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 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.