My Hyderabad Trip – A Prelude

It was utter madness. I didn’t make any plans for the first time. And I thought I’d be okay and I jumped right in. There were so many bloopers because things were not the same. I was not the same. None that I went there for were the same. We all wanted to give it a try for old times sake.

For the most part, it was memorable. There were few instances and places I wish I never went to. Well, some were by choice and some were inevitable. But 12 days was not an ideal timeframe to go back to 21 years of missing my roots and where this sapling was born and raised.

Just like any part of the world, the immigration in India was not conducive for short people like me. The biometric was so high up that no matter how much force I put, the ghosts of my fingerprints were not getting captured. My constant pleas to the immigration officer to press them with my approval turned into declines but with smiles. There started my journey of where I left. Precisely, in similar circumstances.

Did I say, I changed and people there, changed. I was proven wrong quickly. Some things did not change. In my excitement to relieve myself of the 15+ hours of not peeing, I had the luck of going to the lone floor toilet and being confused on what to do with the bidet. It is not being posh but it was simply a paradigm shift that I had to revolutionize in my head.

From what I learned later, that was the only toilet on that side of the airport that was not changed to Western. For the uninitiated, floor toilets are good for your gut health. Now that I was quickly re-trained, I imagined everything else would be a cake-walk, like I never left. This girl was in for the wildest ride of her life.

I was in awe of the expansion of the city, the infrastructure, but still dumbfounded at the traffic. Apparently, if a flyover or an underpass even if it has been completed (for ages) cannot be opened for public use until a certain KTR inaugurates. He happens to be the IT minister. What has he to do with the department of transportation is a mystery to me! Tuglak phenomenon anyone?

The old city as usual lies in the very neglected state as it was 20 years ago. But who am I to visit in eons and make these comments unless I want to do something about it? And I will. I just don’t know how yet. If only the elderly can vacate their seats for public office and make way for the young who really want to make a difference. Did I also hear the local government is going to come back for the third time?

May be, someone like my Akhil and his group of friends who selflessly took on my legacy tasks. If he can do that for a complete stranger like me, I can only imagine what he can do for the community. These group of youngsters were my pillars of strength in my entire 12 days in Hyderabad. “No segment in the society can match with the power, idealism, enthusiasm and courage of the young people.” Is anyone listening?

And, I’d be selfish if I didn’t thank my doctor and Attorney General cousins, my friends of nearly 30 years whose affection remains irrefutable, my mom’s neurologist, My co-sister and brother-in-law, a mischievous Hungover and a dear Rosarian for standing by me during the lowest and last 2 days. There were many others I wanted to catch up, mend relationships but I couldn’t. Yet, there were some that I carefully avoided.

I added few funny occurrences too for my stand-up routines. At a second immigration stop, the officer refused to acknowledge that it is the same person in the passport and that standing in front of them. I had to pull multiple state issued IDs before they started to mention how pretty I was in person and even that I’m 50 kgs (not lbs) lighter. They could tell it all.

There was this visit to the “Statue of Equality” where there was nothing equitable. I saw the sloppy inconsistency where women were not allowed to wear jeans into the temple, while men walked right past in the most ragged, torn, dirty and despicable jeans. I intentionally wore jeans so I can stand there and argue. Alas, those with me didn’t let me! I’d rather not go into any temple whose representation of God is nothing but a deceit.

This post comes as a prelude to many more memories that I am yet to pen. I did what I could for those that mattered. My mother seems to be dealing with the rumblings of many disgruntled but my choices were sturdy. I’m very proud of myself for taking charge of unguarded moments and enjoying those that were frivolous.

Just when my book “Black Canopy” the English form of “Kala Dera”, the slum I grew up across is taking shape, I am reminded of Thomas Wolfe’s “You Can’t Go Home Again”. How I wish I can rediscover my birthplace with newborn love and hope, and perhaps not wait another 21 years. At the end of the entire trip, I was just glad to enjoy the white throne at a place I call “home”.

Published by Quotidian Blessing

InfoSec Director|WIT Mentor-Protege Vice Chair|ATA Convention Women's Forum Chair|Published Poet

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