I spent the last week of July in Hyderabad on a business trip. This was my first trip to Hyderabad after 30 years. I went there once as a six year old with my parents and have faint memories of the Golconda fort. Hyderabad is a dynamic city and is evolving as a major IT hub in India. Over the week I spent here, the city really grew on me. The people are nice and courteous and the food while a bit spicy, is to die for. The quality of life in Hyderabad is probably amongst the top cities in India now, with its improved infrastructure and relatively low cost of living. Mr. Chandrabab Naidu, the previous Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh transformed this sleepy town into one of the fastest growing cities India in less than a decade by pushing through key infrastructure changes and laying the foundation for a major IT township called Hitec city. Mr. Naidu opened up the congested arteries of Hyderabad by forcibly widening major streets against political and civilian opposition. It's a pleasure to drive down these streets, especially around the Husain Sagar Lake and through the tony locales of Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills. Real estate prices here have run up a lot in the last few years, although they are still reasonably priced in most parts of the city.
On my first night in Hyderabad, my host took me to his local country club called the Jubilee Hills International Club (JHIC). Such country clubs form part of the thriving social legacy left over from the British Raj days. Memberhip is strictly by invitation at most of these clubs and waiting lists can extend over a decade. Facilities include tennis courts, open air movie theater with dining tables, pool room, olympic size swimming pool, card rooms, restaurant and bar.
On our way back from JHIC, we experienced a torrential thundershower that flooded the streets within one hour. Even as Indian cities attempt to upgrade basic infrastructure like roads and power, they are ignoring their drainage systems which are often more than a hundred years old. Many Indian cities get flooded every year during monsoons causing substantial damage to homes and offices.
Southern Spice is my favorite restaurant in Hyderabad. They serve typical Andhra cuisine with delicious (albeit spicy) curries and dosais. I highly reccomend this restaurant if you are viting Hyderabad.
This little parlor housed in a side street in Hyderabad caught my eye. The 'Obesity Clinic' in the image is all-in-one beauty parlor that promises to make over podgy budding brides into ravishing slim beauties with just one visit. What is missing in the picture is an image of Britney Spears in a micro mini on the sign board above. I guess the images of the bride and Britney Spears are the onwer's way of addressing the teen and bride market segments. I found this one really funny and I mention it here even though it may appear rude to some.