the calm before the ….


Perhaps, the most photographed spot in Hyderabad. Whether you are a tourist or a resident. Whether the place is packed or empty. Whether the birds take off in all directions or stay put on the ground or eat out of the hands of the visitors. A peaceful morning or hectic dusk, in all probability you would return with some interesting images. Even if you happen to realise it much later.

Shot on an early morning visit, a rare quiet moment when the pigeons were gathering in great numbers, building a sense of anticipation before they eventually took off in a frenzy and circled around the monument.

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Hyderabad’s favourite timepass – irani chai, biscoot aur gupshap

I have always been wary of walking into an Irani Cafe, a woman in such a place would stick out like a sore thumb. And not really a tea drinker myself(thanks to the lactose intolerance), I wondered why I would bother going to one.

I had heard good things about the chai as well as the osmani biscuits at the Nimrah cafe near Charminar, but was warned not to go there alone or as a ladies-only group. I had wrapped up a meeting in the part of town very quickly and had some time on hand. Perhaps it was the right time to check out the most celebrated teatime fare of the city. There was the usual crowd but being the month of Ramazan, I would guess it was on the lesser side.

I took a place outside, and as one is bound to in such a place, began to observe the people, the life, the haste as well as the leisure all right in front of the iconic monument of the city. The waiters seemed to take no notice of my presence and for some reason it did not bother me. I decided to take out my camera to take a few shots and reckoned it was always better to ask for permission to avoid a round of questions or angering anyone around. It seemed like the manager was in a good mood, when I told him that I was keen on documenting things that were essentially Hyderabadi, he insisted I start clicking only after I had my cuppa and some biscuits(on the house). This wasn’t the reception I expected, moreover it also served to mock my initial apprehensions. He looked disappointed when I told him of my allergy and agreed to let me carry on with my work.

Once I was done, I went to say thank you, and he handed me a box of osmani biscuits, “Do visit us again!”

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Bade Namaz

  Muslims in the city of Hyderabad thronged to the largest mosque, the Mecca masjid on 17 Aug 2012, to offer their prayers on this holy day. Women offer their prayers from the premises of the Unani Hospital. Text below from Wiki: Also known as Jumu’ah-tul-Wida. Jumu’ah-tul-Wida  (Arabic: جمعة الوداع‎ meaning Friday of farewell, also called al-Jumu’ah al-Yatimah Arabic: الجمعة اليتيمة‎… Continue reading Bade Namaz

Gulzar Hauz

The text below is an excerpt from an article published in the Hindu titled Glory of the Gates – The vast area between the arches (now shrunk, with buildings and part of Patterghatti built much later, taking over the space) was square and called “Jilu Khana” or the guard’s square. In the centre of the… Continue reading Gulzar Hauz