporal in-between that break up one single image of the city.


C. Spatial hybridity he inal research question of the thesis dealt with devising ways in which the hybridity revealed in the process can be spatialized efectively. his would ensure a better grasp of the complex notion and aid in designing the future cities. In his book, Entangled Urbanism (2015), Srivastava brings to light the intertwining of urban lives which is overshadowed by the evident fragmentation and segregation in transforming cities like Delhi and Gurugram. he city is no whole entity, but a series of connected realms, each of a distinct character, linking varied lives and processes into an urban entanglement.93 He takes up diferent social spaces in the book to spatialize the concept of every day. In the same logic, I took diferent spaces to spatialize the hybridity in the interstitials. For instance, the exercise of plotting the kineasthetic experience of actors (illustrated in chapter 4), made the site come alive when various users were brought together. he plotting of movement as a static trajectory made it possible to visualize the environment as a luid entity - changing itself with diferent users with their activities. Overlapping the scenes for diferent users revealed various zones of spatial hybridity. his led to identiication and further investigation of the site of maximum spatial hybridity - the Bristol marketplace. It can be deduced that the city has diferent gradients of what is acceptable and what is not. In that sense, certain areas fall into the grey zone. he spatial hybridity revealed the grey areas which fall outside the regular city. Even elements of the regular city of Gurugram which it a certain image possess a grey shade that is revealed at certain times of the day. For instance, the degree of legitimacy associated with the malls on M.G road changes during day and night. During the day it is a site which embraces the global culture becoming a posh destination for the elites and aspiring elites of the city. People like to be seen here. he same space provides for prostitution which is not socially acceptable in the city. he norms vary according to the diferent time allowing for things to occur.

93. Srivastava, S. (2015). Entangled urbanism. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, p.261.


In a similar way, the gradient of proitability and social consumption induced by the hybridity was very visible in the Bristol marketplace. he paradox of the site of Bristol revealed that the site exists in the grey area - a substandard place to build - the land is not proitable to developers but the marketplace generates enough proit until it is eventually sold of. hese grey spaces of the city allow the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to come in. In the process, urbanity is created â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not in the regular but the liminal space where these transgression is taking place. he very fact that these spaces do not belong to the regular give them the opportunity to negotiate between the degrees of legitimacy and let other forms of everyday life to unfold.


6.3 INTERPRETATION OF FINDINGS he hybridity evident in the sites along M.G Road and more speciically the Bristol marketplace bring to my mind the pattern of coexistence illustrated by Barthes in his book, How to Live Together. His collection of lectures talk about ‘idiorrhythmy’- a term Barthes used to depict a way of living in which each regard the rhythm of the other. He illustrated it by describing the monks on Mount Athos situated on the Greek peninsula. Barthes portrayed how the monks live both isolated and in contact with one another – the idiorrhythmy clusters- where each subject lives according to his own rhythm.95 he idiorrhythmy Living-Together, as described by Barthes signify a distance essential between the subjects who are cohabiting together. In the scenes of hybridity illustrated in chapter 4 and chapter 5, there is a certain degree of distance between the diferent subjects even though they co-exist and occupy the same space. Especially in chapter 3, I highlight the intertwining of lives amongst the diferent social groups - the urban villagers, the middle income working class, the blue collar workers and the white collar workers. Although all of them co-exist in the same city, they maintain certain distance. Taking the case of urban villagers of Nathupur and the blue collar workers, the research revealed how both live in the same village but maintain their own space. he working class occupy accomodation provided in the outskirts of the village - making them a part of the village, yet still an outsider. Each maintain their own rhythm in the same space of Nathupur village. In that respect, the rhythms of each needs to be acknowledged and respected so that the city can provide a setting for idiorrhythmic Living-Together. So instead of trying to plan the city to it a certain imaginary, it would be lucrative to accept these patterns of the diferent actors of Gurugram and design the future city to incorporate those rhythms.

95. Barthes, R. (2013). How to Live Together: Novelistic Simulations of Some Everyday Spaces. Columbia University Press,pp. 6.


