The Battle of the Cities

"Aasmaan Se Tapka, Khajoor Ke Ped Pe Latka"

How else would explain my wonderful vacation, moving from one hothouse called Delhi to another called Hyderabad? To be fair, I never thought I was going to a hill-station or Switzerland. But a cooler Hyderabad would have been so much more fun!

Cities have their own ways of growing on you. Or of not growing, but clawing at you. Either way, you cannot ignore some cities. Hyderabad is one of them. 20 years, and our love-hate match continues.

Day 1 is always the day of the bungle before the war. I emerge from the airport, all optimistic, with brushed up Telugu skills and renewed love for the hometown. Half an hour later, on the top of the long snake-like flyover, enroute to the city, the anger begins to kick in. Conversations with drivers. That's when I realize the war is on. I speak my posh, broken Telugu, and the drivers, their rude, unbroken Telugu. At some point, I try putting up a white flag and shift to Hindi politely. To no avail, because by now, the drivers realize my knack for making stupid mistakes in Telugu and they don't want to give up their entertainment half way through. So they raise their red flags, provoking me to keep dishing out more of naive Telugu. There are rare occasions when I keep shut and act like I don't know what they are talking about,  just for some fun espionage. Needless to say, it's boring.

Hyderabad - 1, Me - 0.

By Day 2, I decide to stay holed up inside the little Delhi my sister created in Hyderabad, in other words, her house. But the city has other plans. The Grandmother drags me to meet some relatives. She doesn't quite get why a 23 year old, with no plans to marry for 2 more years, wants to avoid meddlesome aunties. And I offer little or no resistance.

Hyderabad - 2, Me - 0.

Things are great inside my little Delhi. I love being able to spend time with my sister. Screw you, Hyderabad. Here, I can speak Hindi. I can listen to DK Bose and laugh. I can watch Star World. I can eat good North Indian food my sister makes.

Hyderabad - 2. Me - 1.

I visit Char Minar and Golconda. After some 12 years, I think. It was good fun, though, I don't get it, for the life of me, why those roads leading to Char Minar are so crowded on a weekday. And not one person was actually looking at the monument, except me. I even shopped for bangles, and again, I don't know why they stopped selling black metal jewellery. Instead they settle for the bright and shiny stones. I am not complaining, I got 1 pair of beautiful black metal bangles, but according to the shopkeeper's broken Hindi, it was the last in the market. Bite me.

(My rare good photography)

(This one is of the Fort.)

Hyderabad - 2. Me - 2. (Because I got the last bangle.)

In a months time, when I get back to Delhi and get busy with college life, I know I'll look back at this vacation and think about the utter laze with which I spent this one month. The joy of getting up at 10 every morning, watching unlimited tv and movies, shopping, reading, gossiping with my sister and mom. Then I'll miss Hyderabad, with all its hits and misses.

Hyderabad - Infinite. Me - Lousy 2.

I told you. Cities. They have crazy ways of growing on you.


  1. "The joy of getting up at 10 every morning, watching unlimited tv and movies, shopping, reading, gossiping with my sister and mom"..I am soo Jealous!!! How I would wish to run away from Delhi to any other place and get lost for a month.

    I agree, that love them or hate them, some cities definitiely grow on you. It's the same with me and Dehradun..No matter how much I crib about the lack of certain things there, I always miss it after I return.

  2. Lovely pic of the Golkonda there :)
    Are u/ were u in Hyd recently? Hmmpf! Whennn???Whereeee?????

  3. Well, read all your posts in chronological order today! :-) Nice blog, glad that I found you!
    Office wasn't as boring, as I decided to treat myself with your posts!

    Delhi is Delhi, When yo do a you Vs Delhi post, you'll not even try winning! :-) Been to Hyd once, and just loved the place coz of its weather, and maybe for the fact I was meeting my best friend after 2 years!

  4. theothersideoflifeThursday, June 09, 2011

    Hehee! :D
    Yeah, you are jealous of me now. Wait for a month! :)
    You know, I always thought it was so cool to have Dehra as your hometown. But I can imagine you aso going through this love-hate thing there!

  5. theothersideoflifeThursday, June 09, 2011

    Oh I am in Hyd for a month till June end. Like I said, my sister moved here. So. :)

  6. theothersideoflifeThursday, June 09, 2011

    Thank you! Much obliged! :)
    I so totally agree! Delhi is Delhi. I am already getting a feeling you are like me. Off to read your blog! :)

  7. That Char Minar pic is awesome! :) Why India has got so many languages!? Unlike China, Russia, US which have one language, we have like hundreds of them! This diversity, I don't like. Fun espionage actually sounds fun. :D but too bad that I can't do it. One drawback of growing up in the North, stuck with 2 languages. :(

  8. theothersideoflifeThursday, June 09, 2011

    I agree! So many languages is a nuisance! Knowing only 2 languages can be a handicap only in India. :)

  9. theothersideoflifeThursday, June 09, 2011

    Thank you, Harish! :)

  10. He he he I understand ... You will be fine .. once yoiu get busy .. fir delhi kya or hyderabad kya :)

    nice pics though

  11. Oh abhi to shuruwaat hei..aage aage dekho hota hei kya :D

    Been to Hyd a couple of times and loved it but then I don't know the language so Hindi/English it was and no one grave me any grief.

