This is where it all started. I was in Hyderabad on 1st September to evaluate an employment opportunity. During some spare time I went to ‘Landmark’ to browse. I chanced upon an excellent Road Atlas by TTK. While leafing through the atlas my mind regurgitated the plans I had made in the year 2000 to tour all the State Capitals of India. On the blink, I bought the atlas. Over the next few days an outline of a revised tour emerged. Later, with further inputs from friends and well wishers the program was given its present status. So, it was Hyderabad that sparked the old flame once again.
The Officers’ RH, where I was staying, has an IRCTC Catering Unit attached to it. When I ordered a cup of tea in the morning I was told that they will not be able to cater today as they have a major function to cater to elsewhere. Thus the morning tea and breakfast were sacrificed – had to make do with some biscuits as a substitute. By noon, the growls of a hungry stomach resonated even in the Golconda Fort. Therefore, a suggestion from a friend to have lunch in one of the outlets of the Hyderabad House met with a growl of approval from my stomach rather than any verbal output from me. The ‘Hyderabadi Kodi Mamsum’, Dal and crisp tandoori rotis made peace with the deprived stomach. The food was excellent, as usual.
I visited a railway official in the Divisional Railway Manager’s Office, Hyderabad to obtain the testimony of the visit. The rear side of the DRM’s office building faces the main road. It has manicured lawns and a well maintained garden. However, the front side of the building, which is the official entrance, is bare and unattractive. This building, like many other things in life, derives its aesthetic appeal from an attractive posterior!
Late in the evening I went for a walk on one of the roads leading from the Sangeeth Crossing. The attractive offers for T-shirts and other cotton garments were like a magnet – every now and then I walked into a shop and rummaged around for a while; fortunately, the non availability of either the required color or the appropriate size retained the currency notes in my wallet. The traffic is chaotic during the peak hours and I had my share of a close call.
The walk took its toll and I had to have a juice to replenish the ‘lost’ energy. The Baker’s Den made eye contact and I walked in. While waiting for the Moosambi Juice I could not help overhearing three girls on the next table discussing something animatedly and with a lot of gusto. I did not have to strain my ears too much to discern the reason for the excitement at the next table. It was the discussion of a love letter written to one of the girls by a ‘cute’ guy. They were reading out from a sheet of paper and I thought they had printed out an email. Through all the oohs and the aahs over the contents of the letter from the next table I finished my juice with a whoosh and got up to leave. I then realized that the ‘cute’ guy had actually handwritten the romantic piece in his own stylized manner – no technology for this hopeless emotional wreck, whose personal letter was being dissected in public!