Soon Monday dawned, and many of you would be suffering the Monday blues. As for me, I woke up late, to find that the girls had already left for school, and Naresh Mama was ready to go to office. After a fun filled but tiring day in Ramoji, I was not ready to take one of those city tours offered by travel agencies, so me and dad decided to pay a visit to the Salarjung museum and Charminar, travelling by local conveyance.
A view of the city tour itinerary gave a dissatisfactory picture, so I suggested that me and my dad visit the aforementioned places, utilizing the local buses and the metro system. Travelling by local transport gives one a true picture of how the city runs, and it proved to be so for the rest of the day. We took a share auto to Hi tec city station, from where we caught the train to Hyderabad station. The metro system was neat and clean, and the trains looked better than the Chennai local train system, and every compartment had posters of the train route affixed above the windows, so finding out what the next stop was made things very easy for newcomers like us. Also, the train journey reminded me of my train travels to Paranur from Mambalam, to visit the MCity DC. 🙂
After we arrived at Hyderabad junction, we went on foot to the nearby bus stop, and caught yet another share auto to the museum. The museum was pretty neat and big, and the vast array of exhibits were wonderful – textiles, weapons, pottery, ivory statues, jade statues, musical clock.. it had everything one could ask for. One can’t help but admire how these items had been preserved with care, and I was totally impressed with the collection there. The ground floor contained all archaeological gems discovered or belonging to India, while the first floor hosted an array of edifices from the rest of the world. The first floor was divided into two halves, one containing all artifacts from the East and the other being home to Western art. The attraction of the museum, however, was the musical clock and the Double Statue, which was one of the most amazing wooden sculptures I had ever seen. (I am not going to elaborate on it – you have to see it for yourself). The sad part was that photographs were not allowed, but that was perfectly understandable.
We left the museum with sore legs, and headed for Charminar by auto. We reached the landmark in 10 minutes, and I embarked to the top of the building, negotiating the steep winding steps, which made my already sore legs ache further. I took several snaps of the city from the top, including the Jama Masjid and another building opposite it, as well as the long stretch of road leading to the old structure, which was dotted with several vehicles and pedestrians. There were several pigeons nestled in the interior of Charminar, and I attempted to take snaps of them and get Sandy-like photos, but my camera was no good with the slightly dark interiors. However, I did get some snaps of a congregation of pigeons on the platform after getting down with difficulty onto the main road.
We had lunch at a lone vegetarian hotel nearby, and headed off to Karachi bakery for the famed fruit biscuits. I bought one of the boxes to office on Wednesday, and the box was finished by evening. 😀 We arrived at 5 pm in the evening, totally exhausted. We had a function at another friend’s house, so reluctantly I went there, and returned at 9 pm.
Tuesday was the last day for me, and I had to catch the 7.05 pm train to Bangalore. I had only one agenda for the day – meet the Hyderabad bloggers. With Sanju’s(veerabhadra_k) directions, I took a bus to Miyapur and a share auto from there to Gachibowli; my dad accompanied me too, since I knew neither telugu nor hindi :$ :$ Sanju had assured me it would take half an hour at most to reach campus, but it took way longer than that. :@ I arrived at the campus, and arranged to meet Sanju in the old FC. The Hyderabad campus looked wonderful and the beautiful expanse of hills in the distance added an ethereal charm to the DC.
I waited for Sanju, and finally saw the bearded knight in black armour prancing up the steps towards me. 😛 We had known each other for a long time through blogs and communicator, and our personal interaction hit off right away. Sanju called the ‘sisters’ Arch, Sow and Sushie to inform about my arrival, and I felt they did not believe him at first. Anyway, we engaged in chit chat, while waiting for them.
Finally, a tall damsel walked to where we were seated, and I recognized the legend of the fall and the MVP of Infyblogs miss Sow(sowmya_chigarapalle) 😛 She looked just like the out-of-the-blue user picture she had once kept before reverting to the Susie Derkins one. We exchanged deferential greetings, and made chit chat as usual, with Sanju cracking silly jokes.
From behind me, Arch(archana_pochiraju) walked to our place, her face betraying signs of overwork. She smiled faintly at me, as we exchanged greetings again (uh!). The first thing I asked her was “Are you very busy today?” (she always keeps her communicator status as busy, but you never know!), and Sanju interjected, saying it was all a farce. 😀 Arch and Sanju had a mild verbal battle, with the former telling the latter to shut up repeatedly.Later, i found out why she looked so dreamy that day. Seems she and hari(narahari_allamraju) are getting married!
Then the three of them threw a glance besides me, and I knew the basilisk had arrived! Sushie(sushma_tumukunta) came to our table finally, and I was startled to see her looking so quiet and demure, unlike the fiery specs toting girl in her user pic. 😀 Soon we all were talking about different stuff, and Sow asked about my work and having RB as a manager. Sushie appeared to be totally quiet, and the reasons were not known until she told me the next day. 😀 However, I was excited to finally meet the people whom I had always kept in touch for approximately 8-9 months. I also used this opportunity to make fun of Sanju, even mimicking his baby ‘rapper’ photo 😛 .Though the meet lasted only twenty minutes, as I had to rush back soon, these folks made it a memorable day for me. I left the campus after taking some snaps of us together. However, I missed meeting Jaya, who later said she had not received my message about my arrival at all. 😦
My train was due at 7.05, so my dad suggested to take the 5.40 Limited Stop train to my station, Kacheguda, as mentioned in the time table. However, to our consternation, we realized the train stopped at Secunderabad, and it was NOT a limited stop train. 😐 So we arrived at Secunderabad at 6.30, and discovered the local train would come only later. In panic mode, we dashed to the auto stand, and after a minute of squabbling with the auto driver, who was charging us 100 bucks to take us to Kacheguda, we were on our way, as I kept looking at my watch, watching the minutes pass by. Thankfully, our driver was very resourceful, and he navigated through several shortcuts, dropping us at the station at 6.55! I walked hurriedly to my platform, and reached my compartment finally, wiping the sweat from my face as the station clock displayed ‘7:01’ in bright red letters. The Bangalore-Chennai trip on Friday was eclipsed by this near miss, totally! I sent a message to Sow, with the lines
“I have had enough excitement for four days!”
Thus ends my Hyderabad sojourn. I have had several fond memories from the short stay in the pearl city, and was reluctant to leave it actually! I will miss playing with Aditi and Shruti, and the local train. 😦
P.S. Check my internal blog for photos on the trip. I am not gonna post in such a public domain. 🙂