A further interpretation of the hybridity evident on the sites can be related to use of tactics as depicted by De Certeau in ‘he Practice of Everyday Life’. He talked about luidity of the everyday practices by highlighting its character of iniltration. Sly as a fox and twice as quick: there are countless ways of “making do” 96 It brings out the contrast between a strategy and a tactic- deining tactics as actions that play out under the conditions imposed on them under a foreign body. “...a mobility that must accept the chance oferings of the moment, and seize on the wing the possibilities that ofer themselves at any given moment. It must vigilantly make use of the cracks that particular conjunctions open…It creates surprises in them. It can be where it is least expected. It is a guileful ruse.” 97 Just as De Certeau decribed, various tactics are at play in the hybrid sites investigated. hey depend on opportunities ofered by the city yet make their own rules to occupy the space. For instance, thr site of Bristol is not a regulated market. It is not given a space by the authorities, rather the marketplace makes its own space by making use of the accessible spot which has not been assigned a function yet. Further the ish sellers use temporary illegal connections from the main electricity line provided by the state. hese tactics make the users bring in their own system by using and manipulating the site to negotiate their position in the city. he tactics of “taking place” rather than being given a place in the city, act as a second skin interwoven into the Bristol marketplace. Also, the case of M.G Road can be relected in this context. While explaining the activity of prostitution on the street, the involvement of the auto-rickshaw drivers had been elaborated in chapter 4. he tactics of driving alongside the cars while making the deal, makes sure that the activity is not seen by police or passers-by. hese ways of making things happen in less expected ways are in contrast to the oicial strategies of the city. he research explains many more of such tactics which make diferent forms of everyday urbanism unfold in the hybrid spaces. 96. De Certeau. (2014). Practice of Everyday Life. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. pp, 29 97. Ibid . pp, 37


6.4 WAY FORWARD To be honest, six months is not a long period to understand a complex notion such as hybridity and apply it to examine a space (as constantly reminded by my mentor, Prof Heynen and my guide Anamica). However the previous works of scholars (as described in the literature review) provided a irm base for carrying out the diicult task of spatializing hybridity. However, at the inal stages of the research, there is a realization that the interpretations of the modest indings of this research demand a further exploration â&#x20AC;&#x201C; investigating how the tactics revealed contribute to a better way to co-exist in this fragmented city. In that sense, I feel the research could be furthered to ind ways in using the tactics along with the strategies formed by the authorities of the city. hus, using a fresh perspective to design scenes of idiorrhythmy Living-Together in Gurugram. Borrowing the words of Barthes; the research thus consisted in â&#x20AC;&#x153;opening dossiersâ&#x20AC;? 98 and the readers have the liberty to ill in the dossier. In that respect I see my master thesis as starting a dialogue in acknowledging the grey areas of the city. Especially countries like India which has caught on to the fast pace of development, coming years are going to experience a lot more of growing cities. Hence, it becomes imperative for designers to understand these processes before designing our future cities.

98. Barthes, R. (2013). How to Live Together: Novelistic Simulations of Some Everyday Spaces. Columbia University Press, pp. 171.


REFLECTION ON RESEARCH METHODS Before concluding the thesis, I think it is important to relect back on the methods used and the mistakes learnt along the course of the research. One of the most common issues in the initial years of doing research is being overly ambitious in your capacity as a researcher - the amount of research you are capable of within the speciic period. his stems mainly because of the lack of experience and lessons learnt from previous failures. Hence, the research evolves over time. Relecting back to the time I started the thesis in February, these past months has made me understand certain realities of carrying a research, which is briely underlined below.

Preparing the ground work on ield: Since I have never lived in the city of study, it was important to familiarize myself and get a feel of the place. Also a large part of the research is based on understanding the logics of informality which has not been documented. Hence, the research relies a great deal on social networks to acquire the data. In that respect, using connections made by previous researcher and utilizing the initial week in making contacts laid the groundwork for the succeeding weeks. Although I acknowledge that the time frame of a month is very little in my attempts to unravel everything. Nevertheless provided an insight into the logics of these hybrid sites. Also, being a woman who is on the site from morning till dusk, generated certain inquisitiveness and hence disruption in the everyday practice. So the initial week was necessary to let the subjects get acquainted to me to the point that they stopped paying attention and temporarily accepted me as part of their environment. At times it felt imperative to jump straight to the tasks of the ieldwork- collecting data. However, time spent in initial association at site cannot and should not be neglected by any researcher because it greatly inluences the type of results you get in the later stage of the ieldwork.


Methods of extracting (useful) data Walking around the streets of Gurgaon carrying a camera and notebook, I was often mistaken for a news reporter. Hence, my subjects were hesitant to engage with me initially. I soon realized this hesitation stems from diferent logics in diferent classes of the society. For example the elite were dismissive of me because they felt I would barge into their privacy. I was dismissed many a times by the phrase “I’m busy”. On the other hand, the lowest classes of undocumented migrants feared they might get into trouble in the newspapers which would hamper their business and survival in the city. Also, none of them understood why I was so fascinated by the practices they assumed as ordinary. Hence, apart from knowing which tools to use for extracting data, it was important to be innovative in data collection and have an understanding of what would work in a certain environment. In many cases, I gave up my structured interviews as I realized certain individuals loved to have a chat over a cup of tea. I tried to make the interviews as casual as possible. Giving out some personal stories certainly helped them relate to me.

