Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hyderabadi Spitters – Can you beat them?

I am a Hyderabadi and proud to be one!

I love Hyderabad, which is aptly called the city of Nizams…Pearls…Information Technology. I cannot dream of living anywhere else in the world, despite the heat and dust; water and electricity problems. It is one such city where the poorest of poor can survive and the richest of the rich can splurge their money on anything exotic; reminiscent of the name Bhagyanagar, the earlier name of Hyderabad.

It is a historical city, famous for Charminar, Golconda, Hussain Sagar Lake, and Salarjung Museum, Qutub Shahi Tombs, Falukhnuma Palace and many more historical splendors. The modern city of Hyderabad is famous for its Hi-tech city, which houses the major IT Companies; Birla mandir, Ramoji Film City, NTR Park, Snow World and countless shopping malls and IMAX Theaters.

The people of Hyderabad are famous for their hospitality and welcome strangers into their homes. Every acquaintance is a friend. But do not expect us to know our neighbour’s house address (i.e. because they are numbered in an erratic manner by the municipal authorities). We always maintain the “Hyderabadi Standard Time” whenever and wherever we go, which is always at least an hour late. So if you actually want your invitees to be on time, then make sure to prefix "Sharp”. And when your typical Hyderabadi friend or cousin says, he will be at your place in 10 minutes, and then it means, easily after 2 or 3 hours or sometimes will never arrive. But now, mobile phones are a boon, at least we can call and confirm 'KIDAR HAI RE' (where are you?).

To speak in the Hyderabadi Deccani dialect is a delight. If you find that the auto driver is trying to swindle you, just say“KY KU BHAI NAYE DHIKRE KYA” (Why brother, do I look new to this town?) or “HAWLE SAMAJHRE KYA” (You think I am crazy). He will know you were born and brought up here. I always find this particular anecdote very funny. We arrived from Bangalore early in the morning at the Kachiguda Railway Station, Hyderabad and were flocked by a few auto drivers. One of them demanded for RS. 250/- to drop us home, where as it generally costs RS.85/- only, and my husband promptly replied “HAME AUTO NAHE KHAREDNA BHAI” (We don’t want to buy your auto). I just couldn't control my laughter. That poor guy received an early morning jolt and walked away from us. If you are shopping at Sultan Bazaar, General Bazaar or Charminar, ask the street vendor "KYSA DERE" (For how much will you give?)Or "KITNE KO" (For how much?) and then bargain hard KAM KARO JI (Reduce the price) and if the vendor does not agree, then say "NOKKO" (Don't want) and walk away. There is every possibility, he or she will call you back and you get the best deal.
What embarrasses me as a Hyderabadi? It is the most common sight in Hyderabad; the open air peeing by our Hyderabadi men folk. It is a great relief that the MCH (Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad) took the initiative of setting up 700 public toilets in Hyderabad and Secunderabad, to commemorate the birth anniversary of our "Father of the Nation - Gandhiji" on October 2, 2006.

Second to none are our
Hyderabadi Spitters. You will find PAAN (BETEL LEAF) stains (red coloured betel, tobacco & saliva chew) everywhere, on the walls, vehicles, roads, sometimes on our clothes too. You will find everybody and anybody spitting. The famous spitting zone is the corners near the stairs at any Government or private buildings. This, of course is not exclusive to Hyderabad, but is prevalent in other parts of India. But as a Hyderabadi, I speak for Hyderabad only.

To prevent or rather save the walls, people of Hyderabad are taking the help of Gods. The possible target areas are adorned with tiles of different Gods. So when you climb the stairs of some buildings in Hyderabad, you will find Lord Ganesha smiling at you, Lord Shiva in meditation, Sai Baba blessing, Lakshmi Devi showering gold coins, etc.

I am wondering, now that we have Gods on our side, can we beat the Hyderabadi Spitters?


Kaustubh said...

Hmm...not sure if the strategy suggested by Munnabhai will work. I oughtn't be saying this, but that seems like wishful thinking.

By the way, everyone seems to have an interesting anecdote about the auto-wallahs, don't they? A topic for another day, maybe.

Hey, I haven't seen half the places you mentioned, in Hyderabad. I guess this way I can truly call myself a Nawabi (read lazy) Hyderabadi :P

Manjula said...

No doubt Kaustubh u r a true blue Nawabi Hyderabadi! Pull ur socks up and see some places before u push off to the US.

Ravi said...

I have the privilige of living an equal number of years in Hyderabad and Pune and the rest dotted over various places in India, the phenomenon of piddling in public and spitting at corners is universal to us Indians.

And Kausthub, I even doubt u have been to Indra Park that is next door to ur place.
Maj H Ravi Ramamurthy

Sudhakar said...

What a lovely post about Hyderabad. It made me nostalgic and the autowala's conversations are real fun.

You missed Irani cafes, aren't you?

Manjula said...

I haven't been to a Irani cafe, so the miss, of course, Hyderabadi guys and Irani cafes-chai is a must. :)

Kaustubh said...

Ravi dada...I've got an excuse for not being around in Hyderabad though. You see, I was in Chennai during that phase of life where people generally loiter around the city!

Ok, don't ask me what all places have I been to in see, I was too busy studying ;)

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