On Being a Hyderabadi

I call myself a Hyderabadi because in my tender (!) formative years, I spent my time in and around Hyderabad. Picked up the lingo, which is pure fun to listen to (I know purists may disagree), and speak. Also picked up an easy-going lifestyle, which after Goa's sussegad is probably the best way to live (again, workaholics or generally disagreeable types may choose to disagree).

Eating Hyderabadi biryani comes next. You can't take the biryani out of a Hyderabadi. It has to be accompanied by Mirchi ka Saalan to make it completely fulfilling (why do I hear folks salivating?). It can be eaten at any time of the day, or night. Irani chai, likewise. And during Ramzaan, haleem is added to the regular menu.

Movies in a Hyderabadi cinema hall used to be a treat. Great theatres, numbering about 100, rivalled only by Bangalore at the time. I still remember seeing Anand (and Damaad) in Navrang, and Sholay in Ramakrishna 70 mm (at this time I was in Hyderabad Public School), Don in Tarakarama, and Chitchor in Ramakrishna 35 mm. There were a few theatres that only screened English films, like Sangeet in Secunderabad and Skyline in Basheerbagh. Probably Tivoli as well. When I was at Osmania engg. college, we used to return by a midnight local train to Jamai Osmania station, and walk back to our hostel after a late-night show. I must have seen enough Hindi films to do a Ph.D. on them.

Abids was the main shopping area at the time, though shopping was not my forte. The Birla Mandir came up on what was called Naubat Pahad earlier. Masab Tank where my Uncle and cousin stayed was a regular haunt. Tarnaka where my aunt lived was another. There was a Fever Hospital somewhere near Nallakunta where I also lived briefly, and an Erramanzil on the way to my school's earlier location. I saw a comic play called Adrak ke Panje in Hyderabadi at the Ravindra Bharati, a landmark, and it was hilarious! The film Karz released when we were about to finish college, and we saw it to celebrate the end of a chapter of our lives.


Diamond Head said...

Golconda fort and revamped Falaknuma palace were memorable sights to see with the daughter few summers ago.

Rajendra said...

I saw Golconda only a few years ago (Chowmohalla Palace too) and haven't been to Falaknuma yet. Ghar ki murgi, I guess..

Harimohan said...

The best thing about watching movies in the single screen theatres was the comments that floated about in pure Hyderabadi. It was bliss. Like the Haryanvi sens eof humour, the Hyderabadi sense of humour was unique - mischievous, direct and irreverent. Its fading away. I wish I had a few recordings of it.

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