Hyderabad is not a city. It’s a plastic jar. With flowers. without the handle. With water. Without the lid.
It had not grown out of nature, like a Banyan tree does. It has been planted, like a wheat plant is. It feeds well, but has shallow roots. It has many indistinguishable cousins, but has short life. Next year, a new hyderabad would be born. It’s seasonal, it’s stale.
There are some people who think that they are living. There claim of life, is almost as real as Kapil Sibal’s credibility. Most of them live in Hyderabad. In fact, on the outskirts of it. Almost all of them write code. At least, most of them think that they do so. Very few of them really do. They get paid well. They remind me of seagulls.
Then there is some water, in the lid-less jar, evaporating quickly in the dry Hyderabadi heat. Most of it full of life, like most water is. And it lives in the old town – near the Charminar – fast evaporating. But still not leaving its leisurely-ness.
And then there is Secunderabad – the colonial hangover. It is not bad. They started making plastic there. When they had enough of it, they built a jar – on the outskirts – but forgot the lid – without which the water, and with it the life, evaporates.
after a long time, you have written something i have loved.
after a long time you have written something poetic, original, surreal.
my editorial self was nitpicking as usual.
🙂 but i loved it. so here is my response …
secunderabad was where i was born. as a teenager, i used to change three buses to get to paradise for my swimming lessons. a couple of visits to the charminar. my love for busy, crowded markets bounds forth from the depths of that memory. but the sound of telugu was still very unfamiliar until i went to the united states of andhra, i mean america.
i visited hyderabad a few months ago. MMTS was what gave me the pulse of the city, or rather, the buzz of the locality i was passing through. begumpet, lingampalli, sitafal mandi. and i feel you when you describe the colonial spaces of secunderabad, or the oddly planted malls of punjagutta.
but visiting the hi tech portions of the city freaked me out. particularly the experience of traveling there via mmts. surreal because i had just witnessed the city dying away, the buildings dwarfing in size. and from crowded, cramped communities where the working masses lived, appeared these vast expanses of empty space speckled with the scepter of mnc offices.
it was one of those odd times when my romanticism came face-to-face with my reality. condemned am i to haunt these sunless corridors built newly, tentatively, on the ancestral lands and their history erased.
it is all i have. therefore, i am grateful.
This is so good, so ‘surreal’, it should either be published or shared…