Place in Great India Memories: GIP will be sold, but those memories of the weekend in Noida…

New Delhi: When a young man comes to the metropolis with dreams from a small town, he is attracted by everything new and unseen to him. Even today I remember that when I first came to Delhi for work, according to my friends, GIP used to come several times a day. For a couple of days he didn’t even hesitate to ask what it was. Those who had never heard of or knew about GIP felt my knowledge was incomplete. Google Chacha, who would have said it in a hurry, was not there then. Well, one day when I went to the market to buy vegetables, my friends made a plan, today we will go to GIP, man. That’s when Guru saw the building from the Atta market and realized that it was a mall. And everyone is still discussing what is special about this. Mall culture was new in Prayagraj till 2009. Obviously such a big mall was quite special. So many gates, at what level, so many people, the dazzling sight inside hardly gives me a chance to close my eyes. Friends started saying, hey what’s this, come and see during Diwali or New Year, it’s all lit up. Gradually realized that GIP i.e. Great India Place is the heartbeat of Noida. This is how the workers’ Saturday-Sunday days began to pass. Ever since I read that the mall was going to be sold, old memories flashed away. There are talks of selling it for Rs 2,000 crore, I don’t know how it will turn out in the coming years, but the memories of GIP will always live on in the hearts of thousands and millions of people.

In 2015, I went to buy a gift for my daughter.

2011-2012 is when I started living closely with GIP. Whenever the family is together, they come here with their daughter. Then the hideout was near Sector 66 and the Metro was also running up to Noida City Centre. When my daughter started talking, she used to say ‘Needa Theater Centre’, and the planning of the holiday would start from the evening itself. Getting off Metro 18 from the city center and then the escalators of the GIP gives you a good experience. If the daughter liked ice cream, her first goal would be to stay the same and then wander the shops in the gift shop. If I left, I would have the bill to buy half of the store. It was good that there were shops nearby, after agreeing to this shop he would be taken to another shop. When you come, you can buy groceries…Thinking like this, instead of buying one or two packets of biscuits, I got into the habit of buying one for free with Rs.200.

The doll on the left was given on her birthday in 2017

The biggest feature of GIP is that its building area is an empty space for roaming, sitting, taking photos and wasting time. GIP became like a shooting location when a mobile phone with a camera came in hand. It would be good to take photos anywhere with good lighting. Children would have loved the backdrop and wheeled train for taking pictures and decorations more than the festive field attraction. Then Turkish style ice cream shop or many shopping options.

Soon, when New Ashok Nagar settled about three kilometers from the Delhi border, the GIP kept coming. When I got my new job at Film City, watching GIP was a daily routine. Although GIP started in 2007, from my experience in the last 12 years, where previously the biggest mall in Asia attracted people, gradually people have more options. Grocers in small markets also started making small ‘big bazaars’. After billing through the same system, people go back on their own. The rush has increased and the Mall of India in Noida 18 has now started getting options for the middle class. Those going to watch movies and relax need not cross the road and have started turning to Wave and DLF malls.

Corona made all the rest. After the second wave I heard from many people that there was a shop in GIP which had to be closed due to heavy rents of lakhs of rupees. If there is no cell, then how to pay the rent of the gate. Those old pictures remind me of the moment when I went to the glittering GIP and it felt like a tourist attraction now that the GIP is up for sale.

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