I have been twice to Hyderabad, but I haven’t taken many pictures. It took me some time to realise that it was HyDerabad – I was reading HyPerabad, I thought it was a funny name. I wasn’t quite used to Indian names the first time I went. So when I heard of the next town, Secunderabad, I thought it was a joke (the second/secund city, it was similar enough)! But it wasn’t, Secunderabad is were I got off the train the first time. I could never orientate myself in Hyderabad, as there is a giant flyover in the city that makes every bit look alike – except for the old Muslim part.
So I didn’t take too many pictures in Hyderabad. The first time, it was because I was tired and a bit sick from too much train-travelling. When I was not home resting, I was on the backseat of my host’s motorcycle, a place where I am in no way relaxed enough to take pictures! The second time, it was because I was in excellent company and just forgot to take pictures.
On the last day of my first stay I rushed to see the Chaharminar, Hyderabad’s emblem, and the Chowmahalla Palace (quite interesting exhibition on the nizams who ruled over the city for years). Then no one could say I didn’t visit anything in Hyderabad. But the whole time I was there, I wanted to go to an old fort farther away… and never made it. That makes a good excuse now to go back to Hyderabad and India altogether
I’ve seen interesting things in Hyderabad though. I have seen the Muslim area around the Chaharminar twice, once completely empty and once buzzing with a vibrant bazaar (the hopeful “Yes M’am??” at my sight quickly became tiring though). I have been to a high-tech temple with security cameras (no pictures allowed). I was amazed to realise that it is a common thing to do a pooja (a religious ceremony) for… a new car or scooter! It’s to protect you from accidents. Or to protect your life in case of accident. Needless to say that I was quite taken aback…
But the best part in Hyderabad remained the people I met there, my host (the same host both times), the teachers of a film-making school where I had the honour of talking about my adventure a bit, a lively Greek guy who had opened a restaurant here… My host and his nice roommate lived in a richer area on the hills and from the flat one had a beautiful view over the whole city, which was most of the time weirdly quiet for a city of that size. Driving around with my host I pretty much overcame my fear of motorcycles – he was driving nice and slow for me though . My host, my good company and I went down many times to eat delicious and extremely cheap street food at the corner. It’s also where I enjoyed my first pan, a mix of digestive and sweet stuff rolled in a leaf that you chew and that makes your tongue orange or red… all in all, good memories in Hyderabad (but not much to show for it ).