Images from Hyderabad

Resident pigeons of Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad practising synchronised flights.

Charminar, as it appears from a glass vendor cart shop. There are 23,479 other vendors around selling everything you can think of!

Mrs. and Mr. Partha Chakraborty in front of Hussain Sagar Lake a.k.a Tank Bund. Thank you once again for being such wonderful hosts.

5 reasons why Hyderabad is better than Bangalore

I went to Hyderabad to meet my friend Partha-da. He has been asking me to come over for a weekend for a long time. Finally I managed to visit them (Partha-da and his wife Joyeeta). First impression of Hyderabad: I loved the city. Here are five reasons why:

1. Auto wallas: In three days, I haven’t faced a single refusal; neither have I seen any haggling for fare. In fact, one of them took a few rupees less since I didn’t have change! And all of them speak Hindi, unlike the Bangalore rickshaw walla, who sometime conveniently forgets how to speak Hindi!

2. Food: Oh, the Biriyani! And then there is the biriyani! And some more! Can’t get enough of it. In three days, I had biriyani thrice :-)

3. Service: I am talking about food service here. The service received in every restaurant in Hyderabad is excellent, even in very small restaurants. These guys know how to serve.

4. Infrastructure: Hyderabad scores way above Bangalore when it comes to infrastructure. The roads are better and the flyovers really help. Going to Hi-tech city took less then 20 minutes from Tank Bund. One should go to hi-tech city to see how well they have set up that place.

5. Recreation: Anywhere I went, there were not too many people, surprisingly for a weekend. In and around Hussainsagar lake, there are three public gardens, one food court, one multiplex-cum-shopping complex, one water park(under construction) and boating facilities. There are other heritage places as well like the Golconda fort, Charminar and the museums. Not like Bangalore where there are three places to visit: M.G. Road, Garuda mall and Forum mall.

My first visit to Hyderabad was thoroughly enjoyable, thanks to Partha-da and Joyeeta.
Their home cooked food will give very tough competition to the excellent hyderabadi food, if they ever decide to open a food joint. And all the cooking happened in between roaming with me tirelessly! Thank you so much. I was also very glad to meet Alok Sinha (ex-colleague from Hughes) after a long time. Also managed to go to the IBM office in hi-tech city. Nice set-up. Thanks to Kailash for the last biriyani at Paradise 30 minutes before the bus left. Photos will take some time. Till then...


April 13, 1919, Jalianwala Bagh, Amritsar, India: British Indian Army soldiers, under instructions from General Dyer, open fire on a peaceful gathering killing many.

April 13, 2006, Bangalore, India: “Mourners” mourning the death of Kannada film idol Rajkumar, create a riot, killing few, injuring many and causing widespread damage to property, both public and private.

87 years ago, we blamed it on one person for the senseless killing. Who do we blame now? I see an entire population of a city losing all sense because an ex-actor died at age 77, due to heart failure, for which he was receiving treatment anyway. Shame on you, Bangalore.

Have you eaten anything?

We are obsessed with food. I am. I like eating out and trying out different things at different places. In general, I think, all of us in India are. It is a common question to ask in India: “Have you eaten something?” or “What did you have for lunch?” This is asked to mere acquaintances too. We were discussing cultural differences today during a clinic on culture training and this topic came up. You know, how Americans don’t understand that it is to show concern about them. For them, it’s more like “None of your business”.

While we were discussing this, I remembered, one of my friend had this habit of calling early morning (early for me – they call it afternoon) and starting the conversation with “Have you had anything to eat?” Being a close ended question, it had two answers. If I answered “Yes”, inevitably the next question would be “What did you have?” If I had answered “No”, the following question would be “Have something. What will you have?” Uuurrrggghhhhh!!! And this happened for more than a month. I know, she meant well and cared… but I couldn’t take it any more. One day, I told her “Listen, I have been out of my home for the last six years (that time), and my mom doesn’t ask me if I have eaten or not. You know why? Because I am healthy; I take care of my body and I love eating” Fortunately, the questioning stopped. Later sometimes she would ask me impulsively “Have you eaten…. oops, sorry!” … and I would be like “It’s OK. You can ask another question… and for the records, I have eaten”.

Here I am

Many friends have been telling me that I haven’t written in a while. Well, it’s not entirely true. I did write a very emotional blog entry after looking at this picture by Deepti Siwal. This painting has many meanings for me. Unfortunately, I became too emotional and the writing became too personal for me to publish. I was generally sad for a few days because of what I wrote. That I was not well for a few days did not help me get over it either. You know, when I am not physically well, I tend to think about old painful experiences! Sometimes I wish I could write better so that everyone could understand what I am thinking by reading my writings.

Anyway, all is well now. Saturday, Kailash and I went for some shopping to Commercial Street. Basically, it was a long walk doing nothing. Well, almost. I bought a pair of hiking shoes from Woodland. We ended up walking down through Brigade road to Garuda mall on Macgrath Road. Moved to CMH Road Casa Piccola just in time for dinner. Arun joined us there. Samarth and Anu went to Beach (restaurant on 100 ft road, Indiranagar) with Amit (Junior), Dheeraj and Ritu (Dheeraj’s wife). After dinner, we all met outside Beach and went to Café Coffee Day. We relaxed over desserts and hookah! Bad habit, boys! Give up smoking!

Sunday was another relaxed day. We got Arun’s car washed and minor repair work done. Had an early dinner at, no prizes for answering, Casa Piccola. Try anything there, except probably, fish – and you are bound to like it. Wiener schnitzel, Pot pie, Casserole, Fritters, Steak … anything, it’s good. Even vegetarians like Arun and Anu like their dishes. Anyway, I think, if I wrote anymore, people would start asking me about how much Casa paid me.

This week, at office, I am going through a training on facilitation skills. So, I go in the afternoon and come back at 11. Nice shift! For a change, I eat breakfast and dinner both!