Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hallowed Hyderabad

Hyderabad as seen from Golconda

The Buddha Statue at Husainsagar Lake

It was at least 4 feet long

Sridhar, proud of the age of the lake

My trip to Hyderabad made me miss two much awaited things in TIFR* – The terrace party and Republic Day. Yet I have no regrets that I chose a Biophysics symposium over a week that I would never get back.

My train arrived exactly on time at Hyderabad Station. A very jovial driver stood outside the station with a placard proudly proclaiming CCMB (Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biophysics). He said that we were waiting for more delegates arriving by the same train, and after some time I was quite happy to see a known face walking towards the car. Another student from TIFR, and I didn’t even know that he was coming as well! The Bong connection immediately worked with Shashwat and we yapped away to glory the entire week, at least for the time I spent at the accommodation CCMB provided.

I spent quite a bit of time away from the symposium, and Sridhar made my visit absolutely worth it. Sridhar is a friend from Stephen’s, who after returning from Oxford, is now waiting to choose between the top schools in the world for a PhD. But people who know him know that that’s not what makes him special. His spontaneity (which some mistake for rudeness), his characteristic demeanor (which some call clumsiness) and his hair (which he thinks is a fashion statement) are some of the things that make him Sridhar. He must drop the samosa once before eating it, drop the cigarette on the road twice before smoking it, and must spill tea on his pants in the middle of a seminar and then elegantly sit with one leg neatly covering the stain, as if nothing at all has happened. I met him almost everyday I was in Hyderabad, and along with extensive touristy sightseeing, Go-Karting and snow-ball fighting (yes one can do that in Hyderabad), we relived those wonderful days of the not so distant past in Delhi.

There was a lot to learn in Hyderabad. I learnt that one plate is NEVER for one person. A plate of biriyani would serve at least five and one paper masala dosa is not less than four feet long. I also have been able to conclude why so many people make it to the U.S. from Andhra Pradesh: It’s the magic of The Visa Temple (less popularly known as the Chilukur Balaji Temple). One must make 8 rounds of the temple before and 108 rounds after one receives the transcendental permission to leave. Sridhar also learnt a few things: his life is no longer restricted to the area of influence of the 113M Bus Route (he would even follow the bus in his car lest he would get lost); he realized that the laser show at Lumbini Gardens is not really a must watch; and he now knows that he could “lose” the clutch if he laughed too much while driving and the car would violently shake in protest.

And yes, the symposium was rewarding as well (in parts at least). I presented my work to a large audience from different fields in science, I interacted with a lot of people from all over the country and I learnt how to switch off in a talk while staring blankly at the screen. It’s more practical and less shameless than closing your eyes and switching off.

*TIFR - Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai


deepteshpoetry said...

I found this really cool. And chk out my new poem.Pls

Angika said...

Nice :) Now I'm really looking forward to seeing Sridhar. The part where he spilled the tea and folded his legs to cover the stain was too funny :D

Sudarsan said...

Scale bar on dosa pic? Claims vastly exaggerated.

Fortune Park Hotels Ltd said...

There are very few cities in India that can boost of a rich legacy and unique and exciting diversity as that of Hyderabad. Be it the fascinating and captivating forts and ancient monuments, the inimitable existence of the age old culture of the Nawabs, the delicious and mouth watering Hyderabadi cuisine, or the new born hard core business aspect, every facet of this city is a persona in itself. Emerging like a phoenix as the next big thing in the Indian business circle, the hotels in Hyderabad have also upgraded to compete with any international hotel on a given day. Most of the premium Hyderabad hotels have all the standard business features although there are exclusive Business hotels in Hyderabad nowadays and the number is ever increasing. Recently the Andhra Pradesh government gave the 24-hour liquor license to the four star, five star and the five-star deluxe hotels in Hyderabad. This step has brought the Hyderabad hotels nearer to the standards of the international hotels.

little boxes said...

nicely written...and pretty pics :)
congratulations,by the way.

sujaan said...

congrats for wat?

Arkarup Banerjee said...

nicely written..liked it. and the art of switching off and yet looking attentive is a skill one needs quite often :)

anirudh.go said...

chill madi ;-)
btw i love paper dosa

Ranga said...

Agreed on all about Chash, 'coz I was blessed with his prescence a few days after your stay at Hyd. Vintage Chash in flowing hair and tilted head! Good to know that you had fun

sourik_poetsparadise said...

hello sujaan
this is Sourik. I am a poet.
I found your blog today.
It would be nice if you too drop by my blog someday and leave your comments on my poems.

I would be waiting for your comments :) :)

Wishing you good luck!!!

Deeptesh said...

I've one more poem on deepteshpoetry.When will u chk it out?

Deeptesh said...

What about my poem?