“Gurugram is a satellite city of Delhi, located around 30 kilometres south of the Indian capital. Until a few years ago, Gurugram was simply a dusty village in the North-Indian grasslands, defined solely by agriculture. When the previously socialist country opened its markets in the 90s, a construction boom set in, and in the space of just a few years Gurugram expanded to metropolitan proportions. Today Gurugram represents the modernisation of the country like almost no other city in India.
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When I got a request in 2015 to do a reportage on modern-day India for a corporate magazine, it was immediately clear to me that I would shoot it in Gurugram. I spent several days roaming the city, drifting between metro-stations with names like ‘Vodafone Belvedere’, the futuristic ‘Cyber City’ centre and various shopping malls.
To give me an insight into the everyday life of a modern family, a friend of mine put me in touch with Praneeta and her family. The young woman lives with her husband, son and mother-in-law on the 21st floor of an apartment complex that has its own leisure club.
During a visit one morning, I spotted a group of women doing yoga on the lawn outside the apartment block – among them, wearing her light-blue sari, Praneeta’s mother-in-law Krishna. By this point I had gradually become used to this unexpected contemporary India: its urban life-style, a leisure culture that moves between recreation club and shopping mall, even the cuckoo clock on the wall in Praneeta’s flat – a souvenir from a holiday in Germany’s Black Forest region. Seeing the women doing their early-morning exercises once again highlighted the stark contrasts that make India so unique.”