Downtown

This community doesn’t look beyond its gates

Best foot forward : Children shake a leg at the Independence Day celebration.  

There is a host of reasons why people, especially busy young professionals who run around with winged feet, gravitate to top-of-the-line gated communities.

The usual suspects are: One, a big play area, studded with eye-catching equipment, that would ensure children have playmates and their parents, some time for themselves. Two, an association that takes care of the niggling little problems of life, such as a leaky tap and a faulty plug point, and residents don’t have to scour the neighbourhood for plumbers, electricians and other service providers. Three, security.

There is one more reason, which is not always obvious and articulated, but is a vital factor in enriching the experience of living in a gated community.

Expertise from various fields of activity.

Going by the laws of probability, a huge gated community (GC) with say, close to 2,000 units, is bound to have at least one doctor, one lawyer, one civil engineer, one fashion designer and the list goes on, ad infinitum — well, that may be an exaggeration, but you get the point, don’t you?

At a GC, one can expect to find experts across many fields. This fact about GCs came to the fore at ‘Freedom Fiesta’, the Independence Day celebration at DLF Garden City, Semmencherry.

The event, organised by Agile Events, which conducts parties and carnivals at gated communities, corporate houses and shopping malls in Chennai, witnessed the participation of in-house experts.



The scratch master

Whenever an event looms on the horizon and it is felt that a turntable would add zing to it, residents of DLF Garden City don’t look beyond C. Balajii. His status as in-house DJ of DLF Garden City is widely acknowledged.

“I have a studio at home where I sing karaoke. A few neighbours discovered my talent and since then I have been conducting events here,” says Balajii.

An employee of CSS Corp, Balajii moved to the GC two-and-a-half years ago and until now, he has conducted 7 events there. He has founded ‘Garden City Karaoke’, a band that meets residents’ need to sing and have a good time. With a facility offered by this band, residents upload songs and practise during weekends. At Freedom Fiesta, Balajii gave the background score for two songs presented by children.

“We have other gated communities on OMR calling us to help us with their in-house events,” he says.



A start-up starts young

Surprise comes in small packages, they say. Well, they can say it again. Now, stories of adolescents setting up start-ups abound. At DLF Garden City, three boys — Nitesh Aravindh, Gaurav Kapoor and Suraj R.S. — are pushing the envelope further. Class VIII students of PSSBB Millennium — which is, incidentally, just a stone’s throw from the GC — these three come across as embryonic entrepreneurs.

For a little over a year now, they have been seeing in GC events an opportunity for business. Last year, they made their debut as ‘foodepreneurs’, selling orange drink and made a marginal profit, and followed this up with a diverse fare in their second outing, where they offered popcorn and milkshakes.

At Freedom Fiesta, the fare had become noticeably larger. There was a variety of sandwiches, including choco sandwiches which had some adults cheating on their diet — well, during an Independence Day celebration, people should be freed of their shackles, even well-meaning ones. There was a range of milkshakes and juices. There was also the yummy-looking chocolate gunash cake.

The boys had invested Rs. 1,500 in the business. At 1.45 p.m., they had made Rs. 640 and expected to do some brisk business after the sun had mellowed down — it was an unusually hot day, indeed — and when we checked on them at 6.30 p.m., they had broken even, with a good four more hours to go, we had every reason to believe they returned home feeling considerably richer.



Cooking up an experience

Mahadevan Ramasubramanian loves to cook, a fact residents of DLF Garden City discover afresh at every event. Mahadevan puts up a stall, often selling traditional south Indian dishes.

“I have a friend who helps me out,” says Mahadevan.

At the Independence Day celebration, the dosas, vadas and adai-avail at his stall sold like hot cakes.

“I wouldn’t say I made great profit but it was nice to have people complimenting me for food I had made,” says Mahadevan, who works with a multi-national company.

He plans to start a mobile food court at DLF, which would supply tiffin items in the morning and evening.



Keeping an audience entertained

Anand K. G. was the master of ceremonies at the event, but he also displayed a talent for singing. When he sang ‘Gulabi Aakhen joteri dekhi’, it was hard to spot anyone who was not swaying.

“I am an artiste. I have acted in a couple of serials and has done some modelling too,” said Anand, who was the cultural secretary of Freedom Fiesta.

Anand, who is head of facilities and administration at E4E Healthcare Business Services, said entertaining people came naturally to him.

“We want to identify talented people within the community who could participate in such events,” he said.



Singing sensations

So many other residents contributed to the success of the events at Freedom Fiesta, and these worthies include Archana and Raji, who conducted the singing competition ably, despite over-enthusiastic children throwing a curve ball now and then.

When the Under-10 contest was done with and competition had moved on to the senior level, a tiny little participant barged in. All of three years, she stood there, expectantly. Her brother, a wee bit taller and probably only a little older, asked Raji and Archana, his eyes pleading, that his little sister be allowed to sing.

Raji and Archana did not want to disappoint the two children and decided to give the girl a wild card entry. With every passing minute, expectation was building up. Could this little girl be a singing sensation. And, when she did finally hold the mike, she did surprise everyone. For, she sang the nursery rhyme ‘ABCDEFG….’, which clearly was light years from the theme of the contest, ‘patriotism and national integration’.

And, then a boy got everyone to stand to attention, as he sang the national anthem.



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Printable version | Apr 14, 2021 8:43:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/This-community-doesn%E2%80%99t-look-beyond-its-gates/article14578602.ece

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