Ensuring reliability of data When I started my month long ieldwork, I was conident that that it was long enough to get into the social networks, derive information and gather all the data to feed my research. And I did gather a lot of useful materials (and much more that were not in the least helpful). However, I soon realized the fact that not all that information was reliable. Many a times I believed I got the answer and unveiled the logic behind certain phenomena merely depending on someone’s words. But later on another interview suggested the opposite.


Having realized this on site itself, I started cross referencing things. I starting having informal interviews in groups rather than talking to single person. he inconsistencies began to diminish, even if not completely. I formed my primary sources (in terms of interveews) and nudged them to introduce me to the next source to gain certain trust. For example, I was residing with my friend Preksha who introduced me to the security guard in her apartment. Preksha has lived in that building for four years now . It certainly maked a big diference for the guard to talk to me through a resident that he had known for quite sometime.

Being open to evolution of research Another important relection was the ability to understand my own research intentions. My initial intention on ield was to explore the idea of hybridity on speciic sites of Gurgaon. I was conident of my intentions and quite satisied with the results. However, while re-assessing my intentions(along with insights from my professor and guide), I realized what I was in fact doing on site was not trying to ind data to back up my theories. I knew for a fact (from other authorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s works) that hybridity, though not obvious, is visible to a certain extent in Gurugram. I was attempting to form a new perspective by making Gurugramâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hybridism visible. Hence, what the research undertook was not exploring the possibility of hybridity in Gurgaon; rather I was unveiled the hybridity of Gurgaon. So, the research was evolved by questioning and rethinking how I frame my own work. All in all, the experience has humbled me to realize what I can achieve and at the same time, instilled in me the conidence to question, re-think and evolve my own research.


EPILOGUE As I relect on the trajectory of this research, I recall the simile that Walter Benjamin uses in his essay ‘he task of the translator’. “Just as a tangent touches a circle lightly and at but one point-establishing, with this touch rather than with the point, the law according to which it is to continue on its straight path to ininity.” 93 I look at the research as this point of touch before moving away on our own trajectories - the research and me. he hope is that this point of contact has ignited a dialogue regarding the imminent. he six months of the research has been that moment of touch which produced something out of the system- an experience, much in the same way as this research is for a reader- before each of us move away in our own trajectories. he moment of touch forever shapes the trajectory but within our own freedom. Much in the same way as the city. he diferent forces that make up the city of Gurugram come in contact with each other at certain points, only to then move away on their own path. But each point of contact impacts the direction of the trajectories. My task had been to bring to light this point of contact in the form of this thesis.

93. Benjamin, W. (2002). he Task of the Translator. In: M. Bullock and M. W. Jennings, ed., selected writings, volume 1, 1913-1926, 5th ed. London: Harvard university press, pp.261


BIBLIOGRAPHY Books and Journal articles AlSayyad, N. (2001). Hybrid urbanism. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. Bakhtin, M. (2009). Rabelais and his world. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Bakhtin, M. and Emerson, C. (2009). Problems of Dostoevsky’s poetics. Minneapolis [u.a.]: Univ. of Minnesota Press Bakhtin, M. and Holquist, M. (1981). he dialogic imagination. Austin: University of Texas Press. Barthes, R. (2013). How to Live Together: Novelistic Simulations of Some Everyday Spaces. Columbia University Press. Beattie, M. (2008). Hybrid Bazaar Space. Journal of Architectural Education, 61(3), pp.45-55. Benjamin, W. (2002). he Task of the Translator. In: M. Bullock and M. W. Jennings, ed., selected writings, volume 1, 1913-1926, 5th ed. London: Harvard university press, pp.253-263. Bhabha, H.K., 1994. he location of culture. routledge. K. Bhabha, H. (1998). Culture’s In-between. In: D. Bennet, ed., Multicultural states: Rethinking diference and identity, 1st ed. London: Routlege. Bhan, G., 2009. “his is no longer the city I once knew”. Evictions, the urban poor and the right to the city in millennial Delhi. Environment and Urbanization, 21(1), pp.127-142. Brook, D. (2014). he Slumdog Millionaire Architect. [online] he New York Times. Available at: [Accessed 11 May 2017]. Chakrabarty, D. (1992). Of Garbage, Modernity and the Citizen’s Gaze. Economic and Political Weekly, 27(10-11). Chakravarty, S. and Negi, R. (2016). Space, planning and everyday contestations in Delhi. New Delhi: Springer India. Chatterji, T. (2013). he Micro-Politics of Urban Transformation in the Context of Globalisation: A Case Study of Gurgaon, India. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 36(2), pp.273-287.


