Hyderabadiz 2.0. Ka Adab Arz Hai

Welcome: This blog is about Hyderabad culture, land and people, "with a whole spectrum of experiences of Khatta (sour), Meetha (sweet), Pheeka (unsalted), Teekha (off), Khara (spicy), Kadva (bitter) brim with caring and lots of loving." as phrased by Mike Ghouse, a hyderabadi damad.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Hyderabad in the 60s

Back then in the early 60s, there was just one (upmarket) shopping area--Abids. Secunderabad's M.G. Road was a distant cousin, less frequented by Hyderabadiz. The Old City bazaars were very much there, mainly for bangles and pearls.
A dozen double-deckers plied merrily along on a couple of routes. There was hardly any traffic worth the name--buses, bicycles, a few two-wheelers and the odd car or jeep. We didn't know the word 'pollution' existed or what it meant. In contrast, a 5 year-old will enlighten you on the causes and effects of pollution.
Back then, Osmania Hospital took care of Hyderabad's health concerns and Gandhi of Secunderabad. There was Niloufer Hospital (where I was born in the year of grace, 1957) for kids.
It was a small contented, laid-back city, with the remains of its past Nawabi era very much in place--the Bashir Bagh palace was very much there, but was gone soon! The Begumpet Palace 'Aiwaan-e-Begumpet' was intact, as were the other palaces and larger houses. The slums of the city, inevitably, were just getting established and middle-class colonies were sprouting here and there. There was nothing of the real-estate frenzy now driving Hyderabad.
In January and up until the tenth of Feb. you had the All India Industrial Exhibition, as the prime source of entertainment. The rest of the time, the movies took over. One waited with bated breath for Wednesday nights and for Binaca Geetmala on Radio Ceylon. Cinema Posters occupied the place that hoardings do, and NTR's and ANR's fan clubs tried overdo each other--in endless bouts of tit for tat each would plaster the other's idol, just before the release of a new movie with dung-cakes!
Good times they were, when one could drink Gandipet's water and importantly, it was sufficient for the city's needs. This was the time when we forgot to plan for the future and the amnesia continues after nearly half a century! Good luck!

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