Thursday, April 24, 2008

A shiny new city

For those of you Hyderabadis, "old city" is a very familiar term. But today I witnessed the "new city" side to Hyderabad for the first time.

My dad was feeling much better and they said he could go home yesterday so I booked myself on a flight this morning. But unfortunately, they didn't let him go home last evening. I really wanted to come back only after my Dad was safe at home:( D proposes, hospital rejects. Damn! But my mom is around so I was a little less worried in coming back.

I called the cab at 6 AM although the flight was at 9.40 AM just to be safe. In case the cabbie is late etc. He arrived promptly at 5.45 AM. And I was the one that was late according to him now;) Left around 6.40 AM as per the plan and turned that left at JNTU.

This place has transformed. Completely. No, and I am not talking about JNTU, that the university transformed, I bore witness to in 2004 itself. I am talking about that back-road by the side of JNTU. Its now the new "path" to Hi-Tech city and the sole reason why Kukatpally's real estate has gone through the roof.

I saw them. Those hitherto unseen apartment multiplexes. People jogging. Newspaper boys delivering. Milk vans coming and going. Life. There is life in parts of Hyderabad now, that were not even Hyderabad once (BHEL guys used to actually say they were "going to the city" when they went to Kothi, to think that BHEL is well within the city limits now is simply unbelievable).

The traffic was a dream and so was the road. I keep telling people, if anything, in the last 7 years, Hyd's roads have improved overall. Of course there are bad roads, there are good roads, there are worse roads and there are just potholes disguising themselves as roads. But I am talking overall picture here. Its improved. Definitely. Way better.

It took me 50 mins to reach the airport and I was almost 2 hours ahead of time :( We took Kukatpally-JNTU-Hitec-City-Gachi Bowli-Mehdipatnam-NH7 to the airport. 40 KMs. 50 mins. I say, not bad at all. The infrastructure is at least good enough to allow faster vehicles to go faster. Of course the perils when there is traffic is a different story altogether but purely from an infrastructure point of view, this city has developed leaps and bounds and I am proud of it.

When you discover a new city, you don't expect anything ahead of time from it. You haven't seen it before, everything is new and there is something to learn in every corner. But when you have to re-discover your home, your city, it often comes with awe, wonder, surprise, shock and definitely a tinge of sadness. After all, change is hard to digest. And you have to first unlearn before you learn. You have to first let go before you embrace. Will I be able to do that with Hyderabad? Maybe yes, maybe no. But I love that city too much to give up without trying :) And thankfully, at least the areas of the city I associated with haven''t changed dramatically, I've seen the most dramatic changes happen in front of my eyes, the fly-overs. Excepting that, not that much has changed.

And that makes it easier to adapt back to it :)


Anonymous said...

Go Hyderabad:)

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