Mera Hyderabad

By Tabrez Nasar, Hyderabad, INDIA

I have just moved to Hyderabad say some two months ago. Here are some of my interesting observations about Hyderabad.

Hyderabad is where you have plenty to explore but need a lot of money. Hyderabad is where you have the famous Charminar but people go there not for the monument but for the street shopping experience which is aplenty but one ends up buying nothing. If you are not scared of crowds, it is a great place to be in the evenings. And wow, you may bump into this thela wala carrying heaps of dirty looking (but hygienic) chocolate wafer discards from the factory. Buy some and be happy!

Hyderabad is where some Hussain Shah dug out the famous Hussain Sagar some 500 years ago which churns out at least 1 crore of business per week on retails like thela walahs…not to mention the other crore per day from the likes of water front and Prasads. These days we talk of watershed management but do not learn from this great initiative. Andhra Pradesh is prosperous because of these numerous water resource known as Cheru all over the State. Yet I wonder what has happened to the water table as easily Hyderabad sells the most overhead and floor water tanks in the world!!!

Hyderabad is where Telugu actors are the most (over) expressive but when a Telegu guy dents your car, he has absolutely no expressions on his face (sorry for this expression but I enjoy freedom of speech...).

Hyderabad is where you can drive on a motorbike and have the advantage of everyone speaking (Mahmood type) Hindi unlike Chennai where they would tell you in Hindi that they do not know Hindi. Navigating in the city is fun and easy because people help you with directions very happily if you ask them.

Hyderabad is (now) where there are frequent bundhs (they make sure I don’t miss Jharkhand!) due to this or that...

Hyderabad is where (wow! I love this one) you have food that you have never dreamt of starting from a family size serving of Biryani (from Hyderabad House) that is said to serve a family of four but is actually good for a family of eight…to Qubani ka meetha (apricots?) and double ka meetha (breads) to kababish kababs and Shawarma and golgappa on the streets to punjab ka mashoor kulfi to bade ka tikiya to all sorts of idlis and wadas and dosas and uppams (salivating?). Hyderabad is where you have the famous Karachi Bakery where you get into one queue to get your bakes and others to get a bill and another to make payments but all in perfect order and convenience. Yet people here eat only one thing – curd rice – but some gorge themselves so bad as if it was the last supper! Tiffin breaks are a treat to watch with plenty of rice and all sorts of sambhars plus curd rice and rice curd and curd and then some rice…. Phew!

Hyderabad is where you can park your car in a narrow lane blocking off all traffic and yet you can be rest assured that a tow away truck can simply not enter the lane as the truck is too big. Hyderabad is where you do not have to wear helmets and people give you weird looks if you do. Hyderabad is where at least the auto rickshaws run on meter and do not take you for a ride… all you have to do is entertain them with a conversation that allows them to tell you things.

Hyderabad is where every lift has this automated ‘voice’ stating ‘Please close the door’ (bearable!) followed by ‘Daieche se gate veyende’ which kills you if you hear it hundred times a day (my flat is adjacent to the lift!).

Hyderabad is where people drive to work from more than 20 Kms away and by after lunch start worrying how to get back home. Hyderabad is where everyone thinks the area which is 20 Kms away from his home is the best in town. Road rage is common but does not harm barring exceptions like one of my colleagues who was beaten up so bad that he was hospitalised for a few days.

Hyderabad is where some of the most expensive cars can be seen (I saw a couple of BMWs and MBs in a school!) but when these same people live in an apartment building, they would rather not spend 'collective money' to get the lift repaired and do without a lift for months..... health reasons? eh!

Hyderabad is where everyone meets over phone calls but has no time even to take out family less so to visit kids schools. Hyderabad is where you have a 175 year old St. George’s Grammar school (my son goes here) which is misspelled on some as Grammar and some as Grammer. This 175 year old school has fortunately less than 175 year old teachers some of who can boast of teaching Rakesh Sharma the austronaut who went here too. Hyderabad is where the ancient Chapel road has become Chappal road now and the name of every area ends with a Guda (Yusufguda, Narayanaguda, Hyderguda, etc.) or ‘pet’ (begumpet, this pet or that pet). 'Begum' means wife and 'pet' is stomach.. and I wonder why the mention of the tummy of ones wife? Strange... aint it????

Hyderabad is the only place on earth where you will have the famous ‘Brand Factory’ (outlets of global brand factory discards) where you can buys stuff at almost throw away price for the brands that they are…. yet also go ahead and buy potato and tomatoes from the grocery!

Hyderabad is one place in India where you have plenty of Muslims and then Christians and then all the Raos and Reddys. You shout a ‘Reddy call’ on the street a dozen people will turn to you. In fact the other day when I went to pay my electricity bills and the time was off, I told the officer that Mr. Reddy sent me to him so he actually obliged me (smiles!).

This can only be one of the few places on earth where quite a large Muslim population actually does not consume beef for traditional reasons. Talking of the Muslim population, there is something extremely interesting. Ever seen those Muslim women in Burqa/Naquab/Hijab? Well well, there is a brand outlet by the name of Neeru’s apparently selling high end ladies wear. The largest clientele I guess would be the women-in-burqa which is fine. But guess what... all the super expensive salwar kammez and what not and the most expensive makeovers are ever hidden under their burqua so why waste so much of money on things that cannot be seen by others? Well, this is Hyderabad I guess...

Hyderabad is where (and I love this the most!) one hardly cares whether you are a Muslim or a Hindu or a Christian so it ain't a big deal finding a rented house or buying a flat in any part of the city. This is a huge bonus to move to Hyderabad and I will not mention the cities where this can be a problem...

So that is my Hyderabad and I am just about falling in love with her. Tell me is yours….

Tabrez Nasar
Hyderabad - INDIA

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