‘Dreaming spires’. That phrase conjured up the genteel aspirations of an older, outbound elite. But think of those desi baroque skyscrapers on the edge of town, and you know the metaphor lives happily in the 21st-century Indian metropolitan suburb. Our cities have changed beyond recognition—the last two decades have seen a feeding frenzy of construction, a permanent flux in the landscape. As urban spaces tried to cope with everyone’s idea of a ‘dream house’, the concrete mixers never stopped churning. Till now, that is.
Look at Noida Extension. It was touted to be one of NCR’s (national capital region’s) most popular areas for housing development. But what you see today is realty’s equivalent of a post-curfew scenario: an uneasy calm. Many apartments are unfinished, construction activity has almost ground to a halt, and there are no signs of the builders trying to sell their pieces of copy-paste architecture.