I love Hyderabad. I was born and raised here. I would have loved it even if I were not born here! Despite many opportunities to move away and having spent over a decade in the US, I could never leave because it is a city which can accommodate unconditionally.
As I look around this festive season, I ask myself: Is this a hysteric city? A historic city, a melting pot of all things spice and nice, for sure! Be it Superstar Salman Khan’s sister Arpita’s lavish wedding to the glorious Dussehra we just witnessed, the quintessential Hyderabadi is chargedup, ever-ready to indulge.
First it was Ganesh festival, then Batukamma festival, Dandiya, pujo and finally Dusshera. Non-stop celebrations! As a brief interlude, we saw the Bakrid festival which had its own mark in the gallis. Unlike the west, where we have fewer festivals around thanksgiving and Christmas , we have non-stop eating with festival after festival year-long. It is wise to be aware while we indulge,’ says celebrity holistic nutritionist Sridevi Jasti. Which other city offers midnight Haleem and Biryani yaaron? Swathi Lakra, IPS ACPHyderabad encourages everyone women and kids to come out and celebrate as much as possible assuring everyone of adequate protection.
“Shopping psychology of women in Hyderabad is unique and it is a challenge for our showrooms to offer varied designs for each of these festivals,” says Kalyan Annam, Director of Kalamandir and Varamahalakshmi showrooms. Before the Dasara fun died down, the street vendors have started selling ghost masks and localised horror faces at traffic junctions !!!
Filmmaker Ramgopal Varma doesnt believe good always triumphs over evil. “So we better find other reasons to celebrate festivals,” he quips. Spiritualist and musician Padmasree Dr. Shobha Raju has a different take: “To all minimalists who wonder if all this madness is about, festivals puts everyone on a healthy high. Plus festivals have created livelihoods flower vendors and traditional packaged foods. More festivals, the merrier.”
The spirit of celebration also makes it a happy city and most apt for people from anywhere in the world to come in. Don’t know if we are a happening city, we are certainly a happy city. What plans for Diwali folks?
(The writer is a popular TV show host, radio jockey, professional singer… and most importantly, a hardcore Hyderabadi)