Hyderabad, for me, was a city existing on the South of India. It's identity was known to me through the textbooks which I had studied while in school. The land of Nizam's, a booming IT hub and the home to the all famous Charminar and VVS Lakshman came on the top of my mind when someone mentioned Hyderabad.
Until 18 Jan 2005.
After joining my organization in Bangalore, India on Sept 2004, I was transferred to the Hyderabad through an email communication on fine January morning. Most of my friends were transferred to Pune, a location close to my home town, Mumbai. And this choice of Hyderabad didn't go well down with me.
On a chilly winter morning, 18th Sept 2005, I reached Secunderabad station. With just a couple of friends and handful of known faces, there wasn't much to cheer about. I found myself very bored for the first three months, throwing myself into work. And this is when I made my first impression of Hyderabad.
Hyderabad was known for it's Biryani's. The Paradise Biryani, I think, is the most famous among the local stalwarts. For me, it's still a folklore. The city was dotted with huge billboards, unlike anything I had seen in living memory. King size posters of film stars adorned just every street in Hyderabad.
The Hyderabad heat was intense. Adding to it were the rocky parts of the city, including the way to my office in the IT hub of the city. And incidentally, Hyderabad sits on the Deccan Plateau.
After a few months, I was allocated to an assignment in Mumbai. I stayed there for 2 years, followed by a half year stint in a foreign country. Only to be back to Hyderabad in Jan 2008.
The return to Hyderabad was not very exciting. It was not something I looked forward to eagerly. However, I decided to go with the flow of time.
And since then, till today, I have been here in Hyderabad. Over the years, Hyderabad gave me a lot of friends and special friends. It was here that I reached professional highs and lows. It was here that I reached personal highs and lows. I would be lying if I don't say that a bit of my life was shaped here.
Different friends brought in different perspectives of life. They asked probing questions. They came up with interesting and helping answers. They showcased a beautiful approach to life. All these have influenced me in some way or other.
Over the years, Hyderabad has grown a lot. Big offices dot the city skylines. The modes of transports have undergone a change and improvement. Malls and shopping centers crowd various parts of the city.
Hyderabad had its own dialect of Hindi, and just about every Hyderabadi talked in the language. If it's unknown to you, you should catch up with the movie Angrez.
Late night stays at the office to over night stays at a friends place, lunches, dinners, an occasional movie characterized my stay here. Being alone, I spent my days and nights, looking into my laptop. I captured my life and its travails in my blog. The T struggle and the endless days of T Bandh's went right through my eyes.
For many people across the country, Hyderabad is a tourist location. Somehow, I hardly saw any places in and around Hyderabad. Charminar's location is still a mystery to me. And so are many other landmarks in the city. The only familiar landmark I remember visiting is the Hussian Sagar lake and the majestic Buddha statue in the middle of the lake.
And today, as I decide to shift base from Hyderabad, I have tons of memories to take away with me. I will definitely find myself recollecting various experiences I underwent while I was here.
A friend asked me yesterday - Will you miss Hyderabad? While I know not, I know one thing for sure - I will definitely miss my friends. These friends made me feel at home, while I was away from home. And I am very thankful to them.
As I conclude, I don't think it would be apt to say Khuda Hafiz Hyderabad. For all that it was shown me and given me, it would be most suitable to say - Salaam Hyderabad.
Salaam Hyderabad Reviewed by Vyankatesh on Sunday, September 30, 2012 Rating: