Exactly one year has passed since the day when I came to this city. I stayed here all the time except for a few brief visits here and there. So why this "revisiting" thing? Actually my sister visited me in Hyderabad this week, and I traveled with her all over the city again. My one year’s worth of sightseeing (and more) condensed into four days. I even saw things which I had not seen before. Since we IT professionals here live mostly in a shell, working throughout the week and too tired to go out if we have no work on weekends, it seemed as if I was living in a separate world within Hyderabad. A world where we only know about software and coding and testing and projects. It was nice to visit the other Hyderabad for these four days.
And we saw a lot. I took my sister to Hussain Sagar, to the multimedia laser show in Lumbini Park, to Salar Jung and Charminar. When I had visited Salar Jung the first time, one year ago, I had formed this desire of revisiting it with my art-loving sister. Finally it was fulfilled. The laser show was something that I too saw for the first time. It was a nice new experience. We visited Birla Mandir in the afternoon, when the stone floor felt like an enormous frying pan to our bare feet. It was a memorable experience no doubt, but one that I would rather not have again. We visited Hitec City, which is very close to my apartment. We also saw Superman Returns in IMAX 3D. This was the first time that I saw a (partly) 3D movie in the IMAX. While the movie as a whole was not really up to my expectations, the special effects and the 3D scenes were good enough. After that we strolled along the necklace road, while munching on roasted maize and looking at distant lightning over the lake.
But the best part of our sightseeing was the visit to Golkonda fort on the last day. I had visited Golkonda once before, but did not have the time to climb all the way to the top. This time we went right up to the Baradari, 373 stone steps above the ground. The view of the city and the setting sun from the top was more than worth the climb. Then we spent an hour in the glorious past of Golkonda by watching the sound and light show before returning home.
These four days were remarkable, for although we were traveling from morning to night (and much of the time on foot), instead of getting tired I got wonderfully refreshed. And along with that, I rediscovered Hyderabad. I found that Hyderabad is not all Cyberabad. There is a part of the city that lies quite oblivious to the IT boom. There is the 440 year old Hussain Sagar, calm and serene as the Buddha statue in its middle. There is the Salar Jung, with its timeless treasures. There is the Charminar and the bangle market under it, exactly like that from times immemorial. And then there is Golkonda, where time has stopped moving long ago. We only need to open our eyes and see. We only need to spend some time to understand our history.
In the last one year, I went to Mumbai and Pune, just for traveling. But after this “revisit” to Hyderabad, I realized that I have much to see here. To quote Rabindranath Tagore:
Bohu din dhore, bohu krosh dure, bohu byay kori, bohu desh ghure, Dekhite giyachhi parbotmala, dekhite giyachhi sindhu, Dekha hoy nai chokkhu meliya, Ghar hote shudhu dui pa feliya, Ekti dhaner shisher upore ekti shishir bindu.
Which can be roughly translated as:
I traveled miles, for many a year,
I spent a lot in lands afar,
I’ve gone to see the mountains, the oceans I’ve been to view.
But I haven’t seen with these eyes
Just two steps from my home lies
On a sheaf of paddy grain, a glistening drop of dew.
I’m not going to leave Hyderabad before I’m done with all the dewdrops around this place. There’s lot more to see. I have wasted the last one year, but I’ll not waste the next.
Labels: Experiences, Hyderabad, Translations, Travel