    Eat, sleep and show. Those are what my dreams are made up of. Have fun. :)

  12. theothersideoflifeSaturday, June 11, 2011

    Yeah! That is true! :)

  13. theothersideoflifeSaturday, June 11, 2011

    Not knowing a language is so much better than knowing one partially! :D
    I so agree. I am having so much fun right now. Dreading what's coming next!

  14. I have no clue why, but your post made me all nostalgic. And i'm not sure what i'm missing either! :D

    Aaah---vacations! THAT's what i'm missing *makes a beeline ot the husband, to cajole and convince :D*

    Nice pics, esp the second one -- love the sky! and the fort of course

  15. theothersideoflifeSaturday, June 11, 2011

    Haha! Nice. I hope you managed to convince him! :) :)
    Slight selfish motive in saying that, because if you go somewhere cool, you'll write your awesome travelogues again! :)

  16. I was there for just one day and I loved the city :)
    though I visited only malls and was around that lake...
    auto exp wasn't that good :D
    beautiful pictures :D

  17. theothersideoflifeSunday, June 12, 2011

    Thanks! :)
    Yeah! The malls are good! :)
    I come to Hyd every year, and usually end up only going from one relative's house to another. This time it's different!

  18. yes, I have that match with London all the time:)

  19. theothersideoflifeMonday, June 13, 2011

    :) Who wins?

  20. I've never been to Hyd. Always wanted to though.
    Your last line, I can't agree more!

  21. theothersideoflifeWednesday, June 15, 2011

    I can't believe I am saying this, but you should visit hyd! It's actually pretty good. :)

  22. o0o the place looks cool..i only been to karachi and have seen Hyderabad in some films...

  23. theothersideoflifeThursday, June 16, 2011

    :) You'll get your chance to see the world! :)

  24. I agree about the cities. The last line describes the phenomenon exactly.

  25. theothersideoflifeFriday, June 17, 2011

    Glad you agree! :)

  26. Lovely shots...and good to knw u are here in Hyd :) have a happy stay here ... :)

  27. Srinidhi RaghavanTuesday, June 21, 2011

    Hey. Came across your blog and just had to say nice post. :)

    I am from hyderabad, now moved to Ahmedabad. It is strange that charminar has changed so much. Even the clothes they used to sell and sell now. Sigh. :) Was nice to read this post. took me back into those tiny, over crowded streets of Hyderabad. :)

  28. Golconda looks lovely :) One place I never get tired of visiting... climbing those stairs to reach the top and staying there to be loved by the breeze.. there's some magic out there :):) Cities and their crazy way and pure lazy vacations what fun :) Just back from one, and therefore, work seems like climbing Mt Everest for the week!

  29. theothersideoflifeFriday, June 24, 2011

    Hey! Welcome back! :)
    You are from Hyd too? So many bloggers are from Hyd! :)
    I loved Golconda too. It's a lovely place with a lovely view! I know exactly how you are feeling right now. I am myself worried abt returning back to normalcy! :(

  30. Ive never been to Hyderabad. I was supposed to go there this summer and it got cancelled. Ive only wanted to go there to shop :P
    Nice pictures :)
    Yeah we live for the vacations. Its 11;45, and i just woke up :P
    Really nice blog, btw :)

  31. rahul aggarwalFriday, June 24, 2011

    the last line said it all...

    i remember when i moved between cities every 6 months or 1 yr...i'll be either in hyd or in chennai or to be in cool place pune...n finally back to chandigarh....but i loved it!!! (except for being in chennai for quite a long time...hehehehe)

  32. theothersideoflifeFriday, June 24, 2011

    Thanks Harini! :)
    Welcome here! I so totally agree on the vacations bit. I myself get up at 10 everyday! :P

  33. theothersideoflifeFriday, June 24, 2011

    Oh wow! It can be fun, you know. Moving every few years. I haven't done it personally, but it sounds like fun! :)

  34. aaaaaah.. college life and vacations!! grrrrr...
    but I guess.. I still prefer office life to college life :P assignments kick ass ya!
    and about cities growing on you.. you are right! once the city gets to know you.. things are all cool :) my intimacy with Bangalore is still going on..

  35. I am at that stage in life that a vacation is a vacation, no matter what the place. If I can get up at will and not go to work, I am on vacation!

  36. nice post !! but i still think ur gonna ditch on the entertaining part !!!

  37. Simply beautifully captured shots...lovely!

  38. theothersideoflifeWednesday, January 09, 2013

    Thanks Dew! I didn't know you are from Hyd! :)

  39. theothersideoflifeWednesday, January 09, 2013

    Hi! Welcome here!
    Glad you enjoyed the post! :)


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