I asked the taxi driver where the new face was Hyderabad was, and he very politely told me to shut up and wait. The crawling traffic was because of a flyover that would completely bypass most of Begumpet. As soon as we crossed the construction zone, my jaw dropped as I saw a huge field of petunias in the middle of a monstrous traffic island. Before I could react to it, we sailed down beautiful broad tree-lined roads with similar gargantuan traffic islands all the way. The sides had manicured lawns with buxom concrete maidens perpetually emptying their pots into gurgling ponds. Several multiplexes, restaurants and gorgeous roads later, I reached Banjara Hills, where my friends asked me anxiously if the traffic in Hyderabad was too stressful. I answered them with a half-awestruck, half-jealousy-crazed gurgle.
The 25 km trip from the center of town to Hi-tech city the next day was on similarly desi-ghee'ed roads. I dont think a teleporter could have gotten me across faster.The road dividers went completely crazy after a point, and housed dense artifically cultivated woods and japanese gardens. Huge flyover projects all along the way vied with each other for modernity. In fact one of them was going to be so modern that if you uttered the magic words "Jamakku thaa, Kasakku rro" into a mike at the top, robotic arms would swiftly pluck you off the flyover and place you on a vast mobile lawn where you could dance telugu duets with other commuters on your way to work.
And where do these splendid roads lead? Not really anywhere in particular. High Tech City (Cyberabad) at the end of the beautiful road turned out to be about 1/10th the size of e-city. Here is a shining example of a city that has geared up its infrastructure and is now rubbing its hands in glee waiting for business to pour in.
I was whisked off to the lake's edge by my lovely friends one evening for fun times and food. A huuuuuge food court on one side run by B.B.H.S.K. Rajasekhar Reddy and friends stretched out as far as eye could see, with tables all along the lake's edge. Spic and span, span and spic. Uff what a lovely. The pesarattu was ghastly but the view more than compensated! In the centre of the lake, a rather pointless looking Budhdha glowed yellowly at us while traffic buzzed about cheerfully on Necklace Road on the other side. Jushttu too beautiful I say. Chandrababu, pls come to Bengalooru. I'll even let you rename Cox Town V.V.S.B.S.U.M. Shastry Nagar if you wantu.
Hyderabadis have names 3 times longer than Bangaloreans and a third of their attitude. It's half as crowded and twice as efficient. Rents are low and the people laid back and courteous. Even auto drivers apologize for hours in charming Deccani Urdu about not having 1 rupee change. Commuting is a cinch, and the biriyani is, well, oily. The weather is slightly sad, the nightlife isn't spectacular and the Hyderabadi crowd is perhaps a little more mainstream-Indian than Bangalore's. But aside from that, why on earth isn't everybody moving to Hyderabad? Jusht I yam not undershtanding only.