Mumbai

People creeping

at every corner

Like squirming millipedes

chastised to the compound walls

Beyond any Home, Much Much..

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Hyderabad regales

Six months of Hyderabad and I love the city like no other. Hyderabad is truly regal. The taste and sense of design of the people is exquisite. I have never before seen so many houses that incorporate so many architectural elements, the patio, the driveway, such tall pillars, or the use of cupola and such ornamental elements in domestic construction. It only goes to show how deep the Nawabi lifestyle is infused among His people too. Their sense of style, aesthetics and class can be seen in the lavish spread of garments, jewellery and most importantly Food.

Luckily, I was put up in Jubilee Hills which is like the most posh area in Hyderabad. This place is flooded with pubs and resto-bars, again very aesthetic and quirky. There was this one place Fat Pigeon which had a rooftop seating that was so variegated- you could choose from stools, wrought iron chairs, benches or swings. The idea of a swing to be drinking in was amazing. Hyderabad has so many rooftop places maybe because part of the city is hilly so that you get a view from the crest tops and also because it never gets as clammy as in Chennai, the weather is quite pleasant for most of the year.

Hyderabad is in this most enjoyable transition from a spacious city to a metropolitan space. There is a huge space waiting to be developed, encroached in other words. But for the diversion owing to metro construction, there's no real traffic or congestion to complain of. The road space is adequate for its load of vehicles and people. The people of Hyderabad have a commendable civic sense. The seats reserved for the old and handicapped are never occupied by the undeserving, fully able people. That says a lot about the attitude of the city towards the public commons. While in Chennai drunk men fiercely refuse to budge from ladies' seat.

Hyderabad is a shoppers' paradise. The variety of textiles and the prices completely floors you. The scent of royalty in the Charminar and Mozzamjahi market area is palpable. A number of Ittar shops make true this metaphor. Ramzan truly enlivens the place and harps of all its glam and glory.

If Hyderabad was a person, it would be a very warm, effusive, impressive and richly decked specimen of the human nature. So enamouring is the city that you only wish you were not robbed of your regal rendezvous in those two pitiless scorching months of summer.

Squirmy situations

I just read an article titled “Mind your own womb”. It spoke of how different women have such elaborate reasons and stories for having or not having children.

So often, the questions that are but a casual enquiry leave you in a fix where you don’t know how much to lie and how much to reveal. Particularly in India where there is no one sense of what is personal. Starting with the simple “How are you?”. I agree it’s a routine civil enquiry meant in all goodwill but is the question ever meant as seriously as to elicit a honest response? No one is fine all the time. But are you ever prepared to hear anything but that?

People always ask me why I don’t smile. When it’s actually more a rhetoric than a real willingness to know, I can’t be explaining my inability to. There is more to things than meets the eye. I can’t smile because though I might appear as normal as anyone, I suffer from facial palsy which means that not all my facial muscles are in my control. This is not a fairly known thing so it’s not as easy as saying that I’m deaf or blind. The mood of the answer is diametrically opposite to the question which comes amidst a crowd as a light remark. Answering in earnest would make the atmosphere an irrelevant sorry state which is not a desirable thing to do.

Similarly there is this colleague of mine who refused to come out in front of us all and demonstrate marching. Everyone thought he was just being arrogant. But I only later discovered that he had problem of coordination between his lower limbs. This made me realize how many of the things we think are casual enquiries end up prying the deepest recesses of one’s life. Many times have I asked my friends why they aren’t having a child yet. Reading the article I wondered how many sore wounds I might have scratched.

India can’t be India if not for its teeming humanity. We care much for our neighbors and friends and colleagues. That’s why we talk but we should be careful to not pry. Not everybody is comfortable talking about their self and their problems. In fact, people feel embarrassed without sufficient cause. Nonetheless, employing some caution would help in not hurting someone unintentionally.