Hyderabad

April 12, 2010 at 8:12 pm (Life, Uncategorized) ()

As I got back home on Friday, I was filled an immense urge to do something different in the weekend. I considered my options of a getaway, called a few friends and finally decided to go to Hyderabad to meet my friend Sandeep Gautam, who is to join Wipro.
I went to Majestic Bus Stand at Bangalore and did not find any KSRTC tickets. I then went to one of the private tour operators. The first guy I talked to was charging me 750 Rs for a Non AC ticket. I decided to venture farther and met another travel agent who was offering the same seat for 550 Rs. I pocketed the ticket and headed for the boarding point. The bus was as expected late. Infact, it departed 2 hours after the scheduled time. In the delay some small quarrels ensued between the passengers and the bus operators.
We were finally on our way. I had a window seat and I had the cool wind blowing against my face. I stayed awake for an hour or so and then fell asleep.
I remember waking up at around 3 PM to find myself drenched in sweat and very thirsty. The bus was stationary. The guy next to me sprawled across the seat and was blocking my way to exit the bus. I did not want to wake him up. Just then a fruit juice vendor boarded the bus. He had 3 glasses of Mausambi juice, 10 Rs each. I got one glass for myself. They say life is all about the moments. The juice running through my body was one such strange moment of inexplicable pleasure and happiness. It was cold. It brought me back from fatigue instantly and it quenched my thirst.
Next thing I know, we are entering Hyderabad. I saw the National Police Academy to my left, where IPS officers are trained. I got down at Afzal Gunj bus stand, which is also very close to Charminar and SalarJung museum.
My final destination was Madhapur, which is practically Hi-Tech city itself. It was quite far (18 Kms) and I decided to hire an auto.
The auto wala was a very talkative guy. He started telling me how Chandra Babu Naidu was a far better CM than YSR Reddy. He accused YSR of forcibly acquiring land from some village people in some hilly region of AP. In the same vein, I enlightened him about the Tata Nano plant fiasco in West Bengal. He then began telling me how his religious beliefs convince him not to cheat customers, and that at the end of the day he will stand infront of Allah to be judged. I was moved by his words.
We had some trouble finding the exact place, but I finally met my friend. It is very hot in Hyderabad these days, but the good thing is that there is no humidity; just pure heat. So you should be OK if you cover yourself properly.
My friends led me to their room in their PG which unfortunately was the top floor. That meant that the ceiling had heated up because of the sun and the fan was just blowing hot air.
We started chatting about some stuff back at college and exchanged notes about what we had learnt about life. We fell asleep soon.
I had brought no luggage with me. I had some money and I had decided to buy clothes at Hyderabad. Travelling without luggage is such a liberating experience. Cant help but draw parallels with life itself. So in the evening Sandeep and I decided to go to Hyderabad Central at Punjagutta. Having visited Hyderabad numerous times before since my elder brother was a student at IIIT Hyderabad, I knew the place fairly well. We took an AC bus from Madhapur to Jubilee check post and took an auto from there to Punjagutta.
We headed into the mall. The mall was strikingly empty that too on a Saturday evening. I was surprised. We proceeded to look at some clothes. I spent some time, for a change, actually trying some of the clothes out in the try-out section. I can safely say that I made the best buys there till date.
We saw a few girls there. One was particularly pretty. She wore a short skirt and had great legs. She was with this not so handsome guy. Apart from her there were no pretty girls to look at. That was again an oddity for me the Bangalorean.
We headed back to Madhapur.
We went into a restaurant to have food. As soon as I entered I saw the unmistakable hair and beard combo of Asokan Pichai. Having attended his lectures on several occasions at different locations in India I knew it was him from some distance. I approached him, introduced myself and told him how I knew him. At the time when I interrupted his chat with friends, he was talking about how many lines of code FORTRAN had.
We had a really nice meal. I have always been a fan of Hyderabadi cuisine. The Biriyanis are obviously awesome. We ordered roti and Kadai Chicken. Sandeep did warn me that the quantity of food they serve per person in Hyderabad is enough to feed 3 people elsewhere. And he was right. Nevertheless the food was excellent.
The hostel in which they stay is surrounded by more hostels, and some of them ladies hostels. We spent some time looking at some girls on balconies, and then went to sleep.
Next morning I woke up and saw outside the window. It seemed to me that it would be a marginally cooler day. We took our baths and decided to head out to see Charminar and SalarJung Museum. We took 2 buses and reached Charminar. This is where I should start ranting about not having a camera with me, but will spare you since you actually took the pain to read upto this point.
We entered the small Charminar compound and found comfort in the cool shade. We headed upwards on a small dark winding staircase that can scare the shit out of any claustrophobic. I would advise elderly people not to go up the Charminar. It is quite a climb and there is no way to turn back. It is that narrow a staircase.
Once on top, we surveyed the area around Charminar. There was this huge Masjid almost adjacent. We wanted to go there too but were not sure if we were allowed to enter, so we did not go.
We asked a guard where the Salarjung Museum was. He gave us detailed instructions and also asked us to buy pearls and eat biriyani.
SalarJung Museum is 1 KM away from Charminar. We decided to walk.
We reached SalarJung museum and found that the security was pretty tight. The CISF guards did an airport style security check.
The entire museum is air-conditioned, which was a huge relief for us. We made our way into the several different rooms in the museum. It would take another hour to write about all the rooms, but the aspects that I remember most vividly I shall document here.
There was an Ivory room. It was full of sculptures made out of ivory. In the center of the room , there was a set of 4 chairs made fully out of ivory. It was gifted to Tipu Sultan by Louis XVI. I was wondering how many elephants were killed for the chairs to be made.
There was a room dedicated to Textiles of the Mughal era. The embroidery on some of the robes were intricate. They even had freaky names such as “Zamdaani AngRakha”.
People thronged the Arms and Ammunitions room. Shows the propensity of common people toward violence I thought, but I maybe wrong. The shining blades and huge spears were just cool to look at. One can not help but spare a thought for all the people who died by them.
I also saw a few 13th century manuscripts written in Urdu on the topic of geometry.
We decided to call it a day. I had this unfinished mission of having Biriyani, and it was 4 PM already. I had my bus at 7 PM.
We realised that no good restaurant would serve biriyani at 5 PM. I was a little dismayed, but we decided to have Kebabs instead.
I boarded my bus at 7PM. Sweated my way to Bangalore because I did not get a window seat. Reached home at 8 AM, slept for an hour and a half, went to office, came back home, and typed this post.
Life.

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2 Comments

  1. vivek said,

    you didn’t have “goli waali beer” with its inventor?

  2. Sayamindu said,

    Heh – I had the exact same experience with Mausambi juice in 2006 (I was returning home from Bangalore via Hyderabad)

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