Chatterji, T. (2015). Citadels of glass: the story of India’s new suburban landscape. 1st ed. New Delhi: Westland Ltd. Chatterji, T. and Roy, S. (2016). From Margin to Mainstream: Informal Street Vendors and Local Politics in Kolkata, India. L’Espace Politique: L’Espace Politique. Revue en ligne et politique the geography of the Geopolitique, (29). Cowan, T. (2015). Fragmented Citizenships in Gurgaon. Economic & Political Weekly, 1(26, 27). De Certeau. (2014). Practice of Everyday Life. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Dupont, V.D., 2011. he dream of Delhi as a global city. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35(3), pp.533-554. Easthope, A., 1998. Bhabha, hybridity and identity. Textual practice, 12(2). Eliot, T. (2014). Notes towards the deinition of culture. Boston, Mass: Houghton Milin Harcourt. Fanon, F., 2008. Black skin, white masks. Grove press. Jacobs, J. (2006). Edge of empire. London [u.a.]: Routledge. King, A. (2004). Culture, globalization and the world-system. 1st ed. London: Routledge. Grandis, R. and Bernd, Z. (2000). Unforeseeable Americas: questioning cultural hybridity in the Americas. Amsterdam: Rodopi. Halprin, L. (1972). Cities. 2nd ed. Massachusetts: MIT Press, p.209. Heynen, H. (2013). Space as Receptor, Instrument or Stage: Notes on the Interaction Between Spatial and Social Constellations. International Planning Studies, 18(3-4), pp.342-357. Kusno, A. (2000). Behind the Post- colonial: Architecture, Urban Space and Political Cultures in Indonesia. London: Routledge. Lefebvre, H. (1991). he production of space. 1st ed. Blackwell: Oxford, p.86. Manohar, P. (2006). Architect Hafeez Contractor- Selected works 1982-2006. 1st ed. Mumbai: Spenta Multimedia.


Nalbantoglu, G. and Wong, C. (1997). Postcolonial space(s). New York: Princeton Architectural Press. Peck, J., heodore, N. and Brenner, N. (2009). Neoliberal Urbanism: Models, Moments, Mutations. SAIS Review, 29(1), p.49. Phillips, L. (1998). Lost in space: siting/citing the in-between of Homi K Bhabha’she location of culture. Scrutiny2, 3(1). Robertson, R., 1992. Globalization: Social theory and global culture (Vol. 16). Sage. Said, E. (1995). Orientalism. Victoria: Penguin Books. Singh K.P, ‘whatever the odds: he incredible story behind DLF’, in autobiography, homas Press, 2011. Srivastava, S. (2015). Entangled urbanism. 1st ed. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Young, R. (1995). Colonial desire. London: Routledge.

Courses and hesis Gola, A. (2017). Planning a ield-based research:Survival notes. [PowerPoint presentation]. Urban Studies - Research Methodologies II. 16 February. Heynen, H. (2016). Urbanity reconsidered / slum as theory. [PowerPoint presentation]. Modernity and the architecture of the city. KU Leuven, 2 December. Singh, A. (2014). FROM SUBURB TO GLOBURB: Interrogating Gurgaon; A City In Global Transition. [Graduate hesis]. KU Leuven.


Websites (2017). Census of India Website: Oice of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Apr. 2017]. Deevakar, A. (2013). Gurgaon’s better than Delhi, but way behind Shanghai. [online] http://www.hindustantimes. com/. Available at: [Accessed 14 Apr. 2017]. JULKA, H. (2011). IT irms looking beyond Gurgaon, Noida to other cities in north India. [online] he Economic Times. [Accessed 27 Feb. 2017]. Kumar, A. (2016). Gurgaon: How sex workers use auto rickshaws to strike deals, avoid police. Mail Today. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017]. Mathur, E. (2011). City cries for good ish market. Hindustan Times. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 Jun. 2017]. (n.d.). Municipal Corporation, Gurugram. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 May 2017]. Oice of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India, (2011). Census 2011. Oneindia News (2008). Gurgaon now called ‘India’s Singapore’. [online] Available at: http://www.oneindia. com/2008/09/02/gurgaon-the-millennium-city-of-india-1220353969.html [Accessed 11 Jul. 2017].

SPATIALIZING HYBRIDITY: unveiling ambivalence in the interstitials of Gurugram

Swagata Das

Spatializing hybridity unveiling ambivalence in the interstitials of Gurugram  

The city of Gurugram is a leading industrial and financial hub of India. Caught in the dichotomy of the explosive growth of the city and rem...

Spatializing hybridity unveiling ambivalence in the interstitials of Gurugram  

The city of Gurugram is a leading industrial and financial hub of India. Caught in the dichotomy of the explosive growth of the city and rem...