30 December 2011

Goodbye Hyderabad: Things to do before I leave

I find myself in the same spot that I was 3+ years ago: voluntarily unemployed. This time however, it isn't quite so dramatic as moving countries and rediscovering myself. The current phase is all in the name of holy (?) matrimony. Both N and I do enjoy being solitary but I felt it was time we discovered the joys of sharing a refrigerator and closet. I am sure my readers out there who have experienced the state of sharing with a non-sibling will understand the process of adjustment I am alluding to.

Hyderabad has been a lovely city to start my professional life in. It is not a city I or my family were familiar with - we had only heard of Banjara Hills in the context of it being a classy address. Therefore my sister was most perplexed that despite not being a B-grade actor or soap opera double I was easily able to find a giant 3 bedroom place to live in here.

My apartment is on one of the several hills in Banjara Hills and thus the view from the Balcony is quite beautiful. At night drops of orange and yellow colour the asphalt and concrete. If you squint your eyes enough it looked like a large canvas of pointillism. In the morning, if it's clear enough you can see the silhouette of Golkonda Fort. Along with the visual treat, I also enjoyed audio soundtrack from the 4 mosques whose loud speakers seem to be directed right at my balcony. Harmony is not a concept their believe in, so each mosques' prayer is just a few minutes out of register. During Ramzan, the alarm clock was a gentleman on a bicycle who beat loudly on the drum attached to his cycle and rode in every lane. I did find it useful once to get up at 3am to catch an international flight.

Hyderabad also revealed to me a cuisine I had never tried much at all - andhra food. My colleagues at Office treated us to goodies from home all the time, the spice always leaving my lips on the fire and my nose fluid. Ah, but the flavours - sheer poetry of tastes and smells.

The person I will miss the most is my housekeeper. A has been very professional person who has developed into my friend and confidant. Without her, I would be ineffective. In fact the month she took off to grieve for her daughter is what drove this message home for me. She has a limited vocabulary in Hindi yet I have managed long conversations with her on almost everything. The virtue I admire most is her discretion. I am aware that household help offer advise and are convenient vectors for a disease called gossip. But A was amazing - never once asking me about my singleness or querying N's presence when we weren't married.

Last but not the least what Hyderabad has given me is a love for fabric. Hurrah for Daram.

So here's my list of things to do before I leave:
  • Shop at Evolution, Punjgutta
  • Shop at Shilaramam
  • Shop at Daram, Begumpet
  • Eat at Chutneys
  • Walk along Tank Bund
  • Eat at Southern Spice
  • Have a drink on my balcony