View of Hyderabad from Charminar
Some cities require a guide. I would have thought Hyderabad was an urban sprawl, but from the right angle there is a fine filagree to the place. Literally, there’s some very fine silver thread work in the bazaar. And shiny shiny bangles, and strong perfume. I still have some on my wrist, I smell it to counter the smog and waves of nauseau from too much biriyani. Maybe Hyderabad’s a bit like that, you just have to know where to sniff.
I don’t. All I know is the bangle bazaar and one guy who is way too nice to me, probably because I’m paying too much. They have this lovely painted enamel bangles for Rs. 230 per two, like $7. Not cheap, but they’re pretty. You have to look, most of the bangles are in blinding rhinestone and glitter that looks like diamonds across the street and crumbles to dust in your hands. But it’s a nice street.
You can see it all from Charminar, the big, uh, giant arch straddle built to commemorate something or rather. The story I remember is of Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah’s love for a dancer and the things he built for her. That may be some myth, told by Amitabh Bhachan during the evening light show at the Golconda fort. When these sultans fall they fall hard, and they don’t send flowers.
Hyderabad is an interesting place physically, between north and south India and claimed by the breakaway state of Telangana. In town at least it seems very Muslim and the place seems equally conversant in Telegu and Hindi. It is also an IT hub, like Bangalore and I met kids working at Google and saw buildings from Tata Consultancy and stuff. A lot of the billboards are for education and jobs, which is always good.
That said, the place is concrete, smoggy and urbanized within an inch of its life. I stayed far out on a university campus with peacocks and stuff, but I think I might get claustra in the city. It’s not a pretty town. Honestly, I can’t say I even recommend visiting it unless you know someone. But if you do, there are plays, restaurants, movies, meetings, organization, jobs, schools, etc. So I guess it’s not a bad place to live.