Travel to Northern India: Noida
Noida isn't on the tourist itinerary, but it should be. India is a lot more than its antiquities, and if you want to see the emergent India cross the river and come south a few miles.
Barring rush-hour traffic, you can make good time. Note the sign on the left, with a map identifying Medical City and BioTech City. The overhead sign meanwhile points to the golf course.
Noida in the making: a developer has a site and a dream, promoted with flags, appeals to prestige, and splashy newspaper ads.
There's nothing on the site yet except a sales office and a model home. Here's the kitchen, with drawers that glide to the delight of the housewives who come to look.
Standing in the kitchen. The apartment is about the size of a Levittown home 50 years ago. It's about the same price, too: $8,000. But this won't be a single-family residence; it will be stacked up in towers with elevators.
Next door, another developer and his field of dreams.
Noida already has a commercial center rich in realtors and jewellers. You can find cell phones, too, and pizza.
The action is here, though. The sign promotes a new model Maruti, the Indo-Suzuki vehicle that revolutionized India's car market a decade ago. But the building itself?
People are certainly streaming in. Any ideas what for?
Bingo: a shopping center.
Don't forget that this is urban India, though. You can't escape the trash.
There's this, too. Not squatters: these are the folks who do the building. Can't do without them.
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