I have lived in the city of Hyderabad for most of my working life – close to 7 years now. You would think, after staying here all this time, I would develop at least some fond feelings for the city. Well, to be honest, I was happy to pack my bags and get going from here a few years ago to Seattle, US. But what do you know? Life ( job actually, not mine, the hubby’s) brings me back right here.
Why this sudden rant about the city? Well, when you are working, kind of a 9 – 9 job, then where you stay does not matter a whole lot. Okay, okay, it does somewhat, but you are too pooped out at the end of the day and only want to hit the sack anyway.
Life changes when you don’t have that 9-9 job. For one, you are more in touch with whats happenning outside the glass and chrome buildings.
And thats I, for one, realized how little the city has to offer. Die-hard Hyderabadis may beg to differ. Well, I beg to differ with them.
Lets start with one of the best things good cities can offer – good food. The lesser said about the gourmands out here, the better. You have only to look, and what you see on offer are buffets. All you can eat meals, – no mention of what you are eating mind you. Its all about how much you can heap your plate. And if it is with oily Biryani, all the better. Heap some more. And finish off with dessert buffets of the usual humdrum chocolate cakes etc. etc. This is supposed to be a cosmopolitan city, and what do you have to offer? Apart from the Biryani, which was handed down from the Nizams, do we have a single speciality restaurant worth their name in this city? Chain restaurants is the best we can manage it seems. ( okay, I can name a few. But only a very few, mind you. One of two Thai, one new Bengali restaurant).
Okay, now that we have had our fill of Andhra thalis, which I don’t mind once in a while, but really is over-fried and over-spiced, lets get on to the entertainment bit.
For that, what you have is a wide and varied choice – of third rate movies at any of the multi-plexes. And Hyderabad has the most number of movie halls in the country, you’re bound to get a ticket for some movie somewhere. Though you may have to try hard, Hyderabadis will watch anything, and I mean anything.
Bad luck for anybody who’d rather watch a play, or something humdrum like that. There is one happenning every quarter, so you have to squeeze out every ounce of entertainment you can from that one play you do get to see. Like we did when Anupam Kher came to town, maybe, 3 months back. Since then, nothing, Nada. Zilch.
Okay, so there are the so-called Lounge bars. Okay, so Hyderabadi women have finally learnt to dress themselves ( though the other day I actually spotted somebody in a dress with skulls on it!!) , but what about the men? When, oh when, will they learn??
I can go on. Oh please, somebody tell me some redeeming feature of the city. Even the lovely rocks and the grandeur of the Golconda and Qutb Shahi tombs are gone with the high-rises around Hi-Tech city area. Green Hyderabad never was, and the highest point in the city, according to some hiking enthusiastic friends, is actually a Dargah in secunderabad area which is on a single-rock, about 100 steps and you are at the top.
There must be Hyderabadis out there who feel enough for their city to point out its niceties. If so, please let us onto the secret.
And please don’t say Golconda again. We are talking about living culture here.
< I found this great compilation of activity clubs by Ajay here. Great job, Ajay! >