Would I prefer to live in Bombay or Manali or Auroville? This question (with a variation in the specific cities tossed your way, skyscrapers and all) has been posed often and dealt with more frequently. Everyone agrees that Bangalore, Madras and New Delhi are excellent places to live in because the quality of life is much better. "You get everything there", I often here. Bombay was always such a promised land "as long as you can find a decent house". These are places where a child can be assured excellent education, wives can find the best malls and salons, husbands can find the best jobs and so on. Cities attract growth and infect prosperity into neighbouring localities.
The growth we see is primarily in the concentration of commercial establishments (malls, companies, hotels etc.) and not in the holistic sense of the word. It seems as if growth can only be inferred if there are establishments providing employment opportunities and/or monetary transactions. There is growth only if the geographical entity has more options and a variety of avenues for entertainment. More multiplexes, international schools, MNCs, high-rises, multi-cuisine restaurants, fashion shows, F1 tracks, bowling alleys, BPOs and **llyWood, the more likely are we to consider those cities as growing. The fact that the economic divide is ever-widening implying that the rich are getting richer and the poor, poorer, that basic amenities are ill-provided (so what if they are worse in towns and villages?), that the crime rate is increasing, that the pollution level is chokingly high, that food prices are unbearable, alcohol consumption high, diseases high and accommodation is ever so hard to find has no telling on our definition of "growth".