When the Karnik family moved to Gurgaon, it took them six months to find a temple. It came as a rude shock to Prasad Karnik’s father, who was in the habit of visiting a temple everyday- after his morning prayers at home. However, after this huge culture shock, Prasad today feels that he fits in like a glove.
“Although my family belongs to Indore, I have studied and lived in Pune since my college days. So much so that I got my first job in Pune. However, after a promotion at work, I moved to Gurgaon about three-and-a half-years back,” says Prasad. He works with Max New York Life Insurance.
Prasad admits that initially it was difficult for the family to adjust to Gurgaon’s pace and lifestyle. He says, “Of course there are advantages and disadvantages that come with living in any city across India. This is why we were open to change. Either you can block a city in your mind— which makes it extremely difficult to fit in—or you can be open to experiences. Unlike Gurgaon, Pune is a very controlled and cultured city.”
Early apprehensions for the Prasads revolved around late nights, “Initially both my wife and I were scared to be out late at night. Unlike Pune, where we didn’t have to worry about the women being out late, this was one of our prime concerns here. Earlier I would worry a lot; however, over time, I adopted a simple philosophy about the locals— “If you don’t mess with them, they won’t mess with you,” explains Prasad.
Prasad and his wife Suchitra Karnik (29) are working in the same profession, as voice-over artists. Adds Suchitra, on the cultural aspect, “There were times when we couldn’t tell that the city was celebrating a local festival; in Pune you know when Ganesh Chaturthi is being celebrated.” This is when the Karniks decided to find like-minded people. They joined a local singing group, that got together every week, to share their common passion. For the Karniks this group has become like their extended family. “Now every weekend, we get together with people who enjoy music as much as we do, and sing our weekends away. From brining home-cooked food, to enjoying old Rafi songs, this is a group that celebrates and appreciates music as much as we do,” explains the couple.
“Both my husband and I come from a musical background. Therefore music has been a significant part of lives. In addition to this, we both work in the creative field- like making documentaries and recording voice overs,” says Suchitra. In addition, Prasad has worked on several educational documentaries, and as a voice over artist, with All India Radio and Doordarshan. He also enjoys photography as a hobby.
The only change Prasad would like to see in Gurgaon is in local transportation. “Every city has its highs and lows. Overall Gurgaon has fared well, to become one of the leading global cities. One of the improvements that the city desperately needs is better modes of local transportation. People who don’t have cars face tremendous problems, when it comes to road transport. Before my wife got her own car, it was very difficult for her to travel on her own within the city. Apart from that, I’m an extremely satisfied resident of the city.”