Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hyderabad Diary: Traditions in a Modern City

Sabarimala Sojourn: If you are in Hyderabad (or anywhere in South India) and you see your boss wearing all blacks (and I don't mean 'The Matrix' attire), an ordinary full sleave shirt and a simple pant and barefooted, don't passout! He has no plans of going to any asylum nor is he mourning, he is just planning a trip to the shrine of Lord Ayyappa in Sabrimala.

He will call you 'Swami' and you will have to do the same, call him 'Swami'. He will be having only one meal a day that would have been cooked by himself or by someother Swami. He won't be clipping nails, or shaving or even going for a haircut. And all this for at least 41 days! So if you thought that you could go to Sabrimala for a picnic, just dump that idea.

Every year millions of devotees throng to this famous and recently controversial shrine where entry of women between 10 and 50 years is banned because it is said Lord Ayyappa was a 'brahmachari'. Nothing against Him but I won't ever want to get a glimpse of a God whose 'Purohits' have such a sexist mindset.

City Lights: Reliance Industries started their retail foray by launching Reliance Fresh stores in Hyderabad. The company plans to open 40 stores in Hyderabad of which 17 are operational. One of them is just across the road from my apartment.

The city also boasts of India's first specialized convention center (the company calls it South Asia's best, I don't vouch for that) Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) developed by a joint venture between Dubai's Emaar Properties and Andhra Pradesh Investment Infrastructure Corporation. A new airport is coming up. This year's Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas and visit of US President also added to the high profile of the city.

I think Hyderabad has a significant edge over its South Indian counterparts like Chennai, Bangalore and Trivendram. There is no political/linguistic chauvenism like Chennai, no infrastructure bottle necks like Bangalore and no labor problems like Trivendram. Though uneven development of state and Telangana issue are definite party poopers. Just hoping that Government manages to sustain the development, not only of the city but also of whole state.


Vaibhav said...

Nice one !! Ya, traffic system is going to create a problem soon !

Neha Bhardwaj said...

Nice Blog !! I hope your boss hasn't yet decided to go to Sabrimala :-)...